What replacement window is 'BEST'?

changelingDecember 3, 2007

I have decided to have new windows installed in my house including a new Bay/Bow window, everything new.

If you were going to do this what Brand/company would you go with and why?

I have been considering Pella, Simington, etc,.

Any and all advise is welcome!!!

Just plain tired of single pain junk!!!!


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If your looking for the best ratings then Softlite or Park Avenue windows.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 7:35PM
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I've never heard of Softlite or Park Avenue windows, not that has a bearing on anything. My intention is to get really nice windows at a reasonable price, however I don't know who makes the best window for the dollar in the Pella, Simongton, etc, price range. This is what I'm trying to investigate now by posting on this web site.
I'm only interested in Vinyl type windows, no wood. I would like to have the best (like everyone else)! So, research is my only outlet.

I need 5 average size windows and 1 bay/bow window (large). I have absolutely no idea what the cost of this should be, thats another reason for my being here (rough estimates). All windows are easily assessible particularly the Bay/bow.
I would normally do this myself, however due to health problem I can no longer do it.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 2:01PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Pella is wood, Simonton is vinyl. Two worlds of choice there.

Check out Wincore Windows.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 4:56PM
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Michael I need someone who is very knowledgeable about windows that can expound a little more about the subject than "Check out Wincore"!

I want a company that will be around in years to come and not in the business for 10 years and then jump ship before warranty problems start attacking them.
I don't plan to purchase till spring/early summer so I am starting my investigation now and it appears it is going to be that long before I can get sound advise.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 2:00PM
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Changeling, your original post said that you did not want junk so I provided names of two high end replacement window companies. You need to shop for a provider that will sell you the windows and install them properly. We can continue to mention different brands but you need to look at the brands and see if they are something that you like. Window people generally only promote what they currently sell.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 4:51PM
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Just yesterday we had 3 Marvin window replacements installed, and we're delighted. They are sash replacements that look like original windows. Most replacements look obviously retrofitted and have less glass area and less light coming into the house. Marvin is wood inside (stain grade if you need that, or delivered primed), and aluminum exterior with a permanent white finish. They are beautiful, and they are available in energy efficient models. The only drawback is that, although they tilt in for cleaning, that is not easy to do. Our son got vinyl replacement windows in his house. He likes them, but I don't. Look into windowgang.com. They're spreading all over the country, and many are doing Marvin window replacements. I think Pella is overpriced and probably not that good. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 5:32PM
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Probably the best replacement window is Anderson Renewal. In vinyl consider Atrium or Thermal Industries whichever is sold in your area.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 12:48PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes


I understand. You also need to do some of your own work on research.

You did mention Simonton. Well, Wincore is where the Simonton folks migrated to.

So, check out Wincore. They just may be around longer than Simonton.

What window is BEST? The one that meets your budget, energy needs, and a professional installation.

I have the BEST replacement window.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 10:47PM
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Pella makes a vinyl line that is very good. It has reinforced sashes and is very strong and will stand up over time. I have intalled several jobs with them since they came out and as far as vinyl goes I ma very impressed with them

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 6:57AM
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I know Pella has a true replacement unit. it can be made to your exact size. I just know Pella has been around for over 75 years or more. That to me speaks volumes!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 3:25PM
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I love Pella and Anderson windows! I replace them all the time. Over the years I have seen a change in windows that are being replaced.. Back in the late 80's early 90's I use to get a lot of the old rope and pulley windows that needed to be replaced. Now its mostly Anderson and Pella. If you don't mind having to replace them in 10 to 20 years go with Pella or Anderson. It will keep me busy in the future. :]
I am not trying to down these companies just stating the facts. I been in the window business for many years and I would never put an Anderson or Pella window in my home.
Please do your research before purchasing any windows.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 6:58PM
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needwindows if not Pella or Anderson than what?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 1:53PM
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We did Atrium brand (200 Series vinyl) about 2.5 years ago -- dual glazed, argon filled, Low-E. (11 windows and a 12-ft sliding door.) Exterior trim is formed onsite of powder coated, rolled aluminum to any width you might want. They're great and look LOTS better than most!
We have a rough finish stucco exterior house and the job required NO patching anywhere. Perfect fit. It took only two days.
We're in So. Calif.

Getting bids is hillarious though...quotes ranged from $10K to $32K, for the SAME job!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 6:23AM
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teedup1 I'll take a look at them thanks. Regarding the bids being hilarious, thats putting it mildly.
Try this, go to doityourself.com and the windows section, there you will see my post for window. Read what one of there advisor's had to say about me thinking $700.00 was to much for a regular vinyl window, it was the last post I think. Basically it tries to tell me how I shouldn't look for a good price and should be ashamed for even suggesting it, at least in my way of thinking.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 2:05PM
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Many window manufacturers have great windows it just depends on what someone sells you. Most of your larger companies have a low-end line that most will try and sell you so they can be the cheapest.
Some things to look for are:
7/8 inch overall glass system. Over 7/8 and they are better one part of the year and worse at others. less than 7/8 they are worse year round.
Warm edge spacer system such as superspacer- uses no metal in the spacer to give you a warm edge glass unit and reduce condensation like a metal spacer would.
look for multi-channeled vinyl- alot of companies use single walled vinyl again to be cheaper.
read warranties carefully- i have seen warranties say LIFETIME WARRANTY on the top then have a disclaimer in the middle stating entire warranty written or implied is good for 12 months.

Not sure what area you are from but different areas require different glass systems to be thermally superior.
Make sure you are getting Low-e glass and either argon or krypton gas also this can add alot the thermal capabilities of the window.
I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 7:20PM
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All of this is predicated on what brands are carried by the various distributors/installers in your area. Many of these companies have showrooms where you can see the products and make comparisons. Pella has been mentioned. they have a good reputation but a very limited guarantee. A few years ago we had 25 windows replaced with Weld-Gen vinyl. The big solid panel in one of our bow windows lost its seal. The local company from whom we purchased the windows were out last week and replaced the windows at no charge. My windows have a life time guarantee and the company from which we purchased the windows have been in business for 40 years. Now, you can fret over getting the very best window but it all depends on who in your area handles what brand and the quality of their installers. I cannot emphasize enough getting double hung windows for all moving windows. The windows tilt in for very easy cleaning. This is especially important for second story windows of even first story where schrubs are involved.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 9:26AM
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So far this is what I have figured out from talking to all of you:

  1. It appears that the installer is as important as who made the window if not more so, this has a good ring of truth to me and I really believe the people who have stressed this point!

  2. You have to have a good window to start with if the guys in #1 can get it right. There in surfaces the problem. Everyone has a favorite that "could" be associated with where in the US you happen to live. The established companies seem to have distributes across the US if not the globe. Some of the companies that I have never heard of seem to have distribution to my state (Maryland) such as Sunrise, and a lot of others. These (some) companies seem to offer a lot better "bang for the buck" than the major brands like Anderson or Pella.
    I'm sure that the Pella and Anderson reps reviewing this site and defending there windows and jobs will take great offense to this, but that is how I see it!!
    It is just impossible for me to see a company (several) that offer superior guaranty's and better warranty lengths, that are also directly associated with the best window ratings available (Government) to be ridiculed relative to the majors!!
    Then we come into the price situation!! Most of these companies seem to get there glass from one of a very few suppliers, which actually manufactures that "Build what you want" at your price point in the manufacturing of your window brand.
    Then you have some installers trying to make more profit than the dam company making the window in the first place! Man, talk about 'Catch 22', I have already experienced this!

So, where am I at, ????


    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 5:16PM
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Stay away from schuco windows. The service SUCKS. i ahve been waiting for almost a year for parts. All i get is lip service. The seals shipped in November. I wonder where too. I paid way too much to be treated like this.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 11:22PM
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If you are still taking suggestions.....
We recommend Simonton and Alside to our clients looking for vinyl replacement windows. We use those in most of the additions we do.
Alside has the best bay window I have seen.
Depending on where you are in MD, Alside offers factory installation which is as good as you can get as far as customer support and standing behind the product.

Prices for the Alside windows vary quite a bit, we typicall charge under $625/window (DH) and we see the large window marketing companies selling them at $1k/window, but we don't have the advertising and sales force expenses they do.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2007 at 7:58PM
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I don't mean to be rude but I think $625.00 per window is rather high for literally just another window company and anyone who pays $1000.00 for a standard size DH window needs his/her head examined. It's vinyl and glass, not gold and silver. The cost of the window and 1 to 1.5 hours to install doe's not equate to those kind of prices.
I'm starting to really see now why there are so many companies making windows, it's about as lucrative as it gets!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 2:47PM
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"anyone who pays $1000.00 for a standard size DH window needs his/her head examined""$625.00 per window is rather high for literally just another window company " I agree, only above average companies should charge over $500 per window. Anyone over $800 should be an excellent company.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 4:44PM
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* Posted by fhiwindows (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 27, 07 at 16:44

"anyone who pays $1000.00 for a standard size DH window needs his/her head examined" I don't consider it rude at all, I call it a consumer that is being taken advantage of to the point it should be considered criminal! As I said before, it's vinyl and glass! not gold and silver!

"$625.00 per window is rather high for literally just another window company " I agree, only above average companies should charge over $500 per window. Anyone over $800 should be an excellent company.

No, once again you don't seem to get it. Almost all of these companies get there glass from 2 or 3 manufactures. The crap about virgin vinyl used is just that, "Crap"! New vinyl is just that, "Vinyl", PERIOD!
Above average companies, well that is strictly a design and function of a company to produce a superior designed product with the workforce to assure that all considerations of the manufacturing process are met and above all stand behind there window with an iron clad guarantee without some of the dam stupid loopholes I have read about and seen . This seems to be a Grey area that no one really wants to address!

I started my search for windows as the average consumer looking!! However it has become a literal nightmare to find honest people. So, don't tell me that I am being rude for asking honest questions, just ask yourself are you an honest person.

Consumers; When someone suggest a brand, see if you can contact them via e-mail for answers (it's a record) and get your questions answered. Ask for company literature! Definitely ask for the total guarantee in writing before buying. How long in business, recent customers in your area, etc,.
Good companies should have no problems answering these questions! If you start hearing things like "we aren't allowed", are associated BS, look elsewhere! Sorry for the ranting but I want new windows, not BS.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 5:33PM
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Hey, "extremely handsome and rich" Changeling, (LOL) how did the Atrium brand windows (that I suggested to you because we're pleased with them) fare in your comparisons thus far? Although we are in So. Cal, I know they have facilities on the east coast too.

According to their web site, Atrium Companies is the largest manufacturer of vinyl and aluminum windows and patio doors in North America. (I'm rather surprised that I don't hear the name mentioned more often.)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 11:47PM
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Miami-Dade County , Florida, has the stricktest building codes in the world (because of hurricanes). No window can sell in Florida unless it passes all the tests. I use their website to see what the strongest windows are. If you look, say under vinyl windows, you will see the wind test results for each brand and model of window. This will at least tell you what are the strongest windows, which should be indicative of the overall quality of the window. The tests also show resistance to water leaks. Here's the link:http://www.miamidade.gov/buildingcode/pc-search_app.asp

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 6:02AM
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This spring I replaced my CRESTLINE wood clad windows with PACE tripple panes.... LOVE-EM . Vinyl windows of course... My home is not too old so vinyl doesnt hurt looks, Check NFRC ratings on these windows fantastic. Paid good money but happy , Very heavy multi chambered frame, SUPER SPACER in window no metal... Looking at them they are built like a tank.... tinted nicely.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 9:14PM
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Sherrie Lagasse Frisone

I recently purchased but have not yet had installed (new construction) Paradigm Windows. We looked at Pella Windows and decided after testing both that the Paradigm was a better window and better priced. Pella and Anderson have the marketing but not necessarily the best product. I had Anderson windows in my old house. The house was 15 years old (casement windows) and when I tell you I constantly replaced broken cranks......constantly....

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 6:30PM
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Can one definitely tell by price alone that a window is not going to cut it. For example a carpenter said I could buy a 30x54 window from a local builder's supply and have it installed for $125 or I could pay for the 'name' in a well known brand and get equivalent quality. Can someone tell me what specs I need to look at in a window. Is there a price point for a window this size that indicates junk?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 8:28AM
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I happen to sell, install, and service Alside window and siding products. Without getting into a sales pitch should be around $450 for a vinyl, fusion welded corners, steel re-enforced sash, double locks, with "night locks", white, single LOW-E (which is fine), Double Hung at 80-84 U.I.(United Inch) which is, you measure height and width and "ADD" the two for a window measurement. Most of these window companies buy their window from a Manufacturer and have independant contractors put them in. Nothing wrong with it, if the installer is good. They usually will be w/ the company for awhile, and work exclusively for them. $300 to $400 difference per window between companies, doesn't "make" them better, actually it's wrong. SALESMAEN work on commission! "Precieved value was built for you!" I can get their same window! Pella and Andersen are different. Install is critical for your money. Check around w/ neighbors, friends. If you like the window, and the job, "ask for that CREW!" 650-1000 for a 84UI is crazy, make sure they "insulate" between the window buck and frame before they trim the window also. I also give a guarantee (LIFE) on the window and the labor! I replace anything that goes wrong at my expense in writing.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 12:38AM
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I'm in the process of shopping for replacement windows and have found it to be an interesting experience.

Quotes have ranged from $20k (Andersen and Pella) to $5k (Milgard).

I think an important thing to factor in is the return on investment. My house is in a great location, but the build quality is average.

Unless your home is a really high end construction, I can't help but think that spending $15k extra on windows is overkill. I will not see a return on that investment in the long run.

Does it make sense to spend $15k more than I "have to" on windows, rather than say... jazzing up the bathrooms, adding granite countertops or having some skylights or new window openings installed? That will have a bigger impact on the feel of my house. And chances are, come the day I go to sell the house, very few people will appreciate the fact that I spent $20k on windows rather than $5k... and it will not increase the value of my home.

Part of the reason I want to replace my windows is to reduce my energy bills. But the $5k Milgards are just as efficient as the $20k windows. Rather than spending $20k on windows alone, I could spend $5k on windows and use the remaining $15k on a high efficiency furnace and water heater (when the existing ones need to be replaced). That will have the biggest impact on my energy bills.

Another factor to consider is that in my case, the Andersen windows have a 10 year warranty on the frames and 20 years on the glass (I think Pella has the same warranty), and the installer provides a 2 year warranty on his work. For the Milgard windows, there is a lifetime warranty on the entire window (the warranty drops to 10 years if I sell the house - but who cares, I won't live here anymore... and a prospective buyer won't really care either) and the installer offers a lifetime warranty on their work. The installer has been in business for 25 + years, so I am not worried about them disappearing on me.

Also, all brands have excellent energy efficiency.

So... why spend an extra $15k for a shorter warranty? Andersen and Pella claim to be a better product, so why don't they offer a lifetime warranty?

In the unlikely event that I still live here in 30 years time, and the cheaper (Milgard) windows fail after 30 years, they will be serviced/replaced at no cost. Andersen and Pella can't make that promise.

Another thought is that, if the Andersen windows 'look better' I could use them in the living room (our most used room - which has nice views), and then install the more affordable Milgards in the rest of the house. The Milgards certaibly aren't ugly.

So... my question is, why spend an extra $15k on windows? Could the money not be better spent on a more significant improvement or renovation?

I asked the Andersen and Pella reps why I should spend $15k extra for their windows and he explained their manufacturing process and why they would last longer than Milgards. Nothing was very fact-based or convincing - but who cares when the Milgards are $15k cheaper and come with a lifetime warranty anyway? If they don't last, they will be replaced. I asked the Andersen rep if he thought that spending $15k more than I have on windows is really the best way to invest money in my house... and he actually blushed.

Personally, I think it is a racket.

I also spoke to a couple of real estate agents and an appraiser (family friends) and they said windows are something that homeowners can waste a lot of money on - as, by instinct, everyone wants the 'BEST' product. According to them, you don't want them to be ugly or leak, but beyond that... whether you spent $5k or $15k will have no impact on the value of your average American home. Having newer, efficient, decent-looking windows is all a buyer likes to see. Andersen or Pella windows may be slightly more efficient than other brands, but the difference is never going to save you $15k in your heating and cooling bills... even if you lived in your home for 50 more years. And your average home buyer won't appreciate the difference.

The $5k windows have an excellent warranty, are easy on the eye, and are efficient. So, it seems to me that spending $20k on windows would be money down the toilet.

Am I missing something?


    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 12:29PM
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What I have found is with windows, they really do not up the home valuevery much, more than they are a selling feature of the home. When people are looking at comparable homes, they tend to comapre "what's got to be done. In my opinion, the "more" that has been newly remodeled the faster the house will sell. Also, the more that has is updated (bath,kitchen, tile floors) the higher you house will be appraised.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 1:10PM
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I agree. That is why I think prospective buyers will only look to see "Okay, am I going to need to replace the windows soon?" and if the answer is "No, the seller recently installed Low-E windows" then the buyer will be pleased.

What they won't appreciate, is whether you spent $5k or $20k to install new windows.

If you save the money and spend it on things that will increase the value of your home (tiles, skylights, kitchen etc) - you will see a return on investment.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 2:31PM
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I would recommend Amerimax vinyl windows. I got them installed over 5 years ago and couldn't be happier. Very good vinyl window and built very well. I got other estimates and looked at other windows but went with Amerimax because of the way it looked and the quality of the window. Amerimax I was told is considered a top vinyl window brand. I dont know if this is true but I am very happy with my purchase and the way the windows work. Check out Amerimax if looking for vinyl windows.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 2:47PM
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I have worked in the window/door industry for several years in so. calif. For my $$ Andersen is by far the best product I could recommend. Vinyl clad on the outside and stainable on the inside or white vinyl clad/wrapped on the inside. The wood has been treated with a preservative to repel water & insects (termites), also the wood structure makes the unit stronger and insulates better than the hollow "all vinyl" windows. If you want an all vinyl window I would highly recommend Milgard or the Simonton windows. In 20+ years I have yet to have an Andersen owner complain about rot or termite damaged windows/doors. Vinyl is almost totally impervious to harsh conditions such as salt air by the ocean or smog in big cities but should not be painted later to change it's color. Aluminum cladding is paintable later, BUT, does NOT like harsh environments. It WILL oxidize, peel the paint and is not adhered to the wood structure like a vinyl clad Andersen. Go tap on some samples in the display rooms and notice the sound difference as move down the side of a aluminum clad window. These are the small air gaps between the wood and aluminum cladding where moisture can condense and either rot the wood, give mold a place to grow, oxidize the aluminum from the back side or ALL of these. Like others have said, the installer is critical to any window's/door's performance!! Don't cut that area short to save money. A GOOD installer may charge as much as the new windows cost but is worth every penny. Check references and go look at some of his/their previous work and talk to the customers.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:38PM
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anthony diy -
You are talking "apples and oranges" when you compare Andersen, Pella, Marvin, Eagle, Kolbe&Kolbe, Loewen to Simonton, Milgard, Certainteed, Atrium Vinyl, Jeld-Wen Vinyl. Basic wood structure windows vs. all vinyl windows is not really fair. The wood structured windows will be stronger and insulate better than the hollow all vinyl windows. Think about it! - how strong is air? and we all know that wood insulates better than air. Wood can be painted or stained - not so with vinyl windows. If you like the sterile hospital look then white vinyl windows are for you. If you want the warmth, strength and versatility wood offers then look to something other than the all vinyl windows. Vinyl is a petroleum based product and wood is becoming harder to harvest properly so the prices of both are on the rise, same as everything else. In So. Calif. vinyl retro-fit windows increase the value of a house approx. 15-20%, new nail-fin windows raise it about 30-35%. Windows and doors are MAJOR energy "ports" in any home. The better you can do at these locations to curb energy losses the higher your savings, especially as energy costs are leaping also - OIL costs again!! The windows and doors are what people see at your house and these are what they form their impression/opinion about you from - they make a statement about you & your family. What do you want to say to the world? Also the options with wood structured windows is much greater than with the vinyl windows. Things like hardware, grilles, grille sizes, designs, etc. and usually exterior color choices too. Something other than white or tan only - inside & out!! It's your statement to make, choose your "words", or windows, wisely.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 10:06PM
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Anyone reading this thread, do yourself a huge favor and completely ignore anything posted by Changeling or Anthony diy. I can appreciate that they came to the site looking for advice or information about replacement windows, but they are so far off base it's really not funny. Billbg6 knows a ton more about windows than either Changeling or Anthony, and $650 to $1000 opening is average for a quality product.

The problem many consumers have, Mr. Consumer Changeling, is that you don't know anything about windows other than you see them advertised on TV for $149 per window. So when you here $650 to $1000 you get all crazy and offended. I'm sure by now you have installed a piece of crap window that you love, and will continue to love for about the next two years. What is funny is that Changeling says he wants a good window, a good company, a good warranty, and probably wants good service too, but he is NOT willing to pay a GOOD price. Everybody wants a great product, a great company, and a "great" price, but it is impossible to find a combination of all three from the same place.

You get what you pay for. That being said, you do have to be careful when choosing your product and company. According to the National Association of Realtors, THE AUTHORITY for home improvements, the average home has 10 windows, with average opening sizes of 3 feet by 5 feet. The average vinyl replacement window project is $10,440.00,according to the 2007 Cost vs. Value Report, which was compiled based on data from 2770 members of the National Association of Realtors. The average return on investment in the FIRST year is 84%. That means that an AVERAGE window is about $1,044 per opening. An upscale product is $13,300 (approximately) for 10 average size windows, or $1,300 per opening if you want a really nice window.

Changeling will probably have a stroke when he reads this (I can't wait for your response). I know. . . that's crazy. And 2770 experts on the home improvement industry all need to have their heads examined. What is crazy is that Changeling and Anthony think they are getting ripped off at $1000 per opening, when the truth is that they are the window industry's favorite kind of customer because one of three things will happen when they put a piece of crap window in their house. One, they will buy another piece of crap window in 4 to 5 years after all the windows are foggy and you can't see out them anymore. Or, two, they will move and the new homeowner will buy another (hopefully piece of crap) window to replace the piece of crap window. Or, three, they will do nothing and live with a piece of crap window. If every window was just the same as the next, and was built to last a lifetime, then Changeling probably would not be changelinging his windows. People who think like Changeling and Anthony keep the window industry profitable because poorly educated consumers keep replacing windows that are designed to fail. Sort of like how we all spend crazy amounts of money on cars that break down, depreciate in value, and keep needing to be replaced because they are designed to fail. The difference with windows is that there are windows that are truly designed to last a life time, but you have to pay good money for them.

None of this is really of any help to the original poster, or his sidekick who will certainly not realize any return on his windows either. The only reason I bothered to respond is because I was bored and thought maybe someone reading this could benefit by heeding some simple advice. If you want to know how much you should expect to pay for any home improvement, you should rely very little on what is posted here. It makes for fun reading, but that's about it. If you want truly unbiased, impartial information, you should rely on information from industry experts such as the National Association of Realtors. If you ever watch CNN or MSNBC, whenever they state a statistic about the sagging housing market, they always cite the National Association of Realtors. And according to the experts, Changeling and Anthony probably need their heads examined when it comes to what you can reasonably expect to pay for QUALITY windows. Another place to check out for an impartial look at your window project is Trueestimate.org. They claim to not have any affiliation with any home improvement company or product and provide on-line estimates and other pretty useful information about what to look for in a quality product and company.

Hope this helps someone somehow. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 1:13AM
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Well said Tblundell!!! I am reading these previous threads and I cant believe the insanity!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 11:13PM
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WINCORE WINDOWS #1! Simonton Windows have long been known as the #1 vinyl replacement window and absolutely pumping out the most windows . The plant in WV was pumping out 3.5 million windows a year, and that is just one of their 6 plants around the US. That all has changed. They sold out to a fortune 500 company and long since have been going down hill. All the top executives from Simonton rallied together and formed a new window company called Wincore. Sterling Simonton is one of the owners! He designed their bow and bays, and they are something else, no other window company can compare. They are way more beefy than Simonton. double strength glass...standard, 7/8 inch glass space..standard, low e and argon...standard, liftime warranty on glass, parts, screens, etc......ALL STANDARD. Even though they have only been together a couple of years, they are already on there way to the top. If you are looking for the best window at the best price, look no further. Contractors can get these windows for around 175$, so unless they are charging an arm and a leg for install, you should be looking at around 300-400$ And the service is unreal. So don't be fooled by these window companies that want 800$ for a window claiming it to be the best energy package. Wincore is right at the top when it comes to energy U factors and all the energy ratings. WINCORE WINDOWS!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 2:32PM
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stickler4dtails, Florida is far from the window authority you believe it to be as they have nothing resembling an energy code there. As far as replacement window I would personally find a reputable and fair installer and ask his recommendation for starters as if he is going to put them in I would want him to be familiar with them. Then find where they are manufactured and check with the local BB Bureau to find out how they have done in the past. Then you actually can start to make an educated decision.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 4:50PM
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Have windows gone up in price since this thread began? I've been looking for replacement windows and I can't find anything for less than $1300 unless I want to go with big box stores. I have windows that are not standard size however, maybe that's the difference. Looking through these threads though made me wonder where some of these people are shopping. I've been looking at Pella, Marvin, Eagle, Anderson, and recently was introduced to Soft-Lite Element. Are custom fit windows that much more expensive,or is the midwest an expensive place to buy windows? Anyone know anything about the Soft-Lite windows? They look good but I am having a hard time finding anyone who has had any experience with them.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 7:47PM
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The Soft LITE Element is a very good window made in vinyl.The other windows you list are for the most part wood windows with a short 10-20 warranty,apples and oranges comparison.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 8:24PM
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Shawn, You peaked my interest in Wincore. After looking at their site, one downer is that their replacement warranty at 100% is only for the first 20 yrs and labor Is NOT INCLUDED in the warranty. I'll have to find out the difference in U channel spacing and the super spacer as well. What makes you say since they sold to a fortune 500, that everything has gone down hill? This same conglomerate owns Omega kitchen cabinetry and I put them in my house after really researching EVERYBODY for months, and they are truly fantastic in quality. I know, different product, but what has degraded since this change over? Not being confrontational, I really want to know since Simonton is one of my top picks for vinyl replacement coupled with really great install. Thx.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:58PM
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Never purchase windows from a Start-up company.


(quote)"They sold out to a fortune 500 company and long since have been going down hill").

We are a fairly good size Simonton dealer (600-800 per month). Please explain in detail what the "problems" are at Simonton. We haven't noticed any. Quality is still excellent, service outstanding, shipping on time etc. So whats gone downhill?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 2:52AM
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Skydawggy - I'm with you. Here is question about Simonton that I haven't been able to figure out and maybe you can help: I live in Calif. I notice that Simonton sells the Impressions series 7500 and 7300 to the Western US as well as the Prism series I think. What is THE BEST of these series? The literature isn't great at telling the difference? I'm looking to get the slimmer frame profile that wouldn't show as much on my house but IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN effiency, sound control and all these other ratings if I get the slimmer frame?? If there is, I'll just get the thicker 3 1/4" one as opposed to 2 7/8" if I remember correctly?

Another question: Is laminated glass with Simonton the only way to up sound control? Is there really a dramatic difference? I have 20 yr old single pane windows now.
What is the difference between the Prism series and Impressions? I got Simonton's literature from them but not sure that I understand the differences. I was just about to call my Simonton quote guy or the company but maybe you're out there today.
Thanks for your time, Nicole

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 3:17PM
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We were just introduced to Park Avenue windows last night and I have to say I was quite impressed, but that doesn't mean much. They are triple paned krypton filled windows. We live in Wisconsin and need to have windows that can stand up to the cold. On the data they seem superior to the Pella windows. Pretty much anything would be superior to our 40 year old Pella wood windows. Park Avenue has a 50 limited warranty (we were told the only limit was acts of nature such as tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes the latter 2 being something that we probably never have to worry about in WI). We are also receiving a written guarantee that we will improve our therm usage by 35%. That is huge for us considering that we spent about $200 per month last winter to heat our house keeping the heat at the very lowest we could stand it without freezing our pipes and our bodies. Does anyone know of a better window or guarantee that can stand up in Wisconsin for the money? We do have friends that bought a patio door from Park Avenue last fall and he told us that in the winter when he stood in front of the door it was the warmest place in the house. That does have a bit to do with the poor construction of the house, but I think a window that is warmer than your walls is actually pretty nice. I know the So Cal people seem to like the Simontons, but would that be a smart investment in Wisconsin? We don't so much care about improving the value of our house as we just bought it 2 years ago and plan to retire in it 30 years from now. Would like a window that will retire with us. We don't want to replace them again in 10-15 years. The utility company is talking about another 25% rate hike this winter...I hate giving them my money!!!!!!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 8:57PM
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Accountess - Simonton has windows made just for the east coast (which would cover your area, I'm guessing),,,,google them and when you go their website you either put in your zip code or click on East Coast,,,anyway, have them send you their brochures, quite extensive I must say. I think you'll like it. This site has been very helpful as well. Look at some of the JD Power reports on windows,,,2006 or 2007 I think. That will give you some manufacturers to look at. Here and their reports is where I started. In about 5-6 weeks I'll have my new windows in. Can't wait. Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 12:38AM
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"the average home has 10 windows, with average opening sizes of 3 feet by 5 feet."


If this came from the NAR site, please cite it. I have a hard time believing that the average home only has 10 windows.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 12:21PM
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Ten windows in an average home? My home is not huge, it's about 2,200 sq ft and we have 11 windows upstairs and 14 downstairs. So I'm way over here on windows apparently, and I thought I didn't have enough, LOL

Tblundell, thanks for your post. I almost got taken in with the others you mentioned. Will keep on looking for good quality windows and an excellent company to install.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 10:54PM
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Please do not forget to look into Harvey Windows. I stated on another blog that I purchased some over 5 years ago and I'm extremely happy with the quality and price. We had a friend who was able to get them at cost (contractor's price) and we put them in ourselves. They are something I would highly suggest everyone look into.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 1:01PM
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We live in Wisconsin and had Gorell replacement windows installed in our 100 yr old bungalow about 7 yrs ago, and are very pleased. Don't know how many windows we have, but the house is 6500 sq ft. We did get an unbelievably great deal, a very good friend is in the business, but the entire bill for the windows was about $16,000. Did not include installation. The only thing I've ever claimed on their warranty was a latch I broke -- my fault, I forced it when the window wasn't all the way closed. Window breakage for ANY reason is covered for 50 years, etc, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gorell warranty

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 7:07PM
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Hope this isn't a stupid question, but I'm a little confused by one of the previous posts....Are all vinyl windows made with wood that's wrapped in vinyl, are they made of something else, or does it depend on the brand?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 9:46PM
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Wood that is wrapped in vinyl is considered a wood clad window. i.e. wood that is clad in vinyl. It is the same basic design as a wood clad window that uses aluminum cladding on the exterior.

A vinyl window is vinyl through and through. Not wood or other sub-structure to the window.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 10:40AM
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I am trying to make sense of everything I have looked at in the last three days. Am looking at Soft-Lite and Champion. I have not seen Champion yet but Soft-lite seem well made. About $850. per unit installed. I do not think this is too high for my current house, yet I went with a much cheaper company in my old house to upgrade it for sale.
While I am sure you are correct about the statement NAR made regarding recouping 84% of your money the first year, since it was made by a realtor, I have to assume they are talking about recouping it after a sell. Even so I am trying to sell my house below appraisal and not realizing ANY profit from a new heat-pump/AC or the new windows. I live in Owensboro, Ky. What may have been once true is now dampened in the current market.
I crunched some numbers after the Soft-Lite salesman told me I would save about $100.00 a month off my utilities, thus paying them off in under five years.
The Consumer Reports says you will realize 10 to 15% savings on fuel costs after new windows are installed. 15% of my electric bill (all electric house) in the last 12 months is $217.00; At that rate it will take me (at current usage and rates) 52 YEARS to break even.
This is not going to stop me from buying them. I now have 30 yr old Sun windows and the cranks (casement type) are all about shot and they let bugs in around the screens and are hard to clean. I just want people to know that unless they have really bad windows in really bad climates, take what the sales people with a BIG grain of salt.
If you want good windows and are staying in the house for a long time. Enjoy. If you are going to sell in a couple years----hope the economy improves.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 10:47PM
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Fuel savings projections without know more about the home are like tarot reading....very suspect.

Certainly there are ranges that we can theorize on but your home could be on the low end or it could benefit tremendously from it depending on the state of your existing windows.

10-15% is well on the conservative end of the spectrum. I have customers that have experience 30%+ reductions, however, I will never promise a customer anything without some real data on the home.

In terms of energy ROI, there are other things on the list.

As mentioned, windows have a high ROI because they are functional parts of the home and can certainly add value to the home.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 1:09AM
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I think energy saving is the most over-hyped aspect of the window industry. It is unrealistic to believe that installing new windows will save 40% simply because you are not losing 40% of your heat through the windows to begin with. A more reasonable number would be between 15% and 25% and that would depend on how bad the existing windows in you house are as a good part of that % of savings is reduced air infiltration.

NEVER purchase windows as an investment. We aren't talking about stocks and bonds. Buy them for the same reason you install a new roof or siding. Then, as long as they are being replaced, get the best energy efficient that has the best ROI.

Here is a site where you can enter your geographic region and the energy efficiency of the window you are considering to get a real idea of how much you can expect to save.

Here is a link that might be useful: Window Savings

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 10:26AM
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What the salesman tells you!!!

There really isn't a best window. There are many factors like product, warranty and service. Installation is very important but usually not looked at.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 3:56PM
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Fiberglass is more durable than vinyl and wood. Generally it costs a bit more than vinyl and a bit less than wood. Consumer Reports rated Pella's fiberglass very high. If you really want something that is going to last, not leak, and is more eco-friendly, fiberglass is a good bet.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 9:51PM
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One question I had is it's made to sound like the lowest SHGC (solar heat gain coeff) factor is best,

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 10:04PM
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Do you have any studies that indicate that fiberglass last longer than vinyl?

SHGC is entirely a function of your home, exposure, and climate region.

Higher than 0.30 is preferable in many cases but that type of data will not allow you to take advantage of tax credit.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 10:46PM
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Fiberglass windows may be great if you can afford them. We recently priced Pellas. $1,000 per opening, installed! I guess they think highly of themselves. No thanks. No way they will ever pay us back in energy efficiency in our lifetime.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 1:32AM
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Our situation is this: our home is 11 years old, location is Twin Cities, Minnesota. It was built with Lincoln wood casement windows, stained cherry. Every single window that faces south has experienced a seal failure. There is condensation between the glass, and it gets worse with each year. Additionally, when you open the casement, some of the windows show black mold (only visible when open, but it's there).

I tried to have them repaired. The problem was that the year of install, 1999, was when Lincoln glued their sashes to the glass. If I repair a window, I have to purchase all new sashes, all new glass for the some 20 windows that have the problem. Lincoln will give 50% off sash and glass on the windows, but I have no faith in their company since this issue. Another guy I know has these windows, and he has the same condensation issue.

So, I'm thinking of replacing all the windows. The problem is, I'm not sure replacing with wood windows is the way to go. My home value according to the county is $448K. We have probably one of the top 5 houses in our subdivision of 30 houses based on location/landscaping/etc.

Because the windows we have now are all wood (maple interior), and stained cherry, it's hard for me to imagine a full vinyl product looking good with my cherry window trim.

I have had Andersen Renewal come out and price its Fibrex window product (exclusive Renewal product). The bid came in at $41,000, and we'd have to stain and varnish the interior ourselves. Home Depot came in and bid Andersen series 400 (solid wood core), and their bid was $40,000 (also assumes I stain them myself). I have Pella coming tonight as well.

My father tells me these bids are too high, and that I'll never get my money back.

Here's my questions:
1) should I be considering maintenance free interior (would white or other vinyl look bad inside when window trim is cherry)?
2) should I be concerned that another higher quality than Lincoln wood window would perform the same (seal failure, signs of rot)?
3) Would I harm my resale value using one type over another?
4) What other products should I consider?
5) What should I do?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 5:14PM
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Many of your questions can only be answered by you since they are a matter of personal taste. My advice would be to get a few estimates and have the salesperson bring a sample to your house so you can see what it will look like.

If you decide on vinyl, I would look at Sunrise, Okna, Softlite, Gorell or Simonton.

If you want wood, go with either Marvin or Loewen.

I would also look at fiberglass. Marvin and Milgard would be good brands to look at.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 6:37PM
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One individual above mentioned the windows will have to be replaced anyway in the next 10 to 20 years even on the Anderson or Pella windows. My question is whats the use of replacing these windows, spending thousands of dollars, if you have to turn around and do it all over again? The savings you may receive will be "ate" up by continous replacements. Just how long do these windows last? I have been in my home for 38 years and have had to replace my double paneled patio sliding type door three times and should of more often as I put up with the moist infested doors for a long time befor replacement.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 1:12PM
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I've read the whole thread and now need fresh advice. I live in Atlanta GA, my house is 15 years old and I have a rotted window & sill in a 7-window dining area. Two are double-hung (

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 6:25PM
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My first choice would either be the Simonton followed by Gorell. The Preservation and Window World are Alside products. I'm not a big Alside fan.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 8:13PM
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I'm looking to replace the very drafty single pane windows I currently have in my house. I have learned a lot from this thread. Thanks for the help and entertaining reading everyone, especially tblundell for the great tips and level headed advice.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 10:29PM
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The hubster and I've been obtaining estimates for vinyl replacement windows for our modest 12-window brick home.
Ten windows of the twelve are to be replaced. We're most impressed with the Wincore 7700 series and the American Ultra Grand Teton for energy efficiency, looks, and warranties. Both appear to be very much alike, however, and of good quality. Of course the price estimates are all over the map...From the vast experience and wisdom represented on this thread, is there an opinion someone would venture on which of the two windows might be the better choice, and why it would be better? Thanks much~

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 12:42AM
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What kind of energy ratings, air infiltration numbers and types of glass are available with a Harvey window. You glowing endorsement tells us nothing about the quality of the product itself.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 1:31PM
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Sorry, the link to Alside as a recommended vinyl window just blew any credibility the Guru had with me. He makes a big deal about how windows with weep hole are not prefered and then links to a manufacturer who uses weep holes on every one of their windows. Next.......

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 4:40PM
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Alside make poorly designed windows.its made for contractors who install anything . Harvey are average at best. not a fan at all.
although some of the windows mentioned in this very old post may no longer be available, the following are the top 5 in most pro's opinions. Gorell, Okna, Sunrise, Polaris, and Soft lite.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 10:00PM
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Although Wincore makes a pretty decent window, I would not consider it a top tier product. It's really little more than a Simonton knock-off. That's not a bad thing, it just doesn't have the performance numbers or long term reputation for quality because Wincore is still a fairly new company. Wincore will never be precieved as a top product until they shed the "we are just as good as Simonton" mantra and begin to develop their own identity. They need to offer purchasers something unique in order to stand out from the "use too" moniker. If Wincore is just as good as Simonton, then why shouldn't a purchaser just buy Simonton?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 10:49AM
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i know a few folks at Wincore and i don't believe they ever have said that they are just as good as Simonton. i believe they state they are better built than Simonton or Atrium or Alside and on and on.. Remember that a lot of the folks at Wincore it seems to me actually helped build Simonton. i spoke with them about these posts and they still praise the company, but feel that they have been able to improve on the product and customer experience.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 10:16AM
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Probably just as good a window as the Simonton but does not have the length of the company reputation behind it or the same number of options.

I still am not sure how they opened a fabrication shop right down the street but somehow they did.

It is a near identical copy to what they were making before.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 10:32AM
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What has Wincore done specifically to make their window better than Simonton? What about it is different and better than Simonton?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 12:31PM
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Just reading your messages are you upset with the fact that Wincore is open? As far as I know they had no contractural agreement and therefore could do what that wanted. I may be a little in the middle here. Im a customer of both companies.

After discussing with a few of them it seems that they wanted to build Wincore into what they were used to a customer, service driven company not driven by size. Thoughts are the if you take care of those two the other take care of themself. It was not their choice to sell Simonton as the founders of Wincore built Simonton they were just not employees. Average tenure of that group was 24 plus years on top of that the gentleman who founded Simonton. So I dont think it is a knock against the company.

As for the product two of the main cogs in Wincore own patents to windows currently on the market therefore had rights to use components they designed. With that they said they made some changes and beefed up the over all offering. I'm not sure what products they are missing and they asked ne to ask you. There are 2 full line replacement lines in 3 colors, upper end is in 3 colors, 4 woodgrains and 2 two tone options. 2 lines of new contruction windows in 3 colors each, 3 patio doors and a full line entry door system from my catalogs that I have. They also, have one of the best bay and bow systems in the industry that is available in both replacement lines.

hope that helps. I would say get to know them a little a see what you think

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 6:04PM
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Upset??? Why would I be upset? I don't carry either brand as my main window so I really couldn't care less. We do sell a few Simonton windows but only when we have people asking for them. I've never had anyone request Wincore. Again, I have asked you to discuss the specifics of your claims that Wincore is a better window. So far all you have given me are generalities. Tell me about the actual window component ie. balance, weatherstripping, design, extrusions etc. that set Wincore apart from any other window on the market. What is the air infiltration rating, water penetration rating etc.? In short, why should a consumer purchase a Wincore Window instead of a Simonton?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 7:47PM
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We never say we are as good as simonton windows. We are just plain better. Yes the people who started wincore are the old simonton people. Obviously they know the other designs well and so when they started their own company they worked out some of the bugs from the older designs and have made a much more durable product. Take it from a guy who has assembled a lot of these things. I know our reinforced sash are stronger than simonton. Wincore also may be a young company but there is a combined experience going into our designs that is hard to match and it will only improve even more as we grow as a company. It really boils down to what the customer wants and what they want to spend. Wincore is definatley worth looking into though. Like i said i have never heard anyone there say we are as good as simonton but i have heard them say we are going to do what the customer wants. Thats what its all about. You want to know how simonton has gone down hill? Talk to the people who make their products every day. I still talk to people that work there. They are all unhappy with how that place has gone downhill.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 10:58PM
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So you really can't explain how Wincore is better than Simonton other than some hazy reference to better sash reinforcements? Simonton uses metal sash reinforcements and has a lifetime warranty and a long history of making good on any warranty claims. So again, for the third time I have to ask, why should a consumer select Wincore over Simonton? So far your entire argument is purely emotional, please try and stick to facts.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:31PM
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Has anyone have Sam's Club come out and price your windows and how do they compare to Andersen and Home Depot/Lowes?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 4:50AM
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In my own personal opinion I would put them in the same in the same boat, useless for windows and millwork in general. They are fine to walk in and pick up merchandise off the shelf and purchase it, but I would never purchase any type of millwork from them, Again just my honest opinion.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 8:00AM
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I was talking to someone in line at Costco recently who was buying a Queen size mattress and box springs. I asked him how many inner springs it had. He said he had no idea. I asked why he was buying it. He said it was a great deal. I doubt he has checked out any of the newer technologies such as Select Comfort and I doubt he had very much knowledge about mattresses in general and why some cost more than others. As long as that mattress had a name on it he had heard of, and a cheap price, that was good enough for him.

If you buy things the way this guy does, then you will be satisfied buying windows from Orangs, Blue, Sam's Club, Costco etc.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 8:42AM
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Well, what's the performance numbers on win core?
I know Okna has a .24 u factor ( total u factor) on their Starmark window and a .25 and .26 on other models.
Okna, sunrise, soft lite and Polaris ultra all have air leakages rates under .05 ..I think win core is above a .1 and I know their u factors are around a .30 .. So tell me more about why this win core is good? I just cannot seem to find a reason to recommend them when their are a bunch of other higher end vinyl window companies that have much better thermal numbers and structural numbers.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 9:07AM
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I can explain to my customers in very explicit detail why they should have the windows I carry in their home in less than 60 seconds. We have now given you over a week and you still haven't come up with anything. I guess that says alot about Wincore.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 9:44AM
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Interesting postings reflecting a confusing consumer purchase. Interesting to note, no one has mentioned Castle Windows. Recent discussions with sales rep stating Simonton/Wincorp are great windows for lower value windows and not in same class as Castle - you know..the apple/oranges or Mercedes/Hyundai comparison. Any one have any experience with Castle Windows?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 8:17AM
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Perhaps this is the reason Castle isn't mentioned in the same breath as a quality window. Ya think?

Here is a link that might be useful: Castle BBB Ratings

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:08PM
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Or maybe this is one of the reasons Castle isn't mentioned in discussions about quality companies. Many, many more sites filled with complaints about Castle. Seems the only ones to say anything good are Castle salemen posing as consumers.

Did you really think you were going to get away with your spam?

Here is a link that might be useful: Complaints about Castle Windows

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:14PM
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Take a deep breath before apologizing skydawggy - I am not a castle rep; merely a consumer trying to wade through all the marketing crap about windows which is promulgated by the manufacturers and installers who know which product to buy at the lowest cost and mark it up substantially claiming it to be "the best on the market". Think about it - this thread has been in place for 4 years and there is not a clear consensus as to 1) a good resource to research window qualities; 2) any indication of good/better/best;3) reasonable expectations as to costs based upon good/better/best. It appears to be all along the lines of "trust me".

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 7:38AM
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The day you register, the first post you make, is extolling the fine quality of Castle Windows. Sorry, seen posters like you too many times over the years. If I'm wrong, I apologise, but I doubt I'm wrong. Of course you are going to deny you are a Castle employee, what else is new?

At least you now know that Castle isn't in the same class as Simonton. At least now you have an education as to the kind of company Castle is and understand why those of us in the business despise them because they reflect poorly on the entire industry. The sooner companies like Castle are out of busuness, the better. Not just for the consumer but for the industry in general.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:47PM
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My entire house has old Anderson window sliders. I need to start replacing them as some windows do not have a glass storm, etc...(live in western Wisconsin)
I have been looking at Simonton Prism...yesterday I looked at the Alside Excalibur. I did like the screen with the excalibur as it has a center bar rather than one big screen. First time I noticed that...I think Simonton is all one big screen or one sider. I did at least learn something new to consider in looking at the Alside with regard to slider windows.
I know sliders are not considered to be the best for energy efficiency and so forth...but that is what I have and is what I need to go with since I am on a limited budget and as well do not plan to stay here another 5 years or so. Do you have any recommendations with slider windows? I am thinking you will say I should go with the Simonton from what I read in the thread about replacement windows, etc. Is there something else I should be looking at? Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 12:11PM
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Simonton makes a better slider than the Excalibur unit.

I would not make a decision based on the screen alone.

Other good vinyl units would be Gorell, Soft-Lite, and Sunrise.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 12:54PM
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Wow...I just read the entire thread. Thank you all SO much! We have 34 windows (not including the stupid clothes-bleaching one in the closet, which we boarded up) and our windows are absolute pieces of garbage, so it is time to replace them. That company (begins with a "C", I think) is out of business.

I got an estimate for Simonton from Home Depot yesterday for 26-33K, depending on coating. We were going to look at Champion, but no one has expressed satisfaction with them, and they have some poor reviews in Denver and on "The Ripoff Report." I have contacted Wincore and will be calling Milgard.

Like a pp, our house is in a great location but average build. How do we find a great installer? Some of the Milgard dealers have the AMAA certification, but I think that with Wincore, we need to find our own installer?

We have wood windows and are looking only at vinyl for the replacements. Are there any other companies we should look at, since it has been 4 years since the original post? We are NOT planning to sell our house. We would like to decrease our exorbitant energy bills and prevent further fading of our furniture and rugs. Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 11:17AM
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I would take a look at Sunrise, Okna and Softlite. They are much better windows than any of those you are considering.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 1:03PM
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Skydawggy, thank you. I will.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 3:19PM
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I live in Colorado, but thank you! We have South and East exposures, very tough on windows and very, very hot in the summer unless the blinds are kept closed.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 5:13PM
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Sunrise and Softlite offer mini-blinds between the glass on most of their window styles.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 12:01AM
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Polaris does as well.

Those would be my 3 recommendations in vinyl.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 8:46AM
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I found this thread in my quest to assess how Wincore product and support is generally perceived. After reading it, skydawggy's arrogance and non-constructive people and company bashing compels me to ask him a few important questions.

First, can you share EcoStar Remodeling's profit margins for Sunrise, Soft-Lite, and Simonton respectively? This will help the forum to understand how financial gain may play in to your "strong" opinions.

Second, does EcoStar Remodeling stand behind your dismissive representation of Simonton quality? As well, is Simonton aware of this opinion you are expressing publicly?

Preempting skydawggy accusations, I assure the forum that I am in no way affiliated with a window manufacturer. I am simply an advocate of constructive exchange of experience and opinions on the forum.

Finally, my research to date suggests that Wincore product/support quality and company longevity can be trusted based on the demonstrated success and lineage of its leadership. The product spec:cost ratio appears to be very competitive.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 8:58AM
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I can't find a Wincore dealer in Colorado. I did email the company directly six days ago, but in spite of their promise to have someone contact me within 24 hours, I have not heard from them.

I can't find dealers in SoftLite or Okna, either. I will look for Sunrise and Polaris. The man coming on Monday has Serious and Quantum. Has anyone heard of them?? Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 6:12PM
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I live in montgomery county MD and considering replacing some windows on my house I have functional wood windows with storms on each one. I guess this is more of a cosmetic upgrade as the windows themselves are functional. We have looked at both simonton 5500 (estimates of around 520 per window installed) and the jeld wen builder models which are about the same price. are these good windows, is the price decent? is it worth doing? our electric bill on a 2600 sqft 2 story brick home, with full basement averages out over the year to be 210.0; gas is 80.00 a month. We have 19 windows that could be replaced. Are we crazy to replace the functioning wood windows that are original to the house circa 1952.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 9:29PM
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OK "Inquisitor", lets take your issues on one at a time.

*First, can you share EcoStar Remodeling's profit margins for Sunrise, Soft-Lite, and Simonton respectively? This will help the forum to understand how financial gain may play in to your "strong" opinions. *

This is a common accusation, particularly from someone who just registered today and is anonymously hiding behind a keyboard. I haven't made any negative statements in this thread. I have simply asked someone who made some statements to provide data to back up their claims. Which of course they haven't been able to do and so they faded into the background. Those who have been reading my "stong opinions" for many years, know that I don't promote certain products because we sell them, we sell them because they are top-notch products. I am also able to explain to anyone who asks, exactly why they are top-notch products and then to back up my "strong opinions" with factual data. I simply expect no less from anyone posting on internet forums. Especially those who post anonymously.

I actually don't think Wincore is a bad product, I just don't see any reason to purchase it instead of Simonton. That's all I've asked the other anonymous poster to do and to date, he hasn't been able to provide any.

*Second, does EcoStar Remodeling stand behind your dismissive representation of Simonton quality? As well, is Simonton aware of this opinion you are expressing publicly?*

Please feel free to point out where I have ever said anything that is untrue. Oh, and be prepared to back it up. I will be awaiting another anonymous post from you with some factual information. In the meantime, please feel free to contact EcoStar Remodeling. Our phone number is right on the website and my name is John. We don't hide behind keyboards and computer monitors.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 8:30AM
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Sorry "Inquisitor", I just realized you might also be upset about my posting the BBB for Castle Windows with the voluminous complaints. Don't you think consumers should thoroughly investigate a company before doing business with them? Do you think high pressure , "the deal is only good today" sleazy sales tactics are OK and shouldn't be exposed. Is this what got you upset with me?

I can assure you that at EcoStar Remodeling, we don't use these kind of tactics. We feel that if you provide someone with factual information and a firm but reasonable price and then give them time to decide, that's preferable to using inflated prices, Model Home pitches, phony price drops and fake calls to managers for additional discounts, but only if you buy today. We also believe that using quality products and the most advanced installation techniques are preferable to the "caulk and walk" jobs that plague the replacement window industry. I guess we are just "Old School".

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 8:55AM
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skydawggy, you are a real prize.

You completely dodged the first question and then bashed me for posting as a new registered member and hiding behind a keyboard. You should feel proud that your over-the-top arrogance compelled me to take the time to register so that I could weigh in for the benefit of the forum. That was a first for me.

"I don't carry either brand as my main window so I really couldn't care less. We do sell a few Simonton windows but only when we have people asking for them." I consider this dismissive in the context of the thread. Of course I may stand alone with this opinion...

Your apparent toxic combination of insecurities and feelings of grandeur preclude you from engaging in a constructive adult exchange. It's clear that no good can come from interacting with you further. It seems others, like Roger Radcliff, came to the same conclusion and chose to detach themselves from your attacks.

Feel free to throw your darts to get the last word and sooth your ego.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 9:39AM
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Which question was that? You mean the one where you requested I post financial information for an anonymous poster on the internet to view? I make no secret that I am dealer. I can also provide detailed information as to why I carry the brands I do. Had you taken some time to read a little, you would also have discovered that I have positive reviews of many windows that we don't carry. Among them are Okna, Gorell, Polaris, PGT, Amerimax, Anlin, Milgard, Marvin as well as many others. Tell you what, when you post your personal tax returns and bank statements as well as identify yourself, I'll consider it.

In the meantime, I will repeat, since you obviously are having some reading comprehension problems, where have I "bashed" any company or anybody? If you consider asking someone to provide information to back up a claim "bashing" then consider me an abuser. I will also state again for the comprehension challenged, I don't think Wincore is a bad product. I have taken a look at it and it seems to be fairly well built, but I couldn't find any reason to carry it as it appeared to me to be a Simonton clone. So why buy a clone when you can carry the real thing and sell it for the same price? We also don't sell many Simontons either because there are better windows available in the same price range. I just wanted someone to explain to me, and for the benefit of people who read this forum, why a consumer should purchase a Wincore Window over another brand. This seems to be a reasonable question to ask given the purpose and focus of this forum. I have yet to recieve an answer. Can you provide one so we can all learn something?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 10:22AM
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just wanted everyone to know, that the sun destroys vinyl and fiberglass windows that face the southern sun. i have not seen any window products that will stand up to the sun for long periods of time, except aluminum...also,vinyl when extremely cold will crack if pushed against or hit with something like a tennis ball. i live in california where the southern sun is extream...my house has aluminum windows,some installed in 1951,and some in 1959. all might have a little oxidation on them,but have stood against the sun and heat for 50 yrs. if you have some windows on the north side of your home,or under a roof on a porch,then you could get away with vinyl or fiberglass windows there. i will replace my single pane aluminum windows with double pane aluminum windows....they are the best....maybe MARVIN makes a good one.....

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:49PM
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PS. i forgot to add that my aluminum windows went through the 1971 and the 1994 earthquakes,which were both very intense...lost a lot of dishes,tvs,driveways,ect...but not one pane of glass broke nor were they ruined in an way....it was amazing...

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:04PM
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You are certainly correct that aluminum, even in an un-coated capacity, has great wear characteristics in the intense sun, however, there is nothing about the newer vinyls or fiberglass that says they will not function wonderfully in the intense sun for decades.

Do you have any facts to back up what are some pretty strong claims? Most of the vinyl that you will have seen are builders grade junk and the equivalent windows, even in aluminum, will not last either. I have seen plenty of aluminum windows fail in similar new construction quality units.

Please do not post up a link of vinyl-windows.org supposed "facts". This page has long been identified as being sponsored by other than vinyl window manufacturers.

Fiberglass is well proven in exterior applications and if you need any proof of that, take a look at any marina and you will see fiberglass hull boats that are 40 years old and still fine in extremely harsh conditions (i.e. salt water, etc).

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 9:06AM
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"I don't mean to be rude but I think $625.00 per window is rather high for literally just another window company and anyone who pays $1000.00 for a standard size DH window needs his/her head examined. It's vinyl and glass, not gold and silver. The cost of the window and 1 to 1.5 hours to install doe's not equate to those kind of prices.
I'm starting to really see now why there are so many companies making windows, it's about as lucrative as it gets! "

I had a custom replacement window dealer quoted me $1,500 per 7' X 5' window. He saids he is the best in the world and I should think that it is dirty cheap. That the reason I still have my original windows now after 5 years of him giving me the quote. He was such a greedy company. The same size window at Home Depot was $400 at the time.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 4:59AM
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Harry, you are absolutely correct, the cost of that window plus 1 to 1.5 hrs of labor does not = $625. That being said, just like in any other business, there are a substantial amount of other costs that a business incurs. Do you complain that your $40 pair of jeans probably had a direct cost of less than $1? Or that your $5 starbucks coffee was probably a few cents? The only guys that can install a window for the cost of labor and materials are those who's only expense is the case of Milwaukee's Best that he drinks as he installs your windows which will inevitably leak.
Is $1500 gouging for a standard window? Absolutely. For a 7' x 5' DH / PIC / DH ? Not at all, (as that would technically be 3 windows, at an average of $500ea). I don't know the specifics of your exact quote, but you get the idea. $600 is not out of line at all for a premium vinyl window.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:30PM
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Need a quick opinion. I am replacing 1960's Aluminum sliding windows. I am in the NW area of Missouri. I have spent all day at dealers and on forums pricing, reading reviews, etc.
OK now here's the question. I am down to a few brands in my price range. Simonton, American Craftsman, Reliabilt and a local company called Columbia. In all brands the 4 windows cost roughly the same total. Right now Simonton seems the best. But....

So if anyone could help I would greatly appreciate it. Or even recommend another brand that would be close to $1000-1300 total for a 72x52, 2 36x52's and a 32x38 all double pane double hung vinyl.

I have installation well covered. Personal friend/contractor.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Simonton is the best of that group.

I would also look for Soft-Lite and Sunrise as well if it were my home.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 11:48AM
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So that price is just windows (no installation), correct?
Simonton would be the only choice that I'd consider in that group. I'd agree with WoW that you may be able to find someone selling Sunrise or Softlite in that area as well.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 5:48PM
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TY for the replies. I did end up with the Simontons. Went with the 5500 series.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Glad to hear you didn't choose Pella. Our home was built using Pella Proline windows and is a little over 10 years old.

Almost all the windows need to be replaced due to hidden damage caused by failure between the aluminum cladding and the window. They were rotting from the inside out!

The warranty was 10 years, but I didn't discover the extent of the damage until a month too late. Pella wouldn't do anything...ugh. I had a window fail during the warranty period and even that was a hassle.

In case there is anyone in the same situation, there is a class action lawsuit that may apply to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella Law Suit

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Hello yatesd,

Thank you for sharing your feedback about your Pella windows and allowing us to address your concerns. We are committed to customer satisfaction and strive to help customers online as well as offline. Many things can impact the performance of products in your home. For example, your climate and environment, the type and style of construction in your home, the way the product is installed and ongoing maintenance can all play a role in product performance. We are continually enhancing our products to meet customer needs.

Please connect with our Customer Support Specialists so that we can understand the specifics of your situation and how we may be able to assist you. You can reach our Customer Support Specialists toll-free at 855-735-5232, or by e-mailing pellawebsupport@pella.com. Please include your contact info, your concerns and purchase location, if known, in the e-mail. We look forward to hearing from you!

Hillary B., Pella Community Manager

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 9:28AM
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ah the old "please contact" message directly copied out of the customer service handbook. I personally know of a bunch of people who have the same issues, the same rotting and have received the same lack of support as well as a lack of communication from Pella. If issues with the product were handled even remotely properly there would not be the issue with all the class action lawsuits out there.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 10:06AM
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We installed simonton windows in our 30 plus year old home about 5 years ago. We got a lot of estimates and looked around a lot. The simontons seemed to be the best combination of quality and price in our area (SW MO).

We have not been disappointed. The windows have been one of our best purchases ever. We love them and they are holding up perfectly.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:28PM
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the simonton 9800 and 5500 are decent mid grade windows. my problem with simonton is that they are bulky and lack in performance compared to higher end brands such as Okna- HiMark- Sunrise- Soft Lite, and Gorell.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:33PM
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They don't seem "bulky" to me? I don't know how the performance could be better either. They have great features like double pane argon filled glass, low e coating, tilt in for cleaning, etc, etc. All for a GREAT price.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:55PM
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You did fine by purchasing Simontons. Especially if you got a great price.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:56PM
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gee, what an accomplishment, they tilt in.. every window can tilt in and every window offers argon. simonton only get a Ufactor of .30 in double pane glass. All the higher end vinyl get .28 or better; in fact some get a double pane ufactor of .25 and thats double pane and whole window ufactor.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Gee what an accomplishment to make snarky derogatory comments about someone else's statement.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 6:36PM
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I'm thinking of buying Polaris 8000 with triple pane..........can anybody tell me anything about them?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 8:07PM
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its a decent window.mhaveou looked at Okna, Sunrise,or Softlite ?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:05AM
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its a decent window.have you looked at Okna, Sunrise,or Softlite ?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:06AM
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Polaris makes a nice window. Their UltraWeld series is a very solidly performing window.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 9:31AM
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I am looking for new vinyl windows (casement)
How important is it to buy foam filled frames for improved insulation?
They cost more,but do they make a considerable difference?
(I live in Canada)
Thanks for your input

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:31PM
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If you have the option of getting a foam filled frame, do it. It adds some insulation value as well as rigidity.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:30AM
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A lot of wayward opinions on this thread.....best advise that I see here is "...have you looked at Okna, Sunrise,or Softlite ?"

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:09AM
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Sunrise - Negative Review:
I had a recent experience with Sunrise windows that I want others to know about. The only way I heard about Sunrise was through sites like this with all the praise of Sunrise. I had a very negative experience with them. I sent a message through the contact us part of their website that I wanted an estimate on 12 replacement windows and gave them the dimensions. They pass my info along to the local dealer who wants to come out and talk. They end up sending a guy who claims to be a Sunrise Manufacture’s Rep (not a sales guy) and says he reports directly to the Sunrise President.

From the get go I tell him I do not like to make quick decisions on large purchases and that Marvin Fiberglass windows were way out of my price range. He starts referring to me as “Mr. Thrifty” at this point. He continues to spend 1.5 hours at my house going over the Verde window. It takes him well over 30 minutes to put a price together. When he does, it is written on a sheet of notebook paper and is for $12k. He pulls out an official looking form and says he will take off $2k today only if I put 50% down today. This is very close to the price Marvin quoted me (Marvin was $14k). I said this was too expensive so he said the next level down they offer is the Essentials line. Exact same window frame as the Verde, but the glass inside the window was not as energy efficient and did not come with as many color options. The today only price for it was $6700.

I tell him that I am not making a decision today, but who should I call if I want to proceed. He said “Do not bother calling anyone”. He tells me that I was not going to go with their window, got in his car and left.

I have several issues with this “Manufacture’s Rep”:
- The form he wanted me to sign for the 1 day only discount said I needed to put their sign in my front yard, twice a year for 30 days at a time. I said we were in a neighborhood with guidelines and I did not know if that was allowed. He lied and said he already checked and it was allowed.
- He bad mouthed Marvin windows every chance he got.
- He used high pressure sales tactics to try to get me to buy that day and then left in a huff with no price quote when I would not play ball.
- He tried to say the Essential line was the same frame as the Verde with different glass. I read on Replacement Window Sites that is not the case.

The guy wasted 2 hrs of my Saturday, left without giving an official estimate, lied to me, and was rude to me. I do not do business with people like that and want others to know Sunrise’s business practices to save them the trouble I went through. I would have never contacted them if I knew this is what they would do. I read Champion Windows does this type of thing as is why I will not consider Champion Windows.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:18AM
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A follow up to my previous post. Sunrise informed me the "Manufacture's Rep" I was dealing with was not a Sunrise employee, but a Sunrise vendor. They apologized for the conduct. It may be that I just got unlucky with who called on me.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Sunrise Verde windows are great. After my very bad experience with a Salesperson that represented a Sunrise vendor, my experience changed for the better. Both Sunrise and the vendor called me to discuss the negative experience. I ended up trusting both again and purchased Verde windows from them. I am very pleased with the end result and would recommend to anyone.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Good follow up.

They are a solid company and make a nice product.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 4:05PM
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A bad installer can make any window into crap.
Proper measuring is critical
every window " hole " needs 8 measures
side to side at top, middle and bottom
up and down right side ,center and left side
both diagonals ( the X ) measure.
Too many installers force it in.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 11:51AM
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windowinsulators, I agree that is I not just the window that needs to be good but also the installer.

mmarse1 , you posted "If you have the option of getting a foam filled frame, do it. It adds some insulation value as well as rigidity.". The quote I have is for Sunrise Vinyl Replacement Windows- Triple Glaze Ultra-U-Plus High Performance Low "E" Glass, Contoured Colonia Grids, Foam Filled Frames (what you mention so this must be good), contoured Recessed Locks, and Poly Foam Wrap Insulation, Opti-View screening, White inside/outside, Lifetime Transferable Warranty.

This will be for three big windows. I am waiting for the Okna dealer to give me a quote and then I will share the two windows to help me decide. So far I like this window.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Has anyone ever heard of Slocomb windows, I didn't see them mentioned in any of the posts.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:56AM
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Slocomb is average. Not a fan of how they use fiberglass as insulation opposed to foam. I think that is very bizarre.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 9:07AM
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In my experience, vinyl windows I believe is the 'BEST'. Earlier I had single pane windows which were ruining the decor of my home and also it had issues in winter, I used to feel much more cold in winters and in summers they became super hot.

I wasn't able to rely on such windows, therefore, I got it replaced with vinyl windows. Moreover, I found them really reliable and affordable. I got them from here.

Here is a link that might be useful: value windows and doors

This post was edited by ashleymore on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 5:24

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:44AM
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Although this is an old thread, it's a huge help. We're in St. Louis and bought Pellas because we thought they were top of the line. Erroneously thought that top quality windows would be a lifetime purchase. That was in the 1980s and today we have problems with almost every one of our 20 windows, from sun damage to failing hardware. We will reach out to Pella but judging from this we don't expect much response. Not going to waste time with Andersen -- they sounds like a carbon copy. Would love an update from the people who replied to this thread and said they recently had windows installed and were happy with them: still happy? (I believe top quality windows SHOULD be a lifetime purchase.)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2014 at 3:33PM
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You can go for Chicago windows and Doors, this company is best for windows replacement. I recommend this company because I have personally experienced. A few months ago I needed to change my 1960s style bay windows. Then my friend suggest me for this company I went there. I was impressed about their knowledge of window replacement. They also provide good quality of products. After changing the windows it's look very gorgeous and very stylish.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2014 at 4:05AM
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