Simonton 5500 vs Champion

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pikeman
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Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#1 Post by pikeman » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:16 pm

I've complicated this choice a bit further after dropping the idea of Newtown-Slocomb. There is simply not enough information to justify the purchase. No matter where I look - no posting - no nothing.
So an easier comparison is Champion vs. Simonton 5500.
The Champion is foam-filled and I've read the critical comments about this practice.
The Simonton is empty. No nothing.
The Simonton and Champion glass packages are very close.
Both outfits do their own installation with company employees - not illegals.
The wife was very critical of the somewhat rough Simonton sample window. It did not look as carefully built as the Champion. Plus she hated the handle on the Simonton. It was sized for a fullsized window and was a real wart. Champion integrates their handle into the top of the frame so it is more streamlined looking.

I appreciate all the good information about the Simonton but the Champion just seems to be a better value.

Somebody burst my bubble. I'd like to hear any seriously negative feedback on Champion. The complaints Ive discovered so far relate more to installation than the product.
Thanks!

Skydawggy
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#2 Post by Skydawggy » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:27 pm

Simonton does not have their own installers. They work through independent installers/dealers.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#3 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:17 pm

Simonton has a network of installers that are called "nitpickers".

pikeman
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#4 Post by pikeman » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:00 pm

Champion got the boot by my wife after she discovered a big load of complaints. They were not against the local guy, but I think it's pretty bad mojo for a company to piss off so many folks and reflects a bad attitude.
I located a Simonton reseller who is primarily a commercial installer/contractor. They have a good BBB rating and are locally owned, and operate two fulltime crews of their own employees. No subcontractors.
The salesman wasn't a "salesman type" - he was someone who had worked with tools for a living and impressed me with his lack of nonsense. Thanks to him we varied the design on two of the windows and will have a very striking result.
No money down. Payment is to be made upon my acceptance of the windows and installation.
The crew foreman is coming tomorrow to get his own measurements for the order. I'll post back after the install.

suz714
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#5 Post by suz714 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:15 pm

I would be interested in the complaints you heard about Champion.
They just finished a huge window replacement in the my parent's condo association and people were extremely happy with the installation and windows. I am looking for casements as opposed to sliders and I like the look & specifics of the Champion windows vs SoftLite which I had narrowed my choices to. I've had two meetings with the SoftLite rep and have to constantly keep calling for more info & pricing..makes me nervous dealing with someone who doesn't return phone calls/requests for info on a $$$ job. That's why my request for more Champion info.
Thanks....

pikeman
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:42 pm

Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#6 Post by pikeman » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:13 am

suz714 wrote:I would be interested in the complaints you heard about Champion.
SNIP!
Thanks....
The wife discovered enough complaints about their customer service to warrant almost $3K more for the Simonton windows.
My specific issue was the pocket sills and how they will collect "stuff" and the need to keep the weep channels clear so they don't flood. Especially on a second story. We have lots of wind and the existing windows always have an accumulation between the screen and glass. It's bad enough that I took the screens off some of those on the worst side of the house and we don't open those windows.
I think the Champion stuff was acceptable, but I'm willing to spend some more $$ to make sure there are no problems. These windows account for half of those that will ultimately need replacement, so there will be another decision point in about two years. We'll see.
Pete

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#7 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:44 am

You researched and thought and came to a great decision.

pilot

Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#8 Post by pilot » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:14 pm

Champion isn't the best designed or built product, but the pocket sill is not a big deal. The weep channels do need to be clear and lots of installers screw it up by caulking them closed, but they ar enot inheerntly a problem. Misinformation there.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#9 Post by TheWindowNerd » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:47 pm

Would disagree about the pocket sills. My 30 years says bad design, bad results.

Skydawggy
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#10 Post by Skydawggy » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:11 pm

I'll add my agreement with Anthony on pocket sills. Bad design, does almost nothing to increase energy efficiency and will accumulate pollen, dirt and small insects. Why buy a window with a pocket sill when a sloped or stepped sill design doesn't have these problems.

The only time a pocket sill is a good design is when a salesman is trying to sell a window with it.

toddinmn
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#11 Post by toddinmn » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:24 am

$3000 is alot more to pay.I would get some more quotes,possibly on some other brands.

halfround70
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#12 Post by halfround70 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:42 am

I was wondering whom you found for the Simonton installation.
I've been looking myself in the Baltimore area.

pikeman
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#13 Post by pikeman » Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:17 pm

I'm in Austin, TX. I don't think they travel!

halfround70
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#14 Post by halfround70 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:20 pm

My mistake! That was a different thread I was following.

VandyB
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Re: Simonton 5500 vs Champion

#15 Post by VandyB » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:58 pm

Pikeman - I am also in Austin, and based on your description, I believe I am considering using the same installer for Simonton 5500s. I am interested to know if you have had the Simonton windows installed yet, and what your experience was like with that company. Thanks in advance!

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