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 Post subject: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:32 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:24 am
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Just had windows installed in my home( another brand) and i am extremely pleased. However, my parents need high quality in their home but they live far from my own contractor who obviously cant travel 3 hours .
My parents and i just met with a contractor who is offering Affinity Windows. The windows are nice looking and seem to be very solid. The windows have a non metal spacer and a composite reinforcement bar plus a foam filled frame. Performance numbers seem good.
Double pane glass for about $530 per window, basic replacement install. Any opinion on Affinity Windows?


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:56 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
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Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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The Affinity Ultra series or the Affinity Elite series are very good windows with solid structural numbers. Your price seems good.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:42 pm
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I researched Affinity windows before I purchased the Okna 800DX.

There were a few things that bothered me about the Affinity windows....
1) The standard latches felt VERY cheap. They jiggled around when you touched them. They really felt like a 2 year old could snap them off easily. However, the optional dual-function lock/tilt latches were very nice. They felt very solid.

2) The Super Spacers were VERY visible. They were a light gray color that looked almost white in bright light. The Okna spacers are MUCH less obtrusive.

3) The between-the-glass grids' attachments are visible. They look like they were an afterthought. They weren't even coated white to match the grids so that they blend in somewhat. They are a plain-old metal silver.

4) All the affinity windows I looked at with a u-factor less than 27, looked green in color. I do not want my house looking like it has green windows.

5) The three display models the dealer had in it's showroom all had different corner welds. One had the welds shaven down very nicely. The welds were almost non-existent. The second had the welds shaved down but not as nicely as the first. The third window's welds were terrible. They stuck out about 1/4". This scared me because I considered this to be a quality control problem.

6) I don't know if this is a Affinity issue or if it was a dealer issue but I was told the windows do not have a locking screen option. If someone wants to get past a locking screen they will simply cut it but I still like a locking screen. The 5 seconds longer it takes for a thief to cut the screen may be the 5 seconds it takes for someone to see him and call the police.

If your parents, get the 27u glass (or if they don't have an issue with green-looking glass) and they don't have a problem with the other issues I mentioned and they get the dual-function latches, the Affinitys would be a nice choice at that price.

This assumes that price is for the Elite. I did not like the Advantage as much as the Elite. I don't know if the Elite has more foam in the frame than the Advantage but it felt like a more solid window to me. Part of that may be the better Innergy reinforcement bar in the Elite.

I obviously prefer the Okna 800DX window (it's really hard to match it's price/quality/features mark) but my second choice was Sunrise's Vanguard (or Restorations) line. The basic Sunrise window was nice but it doesn't have a reinforcement bar option. My third choice was the Soft-Lite Imperial LS.

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:18 pm 
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Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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Price seems okay. It would be nice to have a locking screen option and little stronger screen but I wouldn't consider this a make or brake feature for most folks, especially those on a very tight budget. Affinity utilizes the same IG manufacturer as many of the other top window manufactures and I feel the appearance of performance of the Super Spacer is a good selling feature. The "greenish" tint that Jeff is referring to may be isolated to a specific glass option to that dealer with an interior hard coat? Standard double-glazing options will put you at a .27 overall U-factor and you will not see a green tint.

I'm not a big fan of the overall appearance of the standard top mounted sweep lock from Ashland on the Advantage series from Affinity, however it's of high quality and definitely not flimsy as Jeff pointed out in his review. I have installed over a 500 units and have never seen one be loose or breakable by a 2-year old. The welds have been very cleanly shaven and I have witness the manufacturing process first hand. I not had any unsightly welds as of yet. I do see this other manufacturers from time to time regarding the welds. I keep plenty of the sharpest chisels you've ever seen in my work trailer just to correct any of this nonsense.

I think Jeff's review might paint a little bit of a questionable review of the Affinity products, but he does make some good points. Sometimes a dealer's sample or display can be a little older or not a perfect representation of the current finished product. It doesn't make sense for the display not to be the best window that a manufacturer has ever built in my opinion. With all of that being said the OKNA 800dx is my favorite window out there right now in both performance and appearance, so I applaud his research and decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:56 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 376
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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The standard Affinity glass certainly does NOT have any greenish tint to it and is very clear. They do offer a glass package with a very low shgc that does but thats with every window with a very low shgc . This particular glass needs to be specifically ordered and is not standard.
Their tilt locks on the Elite and the Ultra are one of the strongest in the industry and Affinity's top offerings. The Affinity Advantage series is not nearly as nice and i think thats what Jeff is talking about.

Perhaps their lower lines but the high end line by Affinity is solid across the board.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:52 pm 
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Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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I actually do quite a bit of the Advantage series from Affinity due to the fact that I'm located right in "Pick Up Truck Joe" heaven, and between two window wholesale type of outfits. I can typically match these guys pricing while still offering one heck of a window with that Advantage. I agree the locks aren't as nice looking, but they're still from Ashland and work well. The tilt actuators on the Advantage are very nice.

Hopefully Ricknez's parents quote was the for the Elite?


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:42 pm
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I just wanted to clear up a couple of points that maybe weren't clear.

1) The cheap feeling lock latches I mentioned were on the Advantage window.

As I mentioned, I LIKE the dual-function lock/tilt latches. Actually, I like them very much. They were very solid feeling. Possibly, the most solid feeling latches I felt in ANY of the 10 different manufacturer's windows I researched.

I went to school for Mechanical Engineering and I wouldn't put the standard lock latches on ANY product I designed. They may be guaranteed (and most people may go a lifetime without issues) but I would never feel comfortable with them in a home where they are used a lot.

If anyone has a spare Advantage window and a 2 year old handy, I would love to see that test. :)

2) As I mentioned, anything BELOW the .27u glass looked green to me. The .27u glass looked good and was what I wanted. However, the dealer only sold a package for the Elite series that had a .24u glass package with an extra coating. The dealer, ridiculously, refused to order the .27u glass in the Elite frame...even after Affinity said it was not a big deal. If anyone in the Philadelphia area is curious what dealer I recommend you NOT use, feel free to ask.

3) I did ask the dealer how long his display models had been there and he said at least 3-4 years. It is possible there have been improvements to the corner weld consistency now.

I liked the Elite window with the dual function latches. It was in my top 5 choices.

I didn't go with the Affinity for these reasons...

1) I didn't like the...in my opinion...obtrusive Super Spacer. Please note...I am VERY picky. I think most consumers wouldn't even know the difference. But then again...most consumers wouldn't research windows for 6 months or physically check out products from 10 different manufacturers.
2) I didn't like the visible attachment points for the between-the-glass grids. Again...see the "most customers" comment in #1 above.
3) The dealer refused to order the Advantage's standard .27u dual pane glass package in the Elite frame.
4) The price was a bit too high, in my opinion, because of the .24u glass...which I didn't want. Using the .27u glass would have reduced the cost and put the Elite around the price I wanted to pay.
5) Affinity doesn't offer a locking screen option. I know this is a current policy because the dealer called Affinity while I was standing there and asked.

Luckily, I found the Okna 800DX for $500/window so it was a no brainer.

So...as I mentioned before...if the customer likes the appearance of the Affinity Elite window and they get it with the dual function latch and they get the .27u dual pane glass, it would be a nice purchase for $530/window. If the Okna is available in that area, I would HIGHLY recommend they get an estimate for that window.

This is just the opinion of a VERY educated consumer. I believe many consumers like to hear the opinion of other consumers. I don't sell windows and I don't have to play nice because I don't want to PO any manufacturer. This may not be the case on this forum but from a consumer's viewpoint, we always wonder if that is taking place.

I simply give unbiased observations.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:42 am 
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RnRJefro, thanks for the more in depth explanation of your initial reviews of the Affinity. I agree with about 99% of what you posted. It's a shame that the Affinity dealer had potential customer within his grasp and wouldn't spend 30 seconds removing or just pricing out an option that a homeowner clearly didn't want regarding the interior hard coat low-e package. I've only ordered this glass option once as a trial for a homeowner who requested it and it does make the IG slightly darker. No complaints regarding to weird of tint as of yet, no interior condensation or cleaning problems have been reported so far, so that's good.

The pricing on the Affinity products in my own personal opinion compared "apple to apple" with a 800dx from OKNA should be less. Thus, your OKNA quote was a walk off grand slam. My beef with the top mounted sweep lock on the Affinity and Element is strictly cosmetic. It's very "vanilla" and dated in appearance. Reminds me of the run of the mill locks that you see everywhere kind of like a Simonton 5050 series. I've not had one fail as of yet or be out of tolerance. It's a typical sweep lock and from an engineering standpoint I don't see a lot of potential of failure in the future.

The sweep lock itself requires virtually no force at all to lock and unlock, which may be what RnRjefro doesn't like about it. The locking mechanism on the Elite series is no doubt a more heavy duty system and one can feel some tension on the sweep portion of the mechanism as it runs through it's locking and unlocking cycle. However, I've had problems with these types of systems in the past. Mechanically speaking, if the attachment inside of the sash fails, or is put together wrong at the factory the homeowner can't tilt their windows without an installer showing them some tricks. This requires a service call and I've seen this with some of the early Soft-Lite Elements and my very first order with Affinity. I'm pretty confident that this was factory installation related and was an isolated incident.

I'm guessing that a 2 year old if held in front of a double hung window could grab the Advantage lock lever and unlock it. I'm thinking that's a good thing for my over 70 customers with arthritis? I've tried to inquire about have a lock upgrade from Affinity on the lower series and according to the factory. I was told it's not possible due to the extrusion design and how the extrusion manufacturer designed the sash interlock system.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:30 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 376
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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"My beef with the top mounted sweep lock on the Affinity and Element is strictly cosmetic. It's very "vanilla" and dated in appearance. Reminds me of the run of the mill locks that you see everywhere kind of like a Simonton 5050 series".

Mike, i think you mean the top mounted lock on the Advantage and elemement, NOT the Elite.
The cam lock on Advantage is ok, its the keeper that looks horrible. the Elite and Ultra have one of the nicest locks/ keepers I've seen. Its a real good looking window.
Regarding the glass on the Affinity, the .27 ufactor and .19 on triple is very nice, not dark at all. Its the other glass that some dealers like to sell that i dont like.
Affinity are now offering " Truth hardware" on casements and awnings.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:24 am
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The window we saw was the Affinity Elite which had very nice locks. The glass was double pane with a ufactor of .27 and was not dark at all. This particular dealer only offered the Elite so we didnt see the cheaper series Jeff is referring to. My parents signed a contract for Affinity Elite. I liked the quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Windows review
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:44 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 376
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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Affinity is about to release a new patio door thats going to be very nice.


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