Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

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SethPetryJohnson
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Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#1 Post by SethPetryJohnson » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:42 am

Based on lots of information I found here I've collected a bunch of quotes and narrowed it down to some finalists. Nothing screams "winner" to me and I'd love feedback.

I can't get the Okna 500 and I won't have a quote for high-end Soft-lite until this evening.

Details:

* 12 DH, no grids
* 1 PW with grid
* 1 large-ish slider replacing 2 DHs and a mullion
* All white
* Standard install

Quotes:

* Alside Mezzo from a large, well reviewed, window-centric installer. No subcontracators.
$9000
U-value: 0.22
SHGC: 0.26
VT: 0.45
Air: 0.04
DP: 35

* Kensington HPP Huntington w/ Heat Mirror from a smaller, new-ish company that does all types of exterior work. Uses subcontractors. Referred to me by a friend.
$16,000
U-value: 0.26
SHGC: 0.21
VT: 0.48

* Sunrise ("standard"?) from a mid-sized company that does all type of exterior work. No subs.
$11,000
U-value: 0.29
SHGC: 0.28
DP: 30

* Sprouse from a large, well-reviewed company that does all type of exterior work. No subs.
$9000
U-value: 0.27
SHGC: 0.21
VT: 0.5
Air: 0.06
DP: 25

The Alside product doesn't get much love on here, but it seems to have the best all-around performance numbers and would be installed by a company focused on windows.

The Kensington is marketed to me as an upscale product and is therefore a significant outlier on price, and the combination of new-ish company + subcontractors gives me pause. Is the window worth it?

The Sunrise is well regarded here but seems to have the worst U-value; maybe I should upgrade the glass?

I can find zero information about Sprouse. It's a nice looking window but has no bells and whistles. The sales guy has been extremely informative and non-pushy, the company has great reviews, and was referred to me by an acquaintance. (They also carry PlyGem, but I thought the Sprouse was better looking, and aesthetics are important for this job)

So what do I do? Pick the installer I feel most comfortable with and trust their suggestion for a less-well-known window? Or go with the highest quality product I can find, probably the Kensington HPP, and hope the installer is still around in 10 years if I have issues?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#2 Post by HomeSealed » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:46 pm

Seth, where are you located?

At this point, I personally don't love any of the options and I wonder if some of the info may be incorrect. The Mezzo does not get a .22 u factor unless that is upgraded to triple pane. The Kensington gets better than a .26 with heat mirror if I'm not mistaken. All of the nfrc listings of the Quantum line with heat mirror are in the low 20's and teen's. The Sunrise can get a .27 with double pane, although that way that it is achieved is not ideal for northern climates (location relevance).

The base Sunrise is solid, not spectacular. I'd say that the Kensington is probably the best option that you have at this point, but I'd definitely wait on the Softlite bid, maybe even get a bid on something like a Polaris product if there are no Okna dealers in your area.

SethPetryJohnson
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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#3 Post by SethPetryJohnson » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:12 pm

I'm in Columbus, OH.

Sounds like I should go back to each of these vendors and triple-check the numbers. (The Mezzo sales guy was offering a free triple-pane upgrade as long as I purchased "before the vouchers for the upgrade run out", so that might be why I have the 0.22 written down).

I have excluded the Polaris UltraWeld because I want a thin-framed window and my understanding is that the UW is a bit chunky. I then excluded the ThermaWeld as well because the primary Polaris dealer I found was _very_ aggressive about pushing his preferred brand (Joyce Heritage) even though I asked about Polaris, and I just didn't mesh with him all that well. If Soft-lite doesn't pan out maybe I'll look for a different dealer.

I like the Kensington window but it's priced significantly higher than anything else on the list. Is it truly in a whole different class than the others on my list? Will be interesting to see where the Soft-lite Imperial LS / Elements quotes fall.

Thanks for the feedback. This forum has been a double-edged sword; I feel so much more knowledgeable now, but maybe I'd have been happier if I'd stayed ignorant and just gone through this process like a typical consumer.... :)

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HomeSealed
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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#4 Post by HomeSealed » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:46 pm

Its easy to get information overload, but I promise, you will be much better off having educated yourself about this investment.

I'd wait for the Softlite quote to come in, that may offer some additional perspective on pricing.

A couple additional thoughts, I'd be careful about putting much weight on how the installers pay their taxes (ie: payroll or sub). In this niche industry, most guys have longstanding relationships with the company that they work for either way. A good established company will hire good installers, pay them well, and stand behind their work either way.
Secondly, while we've all been there at one time or another, keep in mind that newer/smaller companies do pose more risk in terms of being around for future service. There are always exceptions of course, you can find small one -man companies that have been around for decades, just like you can find startups that offer a great product and end up working out. Many don't however. High risk, potentially high reward if the price is very aggressive. This investment should have a service life of a few decades, you'd like the best chance at the original installer to be around if/when needed.

toddinmn
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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#5 Post by toddinmn » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:41 pm

From those options I might just roll the dice with Alside.
I say be patient and get a few more bids.
Sub contractors are fine but I would request insurance information for them, not uncommon for the whole installing. Crew to be subs of subs, I’d want insurance info on the whole crew if they were working for me.

SethPetryJohnson
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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#6 Post by SethPetryJohnson » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:48 pm

Soft-lite dealer came in at $9100 for the Pro (with SuperSpacer standard), and $12000 for the Imperial LS with Intercept.

I know the Imperial has better performance ratings, but my wife and I both like the thinner frame of the Pro and that it comes with SS stock. We don't need any of the options that we get with the Imperial.

After all of this, the Kensington remains an extreme outlier. It has better performance numbers, but only by a hair, and it's $5000 more than the next highest bid. AND it's sold by a relatively new company.

The Mezzo sales person is still offering free upgrade to triple pane with upgraded glass, so the 0.22 U-value is legit.

It's a tough call, but I think I'm going to go with the Sunrise or Soft-lite. Former has better air infiltration numbers, latter has a better U-value and DP rating. Both looked nice. I'm leaning towards Soft-lite because of cost and sales experience.

Thanks to everyone that's helped me over the past couple of weeks. I hope my posts help the next person that goes through the same process I did :)

toddinmn
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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#7 Post by toddinmn » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:12 am

Any of the 2 Soft-Lites would be my choice.

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Delaware Mike
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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#8 Post by Delaware Mike » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:26 am

The Huntington is a decent window. With Heatmirror it's a super energy efficient window, however it's frame profile is a very basic and is kind of a strange looking fellow. Even though the base extrusion is from the same extruder as what Soft-Lite utilizes, I feel it's less attractive from the exterior. It's very well put together from a fit and finish point of view and operates very nicely. I think the SL sill extrusions are far more superior. My pricing on the Kensington lines makes them not the greatest value for my homeowners compared to other offerings that I sell, thus I have hard time paying more for less in my opinion.

I like the sashes on the Huntington better than the ultra narrow sashes on the SL Pro. That's confusing, sorry. We field guys like a balance of frame and sash strength with aesthetics. The Pro is probably the best and safest value. The Mezzo frame is just to weak.

fridge2020
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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#9 Post by fridge2020 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:05 pm

The softlote will be a good choice

SethPetryJohnson
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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#10 Post by SethPetryJohnson » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:57 am

I was *thiiiiiiiiis* close to going with the Imperial LS before taking a closer look at my soffits and fascia and realizing they're in far worse shape than I'd expected, which reduced the budget available for windows.

So then I was getting ready to pull the trigger on the SL Pro at $9k when the Kensington HPP dealer offered to price match and do the Huntington w/ Heat Mirror at $9k as well. (For 13 DHs and a PW, white, grids on the PW only)

That dealer started out at $16k. Under pressure he admitted that the 0% financing he was pushing cost him 18%, and he agreed to drop the price to $13k if I brought my own financing instead.

And now, in a last ditch effort to save the sale, he's dropping to $9k.

Great price on a high end window, or a rock-bottom desperate attempt to generate cashflow that might suggest the installer would look to cut costs on the install or service?

Something about this dealer has bugged me since the beginning and I can't quite shake it.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#11 Post by HomeSealed » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:38 pm

If you don't have a great feeling about the guy I'd probably trust that instinct rather than kick yourself if things go south. You will run into various levels of negotiating in this industry, but cutting the price nearly in half is a bit much IMO. As far as the window selection, while the LS would be my first choice, I can't say that I'd rate the Kensigton all that much higher than the SL Pro.

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Re: Quote feedback requested: Sunrise, Kensington HPP, Alside

#12 Post by randy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:35 pm

I’m with HomeSealed. Trust your instincts and find another contractor. He comes across as a bit “slippery”.

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