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 Post subject: Milgard vs Simonton
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 12:17 pm 

Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 4:31 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Portland, OR, USA
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I am looking to replace 16 windows in my house. I live in Portland OR.

I have two quotes, both from local contractors.

The quote for Milgard Classic windows is $6500.

The quote for Simonton Impression windows is $9100.

I like the Simonton windows a little better, mostly because of their better U rating, but are they that much better to justify the cost? Also, the Simonton contractor offers a lifetime warranty for installation, vs one year for the Milgard. Would this justify the cost?

Thanks for your input.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 1:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:51 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Portland, OR
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First - the U-Value. I would encourage you to contact the contractor that gave you the bid on the Milgard Windows and let him/her know what U-Value you would like to meet. There are numerous, I mean NUMEROUS, glass options, spacer options, etc to achieve the most efficient U-Value and energy performance you may be looking for. Please note that U-Values are not the only measure by which to compare windows. What matters most is your objectives for the project (ie. addressing heat gain, shading, energy efficiency, etc.).

Simonton Impressions - this is an East Coast product with limited distribution channels on the West Coast. They do not have any local offices, manufacturing, service locations, etc. My concern there would be who do you contact, where are they and what is the time frame to get them to respond and address any problems you may have down the road.

Have you asked for and contacted references of both contractors? Have you checked with the CCB to make sure there are no complaints against either? Are they members of the Home Builder's Association? How long have they been in business - consistently. Not gotten out of windows, tried something else, came back to the industry, or does windows and siding and roofing and light remodeling and and and...
Go with someone that is IN the window replacement business. That is all they do. If that is their specialty they have years of experience to draw on and use when installing your windows.

As far as the warranties..........both windows should carry a lifetime warranty. The install warranty in the market can vary from 1 to usually 5 years, some offer 10. ANY good contractor, dealer, etc. will address any concerns you have no matter how much time has passed. If they are using the right method for your application (interior and exterior wall conditions), you should not experience any problems. I also encourage you to ask very detailed questions regarding the method of install. This is as important, or perhaps even more important than the window you choose. The best window in the world, installed improperly, will perform poorly over time. If you have the standard horizontal lap or T1-11 siding, they should be doing what we call a "full cut-out, fin and trim" installation. They completely remove the existing windows by cutting back the siding to expose the nailing fin, remove the window, use the nailing fin of the new window and then caulk, flash, trim, etc. to finish off on the exterior. On the interior, they will have to cut back your sheet rock or other trim around the window to accommodate the new, thicker vinyl window frame as they newer windows are usually about 1-1/4" deeper/thicker from interior tio exterior - frame depth.
If they say "no cutting" or "no mess" - RUN! This is not a proper install. They collapse and rip out the existing windows, cut the nailing fin off the new ones, screw through the frame to install it and run a bead of sealant around it - and call it good. Yikes!

If you have old wood windows - the Classic window is perfect! It looks like the classic character of the older wood windows without any of the maintenance issues inherent to wood. The frame depth is exactly that of the pocket of the wood sashes.

Anyway - hopefully all of this has been helpful. Please reply with any further questions and I would be happy to address them as I am able. If you care to disclose the contractors, I may have insight to them as well.

Good luck with your project.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:36 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:11 am
Posts: 429
Location: New Jersey
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Simonton does have a manufacturing plant in Vacaville California and they have the West Coast pretty saturated for dealers and service.

There is both an East Coast Impressions (9800) and a West Coast Impressions line that consists of two windows the 7300 & 7500

Bill
Uneeda Window of NJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:32 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:51 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Portland, OR
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As far as the West coast being "saturated", that may be the case with California, but not in the Northwest (Washington & Oregon). There are only 2 or so in the Portland area and maybe twice that in Washington state. It is a fine window and I have heard no real complaints about it, or its service.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 9:45 am 

Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 4:31 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Portland, OR, USA
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Thanks mman

1. I will look into increasing the U-value of the Milgards. If I can get them to .31, there are potentially huge rebates available through EnergyTrust of Oregon. The Simonton windows quoted for me are already there.

2. I understand that having a local source for the windows would help in addressing problems, but I am hoping not to have any. How often do replacement windows have problems that involve the manufacturer? If the Simonton windows are much better quality, I would not worry about this so much.

3. I have not contacted any references, but have check BBB and CCB - both are clean. Both have been in business 10+ years.

4. The Simonton warranty is better - it covers glass breakage. Also, it has a better transfer option.

5. I agree any good contractor should cover the installation of the windows for life, but they should also put it in writing if they really mean it. I don't trust verbal assurances.

6. I have wood windows. Both contractors told me they plan to simply remove the old sashes and replace them with the new windows, without removing the old frames.

7. Does anyone out there provide objective reviews of the quality of windows? I can't really tell much by looking at the Simonton and Milgards, whether one is significantly better built than the other. I had hoped the Consumer Reports would have something, but they did not. I still want to know if the Simonton windows are a better quality window, such that they are worth the extra 30% I would be paying for them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 4:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:51 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Portland, OR
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Glad to see you are being an educated consumer. I can't unbiasedly (is that a word?) talk about which is a better quality, so you will have to go to some outside sources, but if it helps Milgard has been chosen as Builder's Magazine "Top Vinyl Window" 6 times compared to Simonton winning the same award one time. They are non-biased, and choose based on consumer and contractor polls. Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 12:35 pm 

Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 4:31 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Portland, OR, USA
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I looked at Builder's Magazine, but could not find the awards section. Awards don't mean much to me unless I can read the details of how they made the choice, and what the spread in rankings was.

I did read the Brand Use studys for 2006 & 2005, but they were not really relevant. The regional breakdown showed that Simonton was hardly known at all in the NW. The fact that they were far less likely to be used than Milgard doesn't mean that they are a worse product, just that windows brands seem to be very regional. They same was evident on the east coast, only there it was Simonton was well know and no one had heard of Milgard.


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 Post subject: Re: Milgard vs Simonton
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:36 pm
Posts: 13
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I also live in Portland and am looking to replace 16 windows.

I have researched the Milgard Tuscany and Simonton 7500 for serveral weeks. I think both are comparable Windows when they are fully upgraded (SS, argon, Low-e 366, Double Strength Glass and IG Unit).

Simonton has better weather stripping and thus better air infiltration numbers (.15 compared to .18 for Milgard). Simonton also has the better warranty (double lifetime tranferable after 10 years where as Milgard transfers up to 10 years). I also like how the SH Sash tilts in. Like the previous poster I am also concerned about the # of Simonton installers in this area.

Milgard has slightly better u-factor for DH windows (.30 compared to .31 for Simonton). The SH windows both have a u-factor of .29. I think Milgard also has ther better screen between the two.

Post back when you make your descision. BTW--Angies List is a great tool for evaluating installers.


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 Post subject: Re: Milgard vs Simonton
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:26 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 1353
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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If you want the Simonton, tell the dealer you are serious and explain you are looking at a comparable unit for much less, let them justify the cost and make you a final offer.
Be careful you will be sending a very strong buy signal, hopefully they will want your project and work with you to get it.


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