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 Post subject: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:54 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:56 pm
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It seems this is a good place to get some answers regarding vinyl replacement windows, so here goes -- we are replacing 7 double hungs, 1 3 lite with a fixed center and casements on each side and a patio door and we our home is in N.E. WI. We have quotes for Vista Panorama series, Milgard Tuscany series and Soft-Lite Imperial LS. The quotes are: Vista - $9750 for triple glaze low-e argon, and Milgard - $9500 for triple glaze low-e krypton, and Soft-lite $12000 for triple glaze low-e krypton or $10700 for triple glaze low-e argon.
First question is are these good, very good, or even excellent windows? Second question: are these fair prices? I'm trying very hard to compare apples and apples, all have been asked to do the same work, including: installation, wrapping the exterior wood and hauling away the old windows. I've checked the NFRC and AAMA websites to try to compare but that hasn't been easy and right now I'm just in a quandry -- am I looking at specs. that matter, should I be looking for other info?? Just need some expert advice and seems this place has some very thoughful experts and I'd appreciate any assistance! Thanks, in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 pm
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Location: Northern,Virginia
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1. Softlite Imperial LS is the best of the 3. I'd rate it as an excellent window and the other 2 as average to good.

Curious why you feel you need triple pane?

Ask the sales rep for specs and if he won't provide them, call the manufacturer. It is very difficult to get water and air infiltration from many manuf. and AAMA doesn't publish many either.

I can tell you the Imperial has a DP 70 and .02 A/I rating.


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
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Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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Skydawggy wrote:

Curious why you feel you need triple pane?


I'll answer for him. ...Because it's really cold in NE Wisconsin. That area sees 30 below in cold snaps like we just had. I ran sled dog races over that way in my younger days. It can be brutal.


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:56 pm
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Thanks to both for your insight on the Soft-lite -- and, yes, we thought triple pane due to weather in our area - as it does get brutally cold here and the info we were given on the soft-lite and the milgard triple with krypton have an R-10 value and that was the best we found. Milgard said we should see a 49% reduction in our heating bill with the triple/krypton window! Don't know if I believe that though. Wonder if either of you have an opinion on the prices we were quoted? Do you think the soft-lite is worth the extra $2000 - $2500?


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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The Soft-Lite is a great window and minus the price differential, I would choose it 10 out of 10 times over the Milgard.

You will need to determine what the difference is worth to you. Make sure you look at air data as well.

I am also not a fan of anyone that claims a 49% reduction in heating costs without knowing anything about the home but the number and type of windows.

Sorry, but a person looses creditability in my eyes when they make such claims that are completely unverifiable.


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:56 pm
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Thanks, didn't really buy the 49% reduction and not to defend the guy but he was personally in our home, measured and discussed different windows and different options. We are thinking it's probably between the soft-lite and the milgard as not much independent data is available for the Vista. We are weighing all the aspects to determine if the soft-lite is THAT much better to justify the price differential. Unbiased Air infiltration info is not the easiest info to find and I don't know if I trust the manufacturer to give me unbiased specs.(?)


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:30 pm 
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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The Soft-Lite data is legit as I have seen the report.

Last time I checked Milgard claimed a 0.08 if I recall.

Unless the contractor has done far more investigative testing, his claims are still baseless.


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:56 pm
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Thank you, good to know soft-lite is not giving us some made up numbers. We were impressed with many aspects of their windows - lots of "little" things to make a solid product. Many of the features in the Soft-lite window were seemingly the same as those found in the Milgard and Vista, such as the non-metal "super spacer", fusion welded frame, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:53 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 pm
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Location: Northern,Virginia
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Quote:
I'll answer for him. ...Because it's really cold in NE Wisconsin. That area sees 30 below in cold snaps like we just had. I ran sled dog races over that way in my younger days. It can be brutal.



Brrrrrrrr........That would be an excellent reason to choose TP. :shock:


Forgot the NE Wisc. :oops:

I can't understand why anyone would want to live in that kind of climate. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:14 pm 
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Skydawggy wrote:
Quote:
I'll answer for him. ...Because it's really cold in NE Wisconsin. That area sees 30 below in cold snaps like we just had. I ran sled dog races over that way in my younger days. It can be brutal.



Brrrrrrrr........That would be an excellent reason to choose TP. :shock:


Forgot the NE Wisc. :oops:

I can't understand why anyone would want to live in that kind of climate. :lol:


Who is going to make the CHEESE :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:56 pm
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BRRRRRRR IS RIGHT!! Often ask myself why I live here, too ... maybe someday I'll be able to retire to a WARMER climate!!!

By the way, no one has anything to say about Vista windows??? Are they just too new to the industry, or are they really second rate? Just wondering??


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
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Not a bad product but not the caliber of the Soft-Lite.


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 Post subject: Re: Vista,Milgard or Soft-lite for N.E. WI?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:56 pm
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Interesting, as they were not the least expensive either! Just goes to show that cost does not = quality!


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