Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

For all those Replacement Window questions
Message
Author
jayhawk
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:39 am

Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#1 Post by jayhawk » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:59 am

Buying 17 double hung and 4 casement. Like the soft-lite Imperial LS but pricey; is the value worth it? Can I get much of the soft-lite value with Pro? Customers seem to like 9800 just fine; how does it stack up to the others in value for the cost? All are doouble pane, double strength, argon, grids, superspacer with full screens. All quotes from reputable Kansas City companies via Angies and in-person meetings.

$10,625 9800 low E 366, fiberglass mesh screens
$11,285 soft-lite Pro with solarban low E, think aluminum screens
$13,252 soft-lite LS with solarban low E, aluminum screens

Realize OKNA, Sunrise and Gorell are all highly rated like Soft-Lite. Not sure want to open up more options and anticipating they will cost equal or more than Imperial LS. Thanks in advance for any advice from the pros.

User avatar
Windows on Washington
Posts: 4407
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
Contact:

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:13 pm

All pretty solid windows.

The Pro will give you more light and is tighter than the Simonton in this case.

In that comparison, I still prefer the LS but if you don't want to pay the premium, I prefer the Pro over the 9800.

All of them are priced very fairly.

User avatar
HomeSealed
Posts: 2402
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
Contact:

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#3 Post by HomeSealed » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:19 pm

Windows on Washington wrote:All pretty solid windows.

The Pro will give you more light and is tighter than the Simonton in this case.

In that comparison, I still prefer the LS but if you don't want to pay the premium, I prefer the Pro over the 9800.

All of them are priced very fairly.
My thoughts exactly...
I do think that the LS is better built and it is a newer design, but the Pro is pretty solid. Personally, I'd probably spend the extra money on the LS.

TheWindowNerd
Posts: 1685
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
Contact:

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#4 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:46 am

I put the LS in my sons house.

jayhawk
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:39 am

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#5 Post by jayhawk » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:05 am

WoW, HomeSealed and anthony - really appreciate the feedback. That's three votes for the LS so far. Would you please expand upon the "why" of paying the 17% premium or approx. 2k more.

The potential installer for the Pro Series is new to that line. He explored it based on my Soft-Lite commentary. He has strong reputation, uses minimally expanded foam etc., but has not installed this type of window. He's essentially telling me that a good installer can install virtually any window. He seems credible. Do you agree with the portability of the install skill?

May be too specific - but do you know anyone else that can sell/install Pro Series in Kansas City?

User avatar
Delaware Mike
Posts: 859
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#6 Post by Delaware Mike » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:36 am

I'd agree with your installer's statement if he has the credentials and experience. The LS is a tighter window than the Pro/Classic series. The manufacturing tolerances are tighter and it features more weatherstripping. There is 3-point weatherstripping on the sashes of the LS as they contact the jambs on the LS as opposed to 2-point.

The LS is built on a completely different assembly line than Soft-Lite's other offerings except for the Elements which is essentially an LS optioned out with some special features exclusive for the Elements. The Pro is a nice window, but I usually only install them for openings in which the homeowner is very concerned about minimizing glass loss, or is on a very strict budget.

The welds are a little cleaner on the LS, no big deal for most folks. The DP rating on better on LS, but that shouldn't make a difference under normal circumstances. The LS will have a stronger and more robust sash design which keeps them more true as the sizing of the window increases.

Did you go onto Soft-Lite's website and download the brochure for both series? Soft-Lite's brochures are pretty good in that they list all the technical information performance wise. They have more info than most manufacturers.

jayhawk
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:39 am

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#7 Post by jayhawk » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:53 am

Thanks DelewareMike. Yes, have compared both brochures. For a novice though, it's hard to discern the real impact of, for example, a Certa Force Balance System versus Endura Force Balance System. Soft-lite is a good marketing firm (and window maker) and comes up with new trademark names for each feature - like all of them.

Comparison made harder since Pro guy is new to Pro Series and not able to differentiate credibly yet. Going to talk to LS salesman about Pro Series but expect his bias to LS where he has exclusive will be strong. That's where the great service you guys provide is so valuable.

KC has cold winters and hot summers. My house is a two-story 2400 sq ft. Let's say the LS saves $10/month in energy average over the year vs. the Pro Series. It will take about 200 months or 17 years to return on the increased cost. We're age 61; not likely to be in this house 17 years. I'm guessing the Pro Series will save big on energy. And that the LS, even though it's a better window, will only have modest improvement in energy savings. Comments encouraged.

User avatar
HomeSealed
Posts: 2402
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
Contact:

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#8 Post by HomeSealed » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:51 am

You won't save $10 per mo between the two... Savings will be minimal and probably never pay for itself. The difference imo, is more in the quality and design. I'd say it is the difference between Toyota and Lexus, but more appropriately, it is probably like 2005 Toyota vs a 2011 Lexus.
The LS will just be that much less likely to have an issues, air leakage, condensation, etc. It is really your choice as to whether or not to spend the extra $ as the Pro is better than 80% of the other windows out there, but as I said, I'd go with the LS if it were my home. My recommendation is to pick the best window that you can that your budget will allow.

EcoStar Remodeling
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:28 pm

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#9 Post by EcoStar Remodeling » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:12 pm

I'd buy the Simonton and put the $2600 difference towards making other energy upgrades to your home such as additional insulation in your attic and air leak sealing.

User avatar
Windows on Washington
Posts: 4407
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
Contact:

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#10 Post by Windows on Washington » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:09 am

I would spend the extra $640 and probably go with the Imperial Pro.

More glass (i.e. thinner profile), better air infiltration numbers, better glass package for KC weather (4:1 HDD to CDD), and overall better performance.

+1 and taking the additional dollars and weatherizing the home.

jayhawk
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:39 am

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#11 Post by jayhawk » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:06 pm

Talked to Soft-Lite dealer sales rep today. They will not sell Pro Series. Only sell their exclusives: Imperial, Bainbridge and Barrington. Told me Pro Series is below Barrington. Sounds like baloney (thanks to input from you fine folks). He lowered LS price some and quoted Bainbridge.

Pro Series shown on Soft-Lite web site above Barrington and just below Imperial; would seem to have significance. Compared the top feature list for both from web site: 7 of 9 were equal, one had different wording but comparable, and one was gee whiz. Pro Series seems to have slightly better energy performance ratings.

Can't see spending $990 for Bainbridge than the Pro pricing when both seem to be good installers.

User avatar
Delaware Mike
Posts: 859
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#12 Post by Delaware Mike » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:53 pm

The Pro series is above the Bainbridge which is above the Barrington, period. The Barrington is Soft-Lite's lowest offering. We don't carry the Pro, but can option out the Classic (stripped Pro) to easily make it a Pro. Once optioned out it winds up costing me virtually the same as my Imperial LS, thus I would never have a need to sell the Pro. The Bainbridge is a decent window and features a different profile to the exterior screen track, it's rounded on the jambs and header. The DP rating on the Pro and Classic is higher than that of Barrington and Bainbridge.

Many times a manufacturer like Soft-Lite will tweak the options on a particular line to give a dealer their personal favorite options value priced together.

It sounds like you have a real good handle on what product is going to be the "best value" for your money at this point. We realize that with all these different series it can be confusing, but these manufacturers try pretty hard to accommodate dealers of all different sizes. From the general contractor that buys enough windows to bypass the supply houses, to the full fledged exterior dealer that orders hundreds of windows per week.

toddinmn
Posts: 489
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#13 Post by toddinmn » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:55 am

I would get prices on the Okna and Gorell as well if you got the time.

clamwc
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:45 am

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#14 Post by clamwc » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:48 am

jayhawk - Just wondering if you ended up going with the Pro and, if so, are you happy so far? The Pro is the window I want to put in my house but the only local Softlite dealer to KC doesn't sell the Pro. Any info you can provide would me much appreciated. Thanks

masterext
Posts: 697
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ

Re: Simonton 9800 vs. soft-lite Pro and LS

#15 Post by masterext » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:26 am

if he offers the classic, you can add upgrades to essentially make it a Pro. i would also look at the imperial LS if he offers it.

Post Reply