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 Post subject: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:27 am
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I've done alot of reading on this site, and on various manufacturers sites. I've had a few quotes already, and have a few more left to go. This is a great resource, thank you!

I'm looking at replacing all of the windows in my 1988 2 story home. They are currently solid wood (no cladding) casement 2-pane windows, which are horrible inefficient (cracked panes, rotted sills, missing weather strips, broken cranks/locks, the works...). These have been measured a handful of times now, but I never got a copy of the sizes. I will measure these and post the sizes sometime soon.

I want a quality vinyl window, but still on a budget....we dont need the absolute best- but we also dont want a cheap window. We dont have any plans on moving out of this house, we are a young family with young children. Soft-Lite LS / Okna 700 / Sunrise have been my primary interest so far. I quoted with Home Depot (Simonton 6500) and Renewal by Andersen...both were way too much money, and I wasnt impressed with their product.

I received a quote from the local Sunrise installer (Better Way Siding and Windows in East Peoria, IL). I was really impressed with the product and it definitely was my favorite product I've seen so far. The hardware was easy to use, loved the dual lock and the feel of the crank. I also liked the low profile / more glass area with this window. I didnt like that the simulated wood grain interior added ~$2000, but I'm guessing that all the dealers will have some flexibility in the quoted price. This dealer also sells Simonton and Soft-Lite. He was definitely pushing me towards Sunrise, but can quote me on Soft-Lite / Simonton as well (I didnt get one yesterday)

I've got an appointment today to get a quote on the Okna Casement solution. Dave (Window4U)- do you have any experience with Meister Windows and Siding located outside of Gardner, IL? They are the closest Okna dealer to me.

I've also got another appointment next week for the Soft-Lite vinyl casements. From what I've read the Imperial LS is probably the line that is best suited to me. Can anyone confirm this, anything else I should be cross shopping from Softlite with the Okna/Sunrise?

A few questions I've thought up so far (I'm sure I'll have more!):

The Sunrise casement is rated at .26/.27 U-Factor w/ the Ultra U+ Glass. I see the Soft-Lite Ultimate glass is .17. Is this a big difference? The air infiltration ratings on both are both superb.

On the Soft-Lite LS, what glass package is going to give a good bang for the buck? I was eyeing the Ultra (3 pane Argon w/ Intercept spacer) and the Ultimate (3 pane Krytpon w/ Super spacer). Not sure of the pricing difference yet, but I will know more next week.

How does the glass area on these three windows (Softlite LS, Okna 700, Sunrise) compare?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:46 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:28 pm
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You are comparing double pane with argon on the Sunrise to triple pane with krypton on the Softlite. That's why you are seeing a big difference in performance. Ask the Sunrise Dealer to quote you on the ultra-U-Plus 10 for a comparable efficiency.

All of the windows you are looking at will serve you well. Sunrise makes the nicest casement of the group IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:27 am
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The double pane argon (Ultra U+ Glass) in the Sunrise is already at the top of my budget...it already seems like a pretty efficient window with regards to the tightness of the seal (DP-70/ .004 CFM). Would I be that much better off if I stretched for the top of the line glass from Sunrise?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:27 am
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I measured all of our openings to the finished jambs, all measurements are width x height. May be off +/ .25":

Family Room: 84" x 50" (triple)
Kitchen: 39" x 36.5" (double)
Dining Room: 72" x 50" (triple)
Living Room: 26.5" x 62" (single), 84" x 62" (triple)
Front Bedroom #1: 55" x 51" (double)
Front Bedroom #2: 55" x 51" (double)
Small Bedroom #3: 55" x 44" (double)
Master Bedroom: 55" x 44" (double), 26.5" x 44" (single)
Master Bathroom: 18" x 44" (single), 18" x 44" (single), 36" x 44" (single picture window, non-operable)

Adding pictures soon. Single/Double/Triple refers to the number of windows per opening. Most are doubles or triples with 1 or 2 operable windows.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:57 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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jthoske wrote:
I've got an appointment today to get a quote on the Okna Casement solution. Dave (Window4U)- do you have any experience with Meister Windows and Siding located outside of Gardner, IL? They are the closest Okna dealer to me.

I haven't run into them before, but since they are obviously a new dealer and 20 miles south of me I guess that will change.
Just curious, what town are you in?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:44 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:27 am
Posts: 10
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I'm in Bloomington, IL- 61704 is the zipcode. Meister was actually located in Kankakee. Quite a haul from Bloomington.

We've met with companies selling Sunrise, Softlite, and Okna. Here are some impressions on the windows:

Sunrise - ~$10,500 for Ultra U+ glass (double pane argon .26 U-Factor)

LOVED the multi-point lock and crank. Very smooth operation. Loved the larger glass area, but didnt get to compare it side by side with another windows so its hard to quantify what this means to us overall. Very impressed overall with the windows, but a little hesitant with the .26 U-Factor on the Ultra U+ glass. I emailed the salesman and asked about the Ultra U-Plus 10 triple pane glass. He said it was a new product that they havent seen yet, so he talked to his Sunrise rep about it. He said that this glass, while more effiecient, is really designed for southern climates. I'm not too sure about that, but what do I know :)

Should I be concerned / looking for a better U-Factor than .26 that the Ultra U+ glass comes with?

Okna -~$12,500 for triple-pane glass, argon gas fill (.20 U-Factor)

Very nice window, liked the way the screen attached with the clips. Didnt like the crank fold in/out and movement quite as much as the sunrise- but it was still very nice (compared to the broken ones we use now!) Weather stripping and design of the window was quite a bit different than the Sunrise, and I liked how the rubber seals were contained inside the unit (3 of them!)

Softlite - ~$11,900 double-pane argon

This window doesnt really get a fair shake, because the company that came out was kind of horrid. The salesman shows up and gives a short speech, and doesnt measure. He only counted the number of lites per opening all over the house (single, double, triple, picture) and then gave me a price. He didnt bring a sample unit, saying they sell primarily in double hung so thats all he had. The brochure he gave me was 95% information on double hung windows, but had a half page on the casement...with no real data on it (only U-Factor was listed for the Ultimate glass package which was 3 pane krypton). Hell, the way they had their product lines positioned, I couldnt even tell if they were trying to sell me the Imperial LS or the Pro model.

Not impressed with this company, but the good news is- the first company we had out for the Sunrise is also a Softlite dealer, so he is going to come back out and show me the Softlites and price them for me as well.


Last edited by jthoske on Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:46 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:27 am
Posts: 10
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How do the prices look to everyone? I've talked with some friends who have done window/door projects recently that say there is quite a bit of overhead and wiggle room on the price. I dont want to impede on the quality of the work, but at the same time- I dont want to overpay by thousands if all I need to do is a bit of negotiating.

I'm still going to get quoted on the Softlites through the first company who quoted me the Sunrise windows.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:27 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:28 pm
Posts: 211
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jthoske wrote:
How do the prices look to everyone? I've talked with some friends who have done window/door projects recently that say there is quite a bit of overhead and wiggle room on the price. I dont want to impede on the quality of the work, but at the same time- I dont want to overpay by thousands if all I need to do is a bit of negotiating.

I'm still going to get quoted on the Softlites through the first company who quoted me the Sunrise windows.


Friends making sweeping statements in regards to price flexibility are not helpful. Many dealers, including our company, simply offer their best non-negotiable price up front. Saying there is a lot of overhead AND wiggle room are 2 conflicting statements that make no sense. To assure that you are getting the best value, I would suggest getting multiple estimates and then comparing them. If you feel they are overcharging you by $1000's then you need to move on to a more reputable company.

Ask the Sunrise Dealers to quote you on the Apex Glass Package. That is triple pane, argon gas, full foam filled frame with a U-factor of .20. You might also want to ask how much more it would be with krypton gas.

It is utter nonsense to state that triple pane glass is only for southern climates. Triple pane glass is the way to go if you can get it for the right price. I suspect you have a very new or very lazy salesperson.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:30 am 
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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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Given that the prices are all pretty consistent I would say that is a fair indication of reasonableness.

Did you get Dave to quot the project for you? If not, I would definitely throw his name into the hat as he is the best Okna dealer in your area by a mile.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:38 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:27 am
Posts: 10
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EcoStar Remodeling wrote:
jthoske wrote:
How do the prices look to everyone? I've talked with some friends who have done window/door projects recently that say there is quite a bit of overhead and wiggle room on the price. I dont want to impede on the quality of the work, but at the same time- I dont want to overpay by thousands if all I need to do is a bit of negotiating.

I'm still going to get quoted on the Softlites through the first company who quoted me the Sunrise windows.


Friends making sweeping statements in regards to price flexibility are not helpful. Many dealers, including our company, simply offer their best non-negotiable price up front. Saying there is a lot of overhead AND wiggle room are 2 conflicting statements that make no sense. To assure that you are getting the best value, I would suggest getting multiple estimates and then comparing them. If you feel they are overcharging you by $1000's then you need to move on to a more reputable company.

Ask the Sunrise Dealers to quote you on the Apex Glass Package. That is triple pane, argon gas, full foam filled frame with a U-factor of .20. You might also want to ask how much more it would be with krypton gas.

It is utter nonsense to state that triple pane glass is only for southern climates. Triple pane glass is the way to go if you can get it for the right price. I suspect you have a very new or very lazy salesperson.


Thanks, I'll definitely look into the Apex glass as well.

I dont think he was saying the triple pane is for southern climates, but he said one of the ratings (not sure if it was SHGC or what) led him to believe that the Ultra U+12 or 10 or whatever its called was designed for a warmer sunny climate.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:39 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:27 am
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Dave, do you cover my zipcode (61704) ?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:44 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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I would also choose Dave as a best selection.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:25 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:28 pm
Posts: 211
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jthoske wrote:
EcoStar Remodeling wrote:
jthoske wrote:
How do the prices look to everyone? I've talked with some friends who have done window/door projects recently that say there is quite a bit of overhead and wiggle room on the price. I dont want to impede on the quality of the work, but at the same time- I dont want to overpay by thousands if all I need to do is a bit of negotiating.

I'm still going to get quoted on the Softlites through the first company who quoted me the Sunrise windows.


Friends making sweeping statements in regards to price flexibility are not helpful. Many dealers, including our company, simply offer their best non-negotiable price up front. Saying there is a lot of overhead AND wiggle room are 2 conflicting statements that make no sense. To assure that you are getting the best value, I would suggest getting multiple estimates and then comparing them. If you feel they are overcharging you by $1000's then you need to move on to a more reputable company.

Ask the Sunrise Dealers to quote you on the Apex Glass Package. That is triple pane, argon gas, full foam filled frame with a U-factor of .20. You might also want to ask how much more it would be with krypton gas.

It is utter nonsense to state that triple pane glass is only for southern climates. Triple pane glass is the way to go if you can get it for the right price. I suspect you have a very new or very lazy salesperson.


Thanks, I'll definitely look into the Apex glass as well.

I dont think he was saying the triple pane is for southern climates, but he said one of the ratings (not sure if it was SHGC or what) led him to believe that the Ultra U+12 or 10 or whatever its called was designed for a warmer sunny climate.


There's always the trade off between a lower U-factor and a higher SHGC. If you did live in a southern climate, I would always go for the lowest SHGC. However, in a moderate or cold climate, I would usually opt for the lower U-factor at least on the north, east and western elevations. You could consider asking about the 181 or i81 glass package for the southern facing windows and consider the price vs. the benefits.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:56 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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jthoske wrote:
Dave, do you cover my zipcode (61704) ?


Yes I do.
I have locations in Chicagoland and Decatur. Click the 'Get a Quote' button to the left under my pic. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing casement windows in Illinois (project thread)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:31 pm 
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Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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Contacting Dave would be a great move. He has all of the best products and he's one of the most knowledgeable window guys you could ever hope to meet.

I had just prepared an estimate with some Soft-Lite and Sunrise products out my way with double and triple glazing. The jump to triple with argon really isn't all that much if your dealer is willing to work with you.


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