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 Post subject: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:01 am
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Which window is better: Affinity Elite or Okna 500? I just received a quote for 9 DH windows (including 2 bathroom with frosted glass) for $3500. The salesman kept pushing the Affinity window over the Okna 500 because she said the Affinity was comparable to the Okna 800 but much more affordable.

She said the Affinity had much better specs over the Okna 500 such as composite reinforcement, better tilt mechanism, male/female stopper, magnetic weather stripping, higher U value (.24 vs. .25), higher Low-E (14 levels vs. 13), .002 dissipation, .45 visibility value.

The cost per window is approximately $383 for either window.
My windows are approx 32X64 and 14X42.

Is it true that the Affinity windows are the same as Energex windows? If so, what is the consensus on the Energex/Affinity brand? I already know about the Okna brand and how great they are especially the 800 series but he quoted the 800 at $505 each. I just cannot afford the extra cost for the 800.

Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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You are looking at a couple of great performers there. The Okna is well established, while the Affinity is new to the party, but looks very good by all accounts... If you are more inclined to choose the more "budget friendly" option, the Affinity is great. If you prefer the peace of mind provided by a manufacturer that has been around for a bit, then perhaps the Okna is worth a slight premium.
You are correct, the product is the Affinity Energex Elite.... BTW, I'd strongly consider scrutinizing the dealers that you are considering. Under $400 for the Okna 500 is insanely low, as in 800 series for $500.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:57 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:01 am
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Thanks for the reply HomeSealed. When you say scrutinize I guess you mean check out the BBB, Angie's List, etc... I found one of the companies on a site called ServiceMagic and they had good ratings. They are not BBB Accredited but have an A+ rating. I am worried that you said the quotes I received are very low. What does that mean? I know the old saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is". Could it be that the windows are somehow used and/or refurbished?
The salesman showed me the Affinity Elite window and I must say I was impressed with the way it looked, sturdy solid feel, strong glass and ease of opening/closing window. I do wish that I could've seen the Okna 500 as well since the more I research the more I am impressed.

I have one more quote on Wednesday for some Okna windows and will now compare apple to apples. I'll update afterwards. Thank you so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:27 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 412
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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those prices are just ridiculous and i would be very leary about a dealer claiming he can do a window job that cheaply when he is not making any money.
i offer the Affinity Ultra Series which is a step up from the Elite and a better window. that said,the Okna 800 is a better window.
i actually called my rep at Affinity and asked how someone is offering the Elite window that cheaply( i pay alot for the affinity Ultra )and they claim its not possible.. they do have an economy window that could be sold at that price though. that may be what it is because it would be impossible for them to offer that window under 475 and still make any profit...
its even more ridiculius for them to quote the okna window that low; even the 400 series is over $400 . again, he would be losing money. if okna found out about a dealer selling their window below cost, he would not be a dealer very long. it gives the impression that there is something wrong with the window.
your dealer either has no idea what he is doing or he has a terrible sense of humor.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:45 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:01 am
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Thanks for the reply Masterext. Could it be that they are selling me the element line? I have not signed a contract with the dealer but what are some questions I should ask if I decide to sign? Hearing from you and HomeSealed I am extremely leery now and am quite sure I will not sign. Thank you guys for saving me from a potential headache. Couple of questions:

1) What would be a fair market rate for the Okna 500 and the Affinity Elite?
2) How do they compare to each other?
3) How do I found out if a dealer is an authorized seller of these windows?
4) What is your overall impression of the Affinity brand and particularly their Elite line?
5) How long have they been in business?
6) What is your take on the Okna 500 windows?

Sorry for all the questions but I am new to this and the more I learn the more confused I am.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:55 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 412
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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its really hard for us to comment on price unless its ridiculiusly low as this one definitely is or if its high. most of the pro's on thos board who devote their time helping homeowners out happen to carry the higher end brands. they also happen to be very established dealers so anytime a company claims they can install a higher end brand so cheaply, a red flag is immediately raised.. most of us do alot of volume due to our solid reputations in our respective communities and therefore know full well what the higher end brand pricing is.
after the cost of the window, the cost of the install, there is no way anyone could make a penny with those prices even if he were using day laborers to perform the installation.
anyway, you just need to exercise good judgement.. best of luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1895
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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+1... jevatelo, can you provide more detail about the scope of the project, option content, etc? Is this an RRP (lead safe) job? Does the price include installation and capping? etc...
To put the pricing in perspective, $383 is dangerously close to dealer cost on the Okna 500 series with a high quality install. Most times you'll see that window starting at $500 installed (give or take a few bucks), but in some cases it goes up over $600 which can be perfectly reasonable depending on market, option content, dealer overhead, etc. The general range for a quality product is probably anywhere from $450 at the extreme low end, into the $900's on the high end.
On the comparison between the two windows, I don't have personal experience with the Affinity, but the numbers look comparable. I do like the Okna 500 quite a bit. The 800 series is one of the top window choices available, and the 500 is essentially the same thing minus a couple of bells and whistles. I typically direct my clients to the 500 if they are going white, and aren't enamored with the fancy 800 hardware.
Okna has been around for nearly 20 years, (early to mid 90's), while Affinity/Energex has been just a few. That said, it is my understanding that the ownership and management of the company are very well-established in the industry, so their relatively short company history would not be indicative of the level of experience and expertise that they possess. There are some very well-respected dealers that carry that product who would not do so if they were not fully confident in the company.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:10 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:01 am
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Thank you Masterext for your wisdom. Thank god I have several more quotes in the upcoming days and will have more options to look at. I learn as I go along and won't commit until I feel comfortable.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:31 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:01 am
Posts: 19
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HomeSealed, I was told that the price included:

1)Install
2)Debris removal/cleanup
3)Lifetime Warranty and insurance
4)Materials and Labor
5)Capping and caulking
6)Bug screens included
7)Workers are employees

Anything else I should look for? Also, I am not sure if they are authorized dealers? If not, then what does that mean that the windows are grey market or fake?

RRP? She mentioned that lead is thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed. Is that what you mean? Is there a danger of lead leakage? The wife is pregnant, grandma is diabetic and we have 2 small children under the age of 6 living in the house.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1895
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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If your home was built prior to 1978 it is required to be either tested for lead and cleared, or certified lead-safe procedures (RRP) must be used (they are far more involved than just vacuuming). The company that you are using must be certified in this area as well... Either way, that pricing is shockingly low even without considering RRP. Those are desperation prices on the 500, IMHO. I would do some serious research on the stability of that outfit, talk to past clients, look at their work, verify that licenses and insurance are up to date, etc.
...Congratulations by the way! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:01 am
Posts: 19
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I will continue the vetting process and try to see prior work and speak with customers. The lead removal topic came up and the salesman acted like she did not want to touch it with a 10 foot pole. She stated that it would be very costly and require hazmat suits and basically quarantining off the apartment. Is this true and how much does it cost to test and remove?


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1895
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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This is not optional. It is federally mandated and there are MAJOR fines involved for non-compliance. Those of us that deal with it on a daily basis have come up with efficient systems to deal with it, and thus minimize the additional costs. This dealer's response is yet another red flag based on your description.
On an insert install, RRP can add anywhere from $40 to $100 per window, while a full tear-out or an "invasive" situation can go even higher.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:39 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 412
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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there may be some confusion here regarding lead. if the house is old ,as contractors ,
we only CONTAIN any potential lead , we do not remove or abate lead. removing lead is not the responsibility of the window contractor.
a lead removal/ abatement is expensive and has absolutely nothing to do with a window install. the possibility of a lead abatement is par for the course when buying an old home.
further, i have seen plenty of older homes without lead.
containing lead during an install of an older home is actually not that big of a deal. unfortunately some companies use scare tactics regarding lead and attempt to capitalize on uninformed homeowners.
most cases of lead poisoning were in public housing where jobs were given to the lowest bidder and companies had absolutely no regard for safety or quality control.


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:35 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:01 am
Posts: 19
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Ok, now I'm even more confused about lead removal. Is the window company required to test and remove lead or are they only required to use common sense and properly clean up the mess. I also understand that they are supposed to give consumers a booklet about lead and that consumers have to sign a waiver that they are aware of potential lead in their property. What concerns me is that this company does not even want to address the issue but I now believe they were referring to an abatement because of the mention of hazmat suits and quarantining of the house. Am I correct guys?


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 Post subject: Re: Affinity Elite Versus Okna 500
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3726
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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RRP rules require that you take several precautions to limit the amount of dust and safely contain the debris and dust generation.

Abatement is not part of the arrangement. If you have lead on the sills before they come out and are doing a pocket replacement, you will have lead when they leave.


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