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 Post subject: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:39 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:22 am
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Hi All!

I'm finishing up my ~12 months of window research and I'm down to three DH brands: Okna 5500, Simonton ProFinish Contractor, Simonton Brickmould 600 (all compared against Andersen 400 for price comparisons).

I'm doing a full tear-out job (30 winders!) and hanging vinyl siding at the same time so things like 6 9/16 width/factory applied extension jambs and integral-J are pretty important to me. I've quoted out Sunrise, but they don't factory apply extension jambs (beautiful window). It looks like Simonton 5500 also doesn't do ext jambs (looks like most people prefer this window to the PF/BM600). As a note, I do like the exterior look of the BM600... its classy.

Questions:
1. Given these three windows, is one head-and-shoulders above the others in terms of performance/looks? They are all relatively in the same price range.
2. Would we be less happy with one compared to the others?

Thanks in advance!
Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:09 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Posts: 829
Location: Texas - Houston & Austin
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Yes, the Okna windows outperform the Simonton's hands down.

As to looks, that's completely subjective.

Simonton is really an above average window at best. Okna is known for superior construction and performance.


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:00 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 398
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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i agree with Randy on Okna being superior. i always opt for an extension jamb when doing new construction; makes things a whole lot easier.


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:22 am
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Is Okna favored because of the brand name alone, or the actual merits of the "Okna 5500" model vs Simone PF.C/BM600?


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1852
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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+3 for Okna. There is no favoritism here, just the fact that the objective performance ratings on the Okna product are SIGNIFICANTLY better. Look at the u-value, air infiltration, and design pressure ratings and you will see what we are talking about. Essentially, the Okna is a high-end replacement window that gets equipped for new construction application in this trim level, while the Simonton option is a true "new-construction", builder grade product. It is certainly one of the better products available as far as builder windows go, but it does not hold a candle to the true high-end options that you've seen like the Okna and Sunrise.


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:22 am
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I guess all the forum reading I've done mentions the Okna 800 windows. I've found very little information on the Okna 5500. Is this a new model?


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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Same as the 500, which incidentally is very similar to the 800 minus a few bells and whistles. They take away the metal lift rails, sash reinforcement, magnetic weatherstripping, and I believe that the extrusion is slightly thinner. That's about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:22 am
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Are Okna 500 or 800 still available? I can't find them mentioned on the okna website.


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1852
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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500=Insultec, 800=Envirostar


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:41 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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I was gone all day yesterday but it appears that you got rock solid advice all the way around.

The new construction Insul-Tec (500) is hands down the best new construction vinyl window out there. If you can go full new construction (i.e. nailing flange, jamb extension, etc) that is about as good as it gets.

Make sure your contractor's flashing and air barrier details are spot on as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:40 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:22 am
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The windows I had quoted were the Okna 5500 new construction series.

As demonstated in this thread, most people talk about Okna 500 and 800 and never mention 5500 (very confusing not to mix up Simonton's 5500 offering).

To push a little more; has anyone actually handled the Okna 5500 (in comparison to the Okna 500)?? Is there a big quality difference? Is the 5500 better than the Simonton PF.C/BM600? Can you build in optional sash reinforcements on the Okna5500 for larger DHs?

Winders can be a confusing world and I appreciate all the help!


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1852
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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The 5500 is the 500 with an integral nailing fin. Same exact window in every other regard... 5500 is really just an internal designation for ordering purposes, there is no separate brochure, not even a separate page in the price book. 500 series, add nailing fin = 5500.
On the sash reinforcement, while I do recommend it on most wide double hungs (over 40" or so), the Okna is one of the only products that does not really need it due to its engineering. It is the only product I know of off the top of my head that achieves a DP50 without reinforcement. The reinforcement is technically not an option on the 500/5500, but they may or may not be able to do it by request.


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:59 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:22 am
Posts: 7
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I finally found a local Okna dealer and I went to check out the windows yesterday.

WOW! They are beautiful! I'm 100% sold. First order (5/30 windows) will be placed on Monday.

Thanks everyone for your help; especially HomeSealed. If the internet had a bar where I could buy you a beer...


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:45 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 1383
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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You will enjoy those windows.


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 Post subject: Re: Okna 5500 vs Simonton PF Contractor vs Simonton BM600
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1852
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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embedded_tim wrote:
I finally found a local Okna dealer and I went to check out the windows yesterday.

WOW! They are beautiful! I'm 100% sold. First order (5/30 windows) will be placed on Monday.

Thanks everyone for your help; especially HomeSealed. If the internet had a bar where I could buy you a beer...

:lol: ... The pleasure is all mine. The is so much misinformation in this industry, I feel a great sense of accomplishment anytime that I can contribute to a consumer making a wise choice. :D


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