Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

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pacer
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Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#1 Post by pacer » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:45 pm

After reading many posts here and elsewhere, I think I have decided to go with the Okna 500 for my replacement window job. I am replacing 18 wood, DH, single pane Caradco windows and storm windows that were installed when my house in the Philly suburbs was built 30+ years old, as well as 2 basement hoppers. The sizes are:

10 32x54 (1 tempered above tub)
4 32x66 (cottage)
3 25x46
1 32x38
2 32x17 (hoppers)

Quote from Installer 1:
Okna 500 (Insul-Tec) “Deluxe Package” = $8,961
(The dealer also showed us the 800, but, for the first time in all the years I’ve known her, my wife preferred the look of the less expensive option.)

Quote from Installer 2:
Paradigm Tapestry (w/out foam insulation) = $8,940
Viwinco Cambridge - $8,940

Quote from Installer 3:
Slocomb 1077 = $8,238
Soft-Lite Bainbridge (U-value .29) = $8,838

These prices are all without grids, since my wife does not like them.

I had hoped to get an estimate for the Soft-Lite Imperial LS, but the Soft-Lite dealer only came with a Bainbridge sample, did not want to quote the Imperial because “he didn’t like it” and “didn’t think it was a good value,” and was pushing the Slocomb very heavily instead.

One of the non-Okna dealers tried to scare me away from Okna by bringing up the incorrect brochure incident with Windowizards from a few years ago. I pulled the settlement documents from the resulting class action lawsuit and it looks like Okna stepped-up and agreed to inject additional insulation into the windows at issue. Also, it looks like Okna/Windowizards agreed to pay the lead plaintiff $5,000 and the lawyers $175,000. In my experience, class actions do not settle for such low amounts unless the underlying claims are on the weak side. The settlement document is available here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz-1YRH ... sp=sharing

The Okna 500, both on paper and in person, appears to be superior to the other four windows quoted, and, especially given the narrow price differences, I am on the cusp of pulling the trigger on the Oknas. I would appreciate hearing whether others agree with my analysis and think the Okna price is reasonable.

masterext
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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#2 Post by masterext » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:07 pm

It was a window wizards specific issue, not so much okna and absolutely none of their dealers had any issues or were affected. Thats a sleazy scare tactic and full of inaccurate information.
You made a great choice, thats also a very cheap price for the okna 500.
Good luck.

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Delaware Mike
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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#3 Post by Delaware Mike » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:11 am

+1 on the 500 series decision. Good choice! Too bad about the LS, it's way better than anything Slocumb makes which tells me that dealer likes his profit margins with Slocumb much better then his SL pricing. Got to love Philly! Parking in the city for 3 hours and some cheesesteaks runs over $100, yet high end windows can be purchased and installed for pricing from the 90's........LOL.

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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#4 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:51 am

500 very good window.
~ $461 per hole very cheap price.
Low enough to make me worry about durabilty of the dealer and the workmanship, but still possibly a good deal.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#5 Post by HomeSealed » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:24 am

Excellent window and price. Very wise choice on product.
We have a couple of highly respected posters here that serve your area and would virtually guarantee a top notch install to go with that, but again, great product choice.

pacer
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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#6 Post by pacer » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:05 am

anthony wrote:~ $461 per hole very cheap price.
Low enough to make me worry about durabilty of the dealer and the workmanship, but still possibly a good deal.
Thanks for the input. That's really my only concern at this point. I found the installer by contacting Okna directly and asking for a referral in my area. So I am assuming, perhaps naively, that Okna only would refer me to an installer than has proven itself and would not recommend someone who does shoddy work. The installer (in Media, PA) does have a A+ rating from the BBB and a "Super Service" award from Angie's List, for whatever that's worth.

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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#7 Post by HomeSealed » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:38 pm

It is definitely lower than you would normally expect, but not absolutely ludicrous if it is pretty basic in terms of options and installation. I know that the East coast runs a little bit higher than we do in the MW, but somewhere between $500-$600 is the "norm" for that line, with most probably hitting $550+. If anthony or d-mike covers your area you'd be well served to have one of them take a look. Both are true craftsmen... You can check by using their Get a quote button and entering your zip.
... and Btw, shame on that competitor for going into the gutter with baseless gossip. I'm pretty sure that another dealer could give you some dirt on whatever product that he is selling, but that is just classless.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#8 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:04 pm

+1

If you can talk to either of the guys HomeSealed mentioned, that is what I would do.

I can think of some dirt on just about everybody. It is all about what you do after the fact.

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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#9 Post by TheWindowNerd » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:55 am

I am confident that if Okna gave you a contact they should be good.

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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#10 Post by pacer » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:05 am

I signed a contract on the Okna 500s. Thank you all for your input.

I thought you might be interested in seeing an email exchange I had with one of the other installers after I told him about my selection (I removed the identifying information):
From: Me
To: Installer

We appreciate you taking the time to meet with us, but we decided to go with a competing proposal.

________________________________________
From: Installer
To: Me

Thanks for the feedback. What window did u select? Best of luck

________________________________________
From: Me
To: Installer

Okna 500. Slightly higher price but more efficient window.
________________________________________
From: Installer
To: Me

Too much of a link w window wizards for me. More efficient means less light/darker glass which I avoid. I have more efficient pkgs but that is for northern climates per the dept of energy. Thanks
________________________________________
From: Me
To: Installer

Actually, the VT rating on the Okna is higher (0.55) than the Slocomb (0.49), so more light gets through the Okna. At the same time, the u-value of the Okna is ever so slightly better (0.25 vs. 0.26), as is the air infiltration rating (0.02 vs. 0.06). That said, both windows are a lot better than a lot of the junk on the market. Take care.
________________________________________
From: Installer
To: Me

How about all the consumers that have no warranty on Okna through w wizards? I am interested in ur thoughts bc this is a huge issue. My last email. This feedback will help my company get better

________________________________________
From: Me
To: Installer

I pulled the settlement documents from the Okna/Windowizards litigation (attached). Apparently, the issue was that a brochure Windowizards gave its customers contained an incorrect photograph of the type of insulation injected into the frame. There was nothing wrong with the windows from a technical perspective -- they still adhered to all of the numbers on the NFRC label -- it was just that the insulation in the frame was not the same as the insulation displayed in the photograph. Okna acknowledged that the photograph was incorrect, agreed to correct the insulation issue on every window sold, and extended the warranty.
And then the installer followed-up with this, which starts with an email exchange the installer had with another customer that he forwarded to me with commentary:
From: Installer
To: Another Customer

I know you were in a hurry and were interested in Soft-Lite? What window mfg. did you end up going with? Looking forward to hearing back from you and congratulations. I hope you really drilled down on this decision. Most interested consumers (after reading my home page) will at least see what we have b4 making a decision. It is hard to find honest people in this industry.
________________________________________
From: Another Customer
To: Installer

I had contracted to have Okna windows installed. I used the 3 days cancellation in the contract to back out of the deal. I like the window's specs but I just didn't feel 100% comfortable with the installer.

I also like the specs of the Soft-Lite Imperial LS windows and I would like to get a price on having them installed.
________________________________________
From: Installer
To: Me

Good Morning,
Ironic that I rec. this email after corresponding with you last night. I thought you should read since your decision is so fresh. I am on my way there right now and this future customer made a great decision reversing his original committment. There is a ton of deception out there and thats why you had to read a legal court document to make your decision. That alone should flag a concern. We just are not internet marketing gurus like some other companies and do not want to be. Please do not share this with anyone and retain as confidential.
Have a great day.

________________________________________
From: Me
To: Installer

I'm afraid I don't follow your logic. If you are suggesting that a window company that has once been sued for selling a product with a defect and then failing to honor its warranty cannot be trusted, then you should have advised the customer below to stay away from Soft-Lite:

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case? ... 81&scilh=0

Presumably you did not, because, by all accounts, Soft-Lite makes a quality window, despite the fact that it has been involved in litigation in the past.

________________________________________
From: Installer
To: Me

I do very little research on the internet. Too unregulated. Make sure you get the actual nrfc test results on the windows u purchase so they match up w what u believe to b true and accurate. Always a great idea to protect your investment. You can contact nrfc directly. Have a great weekend.
On his last point about the NFRC data, I looked at the NFRC webpage and only can find data for the Okna 400 and 800. Does anyone know why the 500 is not listed?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#11 Post by Windows on Washington » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:34 am

Not sure what the Okna 500 data is not listed there right now. It certainly was previously and perhaps the NFRC is going through some updates.

http://search.nfrc.org/search/cpd/cpd_s ... 0015-00001

This was the old link to the 500 Double Hung with foam. Seems to be a dead link now.

Probably an informational change over on the NFRCs part.
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TheWindowNerd
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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#12 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:03 am

Amazing how prejudice will twist the truth.

theWindowNerd....

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Re: Okna 500 (Instul-Tec) – Confirming my choice

#13 Post by monyet » Tue May 21, 2013 8:19 pm

I know this thread is more than a month old, but I've had the Okna 500 DH windows at my home for around 4 years now and they are still performing nicely. Seals are holding up, operates easy, latches are solid, and vinyl frame is holding up solidly. Just my 2 cents.

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