Simonton vs. Sunrise

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syakoban
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Simonton vs. Sunrise

#1 Post by syakoban » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:42 am

Hi,

We're doing our own remodeling and are ready to replace 16 double hung windows and one picture. We've narrowed down to either Simonton 5500 or Sunrise Verde.

The Simonton dealer also sells Okna, but we ruled that out. He has a whole pitch against Sunrise for their block and tackle (Okna too) and sashes he says warp. He said he's had the Okna block and tackle snap and shoot into the top of the frame causing a hole a hole and that Okna doesn't want to know about it. He said Sunrise had the same potential issue. He demonstrated the 3/4" inch Simonton coil mechanism. He also showed how the extruded Simonton sash frames had a bunch of internal ribbing vs. Sunrise which didn't have the ribbing due to the foam filler. He also said the air pockets in the ribs were decent insulation although not as good as foam. He said that Sunrise sash frames get a "smile" in the top rail of the bottom sash when they sag/warp.

The Sunrise website makes a big case for block and tackle over coil tensioners.

Although more money, we like the Sunrise Verde because the sash frames are narrower and provide more glass area. Performance numbers on the Sunrise are a little better than Simonton, but not enough for us to care. That dealer said that if we didn't go with Sunrise, Simonton would be a decent choice.

We're selling the house in 4 years but don't want junk windows I believe Sunrise is between 10-15% more expensive. Thoughts on these competing sales claims and best window value?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:52 am

The block and tackle system doesn't break unless it is mishandled.

I have seen what he is referencing with the break in the inside frame. It does not structurally damage the window, but it does crack the inside and mess with the aesthetics until you fix it.

By the way, if you don't mishandle the window, they don't break. I have never seen one in 15 years that wasn't the result of misuse. Mind you, I have only seen 3-5 in 15 years and probably over 100,000 windows.

The rest of his commentary is, frankly, uniformed and downright ignorant.

The Okna will have a higher DP number than the Simonton which is the most tangible indication of strength.

I am going to bet that he doesn't actually sell the Okna window and is using that as a bit of a diversion. I would ask him to show you a sample and see what he says.

You are correct that the Sunrise has a much prettier and thinner profile than the Simonton. As a matter of observation, that is the biggest slight on the Simonton is the bulky and questionable aesthetics. Its kind of Ford truck in terms of looks. Air numbers are just average as well in that comparison between the Sunrise, Okna, and Simonton.

syakoban
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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#3 Post by syakoban » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:22 pm

Thanks Windows on Washington!

The dealer is the only authorized Okna rep in the area and does have an Okna alongside the Simonton 5500 and admits to not selling many. We're not interested in Okna at all, it was his tool to compare with Sunrise since they both have thinner than Simonton sashes and block and tackle mechanisms.
The Okna will have a higher DP number than the Simonton which is the most tangible indication of strength.
Can you explain what you mean?

Thoughts on the Sunrise sash warp (smile) warning?

Thank you!

masterext
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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#4 Post by masterext » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:17 pm

In my opinion, simonton do not make a very good window. For one, its ugly and bulky. Two, it has a high air infiltration rating.

Okna and sunrise are MUCH better windows in terms of looks, design, and energy efficiency.
DP rating is the strength of the window and each window gets rated for that. The most important metric in my opinion is air infiltration and simonton doesnt do a very good job with that.

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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#5 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:03 pm

Copied from my buddy Oberon:

The DP rating of a window or door is based on laboratory pressure testing in pounds per square foot or psf.
Air, water, structural is a three-part test that determines much about a window's overall performance. Air infiltration is the first phase, water penetration is next, and structural is the third part of the test.
Windows are tested for air infiltration simulating a 25mph wind or a 1.56PSF pressure load - air infiltration is treated separately from both water infiltration and structural and it is independent of the design pressure of the unit. Said again - the air infiltration rate in a window is not based on the design pressure rating of the unit.
Both water penetration and structural testing, on the other hand, are based on the window DP rating. Water infiltration is tested at 15% of the design pressure and structural is tested at 150% of DP rating.
What this means is that a window with a DP30 is tested for water infiltration at 4.5psf (15% of 30psf) while a window with a DP40 is tested at 6psf (15% of 40).
A window with a DP30 rating should be able to keep out rain when it’s driven by 42mph winds and a window with a DP40 should be able to keep out rain when driven by 49mph winds...so while water infiltration is DP related - and air infiltration is not - the nature of air and water infiltration is different.


Why wouldn't you be interested in Okna? I don't have a dog in this fight, but the person that you met with has demonstrated some sizeable knowledge gaps so far that are big red flags to me.

If you like the narrow profiles of the Sunrise, the Okna provides identical profile size (substantially smaller than the upper end Simontons like the 5500 and 9800) while providing a superior Design Pressure (DP) than both the Simonton and the Sunrise. It also has a much lower air infiltration than the Simonton and slightly better than the Sunrise.

The Sunrise window does seem to be a bit sensitive to irregularities in the sill as well as the larger units. If I were buying a Sunrise window, I would, without question, order it with the reinforcement here.

That said, if you like the Sunrise window, you are supposedly plagued by the same block and tackle "risk" that your contractor references. I assure that if you are shown how to properly use the window, you will have exactly 0.00% failure rate with it. I have seen 1 in 15 years that the customer did not admit to messing with and may have been due to a cable failure.

For the record, constant force balances fail as well. In my observation, at a higher rate than block and tackle. They do not pose the same risk of shooting up into the frame, but some window companies do not notch the frames and you actually need to heat the frame to extract the balance. Never a fun thing with the customer is watching you "melt" their windows a bit.

What area of the country are you in by the way?

syakoban
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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#6 Post by syakoban » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:52 am

Thanks for the very thoughtful/useful response Windows on Washington!

I'm in Central NJ.

Okna is absolutely out because of the way they acted when I called them. I tried to find out who the area dealer was and they told me it was the Simonton dealer I referenced. I asked for another so that I could get a second price comparison and they refused to provide another dealer's name even in a different region. No matter what I said, I was told I could only purchase from the one dealer. That tells me a lot about the company.

Your Sunrise info sounded good until you said
The Sunrise window does seem to be a bit sensitive to irregularities in the sill as well as the larger units. If I were buying a Sunrise window, I would, without question, order it with the reinforcement here.
It's the Verde we're considering which I don't believe offers extra reinforcement. We're getting one 72" wide picture window and one 40+" double hung, the rest are 36" wide double hung windows. It sounds like you're saying that without reinforcing we may have warping problems???

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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#7 Post by toddinmn » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:02 am

I have never heard of an Okna dealer that promotes Simonton as the preferred brand, very odd.
The DP rating is about how the window performs in the tests WOW mentioned, it has not much to do with actual strength of the window. The Sunrise would be prone to warping with or without reinforcement.

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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#8 Post by masterext » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:19 pm

Hi syakoban
I always prefer a window with reinforcement. As i said, the most important number is air infiltration. I like to see an air infiltration rating .05 or lower and total Ufactor of .28 or lower. Most of the pro’s on this board really try and push good air infiltration ratings. A good Ufactor means nothing if a high air infiltration rating mitigates the benefits of energy efficient glass. A few window brands would meet that criteria.
Last edited by masterext on Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#9 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:21 pm

syakoban wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:52 am
Thanks for the very thoughtful/useful response Windows on Washington!

I'm in Central NJ.

Okna is absolutely out because of the way they acted when I called them. I tried to find out who the area dealer was and they told me it was the Simonton dealer I referenced. I asked for another so that I could get a second price comparison and they refused to provide another dealer's name even in a different region. No matter what I said, I was told I could only purchase from the one dealer. That tells me a lot about the company.

Your Sunrise info sounded good until you said
The Sunrise window does seem to be a bit sensitive to irregularities in the sill as well as the larger units. If I were buying a Sunrise window, I would, without question, order it with the reinforcement here.
It's the Verde we're considering which I don't believe offers extra reinforcement. We're getting one 72" wide picture window and one 40+" double hung, the rest are 36" wide double hung windows. It sounds like you're saying that without reinforcing we may have warping problems???
I think you have a very similar experience if you called any of the window manufacturers that deal with consumers via select dealers. Carving out territories and providing specific and vetted dealers with access to a given product is how much of the industry is done.

While it may be a bit frustrating to the end user that isn't happy with their specific dealer, the reality is that it is done out of necessity to try and keep the peace between the dealers and ensure that there is minimized undermining of the dealer network.

This is less a function of the construction materials industry and more a representative model of how many dealer models are based. Same reason that you have specific vendors via a given territory as set by corporate in a great many industries.

If you want to email me what part of NJ you are in or your contact information, I can see about getting you some additional information.

If you are in NJ, Paul (aka masterext) is right in NJ and runs a fantastic shop. He is a regular contributor here and certainly one of the top companies in the industry. You can't go wrong with him. He is right here in this thread.

I will slightly disagree with Todd on the strength comment on DP. Strength certainly is a function of DP and DP is the only measurement inside of the window criteria that converts to an indication of strength as part of its testing.

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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#10 Post by LoneStarGuy » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:01 pm

If air infiltration is the most important, why do so many window companies make it impossible to find? Does anyone know what a good AL number is for horizontal sliders? I've heard look for single-hungs below .05 but what about sliders?

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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#11 Post by Windows on Washington » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:31 am

Sliders, as an operator type, are traditionally not as tight as double hungs. The pocket design of the frame, lack of a compression gasket, notching of the interlock to allow for lift out and cleaning, and large unsupported meeting rail typically make them a bit harder to get as tight as double hungs.

There are some sliders out there with sub 0.10 air infiltration rating, but they are the exception and not the rule.

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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#12 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:07 am

If air infiltration is the most important, why do so many window companies make it impossible to find?
Because they are embarrassed about the test results.
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toddinmn
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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#13 Post by toddinmn » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:09 am

Ask any company for there most current air testing report and you may have a hard time getting it.

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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#14 Post by Delaware Mike » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:44 am

Contacting masterext would be a really good idea. He has access to the OKNA lines as well as a local product to Northern NJ that is has been a real nice locally made line that is really gaining ground for a high quality best value vinyl offering. His crews are very experienced as well.

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Re: Simonton vs. Sunrise

#15 Post by syakoban » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:27 am

Masterext - I live in your region. How do I get in contact w/you? What is the name of your business?

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