Anlin vs Milgard vs Simonton vs Amerimax in Calif

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ronjay
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Anlin vs Milgard vs Simonton vs Amerimax in Calif

#1 Post by ronjay » Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:23 am

In SF Bay Area, looking to replace old wooden double-hungs in a stucco home. Will install mostly double-hungs with a few casements (as block inserts). Have looked at Anlin Coronado, Milgard Tuscany, Simonton 7500s and Amerimax Master Craftsman. Bids are in the same ballpark when comparing similar features. The installation company that I like the best so far recommends Anlin.

Have read older posts comparing some of these windows, but it seems that older concerns about the Anlin warranty and spacer have been addressed (now there's a much better warranty and apparently excellent spacer). In quality and extra features that are standard (thicker glass, Low e366, balance mechanism, clear screen, etc) the Anlin Coronado seems to be quite good--or is that just a sales pitch?

Aesthetically each has its advantages (eg the Tuscany lock and the upper sash that seems to click into place). But I prefer the sleeker look of the Amerimax and Anlin double-hungs (narrower and aligned meeting rails). Both the Tuscany and especially the Simonton 7500 seem to have wider vinyl frames. A couple of people suggested that the Tuscany lock was in itself a reason to go with that double-hung, but Anlin and Simonton have their own Positive Action Locks (albeit not as nice as the Tuscany lock). (And lots of posters seem to trust cam locks more than PAL locks anyway--are most PAL locks less secure or somehow worse than cam locks?)

All 4 of these brands seem to have the pocket sill that East Coast window installers don't like--but I've been told that in climates without much snow buildup, a pocket sill is fine as long as weep holes are kept unclogged.

Given all of this, is it at all risky to choose Anlin (or Amerimax)? Some earlier posters recommended sticking with Milgard or Simonton as they're the big players out here. But Anlin's warranty and service seemingly backs its product at least as well as those two large companies (Amerimax seems to fall short on this aspect.) Anlin seems healthy but they apparently are choosy about their dealers--I hope that's a good business strategy for their longevity.

I'd welcome updated advice about this comparison. Am I completely missing something important? Wish we had more choices out West--seems the East Coast has more excellent options. Thanks for any and all feedback!

ronjay
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:45 am

Re: Anlin vs Milgard vs Simonton vs Amerimax in Calif

#2 Post by ronjay » Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:37 pm

Sorry for my verbose prior post. Here are my main questions, more concisely:

1) Anlin window specs (SGHC, etc--not worth posting the details--plus included extra features) seem great--as good or better than the local (California) competition. And their quality control seems very high, particularly if using a contractor with a good relationship with Anlin. But there's always more risk buying a lifetime warranty product from a smaller window company. Does anyone have a recent opinion of the strength of Anlin and its products?

2) Pocket sill vs sloping sill construction: does it matter so much when there's no snow? I haven't seen a window brand sold here that does have a sloping sill. Do any companies selling in Northern Calif have sloping sill products?

3) Cam locks vs Milgard Tuscany lock (Milgard dealers say the Tuscany lock is actually much more secure). Seems like cam locks would be more secure but that Tuscany lock (and less so the other brands' PAL locks) do look nicer.

4) In the Bay Area, is Low e366 overkill? In northeast-facing windows would it be better to just get Low e272 to get some heat gain during the winter months?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Anlin vs Milgard vs Simonton vs Amerimax in Calif

#3 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:56 am

1. Anlin seems to be well regarded on the feedback I have seen. I don't have personal knowledge of the window so please take that information as 3rd party.

2. I always prefer a sloped sill. The issues are as much for rain as for snow. Its just preferable to have a more fool proof design if you as me.

3. Not a fan of the PAL locks but they are better now. No benefit in terms of security as far as I can tell. If you torque on the sash enough to pop the lock, most time it will have pulled out of the sash or broken the glass first. No benefit here in my opinion.

4. San Fran is a pretty mixed climate. Much more heating going on than cooling. In that case, the 272 would probably be the better glass.

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