Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

For all those Replacement Window decisions - just read, review or post a question. You will be helped!
Message
Author
MNW
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:21 pm

Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#1 Post by MNW » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:38 pm

I am looking to replace 8 old wood windows with new double hung windows. This is not my forever home. I dont want the cheapest window out there, but I dont want the most expensive.

I have received 10 quotes, but I have narrowed it down to three. All installers have great reviews.

1. Simonton 5500 - cardinal 366 glass - $3800

2. Ply Gem Pro Series Replacement - $3500

3. Alside Mezzo - $3550


Also, all installers want to do aluminum capping on exterior wood trim, is this a good thing?

Thanks for any recommendations

User avatar
Windows on Washington
Posts: 4527
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
Contact:

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:56 am

10 quotes.....?

How much time to did each quote take you and do you assign a value to your time in this case. I think customers should definitely add that into the final cost of the project when estimating the total expenses.

In that list, the choice is easy for me. Simonton 5500.

masterext
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#3 Post by masterext » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:41 am

10 quotes ! Am i reading that correctly? Out if those 10 quotes you narrowed it down to simonton, plygem, and alside?
Out of all those quotes you didnt see any of the more quality oriented window brands, soft lite, okna, sunrise, or kensington? Are you just basing your choice on cheapness? Is this a house flip? I do agree, out if the 3, simonton is the best choice.

MNW
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:21 pm

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#4 Post by MNW » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:59 am

Well, it was more like 5 quotes (who came out) and 5 estimates (they didn’t come out). I had the window sizes so they were willing to give estimates. Each actual quote took about 45mins, so it wasn’t like I spent 2-3 hrs each.

Sunrise essentials was about $4100, sunrise standard (sunrise) was $5300.

Okna was (this was a phone call on my way home from work, they called me back so I don’t remember the model) was $5k.

Provia Endure for $5200.

Zen Windows Nirvana were about $4200

MNW
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:21 pm

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#5 Post by MNW » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:34 am

Oh, the cheapest quote was for the Simonton 5050 for $3300. I read the 5500 was a big upgrade over the 5050 and both are within budget so I figured it was a smart choice to upgrade for $500.

User avatar
Windows on Washington
Posts: 4527
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
Contact:

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#6 Post by Windows on Washington » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:45 am

To me, the Okna is probably worth the $150 more per unit on the 8 windows over the Simonton 5500.

Its prettier, better thermals, and much better air numbers.

MNW
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:21 pm

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#7 Post by MNW » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:12 pm

Ill take that into consideration. Its over my budget so it would delay getting windows for a while.

Just as a note: I live in atlanta. My goal is to reduce afternoon sun heat and have windows thay open easily and stay open. Current windows dont do that.

Thanks for the advice!

MNW
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:21 pm

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#8 Post by MNW » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:18 pm

Also is it normal for installers to want 30% down?
The Alside and the Simonton installer wants 30% down, the Ply Gem installer does not. Havent talked to Okna installer about this yet.

toddinmn
Posts: 539
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#9 Post by toddinmn » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:25 pm

Money down is normal with most, windows are special ordered and non refundable in most cases.

masterext
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#10 Post by masterext » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:26 am

30% down is the very low end, most require more as a down payment due to the windows being custom sized to your openings as well as grids patterns ect...i dont know any company that doesnt require 35-50% down.

User avatar
HomeSealed
Posts: 2487
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
Contact:

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#11 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:37 am

MNW, there is some major irony here in that you've narrowed your list in reverse based on quality. You threw out all of the good windows and left the bottom feeders. My opinion on the Simonton option is not as favorable as the other guys. Very bulky and dated. Depending where you are located, it doesn't even meet Energy Star in the Northern Region (.27 u value) with standard double pane glass (double hung), they resort to glass that is more appropriate for Texas or Arizona (low SHGC).

EDIT: Just noticed that you live in Atlanta, so the glass issue is not as important. It does reflect the lack of performance in the window however IMO.

As far as payment, yes, very much standard to put money down. 30-50% is common.

Lastly, I'd suggest spending some additional time vetting these installers as well. It looks like you have a group of lower priced, lower quality windows, followed by another group that is better quality/performance, and a higher tier of pricing. Which group would you think cares more about their installs and about delivering great service to their clients? ... Just food for thought.

MNW
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:21 pm

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#12 Post by MNW » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:07 am

I sadly narrowed it down on budget. I have a total of 19 windows and I am only replacing 8 right now. Next year I hope to replace another 5 and the year after replace another 5. If I go with a higher end window right now my budget would only allow for 6 windows, which wouldn't cover the front of the house.

I only see my self staying in this house for 5-10 more years. If this was a house I planned to stay in for much longer and was my "dream house" then this would be different. I would save more and get the better windows.

I would also have the issue when I do want to sell my house that the higher quality windows wont return as much on investment in my neighborhood (per how much I spent on the window, if that makes sense).

But within a specific budget, I would like to get the best window I can. I am leaning towards the Simonton, but my curiosity why is it better? From what I can see they do look a little nicer, but they seem to have larger frames (stronger?). Also I have heard Simontons customer server (warranty) is better? Better overall durability?

HomeSealed: Atlanta climate I guess is somewhere in between Texas and up North. The windows I am replacing now face South-West, they get a lot of sun in the afternoon. My current windows are "garbage" they are single pane wood (where every grid is its own pane of glass). They are painted shut and when opened they dont stay open. I am hoping for atleast a major improvement over these.


Thanks for the responses.

User avatar
HomeSealed
Posts: 2487
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
Contact:

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#13 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:58 am

MNW, have you explored financing options? ... If you aren't interested in that, I'd opt for reducing the project slightly and getting a better window. I'm not suggesting that you need a "Cadillac" , however after 10 years, a good window will still look and operate like new, where something downstream will likely be suffering in performance and certainly not be a selling feature, and may in fact already be on a buyer's "to do" list for replacement after purchase, affecting your sell price.

As far as what makes windows better, it comes down to the engineering, materials used, and construction (assembly tolerances, etc) of a product. If a window needs to be "thicker" to be strong, it is not well engineered. A Mercedes and Chevy both have four wheels and an engine, but the quality of the engineering and construction can be very different. I realize again that you are not looking for "high end" per se, and I'd say stay away from options like triple pane and krypton gas for that reason in your location, but you want/need a quality window if you want this purchase to be neutral at worst 10 years from now in terms of selling your home. There are many ways to skimp and cut costs on a window, and the only people hurt by that are the homeowners that buy them. The old Great Lakes window (now Plygem) used to be very well regarded, but most industry pros agree that its been significantly diluted over the years and quality has dropped in favor of "bean-counting". Ironically enough, Simonton is now owned by Plygem.

Lastly, regarding seeing a "major improvement", this and sentiments like it are very common and unfortunately misguided. "Anything will be better than what I have" is a common one, and folks building new construction homes think that any new window, especially something installed in a quarter to half million dollar home HAS to be decent right? .... and then they are here shopping for windows 10 years later. This is probably the fastest growing area of the window replacement business, working on homes that were built post 2000 (or so).

MNW
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:21 pm

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#14 Post by MNW » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:10 pm

The only other window that may be close to my price range is the Sunrise Essentials, but its about $300 more than the Simonton. This would still push me to only get 7 windows instead of 8. Is this better than the Simonton 5500?

So the Simonton wont last 10 years? I wont spend $600 per window on this house. This house needs crawlspace work now and in a few years will need new siding.

We were hoping to improve the comfort of our home and overall appearance, but we are already pushing a budget. I was originally going to go with the Simonton 5050, but decided to spend the extra money for the 5500. I was hoping the 5500 was still better than your average contractor grade window that is placed in lots of houses in my houses price range, and hoping it would last longer to, but if this is not the case then whats the point. Keep my windows that dont open/stay open and cover them with window film for the summer heat.

I also see people dont like Alside, and I believe its mostly because of customer service and the quality consistency?

Note: My house was built in 1986

masterext
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ

Re: Simonton, Ply Gem or Alside

#15 Post by masterext » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:29 pm

I agree with everything Homesealed said especially with regards to simonton being bulky and outdated. As far as the essentials, that is the budget line of sunrise and not something anyone would recommend here. There is a reason its called a “ budget line” and its not because its slightly below the other sunrise models or it doesnt have “ bells and whistles”.

Post Reply