Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

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blackbox
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2021 8:08 pm

Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#1 Post by blackbox »

Hi -
I'm in contract with a Soft-Lite dealer for Imperial Elite windows. It's a dealer I have used in the past that did great work for me. I went with them again due to the quality of installation and I liked the Soft-lite product.

They called me today saying they are having issues with Soft-lite and they are way behind on delivery times. It could be April before our windows are in. He is offering "Joyce Heritage Deluxe with the LoE 366 glass, argon gas, Neat glass (with .060 laminated glass) with Dual Tech Latch n’ Lock hardware, foam filled frame and sash, reinforced meeting rails and magna seal sill" as an alternative he could get in a couple of months earlier for the same price.

My replacements are more of a maintenance item - there is nothing wrong with them that won't survive another month or two. I can't find much at all on Joyce Windows. He said he's still willing to honor the Softlite deal but to expect significant delays. Is there any reason to go with the Joyce, or is sticking it out waiting for the Softlite a better idea?

masterext
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#2 Post by masterext »

As I said on the other board, Joyce make a pretty nice window and it seems to be well made.

blackbox
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2021 8:08 pm

Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#3 Post by blackbox »

Thanks - wasn't sure if one board was more used than the other or not. Stumbled across this one looking for info.

There doesn't seem to be a ton out there about the Joyce windows, which I thought was strange. Their website doesn't seem to have a flyer with the window specs on it.

Softlite is a known quantity to me - I put them into another home I own. I don't care about delivery time of the windows. I'm trying to determine if they are comparable, or if Joyce might be a little better.

The price he gave me on the Softlites was very reasonable, and he said he would honor that price on either manufacturer. So (delivery date aside as I don't care) - Price and installation team being the same - is one manufacturer a better deal than the other at the same price (quality, reputation, warranty, etc)?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#4 Post by Windows on Washington »

Joyce is a good company.

Why all the stuff with the laminated and NEAT glass?

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#5 Post by TheWindowNerd »

No AL numbers on their website, usually that means they are embarrassed by how drafty the window is.

blackbox
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#6 Post by blackbox »

The NEAT glass is a new addition. I'm not sure why it was added. At a search it is a coating that makes keeping the clean easier? Are there any downsides to it on a technical level? He didn't add anything to the price by adding it.

We added laminate. I work from home (and have done so for long before COVID and have no office to return to). We live near a school and get all of the morning bus and parent traffic. I'm also surrounded by neighbors who apparently don't work from home and like to have small armies of people in their yards with big mowers, leaf blowers, etc. And I have a couple of band kids in the house and a neighbor who doesn't enjoy horns as much as we do. I know it won't be perfect, but from what I read it's about the best we could do. We weren't going to do all of them laminate, but by the time we did the school traffic facing ones, ones facing the neighbors house and my office we were over 3/4 of the way to doing the whole house.

Verbally on the phone my dealer told me the specs were identical to the Imperial Elite. I just emailed him asking if he has a PDF brochure or spec sheet of some kind.

Is there anything to look at outside of the spec sheet? When I was evaluating products I had a few contractors bring up Advanced Windows out of Chicago - per their online brochures their windows were on par with Softlite and Okna - but the online reviews of them were abyssmal.

toddinmn
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#7 Post by toddinmn »

TheWindowNerd wrote: Thu Dec 02, 2021 7:24 pm No AL numbers on their website, usually that means they are embarrassed by how drafty the window is.
That’s the number I was looking for.
The only Place I found the air infiltration number was on another forum at 0.07. This information was apparently sent to the homeowner from Zen.
I have no problem with that rating but others often crucify it. If we are talking casements or sliders the numbers will be different of course.

blackbox
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#8 Post by blackbox »

The dealer just gave me the same number of .07 on air infiltration.

I'm thinking it looks like the Joyce windows would be a bit of a downgrade then as the Imperial Elite is .02.

All of my current windows will easily make it through the winter, they are just 30 years old and have a variety of smaller issues. So, there is no rush on this project.

I'm thinking my decision to hold steady and wait for the Softlites is looking like the right one. The dealer was willing to do the same price on either window, so I was trying to determine if I would be getting a little more bang for my buck on the Joyce with it being the same price. It looks like it would definitely be a downgrade though.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#9 Post by TheWindowNerd »

This is a tuffy.
I have not used SL for a decade, but left them due to poor QC. An installer I know that does high volume installs of SL says it is worse now.
I lean towards the lower AL, but would not want a lot of QC issues.

blackbox
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#10 Post by blackbox »

TheWindowNerd wrote: Sat Dec 04, 2021 9:32 am This is a tuffy.
I have not used SL for a decade, but left them due to poor QC. An installer I know that does high volume installs of SL says it is worse now.
I lean towards the lower AL, but would not want a lot of QC issues.
I wonder if this ties into why my dealer is leaving them. He did say that he was having issues with them but only mentioned the delivery dates. That’s a bit odd as his company always seemed excited about Softlite. They installed Imperial LS in my old house probably a decade ago.

I’ll try to call him on Monday and see if I can get any more details. I’d be interested if a lot of people are seeing QC issues with Softlite though.

toddinmn
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#11 Post by toddinmn »

Is the dealer actually leaving them or just selling another line in addition to?

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#12 Post by TheWindowNerd »

It is tough to leave a MFG that you have had a long relationship with. But there many reasons.

Building that trust with another vendor takes time and energy.

Ask the owner for a heart to heart, "what would he put in his own house?"

blackbox
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#13 Post by blackbox »

Thanks TheWindowNerd - I'm going to touch base with him tomorrow. That's a really good phrasing of that question to ask him.

When he initially called I didn't have much time to talk and I had never heard of Joyce Windows. We are just trying to make sure we get a decent product for our money. We didn't really see any benefit to going above the Imperial Elite series (or the LS before), that seems to be a bang for the buck sweet spot. But we did splurge on a bunch of add ons like laminated windows to help with some minor neighborhood noises. Even if he would have called up and said "I can get you some better much better windows for $1k - $2k more" it probably would have been a no brainer if we did a bit of research and it was a much better product.

The main problem with the Joyce recommendation is there are barely any reviews or info on the web like many of the other brands we evaluated through the process.

Ricknez
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#14 Post by Ricknez »

Joyce have been around for well over 40 years. If there were problems, they probably wouldnt be around today because they dont spend a lot of money on advertising.

toddinmn
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Re: Softlite Imperial Elite vs Joyce Heritage

#15 Post by toddinmn »

They do take an interesting approach since they are both a manufacture and and an installation company and they along with Soft-Lite sell to Zen.
I’ve never seen so little information out there before about a window company. Whatever is found mostly good but nothing great. I don’t think I’d give any special credit to them for what they do or don’t spend on advertising. I still think Soft-Lite is the clear winner since they are researchable with many outstanding recommendations, typically Joyce’s air infiltration numbers would be highly criticized here since they are comparable to Soft-Lites lower end windows even with there magna-seal. Soft-Lite has always been slightly unreliable with there lead times which may have hurt them to certain degree. Joyce May be the next big thing. But it’s all a little presumptive till we get some real feedback IMO.

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