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I am looking at replacing 5 casement and 2 awning windows in my home. I have looked at Simonton Prism double-pane lowE argon ($4400), Great Lakes Uniframe triple pane lowE2 krypton (2 bids: $13000 and $7800), and Sunrise Premiere double pane lowE argon ($10000). I am looking for advice regarding which of these may be a better quality window. I would also appreciate any opinions regarding the look of the golden oak vinyl (wood-look) for the interior. I usually prefer the appearance of real wood but the current windows have been damaged from moisture and I would rather not have to deal with maintenance on wood in the future.
 

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I use Simonton Prism Platinum all the time. I am not familiar with the other two manufacturers. It is my opinion that the Simonton Platinum is the rolls royce of vinyl windows.

Always get low E. Weather it is hard coat (1) or softcoat (2) depends on your area.

Argon is 8x heavier than regular air. Krypton is 10 or 12x (I forget exactly which) heavier than regular air. Argon is much more affordable than krypton and is pretty much still the standard for insulated glass units (IGU's).

Simonton has two wood grained interiors. Both are laminated. The wood grain is believable from across the room. I've heard rumonrs that there is a company out there that actually uses wood verneer. I have not been able to find such a company. I have decided the home owner that told this to me was probably lied to by a previous salesman. :)
 

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Grump, I installed quite a few Owens Corning windows (fiberglass) that had the real oak veneer on the interior side. It was actually pretty thick too, 1/8" I think it was. Only subbed for that company for half a summer based on payment problems, but what i learned about the fiberglass windows they offered, I would'nt install them in my doghouse :eek: The frame was actually 4 serparate peices that were held together with L brackets and screws. I did an install at a typical 100yr old farm house that settled the usually 12" in 2' LOL, not quite that bad, but you know what I'm talking about. When I'd first set the windows for a trailer run man did it ever tweak the heck outta those frames since the screw together jambs would conform to the out of level sill and required extensive full width shimming. kinda why I'm partial to the vinyl replacments since they are welded and hold their shape on some nasty settling!!
 

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I just picked upa new supplier for vinyl replacements I've been waiting to try out, but the price is soo high most home owners just pass and use one of the other brands I offer. Amcraft Grand Horizons offers expanded foam filled frames, they're selling point over standard hollow frames is "if dead air space is such a great insulator, why do people insulate wall cavities? I've been using my Heartland brand windows for some many years with no trouble, they're locally produced and any parts needed to be fixed the warranty is solid and problems taken care of quickly so I really push them since they're proven.

I know the orange box sells AmCraft windows, base models, and I've installed plenty of then for HD and am just not sold on the quality of parts as to what I'm used to. It might've been since all I installed were the base line models, so maybe the top of the line will have better parts, we'll just have to wait and see.
 

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I've found most of the companies that have that foam filled frame, have a junk product and use the foam to compensate on R value. I'm not speaking of the product you mentioned, only the ones I have had expeirence with.

Walls have one cavity, the simonton Window I sell has something like 13 cavities. You can see the difference. Besides the actual Glass is what is the biggest factor of R value IMO. After all the glass makes up more than 80% of the window.
 

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I love simonton windows, I don't know if id call them the Rolls Royce of vinyl windows but they are good. The window I sell is much like the simonton prism only the interior walls are thicker, there are 2 vent latches rather than 1, and the exterior is what simonton calls "architecturally coved" rather then the standard beveled exterior. I also beleive that the prism is only 1 point glazed but im not sure.

The great lakes unibody window is the rolls royce of vinyl windows. There is one company around here that uses it. They are called Patton Contracting, and they sell it for about 1200 or so for a 90 ui window. They do good work but use a high pressure canned pitch to sell. (model home discounts etc etc) The window is 3 paned, 2 of which have soft coat loE, krypton, multichambered, steel reinforced, foam filled. Usually the price doesnt justify any additional benefit it would bring but if you live in minnesota and can afford 13 G's go for it. Otherwise Simonton is your best bet.

I have never heard of sunrise premier.
 

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Steel reinforcement is bad. Steel is a conductor rather than an insulator. The foam is then installed as a gimick to combat the conductiveness of the steel. Steel reinforcement shouldn't be required in any window.

The simonton has the AAMA gold seal without the steel reinforcement. If you are not aware of the AAMA seal, part of the qualifications is structural strength of the window frame.
 

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Correct, they also qualify for air infiltration, water infiltration, forced entry, and energy efficiency. Simonton gets gold seal for all of that, its a great window.
 

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IHI said:
Amcraft Grand Horizons offers expanded foam filled frames, they're selling point over standard hollow frames is "if dead air space is such a great insulator, why do people insulate wall cavities?
I am new to this board, but have been in the construction industry for years. I don't think that I have ever heard such an ignorant statement as the one noted. This "contractor asks, "if dead air space is such a great insulator, why do people inslulate wall cavities?"

Name for me a framed wall unit that has a dead air space, and I will sell you the island I own in the South Pacific!!!

Either you are talking to hear yourself talk, or, judging from the comment you made, you have no business staying in this industry; you give the rest of us a bad name!!!
 

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sales manager said:
I am new to this board, but have been in the construction industry for years. I don't think that I have ever heard such an ignorant statement as the one noted. This "contractor asks, "if dead air space is such a great insulator, why do people inslulate wall cavities?"

Name for me a framed wall unit that has a dead air space, and I will sell you the island I own in the South Pacific!!!

Either you are talking to hear yourself talk, or, judging from the comment you made, you have no business staying in this industry; you give the rest of us a bad name!!!

Re read the post again SM, but this time read it sloooowwwwlllllyyyy I did not once say it was'nt better or worse, I stated they push the foam filled frames as a selling point. When did "I" ever ask that question, if you need a refresher here it is:

IHI said:
I just picked upa new supplier for vinyl replacements I've been waiting to try out, but the price is soo high most home owners just pass and use one of the other brands I offer. Amcraft Grand Horizons offers expanded foam filled frames, they're selling point over standard hollow frames is "if dead air space is such a great insulator, why do people insulate wall cavities? I've been using my Heartland brand windows for some many years with no trouble, they're locally produced and any parts needed to be fixed the warranty is solid and problems taken care of quickly so I really push them since they're proven.
Before you start running your fingers and inserting words that dont exist-READ and UNDERSTAND!!! Nice first post you ignorant azz!
 

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Oh, there is an edit button for your post as well, so put your drink down and use it so your not coming across as passive and ignorant as you tried to make me sound.
 

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you tell him IHI, and i to am now installing the heartland window. nice product. one thing i know about the sunrise window is they are cheaply made yet they spend lots of money to get the high pressure guy selling them. but do you know they don't even have a deep interlock system at the meeting rails holy cow ! if the sales man really knew thier product from the istallation side instead of what some manufacturer said about them they would have a different outlook on there product. but hey they still will close the sale at any cost.
 

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I think given some installs you'll learn to love the Heartlands as much as I do, the warranty is excellent and I like how every window is very expandable for any configuration with the snap in fins, muttons, etc...every window frame is set-up for any configuration so imagination is your only limitation for any given circumstance.

I try to only sell the 700 series since in reality they seem to seal better-especially in the DH design's over the 600 series, plus I like the exterior profile better on the 700 since it has some depth as opposed to the 600 series somewhat flat faced profile. We went through a stint with the 600 series where they tried soem different fastners for the locking mechanisms that would strip out the screw holes, dont know if they had screw driers at factory mis calibrated and over torques them or what, but they took care of it and has'nt been any problems since.

I've just got alot of anomosity for salesmen from when I got my start sub contracting, they all promise the world with no idea at all of real world applications or whats involved, and handing a typical salesman a tape measure to measure windows is like giving a 2 yr old a loaded hand gun with no safety...it causes a huge mess, and then they want to argue it's your problem/fault why the windows dont fit, or dont want to pay extra for the additional labor to make them fit:no: I dealt with that enough and finally realized I'd be better off on my own through good and bad times as opposed to fighting tooth and nail trying to get paid for mandatory extra labor.
 

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we personaly use simonton seen on this old house a true quality product.
 

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The orange box sells American Craftsman, not AmCraft

I just picked upa new supplier for vinyl replacements I've been waiting to try out, but the price is soo high most home owners just pass and use one of the other brands I offer. Amcraft Grand Horizons offers expanded foam filled frames, they're selling point over standard hollow frames is "if dead air space is such a great insulator, why do people insulate wall cavities? I've been using my Heartland brand windows for some many years with no trouble, they're locally produced and any parts needed to be fixed the warranty is solid and problems taken care of quickly so I really push them since they're proven.

I know the orange box sells AmCraft windows, base models, and I've installed plenty of then for HD and am just not sold on the quality of parts as to what I'm used to. It might've been since all I installed were the base line models, so maybe the top of the line will have better parts, we'll just have to wait and see.


The orange box sells Silverline windows under the American Craftsman brand name. AmCraft and American Craftsman are not the same window. AmCraft windows are made by Kensington Windows, not Silverline, and are not sold at the orange box. There are two different companies that sell windows under the Heartland name. There is Heartland Windows that are made in Iowa, which are probably the ones you use, and are an excellent window. In my area of North Carolina,there is Heartland Collection Windows ,that are sold through the Heartland vinyl siding company. Heartland Collection Windows are actually made by Survivor Technologies of New Jersey.
 

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I've just got alot of anomosity for salesmen from when I got my start sub contracting, they all promise the world with no idea at all of real world applications or whats involved, and handing a typical salesman a tape measure to measure windows is like giving a 2 yr old a loaded hand gun with no safety...it causes a huge mess, and then they want to argue it's your problem/fault why the windows dont fit, or dont want to pay extra for the additional labor to make them fit:no:
Salesmen sell windows,installers sell jobs.Especially today.If your installers are hacks or look like Salvation Army clothing models,you won't get many "word of mouth" recommendations from a customers to their friends and neighbors.
That's why I love Window World.Their mistakes are my gain.

That said,after a salesman makes the sale,we get a remeasure before ordering.Either myself or someone I trust.
 
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