Soft-Lite Windows Reviews | Explore Homeowner & Contractor Opinions


Home : Company : Soft-Lite

Soft-Lite Windows Reviews

Read 70 Soft-Lite windows reviews and explore opinions on their most popular window lines, including the Barrington, Bainbridge, Classic, Pro, Imperial LS and the Elements Series. Please note: Soft-Lite Windows And Doors were acquire by Harvey Building Products, Inc. in 2016. This shouldn't affect the quality of the windows, but should make consumers feel even more secure about their purchase due to the overall strength of Harvey. We will be sure to update this page if any additional changes (good or bad) come to our attention.

Have a question for our site editors, Dane and Tim? Email them and let them answer your specific project questions. Make sure to include your email address so they can get back to you directly (we never use or sell your email, we promise. )

Please note, this website is in no way affiliated with Soft-Lite Windows.

Soft-Lite Windows Prices | Bainbridge Series | Classic Series

Pro Series | Imperial LS Series | Elements Series |

Durashield Series | Barcelona Impact Series | Armor Impact Series

Envision Series | General Reviews

Editor's Soft-Lite Window Review

Soft-Lite is one of the premier vinyl window manufacturer on the market, along with Sunrise, Polaris and Okna / HiMark. The company manufacturers 6 vinyl windows, the Elements, Imperial LS, Pro, Class Bainbridge and Barrington. With the exception of the Barrington (their entry level window), the other models are very strong at their respective price point. The Pro and Classic models are the company's older less flashy models that are nonetheless very good quality mid range vinyl windows.

The Imperial LS and Elements Series are excellent vinyl windows, with some very nice standard features, components and upgrades. Both are considered top tier vinyl windows and if you can get them at a competitive price point, you can't do much better than these. All in all, an impressive line of vinyl windows for the money.

Consumers should be aware that the overall performance of the Soft-Lite line up drops off considerably below the Classic model, mainly due the weatherstripping used on the Barrington and Bainbridge lines.

Tim - Site Editor

Soft-Lite Bainbridge Windows Reviews

The Soft-Lite Bainbridge window is basically an upgrade of the Barrington, the Bainbridge exterior looks a little nicer and it has some different features. The balance cover and exterior screen track are an improvement over the Barrington and it is reinforced in the sash rail.

Tim - Site Editor

Softlite Bainbridge vs Sunrise Windows

Looking at 60 windows in South Central zone - have Sunrise model vs Softlite Bainbridge. glass package: Softlite u.26, shgc.19, vt.45, cr 60, ai .06. Sunrise u.24, shgc.21, vt.48, cr.47, ai.03. quoted $5k more for Sunrise ($35k), both seem to have decent reputations, softlite dealer more experience, larger customer base and a big stack of referrals. is CR difference critical? is sunrise worth it?

TFR - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

TFR, you have two fine window options here in the Sunrise and to a lesser extent the Bainbridge. Both offer decent performance and the price you were quoted looks very reasonable. If it were me, I would go with the Sunrise for $5K more because the window is better (performance wise, but also durability and construction wise as well) and you are getting a good price.

This is assuming that you feel comfortable with the installation quality being offered by the Sunrise dealer. As long as this is good, I think you are getting a good window at a fair price.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft-Lite Bainbridge vs Okna 500 Window

So here is what I'm looking at, Okna 500 deluxe glass package. Ratings per the dealer are u.25, sghc.27, vt.49, CR.62 and AI should be one quite close to Sunrise. This is priced within as Bainbridge +/- $1.5-$2k I was hoping for a better shgc for Atlanta sun as my house faces East.

Ted - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Ted, the 500 Okna series is excellent, one of my favorite windows out there. Ask them if you can custom order with a lower shgc using a different low-e coating mix, that should be a possibility, especially for those windows that face south or have constant sun exposure. I would probably put the Sunrise and the Okna 500 on par with one another, although I would probably go with the Okna 500 if it were me. I really do like these windows.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft-Lite Bainbridge Window Prices

I've received bids for the following for 11 double hung windows in Kansas City Missouri, replacing original wood windows in a 1919 built house. All prices include installation and include lead abatement.

Soft-Lite Elements (company 2) - $9,640
Soft-Lite Bainbridge (company 2) - $7,245
Soft-Lite Imperial LS (company 1) - $6,910
Soft-Lite Bainbridge (company 1) - $5,335

It seems to me look company 1 has a pretty fair price for both bids based on the Bainbridge difference. Also, company 1 did not try to hard sell like company 2 did. I feel very comfortable with company 1 as well since they offer a lifetime warranty on the installation, use own installers, have a great reputation in KC.

I'm inclined to go with the bid for the Imperial LS and skip the hassle of taking more bids from companies that I think would try to get more money for less window.

Does that seem crazy? Thanks for your help!

Lee - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Lee, assuming that you feel comfortable with company 1's installation (and obviously you do), I completely agree that the best option in the Soft-Lite Imperial LS at the $6910. I also agree that your search is over. The Soft-Lite Imperial LS vinyl window is one of my favorite!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016

Bainbridge vs Ideal 5000

I'm looking for info on the SoftLite Bainbridge and Ideal 5000 Series. Any input?

Richard - Contractor - from 2010

[Contractor Response]

I don't know a lot about the Ideals, it isn't something I see much. The Bainbridge is pretty solid, they have good numbers and Soft-Lite stands behind everything they make.

Wayne - Contractor - from 2010

Soft-Lite Classic Windows Reviews

The Soft-Lite Classic window is an older model, along with the Pro, although it comes standard with some nice features and options. It would top my list for quality mid range vinyl windows. Many dealers and distributors don't carry the Classic (due to the popularity of the Imperial LS and Elements) - sometimes you can find really great deals on the Classic from professional contractors who have left over inventory. Performance wise, the Classic is good, although an air infiltration of 0.11 is just okay.

Tim - Site Editor

Soft-Lite Classic Features

I had the Soft-Lite rep come out this week. He seemed very knowledgeable and was wholly non-pushy, which I really appreciated. His company has repped Soft-Lite and in the past Sunrise. His models were the Elements and the Soft-Lite Classic, albeit a beefed-up version with a stainless spacer and the combined tilt latch/lock hardware. He said his Classic was essentially the same if not better quality than the Imperial LS for a lower price.

When I raised concerns regarding the stainless spacer versus a warm edge spacer, he explained that the real issue with the stainless spacers arose several years ago when companies were running their metallic low-e coating all the way to the edge of their IGU, where it could make contact with the metallic spacer, causing some problems. SoftLite does an "edge differentiation" where they coat their glazing with the silver low-e and then grind off the coating about 1/2 inch away from the edges of the windows. In other words, he is not worried about the stainless spacer. I haven't asked yet about whether they use a butyl or other material edger or any dessicant along with the spacer.

Does that sounds familiar/reasonable?

- Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Neil, all of his information sounds right. I like the idea of the beefed up Classic option -- I think you have a good option there!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-Lite Classic vs Alside Messo

Dane, I would like to know what window do you think is better. The soft-lite classic window or the alside messo window. I have a quote for both and about $550.00 dollar difference with the Messo being more expensive. I also have a quote from champion for about $2000.00 more expensive which is the better window?

Mike - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi Mike, there is a pretty definitive answer to your question -- the Soft-Lite Classic is the better window. Better in fact than the Champion (not by much, but I'd still say better). The Mezzo is an okay window, but the Soft-Lite Classic is a very solid vinyl window and one that I would absolutely have in my house!

Go with the better window at the better price...ha, how often does that happen????

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Soft-Lite Classic Zen Windows

I just received a quote of $12,900 for 20 Soft-Lite windows, the model is Nirvana (Classic) with half grid. Is this price reasonable? I am located in 02184, MA. This price include installation.

Wing - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Wing, without knowing any additional details, I would say that is a fair price. $645 for the classic, with installation, does not seem excessive. I would get a couple more quotes - Okna and Sunrise should be available in your state -get a quote from each of these to make sure that the price quoted is the fair market price for your particular project.

It is interesting you mention Nirvana, which is one of the window models of Zen Windows, essentially a private reseller of Soft-Lite windows, although I don't know much more about the relationship than that. Essentially, the Zen Karma is the equivalent to the Soft-Lite Barrington, the Zen Nirvana is the equivalent to the Soft-Lite Classic, and the Zen Lotus is the equivalent to the Soft-Lite Pro. I would avoid the lower end Karma, but the Nirvana and particularly the Lotus are very well made windows. Peace. :)

Dane - Site Editor - from 2015

Soft-Lite Classic vs. Sunrise Verde

I have estimates for 1 twin window and 2 sliding doors (where the door is non-standard 37x94). I am trying to decide between Sunrise Verde for both window and door) and Softlite Classic for window and (King Royal for doors). The quoted price is almost identical, so I'm trying to find out if there's any advantage between the two option in terms of quality of the product.

Magda - Homeowner - from 2015

[Contractor Response]

Magdalena, you have two excellent selections here and this alone puts you head and shoulders above most homeowners looking for replacement windows. I would say that the installer(s) should be your deciding factor at this point.

Have you checked references? This is a good place to start.

I like to call up the home office of the companies and ask them about the quality of the rep/installers in my area. They are going to be biased of course, but if they are really good, they will tell you. If they have had issues with them in the past it might come through in how they "praise" them.

Ask the installers how long the job is going to take. The guy who takes longer is often times the person who is going to be more thorough and do the job right.

Finally, what does your gut tell you. Lots of times, you get a better feeling from one over the other in terms of how well you think they are going to do the job.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Soft-Lite Classic Windows

I got a quote for Soft-Lite Classic windows. The Great Lakes windows are the Seabrook (?) model, which the dealer calls the 6000. The Vista windows are not the Panorama, but are the the lowest level either. The Soft-Lite quote is between the other two, but I've been reading better reviews for Soft-Lite. Vista is about $15,000, Soft-Lite $18,000 and Great Lakes $22,000 for 36 windows. Thoughts? Thanks!

Sunny - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Sunny, I think the answer is very clear in this case. I would go with the Soft-Lite bid, certainly over the more expensive Great Lakes bid. I think it's a no-brainer to go with the Soft-Lite over the Vista Panorama at that price, let alone their mid range vinyl window.

The only question left is whether you feel that the installation from the Soft-Lite dealer is going to be of good quality. If so, I think you've definitely got your winner. Soft-Lite has one of the best reputations in the industry and I think you will be happy for years to come.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Soft-Lite Pro Windows Reviews

The Soft-Lite Pro is quite a nice midpriced vinyl window. The Pro model comes with double strength glass, a Super Spacer and a foam filled frame. The frame is strong and the screen has a better locking mechanism, plus the rails are reinforced and the balance cover is much better than on their lower end models. The Pro uses an aluminum reinforcement in its meeting rail (not as strong as the Imperial LS or Elements, but still nice).

Performance wise, consumers can expect a 0.07 AI, U-factor of 0.28 and DP50, making it more energy efficient than a lot of competitors. Industry guru like the Imperial LS better than the Pro, but the Pro does have a thinner frame, and therefore a larger glass area, which most homeowners like. All in all, a very solid vinyl window that should be well priced.

Dane - Site Editor

Soft Lite Pro vs. Zen Lotus

Hello, I am in the market to replace 28 windows. I currently have 1972 vintage Rimco insulated wood windows with 4 newer Anderson 400 windows mixed in. A lot of the Rimco glass panes have been replaced about 7 years ago but the windows feel drafty when cold and I am looking for better noise reduction properties. I have gotten a quote from Zan Windows for the Lotus Triple Pane windows and was quoted $575 per window.

I know that the Lotus is the Soft Lite pro, which is a decent window, but I am curious on what I am losing out on by a not going with a company that has the LS series. Also, I have 2 large windows in the garage and 5 that face out into a sunroom with more modern windows. Do I need triple pane units there or can I save some money with double pane? Will there be a noticeable difference in appearance if seen side by side? I also have been talking with Rosario Windows, but right now I am leaning towards Zen.

Any help would be appreciated.

Kevin - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Kevin, the Soft-Lite Pro is indeed a good window -- with a low-e glass you can expect a .07 air infiltration, .28 U-factor, .29 SHGC, and .53 VT rating. The Imperial LS is a step up for sure and with a low-e glass, you can expect a .02 air infiltration, 0.28 U-factor, 0.23 SHGC, and a 0.44 VT.

The AI figure is the one that is most significant and is an overall barometer of the quality of a window. The Pro is good (basically its an older model, but many consumers really like it), the Imperial LS is great. I would think though that a triple pane Soft-Lite Pro would have numbers in this range. $575 per window is a great price for that by the way.

It certainly can't hurt to get the bid on the Imperial LS if there is a dealer in your area. Otherwise, I would say go with the Lotus Triple Pane.

Regarding triple and double pane, it really depends on where you live. Colder climates can require a triple pane for the increased energy efficiency. I would just be wary about large span windows with the triple pane. You just want to make sure that the frame can handle the extra weight. My notion is you aren't going to have a problem with a Soft-Lite window, but still ask if this is the case on any.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

[Kevin's reply]

Thanks, Dane. I appreciate to the response. I live in Columbus, Ohio. I was also wondering how they would insulate and gaps around the window frame with spray foam if they are not taking to whole unit out, like in a full window installation.

Kevin - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

You should be able to get a bid from Okna, Soft-Lite and Sunrise in Columbus.

It all depends on how they cut the existing window out. They might just use some low expanding foam if there is enough room. Often the replacement window fits in with virtually no room for insulation — just ask each company that comes out how they would handle this — after a few bids, you'll get a consensus for how they will handle it on your project.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-lite Pro Pricing

Hi Tim my name is tom just got a bid on soft pro for 14 replacement windows for a flat $9900.00 Is this high?

Tim- Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Typically, I would estimate the Soft-Lite Pro in the $400 to $650 price range, depending on project details, installation requirements, frame and sill work, exterior wrapping etc. There is obviously a huge price range based on the many factors that can drive the price up or down. Your $714 per window sounds high to me, it's what I would estimate for the very best Soft-Lite window in the Elements or the Imperial LS. The Pro is their mid range model and a good window, but not their best by any means.

Get a few more bids. See if there is a local dealer in your area from Okna, Sunrise, Polaris, Zen, or even Wincore. Shoot me the bids and I'll give you my two cents.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-lite Pro vs. Zen Lotus

Is the Soft-lite Elements the same window as the Zen Lotus? I'm confused. All I can figure out is that the Soft-lite Classic is the Zen Nirvanna. Apparently we have Zen in Austin, Texas, not Soft-lite. Would you go with the Nirvana or get the equivalent to the Soft-lite Elements if I can find it? Thanks!! Jan in Texas

Jan - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Jan, Zen Windows sell three models, the Karma, Nirvana, and the Lotus. These are relabeled Soft-Lite Bainbridge, Classic, and Pro Series. So the Lotus is the Soft-Lite Pro.

The Bainbridge uses a more narrow frame than the other two models and isn't the vinyl window I would recommend for most homeowners looking to maximize their long term investment.

The Classic and Pro models, however, are good performing windows that might lack some of the newer features of the Imperial LS and Elements models, but still are tried and true high quality vinyl windows.

While the Elements would definitely be my choice, if it isn’t available, then there is little you can do. I think the Soft-Lite Pro model is quite good and I would have it in my house.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-Lite Pro vs Okna Windows

I have been looking for replacement windows for a vacation home I have in Franklin, NC. I do not want to buy them at a big box store. And I have my own installer. I am considering the Affinity Elite series, Soft-Light Pro series or a similarly quality product. I need excellent protection from the cold. I have been unable to find where to purchase them from directly. Could you please help me with information of where to purchase a good window? Thank you for your help

Cynthia - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Cynthia, the Soft-Lite Pro is a very good window. Can I ask you about the Affinity Elite, because the company is now out of business and if you have access to their windows, I'd love to hear about it because I have a homeowner who wants to finish up her house with these windows (she used them for ½ and then stopped the project) but now can't find them. Having said that, if I were you, I would NOT use the Affinity Windows, although your contractor may be giving you a great deal because the company is no longer making the windows (obviously I don't know the details).

If you already have an installer, have him call up Okna and see if he can get the 500 series or the 800 series. Or call up Sunrise and see if he can get their standard Sunrise window shipped to you. Some companies are willing to ship like this. Polaris also makes a great window.

It is true that many window companies may not be willing to do this and go around their reps, but it doesn't hurt to ask. I know out here on the West Coast, Home Depot carries the Andersen 100 composite window, which I think is a decent window, almost on par with the Soft-Lite Pro. They sell it for a very good price and with a meeting rail reinforcement and glass upgrade, I'd certainly consider this for my house. Especially if you have an installer that you like.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft-Lite Pro vs. Vista Energy Xtreme Windows

I have been given quotes for both vista-energy xtreme triple pane windows and softlite pro double pane windows - all double hung windows. They are about equal in cost (around $500 a window) and both are installed by reputable companies by in-house installers. I am trying to decide which one to choose. Any recommendation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Hali - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Hi Hali, both of these windows are quite good. I like the Soft-Lite Pro a bit better over the Vista Energy Xtreme. That's a good price you got and I LOVE the fact that you are getting solid installation, this is an important part of the process.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft-Lite Pro vs Andersen Windows

I'm in the process of buying a home now that needs new windows. I'm torn between going with the Soft-Lite Pro series or an Andersen. I'm able to get the Soft-Lite Pro windows at about cost, 19 windows for $6000. But I have a family member saying it would be better to go with Andersen for the security of the lifetime warranty. Since they've been around so long parts are always accessible, even from the 70's you can find parts for windows or doors. How reliable is the future of Soft-Lite, and should that matter for my decision?

Jordan - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Jordan you didn't mention the price for the Andersen or the series that you were considering. However, even without knowing that, if it were me, I would go with the Soft-lite Pro. Their warranty is great, it is a lifetime warranty as well, and the price you were quoted is ridiculously low. I'm actually a bit suspicious of how low that is. The Pro is a nice model and as long as you are comfortable with the quality of installation, I don't think you can afford not to go with the Soft-Lite option.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft Lite Pro Double Hung Windows

Hey Tim, I just got a quote for soft lite pro double hung windows. The estimate that I got was pretty low. It was around $325 per window. Can you give me any idea on what an average price for a Soft Lite pro window cost. The installer has a small crew and I was thinking his overhead might not be as high, hence the very good price! Thanks,

Chris - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Chris, I can't give you an average price, because typically the cost is based on how large or small the window opening. However, if you are talking about a normal sized window, say 28"W by 28"H or anything larger than this, I would say this is an excellent price. Assuming the installers do a good job, you are getting a very fair deal on a quality vinyl window.

Low per window costs can be the result of several factors; you said it perfectly, small time operator with low overhead, or he gets a good price on this quality, but older, window that isn't as popular because the design isn't as new as the Restorations, or he needs the business, etc.

There are lots of reasons, I would just be wary that the installation is going to be good. If the guy has good references and history, then go for it! Let me know how it turns out!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Soft-Lite Pro vs. Simonton 5300 Series

Hi Guys, I have been reading your website and was looking for a little advice on two bids. I know they are apples to oranges. I have one bid for Soft-Lite windows, and one for Simonton. This is for 8 double hung vinyl replacement window in the St. Louis area. I guess i'm just curious if either of these estimates are reasonable. I imagine the soft-lite is a far superior window over all. Thanks!

Simonton 5300 Series $2800 double pane
5500 Series $4100 triple pane.

Soft-lite Pro-LS $4600
Elements Triple Pane $5300.

Len- Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Len, these bids are very reasonable. I like the Simonton 5500 and both of the Soft-Lite bids. I think any of these models would serve you well. The Soft-Lite is the better window and the Pro is a good vinyl window, while the Elements triple pane is an excellent vinyl window.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft-Lite Pro vs Bainbridge

SoftLite redesigned the Classic and Pro series a few years back, and they are really similar to the Bainbridge in terms of quality. Personally, I really like the Bainbridge. It's better than the ones you usually find in big box stores, but they are an affordable window and not too hard to install. It also has a thinner frame, which is nice for smaller openings when you want to maximize light.

Jeff - Installer - from 2010

[Contractor Response]

I like the Pro, it has double strength glass and a Super Spacer that isn't metal. It has a very traditional design, while the Bainbridge has rounded edges for a little bit different look. Both have foam filling, the Bainbridge also has a foam insert and the Classic and Pro use injections. But they are very close to the same window, pretty much the same features and everything.

Mike - Contractor - from 2010

Softlite Pro vs LS Model

The Softlite Imperial Pro and LS are very different but some people think they're the same thing. The Pro is a solid window, but it isn't as good as the LS. Their numbers are pretty close, but the LS is a better quality, with higher manufacturing standards and better performance over time. I just did a job that put LS on the main part of the house and Pros on the garage and basement, it's a good way to save some money. The Pro is a good option for garages. A while ago they switched to a different extruding manufacturer and ever since there have been a lot of problems. They don't calibrate their machines right sometimes & the window width gets off a touch. I'd go with the LS, they don't have any real problems.

Mike - Contractor - from 2011

Soft-Lite Imperial LS Windows Reviews

The Soft-Lite Imperial LS window is one of the two top-of-the-line windows from Soft-Lite and considered a great vinyl window. The company spent lots of money on research and development, and the result was the Imperial LS and Elements series. The Imperial LS comes standard with some high quality features, including triple weather stripping, an Intercept Spacer, and a kevlar reinforced meeting rail. One of the most impressive numbers on the Imperial LS is the .03 air infiltration number. A very impressive vinyl window and definitely on my top ten list.

Tim - Site Editor

SoftLite Imperial LS Double vs. Triple Pane

Dear Tim, I had a nice visit today with Sherrie from Colorado Classics Exteriors. She is the wife of the owner, which I like. She has offered the SoftLite Imperial LS for double pane for $2779 for the four windows, and the triple pane with Solar Ultra for $3,484. Given your praise for the Imperial LS I am inclined to go with them. Stellar reputation, friendliest price of the three, and personal service.

Now it comes to double vs triple. I am not concerned with losing heat in the winter, but I am concerned with gaining heat in the summer. Reduced condensation may also be a factor, as I have a humidifier on the furnace and keep our humidity at 40% or higher. Three of the windows face east and are on the second floor.

Lewis - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Lewis, I tend to think that the SoftLite Imperial LS double pane is good for most homes and the triple pane is nice, but not necessary. The triple pane is going to be more energy efficient, but the SHGC numbers on the window is going to tell you how much heat comes through in the summer. Personally, I think you are good with the double unless you don't care about the added cost of the triple.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-Lite Casements vs. Sunrise

Hi there, I'm in the market for replacement windows and came across your website. It's been really helpful. I'm trying to decide between Sunset and Soft lite casement windows. It's somewhat challenging to get the specs to compare the two. If you could share the window cost sheet that would be great.

Tom - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Here Tom, I hope this helps. Both Sunrise and Soft-Lite make good casements. Both companies also make several lines or series of windows so I would need a bit more info to tell you which is the better deal.

If its the standard Sunrise window and say the Soft-Lite Pro or Imperial LS, I would say you are comparing apples-to-apples. In that case, I would shift your focus from window to installer/company as the way to make your decision.

Check their online reviews and reputation, find out about labor warranty, etc. Choose the best company who you feel are going to address any issues that might arise during the project.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

[Tom's Reply]

It is between the Soft Lite Imperial LS casement and the standard Sunrise casement. I know it depends on existing conditions, but what is the general rule for going with a full replacement option vs insert option? I've got pricing for both. Would be nice not to have to spend the money but hard to know if I should or not. Any guidance would be helpful. Home was constructed in mid 1990's.

Tom - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Tom, the full replacement vs. inserts question is a tough one. You lose some viewing area with the inserts, but its cheaper. It may not be quite as watertight (totally depends on how well the flashing, sills, walls, etc. are holding). Full replacements are more expensive, but are a tighter fit and often more watertight (again with the same caveats).

I have stucco on my house, so to do full replacements means taking out six to eight inches of stucco around each window, replacing the windows, patching the stucco and then color matching. This last step is so time intensive that it almost makes sense just to repaint the stucco on the whole house. Therefore for me, I will replace all my windows and paint the stucco (thankfully they now make this breathable paint) in one fell swoop when the time comes.

I think this is where tons of bids comes in because you can basically solicit lots of free and professional opinions. I'm sort of a believer that you get as many bids as you need until you know the answer for your project without question. I would ask each installer what they would do if it were their house (I find you get the most honest answer with this question).

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

[Tom's Reply]

Thanks, Dane. You've been very helpful. I think we're going to go with Sunrise and new full replacement. Pricing for inserts was only $800 less (on a $21K job). I have a lot of dual casement windows and they said it's not much savings to do inserts. So, worth the $ in my opinion.

Good luck with the stucco!

Tom - Homeowner - from 2017

Soft-Lite Imperial LS vs. Elements

I am looking for a durable easy to operate double hung window 69h x 36w and trying to decide between soft lite ls imperial and elements and between double versus triple pane. I don't have a noise issue. I do rely on the windows for light. I want to keep cold out in winter and humidity out in summer. My place is in shade. What are your recommendations? Also what do you think of soft lite as compared to others for energy efficiency, durability and ease of operation? Thanks.

Forgot to ask what is meant by soft lite having a thicker frame? What impact does this have e.g. loss of light? Should I be concerned? Is ls imperial a thinner profile than the elements or vice versa?

Julia - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Julia, there is not a huge difference between the Soft-Lite Imperial LS and the Elements. Both of these windows are excellent, two of the best vinyl windows you could hope for. In terms of a thicker frame, it's not an overly thick window in my opinion. I think the Elements is the slightly nicer looking window.

Make sure you take a look at it before you buy. Compare it to the other window brands the dealer carries in order to know what you're getting in terms of overall thickness.

To give you some perspective, in Europe, their windows are way thicker than ours, which cuts down on the glass area, but makes for a much more energy efficient window.

I think the Soft-Lite Imperial LS and the Elements gets it just right. You really can't do better than these two.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Soft-lite Imperial LS vs. Okna 500

Have trouble comparing: Is the Okna 500 or 800 similar to the Soft-lite Imperial LS. I have quotes as follows for 16 windows:

Okna 500 DS - $523 ea. From ClearView

Soft-lite Imperial LS $531 ea from Window Nation

Vytex Grandview with triple silver glass at $470 each from Window Nation

Any input would be greatly appreciated I am trying to decide today if you could possible respond today.


Sandra - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Sandra, those are good prices on the Okna 500 DS and Soft-lite Imperial LS. I think they are definitely worth the extra money from the Vytex Grandview. The Soft-lite Imperial LS is the better window from the Okna 500, but not by much. In fact, I would turn from the windows (unless you have a clear preference for one or the other) to the company doing the installation. This would be the deciding factor for me.

The two windows you have quotes on are excellent.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Imperial LS And Platinum Series

Hi, I’m a new home owner. I bought an older cap code house, it’s about 85 years old. It currently has these 40 year old aluminum windows that don’t seem very energy efficient. I got three quotes but from different installers on replacing all the windows, but they seemed to very quite a bit. I think after doing some research online I’ve narrowed it down to using Window Nation to install their version of Soft Lite’s Imperial LS and Platinum LS series.

Window Nation’s quote was for five casement windows (18” x 48”) as Imperial LS, one double hung window (32” x 45”) as a Platinum LS (triple panel upgrade from the Imperial LS) and one picture window (91” x 48”) with sliders as a Platinum LS. I added having colonial grids to the windows. The total quote was $5,800. Does that price seem reasonable for the quality of window that I’m getting? I plan on living in this house a minimum of 7 years or longer. I want a windows that will last.

Any advice would be great. Thanks!

Ernie- Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Ernie, the Soft-Lite Imperial LS and Platinum LS are excellent vinyl windows, two of the best out there. $5800 seems a bit high on the surface, but I have no idea how much work is involved putting them in and taking out your existing windows, etc.

How does the bid compare with the others you've received? Can you call the Window Nation rep and use a lower bid to get to his lowest price? Tell him you REALLY want to go with his company, but the price is out of your budget and if there was anyway to get that price close to the (fill in existing bid from another company), then I'm ready to sign on the dotted line.

Then give it a few days and wait. See if he gets back to you with a better price. You can always call him up after three days and go with him.

You are getting a good window with the Soft-Lite Imperial LS that should last for a good 20 years assuming the installation is done properly.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Imperial LS vs Custom Window Systems 8000

I am replacing my windows in St Petersburg, FL (central, coastal Florida). I am planning on going with non-impact windows, and after getting 11 quotes (don't believe anybody who tells you to get only 2 or 3: this does NOT apply to Florida. I am SO GLAD I got all those quotes) I narrowed it down to 2. One is proposing Custom Window Systems 8000 series for about 5.5k for 9 windows, and the other would install softlite Imperial LS for 6.7k. I know that the softlite are among the best vinyl windows.

How does the CWS compare, and is the softlite worth the extra 20% all other things being equal?

Or is softlite more of a cold climate window?

I am having a hard time finding any solid review on CWS non-impact windows. (I am only looking at non-impact).

Damien - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Damien, 11 quotes, wow, I am impressed you had the fortitude to sit through all of that. You have selected two great companies, just goes to prove what hard work and research get you. Undoubtedly, the Soft-Lite Imperial LS is a great vinyl window, but CWS makes a very good window as well. I don't think Soft-Lite is more of a cold climate window, I just think the factory is located in a cold climate. I do kind of like the idea of getting windows from a factory in the state in which you live, but I'm not sure there is anything really rational in the thought, I think it just gives me a piece of mind for some reason.

$125 more per window for the SL…that's a tough question, I think it's right there on the borderline whether that's worth it or not. It's a coin flip from my perspective, I would need to see more specifics in the quotes to tip it one way of the other.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft Lite Imperial LS vs Okna 400

Hi Tim, I have narrowed it down to the Okna 400 window and the Soft Lite Inperial LS. My house is 8 years old and has Patriot windows that are starting to fail in some rooms. We have a ton of windows and are looking to replace a room or two at a time as the windows are huge and, therefore, pricey. The Okna 400 was quoted at about $840 a window (upgraded to deluxe with foam and low e) and the Soft Lite Imperial LS was quoted at about $1050 a window (both have to have tempered glass on lower sash). The Soft Lite seemed much nicer. I'm wondering if the price differential is worth it. I'd appreciate any advice you can provide.

Tracy - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Tracy, you have two excellent window selections to begin with, so that right there is a victory (I only say this because other homeowners are trying to choose between Window World and something they found at Lowes). You are correct that the Soft Lite Imperial LS is the better window of the two. The Soft Lite Imperial LS is one of the best vinyl windows on the market, I might put it in the top 3. The Okna 400 is good, but it isn't as good as the Imperial LS.

Now what about the installation? Do you feel as comfortable with the Soft-Lite installer as the Okna installer? Installation goes a long ways to providing energy efficiency over the life of the window so make sure that you are using someone who doesn't take short cuts and are very precise and accurate in their installation. If you get this part right, you can't go wrong with whichever window you select.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Imperial LS vs Berkshire Elite

Can anyone compare or contrast the Soft-Lite Imperial LS, Pro, and Elements lines? I have a quote from an installer I like for 13 Imperial LS windows for $7000. I like the look of the Pro window, but he does not offer it. I am wondering if I should go with the LS. From another installer that I don't like as much, I have quotes for Berkshire Elite for 7450, and the Vista Panorama for 6735. Thank you.

Lynn - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Lynn, the Imperial LS from Soft-Lite is an excellent window, one of the very best on the market. The Pro is a very good window, but the LS is the better of the two. The Berkshire Elite and the Vista Panorama don't even compare. The price you were quoted is excellent as well.

I rarely get to write that it sounds like you got a great deal out of the gates (assuming professional and competent installation). Good luck!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Softlite Imperial Spacer Issue

I bought 10 of the Soft-Lite Imperial LS windows. I noticed that the "superspacer" (the grey plastic looking spacer in between the glass) is uneven on most of the windows. On several windows, this plastic strip curves up on the ends. On two of my windows the end protrudes down slightly into the glass portion. I also notified the installer about this issue in case they actually fall off or protrude any further. I e-mailed the company but I have not received a response yet. On the positive side, the windows looks very stylish. My only concern is the durability of the superspacer and the "lack of quality control" image that they give off.

Paul - Homeowner - From 2014

Soft-Lite Imperial LS Window Review

I've looked at so many windows I'm sick of them. I have 16 windows to replace and I've managed to narrow it down to the Okna 500 Insul-Tec and Softlite Imperial LS. The quotes I got were $9680 for the Oknas and $9920 for Softlites. Any opinions on which is better?

Rob - Homeowner - from 2012

[Contractor Response]

They are both great options that will last a long time. With a fairly close match I would probably let the installer be the deciding factor. Either window should last a long time and not give you any problems.

Daniel - Contractor - from 2012

[2nd Response]

Both of them are great choices. The Softlite is always a good deal, they're a good company and have some good options, I really like their Edgetech Super Spacer. They are also simple to reglaze if you need it. The Oknas are also really good, reliable and nice. I'd pick the one whose installer you like best.

Matt - Contractor - from 2012

Imperial LS vs HiMark And Okna

The HiMark is better than the Simonton as far as looks and appearance. If you want a premium window and aren't in love with the HiMark, then the Marvin Ultimate is a good option. The Imperial LS are top tier, too, but they still aren't better than HiMark or Okna.

Todd - Installer - from 2010

Soft-Lite Imperial LS vs ProVia Integra 300

I'm trying to decide between Provia Integra 300 and Softlite Imperial LS. The Softlite seems sturdier and seems to fit the frame better, but the bid is $650 more. That isn't a huge amount, but are they worth that much more? The Integra has a double compartment in the sill, but I don't know if that really cuts down on drafts or just makes it harder to clean.

Sam - Homeowner - from 2010

[Contractor Response]

You should take a look at the Softlite Elements. I like it a little more than the LS. The ProVia is good too and you should be happy with either one.

Harry - Contractor - from 2010

[Contractor Response]

I really like ProVias doors. I haven't used their windows but the company is reliable. As far as Softlites go, I think you can never go wrong with any of their windows. The price difference is hard to determine, $650 is nothing if you're ordering 30 windows and it's a whole lot if you're only getting 2. I don't know the specs on the Integra, but I think it's NFRC certified and qualifies for tax credits, if you get the low-e and super spacer package.

Will - Contractor - from 2010

Imperial LS vs Vanguard vs Energex

I think the Energex units are right up there with the Sunrise Vanguard, as well as the Okna and Soft-Lite brand (of course it really depends what series/model we are comparing). Each window offers some nice unique features that will fit different consumers needs. The Sunrise has a nice slim profile so if maximizing window glass is important, I'd go with this one. The Soft-Lite Imperial LS offers great value from a company that has been around a long time and is super well regarded in the industry. If you are willing to go with a newcomer and new product that looks good but lacks much in the way of real world data (and will save you money because of it), then the Energex is your go to choice.

Thomas - Contractor - from 2010

Imperial LS vs Gorell 5300

I need some advice on choosing a window. I'm looking at Softlite Imperial LS and the Gorell 5100 and 5300. Both with double glass, low-e coating, argon filled. Which is better? I'm waiting for final quotes on both of them, but I need to know the differences in quality.

Zed - Homeowner - from 2010

[Contractor Response]

I think both of these are good windows, you should be happy with either one. Look into the installers, and if one seems better I'd go with that one. If they seem equal then just go for whichever is cheaper. They are both good, and if the installation and price are comparable then just pick one.

Steven - Contractor - from 2010

Soft-Lite Elements Windows Reviews

The Soft-Lite Elements window is a premium window and considered a small step up from the Imperial LS. The Elements come with an upgraded spacer, the non-metal Edgetech, which is an optional upgrade on the LS. The Elements double hung also has a tilt that works with the locking mechanism that allow you to tilt the sashes for easier cleaning. The bead and cove design, although not noticeable from the street, looks great from close up.

An accidental glass breakage warranty and Better View Screen, options on the LS, both come standard on the Elements. The windows boasts incredible performance numbers - AI of 0.01 - 0.02 and U-factor of 0.19 - it is definitely one of the top windows on the market.

Tim - Site Editor

Soft-Lite Elements

Dane,I need some direction. I should replace my Anderson wood windows, barely double pane windows original to my Cincinnati, OH, 1982 home as I notice some dampness in the more SW facing windows near the glass. They also create a lot of heat in the summer, and I’m sure AI in the winter. I’m looking to replace them with vinyl windows as my home is mid-range not high end.

I have 18 windows. 6@ 32”x67” and 7@32”x50,” and the remaining are smaller sized.

I received a quote for Prolite Elements windows for $11,886. I don’t know if that’s a good quote? I’m not sure I want to spend that much. I don’t know if I’ll be in the home for more than 5-10 yrs.

Which mid-range window would be the best value to investigate? I think I have several options here such as Polaris, Zen, and others.

Thank you.

Melissa - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Melissa, so the Soft-Lite Elements is an excellent vinyl window, one of the very best on the market. $660 per window for the Elements is a very fair price. However, if you are only going to be in the house for 5 to 10 years, you probably don't need to get a premium vinyl window. For instance, you could go back to the Soft-Lite dealer and see what he would charge for the Classic or Pro models. These are both good vinyl windows, great for your purposes, but should be more in the $500 to $550 per window price range.

You could also get a bid from an Okna dealer on their 600 series, which is a very solid vinyl window that should be in that same range. You should also consider Sunrise windows as well, their Standard series is quite a nice unit. You are correct that Zen (they sell Soft-Lite relabeled windows) and Polaris also make a good product.

The bottom line is this: a good solid mid range vinyl window from one of these brands should be perfect for your window replacement project. Get a couple of bids and see how they stack up to one another. I'm happy to take a look and give you my opinion on what your have.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-Lite Elements Options

Dane, was curious on your thoughts on the difference between .46 and .40 VT between windows relating to a noticeable difference in light entering the house?? My wife is concerned about the loss of to much natural light and we are looking at Elements double pane at .46 and a triple pane (free upgrade and less expensive] at .40. Any thoughts would be appreciated!! BTW thanks to your forum we discovered Soflite windows!! Had never heard of them before reading about them on your forum! Really glad I did!!!


Stan - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Stan, I think you would be hard pressed to see the difference between a VT of .46 and .40. I would confirm this with the Soft-Lite rep, but that's my personal take on it. If he has sample glass for each that would be a great way to do a side by side comparison and see if the difference is noticeable to your eye.

That's pretty great that you are getting a free upgrade and the Elements triple pane is pretty much impossible to beat on performance!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

Sunrise Restorations vs. Soft-Lite

Hi I noticed Sunrise Restorations uses cardinal glass with xl edge spacer (stainless steel) and block and tackle balance rather than soft lite structural foam super spacer and constant force? Also when shown a sample of sunrise restoration and i tried to open top window for cleaning there was a creeking sound? Told it won't do that on window I would buy by salesperson but not sure if he is correct or not.

Questions on these 2 windows:
Which spacer is better?
Which balance is better?
Is creeking normal on block and tackle when tilting window?

I am looking for 5 double hungs 69x36 pure vinyl or fiberglass

Most important is large glass area, spacer that will not fail, window that will not bow, smooth balance system that makes windows easy to operate with no creeks, energy efficient, companies that will be around and back their product lifetime. The reason i hesitated with soft lite imperial ls was the beefy thick frame and loss of viewing area. What are the best options for what I'm looking for on double hung windows and patio door?

Thanks! :)

Julia - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Julia both the xl edge and super spacer are very reliable and efficient. If I had to pick, I'd say the super spacer probably gets the nod as the non metallic option. The xl edge is a true stainless steel spacer. Same deal with the balance system. Some companies use the block and tackle, some the constant force.

Neither the spacer nor the balancing system is the issue, it's how well the companies put the windows together with the components and options they use. In each of your cases above, both companies are top notch (assuming we are comparing the premium Sunrise Restorations and premium Soft-Lite Elements). Soft-Lite makes a number of different models and their two entry level windows aren't my favorite, particularly the Barrington.

If you are having an issue with the thick frame, go with the Sunrise Restorations. It's one of the best vinyl windows on the market and made incredibly well. Sunrise will definitely be around for a long long time, they seem to be thriving as a company. If you go with them for windows, I would stick with them for your patio doors as well. They make a great sliding patio door.

Honestly, between Sunrise and Soft-Lite, you can't do any better.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2017

Soft-Lite Elements vs. Polaris Ultra Weld

Tim, I am looking at replacing 19 windows in my house. I have narrowed 7 quotes down to 2. Not caring about the cost, in your opinion what is the better window, Polaris Ultra Weld with Energy Smart Supreme-2 Low E coating, argon gas filled, Intercept Spacer (double pane) vs. Soft-Lite Elements, Ultra S Triple pane coating (Soft-Lite is offering free triple pane upgrade). I really don't need triple pane windows where I am located. I know that I am comparing double vs. triple pane, so if you could figure double pane vs. double pane, if that makes sense. Thank you for your assistance.

Greg - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Greg, both of these windows are good. The Soft-Lite Elements is better, even without the triple pane option. With the free upgrade to the triple pane, the Soft-Lite Elements is probably the best vinyl window on the market. (Or one of three best on the market.)

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Soft-Lite Element Prices

I got pricing from the highly rated Sunrise dealer and it came in at $16,934 ($736/opening) versus the $15,933 for the Soft Lite Elements. We liked the dealer and really like the thinner profile of the Sunrise and the ability to get Earthtone vinyl exterior without having to go the route of paint (and extra expense) with the Soft-Lite. However, there are a few things that concern me about the Sunrise:

1) I have read about different models (Verde, Vanguard, etc), but this dealer when asked told me it is the "Sunrise model" and that there is no sub-model or additional name to it "just their top of the line window." What should I believe?
2) Sunrise uses a stainless spacer versus the Soft Lite super spacer
3) Their myriad of Sunrise glass package options is very confusing
4) Condensation ratings seem to be lower relatively for Sunrise

What is your take on the information presented? Is the pricing reasonable for what I am getting? What do you recommend? Thanks.

Matt - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Matt, the way I understand it, the Restorations comes standard with a few nice upgrades on the standard Sunrise frame, including a reinforced fibercore meeting rail and vertical sash, Max Edge spacer, foam filled chambers, and high transparency screen. Assuming that the bid you got includes these upgrades then I think you are good to go.
Both the windows use a nice spacer.
Ask the dealer what his opinion is on the best glass package for your windows and direction they face. They should be able to provide some good insight as to an appropriate glass package. If you are still confused, go with the single upgraded low-e with argon fills, this should be fine.

I still think if you like the Sunrise, you should go with it. However, if the upgrades I mentioned above cost more, then go with the top of the line Soft-Lite window.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft-Lite Elements vs Vista Panorama Windows

Thanks for a terrific website! I have learned a lot by reviewing the information you have posted. Selecting replacement window manufacturers and dealers is much more complicated than I ever imagined and I appreciate the straight forward honest advice that your site offers.

We are looking for replacement windows and would appreciate your input. We are looking at a configuration that would include 11 casements, 3 2-Lite sliders, 1 3-Lite slider, 1 awning, and 2 picture windows (18 total). We live in northeast Wisconsin. The quotes we have zeroed in are for Soft-Lite elements, which I understand to be a top-rated model, and Vista Panorama, which I understand to be mid-grade. The quotes are both for a triple pane configuration and feature lifetime warranties. The best price for the Vista Panorama is $13,240 and the best price for the Soft-Lite Elements is $15,933. Both installers have good BBB ratings. The Vista dealer contracts installation labor while the Soft-Lite dealer employs the installers.

What advice do you have for us? Is the Soft-Lite performance worth the premium or should we go with the less expensive Vista Panorama? Are there any other dealers or brands that we should explore in northeast Wisconsin to compare to? Any advice is appreciated.

Matt - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Matt, thanks for the nice words, glad you find the site helpful. So I think your take on both windows is spot on, the problem I have is that price breakdown makes it a toss up in my mind. $735 for the Vista Panorama or $885 - either way it's not cheap. The one thing that concerns me about the Vista is the contract labor, while the Soft-Lite uses their own labor, which means that the installers work with the same windows each time and know all the little tips and tricks that can trip up the installation teams. Also for ordering purposes, everything is in house and it lowers the chances of something going wrong and then the blame game starts. But I'm still a bit on the fence...

I think you need a couple more bids to complicate things :) and then hopefully give you a clear answer. Does Okna, Sunrise, HiMark, Polaris, Kensington have reps or companies in your area? It should be pretty easy to check and I'm hoping that 1 or 2 more bids will give you more options or perhaps help steet you one way or the other.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

[Matt's Response]

Thanks so much for the feedback. The good news is that I was right to be conflicted on the decision. Our current configuration is 23 casement and picture windows. We are combining some of the current 2-lite and 3-lite into sliders and an awning. If you consider we are replacing 23, the price per window looks better. Is that something to consider or should I just focus on how many new windows we are buying to look at pricing?

I have not found local installers for Sunrise, Okna, or HiMark. I haven't checked the others, but will do so. Thanks again, Matt

[Dane's Response]

Matt, the best way to price out windows is by the linear foot, but that's not very practical in terms of these sorts of emails. So yes, the "per window price" would be lower because you are still filling 23 "holes."

Having said this, I might have to change my vote decidedly to the Soft-Lite option. $692 per window for the best vinyl window is a pretty good price.

[Matt's Response]

Thanks again for your feedback. I am glad to know the Soft-Lite dealer is in the ballpark of acceptable pricing. I was able to find a highly-rated Sunrise dealer locally, so I am going to get pricing from them to see how it compares. With that, I feel like I will have a couple really good options to choose from. I will let you know what I find out.

Matt - Homeowner - from 2016

Soft-Lite Elements vs Alside Mezzo Windows

Dane, Here is what I' m looking at:

One company is Alside Mezzo, case price 10,997 or 422.96/window

Another is Soft Lite Elements (free 3rd pane) discounted price?? 16,714 or 642.86/window

Another company is AMI (I imagine Alside, even though they say it is not Alside window) in the middle at about $450/window

They are all highly rated on BBB and Angie's list. I like the Soft Lite window (and the company - seem more trustworthy), but are they worth $220 a window for 26 windows????? My wife is hesitant to spend the extra 5700 for the Elements. We should be in our home at least another 15 years. The Soft Lite company is happy to divide up the job over a year or two and are not pushy at all. I'm not much of a haggler, but I wonder if 550 a window for the Elements is a fair counter offer??? I won't hold you responsible, so don't hold back. Just tell me what you would do if you were middle class cop with normal family and bills.

Mike - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Mike, if it were me I would go with Soft-Lite Element for $642 per window. This is actually a very good price. However, there is no reason not to try and get them to lower their price :) It never hurts to ask and the worst thing they can say is no. I'm not much of a haggler either, although my wife is amazing at it.

Here is my approach that keeps me in my comfort zone when negotiating - "We really like the Elements window and want to go with you guys, but it is a little out of our price range. Is there any way to get that price closer to $600, $575 (insert whatever price you want) per window. If we could get here, we're all ready to sign." Basically, you are saying that the business is there's, they just have to get you close to your budget. You would be amazed how often this approach works.

Perhaps they will come down in price simply for the business. They may also run through all of the options you've selected (glass, hardware, etc.) and suggest a way to lower the per window price to something that you guys can better afford.

I honestly think you will be better served with the Soft-Lite than the Mezzo in the long run, but I understand that paying the extra money is a tough pill to swallow at the outset!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Soft-Lite Elements vs Gilkey Double Hungs

Hi Tim, thanks for all your work on this site, choosing replacement windows is very confusing and it was a wonderful surprise to find a site like this. We have 11 windows to replace and are trying to choose between the Soft Lite Elements window $679 U value .19 triple pane and the Gilkey Double 366 window U value .26 $804. Both with Argon gas.

The Gilkey window looks like it might be a more sturdy window, and the installers are company employees, however the SoftLite window has the better U value. (Gilkey has windows with higher U values, but this is supposedly their best seller)

Thanks in advance for your opinion.

Ann - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Ann, Gilkey does make a very good window, although they are also much less well known than Soft-Lite (no judgement good or bad there, just a fact). The Soft-Lite Elements is more or less considered one of the top 3 vinyl windows available. If it were me, this is what I would go with -- Soft-Lite has a very strong reputation and the Elements is truly an excellent vinyl window with an air infiltration that just can't be beat. At $680 fully installed, it sounds like a fair price point as well -- considering it's the less expensive of the two bids you have, I'd say the choice is easy. This is obviously assuming that the installation team selling the Soft-Lite is well reviewed and you feel confident that they'll do a good job.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft Lite Elements vs Renewal By Anderson

I need replacement windows (65 of them!). I have builder grade vinyl windows that are 17 years old and I never liked them. My house is in an upscale neighborhood outside Washington DC. I am trying to decide between Renewal by Anderson and Soft Lite.

I am concerned the Soft Lite will not look as good on my home. Both brands have mixed reviews on the internet—both installers have A ratings on Angie's List and I know people who have used them and been happy. The Anderson windows are almost twice the price, but I would rather spend it, than be unhappy with the final appearance of the Soft Lite windows. I am not sure the function of the Anderson window is as good as the Soft Lite, after reading all of these reviews. Do you have an opinion? Thanks, Kara

Kara - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Kara, my own opinion is that with the Renewals, you are paying a lot of money for the name Andersen. Performance wise, the Soft-Lite is going to blow the RBAs away. In terms of aesthetics, I agree that the Renewals are quite nice. For a vinyl window, I personally think that Soft-Lite makes a nice looking window. Are you concerned with how they will look on the outside or the inside? On the outside, I would guess it will look roughly the same, unless you are going with a color other than white. On the inside, the Renewals do look very good, but for the money you are paying you could probably do a Marvin Ultimate wood clad window, which is one of my favorite wood windows. But. . . .wood windows aren't going to last the way that composites or vinyl windows do and they require periodic staining, etc.

One option you may want to look at is a vinyl window with a laminate interior. Most companies do a rather poor to just okay job with their faux wood finishes, but the ones that do it well are impressive (this is completely subjective, especially if you live in a nice home, so take this with a grain of salt. ) Have you gotten a quote on the Okna 800 series? I think this is one of the nicest looking vinyl window on the market and I know they are available in your area. The window offers several interior laminate finishes that are pretty awesome looking and I like the array of hardware options. The Okna 800, along with the Soft-Lite Elements and Sunrise Restorations are generally considered the three best vinyl windows available - and the most expensive.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016

Softlite Elements vs Revere Berkshire Elite

We are in the market for new windows for our home. We had a triple pane Softlite Elements bay window installed in 2013 and are interested in triple pane for the rest of the house. We got a very reasonable quote from a very highly reviewed company for Revere Berkshire Elite triple pane windows. Internet reviews are not favorable but no one is giving specifics as to why the Berkshire Elite is not a good window. We have found that the triple pane feature is relative new due to a redesign. Any insight you have would be appreciated.

Shannon - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Shannon the Revere Berkshire Elite is a decent window in my opinion. Revere perhaps doesn't have the best reputation in the industry, but I think the Berkshire Elite is a decent-enoug mid range vinyl window. I have no idea what the air infiltration rate or U-factor is on the window, but I would imagine with the triple pane option that you would be getting t least a lower U-factor.

I'd be interested in seeing how the Revere Berkshire Elite compared in price to say the Soft-Lite Elements or the Soft-Lite Classic. Number wise, the double pane in either one would be comparable or better than the Revere option. Certainly the Soft-Lite is a better window, but the price might not justify it.

At the end of the day though, a mid range vinyl window with professional and thorough installation at a good price point is a pretty good combination.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

[Shannon's Response]

Dane, we had another company come out and quote us Soft Lite Imperial LS windows. In total, we need 14 windows and a 6ft patio door. Both quotes are for triple pane, although the Berkshire Elite features double coatings of low E, making its U factor slightly lower than the Imperial LS (.22 vs .24).

Berkshire Elite quote: $9,044 and includes lifetime warranty on all windows, replacement parts and labor. Note this quote is from Window Universe and all reviews are extremely favorable.

Imperial LS quote: $10,151 and includes a more limited lifetime warranty on the windows, but only 1 year on the labor. This quote is from The Mintz Co. (aka Comfort Seal) and reviews are more limited, but still positive. We're having a tough time deciding between the two. Obviously the Imperial LS is a higher quality window, but the reviews with Window Universe in the Cleveland area are excellent and they offer a better and more comprehensive warranty. We plan on being in our home for awhile as we have two small children so this is more about comfort than re-sale value. What are your thoughts? Thanks again.

Shannon - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Shannon, if it were me, I would spend the extra $1K and go with the Imperial LS without hesitation. While the U-factor might be a bit lower, I have NO DOUBT that the air infiltration on the Imperial LS is much lower. The Imperial LS is a great window and honestly you will be better served long term going with a great vinyl window like the Imperial LS.

Triple pane is nice and all, but it also means more movable parts to fail over the years…

Just my two cents :)

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

[Shannon's Response]

Thanks so much for your opinion. To clarify, either brand would be triple pane. Would you be worried about the difference in warranty?

It's so nice of you to take the time to help people with what is a confusing and stressful decision.

Thanks again! Shannon

[Site Editor's Response]

Shannon, Sunrise has the better reputation in terms of servicing the warranty. However, it does sound like the company that sells the Revere offers a good service warranty. At the end of the day, I would go with the better product, which means less warranty issues down the road.

It is amazing how confusing the window industry, isn't it? It's almost like its made intentionally confusing…although I don't quite see the reason for it…

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft-Lite Element vs Alside Mezzo Windows

Dane, Here is what I' m looking at:

One company is Alside Mezzo, case price 10,997 or 422.96/window

Another is Soft Lite Elements (free 3rd pane) discounted price?? 16,714 or 642.86/window

Another company is AMI (I imagine Alside, even though they say it is not Alside window) in the middle at about $450/window

They are all highly rated on BBB and Angie's list. I like the Soft Lite window (and the company - seem more trustworthy), but are they worth $220 a window for 26 windows????? My wife is hesitant to spend the extra 5700 for the Elements. We should be in our home at least another 15 years. The Soft Lite company is happy to divide up the job over a year or two and are not pushy at all. I'm not much of a haggler, but I wonder if 550 a window for the Elements is a fair counter offer??? I won't hold you responsible, so don't hold back. Just tell me what you would do if you were middle class cop with normal family and bills.

Mike - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Mike, if it were me I would go with Soft-Lite Element for $642 per window. This is actually a very good price. However, there is no reason not to try and get them to lower their price :) It never hurts to ask and the worst thing they can say is no. I'm not much of a haggler either, although my wife is amazing at it.

Here is my approach that keeps me in my comfort zone when negotiating - "We really like the Elements window and want to go with you guys, but it is a little out of our price range. Is there any way to get that price closer to $600, $575 (insert whatever price you want) per window. If we could get here, we're all ready to sign. " Basically, you are saying that the business is there's, they just have to get you close to your budget. You would be amazed how often this approach works.

Perhaps they will come down in price simply for the business. They may also run through all of the options you've selected (glass, hardware, etc. ) and suggest a way to lower the per window price to something that you guys can better afford.

I honestly think you will be better served with the Soft-Lite than the Mezzo in the long run, but I understand that paying the extra money is a tough pill to swallow at the outset!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Soft Lite Element Or Sunrise Ultra Plus

We can't decide between Sunrise Ultra Plus or Soft Lite Element Replacement Windows. We got quotes from both companies, Soft Lite being more expensive, but not enough for us to not consider them. Both companies have a solid reputation for installation, any thoughts?

Amanda - Homeowner - from 2015

[Contractor Response]

Amanda, both of these companies are very good and the windows you've selected are both excellent. If you feel like the installation is the same from both companies, I would probably go with the Sunrise Ultra Plus for the simple reason that it's less expensive. Unless there is something about the Element that you love such as the overall look of it, but honestly once the windows are in, you probably won't notice the difference.

Dane - Contractor - from 2015

Soft-Lite Elements Window Estimate

Old Pella windows, received price for Softlite triple glass Elements.
2 23.5x63.5 casements.
1 5 lite bow
1 120x66 casement.
1 172x80 sliding door.
2 31x18.75 awnings.
2 19x19 octagon stationary.
5 48.5x51.25 2pane casements.
1 23.5x51.25 casement.
2 33.5x19.25 awnings.

All windows and door will be new construction style. Quoted Soft-Lite window price of $27.000.00 with me doing the staining and poly on jambs and case moulding. Is this a reasonable quote?

Mike - Homeowner - from 2015

[Editor's Response]

Mike, from what I can see here, it looks pretty high in terms of a quote, but there are so many factors that I obviously don't know in terms of the job. Is there a reason that you getting triple paned windows - do you really need this, and can you get the quote for the double pane windows and see what this does to the price?

I would absolutely get a couple more comparable quotes so that you can really tell how they stack up against one another - I would try to get a quote on the Okna 800 and the Sunrise Restoration (there should be a dealer in you area for both of these manufacturers). These are going to be comparable window models in terms of quality and price and should give you a better baseline to compare price quotes.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Soft-Lite vs Vytex And Sunrise

I have narrowed down my quotes to the following, it is for 13 windows.

Company A sells Sunrise Vanguard - $8200
Company B sells Soft-Lite Elements - $7450 or
they sell Simonton Generations Model for $6900
Company C sells Vytex Heritage for $8550

The Sunrise seems like the better warranty and does not seem to include the same exclusions that the Vytex seems to have. Any advice will really help me.

Jenny - Consumer - from 2014

[Installer Response]

I would have to say the Soft-Lite Elements, that is a fantastic deal and almost too good to be true. The Heritage is overpriced in your bids and the Vanguard is a solid window but I don't see why you would pass up the Elements. Just make sure that the installer is thorough and doesn't cut corners.

Brady - Installer - from 2014

Soft-Lite Elements vs Sunrise Vanguard

I can't decide on what windows to get or who I want to install them. I'm getting 13 windows, and I've narrowed it to three options. I can get Vanguard Sunrise for $8233, it seems to have the best warranty of the three. My next quote was SoftLite Elements for $7446 or Simonton Generations $6908, same installer. The last guy quoted $8590 for Vytex Heritage, I like them but their warranty seems to have a lot of exclusions. I know it's important to get a good installer, and I'm not sure which is better. They all describe different ways to seal the air gap, the Vanguard installer says that a good measure doesn't leave gaps and that putting anything around the frame distorts it. The Softlite guy uses some sort of foam/fiberglass insulation, and the Vytex installer sprays in a non-expanding foam.

Keith - Homeowner - from 2011

Soft-Lite Elements vs Marvin Infinity

My home was built in 98. The builder's windows are double hungs and I get awful drafts, condensation and frost in the winters. Last year we ended up with mold inside the glass. In Michigan we have hot summers but very cold winters. I need new window but I have a tight budget. We're going to do the upstairs now and the downstairs later. I plan to sell in a few years so I don't need a super great window, just something that looks nice and will last a few years. I'm looking at either the SoftLite Elements in vinyl or the Marvin Infinity in fiberglass. The quotes for the two are about the same. The SoftLites have some better numbers, but I'm told that after a few seasons of expanding and contracting they lose that. The Marvins have a metal spacer, and I'm a little worried that it will cause condensation, which is why I'm replacing the old ones.

Danica - Homeowner - from 2011

[Contractor Response]

The Infinity is nice, but the Softlite Elements is much much better. The vinyl won't have issues from expansion and contracting, maybe if you had a window the size of a bus but not for a residential window. They are designed to last a long time. I've done an energy audit on a house with windows around 10 years old and they blew a 0 air infiltration.

Holland - Contractor - from 2011

Soft-Lite Elements vs. Seaway

I live in Virginia and desperately need to switch my old single pane aluminum windows - I can feel the cold just seeping in! I have a bid from a local company that sells Seaway Encore windows and I'm getting 5 casements and 16 hungs. I haven't found much on them and don't want to go with them until I get some more information. The bid price was $10,500, which is $500 per window and is including the installation. There isn't any work to the frames so I'm not sure if this is a good price or not. I also have an estimate from one other local company that sells the Soft-Lite Elements windows and this was $14,000, which is $666 per window.

Kelly - Homeowner - from 2010

[Contractor's Response]

I've installed Seaway windows in the past and they are a good window. $500 for the Encore with installation does not seem excessive to me, I would say that's probably right in the middle of what you could expect (without having seen the job of course). The Soft-Lite Elements is a great window, better than the Encore for sure. I would have the Seaway rep quote you a price on the Ovation series. But the Elements window is really good and $666 is also a very good price. I'd probably go with the Soft-Lite, unless that Ovation comes in at $550 and then you might consider that.

Holland - Contractor - from 2010

Soft-Lite Durashield Windows Reviews

Soft-Lite Durashield vs. CWS Aria Series

Hi Tim, I live in Sarasota FL and am looking to replace all 12 windows in my house. I've spent a lot of time doing research and calling the various companies to get quotes. One company claims that the CWS Aria series windows are not good and don't compare to Soft-Lite Durashield. Is this true? Is the CWS Aria series windows really of bad quality? This company also claims PGT windows have various issues. I am not sure if I should trust this claim. Any advice would be highly appreciated!

Jo - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Jo, the CWS Aria window is an okay vinyl window. It's the company's entry level vinyl window and not the model I would go with from CWS. I would prefer you go with the Windpact series from CWS.

In terms of how they compare to Soft-Lite, I would definitely give the nod to Soft-Lite over CWS. My understanding is that the Durashield is Soft-Lite's entry level impact window. Their Armor or Barcelona series are going to be preferable the Durashield.

PGT windows have a good reputation, perhaps a bit above CWS. But basically they are both considered good impact window manufacturers in Florida.

Each company makes a number of windows. If you don't need impact windows, go with a mid range or premium vinyl series. Impact will cost considerably more, but obviously they are much more durable.

CWS, PGT, and Soft-Lite all have good reputations. Just stay away from their entry level windows.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-Lite Barcelona Impact Window Reviews

The Soft-Lite Barcelona is an impact window that is considered a high quality hurricane window. When we get more specifics, we will be sure to post it.

Dane - Site Editor

Soft-Lite Barcelona Window Bids

Hello Dane and Time, I live in Miami, FL and was looking to replace our 30 year old windows to something that is energy efficient and impact. We just purchased this home a year and a half ago and plan on staying here for as long as possible.

We have 11 windows total. Sizes below:

34x60 (x2)
39x50 (x2)

We were given the demonstration for Soft-Lite windows the Barcelona model (link below) with grids

A final price of $13,000 (Original quoted price was 22k) I have no idea if this is a good price or if you can suggest another like model that would be cheaper.

Any help would be appreciated. If you have someone in Miami, FL I would also welcome another estimate.

Anthony - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Anthony, the Soft-Lite Barcelona impact window is an excellent window, but not the less expensive. There are some good alternatives that should be much less expensive and should serve you well. The PGT WinGuard 5500 impact window is a great place to start. I would also get a bid on the CWS 8100 Windpact Plus. Finally, I would check to see if any local Simonton dealers carry the StormBreaker Plus. This is a decent impact window that might be the most affordable of the bunch.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-Lite Barcelona Windows

We have a bid on the Soft-Lite Barcelona model here in Florida. Your site doesn't include information on the Soft Light Barcelona model with impact glass.

The full cost for installation for six 3' x 5' double hung Barcelona impact windows was $6,840. Is this a quality product and fair price?

Dan - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Dan, the Soft-Lite Barcelona model is quite good from the little I've heard. The price bid you received is certainly in the ballpark. Without more bids, I can't say its the best deal out there.

I would suggest you get a few more bids, including PGT and CWS. Also a Simonton Stormbreaker Plus would be a good bid to get.

Once you have a few bids to compare it to, then you'll know whether the bid is solid. If you do get the bids, send them my way and I'm happy to give you my opinion.

All The Best,

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-Lite Armor Impact Window Reviews

Soft-Lite Armor Impact vs Silverline Windows

What do you think about Soft-lite ARMOR IMPACT PLUS 5300 or Anderson 2900 series?

Bryan - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

The Soft-Lite Armor Impact Plus is a solid hurricane window, I am a fan. The Silverline 2900 is not a good window, definitely not a fan.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft-Lite 5300 Impact Windows vs. Simonton Coastal

Would you recommend Simonton Coastal Impact Window for $800/ window or Soft-lite 5300 Armor Impact window for $711/ window? Both would be retrofit. Thank you for your input.

Jennifer - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Jennifer, I would have to say the Soft-Lite 5300 impact window would be my choice. While you didn't mention any of the features, glass package, etc. , from a purely "reputation" standpoint, the Soft-Lite is a first tier vinyl window, while Simonton is a second tier company. The fact that the window is also less expensive makes the choice that much easier.

Let me know how it works out, but I would say the choice is pretty clear!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Soft-Lite Envision Windows Reviews

Soft Lite 5300 Impact Windows Prices

I actually cancelled my PGT contract. Thanks to your website, we learned that we were being overcharged by A LOT! They quoted us for $8520 for impact windows.

We are now in talks with someone that gave us a quote for Soft Lite impact window, Soft Lite 5300, for $5,928.

Thanks for your advice, and thanks for your site for helping consumers like me make an informed decision!!!

Best wishes, Maria.

Maria - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Maria, great to hear that you got what sounds like a smoking deal on Soft-Lite impact windows, some of the best in the business!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Soft-Lite Envision Windows

I recently got a quote from Window Nation for Soft-Lite Envision windows, but I can't find this window on the company website. The local company that gave me the bid said that they are an exclusive window made for them by Soft-Lite. Is this a good window or not? Thanks.

Elliott - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Elliott, thanks for the question, I hadn't heard of this Soft-Lite model so I did some checking. It does look like this is a relabeled window that is marketed by Window Nation. This is a fairly common practice that companies use for marketing purposes, mainly because when they say "we carry an exclusive Soft-Lite window that is available to no one but us," it often sounds impressive.

Here is the deal on the Envision window - it's simply a rebadged or relabeled Bainbridge Model, which is listed on the Soft-Lite website. The Bainbridge is one of their entry level models (a step up from the Barrington). The window is not bad by any means: air infiltration of 0.06, DP40 structural rating, .29 U-factor, .28 SHGC and .37 VT.

However, it is not as good as a number of the other Soft-Lite windows, including the Pro, Imperial LS and Elements models. I would say that with good installation and a fair price point, the Envision should be just fine for most homes. I would certainly get a couple more bids to compare prices and features and to make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2015

Soft-Lite Kingsroyal Patio Doors Reviews

Kingsroyal Alternative

What about alternate patio doors to soft lite kingsroyal that run smooth (ease of operation), durable and well made and maximizes visibility?

- Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

I would suggest looking at the Sunrise Restorations patio doors, Okna, ProVia, and Jeld Wen. All of these manufacturers makes a good patio door. I'm not exactly sure about frame width on the doors though, you'll have to get the measurements from the dealers and compare them.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

General Soft-Lite Windows Reviews

Soft light In Kentucky And Okna & Kensington

Hi Tim! I have several appointments with Okna dealer, Kingston Quantum, Soft light, and Alside Mezzo. But I really like the large glass slim vinyl look of sunrise restorations. My problem is sunrise doesn’t have a dealer in the state of Kentucky. Do you know how I can purchase this window?

Brad - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Brad, unfortunately, if they don't have a dealer you can't buy the window. Okna and Soft-Lite though are excellent manufacturers and you should be well served by either one of these.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-Lite vs. Alside

We are replacing all window and sliding door. Alside vs soflite. The installer can do both. What window should I go with . We are on lake Erie. Shoud I go with triple pain? What should I ask? Alside has many different windows. Don’t want them selling me a crap window. What should I ask for?


Barry - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Barry, Soft-Lite is a much better manufacturer than Alside. In fact, Soft-Lite is one of the best out there. I would recommend going with the Soft-Lite Classic or Pro models. If you are looking for a really solid premium window, you can always upgrade to the Soft-Lite Imperial LS or Elements series.

I don’t think you necessarily need triple pane, although it might be cold enough in your neck of the woods to necessitate triple pane. I would solicit various opinions from locals on this point.

Basically, the Soft-Lite models that I mentioned are very good products that will serve you well.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018

Soft-Lite Windows vs. Apex Energy Systems

Hi Dane, I have really received great research thought from your platform. I live in the Denver area and was approached by Apex Energy Systems door-to-door. After receiving a bid of $25,000. For 25 double hung and slider windows (including a 3-pane 8 ft patio glass door), I began to research window manufacturers and dealerships.

I settled on Soft-Lite window manufacturing, and searched for dealer/installers.

I was sure I would be offered something considerably less, but received a $24,000. bid for the same 26 windows, but utilizing the Nirvana model (same as the Pro series by Soft-Lite).

Question 1: These bids seem high considering other bids submitted to your review site.

Question 2: Are variances of $24000 versus $11,000 to $13,000 possible between different parts of the country?

Thank you for your response.

Frank - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Frank, I don't think that the region of the country would affect the price in that way, although there are price discrepancies between rural and urban settings based on cost of living, rents, labor, etc.

There are however wild swings in price based on the project requirements and from one contractor/company to another.

My advise to you would be to get two more bids; one from an Amerimax dealer in your area on their mid range Craftsman Portrait Series. The other from a Milgard dealer on their Tuscany vinyl window.

Both of these windows ought to be available and I feel like these bids should be enough to give you a good sense of the true market price of your project. If you can, ask them to break down the labor/install portion of the project from the windows. This will help you see where the costs are.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2017

Soft-Lite In Indiana

We are building a 16' x 32' cabin. We want extra tight construction and energy efficiency. We are looking for quality windows (and a door) with a very low U-factor (possibly triple-pane) and very low air leakage. We would like the best quality for the price, but will consider a more expensive but higher quality option. What would you recommend?

Michael - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Michael, I assume you are in Indiana - try Soft-Lite, they should have reps/local dealers in your state, I believe Gorell had a plant in Indiana that Soft-Lite took over when they purchased their assets in 2012 so that would be a good bet. I believe Sunrise also services your state and they make some very high quality vinyl windows. Also call up Okna windows and see if they have anyone who services your area.

These are the three top vinyl window companies that manufacture great windows with excellent energy efficiency. Each company make a number of vinyl windows so the window model has a lot to do with the performance and overall durability. I would start out with their premium window model and work your way down until you find the model that is in your price range and offers the performance numbers that you want. I would stay away from the entry level window from each company since it sounds like you really want something that will provide the best long term value and results.

When it comes to working with top vinyl manufacturers like this, you will get what you pay for (but still get a few bids because some dealers charge more for the same window or they get a better deal because they do more volume on a particular model etc. ) Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016

Soft-Lite vs Pella And Andersen

Sunrise, HiMark, Polaris, and Softlite are considered to be a kind of elite, status brand. I'm not sure if that means they are really better than the big players like Pella, Andersen, or Marvin. I think a lot depends on the dealer you get then from, since that determines some of your customer service. The dealers here that pushes Simontons are ok, and another one sells Alside (along with others). I've dealt mostly with the one who sell only the Sunrise brand. They've been around a long time, and I have never had a problem with them, but not long ago they were bought by a new owner. I'm not sure how that's going to go. They people here who sell Himarks (an offshoot of Okna) don't have much of a reputation, and the only place around here to get Alsides is a store that mainly deals in auto glass. With such limited options a lot of people go into the city to buy.

Macky - Installer - from 2012

Soft-Lite vs Sunrise Windows

I like both Soft-Lite and Sunrise windows. Soft-Lites have fiberglass insulation stapled to the jambs and head, which I think is stupid. For an insane fee they'll give you a foam insulating wrap, which is better, or low-expansion foam, which is the best choice. Personally, if your openings are level and square I think you do better to order a window that fits nice and tight, with just enough room for some shims. If your jambs are plumb and sills are level, you can usually get a good fit without doing anything too crazy. If you have really large openings, then you might need something a little more complex. Sunrise windows have a flat jamb and the foam tape they use sticks out a little. If you anchor them well, then spray foam insulation under the sills you can then seal the frame with silicone or something similar.

You also need to check out the extrusions and framing before ordering your windows. Some have a groove that they fit in, and I prefer leaving a little extra space and using spray foam to ensure a good fit. Foam rolls can help with a loose fit, they help get a tight seal and insulate too. I like have multiple lines of defense against water and air infiltration. A good seal, plenty of insulation, and a tight fit are all important. Ask your installer how they handle all of this, there are plenty of different ways to make sure a window is sealed and well installed.

Mike - Installer - from 2011

Customer Price Comparison

I need 21 windows for our Kansas City home, one a large picture window. We plan on staying in the house, so we want something that looks good, will last a long time, and have decent energy efficiency. So far, I have estimates for Window World Series 6000 at $9250, Easton Vinylmax $11,300, Softlite Imperial LS for $12,850, and Simonton 5500 for $12,530.

Brenda Homeowner - from 2009

[Contractor Response]

The SoftLite is the best of those, in my opinion. Simontons would be my second choice. The Window World is the lowest quality, I wouldn't even bother. The Vinylmax might be okay, but it's a smaller company without a proven track record. I wouldn't spend that much on a company with so little info available.

Brad - Contractor - from 2009

Related Topics: Okna Windows Reviews

Private Policy