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Zen Windows Reviews

Read 13 Zen windows reviews from homeowners and contractors to explore popular series such as the Karma, Nirvana and Lotus window models.

Have a question for our site editors, Dane or 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.)

Zen Windows Prices | Zen Nirvana | Zen Karma | Zen Lotus | General Reviews


Editor's Zen Window Review

Zen Windows is a franchise structured operation that has branches in many of the largest cities across the United States. The parent company of Zen is Soft-Lite Windows, who are an Ohio based vinyl window manufacturer that enjoys one of the better reputations in the industry for quality windows and patio doors.

Zen Windows sell three models, the Karma, Nirvana, and the Lotus, which are actually relabeled Soft-Lite Bainbridge, Classic, and Pro Series. 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.

The biggest question about buying and installing windows from a franchised type operation has always been one of quality control and here it will depend on the individual "branch" that you purchase from. The Zen product is quite good, the professionalism of the franchise and the expertise of the installers are going to probably vary by location. Assuming that the Zen Window branch in your area gets good reviews and their installation team(s) receive high marks, I think this is a good option for most homeowners.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016



Zen Karma Windows Reviews


Zen Karma Window vs Silverline 8600

Hi, my husband and I are looking to replace ten windows in our home and the contractor is talking up the Silverline 8600 series.

We haven’t been able to find a whole lot of reviews on these windows. We don’t have a lot of money to lay out and don’t want to have to worry about them in five years’ time.

Can you give us any sites with info/ reviews and or your professional opinion? Thanks.

Joni - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi Joni, usually on this site i recommend to most homeowners that they go with a mid range vinyl window from a credible and known manufacturer. However, if you are leaving your home in five years, you don't have to worry too much about the quality of the windows. However, you still want to get good installation because slip shod work could get you some real headaches come winter.

Here are some windows that you could consider. I would probably sneak the Silverline 8600 series in that list, although the 9500 would be my preference when it comes to the Silverline. If you are buying from the big box stores, go in and talk to the guys working the windows section and ask them what their favorite window is and what they would put in their house. Then go find your own installer with good references and experience.

Zen Karma
Soft-Lite Barrington
Sunrise Essentials
Simonton VantagePointe Series
Simonton Daylight Max Series
Ply Gem Pro Series
Milgard Styline
Silverline 9500

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017



Zen Nirvana Windows Reviews


Zen Windows vs Wincore Windows

I have 5 quotes listed below for my Austin Texas location. What is my best option or should I look for more quotes. Project scope: 15 total windows, some large some eyebrows with legs..

4 = 70L x 47W
2 = 70L x 22.25W
3 = 70L x 35.5W = (total 70Lx106W grouped together/connected these 3 windows fit 1 large opening
3 = 52L x 47W picture+eyeb
1 = 28L x 58W picture+eyeb
2 = 82L x 34.25 picture+eyeb

Quotes:
1. Product Wincore 5400 $10,489.75
2. Zen Soft-lite Nirvana = $16,211
3. Zen - Kensington = $10,041
4. Simonton Vantage Point 6500 = $13,984
5. Simonton P Plat = $16,045

Thank you.

Jon - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Jon, I like the Soft-Lite Classic (Zen Nirvana), but it's also your highest bid so I don't want to pick it without giving you a little more of my take on all your other bids. Wincore makes a decent window, but I like their upgraded 7700 series more. I'd be curious what the company who gave you that bid would price out the 7700 at...if it's at $12000 or less it's definitely something to consider.

Forget the Zen Karma, I don't think that window is very good. Simonton's VantagePointe is just sort of okay in my opinion.

Installation quality has to come into effect so make sure that whoever you go with offers quality installation, good reviews and a labor warranty on their work.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016


Zen vs Simonton Windows

We just tore out a rotten window sill at our home yesterday (not the remodel project.) In our area, in vinyl, the local distributors carry Silverline, Pella, Simonton and the smaller companies (which I agree we should stay away from because the warranties are not great and the companies may not be around later for warranty work.) I have not looked at the home stores and hope not to because that seems to complicate things more. You have confirmed my feeling about the Silver Lines. I suspect that the same scenario applies to Pella.

I looked for Sunrise and Soft-Lite, but only found Zen about 40 miles away from the construction site. I will check into the other brands you mentioned, but if they are not available here that really only leaves Simonton reflections 5500 and Platinum Prism as worthy options here. They are expensive, but they seem to have a decent warranty. Again, I thank you so much for your help.

Nita - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Nita, the Simonton 5500 is a good window. Call up the Zen dealer and have them come out and give you a bid. Tell them you only want a bid on the Nirvana and Lotus, not the Karma model. The Nirvana and Lotus are the Soft-Lite Classic and Soft-Lite Pro (confusing right?)

Both of these models are quite good and are often at a nice price point. Not always so, but often. The more bids you have, the stronger your negotiating position.

Good luck!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016


Colorado Window Cost Quotes

Hi folks, I've been using your site for days now and would love some assistance. I have received 6 quotes from different companies in Longmont, CO and have my 7th in about an hour. Here is the breakdown of companies and quotes. Could you help rank these? I feel like my brain is suffering from information overload from trying to research all these companies and products. Also, we've only just bought the house and lived here 10 days! These are all for 17 windows, all same color and action and includes installation.

Renewal By Anderson - Composite - $38k
Zen Windows - Nirvana - $11k
Zen Windows - Lotus - $12k
Conservation Construction - Conservation 5 Vinyl (Amerimax?) - $16k
Pella - Impervia Fiberglass - $21k
Pella - 250 Series Vinyl - $16k
Alpen - 525 Series Fiberglass - $16k
Alpen - The Huntington (Kensington?) Vinyl - $10k
SolarGlass - Marvin Integrity Fiberglass - $17k
Colorado Window Source - Sunrise - $17k
Colorado Window Source - Amerimax Craftsman Portrait w/ 366 glass - $13k

Based on the reviews I've found on your site, RBA seems overpriced to the point of not worth it. Price is a big factor, but value is probably a bigger one.

Josh - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Josh, you have a lot of bids here and some very good brands represented. I agree that you can toss out the RBA at more than double the cost of the other window bids you have. I also think you can toss the Pella Impervia fiberglass option and the 250 quotes, the Impervia is not a very good fiberglass window in my opinion and the Pella 250 price quote is at the same range as the real winners of the bunch.

At the top of the heap for me would be the Zen quote, which is a Soft-Lite Classic and Pro, both windows I like quite a bit. They are also the cheapest, which is nice to say the least. Zen is a franchise which calls for some consideration, how experienced are the installers, what kind of a labor warranty do they offer, etc.

The other two that I like are the Amerimax Craftsman Portrait window and the Kensington Huntington Window, each of which offers a good product and the bid price seems reasonable.

If you really like the fiberglass option and are considering going this route, I would put the Alpen 525 and the Integrity on par with one another. But at roughly $1000 per window, that's a lot of money, they must be big windows. Let me know what you decide!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

[Josh's Response]

Thanks for the response. So, the Sunrise quote was still actually unsettled, and I used the higher end of the range when we emailed you. The official quote came in at just under $15k for the Sunrise. So, we will be going with Sunrise. Somewhat more expensive, but by reading a lot on your site as well as others, taking a look at the Sunrise warranty, seeing how they hit great energy ratings using glass only to not rely on the gas fill, having the dual action sliders instead of single, and their use of noise reduction glass, we think this is the better value purchase.

Also, since the price ended up where it was, we can afford to replace a patio door as well. So we're pretty happy with our decision. Thanks so much for hosting your site and offering the personalized advice/feedback. We really appreciate it!

I will try to email again once we have gone through the install so you will have some more feedback on the installation company. With the combo, we are getting lifetime warranties on both the window and the installation, so there is a lot of peace of mind there.

Josh - Homeowner - from 2016


Zen vs Simonton Platinum Prism

Thank you for your reply. I realized after I sent my question that my bid for the Zen Windows included a painted exterior, and the other two quotes did not. Once I eliminate that, the Zen Nirvana window comes in at only $1,000 more than the Amerimax Craftsman Portrait, and about $200 less than the Simonton Platinum Prism.

It sounds like from your answer that the Simonton would be your third choice of these three? I admit that, though all three installers get great reviews on BBB, Angie's List, etc., we like the Simonton installer the best, though that's more of a feeling than anything concrete. Would it be a mistake to choose the Simonton for the installer; are the other windows that much better? Thank you!!!

Margaret - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Margaret, the installation is very important, I always say 50% windows, 50% installation. The Simonton Platinum Prism is a good vinyl window, I'd probably put it on par with the Amerimax Craftsman Portrait, but I would put the Soft-Lite Classic above these. But by how much, probably not a huge amount. If it were me and these were my options, I'd go with the installer who I felt was going to do the most thorough job, installed quite a few of the window I selected, and gave me the best overall feeling (and obviously had great reviews).

I have to say on the windows alone, I'd probably go with the Zen if it's only $1000 more, but again, the installer would probably be a bigger factor with the selections you have. Let me know how your project goes!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016


Zen Windows Price Quote

I received a cost quote of $12,900 for 20 Zen windows, the model is Nirvana (Classic) with half grids. Is this price bid reasonable? I am located in Massachusetts. This price included the 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


Zen Lotus Windows Reviews


Zen Lotus vs Simonton Prism Platinum Windows

Looking to replace 11 double hung windows and 1 large double casement and I am trying to chose a decent windows for a mid-range price. Currently have quotes on the Simonton Prism Platinum and the Zen Lotus. For installation I have a highly recommended company for the Simonton and for the Zen I would be using their contractors. I have read numerous pros and cons on both window manufactures. Pricing is slightly lower on the Zen but I am looking for recommendation on the better windows and warranties. I wouldappreciate any suggestions.

Al - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Al, the Simonton Prism Platinum window is quite a decent window, but the Zen Lotus is the better of the two. The Lotus model is the Soft-lite Classic, which is quite a nice vinyl window and the one I would go with. Make sure the Zen franchise owner and their installation team has a good reputation and offers a labor warranty.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016


General Zen Windows Reviews


Zen Windows vs. Don Young

I need to replace several wood clad windows in my home. I would like to get an estimate of the cost involved for Don Young Vinyl casement replacement windows?

What is the price range I should expect for a 56x60 Sunshield 2 Lite professionally installed. The window sizes range from 48x60 to 48x72.

It is impossible to find comps on the various web sites.

Any help you can provide is appreciated.

Richard - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Richard, the reason it's so hard to find comps is that each project is so different from one another. There are tons of upgrades and options available on the windows themselves that throwing out a price per window is virtually impossible.

Get the bid from Don Young and then get a few more bids to compare it to. This is the best way to see what the fair market price for your project is. Maybe get a bid on a Milgard Tuscany, or from Zen windows, Gilkey if in your area, even Simonton (you want to stick to their Impressions or higher end Reflections series windows). Others to look for include Okna, Soft-Lite, Amerimax or Polaris.

Get your bids, compare them, and then use the different bids to get the lowest price on the bid that seems like your best option.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017


Zen vs Sunrise

I'm helping my daughter near Atlanta with research for the first phase of replacing all of their windows - seven this time, six replacing old wood frame stopped in glass with vinyl replacements, full frame units required. Six are on a southwest A frame wall. Four are trapezoids.

In her area, she has access to dealers representing Soft-Lite (Zen), Champion, Sunrise and Simonton.

We're looking at mid-range products but wonder if she needs to try for a product that offers LoE - 270 to get a lower solar rating.

Also, do trapezoids suggest a manufacturer(s) that might be better even though all the windows are custom built? I'm wondering about the demands of the two non-90 degree angles.

Many thanks for the education your site provides. My husband and I were DIY folks in our day, but vinyl window extrusions, etc. are a new ball game.

- Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Kathy, I like your 4 choices of window brands, all quite respectable, my two favorite of the bunch are Sunrise and Zen, whose mid range vinyl windows are very good. The type of glass you opt for will certainly affect your performance. The more low-e coatings, the darker the glass will be, so that's the trade off there. I typically think the standard low-e glass is sufficient, unless your windows are south facing and get lots of sun. In that case, you may want to upgrade to a low-e 2 or low-e3 (each company calls their glass packages by a different name).

Vinyl windows are custom made in a factory and the extrusions are simply cut on an angle to create whatever shape and size they offer - most manufacturers offer specialty shaped windows, so no, the fact that one company offers a trapezoid doesn't mean they are better than any other.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016


Zen vs Okna Windows

Thanks Dane, I don't know how you guys do all this. I am in touch with Soft-Lite (Zen) and leaning towards the Imperial LS. A couple of reviews on your site say the Pro is not as good. Our dealer seems very good and is fine with selling me some windows for DIY.

Sunrise is supposed to be sending me some information. Our local Okna dealer doesn't do new construction and will not sell windows for DIY. Thanks Again.

Mike - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

The Imperial LS is a great window. The Pro is good too, it's just an older model that lacks some of the nicer features. Soft-Lite did a bunch of R&D and then integrated the newer features and designs into the Elements and Imperials LS. I don't think you can go wrong with either - plus it sounds like you have an installer you really like. Good on you!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016


Zen Windows in Missouri

I originally thought that I was going to do replacement windows. But the sunrise with the full frame I was looking at I would have to take my trim off on the inside. If that's the case I didn't know if there was a better window to go with as far as new construction. I always thought Anderson was one of the better windows for new construction do you recommend any other window at a fair price for a good product

Chris - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Andersen Windows is an expensive window and they are best known for their wood clad windows (which are expensive, but very nice.) For most homeowners, I recommend staying with a quality vinyl window - they offer better value, performance and overall durability.

Did you see if Vista Windows or Zen Windows (these are essentially Soft-Lite windows) services your area? You are in Missouri, correct?

I think at this point you need to get a few bids from some more companies to get a consensus on whether you need to go with a replacement or new construction installation. You may get some variation in opinions, but by the third or fourth bid it should be clear what the best course of action is. You will also get a better sense of pricing with a few bids and get to see and feel the different windows out there.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016


Zen Windows In Denver

How do I get/find an honest contractor? I live in Denver metro and am constantly quoted $1,500 to $2,000 PLUS for a casement windows that are 36" x 42"

Thomas - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Thomas, what type of casement are you looking for? Wood clad, composite, fiberglass, vinyl?

This is a lot of money if we are talking about any window that isn't wood clad (wood interior, aluminum or fiberglass exterior). However, I could seen this price if you have gotten bids from Pella, Renewal By Andersen, Loewen etc.

There are a number of ways to find a quality contractor that services your zip code, but this is my preferred choice. Find a local company who carries a quality line of windows and get 3 or 4 bids.

Marvin Infinity is a high quality fiberglass window that should be much more affordable than the price you quoted. They offer an interior woodgrain laminate that does a great job of mimicking the look of wood, without the maintenance required.

Sunrise ought to have several dealers in your area who can give you a bid. I found these guys doing a quick search for "sunrise windows denver colorado"

Soft-Lite markets their Zen windows in Denver and has a local dealer - google soft-lite zen windows denver and they should come up - don't go with their lower end window, use their mid range or premium option, the Nirvana and Lotus, respectively.

Amerimax is sure to have local Denver reps since the company is headquartered in Colorado. Amerimax is considered a step below Sunrise, but is still considered a good overall vinyl window manufacturer.



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