Okna 800 Window Reviews

Okna windows reviews, warranty, prices, lawsuit

The Okna 800 Series or Enviro-Star is billed as their “top of the line” offering.  Typically we’re a little hesitant to believe all of the top of the line hype that typically accompanies a top of the line window, but let’s take a look at what the Okna 800 Enviro-Star has to offer.

First, the Okna 800 window uses a slightly thicker frame than the Okna 500 series that we reviewed earlier.  The thicker frame isn’t good or bad, but it does reduce the glass area which reduces the amount of light that can get through the window.

One design element that we like on the 800 series as compared to the 500 series is the design of the frame on the exterior.  While it’s still a little busy, it’s much less busy than the less expensive Okna 500.

Okna 800 reviews, price Enviro-Star
You can see that there are still a lot of details on the frame, it has a better look than the 500 series.

One feature that sounds neat, but appears to have absolutely no benefit is the magnetic seal at the bottom.  As you can see in the diagram below there is a magnetic seal at the bottom of the Okna 800 window.  That sounds like a pretty slick feature.  After all it works for your refrigerator why wouldn’t it work for a window.

Okna 800 Enviro-Star reviews
The Okna 800 Enviro-Star has a magnetic seal at the bottom.

So it sounds cool and it makes sense, but it turns out it doesn’t do much for you.  The Okna 800 series has a 0.01 air infiltration rating according to their website.  The Okna 500 series without the magnetic seal has a rating 0.02.  So it’s supposed to make the window seal tighter, but unfortunately it doesn’t make much of a difference.  At least it sounds cool 😉

Okna Enviro-Star 800 series windows.
Here you can see the mortised sill dam on the Okna 800 Enviro-Star.

Beyond that there are several other design elements that definitely make this a next generation product.  The mortised sill dam (shown above) and the fully welded sloped sill (shown below) are important features that contribute to the overall performance.  Okna certainly isn’t the only manufacturer to include these features, but older designs typically do not have them.

Okna Enviro-Star windows
Here is the true sloped sill on the Enviro-Star.

The last product pic we’ll show you is the lift rail.  This is a little unusual and frankly I’m not a huge fan.  It’s certainly a style issue so it’s as subjective as anything else.  This lift rail (shown below) stands out a little too much in my opinion and has the potential to break or snap off in the future.  If you like the look then go for it, but I don’t think it’s for me.

Okna windows ratings, lawsuit, waranty
The unusual lift rail on the Okna 800 Enviro-Star

So, what’s the price of an Okna 800?

These windows are typically sold at a higher price due to the “top of the line” type sales pitch.  At the end of the day it’s a fine product with several nice features, but there is nothing about this window that you can’t find in several other models.  When you see companies trying to sell this product for $500 or more for a basic white window you can be sure that’s a little on the high side.

If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to join Angie’s List.  For just a couple bucks you can get a 1-month membership and it’ll be worth much more than a caramel macchiato in the long run.  You can find the best pricing for Angie’s List on the internet right here

If you’re already a member of Angie’s List or if you’re just not going to join (despite my ringing endorsement), you can find our suggestions for the best companies in your area right here.

Update: We now have more recommend LOCAL window companies than ever before.   Click here to see who we recommend in your town.  It's 100% free.  You'll thank me.  There is no better resource; you're going to love it.  See for yourself right here.  

59 thoughts on “Okna 800 Window Reviews”

  1. I think the Okna 800 is one of the best windows available. The contoured handle adds a unique touch in my view. From all of my research the okna 800 and soft lite elements are 2 of the best and these windows seem to both be priced in the mid to high 500’s installed using double pane glass provided its a simplistic install. I do like the magnetic seal, it does add slightly more air tightness so why not get it if its offered. The okna 800 uses a heavier pvc over the 500 series so that will add to the cost.
    I also like the look of the sunrise ” restorations” window. It also seemed solid and well made.
    Upon my research i also saw what low quality looks like. Example, all of the Alside products seemed flimsy and poorly built. Silverline by Andersen , Pella Thermastar, and MI Windows were even worse.
    My advice, do your research and dont settle on cheapness, you will regret it.

    1. Hi Greg! This comment provides a couple of great examples for folks considering new windows. You seem to have very thorough opinions for someone who is not in the window business so we thank you for writing.

      Notice how there are 2 justifications for the higher price of the Okna 800 series windows. First, Greg mentions the thicker vinyl. Does thicker vinyl make a window any better? No. Does it affect the ratings in any meaningful way? No. It does cause the Okna 800 series window to block more light than the Okna 500 series, but that leads to a darker house which is not a feature at all. The second justification is the magnetic seal. It does change the air infiltration rating by 0.01, but is that enough of a difference to pay a premium for? Only you can decide, but it sure seems like a pretty small difference.

      When you’re thinking about new windows it’s important to carefully evaluate the differences. If something can’t be quantified in any ratings then it’s not doing anything for you. Even if it makes sense that it “should” be better, it’s not better unless there are ratings to prove it.

      For example, if I said one house was built to withstand 400 MPH winds and another was built to withstand 300 MPH winds would that mean one was better than another? Nope. Even in the most hurricane prone areas you’ll never see winds anywhere near 300 MPH. So, is the 400 MPH house stronger? Yes. Is it better? No. In this example I’m at least quantifying the difference. What if I had no performance numbers, but I just said one house was better because it had thicker walls? You’d laugh at me.

      Before deciding on a product, it’s important to clarify 3 things:
      1. What are the actual differences between them?
      2. What are these differences actually doing for me and how do I know it?
      3. How much am I willing to pay for these differences?

      Once you’ve answered those questions the decision on which product to select will be easy!
      Hint: You’ll probably decide the Okna 800 series is not a very good value.

  2. The Okna 800 series is a window i am considering along with the 500 series. The 800 series does cost more , around the mid 500’s to 600 range based on various options i was shown for double pane.
    As an engineer, i do see some benefit with the magnetic seal as it does make the seal tightly stronger when fully closed, i played with it long enough and i do like it. How much will it help? Dont really know but based on the design, it should help at least a little. I also like how the 800 series has a non metal reinforcement bar, to me ( an engineer), it adds structural integrity to the window.
    As to the thickness of the vinyl, i think the other poster was referring to the actual thickness of the internal vinyl walls, not the thickness or width of the frame. The internal walls on the 800 are thicker than the 500 which is is a good thing, although the 500 also seemed strong. Both have a mortised sill wall with a truly welded sill which is a huge plus in my opinion.
    Lastly, i do like the looks of the 800 Envirostar with the handle and the more pronounced exterior bevel.
    Because of the price difference between the 800 and 500, my decision is far from cut and dry. However, am leaning towards the series.
    On another note, i stumbled upon Okna through neighbor. Inwas impressed with the company doing the install( they seemed to work efficiently) so i asked for a business card and called a few months later. Never heard of okna until then and i started doing research. On a very positive note, my neighbor had an issue with one window and Okna was very quick to respond and rectify the problem. Nice to see they honor their warranty.
    I will post any further developements.

    1. I mentioned i am leaning towards something, i left out the 800 series,, so there, i am leaning towards the 800 series so far despite the more expensive price tag.
      Will post in the coming weeks.

    2. Remember that you shouldn’t make a decision because something “seems” better. If the magnetic seal made the window stronger it would have a higher DP rating. The same is true with the thickness of the vinyl. They are referring to the thickness of the vinyl walls. Typically they’re 0.070″-0.080″ depending on the model. Is thicker better? Maybe, but you don’t need to buy on a hunch. Either it makes the DP ratings better or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then it’s just a sales pitch.

      You’ll likely find that these factors don’t affect the ratings to any meaningful degree. Of course the company offering them knows that so they don’t mention the ratings in their justification for the higher price. They know these features don’t make much difference, but they still use them to try to charge you more money. This might make you question whether or not you want to work with a company like that.

      Of course one could say windows are like wine, if they make you happy then they’re good. We see folks pay a premium for these sorts of “features” that provide little to no benefit all the time. I would suggest that you can probably find better ways to spend your money.

  3. I am leaning towards the 800 and as i said( i am an engineer) and feel the magnetic seal does help a bit. Also, the 800 series has a sill interlock extruded into the sill that will stabilize the sash as well as a composite reinforcement bar. All of these features are only available in the 800 series. As i said, the 500 is still a good window in my opinion but i cant seem to dismiss the additional features on the 800 series. These features do improve the structural numbers to a DP 60 and from a durability perspective, it seems to make a lot of sense.
    I will tell you i was extremely disillusioned with some of the flimsy junk out there such as silverline/ american craftsman, MI Windows, and even pella vinyl. Nice to see some manufacturers pay attention to quality. Perhaps im too much of an engineer…lol

    1. Mark, did you go with the 800 Series? i was introduced to Okna last night when i had a contractor over to give me a quote on Anderson 400 series. If so, are you happy with the Oknas? how do they look on the inside next to wood trim?

  4. I live in Dayton Ohio and was quoted $1,000 per window for the Okna 800. My windows are very normal size. This seems to be about double what most folks pay. Does anyone know if these can be purchased directly? Thanks

    1. Unless your project is really complicated or you’re picking some fancy options that pricing is crazy high. Okna’s distribution is pretty limited and there’s nothing special about the products. You might want to look elsewhere.

      1. My thoughts exactly and my project is extremely straight forward with no special sizes, options, etc. I was only given one name from Okna for my area. I will call them and ask for another. I’m guessing they won’t give me one so do you know if their windows can be bought direct and I have my own contractor install them? Thanks

  5. Hi W.D.,
    I have to tell you that I’ve had 6 window replacement reps in my home over the last 2 weeks. I noticed that many products are the same and so are the sales pitches. I haven’t felt that any of them were pushy or too out there. I thought I had this figured out till I found this website yesterday. I’ve read nearly every entry including responses. Very, Very informative and I’m glad you’ve taken the time to write these articles.
    I live in the Southeast, in my opinion SHGC is the most important factor. All the sales guys are pushing U-factor, but I don’t want to keep the heat in, I want to keep it out. So energy efficiency is my #1. Security is my #2. Warranty is #3 and V.T has jumped into the picture after reading this site.
    I don’t want to live in a cave and I love natural light so do all my plants. It’s hard to find a thin frame that provides V.T. in my market. The one company that sells a thinner frame, Sunrise Restorations, bailed on me. Spent over 2 hrs in my home, taking my valuable time and didn’t even provide a written quote a week later!
    So, I’ve found an installer that I really like with hundreds of positive reviews and excellent warranties on labor. My choices are limited to the following DH windows: Soft-lite Bainbridge, Soft-lite Elements, Okna 500 and 800. None of these windows have a decent V.T. rating, mostly around 0.45, i think.
    Here’ s my take:
    1. I think the Bainbridge ugly with the curved top, but the price is between $400 and $530 per window.
    2. the Elements, seems like a high quality window with decent features and looks okay, but the cost is closer to $640/window. For a window that has the old balance coil system, I think the price is high.
    3. Okna 500, doesn’t seem secure enough for me, where the elements and okna 800 have re-enforced sash keeper beams, making them harder to pry open. They range about $500/ window. better VT rating also.
    4. the Okna 800 has the better look and features over the 500. I like the block and tackle balance system, the sloped sill, the mortised sill. The Okna 800 costs around $540/window. As you mentioned in your Okna review, the company is small and who knows where they’ll be in 10 years.
    So now that you have my information and thoughts so far, here are my questions:
    1. you mention on several posts, that you wouldn’t spend more than $400-$500 on a window, but does that factor in the size of the windows? What else factors into the cost or am I getting ripped off? Caulk, Capping, window removal fees, labor, etc, I’m assuming are all factored in to the window price. Unless wholesale for these things is more like $150.
    2. Okna is small, they don’t use AAMA, but the 800 seems like the best value I’m being offered. Which window seems like the best option to you?
    3. What do you consider to be the sweet spot for energy efficiency and quality sunlight for a window in the South. A combination of U-factor, ShGC, VT. I don’t think, I’m going to find a window that provides more glass and less frame, at this point.
    4. Is there anything I’m missing?
    5. Anyone else what to provide a free quote? lol. just joking.

    Thanks again and I love your website.

  6. Jeff, had some very good questions. That post was from August, could someone answer his concerns as I too have the same ones. Thanks for a informative site.

  7. I am looking at the same exact windows as Jeff back in August. Can anyone answer his questions? Jeff, what did you ultimately go with? I am deciding between Bainbridge, Elements, Okna 500 and 800. Thanks

  8. I’m looking at the Okna 800 series. What is the difference between the 800 and 800DX ? Just different labeling by companies? Thanks!

  9. I really appreciate the information on this site and it helped guide me on my decision. I narrowed my selection to companies that had excellent reviews on Angie’s List, didn’t subcontract the installation, and had and looking at the NFRC ratings.

    We had 8 companies meet the criteria above in our area…..We listened to sales presentations from Fortis, Preservation windows, Vytex, Alcoa windows, Daily Manufacturing (Small local company), OKNA, soft-lite….and 1 or 2 more….and shockingly, all the prices came in within $1,500…..34 DH windows, One Slider Window, and 4 Arched windows that sit over 2 side by side DH windows.

    I was actually hoping the decision would be more difficult….If I could have gotten a solid mid-range window for significantly less, we may have opted for that option since we have 12 year old builders grade (aka crap) windows now.

    We ended up going with OKNA 800…..It was the 2nd lowest price ($400.00) more than the lowest, but significantly better than the lower in terms of ratings.

    We are paying $590.00 per window installed. After reading many of the replies on this site, I was hoping for a lower price….but we tried, and maybe that is the going rate for Bucks County, Pa (Philly Metro) but they were all in this range.

    I will say we didn’t get the hard sell in our home, but some quirks with a few. They guy advertising the Vytex windows for $399.00 installed (any size) wouldn’t itemize his costs for me because it would get “too confusing”…..Basic math tells me that $399 x 34 = $13,566…..so when his quote came in at over 23K I wanted to know how 1 slider and 4 arched windows could cost 10K more…..apparently I’m not smart enough to handle the complicated math, and he wouldn’t provide me that info…..but it’s all good, we just moved on and crossed him off the list.

    The hardest sell came toward the end with Fortis…..I liked the sales person, but his VP of sales attempted to take over the sale. After I told him of our decision he gave me a very good offer…..but too late since I already made up my mind…..and he was still more than the Okna quote without any negotiations. I honestly wasn’t trying to play one company off the other….I told them all upfront that I would be getting information and signing off the first week of Sept. I’m not into BS games….and felt the guy from Okna was upfront and was zero pressure.

    Just letting everyone know of my recent experience in window shopping. I didn’t mention the company I used since I’m not sure it’s appropriate…nor did I mention any of the companies I didn’t since it was my personal choice and they may be the right solution for someone else.

    1. Glad to hear you were able to sort through everything! I spent a lot of time in Doylestown years ago. It’s beautiful up there!

    2. tom,
      even though your post was last year. I was wondering how do you like the okna 800 so far? also, which window company that you picked for okna 800. I live in montgomery county, pa

      1. We love the Okna 800 DX. The rooms on the West side of our house never got cool in the summer because of the poor windows…that is no longer an issue. As important was the significant noise reduction from the new windows…just amazed at the difference.

        We were not happy having to replace 12 year old builder grade windows….but we are very happy with the decision we made. The house is so much more comfortable.

        Good luck!

    3. Hi Tom,

      Did you happen to need lead paint containment? We just got a quote from the same retailer and he was quoting us $675 installed (grid, half screens) for the window, install, lead containment and capping.


  10. One correction to my story….got company name confused….the dealer that advertised the windows for $399.00 was representing the Slocomb line of windows not Vytex….

  11. Hi,

    I received a bid for Okna 500 series deluxe windows. 9 windows of which 4 are lowered plus exterior capping and interior trim for $4850 avg $540 per window. Avg w/o lowering comes around $450.

    2) The original estimate was understated as a technician followed up and we added a window and lowering two extra so 9 slider windows, 1 small double hung, 6 lowered, pocket install, exterior capping, interior PVC trim and sill. They stated that the labor cost increased because we have aluminum siding, aluminium window frame and the sills added to the cost. So avg cost is now $1025. Avg w/o lowering is $905.

    Is this a reasonable estimate to include interior trim, sill and pocket install for aluminum frame, aluminum siding and sill?

    1. It sounds like you have a bit going on so it’s really hard for me to say what’s reasonable. If you’re not sure just get another quote or two and then you’ll have something to compare it to. Good luck with the project and be sure to let us know how it goes!

  12. Great discussions! Having similar issues with deciding! Have had over 14 window companies come and quote. Was interested in the alside windows due to cost ($350 ballpark) installed for basic install, while OKNA 800’s are my preference, they are more in the range of ($550) installed. Trying to decide if feature differences are worth the 36% premium! Liked the softlite, great lakes, but their installers are quoting 650 and as much as 850 for installs. They indicate full frame, but not as necessary I think given the cost differential but it would have been my preference to do it as such. Also frustrated as quotes are toward $1000 for a small 3′ half round that needs full frame replacement, but I don;t even need a window other than for the aesthetics. What are your opinions on value for the alside mezzo! Is is junk compared to the okna 800’s?

  13. Thank you for taking the time to conduct and post these reviews for all your readers to benefit from. I see that you seem to indicate that Okna 800 is a good window with good features, but there are other options for similar features, possibly at a better price-point. Would you mind sharing a name or two with us? I understand that this is your opinion, and we should still make the final decision based on how we like each product. For reference, I am located in Central NJ (zip code 08807)

    1. Seems like the ” best window guy” advertises on your site and he sells sunrise not okna. I wanted an okna dealer in new jersey.

      1. Different people offer different things. I don’t know a great Okna dealer in NJ so I can’t point you in any direction. Good luck with your project.

  14. So are we to assume that you also prefer Sunrise over Okna since the “Best Window Company in NJ” speaks very highly of them. I liked the Sunrise windows also and the company that installed them in my area….but I couldn’t justify the extra $3,000 to install them over the Okna 800 DX or the extra $4K for the soft-lite. All reputable companies that specialize in window installation with excellent reviews .

    I’m sure I could have played one company off the other and negotiated the price down….That’s not my thing. My research is my negotiation…

    That was my experience….I would have been thrilled with any of the above windows in my home and confident that the installers would have done a good job. At that point it came down to price….and $4k for a home that has a list of projects a mile long is a big deal 🙂

    Thanks again for the info you provide with this site. Without it I would have questioned if I made the right investment for our home.

    1. Well, I think you’re missing a couple of important ideas. First, I repeatedly say it’s more important to find a great installation company than it is to fall in love with one product or another. Both Sunrise and Okna make nice windows.

      Next, I would definitely suggest talking with one company about the pricing and options you received from another. You’re not playing one against the other, you’re making sure they’re offering the same services. It’s completely feasible that the company with the higher prices was offering more in terms of service, trim, installation type, etc. Perhaps if they updated their quote to reflect the services you would be receiving from the other company their prices would be lower. Without talking to them about it you’ll never know.

      I’m glad you found the site to be helpful and it sounds like you’re on your way to a great window project. Next time don’t be shy about talking with one company about what you’re thinking. There’s a way to talk about prices without coming across like a jerk and I’m sure any worthwhile window company would be happy to have that conversation with you.

  15. I liked the okna 800 series a tad more than the sunrise product, it seemed a little sturdier?
    However, the sunrise restorations series is a very nice window as well but for whatever reason, it was a lot more. I saw 2 sunrise dealers. One sold restorations and the other sold a ” regular sunrise”. The regular sunrise was pretty nice but it seemed like a downgrade compared to restorations. Is it common for a window company to have dealers only sell a certain window?

    1. It is common for a manufacturer to have dealers that only offer one line. I know a lot of Okna dealers will only offer the 500 series or the 800 series but not both. Just depends on the local situation.

  16. I live outside chicago about 40 miles looking into okna and I need another comparable window to them . Looking to replace only a couple of windows one is a picture window and the other 2 are double hungs . I want to replace all 3 with a crank out windows. The picture window is similar in size to the dble hung. I have basic jeldwen garbage now . Thanks .

  17. I had the okna 800dx with triple panes installed last September. They have been great over the winter. I didn’t feel even a puff of air get through. They open/close smoothly and tilt nicely for cleaning. I am very happy so far with this purchase of okna windows.

  18. I contacted Okna and they gave me the local rep for the NW suburbs of Chicago. They are pushing the composite windows (no surprise). I am getting other quotes I will let you know how it works out. Plenty of good information here that gives you a lot to think about with making a decision on good windows based on your needs. Lot’s of stuff I never thought about to be honest.

    1. Barb, I would recommend the 800 series if you like the line, or even the 500 if you want a white or beige window with fewer bells and whistles. The 800 is actually a superior performer to the composite. I’d agree with windowdog’s characterization as Okna’s top line.

  19. Thanks for the quick reply Windowdog! I got a quote for the sill repair (the cut, flash, and pvc front sill route) for 200 a window. Is that what you would consider reasonable? It does make sense to have one company do it but just wanted to get an idea on ball park costs on the sills on top of the windows.

    1. Sure, that could be reasonable. It’s really hard to say without seeing it and knowing exactly what’s involved. That’s not out of the realm of possibility.

  20. We’re looking at replacing 24 windows in the Atlanta area, with 20 double hung windows in standard sizes, a 2′ radius half-circle and two picture windows (with one picture window replacing two double-hungs). We have quotes regarding Marvin Infinity, ViWinTech, Soft-lite Elements, OKNA 800dx and OKNA 500 windows. We had considered the Alside Mezzo (the Revere Berkshire Elite apparently isn’t available in the ATL area) based on the advice given here, and in talking with a couple of installation companies highly rated on Angie’s List discovered that the installation companies had stopped selling the Mezzo except as a replacement for existing Mezzo installations. Their reasoning was that the Mezzo windows had too high of a seal failure rate in the ATL area, and they were spending their more time on warranty claims than they wanted to. So we deleted Alside and Revere from consideration.

    All of the quotes received include the same parameters – installed with a standard outside color upgrade, no grids, tempered glass on two picture windows and two bathroom windows, plus obscure glass for the two bathroom windows.

    We couldn’t find out much about the ViWinTech windows, and what little we did find wasn’t all that positive, so we deleted that option pretty quickly. It was through a remodeling contractor we respect, not a windows installation company, and we’re happy with that decision.

    The Marvin Infinity windows look great – they’ve got the smallest jambs at either 2 7/8″ or 3 1/4″ and are paintable – plus the Marvin sales reps (we have quotes from 2) tell a great story about how the fiberglass frames are stronger and will have less expansion/contraction than vinyl windows will have over many years. In addition, the Infinity windows have the best Visible Light Transference rating of all the windows we’ve seen, at 0.56. But their Low E2 with argon windows have a U-factor of 0.28 and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.32, plus the Marvin dealers didn’t provide any information regarding air infiltration ratings. We could have thrown a hat over the two quotes from Marvin dealers, at about $900 per window. The limited warranty is lifetime, and 10 years after transfer to a purchaser of the home.

    The Soft-lite Elements windows have great reviews, and the lowE3 glass with argon is available to us at the same price as the lowE2 glass with argon. The sales rep said that the Soft-lite lowE3 glass isn’t nearly as green-tinted as lowE3 OKNA 800dx or 500 windows would be, and the quote on the Elements windows is fairly competitive at about $675 per window (after a 3% cash discount). The performance ratings on this window are good – 0.26 U-factor, 0.20 SHGC, AI at 0.01 cfm and 56 MPH water penetration. The downside to the Elements windows is that the jambs are wider than the other windows, at 3 3/4″, and the Visible Light Transference rating is relatively low at 0.46. The warranty is “double lifetime” (installer’s words, not mine), meaning it can be transferred to a new owner of the home for so long as they own it too. And, IIRC, it covers broken glass (I’ll have to confirm that . . . .)

    The OKNA 800dx windows seem to have a good balance of features, performance ratings, decent good looks and price. While the glass offered is LowE2 with argon, the U-factor is a decent 0.26 and the SHGC is an “OK” 0.29. The AI is 0.01 cfm, which is as good as I’ve been able to find, and the water penetration rating is 59 MPH, which is pretty good for the size windows we’re buying. I also like the reinforcement in the sash frames that the 800dx has. The downside to the 800dx windows is that the jambs are a relatively wide 3 1/2″ . . . even so, with the LowE2 with argon glass these windows still have a relatively good Visible Light Transference rating of 0.53 (as best I can tell from the nfmc website). The price on these OKNAs would be about $625 . . . and the 500s would be about $35 per window less. The warranty is also double lifetime, but I believe it does not include broken glass.

    Right now I like the idea of buying the OKNA 800dx windows because of the balance of performance and price, but may use Elements windows in two places relatively isolated from other windows where we get a lot of sun, and where the lowE3 glass would be beneficial. The total cost difference in using the Elements in those 2 place is $200.00 over the cost of the OKNA 800dx windows alone.

    I do have a few questions. First, I’m a little spooked by the Marvin sales reps’ insistence that the relatively small amount of expansion/contraction that fiberglass has compared to vinyl may be an important long-term factor that I ought not ignore completely. Can anyone tell me whether over the long-term the fiberglass is likely to have less seal failure than the high-end vinyl windows? How long can I reasonably expect the high-end windows to last, compared to the fiberglass windows?

    Second, it’s nearly impossible to find accurate, complete and up-to-date information regarding replacement windows that a non-industry person can interpret accurately. We’ve spent hours and hours over several months trying to find out basic information regarding various windows so we can compare them on an apples-to-apples basis, but even now we have only modest confidence in our data. I take it that there really isn’t a place to find concise data?

    Third, my sense is that the primary decision we face is between (1) a very good looking window that has at best modest, and in at least one category, unavailable performance ratings plus a very high price, and (2) decent looking windows with good performance ratings and a more reasonable, but still relatively high, price. Is this a fair way of characterizing the replacement window decision?

    Fourth, any comments or observations about the windows we’re considering and the quotes we’ve received would be welcome . . . we really are ready to award the job, but we also realize that we don’t know what we don’t know . . . so any thoughts would be most appreciated.

    1. You’re certainly putting the time and energy into your project! I think the info you received about the Alside line is probably based on something other than the truth. A friend of mine owns a window company in Atlanta. They’ve been offering the Mezzo windows since they came out and they haven’t seen any substantial warranty issues. We’ve also been offering the Revere line in our stores since 2008 with no trouble. Perhaps they’re trying to talk you into a more expensive option?

      Some companies find it difficult to compete when they offer the same products that are offered by other companies in town. Alside is widely distributed and the other lines you mention are not. That means there is likely only one company in town offering the Okna 800 line. In that scenario it’s easier for them to try to get a higher price because you don’t have an option. If he offered you Mezzo windows he’d be competing with several other companies making his margins tighter. I would bet you lunch his decision based much more on that than on any warranty issues.

      If you’d like to talk to my friend Don you can find his info here. We met up down there for a few beers when I was down there a couple weeks ago. You’ll never meet a nicer guy.

      Regarding the fiberglass vs vinyl comparison, I firmly believe that if they had any quantifiable data on how the products hold up over time they would have shown you. The fact that they didn’t tells me that there isn’t any. Thats not to say you shouldn’t consider fiberglass windows. They absolutely do look more like wood than a vinyl window will and if that’s important to you then you might want to consider them. Just be clear that the trade off is worse air infiltration ratings and higher cost. I have no problem paying more for something because you like the look, just know that’s the only real benefit as far as I know.

      At the end when you say the ratings for the Marvin window are not available, know that they’re only not available because the rep is refusing to give them to you. The ratings are available and they’re probably at his finger tips. If he wanted to give them to you he would.

      You may also want to remove the jamb depth from your criteria. To my knowledge just about all replacement windows use a 3.25″ jamb depth. I have some Soft-Lite and Okna samples hanging around the office. I could measure them to confirm, but even if one was 1/4″ different than another I don’t think that’s going to make any difference.

      I think the vinyl window options you have are both decent, but my advice would probably be to get another quote as you’re paying quite a bit for the privilege.

      1. Thanks for the prompt reply, windowdog. Good stuff there, especially regarding the jambs. We had been worried about that after one of the reps suggested that we put a piece of painters’ tape on the glass next to the sash frame to simulate the amount of glass space lost. If there’s really no meaningful difference between the fiberglass and vinyl windows on replacement, we’ll delete that criterion.

        Regarding the Alside windows, for the record the OKNA rep wasn’t one of the guys who told us that. Just want to be fair about how that went down.

        At this stage we can revert back to gathering information regarding the options available. Based on what you’ve said above we feel pretty good about the vinyl options as viable alternatives for long-term investment. Thank you for that. I’ll give Don a call to see if we can supplement the information we have with another good option and estimate.

        BTW, in the meantime we did a little more looking around and found this Energy Star website (https://www.energystar.gov/products/energy_star_most_efficient/vertical_slider_windows) that includes a “PG” or “Performance Grade” rating for windows that meet Energy Star standards. My understanding is that the “PG” rating takes into consideration design pressure (DP), structural test pressure (STP), and water resistance/penetration, and the range of ratings is between 15 (on the low end) to as high as 70. How reliable is this “PG” rating? Is this rating for the frames applicable to the same window even if the glass/energy efficiency ratings are lower?

        Also, you mentioned that the lines I mentioned above are not widely distributed. I get that regarding OKNA windows, as they’re a smaller company. Is that also true of Soft-lite? My impression has been that they’re a larger company with more widely distributed lines – perhaps not as widely distributed as Andersen, Pella or Champion, but still widely distributed. Am I mistaken on that?

        Thank you for all you do out here in the no-mans land of consumers trying to figure out the replacement windows landscape, windowdog. I’d have substandard windows on my house at too high of a price already without you.

        1. Hi Steve, I’m sorry about the slow response here. Some how your last comment got buried under a whole bunch of others and I just missed it.

          Regarding the thickness of the frames it looks like we’re talking about 2 different things. The jamb depth of all replacement windows is pretty consistent. The vast majority are 3.25″ and that doesn’t really change from one manufacturer to another. The thickness of the frames does change and that does have a material impact on the end result.

          I like windows with slim frames to get the most light, other people don’t care so much. To each their own. If you’re concerned about this the best strategy is to look at the difference in VT ratings between the various models. That will show you mow much light is blocked.

          People sometimes try to look at the thickness of the vinyl at the jamb which may give you an idea, but it doesn’t take into affect the width of the meeting rail or the sill or the head. It’s just one measurement. The best way is to look at the visible transmittance rating and you’ll see how one model compares to another.

          When doing that you’ll see the Soft-Lite Imperial and the Okna 800 tend to block more might than other models. That doesn’t make them good or bad, but it is something you may want to consider.

          Good luck with the project!

  21. Thanks to this site we decided on Okna 800 series for our home. They will replace the 18 DH original wood windows from the 20’s. I decided on the 800 as the price difference was only $50 per window and I liked the reinforced frames, the extra (inside) frame sill, and the overall feel. I was told there were different internal mechanisms between the 500 and 800 for how they lifted. For under $1000 on a job of this size I figured why not go “top of the line”. I also opted for triple pane glass in the master bedroom just for noise control, the wife is a light sleeper. So the final tally was 18 Okna 800 series windows with grids on top (6 over 1) and triple pane on 3 of the 18 for $9900 installed.

    1. Just as an update the windows went in today, single day they knocked them all out and did a fantastic job. The windows are so nice, its a great feeling going from my old original 1920’s wood double hung that were in the house, half of which didnt work right anymore. Thanks again for this site in helping me through the process.

  22. I just views the Okna 800. I thought the window was rather nice looking and the contoured handle opposed to the standard life rail is sharp.
    I notice a lot of othr posts mention the Okna 800 is a thicker vinyl.
    What the salesman clarified and it made sense, was the thickness of the actual vinyl is thicker than most, not the thickness of the frame. In fact, the okna 800 had a more narrow frame than most of the other windows i saw. My wife is leaning toward the okna 800 series. We were priced about
    592 per window for replacement. The soft lite and sunrise were in the 600’s. All the windows i saw were with double lane glass options.
    We were thinking of upgrading to colored exterior ( bronze) which obviously raises the cost. What is your opinion on the durability of colored exteriors?

  23. After being thrilled with the 34 Okna 800 DH windows put in by a fantastic installer I decided to go with the Okna patio door. Our installer has had good success with this slider so we moved forward on it.

    We had the door installed in the fall and in late November, when we got our first cold snap, I noticed cold air coming in through the Center Mid-Rail. I called my installer and he came over to check it out and confirmed that air was coming in the door. He told me he would have the manufacturer tech come over to see what the issue is, but he felt the door may have been bowed. Okna is located about 20 minutes from my house. No big deal….mistakes happen…..any product will have issues from time to time.

    The tech came out about a week later and when he looked at the door he told me…..I had the “old style” weather strip and the new one is much thicker and will fix the issue. Strange since the slider wasn’t even 2 months old to have the old style weather strip, and it was a custom design with blinds and a certain type of handle. He replaced the weather strip and then added a piece of plastic that he cut from the old strip claiming this would make the door seal even tighter.

    My installer follows up with me to make sure the tech came out and asked what his diagnostic was. I told him, but I would ck the door the next morning to see if the air stopped since it was going to be cold. When I checked, there was an improvement in the doors performance, but air was still coming in. I let my installer know and he contacted Okna. 5 weeks later I got the tech to come out for the 2nd service call (In fairness they do close for one week for the holiday, but a month for a repeat problem isn’t good service IMO)…after my installer called them repeatedly. He was supposed to be at my home at 9:30am, but didn’t show up until 2:30 with no call or notice. The same tech came out, and this time he had an even thicker weather strip (had an extra seal) and told me this should do it, but if it doesn’t there is another seal…but people don’t like it because it hinders how the door opens and closes. He also admitted to me that the door was bowed, and hinted that the installer probably did it.

    I waited for a few days, and the next very cold morning I checked the door….another improvement, but air was still coming in to the CMR. It stops when I press on the door. The air coming in is probably less than the old door that was replaced, but Okna sells itself on low AI and I didn’t spend $2,500 on a door to be a bit better than a builder grade crappy slider I had.

    Here we are….2 weeks since the last incident has been reported and Okna has not responded to my installers repeated calls or emails….or ever given my installer a full diagnostic on what was done the previous 2 times (He is a certified installer). A problem reported in November, about a brand new door, is still sitting in limbo as we get to the end of January. I love the windows that were installed and posted above about how wonderful I think they are……but as good as the product is, there Customer Service sucks!! I completely understand that issues happen with all companies…..but it’s how you deal with an issue that matters. I will keep the forum posted as we go forward…..but thought everyone should know in the event they ever have an issue. I’m wondering just how good my warranty really is on my windows given how they treated an obvious problem.

    1. Tom, it sounds to me like the issue at hand lies more with the company that you hired for the installation than anything. That’s their job when you buy a product through a dealer, to be your advocate with issues such as this. Based on your description, it sounds like you may have a bow in the operating panel of the door. That would necessitate a replacement of the panel, and again, your dealer/installer should really be the party making that happen through the factory if a simple replacement of weatherstripping didn’t do the trick…. If for some reason that is not possible and you are forced to deal with the manufacturer yourself, I’d reference the point that they diagnosed the bowed panel and ask that it be replaced.
      Issues like this occur from time to time through this and other manufacturers, and are normally dealt with pretty quickly as long as the proper channels are followed.

  24. Before jumping in and ordering windows, I did an obscene amount of online research considering that I knew nothing coming in. I appreciate sites like yours that offer a lot of info and personal experiences to help in the decision making. I have to say, though, after deciding on OKNA 800 series windows with grids and upgraded hardware, on installation day I found something that really disappointed me. The windows look good, especially with the metal hardware and grids…yes I’ve lost glass space, but I can accept that…my complaint lies in the fact that my headrail went from 2″ to less than 1/4″. I now cannot mount blinds inside the frames. Why do window companies not advise this beforehand. My local company strongly encouraged pocket inserts, and every time that I questioned full tear out installation, they discouraged me due to labor and cost…stressing that lost glass space would be minimal and said it would be warranted only if I had water damage. I have only inside mount blinds throughout my house…20+ windows and I don’t have any draperies. For me, this is an important thing, and I don’t want to switch to outside mounts. On installation day, the installer informed me that had I gone with full tear outs, I would have a wood header that would allow inside mounts. Are you kidding me!!! I installed 7 of 8 second story windows (one was ordered the wrong size and had to be reordered correctly). I plan to follow up with 12+ first story windows in 2017, but am currently at an impasse. I don’t want outside mounts downstairs, and I am concerned if I fully tear out the lower windows that they will give the house a non-cohesive look from the outside. Don’t misunderstand, I know with new windows that new blinds may be needed, but I want to purchase inside mounts for a clean look. Wondering if you could offer any input…can the pocket inserts be pushed outward even 3/8″ to give me more of a header; I may have to have a hard conversation with my local company because I feel that I was expecting their expertise as they came into my home to advise me of my options…especially when I kept bringing up full tear outs. At the minimum, I want others to understand that this may be a consequence for them with vinyl replacement inserts.

    1. This can happen sometimes with replacement windows. It’s not specific to Okna, and it is something that’s good for folks to be aware of. Typically blinds companies will be able to get you new brackets that will make everything ok. You’re certainly not the first person to call them with this issue.

      I would suggest calling a local blinds company to see what they can do. The solution may be easier than you think.

  25. I am seeking information on the Okna 600 “eco-pro” window. I had one dealer show us the 800 series and another showed the okna 600. Both seem like very well made windows and all the features seem exactly the same ; structural reinforcement bars, foam filled frame, extra strength glass ect.. the nfrc performance stickers are the same ( .26 ufactor).
    The only difference is the 800 has a magnet? Each contractor tells me their window is excellent and i believe both are very good. However, the 600 is almost $40 per window cheaper than the 800 and we have 18 windows. What is your opinion on the okna 600 and am i sacrificing anything? As far as looks, they both look nice to me.
    Lastly, we get cold winters here. Is triple pane glass worth it? Does the extra weight of triple pane damage hadware or is that a sales pitch by another window company that only sells double pane?
    I appreciate the feedback. Thanks

  26. i looked at both and settled on the 500 series. i was just quoted a price of $704 each for okna 500 series windows with no options other then an almond colored interior. I liked the quality but not sure if that price is to high? 13 windows total

    1. There are plenty of fish in the sea. I think your best bet is to get a couple of other quotes to see how the pricing really compares.

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