Soft-Lite Windows Reviews

Soft-Lite windows reviews, warranty, complaints

Soft-Lite windows is a vinyl window manufacturer based in Streetsboro, OH.  They produce a range of replacement window options that are distributed through local contractors typically East of the rockies.  Their products are generally of fine quality, but they are often sold with aggressive sales tactics.  This really depends on the contractor offering the products and it is not good for the consumer.

best replacement windows of 2015

Here you’ll find detailed Soft-Lite windows reviews including the following models:

These are the popular Soft-Lite windows models .  As you’ll see in the reviews they’re typically good quality products, but their sales and marketing tactics leave something to be desired.  They are also a relatively small manufacturer which is not necessarily a bad thing.  One should consider this when comparing options.  Several smaller window manufacturers with fine products have gone out of businesses in recent years leaving their customers with no warranty.

Other popular Soft-Lite windows posts that you might find helpful:

Soft-Lite purchased the assets of Gorell windows out of bankruptcy a little while back.  Gorell was a great company to illustrate this point.  They made a fine product that was frequently praised online.  Now all of the folks who listened to that advice are out of luck.

As you’ll see in the reviews, Soft-Lite windows come in a rage of models that are often offered at drastically different price points.  The Elements and the Imperial LS models are touted as the “top of the line”.  While it does get excellent energy efficiency ratings, it also uses a relatively thick frame which blocks some light.

The Soft-Lite Pro and Soft-Lite Classic make up the middle of the pack.  These two windows are especially the same.  We’ve reviewed each window separately and then we’ve also compared the differences between the two.

We’ll go through the options explaining the advantages and disadvantages.  We’ll also look at the Soft-Lite windows warranty, ratings, pricing and cost to offer the full picture of the options.

Check back often to keep up with the latest and greatest information on Soft-Lite windows and sliding patio doors.

For now you can find the best replacement windows reviews here and you can also find information on common window sales tactics to avoid right here.

What if I have more questions about Soft-Lite windows?

Find our Soft-Lite windows FAQ page right here.  We answer any question about Soft-Lite windows for everyone to see.  

Other posts you might find helpful:

How can I find a great window company to work with?

That part is easy.  Check this section to find our recommended window companies all over the country including my company.  I’m sure you’ll appreciate the difference. Enjoy!

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.  

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144 thoughts on “Soft-Lite Windows Reviews”

    1. Thanks for asking! A new batch of Andersen reviews will be published soon along with the completed Andersen 400 series review. After that there will be a couple new Simonton reviews and the Soft-Lite should be next. Realistically I’d say it could be 2 weeks or so, but we’re working on them as fast as we can. If there is a particular window model you’re interested in we could give you the scoop. Just let us know!

      1. Down to 2 soft lite windows. The imperial LS and the Elements. Elements costing about $50 more per window..each with a different installer. Any thoughts on the 2 would be appreciated Thanks

        1. Well, for a quick answer, I wouldn’t pay any more for one that the other. I’d suggest going with the installer you were more comfortable with. Think about how they would deal with a problem or a concern you might have after the fact. A couple references that required some sort of service call would be able to tell you how the company handled it.

          Good luck with the project and feel free to come back and let us know how things went!

        2. We ordered new replacement windows 4 months ago. We ordered the Polaris “energyweld”, triple pane casements. The 1st time they brought them, the windows were way off, and there were other problems with handles etc. The second batch..same thing..We are now considering ordering Soflites. Could you recommend a triple pane casement in the Softlite line? Thank you

      2. We are interested in Soft-Lite Elements windows. What are your thoughts regarding them? Do you have information regarding cost? How do they compare with Simonton 5500 Series? Thank you.

        1. When thinking about the advantages and disadvantages, think that the Soft-Lite typically has a better seal, tighter air infiltration ratings and often better visible transmittance (depending on the model). The only real advantage we can think of when it comes to the Simonton windows is that they are a HUGE company. They’re likely to be around for the long haul when smaller manufacturers like Soft-Lite can come and go.

          No one can tell what the future may bring, but in our mind larger manufacturers represent a security that smaller guys just can’t offer. See our review on Gorell windows for an example of that.

    2. Would not buy windows from this company gorell windows are junk spent 15 k to replace windows witj gorell 1 year later 3 sets not properly sealed and now filled with mold and gorell aka softlite will not fix them and i will cont8nue to spread the word on 5gis crappy product to all sites so others will be warned and alerted to a horrible product and a suam of a company

      1. I agree took a year to have our windows completed they leak can not get them to come fix. So far Home Performance Alliance installed our windows I would not recomend them for anything. I have called and called soft lite and they will not contact me back

      2. One of my soft lite windows hurricane impact is leaking. Had to have the entire wall taken down to find leak. So far no repair by soft lite. What was your outcome with the leak???? Please help!

    3. Worst windows that we Ever Purchased The Sales Rep told us Lifetime warranty yeah ok after the first week 38 Window’s we started with 5 Installers evened with 2 and took a week to install then warranty what we thought window had a small crack I called asked if I could take a picture of it I did its been 2 months haven’t heard a thing I keep calling they tell me I’ll send a sales Rep I haven’t seen one yet Thanks Softlite I’ll Never recommend this Company. We had another winow repair the glass Done. Jeff Ohio

      1. Hi Jeff, I’m sorry to hear about your trouble. This sounds like a problem with the local dealer more than the manufacturer. Have you been dealing directly with Soft-Lite or a local company?

  1. Hi, I’ve been reading reviews daily hoping to help me decide on windows but need your help please. I’m building a room addition and want 72″ x 66″ fixed windows, bottom line -I want trouble free. What material and manufacture would u use? Located in Indianapolis IN.

    1. Well, vinyl windows are the most maintenance free, have the best warranties, offer the best efficiency ratings and cost the least. Why does’t everyone get vinyl windows? Some people really love the look of wood windows and there are many fine wood window products. I suppose when comparing types of windows it really all comes down to the look and your budget.

      When comparing options, remember that wood, composite or fiberglass windows cost more than vinyl. That DOES NOT mean they’re any better. What you’re paying for is the look. That is an absolutely fine reason to pay more, but just keep in mind that is all you’re paying for.

      As far as specific brands there are plenty of fine products available in Indy. I’d say get a few quotes and see what reputable local companies are offering. There are 2 main high pressure / high price companies in your neck of the woods that I would stay away from, but there are plenty of great folks in the area. If you start hearing about a “today only” special you’ve probably found one of them. Remember these “specials” are NEVER a good deal so use that as a sign to keep looking. The quality of the installation is what’s going to ensure you don’t have any trouble down the road so finding a local company that you’re comfortable with is the best advice I can give.

  2. HI , i am replacing 13 windows, have met with 4 local window firms, and have narrowed my choices to two of them, both I feel confident in with the installation.
    Price is very similar if i have compared apples to apples, so now i am wondering what you think of the two window choices:
    Soft Lite Pro(offered by one window firm) vs Okna 400 or Okna 500?(offered by the other window firm)
    how do i know which is a better window and why?

    1. Well, better is a relative term, but you can look at the efficiency ratings to get an idea of how they’ll perform. Assuming they’re similar I’d probably suggest Soft-Lite, but they’re both fine products.

    2. Do not buy softlite their other name is or was gorelli now called softlite gorelli the windows they provide are well below par the seals leak mold forms in windows and they do not stand behind their product warrany all but 1 of my windows all have mold within a year of purchasing them gorelli filed bankruptcy and wartanty no good but they have the exact same products models and unfortunaley same crappy service when it comes to fixing warranty issues

  3. We’re looking at windows now, and have gotten a few quotes. One for a company that uses Alside Mezzo, the other from a company that uses Softlite. His quote on the Barrington window is lower than the Alside quote (all quotes with double pane low e and three Provia storm doors). The quote for the Elements window is about 3k more than the Barrington. Total of 17 windows.

    Is it really work the extra money for a 1920s house in Cincinnati? I’m leaning towards Softlite overall. The Barrington would be cheaper than the Mezzo but I’m not seeing it as a downgrade. From every indication I have, the installation company has a good reputation.

    1. In that scenario the Barrington probably isn’t a bad option. I don’t think I would pay the extra cash for the Elements window unless you’re really excited about windows. Think of all of the fun things you could do with $3k!

      1. I didn’t see a Barrington review. I have received competing quotes that are essentially the same price for the Barrington as the Alside Mezzo with Climatech Elite glass. Should I assume the Alside Mezzo is the better window or are they equivalent?

        1. They’re relatively similar. I have a Barrington window sitting next to my desk as the Soft-Lite salesperson was in my office yesterday. You get the same balances, similar glass size, similar construction. I like the Alside screen a little more, but overall very similar products.

  4. We are building a new home and are in the window planning stage. Our architect is recommending Marvin fiberglass Wood Ultrex and says vinyl is not good as it deteriorates and will have to be replaced in 10 -15 years .. while the fiberglass will not. We a7/09/14re going with casements all around for tight seal. What is your reccomendation for Soft Lite viny vs. Marvin Wood Ultrex for the heat and humidity of Central Florida? Vinyl expansion vs fiberglass was another key comment. And also .. what is your expertise / background? Thanks in advance.
    Rick D.

  5. We are building a new home in Asheville, NC. Jeld-Win windows are popular there. But some reviews have been bad. We want most efficient so we are going with low e vinyl. But wonder about reputable manufacturers, that is, people with a good reputation for quality and service. We do not want to spend more than is necessary to get the above average efficiency. any ideas??



    1. Hi Kathy, new construction windows are a bit of a different animal. Typically the builder will have companies he already works with. I lived in eastern Carolina years ago, but don’t know about companies out in Asheville. I would say a great bet would be to check Angie’s List for reputable local companies. If you’re not a member you can find discounted rates here. Well worth spending a couple bucks.

  6. Hi, in regard to air infiltration, do you think the .07 rating on the Soft Lite Pro versus .01 on the Soft Lite Imperial LS makes a real difference? I’m replacing 24 windows in our house. We don’t do air conditioning, and it’s always windy since we’re on top of a hill, so i figured air infiltration is my number one concern. Is the extra 40 dollars per window (roughly) worth .06 better air infiltration quality?

    1. It’s hard to say if you’d be able to tell the difference or not. I don’t think I would be able to tell. In my mind anything under 0.1 is a pretty tight window and there is a lot of sales fluff around air infiltration ratings. Remember the tests are done with a constant 25 mph wind. Even in a windy area you probably don’t have that kind of consistent wind.

      With that said, if you like the Soft Lite Imperial LS and you can afford the cost then get what you like. If you’re thinking about renting or selling the house soon you certainly won’t get your money back, but if you’re going to be around for a while I think you should do what makes you happy (and if saving money makes you happy then go for the Pro).

      You might try offering to pay $20 per window additional for the Imperial LS to see if they go for it. I bet they will and you’ll save $500!

  7. Thanks for the input, I’ve been reading a lot of your information, and find it well said.
    I’ve decided to stick with the Pro, since it does have a larger glass area, and quite frankly, isn’t that why we get windows?
    Thanks again.

  8. Looking at the Softlite Bainbridge vs Barrington. Live in NC and want to stop the heat gain in summer. What is the difference between these two. Money is a consideration. Will get the solar low e gas on either one. What are your thoughts

    1. They’re pretty similar. I probably wouldn’t pay more for one than the other. They offer multiple glass options so if you’d like to focus on SHGC let the rep know and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

  9. Thanks, went a step up and decided to look at Pro vs Ls. Seems to me the Pro is very similar and doesn’t look as busy but is cheaper. Numbers are about identical. Your thoughts?

  10. I am located in Baton Rouge, LA and have a local company with a great install reputation, but I am not quite sold on their brand…Wincore Low E Argon Gas Filled. Could you please let me know your opinion of Wincore Replacement 5400 and 7700 series windows.

    What are differences between replacement and new construction vinyl windows? How long can we expect Argon gas to be suitable present in these installed windows?

  11. I am looking to replace 8 double hung windows have high ceilings and electric heat am in the northeast looking at softlite elements and softlite imperial ls (saw the barrington was not impressed) which do you recommend of the 2 and why???

  12. or is there a better window that you might recommend other than softlight?? I also looked at the Okna 500″s and others that I can’t even remember live in ct.

  13. I looked at the okna 800 series, soft lite elememts , and the kensington quantum ( i also looked at a few cheaper brands that i wasnt fond of).
    All 3 of these windows seemed to be made very strong. That said, the quantum 2 window was the most expensive due to it using heat mirror. Any opinion?

  14. I’ve received estimates for replacement windows in a rental condo for both the Soft-Lite Pro and the Soft-Lite Barrington. Any thoughts about the pros and cons of each? I don’t want to put in the cheapest windows. I’d like something that will help with the heating and cooling costs for this old, first-floor unit. Thank you.

    1. For a rental condo I think either one would suite you just fine. Once the project is done and you’ve moved on to something else you’ll never notice the difference.

  15. RE: Vinyl Replacement Windows – Double Hung – Double Pane – Can you please advise which window is better the Soft-lite pro or the bainbridge luxury edition? What are the differences between the two? Would you know what the
    price difference is? The company seems to have limited installers in our area, can you recommend reputable installers in northern new jersey? Yes, they are high sales pitches. Also, can you provide insight on negotiating price.. Thank you.

    1. If you’re not getting a good vibe from an installation company in your area you should find another company. Don’t fall in love with one manufacturer or another. Soft-Lite windows are fine, but they’re not remarkable enough to warranty dealing with a company you don’t like.

      Maybe try Angie’s List for contractor recommendations in your area. You can see our thoughts on Angie here.

  16. Is there a noticeable difference between the double and triple pane insulated soft lite windows? Which would you use? We need lots of huge windows replaced for an1800’s house. Which company would you use to have the efficiency, reasonable price but authentic look of the old window?

  17. I am looking at the Soft-Lite ValleyBrook line which you don’t have listed. The quote I have is for 15 windows at a cost of $592 each. Is this a good price in your opinion?

    1. That’s likely a private label brand as it’s not one of the typical Soft-Lite models. Ask them which model it really is and that will help to get an understanding of what you’re looking at. If you’re not sure if you’re getting a straight answer ask for the CPD# for the windows he’s proposing and we’ll show you how to look it up. Without knowing the model it’s impossible to tell what you’re getting.

  18. Had Soft-lite Pro slider windows installed and they open from the wrong side. Found this out when an invasion of bugs got in and we saw that the pane did not seal against the screen when the window was opened from the left. Apparently opening from the right is standard, but neither the salesman or the installers questioned which direction was desired or gave me an XO or OX option. After much hemming and hawing, the company says to just turn the panes upside down, redrill them, and switch them so the left pane faces the room, allowing the back pane to stay sealed against the screen. Is this your recommended solution to get the OX option or is there some reason they should not be turned upside down and switched? The first three people in the company were unaware this could be done. One downside is that the locks would face the blind side of the post. Are there other problems?

    1. It would take very intimate knowledge of the Soft-Lite Pro slider to know if the sashes could be flipped and drilled to make them open the other direction. I’m not surprised that the first few people didn’t know it was possible. I would think it probably is possible, but I can’t say for sure.

      I would suggest calling Soft-Lite and asking them. They’re pretty helpful and then you’ll know for sure before you start drilling anything. You can probably also order 2 new sashes that open the other way. It will cost a few bucks, probably not the end of the world and you may be able to get the company that sold them to you to chip in on the cost.

      Good luck!

  19. Got a quote for Softlite pro 430.00 installed and Barrington 350.00 installed. Dont want to be cheap but is Pro 80.00 better? I am thinking not.

    1. You’ll find many window manufacturers using Guardian glass. There are only a few glass manufacturers that make the glass for all replacement windows and Guardian is one of them.

  20. I feel like the more that I research the more contradictory information that I find on windows. I am replacing 1950’s wood frame single pane windows (with storms) with vinyl replacement windows. I know that any new window is an improvement and have gotten several quotes. It has led me to some questions.

    8 of my windows are 40 inches wide. Should sagging over time be a concern? Some of the windows have reinforcements and some don’t.

    I have gotten quotes for Alside Mezzo, Ultramax, and Soft-Lite Pros (I also got another one that was overpriced by far and won’t bother mentioning). I also was looking at Soft-Lite Imperial on their site. This model wasn’t offered by the installer. Any recommendations out of these windows? Winter sucks pretty bad in my area, we get some nasty lake effect weather. I have read that the metal reinforcements conduct a lot of cold/heat, and the mezzo / imperial have some composite reinforcements. Thoughts on this?

    Last question and this is what concerned me. I was originally leaning towards the Soft-Lite installer until I thought about this part. I have a front picture window that is 8’6″. The soft-lite was quoted as $950 for double casement with a picture center. Both of my other quotes said that casement will add $500-800 above other windows right off the bat and instead suggested 1/4 – 1/2 – 1/4 double slider alside was $1100 with grids. Any reviews on Soft-Lite casements? Why so cheap? Someone in the area I know has them says the hardware for cranking the window have all corroded and/or stopped working completely in 10 year old windows. Her double hungs from soft-lite have done well, but casements, not so much. Because of this I am leaning towards the double slider.

    All of the quotes are from reputable contractors / dealers in the area.

  21. Can you confirm the Larmco Valley Brook window is the same/renamed version as the Soft Lite Imperial LS? (We don’t have the CPD#). Thanks in advance

    1. It’s hard to keep track of every private label out there. I’m not familiar with that one. Just ask them for the CPD# for the window they’re proposing. They’ll give it to you and we’ll be glad to show you how to look it up. If they won’t give it to you they’re trying to keep something from you.

  22. This is a short note to commend you on your efforts to tidy up the window replacement business the way that has helped with the auto sales biz. Your info is so helpful, especially for shopping for windows and contractors in our small Pennsylvania town. I was visited by a local sales rep yesterday who did the old, “let me run some figures for you and make you an offer” routine. Afterward. I ran a search on the window manufacturer and found your site, thankfully. Thanks for applying your knowledge and experience (and apparent integrity) in creating this very helpful website.

  23. Hi.
    I am a homeowner in northern Virginia seeking to replace my 45 year old wood windows with vinyl replacement windows. I was quoted $480/DH window for a Soft-lite Pro and $430/DH window for a Soft-lite Barrington. In your opinion, is it worth the additional cost to purchase to Pro? Your thoughts are appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Well, they can all be built with different options. What did the rep tell you was the deals for the extra cost? What made it better?

      1. For example, Window Universe would do this same project with windows with the same ratings and a better warranty for $13,159 (based on the info given) without any “special” discounts. You could take your $6k savings and have a heck of a vacation. Find info about Window Universe in Indy here.

  24. Hi,
    The rep said the basic differences between the Soft-lite Barrington and Pro were as follows:
    Pro: had a little sturdier frame, less glass surface area (as well due to that frame), a better locking screen, a better looking out side drip edge, and better U factor on the glass, but slightly lower VT rate.
    Cost difference was about $50 per window. The glass area was the key criteria for me… the Barrington frame (from outside edge to glass) measured 2.5 inches and the Pro was closer to 3 inches on both left and right sides (bottom sash). Therefore, the Barrington was a better choice for me because I did not want to lose the extra glass area. I did go to the showroom to check this all out and seeing it made my decision a lot easier. Quoted price was $430 installed for the Barrington double hung window ($50/window more for the Pro).

    1. I’d agree. The glass area is a BIG deal for me because I’m a real sunlight person. I open the blinds all the way (I don’t just tilt them), I open the windows all the time, I just like like that. It makes me happy. Some people we meet with tell us they never open their blinds and they haven’t opened their windows in 10 years. It just depends what makes you happy.

  25. I have a house that I’m selling and I have double hung windows that I need to replace. I have two windows that I have narrowed it down too. I know which way I would go if I were to stay in the house, but I’m torn at this point. I can get Okna 500 Deluxe installed for under $400 each installed, and Soft-Lite Barringtons for under $300 each. Both are low e/argon. If I were keeping the house I would spend the extra $100 or so for the Okna, because it seems like a much better product. Any insight? Is the Barrington a bad window.

    1. Both of those options are fine products. If you’re selling it probably makes sense to save the cash. What made the Okna windows seem like a better product?

  26. In looking at the test numbers it seems like the okna is a better window. Seems to have lots of good review. I haven’t been able to find any real reviews or good things about the barrington. The same company would be providing both windows.

  27. Looked at the Soft-lite LS windows today , appeared quite nice, how do they compare to the Paradigm windows ? I am interested in the most energy efficient vinyl windows.

    1. They do look nice. One factor to consider is that the frames are relatively thick which can reduce some light, but that’s not uncommon on windows going for max efficiency. What ratings did you see? Typically manufacturers making products like that will offer U-Factors down to 0.18 or so.

  28. I am looking at the Barrington softlite vinyl and the beechworth windows. Fiberglass. I do like the window tint in the softlite. What is your thought on these windows I want a good window . I am a little afraid of vinyl expanding and shrinking. I will pay for a good window. Thank kris

  29. We are replacing 3 awning windows, my soft lite dealer said there was no difference between Bainbridge and Barrington for awning windows, and he didn’t want to give out cpd number when we asked for it. Should we be concerned? We are in New England area.

  30. Im getting a large bay window replaced with 3 picture windows and 2 casement windows. One contractor proposed softlite Classic windows and another NBP Crusader. The price is pretty much the same. Which window would you go with…quality…appearance…durability? Thanks in advance for your reply.

  31. Getting several quotes right now. I was quoted by Zen for their Softlite Lotus and Nirvana. I was told that the Nirvana was equivalent to the Classic and Lotus is their top of the line window. For (8) 74×36 sliders and (4) 120×54 3 light sliders I was quoted just under $14,000 for their Softlite classic, and just under $18,000 for their top of the line Lotus. Compare that to a quote I received for $12,000 for the Softlite Elements from Windows Plus. I am having 3 other companies come out including Gilkey, Champion, and WW but these quotes seem a little steep for sliders in a brick ranch. Any thoughts on why the quotes would differ and if you believe those proposals are decent?

    1. Without knowing the specifics of your project that does seem like a hefty price. It’ll be interesting to see how the others compare.

  32. Getting ready to replace windows in our new house that was built in 1979 in Kansas City. Got a quote from a company we used on our last house because there work crew did an excellent job. The quote is $16,774 to replace 16 windows and not replace but wrap the exterior window frame for two small semi-circle windows and one large trapazoid window. The windows are Soft-lite elements with solar ban 70, double hung, double pane window. The inside will be wood grain and the exterior side will be colored as a beige. They will do a lead check and disposal, they replace any rotten wood frames, wrap the exterior trim, and they will replace any parts or window breakage at no cost as well as re-roll any screens that are torn for free for any reason. He was a nice salesman and not pushy, but I do know he is trying to make his money. They installed Samonites last time but no longer carry them. While I know the job will be done right and they stand by their product, is this price still way to high?

    1. Over $1000 per window does feel a little steep, but perhaps there’s more to your project than I’m aware of. You don’t need the SolarBan70 glass in your area so you may want to look at another option. It’s rather dark compared to other choices. It does a great job of blocking the UV light, but I’m not always a huge fan of the darker glass when it’s not necessary.

      When we do projects in Kansas City we typically use the SolarBan 60 glass to allow more light and still meet the Energy Star guidelines.

  33. Lots of good info here!! Thanks so much for posting these questions with good answers.

    The windows installer that we are dealing with (that we really like) has given us a price for both the Elements and Classic double-hung windows with the Classic being about $1,300 cheaper for 13 replacement windows. We can tell what some of the functional differences are from the brochures, but wondering what is your more expert opinion on getting the Elements or the Classic windows . Thanks!

  34. I’m weighing whether I should get the Soft-Lite Elements or Pro replacement window. The difference in cost is around $900 for 13 windows. I read that the Elements have much better hardware in the window so I’m wondering whether the extra $900 is worth it to move up to the top-of-the-line Elements window.

  35. Looking at replacing a 6-lite bow. We have met with folks from Anderson Renewal, a general contractor who uses Pella, another who uses Anderson, a rep from Newpro who use Marvin, met with MassSave energy audit folks who use Softlite, and most recently a company who would install either Softlite Bainbridge or Alside.

    The quotes have been $4500 for Anderson and $5000 for Pella from two different general contractors. But with concerns of potentially lead paint, we are leaning toward a company that claims a lead-safe demo/install. The MassSave folks used Softlite and quoted $5500 for Bainbridge and about $8000 for Elements, but they were aggressive and a bit of a turn off. Newpro was about $12,000!

    We have felt the most comfortable with our most recent company who quoted the exact same price, about $5200 for Softlite Bainbridge or Alside. Of course we have read lots of reviews, and everyone bashes every brand. Help?! Softlite Bainbridge or Alside?

    1. Either one would probably work out fine. They’re pretty similar windows. Every company should be doing lead safe install. I would ask them if you’re not sure, they may have just not mentioned it because it’s a standard thing. The EPA is pretty strict and we see all be the very smallest operations following the rules pretty carefully.

  36. Hello,
    I am looking for an opinion on three quotes I have received for a 9 FT picture window with double hung windows on either side. I live in NE Ohio, and this window faces North (doesn’t see much of the hard driving rain) and needs the sandstone sill repaired to slope the correct way.

    These prices are the “today only” prices that I passed on with the exception of Pella who was the only one not to do that:

    #1 Softlite private label triple pane (Imperial I believe) – $4400 (orig $6300)
    #2 Pella 250 series (Pella rep, not box store) – $2600
    #3 Softlite Imperial LS double pane – $3800 (orig $5100)

    The “today only” prices make me sick. I almost threw out the #3 company because of the high pressure sales tactics to call my wife and bring her home to help make the decision to buy today!! Unreal!! Pella seems to be reasonable, and the sales rep seemed to have a handle on the install, but they only use certified sub-contractors to install.

    Soft-lite has the long warranty, and what seems to be a great product, but the high pressure sales of #1 and 3 are putting me off. If they are willing to change their price that quickly, how much are they STILL making on this project? Soft-lite would go in with three windows, while the Pella is one unit. I feel the one unit would would be better, but is that true?
    My main question is should the Pella 250 be avoided?

  37. We’re located in the Denver area and received a quote of $10.5k to replace about 13 windows with the softlite Imperial ls. Everything I’ve read on your site seem to be consistent with expecting to pay between $500-$600 per window. We’re looking at a cost of $800/window and I’m wondering if that is reasonable for this area? Can you comment? Some of these reviews are several years old so I was thinking that the price may have gone up since then.

    1. It depends on the details of your project. You should also remember that’s one of the more expensive lines Soft-Lite makes. They probably do have more cost effective options if you’d like.

  38. I received a quote for 12 Imperial LS Soft-Lite windows @ $475/window. Is there a better window choice for this price range and if so, can you provide those options? I live in MA. Thanks!!

      1. Hi Karen, My wife and I met with Mike Lewis (Owner) from Seacoast Replacement Windows. He was at our house for about 1/2 hour and told us the price. Mike sells and installs the windows. No bull, no pressure. We were just presented our 3rd quote last night and that was more than 2X’s the cost. We are going with Seacoast. They are located in Plaistow, NH.
        I hope this helps. Bob

        1. Hi Bob, I live in Methuen Ma, I met with Mike Lewis (Owner) from Seacoast Replacement Windows yesterday. He gave me a Quote for 11 Soft-Lite Imperial LS Windows @ 480.00 per Window. Where you happy with the install and are you having any issues with the windows. Thanks, Kevin.

          1. Kevin, Mike and team installed 22 of the Soft-Lite Imperial LS windows 1st week of April and everything turned out great. Although the weather has turned for the better, I can already see a big difference. No drafts and windows filter the traffic noise very well. My wife and I are very pleased with the results. Good Luck!! Bob

        2. Bob B I was looking at using Seacoast
          What was your end result experience like install? windows? issues?
          If possible please call me or email me I need to make a design soon
          Thanks for your help

  39. We live in Charlotte, NC and recently received several quotes to replace 28 windows. While I liked RBA product best, the prices were just not realistic for us. All the other quotes have been about the same price and it will come down to product. Do you have a suggestion between Alside Mezzo, Soft-Lite Bainbridge and Zen Nirvana(which I believe is also Soft-Lite – guessing equivalent to Bainbridge?).

  40. I have single pane double hung windows that are nearly 60 years old with vinyl storm windows. I received a quote for approximately $900 per window for double hung double pane laminated glass windows ($300 more for laminated glass). I requested an estimate for laminated glass because I live on a busy road. How do I know if I need laminated glass windows, could the noise from my windows be due to that they are 60 years old? Does laminated glass offer more benefits than noise reduction? Thanks.

    1. Laminated glass is the best option for sound reduction in a typical replacement window. It’s impossible to say if you need it or not. You don’t need it. If you want it to reduce sound that’s up to you. You might want to also look at triple pane windows. They’re typically less expensive than laminated and also less effective for sound, but better than standard double pane windows.

      Another benefit to laminated glass is security. It’s like the windshield of a car. The bad guy could damage it, but it’s unlikely he’ll get through it before giving up and running off.

  41. I could really use some cost advice for “Valley Brook” windows by Soft-Lite from Mad City in Madison WI… we’re getting 4 double hung 27×64″ windows (2 on 1st floor, 2 on 2nd floor) and 1 63×64″horizontal slider (2nd floor). They’re all dual pane with Low-E glass and argon gas. U-Factor is .27, SHGC is .3, visible transmittance is .54 and air leakage is <= 0.3. They're AAMA gold certified and have Energy Star's "Most Efficient 2016". They have a bunch of nice features like how they flip down to clean the outside, panes and screens that are pretty much indestructible, etc. We're not getting anything that costs extra in terms of appearance because all we care about is saving on our really high energy bills because our 110-year-old house is terribly insulated. We're paying $8,658 although with financing over 10 years (which we can't do without) in the end it'll be at most about $11,000. I am freaking out about the stupid high price. The deadline to cancel is by midnight on 4/18. I've been doing all this research just to reassure me the price is justified somehow and I'm getting mixed results. Am I getting screwed? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    1. I should’ve mentioned that $8,658 is for the windows, installation, permits (I forget why permits are needed, but whatever), equipment, everything.

  42. Trying to decide between Gilky windows and Soft-Lite Elements, the Gilky windows are $3000 more for the whole project.

    1. What did you like about the Gilkey windows that makes you think they’re worth $3k more? I know they tell a story about DP ratings, but unless you live in a hurricane zone that’s typically not a huge deal.

  43. I just had a quote from Window Nation in Virginia. They quoted and left me a brochure for Soft-Lite Envision windows. Ever heard of them? The salesman said they are mid-range windows, a step below Imperial LS.

    1. They’re a decent option. In my experience Window Nation tends to have relatively high prices. You might want to check with my friends at Window Universe for another option. You can find their info here. Ask for a quote with Ted or Nate and let me know how it goes.

  44. Wow. I am glad I read Karen and Bob’s comments about pricing of Soft-Lite Imperial LS triple pane windows. For one 64″ X 55″ slider the price is $1,800 (installed including prefinished trim around window), and for a 48″ X 36″ awning window $1,638. A total of $3,438. for the 2 windows (Minneapolis area). I will have to make a decision by tomorrow. Is this really out of line?? Would really appreciate help with this!

  45. Hi WindowDog,

    I have really received great research through your platform. I live in the Denver area and was approached by Apex Energy Systems door-to-door. Real gracious sales rep, but 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 appreciated the Soft-Lite window manufacturing process and quality, 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). I liked your recommendation of the Imperial LS.

    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 Carrannante

    1. Hi Frank, there are real differences in labor rates in different parts of the country, but the costs generally don’t double. The 8′ patio door is certainly adding a few bucks to your total. Ask the company for some info on the per until pricing or for more detail on where that number comes from and you’ll get a better idea of what is involved.

  46. So I am noticing that most folks here appear to be from the North or Midwest, and jobs quoted of similar house size are about half the cost of what I am seeing in Florida….. Any help on what the average or fair price per window would be for Florida/impact windows? I am seeing quotes for Softlite Barcelona windows at over $1,000 (installed) and I am waiting on a quote for Simonton’s impact windows….Any thoughts would be helpful.

    1. You’re right that impact windows are a fair bit more expensive. The prices usually vary more based on the size as the glass is pricy. $1000 per window is probably perfectly reasonable for impact windows.

  47. Hi Windowdog,
    We are in Green Brook, NJ in the mountain area – it gets windy here. We have just recently purchased this year 2000 house, which came with Crestline windows (the company was since sold and the brand is now available through Menards).
    These are all wooden vinyl clad double-hung windows and we have 49 of these. (27 x 35.5” x 61” and 22 x 35.5” x 73”). The problem just became apparent when we hit single digits temperatures a week ago. It’s cold in here – the furnuce is working non-stop. The issue is with the air infiltration amongst other things. The weather stripping must have worned off or these were always bad ( it is my 1st winter here) but the cold is pouring in like crazy.
    In addition to everything, most of the windows require spring replacements, as the sashes will not stay in place once the latch is open: the upper one slides down and the lower one won’t stay up if lifted. The cost for springs repair was quoted at $ 200 per window, but that will not address the leakage problem. We are concedering our options:
    – Possibly get windows inserts (Indow Window @ $ 270 per window) for some or all windows (will not address the spring problems and can’t be used with blinds but will hopefully take care of air infiltration)
    – Get some or all windows replaced ( reading your blog the SoftLite Imperial sounded good – while currently we have wooden windows, we are ok with high quality vynil)
    Anyway, would you have any suggestions, recommendations which way to go, which windows to choose ( we are not rich enough to buy cheap things) and want to make sure we do it right the 1st time. Is there a company you would recommend? So far we have Home Depot and Marvin people scheduled to come in for estimate, but after reading many comments here it seems those may not be the right choice. Your help in this matter would be very much appreciated.

  48. Hi

    I am trying to make a decision between softlight pro and okna 800.
    I go a quote for 12k for 27 windows (most double hung, 1 slider, 3 basement hoppers) for the softlight pro with a kingsley patio door.

    I also received a quote for 17k for same for okna 800. It include okna elegante patio door.

    I like the okna 800 and it looked very solid structurally and excellent. They claim it looks like wood from exterior.
    The softlight window looked fine but the price was much cheaper.

    What do you think of these prices and which window would be best? I cant find a way to have both standing next to each other to see which one looks better.

    What is your recommendation. I do care a lot for looks and sunlight and performance.
    I don’t mind paying a couple of grand for high-end since I installed a high-end provia entry door. The house is traditional colonial with brick front.

    Can you advise on best option?

  49. In the Denver, CO area, you recommend Zen Windows as the best window company. The only window they install is a Soft-Lite manufactured window. I have a quote from them just north of $27k for the Nirvana double pane windows. I also have a quote from Apex Energy Solutions for their Insignia, Alside manufactured windows, triple pane, just north of $29K. From your reviews of Soft-Lite, it doesn’t seem as though you have a very high opinion of the window, yet you recommend the company that installs them. Which would you recommend? Both companies have A= ratings with BBB.

    1. I don’t have a problem with the Soft-Lite products. I think they’re sometimes oversold in that some dealers make claims that aren’t really based in reality, but that’s a reflection of the dealer not the manufacturer.

      Did you see anything about the Apex Insignia windows that made you think they were worth the extra $2k? I know it’s been a little while, which one did you pick and are they installed yet?

  50. I bought my windows in 2013. I did not read the 10 year warranty. If a window is defective you have to pay to have it inspected, then pay to have it taken out and pay the labor to put in a replacement. This is NO warranty.
    Two of my 6 windows have a haze in between the glass, light white haze.
    My call to the company, Randall Mullins Construction. Goes in answered by their service department. But what dumb ass would pay them to come look at the problem and how much of the $8500.00 I paid for the windows was labor. Shit product with even worse service. Zip is 34684

  51. I have a house on the costal plain of Southern CA where the average daytime high is 80 degrees in the summer and 68 in the winter. I am looking for one new construction, 48″ x 48″ rough opening, casement style garden window. The most important consideration is that the casement windows open all the way against the house (90 degrees from the closed position) to allow for maximum ventilation. Since I am only ordering one window, and would like the best quality, over-all price is not really a factor. The window will be white probably in maintenance free vinyl or fiberglass depending on what you recommend. Which type of material and manufacturer / model can you recommend?

  52. Hi Window Dog,
    Your review is several years old now, how are Softlite windows doing today? Specifically we are trying to decide between Alside Mezzos, and Softlite Imperials or the step below. All of the noise on the internet and the sales people has us very confused and doubting quality and warranty claims.

    1. It is definitely tricky to sort through. Last I heard Soft-Lite was purchased by Harvey Industries which seemed like a strange move to me. What did you like or not like about the products you saw?

  53. Hello Window Dog,

    We live in the Minneapolis area and I’m surprised at the numbers being tossed around by reviewers. It makes the bids we’ve gotten extremely high. We did what you suggested and looked at installers, first. We found two highly rated companies in Checkbook (similar to Angie’s List) and two recommendations from friends who recently had windows installed.

    The bids we received were all close in price for different manufacturers – Sunrise Standard, Soft-Lite Imperial LS and Richlin 500 series and a little higher with Marvin Integrity. They ranged from around $27,000 to $30,000 and a few thousand higher for the Marvin. It seems that the brands and series are close to comparing apples to apples, except for maybe the Marvin.

    We want casement windows in the house and sliders on the 3-season porch. Here are the windows we want. Full frame and stainable if the few interior colors don’t meet our needs. That includes 2 piano windows (76×19), 4 sliders on a 3-season porch (62×62), a small 1/3-1/3-1/3 bay window in the dining room (60×60), a 1/3-1/3-1/3 kitchen window (60×40), 4 normal size windows in bedrooms (57×50) and two 1/4-1/2-1/4 windows, one in the living room and one in the master bedroom (114×59). The measurements are approximate.

    Unless my windows are much larger than other people’s or the labor is much more (they will be installing around steel siding) I don’;t understand the apparent high costs. Thank you for any help you can offer.

  54. How does a quote for 9 new construction Soft-Lite Pro double hung double pane windows, all with Low e Argon for $5060 sound?

    1 Kings Royal 6′ Patio door for $1740

    What about the following bundle for $26874:

    18 new construction Soft-Lite Pro double hung double pane windows:
    2 Three-Lite new construction Soft-Lite Pro slider:
    1 Two-Lite new construction Soft-Lite Pro slider:

    This is all in MA

  55. We’ve started getting replacement window prices and are totally confused. We have a large 4-lite window along with 9 standard size windows. We have received quotes anywhere from $6000 (Window World) to $15,500 (Renewal by Anderson). These quotes include Marvin fiberglass, ProVia Vinyl and Soft-Lite. Any help on what our next step should be is appreciated. Seems like we’re not able to compare apples to apples with all the variables.

    1. It certainly can be a difficult business to navigate. You might start by looking at the biggest variables. For example the Renewal by Andersen and Marvin fiberglass windows are different materials and that contributes to the cost. There are drawbacks to fiberglass and composite frames in my opinion so if you’re not sold on the look of those products I’d probably cross them off the list.

      That probably still leaves you with a wide range of options. If you’d like, let us know your zip code and we might know someone to recommend in your area. Good luck with the project!

  56. We recently bought a home north of Denver, Colorado and want to replace fourteen windows (currently 25 year old Viking vinyl windows, 4 of which have already been replaced by low-end products): 9 sliders (five 4’x4′, three 5’x4′ and one 8’x4′ 3 lite), a 4’x4′ picture window and four 17″ wide side lights (picture windows either side of a slider in two bay window configurations). We plan to stick with the same design and white vinyl horizontal sliders.

    We have five quotes:
    Amerimax Craftsman Portrait with AG3 (366/NEAT) glass, full frame replacement $7,500
    Simonton Reflections 5500 with 366 ProShade glass, retrofit $8,500
    Zen Nirvana with LowE+, foam filled frames, retrofit $8,650
    Soft-Lite Timeless $12,700
    Sunrise V-Class $15,000

    Amerimax 5500 and Zen Nirvana seem like the best two options. I am concerned that retrofits for the 17″ wide side lights will result in too much frame, not enough glass. I’ve contacted a local glass shop and they can reglaze the four side lights with matching IGUs for $1,300. Removing the four 17″ picture windows from the Zen Nirvana bid and adding the $1,300 = $7,700 for that solution.

    I’d appreciate your thoughts, particularly on full frame replacement versus retrofit, and on re-glazing the side lights.

    Thank you!

    1. I know the guys at Zen and I think you’d be happy with their service. As for reglazing the sidelights, that’s a fine solution. I would not pick the American Craftsman regardless of the installation claims they were promising. Good luck with the project.

  57. I am in the process of replacing 10 windows in our house in Kansas City, Missouri, and have obtained the following quotes:
    Window World Double Hung 4000 Series $4,805
    Sunrise V Class Signature Double Hung $8,545
    Nirvana (Joyce’s Insulator) Double Hung $5,025
    Nirvana (Soft-Lite Classic) Double Hung $5,565
    Joyce Heritage Signature Series Double Hung $6,890

    I’d very much appreciate any observations/recommendations you can share about the above quotes.

    Thanks much.

    1. Hello,

      I am also in Kansas City and in the process of getting quotes. Right now I am leaning towards the Zen Nirvana. Wondering what and who you ended up going with?

  58. I have been comparing different windows and calling around to see what windows I can get in my small rural town in Pennsylvania. Okna is not in my area, MI, Soft Lite, Great and Great Lakes are available as well as Anderson. I want an energy efficient double hung window with wood or the looks of wood on the inside. Two windows I am considering which is the window only (self instillation) is the Soft lite Imperial with super spacer for $380 or the MI 1650 with tipple pane glass for $269. Should I consider additional windows? I am open to suggestions.

  59. We appreciate your educated opinion. We live in Wisconsin are replacing 12 windows and one 6 ft patio door. 9 36×41 awning windows 2. 36×65 double hung 1 36×65 picture windows. Triple pane sof lite pro bid was 13,500 complete. Triple pane Lindsay diamond view with 366 lower E glass. Bid was 11,955. In your opinion which is the better value. Thanks

  60. Hi I’m trying to decide on what type of windows to get I have 5 and a contractor told me about soft lite but I see so many mixed reviews about them please help

  61. Hi, I have. Quote from Window Nation for 17 Grandview windows for 13.5k and Barrington for about 11k. Do you think there is really a big difference between the two? The rating seemed pretty similar overall. Also they estimated another 3k for Grandview Slider patio door, does that seem too steep?

  62. Wondering about proper installation. Had one bath soft-lite window installed when we did the patio door. Sort of a test window. They used what looks like an aluminum drip strip across the bottom of the window. Had more windows installed recently, and same company did not use aluminum strip on the bottom of these. Just caulk. Is one better than the other?

    1. Not necessarily. It usually depends on the structure of the windows you had in there before. If the new Soft-Lite windows are not leaking or causing any other issue then I don’t think there is anything to worry about.

  63. Hi,

    I’m navigating a couple bids and trying to decided if the upgraded options are worth it. Cold Winters, Hot summers. Thank you!

    5 DH Windows and 1 Picture Window (60”x”60”). Installed with exterior capping.

    Soft-lite Elements, Triple Pane Ultra S : $6762
    Soft-lite Classic, Double pane Low E Plus: $5170
    Soft-lite Pro, Triple pane Low Ultra S: $6120
    Endure Window – EN600 Series: $4758
    Pella Impervia – Low E: $10,597

  64. I am replacing 10 old sliding windows in my home in Virginia. I got a quote from one installation company for all parts and labor for $8,000 for Polaris Thermal Weld Plus (10 year warranty on labor, manufacturer warranty on windows). Window Nation quoted me $6,750 for the same job for the Barrington (1 year on labor, lifetime on windows) and $7,850 for the Envision (can’t figure out if that is a Soft-Lite product or a Window nation product, but it’s got 5 year on labor and lifetime on the windows). How do the Barrington and Envision compare to the Thermal Weld? Also, the local installer offered to change the Thermal Weld for the Vytex Potomac at the same price, but your reviews make it seem like that isn’t necessarily an upgrade. At least you don’t seem to keen on the Vytex, so if that is supposed to be an upgrade, that means the Polaris should be kind of a lower quality. Reviews here and your comments speak generally high of the Thermal Weld. What do you think? Thanks!!

  65. Your site Recommended Zen windows in the St. Louis area, they offer both nirvana soft lite and lotus Joyce windows. I see various reviews on both sides of this, would you recommend one over the other since though they seem to be the same price?

    We are comparing the Zen bid versus other contractors that use Wincore 7700 and VinylMax Franklin windows.


  66. Softlite Barrington double hung windows.
    I would have preferred a satisfactory solution to their warranty on the windows via BBB (Akron, OH) but that failed. The limited warranty simply means they will replace the glass part of the window (not the gas between the glass), in the event the seal breaks but you must pay for shipment of the glass and labor to put the glass into the old sash. Since the only option to get the argon gas between the 2 panes of glass is to buy the defective (top or bottom) sash, you must BUY that entire sash and still pay for shipment and labor. So, what good is the lifetime warranty? To me, none. Quite deceptive marketing.

  67. I notice you mention Zen Windows in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area as the best… but on your page where you list all the window companies, you don’t even mention Zen windows. Do you know what brand/company they use? What they call their Lotus line, is it Soft-Lite of Alside? And if Soft-Lite, what line is it? Soft Lite Classic, Pro, Elements or Imperial LS ?

    So many dealers, so few companies… and all the relabeling.


    1. Hi Rich, that’s because the reviews we do of window brands are all reviews of manufacturers. Zen isn’t a manufacturer so they’re not on that list. Best bet is to ask them if you have specific questions about their quote. I’m sure they’ll be happy to help out.

  68. I have a Gorell 6000 series sliding patio door. I need to purchase a new handle for the door. the lock is fine but the screws are stripped out.

    1. Hi Dan, I’ll be interested to hear whether or not Soft-Lite still offers parts for Gorell doors. Let us know what you find out!

  69. Hi There,

    I went with Zen Windows for a replacement job 5-7 years ago or so. (Two double-pane sliding glass doors and two large triple-pane windows.) I believe they’re SoftLite windows. I’m running into a problem, and I’m wondering if it’s common to all Vinyl.

    I live in Colorado, where we see temps less than -10F in the winter and over 90F in the summer. When the outdoor temps are >70F, the doors open almost effortlessly, especially in the sun. They open very easily and smoothly. But when temperatures drop, the windows become really difficult to open. I used a luggage scale to measure: At 30F it takes 30 lbs of force to open the sliding glass door. At 10F it takes 50 lbs of force, and even then the door only opens a foot before it gets even harder to open. Lower temps are even harder to open. The frame on the glass of the door is visibly bowed below 50F.

    Is this common of all Vinyl? Should I have just sucked it up and paid twice the price for fiberglass, which doesn’t have the same thermal expansion problems?

    I contacted Zen Windows Warranty. They sent out a service technician who said he’d never seen anything like it, and it definitely wasn’t right. But after he left, I never heard from Zen. I called them a few weeks later, and they said the service tech said everything was fine and the windows were working normally.

    Any recommendations?

    1. Hi Miguel, I might check with Soft-Lite to see what they say or if they have a spec on what the force required to open should be. There are many areas of the country that experience pretty wide temperature swings and we don’t hear that complaint very often.

  70. We’re in Charlotte, NC and had all our windows replaced by Zen Windows in the beginning of 2021. It’s now 2024 and we’re still happy with them. So far have not yet had to contact their warranty service though, and they don’t seem to offer the fine print of their warranties upfront… you’d have to ask them for a copy. Presumably you have a limited lifetime, they’d replace all screens free, though we haven’t had the need to test that promise yet. Our temperatures go below freezing maybe a few days in the winter every year, so nowhere near as bad as the Colorado person I read about in previous comments. Temperatures can get to about 100 deg in the summer, and we have an East/West facing house so there are some extreme sun temperatures on hot days. No notable leaks or warps yet.

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