Update: I was recently talking with a window company owner in Florida and he let me know that we disagree about this window. He’s thinking that if the window is ordered with nicer options it becomes a nicer window than I describe here. We’ll take another look at it and consider updating this post with any new info.
As we go through our Simonton Reflections 5050 review remember one thing: When some people say that they don’t want vinyl windows in their house because they look cheap, this is the type of window they’re thinking of. It looks cheap.
Most manufacturers offer a “low end” option and this is the offering from Simonton. It leaves quite a bit to be desired. The actual wholesale cost difference between this model and a much nicer option is only $10-$20 per window.
What are we talking about specifically?
Take a look here at the thickness of the frame and sash. As you can see in the picture the distance from the outside of the frame to the glass is about 3.75″ . This is pretty thick, especially for a model with pretty weak efficiency ratings.
To get an idea of how this will look in your home, you can measure your existing windows. If the distance from the interior stop to the glass is currently less than 3.75″ you will likely lose glass area with this model. That might be an acceptable trade off if there were fantastic energy savings to be had, but with this model there won’t be.
Another drawback to this model is the lack of balance covers. If you’re not an expert in the bits and pieces of a window, a balance cover is a small piece of vinyl that snaps into the side of the frame to cover the window balance. It’s just a small strip, probably costs less than $0.10 to produce, but they’ve left it out of this model.
Without the balance cover you’re left with a channel in the frame where dust and debris will settle over time. It’s tough to clean out and it looks unfinished when compared with other window models.
The last component we’ll look at in this Simonton Reflections 5050 review is the screen. As you can see in the picture below the spline (the rubber strip that holds the screen material in the frame) is on the outside of the window. This is a common trait among lower end products and it leads to maintenance down the road.
When this spline is on the outside of the screen frame it is exposed to the sun. This can cause the rubber material to dry out after several summers causing your screen to fail. Nobody wants to be dealing with loose screens.
I could go on an on about drawbacks to this model, but hopefully you have the idea by now.
What’s the bottom line?
This is a low end product from a well respected manufacturer. Simonton makes fine products, but this isn’t one of them. It looks and feels cheap and I strongly recommend looking at other options.
I’m am absolutely not a window snob. There are plenty of inexpensive options that will work great for you. Just not this model.
The much nicer Simonton Prism 5500 window only costs $10-$20 more and it’s a much better mid-range option.
To sum up this Simonton Reflections 5050 review: Keep shopping.
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.