Soft-Lite Pro Windows Reviews

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The Soft-Lite Pro window is very similar to the Soft-Lite Classic window as they both fall in the middle of the Soft-Lite window line.

The Soft-Lite Pro window aren’t especially remarkable, but they have decent ratings, larger glass area than other options, and are typically offered at a better price than other Soft-Lite windows.  As we go through the review we’ll look at the style, the warranty, the ratings, and the drawbacks.

So how about the Soft-Lite Pro ratings?

When you look at the nfrc ratings you’ll see that the Soft-Lite Pro windows tend to be unremarkable.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there isn’t anything fantastic abut ratings like these.  For more detailed explanations of what the ratings mean click here.

As with most replacement windows there are many glass options that can affect the ratings.  This model is available with triple pane glass and U-Factors as low as 0.18.  This range of U-Factors (from 0.30 to 0.18) is pretty typical.

You’ll probably also notice that the Visible Transmittance ratings for this window are considerably better than the Soft-Lite Imperial LS and the Soft-Lite Elements and  that we’ve reviewed in the past .  This means you’ll get much MORE glass area with similar efficiency ratings with this model.

How about air infiltration or air leakage?

So the degree to which Soft-Lite focuses on air infiltration ratings is kind of a joke within the industry.  The degree to which some salespeople dwell on these ratings can be downright comical.  In this case the air infiltration rating is 0.07 to 0.11 depending on how the window is equipped.

In their brochure they highlight the 0.07 number and put the 0.11 number in the fine print in the bottom. The ratings aren’t always as good as they might first appear.

These ratings are fine, but they aren’t remarkable.  We’ve written at length on how air infiltration ratings are misconstrued so we won’t repeat everything here.  Just remember that these ratings are just fine and you’ll probably never notice the difference between this and a window with “better” ratings.

What about the style options?

One thing we’re not thrilled with about the Soft-Lite Pro windows is the complex design on the exterior.

We know that windows with all sorts of fancy lines, details and designs on the exterior can look sharp when a sample is sitting on your kitchen table.  Just remember that once the windows are installed you want them to look like they’ve always been part of the house rather than some fancy thing that was added later.  This design it’s nearly as busy as some, but it looks a little too complicated in our mind, but it’s your house, get what you like.

How about the Soft-Lite Pro warranty?

If you’ve been shopping for windows you’ve seen that most say they come with a “lifetime warranty”.  You need to really read the warranty to see what is actually covered.  In this case there are several important limitations:

  • Soft-Lite does not cover labor to fix a warranty problem
  • Soft-Lite does not cover glass breakage
  • Soft-Lite does not cover shipping of replacement parts

These limitations aren’t necessarily deal breakers they are more limited than what you’ll find from many other manufacturers.  You may find that your local dealer adds to the warranty.  That’s fine, just make sure you have it in writing.  You should also know that the warranty is only as good as the company that backs it.

Our complete breakdown of the Soft-Lite window warranty will be published soon.

How about drawbacks of this Soft-Lite Pro window?

One drawback is the fact that Soft-Lite is a relatively small manufacturer.  While they have been growing, their total sales just recently surpassed $50MM according to Window and Door magazine.  This may sound like a lot, but for a manufacturing company it’s relatively small.  The risk there is that smaller companies that made fine products (e.g. Gorell, Schuco, Kensington, Republic, etc) have come and gone.  When one of these companies goes away all of the folks who purchased their products are left with no warranty.  This is a risk with any company, but it is very important to recognize with a smaller company like Soft-Lite.

Another drawback to consider is the use of inexpensive hardware in the Soft-Lite Pro window.  They use the cheaper constant force balance mechanisms to let the windows open and close.  These are common among lower end windows and they’re known to have shorter operating lives than other types.  Is this a high deal?  No, but it is one way Soft-Lite has cut cost out of this product that you should be aware of.

So what’s the bottom line?

At the end of the day, if you’re set on getting Soft-Lite windows the Soft-Lite Pro is a decent option, but you may want to take a look at the Soft-Lite Classic as it’s essentially the same window with cleaner lines.  We tend to think the “higher end” windows look like they’re trying too hard and the mid-range windows tend to offer the best value.  There are a few drawbacks mentioned above and I wouldn’t pay more for this window that comparable windows from other manufacturers, if you can get good pricing from a reputable local company this window could be a good value.

Take a look at more reviews of windows from Soft-Lite or other replacement window manufacturers.

Disclosure: based on the info provided here and our detailed consideration of all of the replacement windows available today our company has elected to occasionally offer Soft-Lite windows in several markets.

 

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9 thoughts on “Soft-Lite Pro Windows Reviews”

  1. Hi,

    I live in small back to back townhouse. I was looking to replace 2 windows and 1 patio door on the lower level that where our family stayed the most.

    I received 5 quotes for [email protected] windows 35 x 60 and [email protected] 5 foot patio door.. Any opinion on which is the better option? Thank you

    Option 1 – Alside
    [email protected] Alside Mezzo double hang windows. ClimaTech ThermD TG2 Elite U-Factor .22 for glass package.
    [email protected] Alside 6100 for the 5′ patio door also ClimaTech TG2 for glass package. Total $2,300.

    Option 2 – Vytex Window from 1 Unicorp
    2 Vytex Georgetown Windows – $1,250
    [email protected] 5′ Vytex Georgetown Patio door = $2,350
    Total = $3,720 plus $300 discount = $3,420

    Option 3 – Soft-lite Nirvana Classic from Zen Window
    [email protected] Soft-lite Nirvana Classic double hung -$1,190
    [email protected] Soft-lite Dharma Kingsroyal patio door – $2,118
    Total = $3,308 + 5% discount = $3,143
    Add $30 more per window if I add super Spacer to classic window. And $80 for patio door.
    Therefore, the total will be $3,143+60+80= $3,283.

    Option 4 – Soft-lite Pro american Home contractors
    [email protected] Soft-lite pro double hung
    [email protected] Soft-lite Dharma Kingsroyal patio door with super spacer
    Total = $3,500

    Optio 5 – Okna 1800, 800, 500 from Windows on Washington
    2 white 1800 series triple pane windows (grids) & 1 PD, no grids- Investment- 0% interest for 1yr. = $5,300 (before discounts). 12% discounts
    2 white 800 series double pane windows (grids) & 1 PD, no grids- Investment- 0% interest for 1yr. = $4,640 (before discounts). 12% discounts
    2 white 500 series double pane windows (grids) & 1 PD, no grids- Investment- 0% interest for 1yr. = $4,490 (before discounts). 12% discounts

    Hope you can help with your best opinion. greatly appreciated

    Tinh

    1. It looks like you might be in Frederick, MD and if so I think my company will offer the best value! Find us here if you’d like a quote. Of the others, I’d probably go with option 1.

    2. I purchased soft lite double hung windows 20 years ago. Recently, cleaning one window. The shoe attachment broke. I calked soft lite and thetmy sent me replacement parts for free. My problem is, I have calked 4 companies that install soft lite but none of them do repairs on the hardware. Can you suggest a window repair person in the Boston/Brookline area that does soft lite window hardware Repairs? Handymen do not do this either.

  2. @TheWindowDog – What is your opinion/experience with Slocum windows? We’re looking at 18 Double-Hung (bedrooms, kitchen, living, etc), 1 ‘hopper’ in basement, and a Front Door + Storm. Quote includes all the peripheral work of installation which includes fixing/capping sills, trim, etc (30 yr old wood windows, has some trim/sill issues with water/rot). Just under $20k for total job (I understand the door+storm runs this up an my skew the analysis). These are for Slocum 677 windows. I’m getting a rebid using the 177 for comparison, so any info on these windows would be most appreciated. Other bids being entertained include Home Depot’s Vantage Point 6100 and Zen Nirvana (perhaps soft-lite pro equivalent?). Really appreciate the site and the work you’ve put into trying to help home owners navigate a pretty gray area like window replacements.

    1. Hi there, I don’t have a lot of personal experience with Slocomb windows, but it’s probably something I would stay away from. Those smaller brands have a tough time lasting (see accuweld and Gorell and on and on). I don’t have any inside info on their finances, it’s just not a gamble I would take with my money.

      Did you pick a window yet?

  3. Hi guys,

    I live in Chicago and in a 3 unit brick condo complex. We recently had a 30k project on the building to seal all the brick and properly flash the coping stones. building built in 2008. I have a contractor grade wood door with aluminum track that freezes in the winter and I suspect the previous owners have been hiding the water damage to the door (repainted). door is flush with hardwood floors so they are showing signs of cupping. The door was never installed properly, so I need a new one. I am looking at a soft-lite kingsroyal glide double pane ($2800) or the great lakes eco smart triple pane ($3600). I am not sure if the extra cost is worth it. Any thoughts here? price includes all install and removal, etc.

    Thanks
    IJ

  4. Hey there,
    I have enjoyed this site and it definitely has helped me gain knowledge in the complex world of window replacement.

    I live in the Chicago area and am shopping for inserts for 14 double hung vinyl windows all around 40in by 60 in and one bay window that can be replaced by one larger picture window and 2 smaller double hungs on either side.

    I have received a few quotes that are really far apart and I’m trying to get a good judge of what a good deal would be.

    Installer A (larger company, with more overhead costs)
    Sunrise Standard Series with Low E argon, U factor .25. shgc .28 $16,544
    Soft Lite Pro Series with low E, argon gas, ufactor .27, shgc .29 $14,544

    Installer B (single owner, small company)
    Allside Mezzo with Low E and argon gas $9275

    I really like Installer A and the peace of mind that the company will be around for service if needed. I trust Installer B but am hesitant about the Allside Mezzo after researching from this site and others. I am going to get 2 more quotes for sunrise windows to see where they sit, because I believe they are high. Is the Sunrise warranty good on its own if I don’t have a large installer behind it? I plan on being in my house for the next 20 Plus years.

    Thanks for your help!

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