If you’re considering buying Simonton windows you’ll want to read this post. Here we’re outlining the reasons that anyone should avoid Simonton windows.
To be fair you’ll find that a window salesman will always tell you why you shouldn’t buy this brand or that brand so you’ll want to take this with a bit of a grain of salt. We’re playing devil’s advocate here a little bit, but these are the reasons a competing salesman will tell you to avoid Simonton windows.
Remember, if you think I’m wrong about something post a comment below.
First, they’re lower end or “contractor grade” windows.
This is something you’ll always hear about Simonton windows. There is a little truth to it as Simonton is widely distributed and typically sold by smaller contractors who are more focused on price than quality.
The terms like “contractor grade” are always a little silly since they don’t really mean anything. The nugget of truth here is that they do use lower end components and older designs. That’s why you generally don’t see nicer window companies selling Simonton windows.
Next, Simonton windows use lower end components than other brands.
This one is mostly true. You’ll see Simonton windows use the lower end constant force or coil balances. Higher end products will generally use the upgraded block and tackle type balances that are tested to last longer and operate better.
This is something that most customers don’t really know anything about. You can’t really see the balances when you’re looking at the windows. That means it’s an easy way for a manufacturer to cut a corner.
Simonton is owned by Ply Gem which also makes higher end brands like Great Lakes. They don’t want to interfere with the high end window sales so they keep Simonton windows a little cheaper. That makes sense from a business standpoint.
Simonton windows have higher air infiltration rates.
This is a common line used against Simonton windows and it’s worth considering. The air infiltration rates will be different with different Simonton models so there isn’t one answer. In general Simonton windows do have higher (worse) air infiltration rates than you’ll see from higher end manufacturers.
For example, most newer window designs will have air infiltration rates under 0.05. With some common Simonton models the air infiltration rate will be 2x or 3x that rate. Some new construction windows will be even worse.
That means more air can get through the windows when closed and locked. This is a common complaint about windows, so it’s something to consider.
Finally, the thicker frames will block more light.
This is another one that people sometimes don’t consider until it’s too late. Some popular Simonton windows like the 5500 series will use thicker frames than many other models. That means the same size window will provide less glass area than you’d get with a different window model.
Now, that’s not true with every model. For example the Impressions 9800 or the Reflections 5500 models do tend to have thicker frames but the Daylight Max or 5050 series will use slimmer frames.
The trick is that the slimmer models from Simonton tend to be their lower end designs so you give up other features when switching to those models.
So, you can get the nicer windows and features but you have to take the thicker frames. Or, you can get the slimmer windows with more glass are, but you get lower end windows. That’s not a great trade off if you ask me.
So, what’s the bottom line?
Keep in mind that a salesperson will typically tell you all about the downsides of any window model. The issues listed above are generally based in reality, but only you can decide how important they are.
It is true that most larger window companies don’t sell Simonton windows. They’re usually sold by smaller handyman or jack of all trade type of operations. That’s one indication that they’re not the best windows out there and they’re not a product my company would typically offer.
How can you find a great window company?
That’s easy. If you’re considering a window project you can check this section for recommendations for window companies all over the country. That’s the best way we know of to find a great local window company.