Pella Thermostart vs Simonton Pro
I am building a new home and the builder previously installed Pella Thermostar windows but is now giving us the option of Simonton Pro (and really pushing it). My guess is that Simonton is cheaper, they could get better bulk pricing but is not as good of a window as the Thermostar. Please advise.
Desparate in Ohio
The only meaningful difference between windows is U-Factor.
U-Factor is the opposite of R-Factor and measures the amount of energy loss through a door or window.
Building and energy codes mandate minimum U-factors for windows and doors.
If the U-Factor remains the same between a Pella and Simonton, there is no meaningful difference between these two window manufacturers at all.
When comparing windows, look for these items:
1. How long has the company been in business?
2. How long is the warranty and is it transferable if you sell your house?
3. Is the vinyl virgin or reused?
4. Does the vinyl have additives that prevent aging?
5. Is the frame multi-chambered for strength and to trap air in pockets? (you can compare cross sections)
6. Is the glass single or double strength?
7. Does the glass have a breakage warranty?
8. Compare the weather stripping is the bulb weather stripping foam filled or solid rubber?
9. Call around and ask installers, like asking a car repair person, they will tell you which products they use to prevent call backs.
I could fill pages with how to compare windows, there is a lot more than just the r/u values.
Pella Thermostar vs Simonton
Well said FHI! :thumbup:
Pella's Thermostar are apples and Simonton are oranges. Pella consistently receives accolades for it's alum clad and fiberglass product but the Thermostar are an average contractor grade window, installed and recommended by contractors because of their low price. IMO, Pella hurts their reputation being associated with such a product...but it makes them $$$ w/ Lowe's. Look at 'U' Factor as an initial qualifying factor, only consider windows w/ a rating of .30 or less for 'U' & SHGC and then consider equally important components/factors mentioned by FHI.
No accollades for Pella here. I have had noting but trouble with pella windows in my 24 yrs as a remodeler. Once the warranty is up, forget service.
Are you crazy. I would be careful. Are you sure, you want vinyl. If your in Southern, OH, I might consider vinyl. Why not wood window, thats a quailty window, I'd cheapen up on something else, or hold off on building a garage before I'd cheapen up on the windows. Unless, you have "FREE" Natural gas or electirc.
If I was building, I would choose wood window over vinyl. The reason are many, after being in the business since 1992, wood is still a better choice.
If you have the money to upgrade to a quality product, down grade on cabinets/garage. The saying still holds true; YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
If you have the money, please consider:
Andersen 400 Series Tilt Wash
then Andersen 200 Series
The Pella Thermastar is crap...stay away from this window...it's glazing stops are paper thin on the outside of the window, the glass is held in place with double sided tape(not a good system), thinner vinyl on frame, thin vinyl on lift rails, the color looks like the bottom of dirty socks, dirty white, if your using 4 9/16" new construction vinyl Pella THermastar look out closely, also, sill has weep holes for insects to build nests or pug up the drainage system, no sloped sill, possibly allowing water to build up in the pocket, do not nail to the vinyl window it might crack the vinyl when applying your inside casing....
I would hold back on something else on the new house before I'd cheapen up on the windows. I just went to a cusotmer house who had 8 year old vinyl windows and now knows he made a huge mistake going vinyl, quoting Marvin and Andersen Woodwrights full frame to replace the cheap plastic windows, his wife was there getting her two cents in saying I told you so.... The Vinyl Patio Door is shot and the seals went out on 7 windows units which all fogged up.... The glass thickness is thin, not sure the Milla Meter but thin glass allows for bowing, noise transfermation, possilbe stress cracks during shipping or in cold weather, also read the fine print, the warranties on vinyl usaually do not transfer if you were ever to sell. If you plan on living there for long, I would strongly recommend a wood/composite window over a hollow vinyl window.... do your homework
Also just an FYI. Pella Proline which is wood sold at Lowes/Menards/Carter Lumber is now in a class action law suite, stay away from this window also. What is happened is wood is rotting with in ten years. Just an FYI, the bottom sash has corners that are have exposed wood, open corners allow moisture inside the aluminum, also the weatherstripping between the glass and aluminum breaks down when exposed too sunlight, allowing water to penatrate behind the aluminum...I would stay away from Pella all together. There is much better wood windows out there again, be careful, just do not through crap into the holes of your house, you will regret it. Windows, are harder to repalce than kitchen cabinets.
The Pella Window if cut away:
Does not have Heat Stregthened glass 3 mm glass
The glass is the same on the outside/inside which allows distorsion-sorry about the spelling
Does not have a completely sealled clad product
Rolled aluminum - pop can thin
exposed corners-wood can be seen clearly - you can see the pine
no foam or insulation behind the jamb liners
folded down nailing fin- window has to be set in opening correctly or may leak
If you have a two stroy home be careful when cleaning-you can clearly shove the sashes to the outside of the window-it has no blind stops to stop the sashes from tilting outwards
Pella uses a southern pine which is a soft pine
Aluminum clad allows transfermation of hot and cold into your house through the walls
NO thermally broken sill-aluminum all the way into your house-so if it's cold outside it's carrying the cold inward
No supported sill- can easily be dented-and nothing under it to support it
No a steep slope Ice and snow can build up on to it-8 degrees
Noticeable stings on the sides of the window on the inside taking away the look of a wood window
Cheap fiberglass screen - no re-inforced corners if the screen ever blows out of the window and hits the ground- it folds like paper
The Pella ProLine the last time I checked -did not qualify for the tax credits-exception for the month of May unitl June 1st
Please see Pella Rotting Windows or myrottingpellawindows.com
or Pella Class Action Lawsuites, customer claims complaints against pella
see for yourself on the web
Service sucks-good luck-if you ever need becuase it will not be there when you do need it
Parts and Pieces-will they have them in 10 to 20years doubtful- Pella will eventually loose their butts on this window and have too change the design of it
There are far better windows out there than Pella Windows
FHI had an excellent post. Pella's thermostar is inferior to the Simonton. If your builder is pushing them(Simonton) it is because he is probably excited not to have to deal with all the call-backs with the Pellas.
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