Simonton 5500 Replacement Windows?

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Red Zebra
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Simonton 5500 Replacement Windows?

Post by Red Zebra »

We need to replace our windows on our 1950's house, which has the original wooden windows. We are working with an extremely reputable contractor who we have experience with on other kinds of repairs and renovations to our house. We are confident that the job would be done correctly with them. The contractor uses the Simonton 5500 series windows, which are among those recommended by Consumer Reports. In addition to energy efficiency and integrity against the elements, we are also quite interested in noise reduction. Do any of the Bogleheads have any thoughts on this issue or experience with Simonton replacement windows? Any experience with the 5500 series?
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Re: Simonton 5500 Replacement Windows?

Post by jm1495 »

Simonton is owned by PlyGem which itself is a subsidiary of Cornerstone Building Brands.

There are several brands that are produced in the same facility, on the same equipment, with the same processes. The only difference may be the profile look, hardware and features.

I worked in a window manufacturing facility and often times the only difference between one brand and another was the label at the end.

If you like the windows, trust the contractor then go with it.
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Re: Simonton 5500 Replacement Windows?

Post by ETK517 »

With nearly any insulated double or triple pane glass window, you will need to get new windows every 10-25 years (versus the ~70 years of service you've gotten from your existing windows, which will last indefinitely if maintained properly). The cost and environmental impact of that replacement cycle will never be offset by whatever energy savings you're able to achieve through replacement windows (which often are not the biggest cause of energy efficiency issues anyway - based on the age of your house, insulation and air-sealing are probably huge contributors). Single pane wood windows with appropriate storm windows are almost always more energy efficient than double-paned insulated glass windows.

In quickly looking at this window, it appears to be a pretty typical low- to middle-end option with subpar architectural detailing.

Many contractors select windows based on ease of installation (to make their job easier) and initial cost (to keep what's often the biggest line item in a budget down). Neither would really drive the boat for me. I've used Marvin on my home.
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Re: Simonton 5500 Replacement Windows?

Post by fortunefavored »

Windows are built to a price point like anything else, that Simonton is a mid-low level window that will meet energystar standards for your area and has a lifetime warranty (including breakage.)

I used their 7700(?) series on a builder-grade 1980s house and they fit right in. They are definitely cheap looking vinyl windows. But all vinyl windows look pretty cheap.

Prices will go up to breathtaking levels if you start going into the higher end with nicer cosmetics. If you can salvage your wood windows, they will probably look 10x nicer.

They are one of the largest window manufacturers around, so if it meets your cosmetic and price point, they're perfectly fine.
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Re: Simonton 5500 Replacement Windows?

Post by Carl53 »

ETK517 wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:06 am The cost and environmental impact of that replacement cycle will never be offset by whatever energy savings you're able to achieve
This probably can be said for many of the improvements in the name of energy efficiency over the last 50 or so years. Appliances have become more disposable. Nothing seems to last, seemingly by design, nothing repairable at an affordable price. Cars may be an exception, with 10 years 200,000 miles often being the norm.
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Re: Simonton 5500 Replacement Windows?

Post by lthenderson »

Red Zebra wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:52 pm We need to replace our windows on our 1950's house, which has the original wooden windows.
Are the old windows functioning? If you are doing it for efficiency gains, you should first read what Consumer Reports has to say on the matter:
It is generally not a good investment to replace windows just for energy-efficiency purposes. But if you need to replace irreparable windows or are undertaking a home remodel, then consider the incremental costs of higher-efficiency replacement windows over models without such features as specialty gas fills, including argon, or low-e coatings.

Large incremental costs for these options generally outweigh their benefit. Argon, for instance, typically increases the insulating R-value of a window by only half a point. (Insulated-glass windows, also called double-pane glass, typically have an R-value of around 2.0 to 3.0. R-value is the measurement of thermal resistance; the higher the number, the more efficient the window. Learn more about the energy performance of windows.)

This small increase in insulating value from the argon gas will get you slight energy savings, but the additional initial cost could significantly extend the payback time for the windows. What's more, the argon does little or nothing to reduce transmission of ultraviolet and infrared radiation. UV light from the sun can damage your furnishings but, more important, infrared radiation transfers heat into or out of a home. Studies have shown that windows with a low-e coating can measurably reduce solar heat gain during cooling season (assuming you do not draw curtains or blinds anyway). However, homes in cold climates tend not to see a benefit from this option.

It's worth noting that many manufacturers of high-quality windows, including all those we tested for our latest report on windows, now use argon-filled glass as the standard for their windows. In fact, some companies might charge you more if you want windows with glass that provides less insulation, including models with only air-filled glass or with no low-e coating. ... /index.htm

I'm happy with my double paned, air filled, 51 year old wooden windows.
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