Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

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randmness
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:51 pm

Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#1 Post by randmness »

Hey all,
I feel like like in the last 5 days, I have learned more about windows than I have ever expected :lol:. My wife and I bought a townhome (Gaithersburg, MD) that still has the original wood windows and sliders (from 1989); market value of home around $500K. Trying to get an understanding on all of this and have been feverishly reading the millions of reviews and feedback across the internet for all things window-related. Our HOA has pre-negotiated some options with local companies, but we also reached to a few outside of their list.

Our Project:
  • 11 - double-hung windows (2 of these in bay window)
  • 1 - picture window (bay window)
  • 2 - sliding glass doors
  • 1 - one-story bay window capping

Installers we have contacted and/or received quotes:
1. Thompson Creek (HOA pre- negotiated) : $16,2XX
Notes: Did not seem to have good reviews online. No info on what products included in pre-negotiated pricing.
  • Windows: $909-939/each
  • Sliders: $2213/each
  • Bay Window Capping: $610
2. Simonton/Norandex Installer (HOA pre-negotiated): $12,2XX
Notes: Neighbors have used this company in past, and seemed pretty happy. Pretty good reviews for the installation company.
  • Windows - Norandex Perfexion Platinum (Having a hard time finding info on these; Simonton 5500?): $525/each
  • Sliders - Simonton Inovo: $2450/each
  • Bay Window Capping: $950
3. Soft-Lite installer: $----
Notes: Did not ask for additional information/quoting details. Seemed like they simply sub the work out (not a fan of.)
  • Sliders - Soft-lite Kingsroyal: $3100/each
  • Windows: Unsure
4. Okna Installer: $19,8XX (w/ 800 series windows), $18,8XX (w/ 500 series windows)
Notes: Probably the best quality option offered so far. Pretty good reviews for the installation company.
  • Windows: Okna 800 or 500: $905-988/each
  • Sliders: Okna 8800: $3150/each
  • Bay Window Capping: $1600

We've narrowed it down to the Simonton and Okna installers. The Okna really seems like the best option available (in terms of window quality), but I'm just racking my head on if its worth the 50+% additional cost over the Simonton. Thoughts? Keep looking?

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TheWindowNerd
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Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#2 Post by TheWindowNerd »

I need to be careful here as the Okna quote may have come from one of my friends WOW.

If you like drafts you should proceed with the Simonton. They were my preferred offering till I became more concerned about air infiltration. The Okna 800 is a great window.

The numbers on the surface seem a tad high. I do not have a take off on your project with specs and agg, so difficult to comment any further. Remember it is easier for you to eval product but not install/finish, service, and warranty support.
If you want further comment please ask. See what you can negotiate.

theWindowNerd

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Windows on Washington
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC

Re: Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#3 Post by Windows on Washington »

Could be me. Feel free to contact me directly at the office to discuss if you want.

While I might say that a 50% jump over the Norandex product is steep, the combination of product and installation makes that a bit less "steep" in my book. There is a reason that we are booked out for a long time if your quote was from us.

Feel free to ring the office and ask for Eric. Be sure to reference this and we can review your project quote if you like.

Thanks.

randmness
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:51 pm

Re: Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#4 Post by randmness »

Thanks for the feedback.

I've tried to not put any of the local names as I've seen some of them scattered across various forums. I also understand that pricing is relative in time and location, so reading what someone else received in the archives of the internet, is a poor indicator of today's market :lol:.

The original windows and sliders we have today are pretty drafty. We moved here at the beginning of the year, and were planning to have some work done, but the pandemic put a hold on that. We recently had our attic insulation replaced (missing entirely in some sections), which made such a huge difference, that I'm curious to how much we could really gain with our planned window replacement. The varying degree in pricing is what kinda spurred my deep-dive into trying to find the right mix of quality, price, installer, and ROI.

Let me do a bit of soul searching on this. It's a big purchase so I'm trying to do my due diligence. I really appreciate the feedback. This forum (and others like it) have been super helpful.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#5 Post by Windows on Washington »

No worries. My line is always open.

With regards to your question, that is the million dollar ask. What can one gain or lose with a better product and installation. If we could quantify that, there wouldn't be any pricing quandary and it would just be that the product "X" and installation "X" are worth "this much" more. The reality is that while the installation and product quality of product "X" is somewhat known...the lack of quality in product and more specifically, installation, of the lesser priced product is a bit of an unknown.

I can tell you from experience that I have, on more than one occasion this year alone, yanked out windows that were not ours, that were less than 2 years old because of drafts and complaints. Sounds like hyperbole, but it isn't.

If you are replacing your windows because they are drafty, I definitely would go with the tightest window and installation that you can find.

randmness
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:51 pm

Re: Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#6 Post by randmness »

Alright! So I reached out to the folks on NextDoor to see who they were happy with for their window and door replacements. From there, took those recommendations and narrowed it down to about 3-4 local companies that I should have quotes for in the next two days. Hoping to come to a decision by week's end and start the painful process of submitting it to my HOA review board. :lol:

The Latest Quote:

1. Vytex/Soft-Lite/Provia Installer : $13,0XX
Notes: Pretty good reviews for the installation company.
  • Windows - Vytex Fortis: $610/double-hung window (11 total), $1192 for picture window (1 total)
  • Sliders - Provia Endure: $2490/each or Soft-lite Kings Royal $2323/each
  • Bay Window Capping: $795
Waiting to hear back on the pricing for the Vytex Potomac. I've been so focused on windows that I have no idea about about the slider options offered. The rep mentioned that they can do the Vytex slider, but believe these two sliders were better. Open to opinions though.

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HomeSealed
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison, Northern IL

Re: Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#7 Post by HomeSealed »

I'd probably toss the Norandex option. As you know its a re-labeled Simonton through ABC Supply, pretty mediocre IMO. Additionally, if this contractor is buying his windows through a supply house as opposed to direct from a manufacturer, its either because he doesn't do many windows, or has poor financials. Both a red flag, and the pricing is consistent with that as its ridiculously low. A company that is not a one-man operation would be in the red at that price.

While a price on the Softlite Elements would be nice as well, the Okna option here is the best choice hands-down. Even though the price may be higher than the other quotes that you've gotten, your range is skewed lower than the market. There are companies getting $1500-$2k per for a high end performer like that, the quote you have is definitely in the normal range.

If by chance you are already considering Windows on Washington, that's a slam dunk. The biggest "X" factor in getting new windows is finding a company that won't rip you off, does great work, delivers great service, and offers excellent products. I've known the folks over there long enough to virtually guarantee that is the case. If you've read enough posts on this and other forums and blogs you've probably seen countless folks from other areas of the country thank WoW for all of his help and insight and express how they WISH that they were in his service area... You are fortunate to be located by one of the best. If you haven't talked to them yet, I'd highly recommend it.

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TheWindowNerd
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Re: Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#8 Post by TheWindowNerd »

+1

randmness
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:51 pm

Re: Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#9 Post by randmness »

To circle-back on this, late last week, we had our windows and patio doors replaced (as well as having the bay window capped.) We ended up going with the Vytex Fortis windows (11 double-hung and 1 picture window) and two Provia Endure sliding patio doors (~$13.2K total; final discounted price for paying cash.) The difference of indoor comfort (in comparison to our original ~30yr windows) was dramatic. We've noticed that our HVAC system rarely turns on now, and the temperature throughout the house seems to be alot more stable.

Everything came out great. We were really surprised that they were able to knock out all of the installation in one day. Wife is happy (and as a result so am I) :lol:
Thanks all for the help. This was an interesting learning experience.

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HomeSealed
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison, Northern IL

Re: Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#10 Post by HomeSealed »

Thanks for posting feedback! Solid product that should serve you well. The price is awfully low for 12 windows and 2 doors so hopefully the install is sound, but again solid product choice. Good to hear that the early returns are positive.

randmness
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:51 pm

Re: Seeking Opinion - Okna vs Norandex Perfection Platinum (MD)

#11 Post by randmness »

Yea, no problem!

After my initial few posts, I actually went back and got a few more quotes from some local well-reviewed Vytex installers. They were all kinda within $1-1.5K or so, so we chose the one we felt most comfortable with (original estimate was ~$14K pre-discounts.) We were initially going to go with the Vytex sliders as well, but a couple of the reps mentioned that they believed the Provia and/or KingsRoyal sliders to be better (not that the Vytex was a bad door.)

Despite the state of our old rotting patio doors, I'm still a bit surprised on how large a difference their replacement made (in addition to the windows.) It makes me really curious to see how things feel this summer and next winter season now (I'm sure MD has a couple more below freezing days up it's sleeve.) My wife and I both work from home, but she generally works on the floor above me. At the thermostat setting we set it too, sometimes [read: often] she would complain about it being too hot upstairs. Since replacement, not only is our HVAC barely running, but there hasnt been any complaints regarding the upstairs temperature. This is a palpable success :lol:

The timeframe from downpayment to work completion was about 11 weeks. Doing this entire process, during covid, has been an interesting experience.

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