Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

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Paul5
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Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#1 Post by Paul5 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:11 am

I'm looking to replace all the windows in a single family ranch/rambler type mostly brick house (painted white, not by choice, previous owners) built in 1954 with original single pane aluminums. I looked at various window vendors such as American Jewel (the first I looked at cause it was the only vinyl window sold by the installers of my ProVia doors), Ideal Majestic, Soft-Lite Bainbridge & Pro, Sunrise, Vytex Fortis, B.F. Rich Horizon, Simonton Reflections 5500 and Asure, and glanced at Certaineed and Okna. Out of those, I think I narrowed it down to Sunrise because of their low Air Infiltration rating and tilt-in sliders.

I saw on some old posts on this site indicating the Sunrise horizontal sliding tilt-in windows had some previous problems but most of those problems have been addressed in the manufacturing process over the years. I currently have seven 2 section 71 x 36 sliders that I am thinking about replacing with the Sunrise 3 section sliders with in-swing sash rails. Does anyone have good/bad experience with them? Is it a good idea to use 3 section sliders in place of 2 section sliders?

Also, I noticed on previous posts that Sunrise has several different of windows series ; "Sunrise builds the Restorations, Vanguard, and Verde series all off of the same design. They are simply designed for different markets and the size of dealer than will carry those lines." The Sunrise web site doesn't mention any of them, so how do I know which options are already included in a particular series and which series is available in my area? I got a quote from a highly rated installer that was highly rated that didn't know there were different line-ups. Another quote doesn't list the series of window either.

Is there a real noticeable viewing difference between the normal screens and the OptiView screens?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#2 Post by HomeSealed » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:33 am

If your quote/literature only states "Sunrise" then you were probably quoted on the base Sunrise unit. The Verde, Restorations, etc are all upgraded versions with sash reinforcement, etc. In comparison to the other products that you looked at, I personally like the Okna and the Fortis a little better than the base Sunrise, but the Vanguard and Restorations with upgrades are on par with the top choices available like the Okna/HiMark 800 and Softlite Elements.
Regarding the slider configuration, I'm not a fan of tilt-in sliders in any capacity. I have sold and installed several brands and had nothing but problems with ALL of them. It is a flawed design IMO, destined to leak air and malfunction. I'd stick with the regular lift out units.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#3 Post by Randy » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:27 pm

I completely agree. Vanguard, Restorations, or Verde would be a better choice and stay away from the tilt-in sliders. They're prone to problems with operation and sealing. Lifting the sashes up and out of the frame for cleaning isn't fun, but it beats the eventual frustration that inevitably comes with tilt-in sliders.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#4 Post by masterext » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:13 pm

I am pretty certain that its the sunrise vanguard and restorations that comes with sash reinforcement, not the verde.
I like the list you presented with the exception of certainteed, simonton, and ideal majestic. I dont think they make very good windows specifically certainteed. I never saw bf rich though.
I also do not like tilt in sliders, they are plagued with issues.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#5 Post by Paul5 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:49 pm

Thank you everyone for the input on the tilt-in sliders. Great advice. I will avoid!!!

I am looking for a window beyond the base-line of any vendor. I specifically said that to 2 different Sunrise sales reps., but they didn't mention any series. After finding out about the different series (thanks to posts here), the one sales rep I confronted about it didn't even know. He did say he would contact Sunrise to get info. He e-mailed me back today and gave me some info, but I am still not comfortable with his answer. He did say everything was based off the Standard, but said as options are added, it becomes a series of window. So let's say I add self cleaning glass to the Standard. All of a sudden it becomes a Verde. I'm sorry, but that explanation doesn't quite cut it for me. Anyway, it would seem to me that whatever Sunrise quote software they use would have some indication.

I had narrowed my vendor choice by looking at installers that had high quality ratings based on 50 or more reviews. OKNA didn't make that cut because there is only one installer in the area that has a high rating with only 32 reviews. I live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, so there are easily 10 more brands I can look at including Polaris, Gerkin, Alside, Champion, Great Lakes, Jeld Wen, Alco... But had to slim down my choices.

For the better windows there didn't seem to be any significant difference in the U-Factor, SHGC, or VT for comparable double pane, low-e argon (90/10 or 95/5), with typical glazing, & non-metallic spacers, warranties (except Sunrise seems to have more all around coverage) . Sunrise has an AI of .03. Vytex's AI is .05. All the others I looked at are .08 or higher. Not sure of the DP ratings. Haven't looked at OKNA's ratings. Then there's the quality/durability of the windows which I can only get from reading lots of reviews.

All said, that's how I arrived at leaning towards Sunrise. I'm just disappointed with the sales tactics coming straight from the manufacturer!!

I contacted the area Sunrise rep. Waiting for his response.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#6 Post by HomeSealed » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:48 pm

Paul, your Sunrise reps are right and wrong. The base model Sunrise is indeed the basis for the higher end lines, each of which has slightly different upgrade content. As I mentioned earlier, I like to see the reinforcement, along with the foam filling, etc. that come in the Restorations and Vanguard. These lines are divided into different dealers from Restorations at the top (dealers with highest volume and prestige) and on down the line (Vanguard is a VERY close second), so the contractors that quoted you probably do not have access to these exclusive lines.

Regarding the Okna product, the 800DX offers a .26 u value (double pane) AI of .01, and DP 60.

Of the list of additional products that you may consider, the only one that will match up the the Okna, Sunrise, and Vytex offerings would be the Polaris. Some of Gerkin's products have nice numbers as well, as does the Softlite Elements.

Lastly and most importantly, I believe that you may have overlooked a dealer in your are that carries Okna among other products, and that would be Windows on Washington. He is a prolific contributor to these forums and a consummate professional. I'm sure that if you search far back enough you could probably find a couple dozens rave reviews on these boards alone, let alone the big consumer sites like Angie's , Yelp, google reviews, etc where he definitely has more than the 50 reviews that you set as a threshold.
If you are still entertaining options at this point, you'd be well served to contact him. I give WoW my highest personal recommendation.
He has a Get a Quote button on his posts if you are interested in contacting him.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#7 Post by Paul5 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:42 pm

Thanks HomeSealed, that really clarifies things for me. I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out what gives!

Yes, I have seen that Windows on Washington was given much praise on other posts here. I've been using Consumers' CheckBook who has a high bar as far as who can submit reviews. I had looked at Yelp but they have even fewer reviews. Not a member of Angies. Ironically, Windows on Washington was who I was going to get me 3rd Sunrise quote from. They're also the ones who sell the Polaris. The one thing that concerned me about OKNA is that I would only be able to get maybe a couple of quotes for comparison. With Polaris or Gerkins I would only be able to get one quote each>> that I know of. I have several quotes for the Softlite Pro, but hadn't looked at the Elements. From what I can tell, Vytex has mixed reviews.

I will definitely look into the OKNA 800DX & Softlite Elements.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#8 Post by masterext » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:12 am

I understand wanting to see comps but there is a threshold to where if broke, you will get so confused your head will be spinning. In my opinion, there is no need to get so many quotes. Windows on washington is one heck of a company, very reputable and eric is impossible to beat in the knowledge department as far as im concerned. You simply wont find a better contractor.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#9 Post by Paul5 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:28 am

Masterext, that's a good point . My head is already spinning!!

Basically I've dealt with 4 installers who sell multiple brands. Two have sent reps to the house and the others have been via e-mail only (after stopping in to their showroom). All have showrooms which I visited.

- Vendor 1 - Vytex Fortis, Ideal Majestic, B.F. Rich Horizon, & Sunrise Standard. via e-mail only
- Vendor 2 - Ideal Majestic. via e-mail only.
- Vendor 3 - Simonton Asure, Soft-Lite Imperial Pro, & Sunrise Standard. Rep stopped by & took
measurements.
- Vendor 4 - Ideal Majestic, Soft-Lite Bainbridge, & Soft-Lite Pro. Rep stopped by & took measurements.

My process started at the end of August when I knew almost zero about replacement windows and the many different brands. Early on, I visited 4 showrooms where they uniformly ushered me to the Ideal Majestic, seeing as I wasn't too sure of what I wanted, but I knew I didn't want a base-line window (something I mentioned to each from the onset). I looked at their other windows as well. Long story short, did some more research and quickly eliminated Ideal, American Jewel, B.F. Rich, Barrington, Certaineed, Alside, & Champion. By mid-to late Sept, I had 4 quotes that included various brands.

Seeing as the tilt-in slider option has been eliminated, it does leave the OKNA, Sunrise Vanguard/Restorations, and Softlite Elements open for consideration. None of which I've looked at (although have tried with Sunrise), nor do I quotes for. I think it will boil down to one of those. From looking at many reviews, I am confident that they are all solid choices and I will probably be happy with either one of them.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#10 Post by HomeSealed » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:18 am

One thing to keep in mind as well Paul, is that while it can be nice to "shop around" multiple dealers for the same window, this can also be a negative in a couple of ways.
1) Quality of product
2) Quality of dealer

The top performing products are generally reserved as "exclusives", or at least partially so. Manufacturers don't want every "Chuck in a truck" type of contractor installing their high end products, as those type of contractors generally have poor quality installs, which could then reflect poorly on the reputation of the product itself. Conversely, the better dealers do not want to sell a product that a bunch of other guys also sell, because then they are generally shopped purely on price, and the quality of the company and installation can take a back seat in the decision making process.

This is why you won't find a bunch of dealers selling the Softlite Elements and Okna or HiMark 800 for instance.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#11 Post by sammia » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:47 pm

I'm in exactly the same boat. After getting a quote for Sunrise windows I asked which type I was quoted for and was told by the supplier/installer that Sunrise only do 2 models, those being Sunrise and Essentials. I will say the sample he showed me had an insulated frame and a moulding around the interior face of the sashes. Today i called Sunrise direct and asked the person I spoke with if she could provide me with the name of a showroom in my area so I could view the window one more time. She replied that she didn't have that information and that only the sales reps would have and that I would have to speak with them,I declined. Why the secrecy?I've had 2 quotes and am happy in that regard, I just wanted to see a window larger than the 2x3 sample that the reps carry as I have some large opes and my only concern is that they might look too "plasticy" if there is such a word.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#12 Post by sammia » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:05 pm

HomeSealed wrote:One thing to keep in mind as well Paul, is that while it can be nice to "shop around" multiple dealers for the same window, this can also be a negative in a couple of ways.
1) Quality of product
2) Quality of dealer

The top performing products are generally reserved as "exclusives", or at least partially so. Manufacturers don't want every "Chuck in a truck" type of contractor installing their high end products, as those type of contractors generally have poor quality installs, which could then reflect poorly on the reputation of the product itself. Conversely, the better dealers do not want to sell a product that a bunch of other guys also sell, because then they are generally shopped purely on price, and the quality of the company and installation can take a back seat in the decision making process.

This is why you won't find a bunch of dealers selling the Softlite Elements and Okna or HiMark 800 for instance.
HomeSealed how are we the customers supposed to know which line the dealer has when they don't seem to know themselves. Both dealers I spoke with stated that Sunrise does only 2 types ie Sunrise and Essentials.No mention of Restorations, Vanguard or Verde. How do we know where to find a "better dealer". One of my guys gave me a list of references as long as your arm, does that make him a better dealer?

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#13 Post by HomeSealed » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:40 pm

They try to promote Restorations and Vanguard as independent "brands", so if you search for a Sunrise dealer, you will probably only find guys that sell the base model and the essentials. In addition, these guys may not be knowledgable about the other lines available, but even if they were they most certainly would not want to advertise the fact that there is a superior version available that they do not have access to. Restorations and Vanguard each have their own websites with dealer locators that you can use as a resource. :)

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#14 Post by sammia » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:17 pm

HomeSealed wrote:They try to promote Restorations and Vanguard as independent "brands", so if you search for a Sunrise dealer, you will probably only find guys that sell the base model and the essentials. In addition, these guys may not be knowledgeable about the other lines available, but even if they were they most certainly would not want to advertise the fact that there is a superior version available that they do not have access to. Restorations and Vanguard each have their own websites with dealer locators that you can use as a resource. :)
HomeSealed thanks very much,that pretty much sums it up.I spoke with another lady at Sunrise later today who was very forthcoming with information and did admit to the Restorations range.She gave me the area managers number to call and he will hopefully put me in touch with a dealer.I must say it all seems a bit strange on Sunrises behalf, one section either doesn't know or wont admit that that they carry other selections. All I really want to do is see the 2 windows side by side before I decide. I'd be pretty bummed if I found out about the choices after committing to the Sunrise line.Can I ask you which line in your opinion is the best value, how much of a premium above the standard Sunrise window is the Restoration and Vanguard approx,10%,20%? Not having seen one yet are they much easier on the eye? Once again thanks for all your help and Paul sorry for hijacking your thread.

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Re: Sunrise Windows tilt-in sliders? Various series of windows?

#15 Post by HomeSealed » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:38 am

The 3 lines (Restorations, Vanguard, and base Sunrise) are all based on the same base window, so there won't be a huge difference in appearance (I think perhaps some locks change and stuff like that). The main thing will be some of the upgrades that improve the performance. Sunrise is a very narrow-lined extrusion, so I like to see it with the reinforcement, particularly when you get into double hungs that are a little bit wider.
In terms of value and price, it is really impossible to say. Different dealers will have different costs on the product depending on their volume, and then there will be a myriad of factors that go into determining the price that they sell it for. You may find one guy in the $500 range and another over $1000, and everywhere in between.

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