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Windows are the eyes of the home—big, bold, and usually the first thing you notice. So when it comes to installation and replacement projects, you’ll want to reach out to the professionals. Simonton Windows is a company with a long, rich history dating back to 1946. Now, it’s part of a larger family of window companies called Cornerstone Building Brands, the number one manufacturer of windows in North America, according to Steve Hoffins, vice president of marketing for windows at Simonton.
Headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, Simonton Windows is known for its vinyl replacement windows as well as the overall quality and energy efficiency of its products and nationwide distribution capabilities. Simonton opted not to disclose its unit sales, however, Hoffins says, “Our products satisfy both the design and performance needs for remodel and replacement projects and are available in a wide range of distribution channels, including pro lumber yards, specialty distributors and dealers, home centers, and consumer retail.”
“Window selection is very much influenced by the location and [a home’s] architectural style,” says Hoffins. “We find that homeowners shopping for replacement windows typically select more traditional framed double-hung windows [on the East Coast] and contemporary slider windows in the West.” For new construction, single-hung windows are a popular choice, and more and more homeowners are adding black frames, “using windows as a design element both inside and on their home’s exterior,” Hoffins notes.
Simonton offers a variety of window styles: double-hung, single-hung, slider, casement, awning, bay, bow, picture, geometric, and garden windows. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, here’s a brief explanation of each term so you can make the best choice for your home.
Once you’ve chosen the ideal window style for your home, you can begin the design process. Simonton operates using a customization model, meaning your window selections can be tailor-made to fit your specific needs. You can decide how big or small each window needs to be, how you want it to open and close, the interior and exterior colors and finishes, hardware finishes, glass options, grid styles, and more.”While a majority of Simonton’s sales are white interior and white exterior windows, we do see a trend toward using color on windows,” Hoffins says, “and we offer a wide variety of color, hardware, and glass package options to help homeowners customize their windows to fit their style preferences.”
Vinyl, compared to wood and fiberglass, is a much more weather-resistant material because it’s basically a synthetic plastic man-made from chlorine and ethylene. Chlorine, specifically, has flame-retardant properties, making it an especially ideal material for home projects, such as windows. Vinyl windows are also low maintenance because they don’t require regular painting. They don’t rot, flake, or peel like wood windows do.
“Simonton focuses solely on manufacturing vinyl windows for both replacement and new construction projects, and our windows are well known for superior quality and exceptional durability,” says Hoffins.
Simonton provides the option of using a very specific glass with Argon gas fill and durable spacer systems in between the window panels. Low-E glass not only prevents ultraviolet rays from fading your furniture, art, and other treasures, but it also regulates temperature, preventing cold air from escaping during the summer and entering during the winter. Simonton also carries ProSolar Low-E glass, which further prevents fading, and ProSolar Shade Low-E glass, which has three layers of silver to create higher insulation while still maximizing access to light.
To construct its windows, which are manufactured at facilities in West Virginia, Illinois, and California, Simonton uses a streamlined process. Long units of vinyl are cut into slats to make the frame, then fused together—similar to a welding process. The glass and the spacers that go between the panes of glass are prepared, cut, and assembled. The actual windows are assembled by combining the frame with the glass through a series of small processes before they’re inspected and tested for performance as well as design. “All Simonton manufactured windows are AAMA Gold certified, which incorporates some of the most stringent testing procedures in the industry,” Hoffins says. These tests check for issues like air and water infiltration.
Simonton has taken measures to ensure its windows can hold up against varied weather conditions. “All of our windows and patio doors can be configured to satisfy the requirements for all Energy Star climate zones,” says Hoffins. “We also have products with high-performance thermal options that can contribute to net-zero home construction.”
Energy Star is a government program that works to find energy-efficient options for products and services nationwide. “All of our product series can be ordered to meet Energy Star criteria in the various climate zones established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” Hoffins says. These climate zones include Northern, North-Central, South-Central, and Southern.
“Additionally, select series in our (Reflections) 5500, Madeira, and (Impressions) 9800 product lines have been designated as 2021 Most Efficient Energy Star products,” he adds. These product lines feature triple-pane windows, which create two insulating air spaces combined with ProSolar Low-E glass, a warm-edge spacer, and gas fill for exquisite thermal performance. Energy Star-certified windows have been known to reduce electric bills by an average of 12%.
In addition to a variety of window designs, Simonton has several series of window collections for different regions across the country. Each series has slightly varied options in terms of window styles, glass, colors, hardware, and grilles. In the Eastern region, Simonton offers the Reflections, Asure, and Impressions series for replacement windows, StormBreaker Plus for coastal windows, and ProFinish for new construction projects. There is also an exclusive premium window series called Prism, available only through the distributor Norandex, for homes in the Eastern region of the U.S. For the Western region, Simonton has three product lines: DaylightMax, Madeira, and Verona. This area includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Simonton has three product lines for replacement windows in the Eastern region. The first is the Reflections series, which is Simonton’s most popular traditional vinyl line and includes 5500 windows and 5050 windows. The Reflections 5500 windows can be custom designed in color and hardware finishes, and feature advanced glass options to provide extra soundproofing and higher energy efficiency. With the Reflections 5050 windows, you get the standard traditional vinyl frame. The Reflections series includes double-hung, slider, picture, casement, awning, geometric, garden, bow, and bay windows as well as sliding patio doors and garden doors.
As Simonton’s most narrow frame collection, Asure provides sleek replacement windows. These windows are energy-efficient, customizable, and have a 5-star rating among customers. This series includes double-hung, slider, picture, and geometric windows, with the standard colors of tan and white. It also features sliding patio doors, which can be customized with six hardware finish options.
If you like the look of classic wood windows but don’t want to risk water leakage or UV light infiltration, the Impressions 9800 series is your best bet. These replacement windows mimic the look of wood with the durability of vinyl and are one of the most energy-efficient options at Simonton. This premium series includes double-hung, casement, 2-lite slider, 3-lite slider, awning, picture, geometric, bay, and bow windows. The Impressions line is completely customizable with 13 interior, exterior, and hardware options.
Calling all coastal homeowners. The StormBreaker Plus series has hurricane-rated products, meaning both the frames and glass are impact-resistant against high winds and any potential flying debris. Given how sturdy these products are, they also provide extra security and noise reduction. This line has extensive options for customization with 22 window styles, three door operating styles, multiple configuration options, and 16 design options—including grid patterns, colors, and glass.
The ProFinish product line is utilized for new construction projects. There are four series within this collection: Brickmould 600, Brickmould 300, ProFinish Builder, and ProFinish Contractor.
The Brickmould 600 series is also a coastal, impact-resistant series and features the same customization options as the StormBreaker Plus line, but with extra choices and the look of traditional wood. The ProFinish Brickmould 300 series includes multi-tiered vinyl windows with an optional flat casing trim, and it also mimics a wood appearance.
The other two series in this product line are the Contractor series and the Builder series. The Contractor series is budget-friendly and resistant to leaks. It has a wide variety of customization options for both windows and doors—22 in total. The Builder series includes some of the most popular window styles, 17 different types, in fact, as well as varied glass and color choices.
Prism doesn’t appear on the main hub of Simonton Window Series because it’s exclusive through the distributor Norandex. Prism is one of Simonton’s premium lines of vinyl replacement windows and features styles such as double-hung, slider, casement, geometric, garden, bow, and bay as well as sliding patio doors and garden doors. With Prism, you can also choose from custom exterior colors, custom interior wood grains, premium hardware finishes like brushed nickel and polished brass, and premium glass and grid options. Within this series, there are actually four product lines: Platinum, Ultra Gold, Gold, and Bronze, with Platinum having the most options and Bronze having the least.
If you live on the West Coast and have old aluminum windows, DaylightMax is a great replacement window option. The narrow frame is energy efficient and allows up to 40% more daylight than wide-frame windows. This series features 13 window styles, “limitless” configuration options, four frame choices—bullnose, craftsman, brickmould, and block—as well as an extensive selection of exterior colors, hardware finishes, grid patterns, and glass options.
If you want gorgeous vinyl windows that mimic the appearance of wood and you live in the Western region of the U.S., the Madeira series is where you should start. These traditional wide-frame windows are one of the top three most energy-efficient windows at Simonton, and they’re ideal for a classic architecture look. Like many other Simonton windows, the Madeira line is completely customizable. With 14 window styles, endless configuration options, and a huge selection of exterior colors, glass options, grid patterns, and hardware finishes, your design inspiration can run wild here.
As the premium narrow-frame window for West Coasters, the Verona window line is both contemporary and versatile. This series is also highly energy-efficient due to the options of using ProSolar Low-E glass or ProSolar Shade Low-E glass, which both contribute to energy savings. The Verona series features 10 window styles, four grid patterns, four frame options, and multiple glass and color choices.
When it comes to the actual installation, the two routes are: hire a professional or DIY. Hiring a professional contractor is honestly your safest bet since proper installation can make the difference between windows that hold up for the next 20 years and windows that… just don’t. Upon reaching out to a Home Depot store, a store associate explained that most in-store inventory is set up to be carried out and makes for great DIY projects. The fact that most Simonton windows are available online rather than in stores indicates they are more difficult to install yourself. If you’re looking for a local expert to receive a consultation, BH&G has a local services database where you can source a contractor to meet your needs.
Of course, if you do decide to DIY and take on the window installation, then you can order the windows directly from Home Depot or a supplier. Bear in mind, there have been a lot of delays in manufacturing due to the pandemic, so you’ll want to allow plenty of time for the products to arrive. “Like all manufacturers, our supply chain has been impacted by the pandemic,” Hoffins says. “Additionally, we have also seen homeowners take a significant interest in updating their homes, which has increased demand for building materials and installers. We are working through these challenges and it is something that we are monitoring daily.”
Because Simonton Windows has so many customization options, including styles, colors, hardware, glass, and other materials, pricing is difficult to pin down as it changes from customer to customer. Usually, the highest cost is installation, and that price is going to depend on your geographic location. Reach out directly to a contractor in your area to get a quote.
Here is a general pricing guide for several Simonton series to give you a rough idea of where unit prices may land, created by the Remodeling Calculator.
Something else to keep in mind: Installation usually costs more than the price of the actual window unit. For example, if the StormBreaker Plus window is $400 per unit, it may cost $525 for a contractor to install it. Also, Simonton does not give price discounts on bulk orders, so the quantity of windows will not change the price per unit.
Simonton Windows provides different warranties for each series and each product line within a series. “Simonton offers lifetime and double-lifetime limited warranty coverages on its products (for residential projects),” says Hoffins. Generally, this means that the products included in these warranties—the vinyl, hardware, screens, and glass—can be replaced at any point, and many of the warranties are transferable, so if you move, they would extend to the new homeowners.
However, you need to read each warranty carefully because some are advertised as lifetime warranties (in large font), but on closer inspection, that only applies to the vinyl, and the other elements may only have 10- to 20-year warranties. Furthermore, Simonton “does not cover the product installation, but does make sure that contractors, remodelers, and builders are familiar with [the company’s] recommended installation practices through training,” says Hoffins. “Additionally, we always encourage homeowners to investigate the installation professional to make sure they have a solid reputation.”
For commercial or multi-residential projects (like apartments and condos), the average warranty is about 10 years. To reach the warranty department, you can register your warranty online, and if you need to make a claim, simply fill out the warranty request form on Simonton.com. You can also call 1-800-746-6686 or fill out an online form to reach the customer service department.
Customer reviews of different products within each series vary depending on location, budget, and the specific needs of a particular buyer. Overall, customers were satisfied with Simonton’s energy efficiency, product quality, and customization options. Others were less satisfied with the warranty coverage and service response.
The partnership with Energy Star, and the resulting energy efficiency of Simonton Windows, is a source of many positive reviews. “We recently had our entire house of windows replaced with Simonton Windows. Cannot believe the difference in how cool our house stays,” writes Kris from Indiana.
Mary from Arizona, who purchased windows from the Impressions series, agrees: “My new energy-efficient windows are fantastic. These new windows replaced my original windows from when I had my house built in 1969. There is a HUGE difference, including how soundproof they are. I no longer hear the noises from outside.”
A 2019 Consumer Reports test showed that the Simonton Reflections 5500 series, in particular, held up really well against wind resistance, earning it an “excellent” in testing.
Simonton’s product quality is also a selling point for homeowners and contractors alike. “I am a window installation professional and I use over 10 different brands of windows. I always find myself coming back to Simonton, though,” writes a contractor from Artisan Windows and Doors in Florida. “Their products are fairly priced, very well designed, and excellent quality. My customers are always very happy with them and I am too.”
Other customers love the extensive customization options and the ability to design their windows from top to bottom. “Main reason we selected [Simonton] is because we were able to get the color/finish choices we wanted,” writes Dan from North Carolina.
“We strive for best-in-class customer service, and we understand that a quick and effective response to customer issues is essential,” says Hoffins in response to warranty and customer service complaints. “Just as the pandemic has impacted our supply chain, it also has an impact on our customer service response time. We offer homeowners a variety of tools to find answers to their questions. For example, our website includes a wide variety of trouble-shooting videos to help homeowners understand and solve some of the issues they encounter.”