Simonton Does Only Vinyl
Simonton windows are all vinyl windows. While rarely considered the classiest material, vinyl will last forever--as they say, "vinyl is final"--and never needs to be painted. The downside, of course, is that you cannot paint vinyl windows with much effectiveness, even if you want to.
Long-Established Brand Focused on Windows
Simonton has been around since 1946 when it first began making aluminum windows. Sensing changes in the air, in 1981 the company shifted its focus and retooled to produce vinyl windows.
For years part of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Simonton has, since 2014, been a member of the Ply Gem Industries group. This is significant because Ply Gem is more tightly focused on windows and other exterior home products than Fortune Brands had been.
Pretty Basic Stuff
Simonton offers nine basic types of windows: casements, single hung, double hung, sliders, garden windows, and a few others.
Simonton windows will not help your house land on the cover of Architectural Digest. Rather, you purchase Simonton because you want a cost-effective, basic vinyl window with few frills.
Is The Problem Simonton, The Local Installer, Or Your House?
Yelp and other complaint boards are full of bad Simonton reviews.
And Pella and Marvin and Andersen and Jeld-Wen and Milgard and nearly any other window manufacturer you can imagine. Clearly, if you were to choose windows based on unsubstantiated homeowner claims on the Internet, your home would be window-less. While manufacturer defects can occur in any industry, windows included, an overwhelming number of supposed window defects are traced back to the installation.
Window manufacturing for the top brands (of which Simonton is one) is a highly controlled and predictable environment, with strict quality checks that seek to ensure that no bad windows ship out.
Two unpredictable things: installation and your house.
- Installation: Installation is the linchpin in the chain of events--from tempered glass rolling down the assembly line to windows successfully performing for years on end. Installation can tip from good to bad based on the company you choose, the skill of the individual installer, and even his whims at that moment. Thus, picking a good local window company is nearly as important as picking a window brand.
- House: Homes are like living creatures. They are born, they get old, they die. By installing replacement windows, you are attempting to deter this process. The point is that you are putting a perfect or nearly perfect product in a highly imperfect environment. Installers do their best, but they are working within a system that often is not cooperative. In fact, the better window companies will refuse to install replacements in window spaces that cannot ensure a solid installation.
Even though defective windows go straight back to the manufacturer in the form of a warranty claim, installation companies administratively bear the brunt of this; it makes their job easier to install flawless windows.
Reportedly, Simonton has a well-oiled distribution chain between it and the retailers, which means that retailers get windows faster and with fewer problems.
Buy or Not?
Simonton is a buy. Aside from one class-action lawsuit alleging fogging within its double-glazed windows, Simonton products are largely free of substantiated defects.