Optima installed new windows in our Markham home back in September of 2017 (~ 5 months ago), so I can comment on their performance as well as the installation.
Although our home had some newer windows at the sides and back, the front of the house and a small 2nd level bay at the rear had old leaky windows in wood casements, and nearly all had failed seals. In all, 15 windows needed to be replaced. We decided to get rid of all the wood and go brick-to-brick instead of going retrofit and capping the existing wood brick mold. Additionally, to deal with the remaining wood on the house, we wanted the garage door frames as well as the side windows on the garage aluminum capped. As well we wanted 2 wooden decorative 1/2 moon accents aluminum covered and capped. Finally we wanted to blow out 3 windows on the main floor and install a single bay window occupying the whole space.
So that was the job we shopped around. We got the requisite 3 quotes and included Optima because a few years earlier we had a representative knock on our door and provide some information. Although we weren't ready for new windows at the time, when we were I researched the products and company and was pleased to see Optima's not just an installer but build the product too. Other positive factors were that they have been around for a while, have a great warranty (transferable), and have a high BBB and Homestars rating with generally very positive reviews.
For Optima, Eugene came by to look at the job and provide the quotation. He gave an impressive presentation, worked to accommodate all of our requests, answers A LOT of questions I prepared, and worked hard to make it all affordable. He was able to give an accurate quote on the spot after the calculations, and the price didn't change when we received a detailed digital quote the next day with the full breakdown. In the end Optima had the best balance of product quality/features and price... by far. We still had some outstanding decisions to make like grille design and external colour (longest part of the whole process for us!), so production was deferred until my wife and I sorted that out. :) My biggest concern about the project was the demolition of the living room wall and structural integrity of the house and new bay window. These items and other installation questions generated a lot of questions, which I sent Eugene and Chris via looong emails (sorry about that!). The responses to my emails were prompt and satisfactory, but they went further and scheduled another home visit with us where both Eugene and Chris came by to answer my questions in more detail and show me exactly what would be done, and how. After this I was convinced the project was going to be delivered as promised and meet my expectations.
The installation was done by Artur and his crew--4 guys in all, so the work went quickly and efficiently. They were like a swarm of bees around the house. Getting it all done quickly was a great help to us because with 2 kids under the age of 5 a project like this can be quite disruptive and there are safety concerns with the work site and so much traffic in and out. The crew did the best they could to under the kiddie circumstances and even put in extra hours the first day to complete all the interior work. The whole project was completed in under 2 days and they did a good job protecting the walls/floors and cleaning up. In terms of the work, the Bay window is very solid and well insulated. All the aluminum capping was very professional looking with clean lines. The caulking was neat, smooth and applied liberally. Artur was very creative with the covering and capping of the two 1/2 moons; putting a nice design in the interior portion.
In the end we were very happy with the installation and how the front of our house was transformed. We love the windows and especially the bay, so much so, that it's been 5 months and we haven't put up any window coverings!
As for the new windows themselves, they are a combination of fixed casement windows and ones that open. The cranks open/close effortless and the windows open in such a way that both sides of the glass can be cleaned from the inside. The locking mechanism is very secure and we love the way the crank handles fold in when not being used. This would allow blinds (if we ever install them) to clear the handles and fully extend to the sill. We went with colonial grilles in the windows with a loose grid pattern (vertical rectangles to minimize the number of divisions). For the glass, we went with LoE2 272 (solar shield) coated double glazed glass since the front of the house faces south. We figure we'll save more in electricity in the summer by reduced A/C use, than any extra gas we may use in the winter for heating compared to solar gain glass. The glass has a sight tint to it, which is barely noticeable inside, but on the outside looks quite dark, especially on sunny days. This is actually a nice privacy bonus during the day. We find that from the outside during the day it was hard to see people on the inside unless they were very near the window. Other than laziness, the is partly why we're not in a big hurry to put up blinds/drapes.
Even on very windy days the windows are very quiet with no air leakage. We don't hear as much road noise as before or the train horn. The only odd thing I noticed compared to the old windows was that on a few really cool fall mornings when the relative humidity outside was high I saw some condensation on the outside of the window. This likely has something to do with the radiative properties of the 272 glass and the use of silver in its formulation/coating. Initially I was concerned that the condensation was between the two window panes, but was relieved to find out it wasn't. This only happened a couple times, dissipated in a few hours, and was likely due to a unique combination of atmospheric conditions. Now that it's winter I'm happy to see the windows never fog up between the glass like our old ones did and we are free of cool drafts (windows and frames).
Our house is more quiet, comfortable and visually appealing. Thanks Optima, with a special shout-out to Artur, Chris and Eugene. These guys are the real deal and will not disappoint!