American Craftsman Windows Reviews

American Craftsman windows from Home Depot
American Craftsman windows are vinyl replacement windows produced by Ply-Gem windows for sale at Home Depot stores across the country.  American Craftsman windows are not known for their quality or their beauty.  If you’re considering these windows for your project you might want to keep looking. If you’ve been shopping for windows you may note that the Renewal by Andersen salespeople tend to go on and on about how horrible all vinyl windows are.  They constantly tell folks that if you install vinyl windows in your home the value will go down and you’ll need to replace them again in 5 years.  Of course this isn’t true, but it’s funny how they forget that Andersen was one of the largest producers of vinyl windows in the country.

What’s new about American Craftsman Windows?

Update: For several years the American Craftsman brand was owned by Andersen windows.  The Renewal by Andersen salespeople were routinely out there telling people how horrible vinyl windows were while their company was producing and selling many thousands of them.  We always found that to be funny.  They’ve since sold to Ply-Gem who is a large manufacturer of vinyl windows.  We’ve updated this post to reflect that change.   best replacement windows of 2015

American Craftsman windows reviews of the following models:

  • Series 50
  • Series 70
  • Series 70 Pro
You can now find our American Craftsman FAQ here. Often times consumers compare wood and vinyl windows when considering new windows for their home.  Nice vinyl windows can be a very competitive option for many reasons.  When selling vinyl windows like this through box stores they tend to be very price focused offering the cheapest thing they can. They tend to produce lower end vinyl windows to meet this need.  That makes good sense from a business standpoint, but it doesn’t make for a great line of vinyl windows. In addition to the window models we’ll look at the warranty and the costs associated with the products to offer a full picture.  The bottom line is that vinyl windows offered by Home Depot tend to leave a little to be desired. While these reviews are being completed take a look through our list of common window sales tactics and how to avoid them.

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find helpful:

If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to check out our list of the best window companies all over the country.  You can find it right here. 
Update: We now have more recommend LOCAL window companies than ever before.   Click here to see who we recommend in your town.  It's 100% free.  You'll thank me.  There is no better resource; you're going to love it.  See for yourself right here.  

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142 thoughts on “American Craftsman Windows Reviews”

  1. We are getting estimates for mid-grade vinyl replacement windows. We are not doing the entire house at once so we are trying to keep a similar look to the others. We know there will be a subtle difference but as close as possible.
    We are getting an estimate for Anderson Vinyl replacements from Home Depot. Any thoughts on other brands carried by Lowes or Home Depot? We already got an estimate from Lowes for Pella 250 series. However, I have seen some mixed reviews about them, but it’s hard to find unbiased opinions.

    Also what are your thoughts on installers? On one hand with a Home Depot or Lowes, you have some recourse even if you have to make a big deal to get someone’s attention. With a local contractor, you have to worry that the contractor will go out of business or retire. I’ve been burned with contractors going out of business and getting someone else to fix it. Also, with some of these smaller manufacturers (i.e. Marvin, Anderson, Pella), if they go out of business it becomes difficult to find replacement parts (was also burned by that on a vinyl sliding door). Just looking for ideas on installers and suggestions. Thanks!

    1. I think working with a box store for your window project is a mistake. You have no idea who will be coming out to do the work and they offer really short labor warranties. They also don’t care much about you. For example, how much will home depot care if one guy in New Jersey is unhappy with his project? How much will you care if you’re unhappy with your project? See the difference?

      A local company that is dependent on their great reputation in your area will be much more focused on the success of your project and just about anybody will offer a better warranty than a big box store. Keep looking!

      1. I think this is so off based. Home Depot is and has been amazing to work with. There warranty is the life of the homeowner owning the house and some products are two homeowners. They use local contractors and from the sales consultant to the managers they are all based in there home towns. Lowes is a shorter labor warranty. It is so true about local contractors responding or warranting their work. You must be a small contractor.

        1. I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Nobody said Home Depot or Lowes do bad work all the time. I’m sure there are plenty of projects that go great.

          1. You said their warranty was short. I responded to that. Plus small local guys are great but 25 years from mow who will warranty that window. I know Home Depot will be here. Small business average life is 5-10 years. Lowes is comparable but only offer two year warranty on labor. I want to support local so why not use Home Depot to protect your warranty and they use local contractors. Win/win in my opinion

          2. That’s a reasonable idea. Part of the problem is that I haven’t seen a nice window offered by Home Depot or Lowes. They’re so focused on cost that they miss out on quality. They could be a real force in this industry, but they do it wrong. Just my humble opinion.

          3. YOU DID!!! Literally right here. There are only 3 “big box” home improvement retailers – Depot, Lowes and regional player Mendards.
            “I think working with a box store for your window project is a mistake. You have no idea who will be coming out to do the work and they offer really short labor warranties. They also don’t care much about you. For example, how much will home depot care if one guy in New Jersey is unhappy with his project? How much will you care if you’re unhappy with your project? See the difference?

            A local company that is dependent on their great reputation in your area will be much more focused on the success of your project and just about anybody will offer a better warranty than a big box store. Keep looking!” – your words sir.

            You clearly don’t know windows very well. I have worked for and with the companies you mentioned and your assessment is off base and unfair. Do more research, if you are going to use the web as a platform for your opinions, at least be educated.

          4. Hi John, thanks for taking the time to write. Notice I didn’t say they do bad work all of the time. I said an independent company will likely produce a quality result more often and I do think that’s true. The box stores aren’t a great place to get new windows. They could be a force in our industry so it’s good for the rest of us that they’re bad at it.

            Who knows, maybe they’ll buy my company one day and we could really make something happen with that business. Until then it’s good for the rest of us that they’re not a great option for the customer to pick. You’re free to value my opinion just as much or as little as you’d like.

        2. I agree with your comment 100%
          I am a contractor in Maine and have always steered my customers to Home Depot and Anderson Windows or American Craftsmen for vinyl. I have had one issue since 1998 with American Craftsmen Windows having UV glass issues. Home depot replaced every sash as they went bad with zero questions. American Craftsmen have always been a great choice for appearance and performance. Not sure where this guy got his info from but it’s far from accurate. All of my customers have been very happy with these windows.

          1. I have American Craftsman from H.D. They have a lifetime warranty and i have unfortunately had to use it, but they have no problem sending me a new window.

      2. You are so wrong on working with a box store. I received multiple quotes and found that Home Depot offered the biggest bang for the buck. Keep in mind that the Home Depot Exterior product portfolio offers more window choices than what you may find in the store. You need to book an appointment to get these guys to come to your home. The warranties are the best. Zero % financing not bad either. I bought HD’s Simonton series windows and I love them.

        1. I’m not saying they’re all bad. The Simonton windows are decent. I’m just saying there are typically better options for the money. This isn’t a guess we do this all the time. For example, our company routinely offers a more efficient option for a lower price.

          Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help out.

      3. The best installations I’ve had have been from Home Depot, i.e., carpet, blinds, etc. I ordered three Pella replacement windows directly from Pella, and the installers they sent worked at Home Depot as well!

        1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I think the issue you see sometimes is that the quality can be hit or miss. Glad you got all hits! I’ve always thought Home Depot and Lowes were missing a huge opportunity in windows and doors. It’s good for the rest of us that they’re not a huge competitor. With their size and scale they could really be a force if they wanted to.

      4. This is a funny response since Home Depot offers a lifetime craftsmanship (Labor) warranty on their window installs. And obviously knowing that Home Depot takes the customer satisfaction part so seriously. As far as not knowing who will show up since all the installers are badged background checked insured and trained it shouldn’t really matter which crew you get they typically work for smaller companies that are local. The overall project is insured Incase that particular sub goes out of business the labor will always be guaranteed. I recommend the better simonton windows for your satisfaction over the American craftsman.

        1. I’m known for my sense of humor. I do think the box stores generally do a bad job of being in the window business. They could be real contenders, but they don’t seem interested which is probably good for the rest of us.

    2. Don’t buy any sliders from Anderson my doors leak it goes through the two door and the door freezes in cold weather shut . Be Careful no one wants to help. Ps an Anderson repair came out and told me to put a piece of ply wood against the slider. And the door was put in the correctly according to Anderson repair man ?

  2. Strangely, I wouldn’t have even considered the homedepot window but consumer reports rates them near the top, and gives them best value.

    Unfortunately My last windows in the old house from window world, wasn’t on their list, (which is disappointing if their #1 installer is true)

    But why is it that no one displays their R/U ratings and such?

    1. I need the Florida State Product Approval with installation instrucions or the Miami-dade notice of acceptance with installation for the following products, series 2710 single hung window the collier county (Naples Fl. ) I needed for the approved of a job that as dont in mi house with out permit.thanks.

      1. I don’t think I’m your guy for all of that. I’d say check with Home Depot or call Andersen, either one should be able to help. Good luck!

    2. Stay away from anything related to American Craftsmen. Anderson and that other company they work with. Just check the reviews. Their products suck, their customer service sucks. It took over two weeks for them to come out to look at the window issues. They blamed it on installation issues but the Pinellas Park building department said the springs that hold the windows up are insufficient. These were hurricane impact windows which you expect to be the highest quality window you can get, I mean we live in Florida. They blamed it on installation issues but the Pinellas park building inspector agreed the quality of the product was not up to Dade County requirements and the spring mechanisms that are supposed to keep the window in an upright position were to weak for the weight of the heavy window sashes. Stay away.

      1. Hi are you satisfied eith your windows and was there any other issues with them? I am getting ready to buy impact windowsvand sliders, had bad experience with Assuraa products. Thank you any help would be appreciated

      2. Just remember hurricane impact windows are worthless if it gets hit by any debris and it will shatter u need to replace at a very high price window. U are better off buying a mid grade window and then put Hurricane shutters on just a Tip

  3. We are looking at replacing all 10 of our windows. Having trouble finding the real product to look at. Got estimates on jeld-wen V-2500 and the more premium V-4500. Also on the Pella Thermastar. I want double hung, vinyl, grid windows. I just want to make sure we’re getting a better product. Called Home Depot and they tried to sell us the Andersen 70. We have an excellent installer lined up to do the replacement. Comments welcome.

    1. If your installer really is an expert he’ll likely have products he’s familiar with. I’d ask him for his recommendation. If he typically buys his windows from Home Depot or Lowes I’d suggest looking for someone else.

      1. “If he (contractor/installer) typically buys his windows from Home Depot or Lowes I’d suggest looking for someone else.”
        What an incredibly stupid statement. Not everyone can afford upper end windows. In many regions the average annual income is low but these people may still need to replace old energy inefficient windows. Contractors in these regions may regularly shop “Big-Box” stores due to local economic conditions. That does not make them poor installers.

        PS: Milgard Windows are sold at “Big-Box” stores and they manufacture excellent vinyl windows with an outstanding lifetime warranty.

        1. I wasn’t trying to offend you friend. I stand by the idea that there are many distributors that sell windows to professional window installers. Some of those windows are more expensive than others, but it’s not hard for a professional window installer to offer you a great value on a better product. If someone is buying their windows at home depot then you know they’re not an expert at this.

    2. I completely agree with TWD on this. If this installer is really excellent, see what window he recommends and what products he has access to himself. If he can buy the window at a wholesale price from a distributor and offer you a fair price on top-grade installation then that would be a great value.

      Again, I agree with TWD-I would take it as a bad sign if he recommends getting something from a box store. Their windows are just not as good as a lot of the competition discussed on this site, and if this installer doesn’t understand or recognize that then that should give you some further insight into how good he is.

      Is this installer planning on taking exact measurements down to 1/8 ” for your windows to make sure you get a perfect custom fit?

      1. Sometime with us installers we don’t have as much a choice as we would like on which windows we install. Yes I prefer a certain brand but jut because I like that brand doesn’t mean the home owner can afford them and need to go with a lower quality. So it doesn’t give u further insight on us installers. All of installers would love to install the best of the best all the time but in the real world people can’t afford the best of the best and can only afford the “cheaper box store” windows. I just installed the 50 series windows in a house in selling. As the owner and installed I was pleasantly surprised that these cheaper windows were t complete crap. They were 100% better then the original Anderson windows installed in 1978, and these windows were designed to fit in the frame of these old Anderson windows. They aren’t the best and they def aren’t the worst. They locked great, easy operation, easy install. So stop assuming that the installers may not be good ones because they don’t always install the best of the best. Again it’s not always our desicion. Also, we can’t always get the best pricing. Yes most of the we can but not always.

      2. “I agree with TWD-I would take it as a bad sign if he recommends getting something from a box store. Their windows are just not as good as a lot of the competition…:

        This is simply not true. Many mom & pop window retailers recommend and sell Milgard windows, which are good vinyl windows, and so do the big box stores but often for less $$$.
        Exactly how does that make the installer less capable of doing an excellent install for informing his client of where to get the best price? A contractor’s job one is to look out for their customers.

        1. That’s just not how the business works. If you’re in the window business you can get better pricing and better products from professional suppliers. Someone who pays retail pricing for windows at Home Depot might be a very nice and honorable person, but they’re likely not a professional window installer.

    3. Jeld-win,
      Don’t do it . I bought this product for my mom’s house cuz she liked it it turned out to be the worst thing ever Hometown Builder installed he said they’re garbage I have to agree talking jeld-win people they could care less Jeld-Wen was a losing proposition. They suck

    4. Andersen 70? Never heard of it.

      HD offers up to a Double Lifetime warranty. Yes, you pay for it in the price.
      Simonton Windows are always rated highly in JDP/CR.
      American Craftsman (Silverline) vinyl is a respectable window for the price.

      “A great window improperly installed is no better than a crappy window”

      If this writer thinks so poorly of HD installed windows, then don’t buy them. But writing crap about them without any skin in the game sounds more like sour apples.

      1. Hi Mike, I think you’ll have a hard time finding anyone who is a huge fan of American Craftsman or Silverline windows. They’re designed and built to be cheap so they’re cheap. It’s not really a failure of anything. Cheap window is the role they were made to fill.

  4. Here’s the thing you guys need to realize – the whole “get a local, reputable contractor” argument doesn’t hold any weight, because contractors, in general, are extremely unreliable and inconsistent. If the industry was full of qualified professionals who weren’t looking to scam you at every turn, big-box stores and the whole DIY movement wouldn’t exist.

    But when I call for estimates on an installed sliding door and get back quotes for $5-$6k installed, of course I’m going to turn to Home Depot, where I can install one of these doors for under $1k myself. Is the door as nice? No. But is the other job worth $4-5k more? Not a chance.

    Personally, I think brand-name windows and doors are one of the biggest ripoffs around. It’s wood and glass. Maybe some PVC, vinyl, aluminum, whatever. Unless it’s some exotic hardwood or something, there shouldn’t be a $3000 price difference from one door to the next, unless the thing has a 100 year warranty.

    1. Hi stranger, don’t be shy, tell us what you really think!

      Not everyone out there is charging $5k for a nice door. There really are good companies out there and I completely believe that you found some companies that aren’t great.

      For example our company installs very nice sliding doors with lifetime warranties for well under $2k all the time.

      Don’t assume everyone is bad just because you met a few bad apples.

          1. I can’t find an 8′ tall sliding glass door for under $3k uninstalled by anyone in my area. Which is Melbourne, FL.

          2. If you need an impact door that will greatly impact the price. They’ll stop a flying palm tree, but you pay for the protection.

      1. I was looking at the American Craftsman window at home depot online, and am wondering why there are so many 5 star reviews given the comments. I live in Colorado at 6300′ with strong winds and temperatures that can vary widely within any given day. I replaced the crummy wood windows that my contractor put in because you couldn’t see thru them due to the vaporization issues. I replaced them with fiberglass windows that are virtually falling apart at the joints. They are drafty and no matter the amount of caulk or foam I put in, air seeps through the closing and the joints. I replaced 3 of these in the kitchen with outrageously expensive Pella Vinyl windows a couple of years ago. I need to replace the rest and got a quote from a soft-lite retailer of $653 per double hung window (includes window and installation) from the classic series. This seems like a high price per window. I’ve looked at Marvin Infinity but nixed them because of bad reviews I would like this to be my last set of windows! If anyone has a good suggestion, I would appreciate it. The more I compare Vinyl and Fiberglass, the more confused I get. We will likely be in the house another 10 years. I really don’t think vinyl or fiberglass will affect the resale value of the house too much. I just want something that works well. If someone has a company they know in the Denver area with great installers, I’d be interested to hear that as well. Thanks.

    2. contractors “in general” are extremely unreliable……
      Inconsistant? Perhaps, as any tradesperson, mechanic, doctor, and so on, has been trained by different people and in different locals, so yes, contractors are not clones.

      Your comments painted a broad, unfair picure.

    3. I hope you do more research when you buy a car you obviously didn’t research the windows ignorance is no excuse.

  5. Hopefully my review will help some if nit all on here. I bought a home in 2007. This was a flip where the owners, a real estate agent “team” used pretty much the cheapest materials and workmanship to top it off. Now, due to the great location we are steadily fixing it up with better of both.
    I can tell everyone FIRST HAND that the American Craftsman are total garbage. At least I will say this about the 50 series. Two windows in my home broke OFF what I’m assuming are the counterweights, causing them to fall like a guillotine. Immediately preceding this incident, one sash was VERY hard to slide. One failed in 3 years, the other in 8. Still, a third one failed earlier this 7th to 8th year and is not quite falling but sliding a bit, causing a possible pinch point for fingers. In 2013 I bought a 70 series for upstairs and so far (crossing fingers) it operates as intended and is good. Downstairs for the 8 windows, one bay window, and one slider I will likely not be choosing these. A very nice salesperson in the Cheapo told me they will warranty them at anytime, but who wants to replace windows each 3 to 8 years? Not us. Plus, they feel cheesy when operating. That tells you a bunch there. Anything else in my home I’m gonna do my due diligence to get quality. Things cost waaay too much.

    1. They are the WORSE!!!!!!!!!!! We had 4 American Craftsman windows and they all fall down from the top when we open from the bottom. There are definitely difficiencies in the windows.

  6. So a lot of bashing on the home depot and Lowes windows saying they’re garbage but no alternatives given… I’m looking to replace about 15 windows on a budget and am looking for something int the $150-$170 price point with grills (double hung). Suggestions?

  7. I live in south west fl. It is mandatory to have miami dade impact rating – 140 mph . Now they demand low E for the florida sun and insulation qualities. This is the latest must have. It also has to be vinyl due to the “R” factor. I have just purchased 2 -52″ x 62″ -70 series, all vinyl, impact with Low E with argon gas.
    Paid $383 each. All other quotes ( and i had 4 others) were around $900 to meet the above criterior. In florida we are forced to get impact. No more shutters, i think. Very costly now, just how they wanted it. But so far the windows seem value for the money. In comparison to PGT which is poplular here, i saved $500 on each window

  8. I bought 10 American Craftsman windows in 2000. These were in old house frame replacements. I installed all of these myself. They went directly into the old frame with a good fit. All the windows have held up good. I had 2 where the upper window seal failed and these were replaced with no problem. In those days there was a lifetime warranty. I also got 3 pellas which have not done as well. These will have to be replaced next year.

  9. We need to replace nearly all the windows in our home (17), due to lead paint. The house was built in the 40s, and the wood frames aren’t salvageable.
    We’ve had Lowe’s, Home Depot, Pella, and two independent contractors out.
    One of the contractors recommended Paradigm windows – but told us if we did replacement windows we would lose several inches of visibility because they’ll fit over our track, etc.
    Or we could go with new construction (the price was very comparable) – but then we would risk losing all of our inside trim because they would need to take it off it install the windows.

    Neither of those options sound good to me… and no other contractor/sales person has said that. But we preferred the Paradigm over the American Craftsman and Pella windows…

    Any thoughts?

    1. You may lose some glass space, but you may not. It depends on the thickness of the current frames and sashes compared with the new window you pick. Some new windows and much thinner than others, so if you compare your options you may find a good solution without going for a new construction or a full frame installation.

  10. We are replacing 21 old aluminum windows in our home. Our installer has done many windows in our neighborhood and our neighbors are happy with his work. He is recommending Soft-lite Pro. I was originally sold on American Craftsman only because of it’s rating in Consumer Reports. Anyone out there familiar with Soft- Lite and can make recommendations?

    1. In my opinion you’ll be MUCH happier with the Soft-Lite than the American Craftsman. Good luck with the project and be sure to let us know how it goes!

        1. We use the Soft-Lite pro window at our company quite often and our customers love the look and performance of it. It’s a quality window.

          Let us know how your project goes Lois!

          1. My Soft-Lite windows were installed 2 weeks ago and I am very happy with the windows. They are beautiful. I also had a good contractor install them. I can feel absolutely no air coming in the window and we had temperatures of 5 degrees last week.

  11. i recently bought a foreclosure over 100 years old for 10000 in maine and it looks like i’ll have to put 90k into it, windows being part of that budget. With about 22 windows to replace lowes quoted me 11k and home depot in the high 13k range… which do i go with? It’s just an investment property….. Let me know your thoughts… Pella or Craftmen?….. As an added foot note i had an anderson rep come out and the peice of shit never even bothered giving me an estimate…. no return to the emails and calls…. Anderson sucks

  12. I’m having 31 American Craftsman windows installed in my home. Price was $17,000. Four of the windows are completely installed. The fit and finish on the windows and the installation is very good. Twenty seven still have outside trim to be completed. I tried other options but found the contractors to be unreliable (as most of them are… could not even get a completed quote from the others) compared to my contact at Home Depot who always returned my calls and kept his appointments. Compared to the prior circa 1938 paned windows with storm windows added later the American Craftsman windows are kind of like upgrading from sticky manual typewriter to a MacBook Air. I live in the land of tornadoes, ice storms, hail, high winds and thunderstorms (and now earthquakes). I’ll come back and update this if its still here after the windows experience some wear and tear.

    1. So how have the held up. I see a lot of bad reviews on these windows. I am considering them as I have a local installer who will install anything I want, but this is what he typically installs. He has amazing reviews and a great reputation in this area. I am comfortable with him as the installer, my only concern is the quality of the window.

  13. I have used the American Craftsman window from Home Depot. I installed them myself. One of the easier projects I have done. I have installed over 27 windows and average about 45 minutes per window. The windows have been in place for 2 years and no problems.

    I use the window foam for added insulation and of course a lot of caulk. Some of the windows were off the shelf but most were custom made. The options are easy to add and there are multiple upgrades that don’t add much to the cost.

    I detect no leaks and the windows operate just fine.

  14. I bought a few American Craftsman windows for my home bedrooms, they were the generic size, double hung windows and they fit in fine, worked decent, and do what they claim.
    I then bought 3 custom windows for my front bay window area.
    The windows came in and were the correct size but within a year the center stationary window cracked. I called the cust service to get it replaced but they weaseled out of it, saying the lifetime warranty doesnt cover anything except manufacturer defects, and seals. I said , ok its a manu defect. The rep said, no. If it was it would have happened sooner than this. How does she know that?!?!?!
    Bad company. Wont do biz with again

  15. @Jon, check your warranty coverage for verbiage on stress cracks. It sounds like that is what you have experienced, which is actually somewhat of a common occurrence within the first year or so in service, particularly in extreme temps. They originate at an imperfection on the edge of the glass, and trauma can cause them to spread, much like a stone chip in the windshield of your car.

  16. hello all

    first post cherry pop!.. i was just reading through everyones complaints and compliments. i like this website TWD .. Ive been working for Castle Windows for 7+ years.. we cover the whole east coast of the USA. we do have our complaints like everyone else but we are always quick to make sure its fixed. we offer midgrade windows with a true Lifetime warranty. free parts and service for the life of the building including screens .. $70 million last year , been around for 40 years

    thanks TWD

    The Wolf of Windows 😉

  17. 4.American Craftsman in the fall.and.are.very happy.with to.order complaints what so.ever.for..a middle of the.road window and.not.killin ypu wallet these.windws.are.awesome.inthe winter u.can.put.your hand.on and.not.feel to.much.cold d windws ..

  18. We had all but four of our windows replaced at the end of the year by Castle Windows who “supposedly” makes each window to exact specs. I cant complain about how they look and the easy of cleaning 2nd story windows. Now that I need to replace the remaining 4 windows. The last place I will go to is Castle. These people had my money for 4 months before anyone came out to install. I was told I would not need to move a thing as installation all occured outside (HA!) I was home alone and had to move my Christmas tree and other furniture). One window was the wrong style so they needed to order the right style/ right size. I paid the guy for the install he wouldnt give me a receipt (paid cash cuz the work order said COD). In late January the window comes and doesnt fit. February one half of the window is installed. March and we finally get the entire window and the installer wants his COD now that the job is done. The company never got their copy of the original work order and the company is threatening to put a lean on my house for money I already paid.
    Up until now I would say working with a smaller company means the people will listen to your needs and care about their reputation – not the case with Castle.

    1. I noticed the above comment that they answer complaints. I had a family member that was doing work that almost got cut on glass that Castle never came to get rid of (after several calls.) I still am trying to figure out how to get rid of 1/2 deep by 4 inches of silicone caulk without gouging my wooden sill. Sanding is not working. Are these guys not familiar with wood putty. Oh again they never came out to even try to fix that botch.
      I hate that fact that I have to complain to hope that even one person won’t use Castle for the garbage they have put us through.

  19. I am replacing windows and have gotten three quotes-Sears, Home Depot Anderson 70 series, and Window World 4000 series. Anyone have experience with these windows and, if so, which would you recommend?

  20. I installed 11 American Craftsman series 50 windows in my house recently and I’m very happy with the way they look and the quality of the window. Installing vinyl windows is very easy and I would NEVER have a contractor do the work, unless you’re in a big hurry. Let contractors complain about American Craftsman windows all they want to, it’s a good ‘do it yourself’ window.

  21. Just a comment that I doubt “windowdog” will leave after reviewing:
    As a licensed contractor with more than forty years of experience in a wide variety of construction trades, I’m more than qualified to install my own windows, and have done so many, many times. To dismiss the two most prominent American home centers, Home Depot and Lowe’s, as inferior, is a shameful act of arrogance and/or ignorance. The products they purvey (in this case, windows) are both decent and reliable. Are they all top quality? Of course not.
    Remember that the amount you pay has a direct correlation – up to a point – with the product you purchase. That said, does buying the most expensive window available from the slickest private sales force out there guarantee a quality product? Absolutely not. Does buying the least expensive product from a home center mean you’re doomed to suffer for your actions? Don’t be ridiculous.
    A lot of this gets down to installation. I do my own, and know that it’s done right. If something goes awry with the installation, don’t blame the manufacturer OR the product!
    As one example, six years ago I installed 30 new replacement windows during the renovation of a hundred year-old home. We purchased inexpensive vinyl Anderson windows from Home Depot. They arrived on time, delivered to the site, and we did the work. They’ve improved the quality of life in that old home ever since, greatly buffering road noise, sealing out cold and excess heat, and functioning smoothly for both operation and cleaning. They also look as good today as the day we put them in.
    Bad-mouthing modern windows because they come from a home center or because you chose not to spend an arm and a leg to get them is…stupid. Do you think they’d still be selling them in the tens of thousands if they weren’t a reliable product?

    1. I didn’t mean to say they would cause the house to collapse or that the only way to get a good product is to buy from a slick salesperson. There is a middle ground, a way to get a better quality product for a similar price. In my experience the windows offered by Home Depot and Lowes aren’t very high on the list. You seem to agree in your comments. Not sure what we’re arguing about?

  22. “Renewal by Anderson ” company from NJ – they do not breakdown the cost of the window and the cost of the labor separately-
    I asked to replace 2 sliders and 2 patio doors total came to 13,000 – the sales man was willing to give deduction /promotions of $2000 + on the spot if I sign in $1000.
    He finally gave the cost to be $10,000/-
    This is their 400 series – supposed to be made with special bonded material only for the windows.
    The patio doors are wood covered with metal casing just like in
    American craftsman.
    Your thoughts- is this price believable?

    1. It’s believable in that I believe they try to charge that. I don’t really understand why people pay it, but that’s between them and their customers.

  23. We are going to replace 16 windows in our home. They are currently casements. We have had bids that are all over the map. Many have suggested just putting in sliders. I have read that these are not as efficient. One company I can’t even find anything about the windows – Antarctic ? We had a quote for Marvin infinity for about $20k. Any suggestions?? We live in Iowa so have cold winters. I have seen a lot written about Sunrise but don’t know if they are available here. Thanks

    1. You don’t need to depend on rumors. Sliders often have slightly higher air infiltration rates than casements, but the u-factors are typically about the same. You can always ask for the ratings so you can compare real info. Are you anywhere near Des Moines? If you are I know a good company to recommend.

      1. Yes, we are in a suburb of Des Moines. Tell me about the difference in vinyl and fiberglass. Are we better off spending the extra money for the fiberglass?

        1. I don’t think so. The advantage of fiberglass is that it looks more like wood. The salesperson may tell you all about how it’s stronger and it expands and contracts differently, etc. None of that is worth anything in my book, just sales pitch.

          They do look nice and that’s a perfectly fine reason to pay more for something. If you want to pay more for the look of wood windows I typically recommend buying wood windows. Nice aluminum clad wood windows will come with a very long warranty and then you get the real thing vs imitation wood.

          Just my opinion, but I don’t really see the point of fiberglass windows, never have.

  24. Love how you spend an entire article bashing American Craftsman windows but do not provide alternatives rather just tell everyone to search angies list for an overpriced company to sell us what is most likely the same window. I hope your proud of yourself.

    1. Geeze, Bill, don’t be such a pessimist. What’s your zip code? Maybe I can recommend something specifically for you.

  25. We are renovating what we hope to be he house we grow old in. Tampa Florida zipcode is 33606. Our contractor recommended American Craftsman windows because we are under really tight local government cap for total $$ we can spend renovating. Do you feel American Craftsman are acceptable for a home we plan to live in for years? Could you recommend one or two other mid-grade window brands we can use to compare?

  26. I bought two Craftsmen Windows by Anderson to replace the hopper windows in my finished basement in Dec 2014. I paid a window installer so they would be installed correctly. Windows opened and closed well and I was happy. Went with the Craftsmen argon filled windows as they were off the shelf at HomeDepot and appeared to be good quality.

    Two years later, I’m sitting in the basement and it hit -6°F outside. I hear a two or three loud pops! The inside pane cracked. I bought another window at HD the next day and replaced the broken one.

    I called Anderson and they said it’s not covered under their warranty. I mean that’s what a window is suppose to do. Not break by itself under normal use.

    Do NOT buy Anderson Windows or Craftsmen by Anderson Windows!! They do not stand by their product or Warranty!

    1. Hi David. I know stress cracks do happen, especially under extreme temperatures. Most window companies will cover a stress crack for a certain period of time. I guess 2 years was too long for them. Sometimes a local dealer will be able to help more than a big box store.

      Good advice to read the warranties before you purchase. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

      1. I was told by Craftsmen by Anderson doesn’t cover stress cracks on their warranty at all.
        I’m still shocked that a window company wouldn’t cover this. I’m in an area where -6F isn’t unusual. It’s been colder than that last year.

        After this experience, I wouldn’t purchase Anderson or Craftsmen windows as replacement windows for my home. I’m glad it was just a hopper window not big $$ like replacing all my home’s windows.

        1. I’m sorry to hear about your trouble. Cheap windows often come with cheap warranties. We offer a glass breakage warranty on most of the windows our company sells so our customers would never need to worry about a broken window no matter how it broke. Makes a big difference if you did have an issue down the road.

  27. I just spent the last 30 minutes reading various reviews on this website and I feel like I have seen the same question asked but never answered by the “box store window” bashers. I understand the box stores have companies make products exclusively for them. This is not only the case for windows but also faucets, light fixtures, tools, etc typically made by the name brand companies but on a budget. So I will ask again….. if not a box store window like the 50 or 70 series Andersons what do you buy in the $150- $200 per window uninstalled price??? You can’t say do not buy them and then only offer suggestions for windows at double or triple the cost. If you homeowner gives you a $2000 budget for 10 windows where do you shop?

    1. That’s a little like saying “which brand new car should I buy for $8000?” There may be a old model year Kia or something out there, but it’s not going to be a great car. You’ll probably noid a slightly higher budget to find a nice option.

  28. Has anyone ever heard of Simonton windows, and are they any good? I went with Home Depot for an estimate because of their 24mo financing. I was expecting to get Craftsman windows, instead, the measuring/sales guy starts talking about Simonton. I tried looking for their price, it’s nowhere to be found. For 19 windows, they quoted me $13k (double-hung, 6100 series, 36×42). That’s $685/window. The Craftsman cost $147ea. If what I’ve read is true (a window professional can do a window in 1hr, are these installers making over $500/hr??? Please comment on Simonton quality, on Simonton price, and on install prices. I live in MD. Thank you.

    1. Simonton is probably better than the American Craftsman lines, but there are many better options out there. The box stores could be a force in the industry, but they just do it wrong. I’d look elsewhere.

      1. I live in Pittsburgh Pa and was considering American craftsman. After reading reviews would maybe like to upgrade a little higher. What would you suggest in my area? And I just need the windows not a contractor.

  29. Buy Harvey windows for vinyl replacements I am an exterior contractor in Connecticut. They are a great window for the money.harvey pays to bring contractors from local supply houses to there factory in New Hampshire to see the production of the windows In their state of the art facility and educate their contractors and techniques and new products. They are a first class company with many price options with out sacrificing quality. From their top-of-the-line tribute window to the basic Harvey classic. A window is only as good as the installer. The pain of cheap products and poor workmanship last much longer than the joy of getting the job done cheap. I have installed 1000’s of windows by many brands and a Harvey window will compete with the highest priced window for a fraction of the price. Go down to your local Harvey showroom and get a quote they will even set you up with a local contractor that knows the products they are installing

  30. Not sure why everyone is bashing American Craftsman. Maybe depending on where you are in life? I am a first time home owner. I live in a four square Craftsman home with some poor single pane drafty windows. I replaced my whole house with 70 series American Craftsman. (Around 15 windows) under 3k. I got these custom ordered to fit the existing frame. Installing is a cake walk. As long as you take good measurements. They all open and close easily. Lock tight with a good seal. The material is pretty high end. I read someones post earlier, about how windows are a ripoff. They are right. What’s that much different In the high end anderson or pella besides Color options. My windows also have a ton of character. It costs so little to add different grille patterns. I love these thing. Yeah there are better windows out there, but seriously these are amazing for what you pay. Do your research on them and buy when they’re 15 percent off.

    1. American Craftsman – Windows on the Coast. We live very near to the Texas Gulf Coast. In 2013 we bought an older, smaller home which had Craftsman windows installed years before we moved in. These windows take daily high winds, Texas heat and have withstood Mother nature for years. They still slide up & down easily, can be removed quite easily for cleaning, and appear not to have lost any air or sound insulating qualities. They were installed by some local contractor who now cannot be found.
      We are quite sure these windows, while not the fanciest, most ‘bestest’ quality, are for the average homeowner worth the money. I suppose one could go with the more expensive, ‘mostest’ quality windows, but if you don’t intend to eat off them….then just enjoy the view, and quality they provide. A few thoughts on American General windows from a very happy homeowner.

  31. I am planning to have a contractor build an all season porch onto my home. It will be 12 x 20. I live in northern Wisconsin. I want to have 8 – 9 windows (grilles; approximate size of 40 x 60 windows, probably a taupe color; vinyl, or paintable). Porch will be insulated ceiling; walls and floor. What is a good window (name brand) to buy at a mid-price range? So far, the local lumberyard is recommending Silverline by Anderson windows. I do not have the price quote from them yet.

    1. Silverline doesn’t always have the greatest reputation. I’m not sure what products will be easily available in your area. Sometimes distribution of many brands can be limited in more rural areas.

  32. Can you explain why American Craftsmen and other big box store vinyl windows are rated highly in Consumer Reports? We are deciding between the 70 series and Window World. I’ve seen this question here twice but no answer. Thanks!

    1. Consumer Reports has historically done a really bad job with window recommendations. I remember years ago when they said the CertainTeed Bryn Mar II window was the best pick. It was a piece of junk and everyone in the industry knew it. CertianTeed is now out of the window business and everyone who took that advice is stuck with no warranty.

      I think the biggest challenge Consumer Reports faces is that they try to buy the windows under cover, but many of the nicer brands are only available installed through their network of dealers. This means that Consumer Reports can get their hands on box store windows much more easily leading to them being over represented in their rankings.

      I know there are a lot of die hard Consumer Reports fans out there, but for windows I don’t think they’re a very good resource.

  33. So what are your thoughts on window world windows? Lots of people in nashville give them great reviews?

  34. Anyone hear of Shwinco windows. They are located in Florida. Any thoughts on the quality?

    Also, if you are buying impact resistant windows, don’t they all have to meet the same minimum requirement? I’m in southwest Florida.


  35. I am working with a contractor in the Piedmont area of NC to build a new home in the range of $500,000 to $600,000. He has recommended Atrium brand vinyl windows, but I can’t find any info about this brand. Can you share some resources or provide your recommendations?

    1. Atrium is a new construction comapany which isn’t really a great thing. They tend to be more price focused than a replacement window company and you can see that in some of the products. I think you’d get a much nicer window in an Alside Mezzo new construction window. They’re made in Kinston, NC and they will have better ratings. If you’d like I could help you with an order or there may be dealers around. They’ll cost a little more than the Atrium.

  36. I started with one American Craftsman window to see how difficult a job it would be. Fifteen years and twenty-five windows later, they all still function fine. Yes, I bought the top-of-the line AmCraftsman windows at the time (Low-E, foam filled sash, Argon gas, window grids, etc.) from the Home Depot mainly because I couldn’t afford the $875/window that an installer was charging. Besides, where else does a DIY’er get a decent window? Who is going to sell you one? With each window costing me about $250 – $275, I saved thousands doing it myself. I’ve had contractors ask me who did my windows and for how much. When I tell them they ask me if I’d come work for them. Doing it right and taking your time pays off. Like painting, it’s all in the prep work. Don’t cut corners or rush the job. Make sure the frame is level, the corners are square, check dimensions and use good sealant. Sure, some of the soft vinyl seals on some of the older windows are deteriorating. They do that over time; nothing lasts forever but I’ll replace them. All in all, I have no complaints. With every rattling, stubron wooden sash I’ve replaced, I can only smile and say to myself, ‘good ridance!’.

    1. Glad to hear you had good luck. You’re absolutely right that it can be hard to find a way to order a good window to install yourself. That’s exactly why my company has started to offer that option nationwide. I’ll be posting more info about that option shortly.

      There is definitely a satisfaction in completing a project yourself. Thanks for sharing your story.

  37. TWD – can you recommend a company in the zip code 22003 that can provide sliding patio doors and windows at a good value? I’m seeing a lot of comments against the American Craftsman 50 series, which is what a handyman suggested we install.

  38. Help! I’m in the process of picking out my third set of windows. The builder installed very bad cheap wood windows that had to be replaced due to condensation issues. The company eventually went out of business. I then installed a fiberglass window from a local contractor who went out of business. The seams on the frame have cracked, and despite heavy caulking and foam, the air from the outside seeps in so that I need to put towels around the window ledges. I live in Colorado at 6300 feet on the high eastern planes, where temperatures can vary widely in a single day. Also the wind is intense. I have a quote on Soft-Lite Classic windows from the Denver contractor that WD recommended, but $653 per double hung window seems high. Is it? Would you recommend something else for my weather conditions. I really can’t afford to change my windows every few years! Also I’m really confused about Fiberglass vs Vinyl for this climate.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your trouble. You’ll notice that the fiberglass window salespeople love to talk about how strong their windows are, but they never talk about the air infiltration rates. That’s certainly not an accident.

      I don’t know the details of your project, but windows can certainly cost $650 deepening on the nature of the project. Let me know if we can help out.

  39. Hey Window dog, when are you going to update your column on American Craftsman and Silver line. Andersen sold both of those lines last year

    1. Hi Ron, thanks for reminding me. We have it on the list to update. We have several new features in the works that have been taking up all of our time. Will get it updated soon.

  40. Hi,
    Do you have anyone you recommend for installing sliding patio doors in NYC?
    Area code 11367. My current plan is to do the Am. Craftsman option because of how cheap it is and if/when it breaks worry about the replacement then, bec a) its a toss up if they will break b) technology will hopefully improve and produce better and cheaper alternatives c) I may not even live here in after 5 years anyways.
    What do you think of my rationales and do you have someone you would recommend that can offer quality with a glass or hardware breakage guaranty, but wont break the bank?
    Thank you so much!

  41. I installed American craftsman replacement windows and a sliding glass door 21 years ago. The glass in the sliding glass door separated allowing moisture in. A call to American craftsman and they looked up my order from 21 years ago and shipped a replacement to my local Home Depot for free. I have been very happy with American craftsman, from warrantee to screen replacement they have been outstanding.

    1. Hi Jack, that’s great to hear. There are real advantages to working with large companies, that’s for sure.

    1. Hi Martin, pretty much all windows are welded these days so that’s not a huge differentiator. I’m not a huge fan of American Craftsman windows. I think there are options out there that will provide a better value.

      1. I just had 14 American Craftsman by Ply Gem windows installed by an experienced contractor. I gave him the automony to get me good windows with confidence in his installation. He installed the windows so tightly, he couldn’t use foam to seal. HD representative recommended them highly, from 18 years experience. Time will tell. I’m not on a budget & could have spent much more. My contractor, who did a lot of work in my house installing 2o Jeldwyn doors with rain glass windows insisted, I would be wasting my $$$ on more expensive windows. Ironic, that Anderson owned Ply gem until ply gem bought out their vinyl windows. Anderson windows bad mouthed the ply gem vinyl windows, and sold them Nationally, until the acquisition. After reading all these mixed reviews and bias from the windowdog. Again one person with negative comments opposed to the consumer report. I hope Dr Fauci is wrong, especially living in Western Florida and purchasing vinyl windows. My house was built in 1997, with single pane aluminum windows. Now, double hung American Craftsman by ply gem seem fine to me. Ok, Fiberglass last longer, in average 50 years to 30. Thirty (30)years seems like eternity to a me at 61 years of age. I’ve noticed a huge difference in cooling and and ventilation. A U factor = 0.34 and SHGC = 0.23 is showing great efficiency. Living area is 2000 sg foot. My electric bill was approx $110 for April 15 thru May 15th, and May 15 thru June 15th. June 15th thru July 15th 2020, $129 with AC set at 76 24/7. Windows seem solid due to tight installation. Should I have purchased windows 2x the price for better efficiency and longevity? Idk, seems they look fine. Had a ridiculous estimate from NewsSouth. 10k vs 24k installed…..Hello, love to hear the downside, or upside I hope I expressed.

        1. Hi Tony, thanks for wiring in. Sounds like you may have received some incorrect info. Andersen never owned Ply Gem windows, but they did own the American Craftsman brand that they sold to Ply Gem. U-Factor of 0.34 is relatively high, but I’m sure they’re better than your old windows. Let us know how they’re doing down the road. I’m sure there are plenty of readers interested.

          1. Ok mistake, yes Anderson owned American Craftsman. These windows are American Craftsman by Ply Gem did you know that? How does that work? Who manufactured them and what is the quality of these windows? Big bold letters on the windows, in smaller print by ply gem. You mentioned .034 is high for a U factor. What is recommended?

          2. Yes, I did know that. Before they were American Craftsman by Andersen. Then Andersen sold the brand to Ply Gem, that’s why the branding changed. They’re not the nicest option in the world. I think most people buying them are looking for the cheapest possible option so not too concerned about who makes them.

            A recommended U-Factor would depend on where you live. Folks in Maine generally get different options than folks in Phoenix. Where are you located?

  42. I have a question, in 2002 I doubled the size of my house. I used American Craftsman from HOme Depot, they came with a lifetime garantee which was nice at the time. Unfortunately this I believe was before Anderson owned the brand, and now it is a third company. I have around five windows that are in various stages of breaking down. From becoming hazy to actually allowing moisture in, which in the Boston area has led to the window actually cracking in the winter from water expansion. The sliders look disgusting, you can’t even see through them. I have searched hi and low for the original receipt, I am good at keeping track of this stuff. I imagine it ended up most likely on the floor of my contractors pick up. The windows started to break down in less then ten years. They say there are id# on them, I have searched and have not been able to locate, I still have some of the stickers that had been placed on the top, but no numbers on them. No one wants to honor the life time guarantee, and my 18 year old addition looks ver shabby with windows that you can’t see through. I don’t want to have the jams and casing all replaced, just the damaged windows. What should I do?

  43. As a designer, I can say these American Craftsman windows are the bottom of the pit for windows. They work, but the quality is not the greatest. The material is poor. Overall a cheap window (you save 10-15% over a significantly better quality window). However, it’s fast to purchase, looks nice when new and is readily available.

  44. My bad for trusting my contractor. He relied on the HD representative who recommended American Craftsman by Ply Gem. HD rep has been working there for 12 years. I did request Anderson or Pella windows. Don’t know why he was helping me by installing cheap unattractive windows. My electric bill came today, and this past month, the cost was $125 for a 2,000 sg ft home during
    the 2nd hottest month in SW Florida. He installed 14 windows for approximately 10k. NewSouth wanted 24k for the same project. I’m sure they have a superior product, but overpriced. They started with an estimate of 34k. Typical sales gimmick with 10% off to sign that day, and a 3 day sale. They even offered a trip, I kid you not. Lost my confidence, and lost getting a better overpriced product. If I had to do over, I would have insisted on a better product, from what you are saying. I did the rebate from TECO (Tampa Electric) I will mention that my contractor only charged $2,800 labor for 14 windows. He didn’t mark up the cost. End result, subsantial savings on electric bill, with inferior product. My home doesn’t get much ambient light for starters. At least I have impact rated windows, as most people im the neighborhood still have single pane windows. The U factor here is anything below 40, so 34 is OK, not great. Wish I was on this site before this endeavor. Live & learn

    1. I think a common mistake is that people don’t realize that the contractor does not have the same motives as the customer. The contractor wants windows that are easy to get, easy to order, easy to get paid for. Lower prices mean the customer is less likely to complain about the price and the contractor doesn’t live there so he’s not dealign with the windows for the next 20 years. The customer wants different things.

  45. I have installed many different manufacturers windows and American Craftsman is at the bottom of the list. There have manufacturing inconsistencies,parts missing. after a year to you’ll get frosted glass or the seals will leak making drafts or even the glass will have moisture in between the panes. You’re lucky if you get more than 5 years of good service from these windows. You’re lucky if you get them from the factory with out issues. I understand when money is an issue and you need a window but if you can afford a little bit more per window go with someone else!

  46. I’ve been working with these windows for several years, and all I can say is that they lack quality control. They are quickly smacked together and packaged, and then rattled around carelessly. We redid windows on two of our houses- and every single time, we had issues and had to return several. So there is a gaping hole in the house, and we have to run several miles out to Home Depot and PRAY that they have others in the same size. Several of our windows lacked resistance in the tracks, so the windows slammed shut and wouldn’t stay open. Several were mispackaged, and we had the wrong design of window in a package that was assigned to something else. And every single window is a different size. We tried putting three different windows in the same hole, and one of them fit perfectly. One was too small. The other was too big. The plastic siding ALWAYS has to be cut off, and the edges always need to be sanded down a lot. It’s a total pain in the ass. When they are put in, they are great, if you catch the issues early. But you have to keep an close eye on them before you install them, because you have NO IDEA what you’re getting. We’re not using this brand in the future.

  47. I bought a house with AC replacement windows already installed. They are now 20 yrs old and are starting to fail, and forget about getting replacement parts. Plus they were never very air tight and allowed a cold draft all winter long. When I took it apart I realized why: a low density piece of open cell foam is the insulation between the window and the existing wood. I am thinking they have improved the design since then, but it is worth checking out before purchasing.

    Plus, I worked for a company that had the contract for HD to install decks. The quality was OK though the install process was inconsistent – though not sure if it was just the regional office having a hard time with getting reliable workers or a corporate issue.

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