Gorell Windows Reviews

gorrell windows

We’ve included Gorell windows here to make a point.  Gorell is a brand that was consistently praised by some of the “experts” online. They were often on a very short list of recommended brands and folks reading that sort of information would have thought that Gorell windows were a fantastic buy.

best replacement windows of 2015

Today the old Gorell company is bankrupt and all the folks who listened to that advice and purchased Gorell windows have no warranties and no access to new parts.

The Gorell name was purchased by Soft-Lite windows and they still made products under that brand, but they are not the same products made in the past.  Perhaps more importantly the warranty liability rests with the bankrupt company so those folks who bought those old Gorell windows are out of luck.

We’ve seen this happen dozens of times.  Republic windows and Schuco windows are two more example of this same risk.  When considering replacement windows for your home it is important to consider who the manufacturer is and how likely they are to be around for the long haul.  After all, you’re expecting these new windows to be in your home for 20 or 30 years.  If you need warranty service you’ll expect the company to be around to live up to their responsibility.

There are several other very small manufacturers out there now that are very highly regarded online.  Some of them do actually make a fine product, but the inherent risk in working with a company that small shouldn’t be discounted.

I’m not saying you need to work with Andersen windows or Pella windows because you’ve heard their names.  In fact, their products aren’t right for a lot of folks.  I am saying there is more to a good product than good ratings and a fancy brochure despite what some “expert” might tell you.

When considering your options consider the product, the ratings, the warranty and the company.  All are important parts of the puzzle.  While nothing is certain in life, a manufacturer that is large, well established and well financed is much more likely to withstand the test of time.  Nobody wants to be the last person to order Gorell windows, but somebody was.

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.  

77 thoughts on “Gorell Windows Reviews”

  1. Hi – I enjoy your site, thanks for starting it! This post is very helpful, and relevant to a decision we’re making right now.

    You review Alside windows on here, and we’re currently talking to a company that sells Revere windows. We’ve found that those are both brands of AMI.

    I understand your comment about the internet having seemingly plenty of “expert” opinions online. For Revere windows, we can find forums online with contractors” and “installers” posting a wide variety of things about the brand. There are posts about how a contractor uses it exclusively with no problems, and other posts about how it is an offshoot brand of AMI trying to hide its poor reputation (also implying it may have a nullified warranty sometime in the future like Gorell). I’d be VERY interested in your thoughts on that last piece specifically. A warranty is only as good as the company backing it, for sure!

    1. That’s funny. For starters it’s important to keep an eye out for companies or salespeople that feel they need to lie to get your business. When they do that it would make me wonder what else they’re not being truthful about.

      Here’s the scoop. AMI purchased several smaller manufacturers over the past 20 years. Revere Building Products was one of them. They also purchased Alpine windows on the west coast and Gentek windows in Canada among others. They’re a holding company so that’s what they do. It’s similar to the way Fortune Brands owns Simonton Windows and Therma-Tru doors along with MANY other companies.

      There is and has never been any warranty issue with Revere windows. The fact that they are backed by a billion dollar company is quite a strength in my mind as it means they have the financial resources to be in it for the long haul. I would put this very strongly in the positive column when considering a product backed by a large company.

      You’re right that the warranty is only as good as the company backing it, but in this case it’s a strength. Anyone trying to spin that as a weakness must be running out of good things to say about the products they do offer.

      This is a great example of the junk that floats around on the internet. If you’re not sure about a warranty it’s certainly a smart idea to read a copy of it and understand who is backing it. Smaller manufacturers do come and go with some frequency, but larger companies that have been in business for 50+ years tend to be pretty stable.

      Thanks for writing, your post is a great example for others to see.

      My advice: don’t do business with folks who aren’t honest with you. It only encourages them.

      1. you wondered what else Gorell did back in the days of them being in business. They would make us ship windows they knew were defective. We were getting over 50% of the windows back (over half of their customers were ripped off knowingly. The skilled workers so often fought on the line not to ship windows that were defective and in almost every case the response was send it.

        Them argon windows some of you bought I bet if you had them tested you would find out there was no argon in them most of them would not seal and yes they knew it “send it”

        The first sign of it being a fraud was when gorell purchased the company from an earlier window company he was an employee of his own father. The quality took a dive, somehow almost a million dollars was mysteriously found in the union coffers which the first president and that board actually tried to steal, but they were caught with the check in hand written out to the president personal name instead of the union as required.

        There was no severance pay as promised, and guess you won in the end? The international union office since when they were tipped off to the closure they stopped most of the union spending and of course kept all that funny money for them selves.

        The thieving board stayed with the company despite what they tried to do and was regarded as very respectable and loyal employees. In the end over half the union leadership was run by one family who over the years had hired their cousins aunts and uncles they had so many family members, I believe at last count before the closing started there were over 60 employee’s out of the almost 300 that were related to the unions president, another 30 or 40 were friends loyal to the president and the fraudulent company. There were many things the union leadership did against the people they represented under the guise of “we need to help the company stay afloat. If it was not for all the stimulus money they received Gorell’s would have been
        shuddered 2 years before it was.

        They made gorells a limited liability company because their business model was to get as much money as they could before all the defects caught up and out paced purchases which happened not very long after the govt. ended its stimulus money package to folks who purchaced newer energy efficient windows. Remember President Obamas friend profited the most from that deal taking all that money as another window company and then also went out of business.

        They ended quality control jobs about two years prior to closing, they said everyone should be quality control, but if you brought something out you became the target of the leadership in the union and the company. They sometimes actively sought to fire people who tried to REFUSE to make a known defective window.

        It was a horrendous place, but with a lot of workers that wanted to make a good product. The whole thing was a big joke. They buyer of gorells was also the sales manager of the company in case you hadn’t known that. The vinyl they purchased came from a company the owners had a hand in also. They actually had a secrete stash of vinyl they purchased despite not needing it, kind of sounds like they put the company out of business on purpose doesn’t it? I wish I knew about this site back when they company was still open we could have used it to make that a better place with a better product had the tax payers knew what all was going on. gorell didn’t have to pay any tax to the county of Indiana, gorell would threaten to leave the county and Indiana would just give them another five years no taxes. The last thing they did (With all the timing I know upper management knew the company was going to tank, they were selling off machines we needed to stay running) but they replaced tens of thousands of dollars on efficient lighting, it was great the light was like real day light and 35% less energy unfortunately after they got the (I was told) 100grand in reward from the electric company, they went out of business, Today the plant still sits there empty and I believe with all them nice new lights, unless the final purchaser took them with him.

        In closing I cant prove most of this, the company union president and the international union I must believe has most of the documentation unless it was destroyed. Go around and find a few of the old employees especially ones that had ten years or more of experience I am sure they have many more tales then what even I know. Some people tried to bring this into the light several people filed complaints with the labor board in Pittsburg, I believe one of the employees they were targeted for firing and harassed for years was given protection by the board from being fired, she had so much documentation of the harassment and threats no one could deny that it happened. sadly the union president who was responsible got hit, but not the company who was also behind this harassment.

        1. Wow Thanks for the insight as to why my Gorell Windows have failed me. I bought 10 Windows believing I was buying a quality product. Reassured by Regency Windows iv Cleveland Ohio that they were installing quality Windows. Well my warranty with Gorell and Regency are both worthless as Regency also went out of business yet the son of the owner immediately reopened under a new window company called. Window Nation. How nice to stick others with unpaid bills and leave customers with nothing. My the way Regency had decades in the business but bailed. Well my warranties are useless and 4 of the 10 Windows have seal problems. So much for warranties. Worthless.

          1. It’s not the triple pane that caused the mold. Sorry to hear about your troubles.

  2. Looking at Revere windows myself, and happy to see that you feel the warranty is a strength/positive. I am a homeowner looking to replace 20+ year old aluminum construction grade windows. While I enjoyed the sales rep , warranty and estimate!, I’ve been cautioned that these windows are lower-end budget–good for rental properties, but possibly not the right fit for a homeowner who will live in their house for another 3-10 years and looking to help boost resale value. What is your opinion on this? Should we be looking at a better quality window and if so, how does one find the true mid-quality given all the claims on Internet? Thanks!

    1. That sounds like the kind of thing you would hear from someone trying to sell a different product. I don’t think there’s any reason to think Revere makes a bad product. The new Berkshire Elite windows use upgraded hardware and have a great warranty. If you’ve found a reputable company offering a good price for Revere windows I would say go for it.

  3. I sold Gorell for years and I thought that it was the best product on the market. Sorry to see it go. The family behind it was a great team, they won the DOE energy award two years in a row, etc. etc. I also sold Simonton at one point which was just a hair behind Gorell in quality and customer service. I used Lowe’s window ordering service for their Pella brand on the Ms. gulf coast for 6 years after Katrina and was pleased with the custom built product. Wasn’t as high a quality as Gorell but was a good value.

    1. Gorell windows were nice. That’s why they make such a great example. There is much more to a great experience than a great products or a great feature or a great brochure or a great presentation.

      To say Gorell was a good value misses the point. They looked like a good value at the time, but now we know they were a horrible value. Thousands of folks bought those windows and now they have no warranty and very limited access to replacement parts. That’s not a good value at all.

      This is exactly why we caution folks when they’re considering working with smaller manufacturers. They can be great, right up until they’re not.

      1. Couldn’t disagree more. I have sold literally thousands of Gorell windows. Have many happy homeowners. The family behind the product was first class. The products manufactured, were first class. What happened? Simple. Economic destruction of the home improvement industry due to credit drying up. (ca 2008) This was in response primarily to the housing market implosion and bank derivatives sales, promoted by former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, Former Congressman, Barney Frank, and a guy named Franklin Raines at Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. MANY small, and large, home improvement companies were forced to close their doors. This affected home improvement manufacturers.

        How many warranty issues did I ever have with Gorell windows? Very, very few. They were built that good. Let’s say a customer had one window have a problem…in a 20 window order…after 10 years. That customer has enjoyed the benefit of the product for quite awhile, and can certainly replace one window. Sorry. I have seen some rather large, National concerns that switch window suppliers on a regular basis. The size of the company isn’t that big a factor in my purchasing decisions. Quality and value however, weighs more.

        1. We do think Gorell windows were nice products and we have nothing against the former owners. The point was that there is more to consider than the window itself. A nice window with no warranty isn’t nice at all.

          1. Personally I’ll take a good window with no guarantee over an inferior window with a warranty any day.

          2. There are many people who share that attitude. Just ask yourself why the company making good windows would elect to not offer a good warranty? It just doesn’t make sense. By offering a bad warranty they will sell fewer windows. Why would the make the decision to sell fewer windows if they know that the windows are great and they’ll surely last a long time?

            They wouldn’t. The only reason I can think of that a company would offer a short warranty is because they are not confident that the windows will last and they don’t want to fix them.

            A good window with no guarantee is by definition not a good window. If you have any other ideas as to why a company would make a great product and then decide not to stand behind it I’d be glad to hear them.

          3. Just when did Gorell claim bankruptcy??? My pane is fine but now window will not open more than 5 inches so guess I need repair on frame,

          4. Gorell went out a few years ago now. I was told it was because they were facing mounting warranty claims, but who knows if that’s true. Their assets were bought by Soft-Lite, but I don’t know if they’re helping with any warranty claims. I’d start by contacting the company that installed them. They’ll probably be the most helpful.

        2. I bought 13 Gorell 5300 vinyl replacement windows in 2009. I loved the windows. Very easy to open and close. They looked great and seemed to be energy efficient. That is until 5 of the 13 windows failed a couple of years ago. Now I get to look through wet, steamed up windows. And of course the new company completely blew me off. It seems to me, the new company might have been willing to make some type of offer just to get my business. I still need to replace those 5 windows and purchase and additional 10 more new windows.

          1. You’re in a very common situation. We’re sorry to hear about the trouble. I met with a cranky customer in Cleveland a couple years ago. He had Gorell windows installed and was disappointed to find out they had gone bankrupt. He kept telling me that everything I had to offer was garbage and nowhere near as good as his Gorell windows. This illustrates the point. ANY window with no warranty is not a very good window.

            Hopefully you can find a local contractor who will be able to help you out.

        3. Eight years ago, I purchased eleven Gorell Energy Master III High-performance glass windows and one bow window. Today, I have nine windows that are all showing spotting in the inside the insulated glass and now find out the warranty isn’t honored. I have the warranty which I’ve kept on file “just in case”. A lot of good it’s going to do me now.

          My mother and sister also purchased Gorell replacement windows for their homes because I was so happy “originally” with mine. They didn’t purchase the better quality as I supposedly did; their windows are not showing any signs of spotting or leaking and are still crystal clear.

          Some upgrade I got. An upgrade to disappointment, to a waste of money and will have to replace all these windows very soon. I doubt the spotting will stop progressing and soon, I won’t even be able to see out of them at all.

          My installer, which I knew, recommended the windows to me and I can’t say I’d trust his advice again. I never dreamed I was getting sold poorly constructed replacement windows. I expected them to last a long, long time and have a warranty to back them up. NOT!

          1. We hate to hear stories like that. In his defense, there were many companies, including many internet experts, talking about how Gorell windows were the greatest thing since sliced bread. I would bet he didn’t know there was trouble on the horizon until it was too late. Unfortunately that’s the way it usually goes.

        4. I replaced the tornado broken ones and they were great. So i did the other half. In about 6 years, all the 1st ones have gotten spots where they have air in between the triple panes. Some places look like bands of etching. The dealer informed me I would have to buy more and they have another great company. No thanks

        5. We bought 26 windows for our house and almost every one has gone bad. The first time 11 or so went bad and the person who put our windows in worked with the new company and replaced each window for 100.00. He did the work for free. Now the rest of the windows have lost their seal including my big picture window. They are ugly!! This was a terrible purchase.

        6. You are wrong. 10 of my 15 Gorell windows have seals that failed after 7 years. Moisture has accumulated between the panes and resulted in insightly mold. There us no way to clean them. They look terrible . They had a lifetime warranty which no one will honor now that the manufacturer and the installer are both out of business. We spent $15,000 on our windows. Now we will have to replace them after only 7 years. I don’t trust any window company now. I’m going to look for single paned windows.

          1. I always hate to hear stories like these. The best bet is to work with larger more well established manufacturers. Several have been in business offering very long warranties for 50+ years. Anything could happen, but a small outfit like Gorell was always risky. I know the company that sold them to you didn’t phrase it that way and I’m sorry to hear about your trouble.

            You might contact Soft-Lite to see if they can make sashes for you. They’ll probably charge you, but it will be the easiest way to get it resolved.

        7. I’ve been in the construction and architectural design field a long time and bought four Gorell double hung windows about 7 years ago. Looked like a quality product to me. I’ve got a problem with the weatherstripping at the base of the lower sash. It was evidently glued to the exterior of the window and has peeled loose on three of the windows. Can I find a product that can be replace the original?
          Thanks for any suggestions!

        8. We bought 10 Gorrell windows in 2009 for our residential sunroom addition. We were striving for high energy efficiency as we are a commercial airseal contractor and were constructing a strong envelope for our home addition. Starting around 7 years after install these windows are ALL failing, one by one. We are planning to sell the home next year and now have to consider replacing these windows before listing because it will be such a turnoff to potential buyers, not to mention our disgust when we see the deficiencies every day now and have no warranty intact. We will not buy from another small product manufacturer like this again. It’s sadly not worth the gamble.

      2. After Katrina, we replaced our windows with Gorell, double hung Hurricane grade windows. Now, we can barely see out of any of the windows because the mildew has covered everyone!! I now find that my warranty is no good & I am out over $13,000.00

        1. Hi Viki, we hate to hear stories like that and unfortunately you’re not alone. You may be able to find a local glass company to replace the insulated glass units. It will still cost a decent amount, but should be less than the cost of new windows. Good luck!

    2. Gorell is a hirrible product and the fact that they can go bankrupt and start over selling under same name and not honor warranties for people wjo purchased their windows is horrible i purchased windows through gorell or alot of money and 1 year later 3 sets of the windows have mold in them and was told they would gladly replace them for a additional fee as far as i am concerned the company is a sham,just luke their product

  4. I must have been the last customer to buy Gorell windows before they went under! The company had been around since 1960 and had a 50 year transferable warranty. $10,000 shelled out and in less than a year I started having a problem with these beautiful brand new windows. I tried to file a claim but was put off because supposedly they were re-locating their warehouse and operations. Now here I am 3 years later with windows that had the seals go, mildew growing in between the panes, no warranty, and no one who can replace them to match my existing setup. The distributor knew the situation and has been no help. I don’t even have a legal case because the warranty is only as good as the manufacturer. I’m sure I can hire “someone” to put in new windows, but I am fuming at the idea of paying again almost $700 per window to replace ones that failed in less than a year that I already paid for and that should have been handled by such a great warranty. Besides that, I don’t have the money to do it. Where is the justice, customer service, and consumer faith?!

    1. I agree. I was sold on this great warranty as well. This is another case of the banks getting their money and the consumers be left out in the cold. Republic majority will provide more of this pro-business buy out ethic. True injustice. Look at Mitt Romney, it is pretty clear what the Republicans are up to. The Republicans have been purchased by big business.

      1. This is not a political party issue Jason……… get real and think for yourself instead of listening to the media to influence you. Do you think there are no other parties that have purchased “big business”? You should research the facts before you point your finger.

    2. We have the exact problem for 21 5300 series windows. They even came out and measured for replacements and quietly just went out of business. So very sad

  5. Me and my wife bought windows from Dixie Homecrafters here in Atlanta several years ago. They are all Gorrell windows. The other day I started to clean them all and found out that two of them are leaking and are fogged up.

    I was pissed off when I found out that both companies went under and I no longer have my supposed life time warranty.

    Anyone know if anyone sells their replacements or where they can be repaired ?

    They are all triple pane glass with krypton gas.

    1. James, that is exactly what happened to me. I purchased my windows from Dixie Home Crafters in Alabama. I discovered the problem yesterday when I started to clean my windows. They cannot be cleaned as the mold is between the panes. I found out that the former CEO of Dixie Home Crafters is now CEO of Madaris Siding and Windows in Atlanta. I guess he decided to shirk all responsibility for warranties and just open a new company.

  6. James we also have the same problem with 4 out of 8 Gorell windows that were installed in our home in 2008. I called the company in Kansas that sold/installed them for us and was told that they are contacting the company that took over the windows and that the glass can be replaced (at our cost) and our company will install the glass free of charge if we choose to go that route. We are currently waiting on an estimate from them. So you might contact your company to see what they say. Good Luck!

    1. We experienced the same thing. Spent nearly 20,000 just 5 years ago and a few windows are showing a film in between the glass:/
      My first response was to contact my attorney as well as the BBB and and was essentially told sorry about your luck.
      The only saving grace is that our contractor is still in business and has moved mountains to get these issues handled at a considerable minimal expense. I have friends in Atlanta who are not so fortunate. My advice is if your contractor is still in business play nice and they can help you.

  7. I purchased Gorell windows a few years ago and was happy with them until about a year or two ago when one of them got foggy/moldy inside. Now, a year or so later I noticed that I now have about 5 windows that are defective. I am single and spent alot of money on these windows. I can’t afford to replace them and this makes me so angry. The contractor who installed them is around but not doing work anymore. Is there anyone in the Indiana, PA area who can fix them??? (Yes, Gorell’s is/was very close to where I live.)

  8. We bought Gorell in about 2004. The windows are so tough to close we don’t open them anymore. One frame broke from the force of us trying to get the window closed. When we bought these we didn’t have the extra money to get Anderson, but in hind sight we’d have been happier with our old leaky original windows.

    1. You might be able to fix the tough to close windows by unscrewing a screw on the inside of the window. We had a problem with a window being too loose and it was a matter of tightening a screw.
      we replaced our original (1929) upstairs windows with Gorell. Spent lots of money. The windows are now defective with discoloration inside the double panes.
      I too would love to have my old leaky windows back.

  9. We purchased gorell windows from a distributor in Minnesota about 10 yrs ago. The front windows steamed HP. It took a yr for a rep to even come out and look at them. We finally had them replaced. Then one morning, I was opening a window in the bedroom which is a crank out and the window fell out. Luckily I was able to catch it before it hit the ground. The hardware needs to be replaced and have no where to get it.

    1. Wow, I’m really sorry to hear about that Jane. You may be able to find a company to repair the foggy glass, but the hardware might be more of a challenge.

      Just yesterday I replaced foggy glass in an old wood casement window and I’ll be posting a video about it shortly. It can be done, but with discontinued vinyl windows it’s more of a challenge.

      1. Overall my Gorell (15) windows are all in great shape, However, the casement window crank operator is broke. I tried everywhere to find a replacement. Since I have more than one casement window, I would like the original style crank operator in almond to match. Made in New Zealand. Any help from anyone?

  10. My sister-in-law bought a home that the previous owners had Gorell windows installed. 3 of those windows now have a hazy look internally. Not sure if it is the coating on the glass or infiltration. She was having issues with some of the windows not locking properly. When I inspected them closer, I found the windows were installed incorrectly. The frames are bowed outward in the middle. Not only did this make for hard locking but also comprimised the seals on the sides of the windows. I contacted the company that had installed the windows, they use sub contractors, and was basically told that the original owners should have paid a FEE to pass the waranty along. It’s a shame the prior owners had no concept, they were obviously taken for a ride.

  11. Another Gorell sad story here….spent 20K and no help at all from the “new” Gorell.

    Softlite should totally divorce themselves from the Gorell name.

    I have a friend coming over here to see my fogged up windows with a lifetime guarantee.

    They must have had a bad batch…..

  12. Yep… another unhappy Gorell window owner here. I kinda want a time machine so I can go back 8 years to warn myself. Knock on wood (or vinyl), unlike most here, I have only one window in 10 that got mildewed because, I’m guessing, a seal failed in what was their very expensive Armor Glass line. The installer is no longer in business, but left their web site up, complete with Gorell logo.

    Soft-Lite bought Gorell technology, but not their liability, however still capitalizes on the Gorell name as Soft-lite Gorell LLC. That should be illegal, IMO to bank on the name while ignoring the responsibility that the same name generated.

    A semi-local glass company wanted ~$500 to repair the window by replacing the IGU with like material. Yes, after spending 15K I do feel like I’ve been taken for a ride.

  13. I had 24 gorrell double hung double pane windows installed in Y2K. They all leak alot of air from the channel that the windows slide up and down in. Anyone know why and or how to fix. Only a couple of them have a very tiny amount of condensation in them. Guess I’m lucky there.

  14. 28 Gorell windows installed on our house in 2010 due to saleman saying they are great windows. Now I am fighting the second window to glaze over. Is there any legal recourse for us consumers that were taken to the cleaners?

    1. Unfortunately I don’t think there is. I believe Soft-Lite has the capability to make parts for the Gorell windows, but not sure how they’re handling it. If you ask them be sure to let us know, I know other folks are unfortunately in the same position and also looking for a way to solve their problems.

      1. First off I was a dealer that bought in to gorells Windows . I have the last couple of years been tiring to take care of the many service issues with minimal support from Soft-lite . The glass is easily replaceable any glass company can take care of that , some of the grid colors and styles are a challenge , some of the hard ware can be found on line . There seem like there has been quite a few company’s do the same thing like Traco Windows , Pacesetter Windows , just to name a few

        1. You’re right that this isn’t the only window company to go out of business. That’s exactly why I recommend working with a more well established window manufacturer. It’s great that you’re trying to help the customers. Many other installers are not.

  15. We purchased 21 Gorell 5100 Series Windows in May, 2010. The contractor is still in business but refers us to the “new company” and says they are not responsible for the warranty. I plan to call the BBB and also post messages on Facebook and Twitter. Will let you know if I am successful on any level.

  16. I had a company who installed these windows in my home 2010 who now has gone out of business but I have gas (?) Leaks in almost all the windows which have a lifetime warranty to do I need to contact to have windows repaired????
    Thank You so much for your help

    1. I’m sorry to hear that Edith. As you can see on this page you’re not alone. I believe Soft-Lite can make the parts you need. I’m not sure what they charge or if they offer that service. I you find out anything please let us know.

  17. I built a house in 2004 with Gorell windows throughout. Today May 26, 2016 I had the windows cleaned and to my surprise I have 15 windows out of 22 that have either the top or bottom sash with haze and/or mold throughout. I at least got 11 plus years before I noticed them leaking. I have been a home improvement contractor for 40 years and feel the same way about Gorell as anyone else who has given them one dime of there hard earned money. The family will someday have to answer to a higher power!

  18. I think the real solution is to get away from gas-filled windows.

    We’ve just be duped by the Energy Star, testing, into thinking / assuming this is the ONLY solution. Maybe when it works best, it passes a 2x or 3x improvement over single pane… but the gas seals always fail eventually.

    Is there a *single* pane security or sound-proofing type window (THICKER glass, but only single pane) that get us 50% improvement over traditional single-pane with no worry of double or triple pane leakage?

    Our Gorell 5300’s are also failing about 1 – 2 a year. When they fail, they’re no longer performing at 2x or 3x better, but maybe no better than a single pane… (and the seals fail long before you see mold, etc) – so there goes the benefits you paid for right there.

    Phil might be right about the reasons for Gorell’s and other vendor demise (economic downturn, etc), but now, we’re looking at a $150+ replacement for every top or bottom double hung that’s failing + lead time, etc. I’ve got better things to do..

    Gorell in their best days might have been better than most, but now, after 5-8 years, things level out and it’s clear this technology (seals, double panes, etc) isn’t the answer.

    The industry should just ADMIT the MTBF is 5-8 years per window, so we know what we’re buying, and so they all can start exploring another technology.

    1. I’m sure it feels that way because your windows failed, but many others don’t. I’ve been told by experienced manufacturing people that one reason Gorell was struggling financially was the liability from failing seals. That’s not a major issue for many other manufacturers. There was no way you could have known it would be an issue with that manufacturer, but it was. That doesn’t mean it’s an issue for everyone.

  19. Our seals failed without the typical “foggy” view, but more black dots of mold that kept getting bigger. Seals may have been faulty right from the Softlite / Gorell get-go (no argon in window, etc). There’s NO way to know the window – or ANY WINDOW – is good “out of the box”.

    Energy Star means nothing if there is no way to see the window operating it its peak in the field. Or, to see failure in the field (consumer) WHEN IT HAPPENS, not years later when the mold appears – and you’ve been living with what amounts to single-pane performance.

    These kind of problems will exist until there are mandated / built-in safe-guards (like a reactive strip in each window that changes color to indicate leakage of gas /whatever).

    The govt needs to get involved in regulating in these cases. Fly-by-night companies will see the hurdles to entry and stay out. Good companies will invest in the right technologies or get away from sealed or gas-filled double-pane altogether.

    Manufacturing this type of window takes technology and also manual skills of assemblers. Quality changes based on many factors, hopefully not often, but it could week to week, month to month…

    If something in that chain breaks down (factory equipment, new employees, shipping, etc), you have high failure rates – for years perhaps – of perhaps thousands of windows until the reason is discovered…

    There has to be a safeguard like my reactive strip idea; people are spending tens of thousands of dollars on windows.

    1. I’m sure it’s frustrating to be dealing with that situation. Typically if the seals fail you’ll see moisture right away. If the argon leaks out air will leak in to fill the void. That air will bring moisture and as soon as it’s more moisture than the desiccant can absorb you’ll get visible condensation. If you didn’t see any issue for a few years your windows were probably sealed until then.

      Have you tried reaching out to Soft-Lite about ordering new sashes? I would expect they could make then, not sure what they’re charging for them.

  20. About $160 per sash / $320 per full window… is what Softlite will charge for a typical window.

    Wish I’d saved my old windows – in case you want to take it to a local vendor… and get it sealed for a spare when another one breaks its seal.

    The cost is only about $30 less that Softlite for a local company in my area .. unless you want to just buy the IGU and replace the glass yourself…

    “thewindowdog” has a nice video on replacing a casement style glass unit that fogged up, but his was wooden, I’m not sure my vinyl window would survive my ham-fisted work taking apart and replacing the IGU with a new glass sandwich. (IGU)

    1. Wow, that is a little spendy. I bet they don’t want to make too many. You can replace the sealed units, but you’re right that it’s not as easy on a vinyl window and if any pieces split or crack you’ll be out of luck.

  21. Moderation to original comment. Purchased 1 Gorell window in 2010. No problems except difficulty in opening window – very tight. Recently cannot open window more than 5 inches – seems will not close all the way for me to lock. Installer seems to be out of business since NO phone numbers receive an answer… FLORIDA LIFETIME IMPACT WINDOW & DOOR, Tampa, Florida. I also have a lifetime warranty which of course is no longer acceptable since bankruptcy…when was the BK? Anyway no problem with the pane seems it is in the frame. This is a 5300 series, impact window. Do you know anyone locally willing to help? Approximate $’s. I am a widow with limited income so any advise will be appreciated. I live in Clearwater, FL Thank you

  22. 2nd modification 1 window Gorell 5300 double hung -impact window. Installed 2010 Only problem since install is very tight window hard to open.. Now window will open no more than 5 inches…cannot lock nor open. No problem with panes [ seems to be in framing. Installer I think must be out of business [ FLORIDA LIFETIME IMPACT WINDOW & DOORS, Tampa, Florida. I would like some suggestions, if I cannot handle on own (I’m a widow with limited income) names of contractors that can fix and thoughts of $ requirement – thank you (I am located in Clearwater, Fl)

  23. Do not buy gorell aka softlite windows are junk warranty os junk company is ran by crooks and thieves 4 months after windows were installed windows started to mold between th panes seals a e e junk and they wont do anything but said i could buy new windows with new warranty avoid these windows and any company that sells them as a quality product

  24. I have 23 Gorell Vinyl replacement windows. I live up north (Buffalo NY) with wind chill temps well below zero and lately temps in single digits. All my windows have a severe draft from all areas of the window. I have to stuff paper towels down the side sash and tape them shut with packing tape. Now I have put plastic on the windows in family room. Does anyone have resolution to eliminate cold air from coming in?

    1. Hi Kathleen, sorry to hear about your troubles. Unfortunately I don’t know of anyone honoring the old Gorell warranties so you may be out of luck. If you find a good solution please post it here as I’m sure there are other people looking.

  25. Had 10 Gorell windows installed in my home in 2005. Four of them got hazy in between the glass in a very short time. My installer said they had a lifetime warranty.
    They replaced those four. They all just kept going bad and I couldn’t get the installer to do anything.
    Now I have a home with all bad windows and I definitely can’t afford to replace them.
    I’m reading the Gorell book and it says the 5300 series is the finest you can buy.

    1. They were perfectly nice windows right up until Gorell went bankrupt. Now they’re not so nice. I’m sorry to hear about your trouble. I just responded to someone else on another page saying that I tend to recommend larger manufacturers and this is the exact reason why.

      I heard that Gorell ran into too many warranty issues, couldn’t afford to replace them all and went out of business. I don’t know if that’s the exact reason and there may be more to the story, but unfortunately you’re now out of luck on warranty service. Their assets were bought by Soft-Lite so you could try to contact them to see if you can order any parts. They may let you and if they do please let us know as you’re not the only person in that boat.

  26. REPLACE THE GLASS UNIT – NOT THE WHOLE WINDOW

    I am preparing to correct a glass problem for a friend. I just happened to Google Gorell Windows and found this site. I understand the frustration of folks who have problems with their Gorell windows. I would venture to say that more than 90% are experiencing insulated glass (IG) unit failure and that IT IS NOT the SEAL but a failure of the LowE coating on the interior surface and you will notice that it is only on one of the glass surfaces in a double pane unit. I do not know the source of their glass (PPG, AFG, Cardinal, etc.) or who coated it but that’s where the failure is. It appears as a few small spots and the field grows over time and has a bit of color and sheen but there is no moisture. When a window seal fails, in my experience, it first shows actual moisture and after time dries and leaves an unsightly film on both interior surfaces.

    Gorell vinyl windows are among the finest in overall design, materials and construction quality that I’ve ever seen, at least up through 2011 when I retired after 24 years in the window business and Gorell was our lead brand since 2003. BTW, I have replace hundreds of big-name-brand windows that were truly junk.

    If you have properly installed Gorell windows you should be able to find a good glass company able to replace the failed glass on site. Gorell window glazing has removable outside glazing strips allowing for the removal and replacement of the IG unit only. Some will have in-house capability for building new IG units with matching glass specs, grid pattern and gas fill. Some will farm this out. They will measure first, build or order the glass and and return to replace the glass on-site. As usual, talk to more than one and get references.

    Hope this helps someone.

  27. I had 11 Gorrell windows installed and now 5 have had the seal fail. What a joke and no wonder they went bankrupt. How do window companies take on such terrible product lines to begin with. Lesson learned the gurantee is only as good as the company giving it. I’m confused why a company like Soft Lite would then purhase whatever rights they did and add the name Gorrell to their name. Gorrell is a crap product and I would NEVER, EVER do business w/ anyone w/ the name Gorrel associated with it. Just called Soft light to discuss my situation and of course they hid behind the “bankruptcy” of Gorrel but when asked why it was part of the company name there was no answer. Why put the name out their if you’re not going to honor the “lifetime warranty”. Just another example of a company not standing behind their products.

    1. I’ve also wondered why Soft-Lite windows would buy Gorrel windows. From a sales standpoint it didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Perhaps they got a steal of a deal and figured even if the Gorrel windows brand didn’t have too much value left it still had some. I know many years ago when Provia bought Heartland siding out of bankruptcy they made what they thought was a very low bid and won the auction. They discovered after the fact that they had been the only bidder.

      I met a really grumpy human being in Ohio years ago who told me that the windows my company offered were garbage and not anything like the Gorrel windows he was going to buy. I offered to explain the differences in the product and the warranty and he was incredibly rude right to my face. While I’m not happy to see any company go out of business I wonder if that guy has a warranty problem, will he remember our conversation? Probably not.

      Anyway, before I get too off track, I’m sorry to hear about your trouble. Looking at the company offering the warranty absolutely is an important factor.

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