Great Lakes Windows Reviews

Great Lakes windows reviews

As we get started with Great Lakes windows reviews it’s important to note that Great Lakes is owned by Ply Gem.  They’re a very large manufacturing company which is typically a good thing for a window company.  Smaller independent window companies tend to be the ones that go out of business periodically, but the larger more well established companies tend to stand the test of time.  Great Lakes windows definitely fall into the category of a company that is likely to be around for a while.

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Great Lakes windows come in 3 main lines.  They are Uniframe, Lifestyles and Seabrooke.  These windows offer most features typical of current replacement windows.  There isn’t much that is unique abut them, but they are of fine quality.

One potential drawback to great lakes windows is their dealer network.  They tend to have very limited distribution in any given market which means if you want these windows you must buy them from one contractor.  That typically means you don’t get the best deal, but that is certainly not always the case.

As with any window model that has limited distribution don’t fall in love.  If you think you love the window, but you don’t like the local distributor, don’t buy it.  You should never feel forced to work with one company.

We’ll be posting detailed Great Lakes windows reviews on all three of their main models:

  • Uniframe
  • Lifestyles
  • Seabrooke

Once these reviews are completed you can find them here.  Until then take a look through some of our other detailed window reviews to help you find the best replacement windows for your home.

You can also find info on shady window sales tactics here to help make sure you get a great deal and not a sales pitch.

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.  

62 thoughts on “Great Lakes Windows Reviews”

  1. What do you think about the EcoSmart line from Great Lakes? What should one of these windows run and how much will the local dealer mark them up?

    1. Hi Sarah ,
      Did you settle for the eco smart Windows? I’m actually in the process of purchasing 16 windows and choose to go with the comfort smart. I did my research but I could only find older models as the ones mentioned above. According to my dealer the only difference between the lifestyles and comfort is the sill. And sash.

      1. My salesman could only give me the price today he doesn’t leave his business card as when i call him back the price will be back to 14,000 i told him I never buy if the price is only good for today! That spells SKAM in my book

    2. The Eco Smart window is simply one of the best windows made. With the EcoCore reinforcement in the frame they will last for as long as you live in your home. Great product.

  2. I am looking for reviews on Great Lakes windows.
    Did you ever complete your review???
    My contractor has specified them for our remodel and I can’t find information on them.

  3. We have decided on Ply Gem windows, Casement Replacement style. Would love to hear your thoughts on them before we pull the trigger?

    1. I’m not that familiar with the Ply Gem casement windows. What did you like about them? Or, what made them seem like a better option than another product?

  4. What do you think about the Uniframe vinyl windows? I am having trouble deciding between vinyl, fiberglass or clad windows. We have quotes for Marvin Utlimate Clad, Marvin Integrity, Jeld-wen Clad and Uniform vinyl. The Uniform vinyl is more affordable but I don’t want to go with the cheapest option if it’s not the best window. We live in Chicago so winters get very cold!

        1. What do you think of Great Lakes Harbor Light vs Allside Mezzo double hung? I have a quote for both and mezzo significantly more in cost but I want to maximize glass and not have a narrow looking window. Thoughts?

          1. I would guess those models have a pretty similar wholesale cost. If you’re seeing dramatically different retail cost I would wonder if something else is included in that quote. Probably a good idea to ask about exactly what is included so you can be sure you have a good comparison.

  5. Stay away from their Euroglide sliding patio doors. We unfortunately had installed 2 13foot doors that open in the middle.. The screen mechanism is horrible. There is a plastic “connector” where the doors are supposed to meet. THEY DO NOT MEET PROPERLY. It is a design flaw not an installation flaw. Bugs get in all the time. Also the metal handles to the doors often come off in your hand. Customer service is non-existent. You leave a message and no one returns the call. STAY AWAY

  6. I believe Great Lakes Windows to be some of the best products available on the market. I’ve been very impressed with their quality and durability as well as their features and benefits. This is an excellent product with tremendous people representing the company.

  7. I just ordered Great Lakes comfort smart low E argon “hir” glass 9 ft sliding glass door, from a local contractor who has installed all the windows in my townhouse facilities. This contractor has been highly recommended by other homeowners. Is this a good product in the line of Great Lakes. Thank you.

      1. Have had a top of the line Great Lakes sliding door for 11 years, on the east side of my house—Love it. I have not had any problems and it slides beautifully. Also, it has one of the most secure locking systems in the industry. Good Luck.

        1. What model did you get? I am in the process of having my sliding glass door replaced I would love to get your input.

  8. This is hoping that Great Lakes will reply as I see they are part of this review. I bought a home that had all new Great Lakes windows installed. I purchased the home just 6 years after the work was done. Some of the windows now have mold growing inside of the, I have been told the seal on the double insulated part had gone bad. Since there is a Lifetime Warranty on the Uniframe I would like to know how I can get replacement windows. The whole window does not need to be replaced, only the sliding portions needs replacement. Since it comes out very easily this seems to be something any homeowner could do. Can you please give me guidance as to how I can get them replaced.

    To all those wanting to find a good review you will know if there customer service is any good if they respond. I will follow up here if they respond and are helpful.

    1. David, did you ever get your window situation resolved? It would be best to reach out to the window company that originally installed the product to coordinate warranty submissions. If that is not an option, you can reach the Great Lakes warranty department at 800-546-9026 or [email protected]. They will need an order number from the top inside part of the frame, typically in the format 123456.001. This will help identify exactly which window was installed and it’s subsequent warranty.

      We stand strongly behind our product warranties and would be more than happy to assist. Where are you located?

    2. If you lower your window top sash you should find a yellow manufacture sticker. This has all the info you need to file a service claim. I would contact the service department directly and give them the info. Like you said, they are easy to replace. Hope this helps!

  9. does anyone have an opinion on the harbor lights windows….seems to be the lowest for great lakes but I cant really see much of a difference other than insulated frames

    1. The Harbor Light is a fantastic window. As an entry level product, this window gives testament to the overall quality of the Great Lakes Window lineup. It is a highly efficient, well made product that has features and benefits that out-perform many higher priced mid-grade products in the industry. I would point out the following features: Lifetime Warranty, metal cam action lock, balance covers, clean interior with singular sight lines, extruded aluminum screen with lift handle, Sill-Lok to prevent air infiltration/exfiltration, balance covers, no weep holes, installed by top professionals in the window industry.

  10. I AGREE!!!
    I bought a window from Great Lakes Home Renovations 7 years ago. Recently I haven’t been able to close the window properly and there’s a big gap so I called for service repair. After the “5-7 days it would take to get a call back” I never heard from anyone so I tried contacting them multiple times leaving many messages with both the receptionist and person I was told that was assigned to my case, Derrick. Finally, after many attempts, I reached Derrick in the office. He never apologized for not getting back to me. Mind you, I live in Minnesota and we are currently experiencing sub-below temps and I have a window that won’t close and freezing cold air is pouring into my house.
    Derrick informed me that the window installation is only covered for the first 2 years and it will cost me $75 for them to come out and look at it. He seemed to be put out by my request to have the window fixed and asked if I still wanted them to come out. Really???
    I’m the most upset about 3 things;
    1. The terrible customer service
    2. The poor quality of the window because even though it’s been 7 years I shouldn’t be having trouble shutting it.
    3. My bad, because I thought the window had a lifetime guarantee.
    Buyer beware!

    1. I would bet it’s a pretty simple fix. If the window worked fine for 7 years it’s probably caused by the pivot bar being out of the shoe. It should be simple to resolve and it could be disconnected or moved out of the way to allow the window to close all the way. Did they get it resolved for you?

    2. Great Lakes Home Renovation an independently owned contractor. They do not sell the window manufactured by Great Lakes Window. I believe this is where a lot of the confusion is coming from on this thread.

      1. Hi Mike, thanks for writing in. That would cause confusion. I didn’t realize we were talking about 2 different companies either. For anyone reading this thread, it looks like the service issue Flory has was with a contractor and a different product, not a Great Lakes branded window.

  11. I just got off the phone with Great Lakes warranty department and was told my warranty window glass replacement would costs me $120 for one small double hung top glass. I was told the lifetime warranty is prorated. I can buy the same double pane glass for $44 locally. How can they refer to this a lifetime warranty?

    1. They may be shipping a whole sash vs just the glass, but that isn’t really too relevant to you. Do you have the warranty? Might be worth a read.

  12. Great Lakes Windows in my opinion are the best on the market. This may be a biased comment seeing as how we (my husband and I) are dealers. The warranty is one of the best in the industry and we rarly have manufacture service issues. We have the casement Windows in our own home and have never had an issue.

    I really enjoy reading your posts thewindowdog. Our perspectives on the window replacement industry are very similar. Thanks for a great read!

  13. We have been researching windows for 2 months and have seen 5 different window companies. It seems Great Lakes have revised their prduct line and have new offerings.
    We are torn between soft lite and great lakes. We are seriously considering the Great Lakes “ comfort smart “ double hung windows. Its a sharp looking window and seems well made and the reviews are very good. We had to go to the dealers showroom to see the patio door which was also very nice looking and seems to operate very smoothly.
    We were priced about $575 per window which is all white with double pane glass with foam in the frame and fiberglass reinforcement. Anyone have any other input? Thank you

    1. Great Lakes has updated their product line and we’ll be writing some new reviews soon. What’s your zip code? We may be able to recommend another option.

  14. Great Lakes did update their product line. I have been a great lakes dealer for a little more than 3 years along with another high end window and have been in the industry for 25 years so quality is important to me. Their service is very good as well and easy to deal with.
    I primarily sell the Comfort Smart series and have had a lot of success with that window. My installers love it and my customers are always happy. Its an air tight window and very nice looking. It actually looks very similar to the Sunrise “ vanguard” window which makes sense considering the owner of Sunrise owned Great Lakes at one time. With the “ comfort smart” you can get a stainless steel spacer or a non metal spacer , which is what i usually offer. Although plygem owns great lakes, the great lakes product will be higher end and made better in my opinion; its a different window. Just some food for thought.
    As for the price of $575, its a decent price but bear in mind, many dealers have different overhead which does effect the cost.
    I look forward to windowdog doing another great lakes review.

  15. We have finally finished paying off our Great Lakes Windows, Seabrooke. Installation was in May 2013. We replaced 17 windows plus a bay window. Windows are good. One double hung in the bay does not slide up easily. Some issues are due to installation. Window locks are terrible and easily broken. Getting ready to order two replacement locks. We were warned upon installation about them breaking, yay. If anything, these are decent windows for those of us who can’t afford top of the line. Having said that, we paid $19K, that’s a lot of money regardless. Wish me luck getting replacement parts.

  16. Have you any knowledge of the PowerWeld by Lang windows? I’m looking to replace a triple window (casement, picture, casement) with a triple slider 1/4-1/2-1/4. considering Lang Power Weld 1600 series double glazed/argon ($1600). I’ve also looked at Great Lakes ecoSmart double glazed/argon ($2200) and Preservation triple glazed/krypton ($2550). All have 2-color exterior and single color interior plus casing.
    Any knowledge or advice you have to share is appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

  17. I’ve gotten estimates from Anderson, Great Lakes and tomorrow, Sunrise for 2 sliding windows in a bedroom and a sliding patio door. I am hoping they will keep out the cold and airplane noise better than the wood ones I have now. I am totally confused and want to finally get this decision made. The Sunrise look more like a match to the windows I have now but the Sahara Window guy has been so responsive. Any suggestions as to which is better?

    1. Were you looking at the Renewal by Andersen windows or another model? They make a pretty wide range of options. Both Great Lakes and Sunrise windows are both pretty nice and they both offer a range of options as well. The founder of Sunrise used to be involved in Great Lakes as did a lot of their executives so you’ll see some similarities in the way they operate.

      You can look at the STC rating to get a feel for how well they’ll block out noise. Remember that you’re getting noise through your roof and walls too so no window will make the house sound proof.

      Let us know which one you pick or if you have any other questions.

      1. Currently comparing Great Lakes Harbor Light vs Allside Mezzo. The quote for harbor light is significantly less. I like the aspect of mezzo in their advertisement for allowing more light with slimmer frame. Is this really a noticeable difference? Which is the better overall looking window for appearance and function? I live in Atlanta where front 10 windows get full sun all afternoon.

    2. The Sunrise windows came in a little high – $6500 for 2 sliding windows and a patio door. The Great Lakes looks like maybe 1800 less. (my quote from them included blinds in the door & I think he said that was $1800 more) Seems like a big difference. ? Next Windows who is selling the Sunrise said they would remove and reinstall new trim (painted) Sahara Windows didn’t offer putting on new trim, as a matter of fact they said the trim would not be removed at all . It seems to me that the install seems better and more thorough with the Sunrise people. Am I wrong? I am still in a quandry : Great Lakes /Sunrise!!! I’ve eliminated Anderson – too expensive & didn’t like the “if you buy now” tactics…

      1. Sunrise does make and sell a lot of trim and refinished jambs so it wouldn’t surprise me that the salesperson was talking about them. One method of install isn’t better than the other, it just depends what you want and if the extra trim is worth the cost to you.

  18. I’m buying the Sunrise window from Ecosmart exteriors in St Louis. $800 per window triple Payne Brazilian Walnut interior. Wish me luck

  19. I got 3 quotes from 3 different companies and they are all within $400 total price of each other. One is with Apex Energy Solutions, other is Home Depot with Simonton windows, and last is with a highly recommended local company with Great Lakes Comfort Smart Windows.

    Thoughts on which to go for?

    1. Hi John, thanks for writing in. I’m not a huge fan of any of those options. What is your zip code? I may know someone to recommend.

      1. Hi WindowDog,

        Sorry for the delay – I work in an industry that was impacted heavily by Covid19 and was a bit distracted the past few weeks. My Zip Code is 30342. Thanks!

    2. I don’t know if you’ve made your choice yet, but if you haven’t then consider the following:
      The Great Lakes windows offers so much in terms of customization.
      * Foam insulation in frame, frame and sash or none at all
      * Metal reinforcement or Fiberglass reinforcement
      *Co-extruded colors that are warrantied for the life of the window. Far cheaper and more durable than painted colors. In other words you can have a white interior with a dark bronze exterior for far less than the competition can paint their windows for. Color choices for co-extruded are beige, sandstone, earthtone and bronze. Painted colors are also an option as are wood grain interiors.
      *13 Low-e glass package options not including high altitude options as well. STC rated glass options, laminate, tint, obscure and even designer glass packages for picture windows are available.
      *standard tilt latches or ez-lok combo lock/tilt system. Option for metal tilt latches.
      *Hardware color choices
      *extruded screen frame (as opposed to cheaper roll formed) available in half or full screen or Flex screen, also available in half or full.
      I haven’t touched on grids or screen materials, but those have multiple options as well.

      Food for thought for any one considering new windows. You can contact Great Lakes Windows and they can connect you with a Territorial sales manager in your area, who in turn can direct you to GLW dealers in your area.

        1. Hello Window Dog,
          Can you help me? I have canceled two contracts, i.e. one with Andersen (the cost of a house) and the other with Sears. I canceled with Sears because I realized that I just did not know enough to spend that kind of money for windows that I really did not know enough about and needed to do more homework. That’s when I found your website, but the more I read, the more I realize that I need advice from an installer or someone who actually owns the windows. I am considering, Simulton 9800, Wincore 7700, Great Lakes Comfort Series and finally, Great Lakes Seabrooke which was offered as an option to the Simulton 9800 after I informed the salesman of the many bad reviews I have been reading. Prices quotes range from 28K to 24K for 27 triple pane windows, 8 with security glass, and the most expensive one having grids on 8 windows in the front of my house.
          Any suggestion you can offer will be greatly appreciated. This is an exhausting project! I replaced all my windows in 2003, and have had plastic up against them to help to keep the cold air out for years. They are double hung and the top windows slide down so we are constantly closing the windows in the winter time. At the time, we just wanted new windows, did no homework, and just took what our contractor gave us so I don’t know the name of our current windows. I don’t want to make another mistake. Thank you for your website and the good information within!

          1. I just wanted to point out that Great Lakes ComfortSmart is the exact same windows as Great Lakes Seabrooke. The manufacturer switched names about 4-5 years ago, so I’d be a little wary about whoever is selling the product under the old, outdated name.

  20. Looking for recommendations for window replacement, zip 38133. Replacing 12 aging Pella casement style, likely with double-hung. Have quoted with both ViWinTech and The Window Source (Great Lakes). Suggestions?

  21. Replacing 19 windows and a sliding door. Can’t make a decision between Great lakes EcoSmart ($31,000 double pain) and Window World ($26,000 double pain). Would love your thoughts.

  22. We are getting quotes on new windows for our home, a total of 12 windows. We have gotten quotes from local companies for the Great Lakes Eco Smart, the Milgard Tuscany, and Revere Berkshire Elite. We’d be happy with any of the installation companies we have interviewed, but are wondering which window would be the best quality for the money. I would love some insight into which option you may recommend. Thanks for your opinion!

    1. I’ve dealt with the Berkshire Elite product for several years with great success so of those windows that’s the model I’d suggest just based on my personal experience. Good luck with the project.

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