Pella Windows Reviews

pella windows reviews

Pella windows are some of the most well known windows in the country.  Most folks only know the names of a few window manufacturers and Pella is typically one of them.  Does that mean that Pella windows are any better than any other windows.  No, it really doesn’t, but it doesn’t mean they’re any worse either.

As you read through our Pella windows reviews keep in mind that a large company like Pella makes many options.  They make cheap windows and they make nice windows.  Sometimes we meet folks who had cheap Pella new construction vinyl windows in their home when it was built and they’re sure that all Pella windows are junk.  Then we’ll meet people who had high quality Pella windows for 30 years and they’ll think Pella is the greatest company out there.  In reality, both of them are wrong.

Pella doesn’t produce the best or the worst replacement windows available today, but they do have some interesting options.  As you might expect they produce vinyl, wood and fiberglass options.

The Pella windows that we’ll be reviewing are:

Pella wood windows reviews:

  • Architect Series
  • Designer Series
  • Pella Pro Line

Pella fiberglass windows reviews:

  • Pella Impervia

Pella vinyl windows reviews:

  • Pella 350 Series
  • Pella 250 Series
  • Encompass by Pella

ThermaStar by Pella from Lowes

If you take one thing away from these Pella window reviews we hope it’s the fact that no company out there is either always great or always horrible.  Just like every other company Pella makes options and the local company selling and installing the windows will have a very large impact on your overall experience.

it is the local installation company, not Pella, who sets the sale price, performs the installation, and provides follow up service.  We hear about local installation companies all over the country who try very hard to trade on the Pella windows name.  They try to charge a premium for the lower end windows because consumers know the name.  Don’t be one of the people who fall for those tricks.

You’re off to a good start by going your research here.  You can find more detailed window reviews on just about every manufacturer in the country here.


If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to join Angie’s List.  For just a couple bucks you can get a 1-month membership and it’ll be worth much more than a caramel macchiato in the long run.  You can find the best pricing for Angie’s List on the internet right here

If you’re already a member of Angie’s List or if you’re just not going to join (despite my ringing endorsement), you can find our suggestions for the best companies in your area 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.  

139 thoughts on “Pella Windows Reviews”

    1. We haven’t yet, but Pella is known more for their wood windows. Their vinyl windows leave quite a bit to be desired.

      1. Hi,

        Thank you for your comment. We were looking at the Pella 250 series windows. Do you have any specific thoughts about those windows? Sounds like you’re not keen on Pella vinyl in general.

        From what I’ve seen, the Marvin clad windows are much more highly rated.

        1. You’re right that we’re not huge fans of Pella vinyl windows. We’re working on a review right now for the Thermastar vinyl windows that Pella sells through Lowes. They certainly leave something to be desired. Marvin wood clad products are well regarded, but it’s unusual that someone would be comparing them to a vinyl window. Have you met with any local companies to show you what they would recommend? Perhaps they’ll be able to help you focus your search.

        2. Lets just say I know Pella products very well….Now…compare to other windows Pella has many windows series to choose from
          ENCOMPASS : This isnt even a real pellaa product …just a name on the lock. Very low grade window

          250 SERIES…Imho best window they have due to operation and

          350 series; way to hard to operate for a older person or even anybody.just stiff..due to the extreme weather stripping. Which is good if you arent planning to open very much


          Think of a fiberglass ladder left out in the still on the fence about em

          Wood products are nice to look at…that it.operation is very hard and exterior cladding isnt water tight so it will eventually rot

      2. Why don’ you talk about the warranty. I purchased wood windows with the blinds inside , not on the low end when it comes to pricing. I purchased them less than a year ago and have been fighting with them since. They say there is nothing wrong with them. They are mechanically correct. But I can’t open them. I think the definition of a window should be a framed glass that opens and closes. But they work so hard I have to turn my back to them and pull up on the handles they added in order to open them. They will not fix, repair or replace them. I am unable to lock them or use the flip out cleaning feature. Stay away from pella. They are unworthy and the service is only talk!

        1. I try to talk about replacement window warranties as often as I can. I do agree that the warranty is an important indicator of how a company plans on dealign with you in the future. I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. Be sure to let us know how things go.

        2. I’ve sold and installed Pella Designer Series windows for 15 years. I have never heard of Pella service walking away from a problem. Your internal blinds should tilt and raise effortlessly like everyone else’s does (including the ones in my house.)

          If you are really having this problem it could be with the local Pella franchise. Elevate the issue and contact Pella Corp in Pella, Iowa with your order number and service event number and tell them you are not happy. I guarantee they will respond immediately.

          1. Joe,
            I would love to talk to you about Pella “walking away from the problem”on the wood windows. Specifically about the 450 series that I JUST installed in my new house. I’m pretty sure also 300+ people on consumer affairs would too! I’ve ordered 25K-36 windows, and 19 have issues. Oh yeah, they will give me 100 per window back but I have to sign a warranty release on those windows. I’m NOT going to do it. I’m too afraid that they will have rot issues and then they won’t replace them-as every other nightmare on the web states.

          2. Wow, sorry to hear about that. Please post more info as you have it. I’m sure we have other readers who would be interested.

      3. This post says you reviewed Pella but I am not finding it. I am in the middle of selecting windows for my new build and feel quite alone in understanding the best choice for my budget. Being a single woman isn’t assisting in the process. Most of the resources you provide are related to window replacements. In the meantime, the rep at Carter Lumber, though well meaning, really functions as a sales rep rather than an expert in material selection. He worked a deal for the proline, but when I go online, the posts of the rotting window and customer service truly appalls me. My builder, also kind, isn’t offering much in the way of expertise other than saying he’s not putting “builder’s grade” into my house. When I ask for a price/quality comparison with Simonton, I was told “they’re more expensive”. I have limited time as a teacher and mother of teenagers and could use some support. Suggestions on next steps?

        1. This may come a bit late, but a lot of the issues with Pella wood product were an issue with several window companies in the 90s and early 2000s, Andersen being another. From what I recall, it was an issue with an adhesive used in the production of the window that caused it to fail and resulted in a class action suit against Pella and a second class action suit against Anderson a few years back. Both companies have since resolved the issues, to the best of my knowledge.

    2. We decided to go with Pella because they quoted a lower price than competitors and said they could get the job done in 4-5 weeks, which was faster than competitors. 10 weeks later, the job is finally done. After the contract was signed, I spent the next 6 weeks trying to schedule an appointment for the job to be done. I called 5 times, and each time was shuffled around to different people and eventually told I would get a call back from someone who could help me. I received exactly 0 call backs, and no one ever even bothered to acknowledge that they had ignored my calls for several weeks.

  1. 6 years ago I installed Pella Thermastar windows myself in a porch addition and never had an issue with them. Sure, they were inexpensive, but they have also survived 2 hurricanes on the east coast. They don’t leak, not warped and seal tight.

  2. I have a choice between Alside Mezzo Casement (Vinyl) and Pella Proline 450 casements (alum clad wood? for 1000$ more). The Pella air infl numbers seem poor 0.3 relative to the Mezzo and other vinyl windows <0.1. Have also heard about past problems with the Pella Proline wood rotting, class action, etc but Pella rep says they have addressed the issue and fixed it.

    I know you have said air infl numbers don't really matter too much after you get under a certain point but a factor of 10 better seems relevant. Contractor thinks I'm crazy not to just blindly go with the Pella (he has them in his house) What do you think?

  3. I live in New Jersey and am deciding b/w two windows. the weather isn’t has sporadic as Florida or Cananda but am looking for the best one for my buck. I was reading on consumer report about reliabilt 3000 from Lowes and Pella 250 or 350 series. What is your take on these two windows? I was wondering if you like the Okna 500 series and if that is better or worse than the two from Lowes? I can’t spend a whole lot but am not going to get the cheapest ones either. I don’t mind paying a little more if it is worth it. Please let me know what your opinion is b/c I am trying to make a decision in the next few days.
    Thank you for your time and efforts!

        1. The windows I bought from Lowes to test for the site were not the best quality products. Pay attention to which model you’re looking at if you’re looking for a quality result.

        2. If you want quality pella wondows, buy direct from pella.lowes sells pella windows built to lowes’ somewhat exacting specs.pella sells pella windows built to pella standards, which the bar is higher at pella. Also, buying from pella gets you the pella installation guarantee. Buy from lowes and either you install it & get no install guarantee, or if using a lowes installer what you will get is a contractor’s guaranty from 20 days to a year whatever he feels like giving you but bear in mind that all it means is, it isn’t really enforceable because even IF you can get him to admit fault and IF you can prove failure is due to his faulty installation, it’s subject to his still being on business to honor his guarantee, and you will have an easier time sneaking dawn past a rooster than getting him back to correct his mistake. Once you pay the install fee upfront to lowes, they pay him immediately and move on so repeat visits to make good on a faulty install isn’t what lowes is about and the installer just doesn’t care since he’s got his dough. However, if you deal directly with pella for purchase and install (they offer a form of financing), they stand behind their product and you get the 20 yr warranty on onstall. My own experience: thought I would save some $, bought Pellas fr lowes on sale, used lowes installer & lowes installer NAILED EXTERIOR TRIM ACROSS the louver window preventing it from opening & ruined frame, told me I wasn’t cranking it enough, wouldnt fix it & said window was factory defect that I should call pella.I photo’d it, sent to pella who immediately took lowes to task & forced lowes installer to replace the damaged window.Just sayin’…

          1. Pella doesn’t sell windows direct to anyone. All the Pella showrooms are independent franchises and offer nearly the exact same product as Lowe’s does. I say nearly because there are a small handful of exclusive items to the franchises, like the turn and tilt windows, but they largely use the franchises to test product before taking it large scale, as was the case with the Pella Designer Series. As far as labor warranties through Lowe’s, I’ve got 11 years of experience there. The warranty is through the store, not through the contractor direct, which is one of the benefits of buying from them. The labor warranty is still valid even if that contractor is no longer working with Lowe’s. It’s shorter than some other places offer, I’ve seen warranties on labor that are two years or more, but installation issues typically come up very quickly in the life of the product and I haven’t seen anyone offer 20 years on labor. Pella does offer a 20/10 year warranty on the product and, should anything fail in the first two years, they’ll service it at no charge. No window is good if it’s not properly installed. As for the contractor getting paid up front, that’s incorrect, though I’m not sure how much more I can say on that.

          2. Absolutely NONE of that is true. And I mean NONE of it. The installer doesn’t provide the warranty for labor, Lowe’s does, and if you know anything about them, they’ll bend over BACKWARD to satisfy an irate customer. No installer is EVER paid prior to completing the work. Pella produces EXACTLY the same windows out of EXACTLY the same plants nationwide; they don’t have any varying grades of vinyl, weld techniques, glazing procedures, or frame design from one to another. The glass comes from Cardinal, just like everyone else. It wouldn’t even be REMOTELY cost-effective to TRY to purposely build an inferior window, and its still Pella’s name on the product with Pella’s warranty and service teams. That’s ludicrous. There are obviously differences in the designs, functionality and energy efficiency of one window to another, but Ford makes cheap cars and expensive ones, too. Depends on what you want.

        3. I had Lowe’s install my windows and had a great experience. The quote was mid-range among the 5 local company estimates. The install was seamless and fast, and i couldn’t be happier with the end result. I had an issue after install and I only had to make one phone call to Lowe’s with my serial number and they did everything else for me.

  4. does anyone know a way to buy parts for Pella windows without having to buy from a Pella dealer? I have found their price for parts and installation outrageous. ;(

    1. Try contacting Pella at 877-473-5527. You can likely also order at Lowes as they distribute Pella products, although I’m not 100% certain that they’ll sell parts. If you need a pro to install the parts you’ll need to hire someone local. Service work is often more expressive than people expect. That’s one reason we make a big deal about warranties that include labor. Good luck and let us know how things work out!

      1. Hear..hear! It’s a get what you pay for situation…when you pay a little more by dealing with the source instead of a middleman, you are getting a little more…the cost of that window from lowes who makes $ from repeat sales of whole world dowsing not selling replacement parts just got a little higher..then add in the nuisance factor of finding the part and someone to do the repair, the inconvenience and trial-and error ’til you get it right and suddenly the cost of the higher quality window bought frm pella directly doesn’t sound outrageous.

  5. What do you think about Pella 250 custom windows vs. Alside Mezzo? I’m looking at Double Hung and Sliders flanking a picture window. I live in Philadelphia, PA. The replacement windows in the home were poorly installed previously. They are bowing in the center and the thermal seal has been broken with condensation between the panes. I want to ensure that the windows I have installed to last for years. I am confident in my contractor but I just can’t decide between manufacturers! Open to any other suggestions as well! You are so helpful and informative on this site!

      1. Hi Becky! I did not, but I ended up choosing Pella. Our friend was the installer who measured for what we wanted and also had his Pella rep meet him and myself at the house to custom measure the windows. We completely redid the framing and it turned out gorgeous. Pricing ended up being a little cheaper with Pella. I highly recommend using a wholesaler rep when you order if at all possible. Ultimately, I found the windows to be very similar after doing my research so price was the final deciding factor along with my installer’s honest recommendations.

        1. I was glad to read your comment, since I got 3 estimates:
          1. Alside Mezzo
          2.Soft-Lite windows
          3. Pella Proline
          I am analyzing and researching. I read many bed reviews about Pella Proline

          What is your opinion? I would greatly appreciate if you can respond.

    1. Sounds like the window opening/framing is exerting pressure on your window frame. Due to inadequate/improper or no window flashing of window opening, moisture/rain/leaks cause swelling of wood framework that then exerts pressure on window frame which in turn puts uneven pressure on seals holding the sandwiched window lights together;eventually seal ruptures letting gas leak out. This is very likely to affect any window that is installed unless corrected.since you will have the window out anyway🗻why not take opportunity to check out the condition of the flashing..btw it should wrap inward from outside of the window hole..if it’s not there do it before the next window goes in!

  6. My home was built in 2000 and Pella designer series windows were installed. They have leaked for years and all Pella wants to do is caulk them. They have rotted out the seal on inside of house. Have contractor at house today one widow has leaked and rotted out sub floor. Pella admitted in a class action law suit that there were problems with design of window but sold them anyways. Don’t buy Pella windows they don’t stand behind there product. This summer will install all new windows but not from Pella.

  7. Where is the discussion/review of the Pella Architect Series? If no such item exists, thoughts on Pella Architect Series (wood interior/aluminum clad exterior) VERSUS Renewal by Anderson (Fibrex)?

    1. There isn’t a review of the Pella Architect Series yet, but it’ll be around soon. We’re not huge fans of the Fibrex material from Renewal by Andersen. They charge quite a bit for windows with a 10 year warranty.

      1. Thank you; that was prompt! Other than the class action, and I don’t want to preempt your forthcoming review, any general, or specific, comments (good and/or bad) about the Pella Architect windows?

      2. I put Pella Architect Series windows in my home when it was built in 2003. I have been replacing sashes ever since. The upper sash will completely rot with the hardware falling out into the window frame. Under warranty, Pella would only send out a new sash, I had to stain, varnish and install it myself otherwise they wanted to charge for that. Now that the windows are out of warranty, I have a “quote” from Pella for $1,060 to replace 4 more that have rotted out. One of them being a large fixed window. If I could post a picture of what the rotted sashes look like, I’ll guarantee you would never consider Pella Architect Series windows.

        1. Hi Brad, I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. I you want to email me a picture I’d be happy to post them. You can send to me at Dan at Thewindowdog dot com.

    2. Fibrex contains wood fibers…just like composite decking…read up on pros & cons of composite decking.And a 10-yrs Warranty isn’t much of one.
      .Warranty expires just when developing problems become obvious.

  8. “…the local company selling and installing the windows will have a very large impact on your overall experience.”

    So very true. I contacted a big local Pella seller/installer (Beltsville, Md). They missed the scheduled appointment not once but twice, and never called to make an excuse or apologize. I called them to say what happened? A second appointment was made.

    Mind you one time my husband took off work; another time we wasted several hours on a precious Saturday waiting for Pella guy to arrive.

    After second missed appointment I called the Pella company complain, the sales guy refused to return my calls. I asked for a manager or supervisor, they never called us back either. The rudest behavior and strangest behavior I’ve had from a contractor. Needless to say I am down on Pella because of that.

    Recently, I did look at Pella vinyl windows (via Lowe’s) and they are not a decent window.

    1. The Windows sold at Lowe’s are not Pella’s best vinyl. They are the entry level vinyl window. The Pella 350 series is the best vinyl window but just like anything you have to have a great installer to put them in correctly otherwise it doesn’t matter what window you buy.

      1. You’re absolutely right. I was recently in a Pella store and their other window models look much nicer than the box store windows.

        1. You really need to stop spreading lies. The windows you get from Lowes or Pella store are exactly the same product. The only diffence is packaging label after production of the window. Thermastar and encompass are the same product. Do you really think a manufacturer will spend millions of dollars separate production runs and staff?

          The diffence is that Pella stores are franchises, and may get rights on new products a year before Lowe’s, to keep franchise owners happy. Example: self closing screens and impervia

          1. Excuse me, but lows, like most big box home improvement stores, in an effort to offer the whole market basket of complimentary home improvement materials, contracts with name brand manufacturers to handle their lower-end products and market these lower cost products to entice consumers that desire to handle their own home improvements.

          2. @ Norman

            You are mistaken. Lowes handles the lower end, along with higher end products. Go to the Pella website, and tell me a product there that you can’t order from Lowes.

          3. @Window Guy

            Done. The entire line of Pella Specialty Windows can not be purchased at Lowe’s. You sorta covered that, but I win on a technicality, right? And Norman is sorta right on this one. Lowe’s did contract with Pella for a very, very brief run on a 15 series Thermastar unit that was a step down from the 20 series reviewed here, to get a lower price point unit. This was a total disaster for the most part and the line was discontinued.

  9. Hi WindowDog,

    I’m comparing and contrasting the Marvin Infinity fiberglass window, which you’ve reviewed, with Pella’s Impervia fiberglass window. Have you reviewed the latter? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    1. We haven’t gotten to the Pella Impervia yet, but it’s on the list! Anecdotally I hear more positive feedback about the Marvins and we’ve installed them with great success in the past. I don’t have any first hand knowledge of the Pella Impervia window so we’re going to buy a couple of them to look over.

      1. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I didn’t think you were all that impressed with the Marvin Infinity window beyond its looks. You were critical of its AL rating and warranty and said its only real benefit for its price was its aesthetics. But you’re saying you’ve had great success with them? I’ve heard that the Impervia was well reviewed by Consumer Reports, but I haven’t seen many other reviews. Thanks again.

        1. The only real benefit is the aesthetics. People think I’m being derogatory when I say that, but it’s not a bad thing. For example, when I bought my car I got the fancy model with the extra trim and the fancy wheels. The only benefit of that is the look, and that’s what I wanted so I paid extra for it.

          It’s important to understand that what you’re getting for your extra money when you buy fiberglass windows is the look. Its not a better product, but it does look nice and that’s a perfectly fine reason to pay extra for something.

          If you want windows that seal tight and have max efficiency, then you’re probably better off with a nice vinyl window. Really just depends what’s important to you and there’s no right or wrong answer.

      2. Any updates on the PELLA 350 series vinyl or Impervia lines?
        I need to repair my sliders (Pro-Line 450) or replace with vinyl or fiberglass. The sliders are out of warranty, PELLA won’t cover the panels, which have the same problem as the rest of the Pro-Line series (leaks from the metal clad pulling away from the wood, breaks the seal).
        PELLA claims the fiberglass and vinyl 350 products are solid and carry a good warranty.

        1. If you’re replacing old failed Pella windows you may want to look at another manufacturer for the new windows. They probably would have said the Proline 450 windows were great too and look where you are. I’d suggest finding a great window company who can make a suggestion or two.

  10. Hi WindowDog,
    I am considering replacement windows for my house and narrowed down to Pella Proline series.
    Looking at the performance numbers, these windows with Advanced LowE IG glass provide a U-factor of 0.29. My question is whether there is a SIGNIFICANT improvement to stepping up to U-factor of 0.25 with the option of AdvancedComfort LowE IG glass? I understand that lower the U-factor, the better. Just not sure whether the investment makes sense as beyond a certain level, you may hit a point of diminishing returns. I am based in Northwest NJ.

    1. People ask us questions along those lines all the time and I struggle to find a good way to illustrate the difference in a rating like that. If it were my house I don’t think I would get too concerned about it, but some people get really into the numbers. If the house is completely well sealed and everything is insulated leaving the windows as the weakest link it might make more sense to be concerned about a difference like that.

      If your house is a regular older house I don’t think the difference in 0.29 and 0.25 will be too significant. Certainly 0.25 is better, but only you can decide if that difference is worth it to you.

      If anyone else has good suggestions on how to explain a difference like that I’m sure everyone would be glad to hear them!

      1. This is fairly old, but hopefully helpful. More people seem to be familiar with R Values in insulation than U values in windows, but they’re inverses. A U value of 0.25 equates to an R 4 rating, 0.29 equates to 3.44. Very, very similar, but one is better than the other.

        1. That’s technically true, but you’ll see a lot of rounding in R Values. Companies typically quote windows as R 4, 7 or 10 and that does NOT mean the U-Factor is .25, .14 or .1. it’s just a lazy way of doing it. If you want the right info look at the U-Fators.

          1. While you’re not wrong weighting u value more highly, if “lower is better” doesn’t satisfy people, which and the NFRC both point to, that’s been the easiest way I’ve been able to compare the two. I’m also curious who advertises as an R10 window, I’ve yet to come across a company that does that and there’s no way in hell I can see someone hitting that without replacing the glass in both sashes with rigid foam.

          2. You’re right. We use Energy Star as a guideline to help people understand what makes a window pretty good. Some people want more than that, but it’s a good starting point.

            Companies do advertise R-10. Usually it’s in their in-home pitch, not in their published marketing. They know what claims would likely get them in trouble so they only make them when they are in someone’s house and nobody can prove what was said.

  11. Thanks for your input! I think I’ll stick to the 0.29 U-factor as my house is well insulated. Makes more sense to invest that extra money in other home improvements.

    1. You know I was just recently in a Pella showroom looking at a 350 series and I think it’s a nice looking product. Sunrise also tends to make a good looking window. The distribution for both products may be limited depending on your area. I would start assuming both are nice windows and decide which installation company you’d prefer to work with.

  12. Im a window salesman with a background in construction and installation. I will give my two cents as Ive dealt with Pella, Jeld Wen, Atrium, Plygem, and United. I work in Northwest Ohio area, so I have some competition with Anderson, Vinylmax, and Therma Guard Windows. There are a few others mixed in also not coming to mind.

    I will sum this up simply, all companies make bad windows, and have bad customer service at some point. The reports to pay attention to are the most recent going back 5 years. A lot changes with a company in 5 years. Pella’s problems tend to come from 7 years and farther back. As stated a great window is only as good as its install work. Bad installation will make a Great window fail.

    As for Pella windows, its a matter of comparing what you want, what looks and feels better when you get your hands on it. Personally, I will sell Pella windows over most vendors hands down. I have a report with the Pella reps, and know how take care of customers when an issue arises. Bad service comes from how you talk with Pella, or how the Salesman helping you with the issues and whatever vendor.

    As for quality..I would trust United , Pella, and Atrium’s 3900 series over other companies any day.

  13. Pella is not worth the amount of money they cost. I have had 3 replacement windows in 5 years. Though the materials were covered, at $240 per hour labor and having to wait 2 months for service Pella is putting themselves out of business.

  14. 1991 Family Room Addition…Pella Designer Series…casement & fixed windows…wood sill and wood sash bottom rail totally rotted out…wood components do not appear to have been treated for rot…defective design of sash glazing…as an Architect I thought Pella was a superior product which should last a life time…I was very wrong…I recently started to repair what appeared to be surface rot…what I discovered is an horrendous problem…I will be contacting the local Gunton/Pella architectural sales representative tomorrow morning…my 1927 home has wood double hung which are in great shape and I expect they will last at least another 88 years…

  15. I’m building a new house. I’ve decided to go with vinyl windows. There are so many big and smaller companies out that it’s difficult to choose. I have been reading reviews from customers and go back and forth between several companies.

    I want a “good” vinyl window from a company that stands behind their product.

    I really need help…need to make final decision very soon. Thank you.

  16. We have narrowed down the replacement of 9 windows (vinyl) in a 1981 house to Pella or Window World. My biggest concerns are: Warranty response history and ALTITUDE (leakage, argon changing if manufactured at sea level) — I live in Colorado Springs at about 6300 feet. Pella orders glass with a capillary tube and says they have “cold rolled processed virgin vinyl” both attributes which not only made sense, but the first (for pressure adjustment) an independent window man in town confirmed is particularly important with bigger windows (ours are not huge, but a couple are mid sized). Window World’s warranty SOUNDS better, but Pella was more honest about the limitations of the warranty, and all warranties, for that matter. We are looking at the Pella Encompass series and Window World 4000 Series with Solarzone Plus Elite glass. Ideas?

    1. Good questions! I believe Window World does offer windows with capillary tubes for high altitude, at least they used to several years ago. I don’t think it would be a huge issue and any company based i Colorado Springs would certainly have more experience with those issues than I do.

      In my experience Window World does offer a pretty strong warranty. What did Pella say about the limitations? I’m not a huge fan of the Pella windows sold in the box stores, but their other lines look pretty nice. I haven’t dealt with them as much as some other brands so I can’t comment specifically.

      I’d be curious to hear what they had to say about the warranties.

  17. Hi Window Dog,
    I’m looking at the Pella 250 vinyl windows and was wondering if you had a look at them when you were in the Pella store looking at the 350 series and what you thought? A lot of people are trashing the pocket sill aspect of the Pellas but when I compare them to say a Soft-lite Essentials, where there is only a small piece of “Comfort Foam” on their sloped sill to prevent water from getting in, I wonder which will hold up in the long term? Thanks!

    1. Hi Chip, I would agree with the sentiment that a pocket sill is an older design. The main drawback is the they’ll typically drain water through the frame and out weep holes. This design tends to come with higher air infiltration ratings and the potential for problems down the road when the weep holes get filled with dirt and dust and leaves and junk. It’s an older design that most manufacturers are getting away from.

      Hope that helps!

  18. Hi WD –
    Thank you for such an informative site.
    We are replacing 30 wood windows which are 28 years old. We are not considering Vinyl mostly due to asthetics and color options.
    We are considering Pella 450 (aluminum-encased wood), Anderson Renewal (Fibrex (wood dust / Vinyl) composite), and Marvin Integrity (fiberglass). All double hung with a few picture windows. Thoughts?
    I like both the Pella 450 and the Marvin. Pella had wood rot issues in the past but told me they have addressed it. Anderson is in 3rd place because their sales person was too pushy although they seem to have a nice product ($$$)
    My reason for not researching wood is my perception of longer life / less maintenance (i.e. painting) afforded by these products.
    What other options might you suggest?
    Also, my plan is to have our wood trim capped with rolled aluminum, again for the reduced maintenance. Would be interested in your thoughts on this as well.
    Thanks so much.

  19. My husband and I are building a house and chose Pella 250 Series double hung 6-lite prairie style. The first set of windows for the entire house needed replacing due to being built out-of-square or crooked grilles/mullions. Some of the windows came with the mullions upside down. In addition, the spacing used for the mullions was off by as much as 1/4 inch on left vs. right side of window glass. The Pella rep came to our house and indicated that Pella would replace the bad sashes/window units. After almost 2 months of waiting, which has caused a delay in our home construction, the replacements came. What we ended up receiving was much of the same. Now we are waiting again to get the rep out to the house. This is our first experience with Pella windows and it will be our last. I would never recommend Pella windows to anyone.

  20. Pella is truly the worse service company I have ever contracted with. NO CUSTOMER SERVICE! I written the chairmant and got a boiler plate thanks for your concern, call the local office letter. I called the Pella customer service desk, they said “Oh Sorry” but never got anything fixed. I called the local Pella store manger and got no response. Out of five new window sets, three were damaged and as work on the fourth appointment to get the repairs done, it is imposible to talk to anyone. Will never do bussiness with them again

  21. I’m in Tampa, FL area. Hurricane alley. or at least that’s what the state says and I must have impact windows or replace 25% per year, or have impact coverings. The coverings make the cost almost as much as impact windows and 25% per year makes it hard to know they’ll all be the same windows. personally, i don’t think the impact windows will be needed but they will reduce outside noise.

    i have currently jalousie windows. 11 of them. have estimates from PGT, Simonton and Pella. (some local Reese builder magic glass company, but they’re ruled out based on their slimy sales man). Price was roughly: 10k, PGT. 15k Simeonton, 15k Pella. Pella seemed to offer the best window. they claimed the glass was impact on the outside (miami-dade) and offered 40% + energy savings due to the thermo rating. I think the simonton and PGT had the impact portion on the inside, and wasn’t as energy efficient (SHGC).

    There’s some much out there on all these companies, that i’m pretty scared to invest 15+k on my house.

    1. What did you end up deciding on? I also live in Tampa, FL and am looking for guidance. I live in an area that requires impact glass same as your area.

  22. I am in southwest Florida and have been reading all of the blog posts. I have not anything specific on Pella 350 series windows. These are available at our Lowe’s locally. Your thoughts and recommendations. Also, available in the area are PGT, CGI, and EAS. We do have NON standard window openings, and one window is very tall. How will that effect the possibility of double hung window?

  23. I had a problem with a 20 year old Pella window and called Jessica at Pella Windows #630-588-3870 – problem was fixed within 5 weeks. and I was very satisfied – she did a good job.

      1. Hi the window dog. I have a 1922 colonial in CT that needs to get the windows replaced. I’m close to pulling the trigger on Pella 350 series, but am concerned that the vinyl look will not work in my older house. nforutnaley, I haven’t found a wood replacement window that is in my budget. the 350’s seems to have a decent overall look, but I’m wondering if you have a recommendation for a replacement window in the same price area that will have more of a wood look to go with my old house. thanks.

  24. I live in Illinois. I have received an estimate for Pella 250 from Lowes from a contractor, an estimate for Reabilt 3900 from Lowes where both estimates were around $6000 for the windows plus $6000 for labor to install 15, windows. I also got a bid for around $7000 total for windows and installation from a window company in town for Thermoloc triple pane windows. He has been installing window for over 30 years and has a good reputation in town. He even installed them in his home. I am very confused on the price difference. Have you ever heard of Therm o loc? Are they a good windows?

    1. I hadn’t heard of Therm o Loc, but their website doesn’t make the windows look too special. $6000 for labor to install 15 windows feels pretty heavy unless there is a whole lot involved. You may be comparing a full replacement to a pocket replacement.

  25. Hi I am trying to replace my 13 old windows in a town house , upstate New York. I am confused between Pella 250 and Simonton 5500, I have got Quotes for both and Pella 250 (from Lowe’s) ~ $3300 and Simonton 5500 (ABC Supply) ~$3900. Both ratings are very very close and meets energy star for north region. Which would you say U say is better window. My contractor is asking to go with Simonton and other quotes (just to make sure I am getting correct labor price) I got said to use Pella.

    1. I’m not a huge Simonton fan, but I’d probably pick the Simonton option over the Pella 250. If you’re in love with the Pella name look at the 350 window.

      1. Here is the straight up on Pella:

        1. They manufacture the same windows for Lowe’s as they do for their local franchise.
        2. Local franchise have Pella employee’s as local service techs to handle concerns. If you buy through Lowe’s, you need to go to Lowe’s 1st to handle any concerns.
        3. Our local reps are thoroughly trained, professional employees who do windows and doors everyday. They can help with house plans or a few replacement windows.
        4. ALL of the Pella vinyl windows are built the same way but each level offers more options (just like buying a car). I could name a large list of attributes on the 3 vinyl lines that the competition may not have.
        5. Buying from a box store doesn’t provide you with the expertise of a local rep who will work with you on the jobsite or at your home.
        6. Pella is the ONLY, of the large window companies, still private and family owned. It is now 96 years old and you can still purchase replacements for windows 30/40 years old. They certainly are not perfect and everyone can find something wrong with any manufacturer, no matter the industry.
        7. I’m reading your comments and replies to some of these questions and you aren’t even explaining the product or product lines very well.
        8. My house was built with Simonton and I have replaced 2 sashes and almost half of the weather stripping because they fell off and I could feel cold air coming through the window. It took me several months because Simonton doesn’t have local reps or service techs so you have to go through a lumber yard.

        1. Hi Art, thanks for chiming in. I have seen the nicer Pella windows and they do look much nicer than the cheap ones at Lowes. If you’d like to provide any more info we’d be happy to have it.

          1. Windowdog

            If you read arts comment, the windows at Lowe’s are the same as the ones you get from the Pella store. How can they be different? If you want 350 series or impervia, you can order it.

            Art’s point is the service you get at Pella store, might be better than Lowe’s, which may be true depending on which store/franchise you deal with.

            Lowes did pressure Pella to sell a 10 series at one point of time, which wasn’t available at the Pella store. That window was pure garbage. So maybe thats what you are comparing it to? That is a discontinued line, made for chuck in a truck.

          2. For clarification, the line Lowe’s pushed wasn’t the 10 series, that’s Pella’s single hung Thermastar/Encompass new construction unit. It was the 15 series Thermastar, which, like you said, was abysmal. The only benefit to that window was the initial cost.

        2. I just purchased 5 pella 250 Windows from lowe’s . They were inexpensive and I couldn’t wait any longer to save enough for the expensive wood Windows. This is perhaps experimental , but I have lived with wood Marvin Windows and there is always moisture on the inside wood and they require upkeep. The Windows being replaced are 35 years ols single pane aluminum casing. I don’t really see what the big deal is. I’ll let y’all know how we do!

  26. Building a new home can go with Pella Proline Series

    Anderson or Marvin

    Which would you feel is the best value casement
    windows total 50K

    thank you

    1. Simon,

      Each product is a little different. What are you looking for in a window?

      1. Pella is and all wood product with aluminum clad on the exterior for protection and maintenance free exterior.
      2. Anderson 400 series? This has a vinyl exterior and I do not believe this is a full wood window all the way through (but I may be mistaken).
      3. Marvin Integrity? This is a full fiberglass window with a wood veneer on the inside for aesthetics.

      Marvin tends to be higher in price with Pella in the middle and Anderson a little less . You can buy Pella direct while you typically need to purchase the other 2 at lumber yards.

  27. Thanks to all these comments, I am backing up on pella windows, I was about to purchase 6 energy star windows but now I won’t purchase them.

  28. am stuck and can’t make a decision. I have a nice home in Northwest suburb of Chicago. It is 30 years old and it’s time to replace my windows. I have 3 estimates.

    1. Alside Mezzo windows
    2. Soft-Lite Pro
    3. Pella Proline.

    I don’t know if it will make a difference when I will try to sell my house in about 5-7 years from now. Also does it make a difference in pocket installation versus ruff opening installation. Which window would you choose or recommend? Please give me your pros and cons. I value and appreciate your opinion.

    Thank you in advance,


    1. Roxanne, the best thing that you can do is make a list of your goals and objectives for the project and then find the product that best matches those. The reason that I say that is because vinyl windows (Mezzo and Softlite), and the wood clad (Pella) have very different characteristics from performance and warranty, to appearance, cost, and anticipated life span. I would try to narrow down the material that suits your goals first, then choose the best product from that material.

  29. Thank you for your reply. Can you please give me more details on why you chose Alside Mezzo out of that bunch? I read some bed reviews on them. It looks like Soft Lite Pro has much better reviews. I would appreciate your detailed feedback.

    I waiting for your fast reply, need to make my decision this weekend.

    Thank you so much in advance

  30. Good day people,

    I am a person that has been around sales for the majority of my adulthood. I have seen and realized that the level of customer service starts at the local management. Meaning, that if the local manager or even the reps are poorly trained or coached then they will always provide poor customer service. It’s like the big battle among cable and satellite companies. It doesn’t matter which one you go with, the service is always the issue. Just about all manufacturers have made a product that failed or continues to fail. I.E. Toyota and their major recall with their break system. Did that stop people from buying Toyota vehicles? NO. Because, despite the set back, Toyota is still a quality built product.
    Which brings me to another point, if you read the Pella Warranty it states that the installation warranty is only valid if purchased at a Pella Branch and installed by Pella certified installers.
    “The Pella Care Guarantee is available exclusively for replacement customers who purchase and install Pella products through their local Pella Window and Door Showroom. The Pella Care Guarantee is not available through other retail stores, Pella Certified Contractors, Pella Select Contractors or independent contractors.1”
    My point is to make sure, as a consumer, you are fully aware of the “terms and conditions” of the warranty so when the time comes there won’t be any upsets. Again, it goes back to how the individual branch handles the claim or even your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. Keep in mind, Lowe’s has there responsibility for their own warranty on Pella windows and installation, not Pella Corp.

  31. Hi,
    I’m in New York and Trying to decide between United 8000 series or Pella encompass window. Can you provide feedback please?


    1. Diana, I’ve had experience with both companies products for several years and the United 8000 is several steps above the Encompass/Thermastar products offered by Pella. Weaving all their vinyl lines in a good/better/best set up, Encompass/Thermastar is at the very bottom in my opinion, next up being the United 4800. The 4800 is a very, very solid unit for the price point, built very tight, but has some rough looking welds that get cleaned up as you progress. Pella 250 vinyl is next in line, with cleaned up seams, but the balances are an “inverted constant force” system. Not bad, but the block and tackle balances tend to be the preferred system. United’s 8000 slots at 2nd from the top, again with cleaner welds than before, more options available with some of the nicer looking wood laminates I’ve seen, and block and tackle balances. Top dog from this group is the Pella 350, which is one of the nicest vinyl units I’ve ever looked at. One of the most rigid frames you’ll find in a vinyl product, due to the extra chambers and extra vinyl in the extrusions, and nearly invisible welds on the interior, though all that does come at a price.

  32. I have a 3 season room which needs new windows on two of the three sides. There are a total of 18 casement windows on this room and 10 of them need to be replaced. What do you recommend that would be the least expensive option but still look decent? We were given quotes by Lowe’s for the Pella Pro Line and also the same windows by a local window installer. We were also given a quote for Okna Vinyl windows. The interior of our 3 season room is painted white, and the exterior is beige, so we need something that will match as closely as possible.

    Thanks so much for any advice you can provide!

    1. Hi Amy, there are approximately 1 million options for replacement windows so you have many choices. A good first step would be to check this page to see if we have a recommended window company in your area. If so I’m sure they’ll be able to help out.

  33. I neglected to mention that the windows on the 3 season room which need replacing are Caradco wood windows. All the windows on the rest of the house are Pella original casement (wood) windows.

  34. Hey WindowDog,
    I bought an old home (1890s) a few months ago and am looking to replace all or most of the 31 windows very soon. I’m stuck weighing the pros and cons of doing all of them in Window World’s 4000 series or doing the 23 high priority large windows in Pella Impervia and the remaining 8 smaller windows in the Pella 250 series.

    Window World has really impressed me with their customer service, and explanation of products and attention to detail for installation. Most of the windows on my home have an arching exterior trim which they took close notice of and explained the capping/sealing process. The main draw is Window World is also much less expensive (about 38% less).

    Having an old home with very large windows attracted me to Pella’s Impervia series. I like the idea of the strength of fiberglass for windows which are 33″X77.5″ and 23.5″X77.5″. Those size windows make of 23 of the 31 windows needing replacement.

    Can you offer some advice on this decision? Does the Impervia Series (or fiberglass in general) justify that much of a price difference? It could just be my perception, but it seems like Window World has a better grasp of the installation for my unique and really old home.


    1. I don’t really get the pitch about fiberglass windows being stronger. The windows don’t hold up the house. The advantage to fiberglass windows is that they look more like wood windows which is a fine reason to buy them. I wouldn’t pay 38% more for strength.

      Have you checked our section on the best local window companies? We may have someone who can offer an alternative.

      1. Typically, the added strength benefits come from not needing as much material to support the units, and from what I’ve seen, fiberglass units have quite a bit more visible glass than a comparably sized wood or vinyl window. It also expands and contracts at a lower rate than other materials used, though this doesn’t seem to matter much unless you hit really, really extreme weather.

  35. I have read a lot of comments here so I thought I should let you and everyone know about my experience with Lowe’s and Pella. Just over a year ago I decided to replace my windows because they came with the house in 1980 and we’re heavy and the pieces that held them up were broke. I have MS and can hardly walk so I knew my old windows would not be safe for me in case of a fire. I have had contractors take advantage of me so much so I decided to go with Lowes. I told the salesman I wanted a good window. Double hung so it would be easy to clean. I stressed I did not want a cheap window but a good window. It took him alost an hour to give me a quote on 9 windows only 2 were different from the size of the other windows. Now I have windows that are really cheap made. I can run a credit card brtween the frame and glass on the inside of ever vindow. When I close them I have to hold the top window and push up because the bottom window will pull the top window down. They do not close level. The bottom window sticks up more than it should ever when you lock it and then I have to double check that it did lock and the top window did not come down too far. Another thing is after I do all this you can take hold of the top window and you can move it up and down a little. Where it is locked you can take your hand and move the window up and down. These windows are not stable. There is a lot of wrap and calking inside and out. I had Marble window ledges on the inside that sat at the the bottom of my old windows up against them. Those marble edges now sit under the new windows. Almost every window is not level. Lowe’s has been here at least 6 times and Pell 2. The first man from Lowe’s could not believe how terrible the windows and the instillation was. The first Pell man said the same thing and said Pella would take care of it. I never heard from them again. I called cooperate so many times I have lost count.That was useless. Lowe’s sent more people and all they did was act like I had complained about the caulking. They would not look at a window unless I pointed it out to them. One man from Lowe’s went through and unlocked some windows raised the bottom one pulled it back down locked it said the window was level and worked fine. After he left I had to raise the windows hold the top shut the bottom then make sure they were locked because most of them weren’t after Mr expert from Lowe’s left. The other Pella man said there was nothing wrong with the windows also. I could tell he did not want to look at none of thewindows. I ask him if he was going to check to see if they were level. He reluctantly got his level. He checked one and said it was not off that bad so I said what about checking my kitchen window. I know how to use a level and the first Pella man had already said it was not level. Mr number 2 Pella man stood there and said the window was level. He lied to me and I told him so too. Most of the people that came to my house knew nothing about windows. The just laughed at me and told me windows were supposed to be like that. I did not even get my screens that were torn, bent and most of them been screened with different material replaced. My house was so cold this winter. If you held your hand close to the glass you could feel cold air and your hand would feel like ice in just a few minutes and now that summer is here I raised them only to find I am going to have to clean mold and mildew out of every window. Stay away from buying Pella windows from Lowes. Lowe’s does not stand behind their warranties and Pella does not either. If you buy the vinyl 250 double hung windows I hope you do not regret it like I do. The first Pella man got fired for poor job peformance and they have offered to replace one window.I forgot to say I think the windows are already leaking behind my vinyl siding and you should see how it looks. It is only below the new windows. What do you think about these windows?

  36. help. We are really confused. We have a estimate from lowes on the pella 250 series. 6 Windows for $3100. We have estimate from Home Depot for the simonton 6100 series for $4200. Huge price difference. The reviews seem to favor the simonton 6100 series. But is it worth the higher price?
    Thanks Helen

    1. There are a lot of variables so it’s hard to know if they were both offering similar options. Have you checked our section on the best local window companies? We may know someone in your area who can help out. If not you can find it here.

  37. Ii actually just left a job that i put 250 pella in .3100 is a good price.the 250s are my favorire pella product. Smooth operating constant force balance system very nice ratings u-factor the Simonton hands down wins but does not justify the price increase

  38. We replaced almost every window and glass door in our house with Pella products. We regret every purchase. Half of the windows leaked and had to be replaced. The materials were covered under warranty, but not the labor (over $600). Now the aluminum sills are rusting and we haven’t been able to get anyone to call us back or look at them. The screen door we bought is constantly coming loose and the roll screen on the sliding doors has never worked properly. Needless to say, we are very disappointed. I would never recommend them.

  39. I just want to clear one thing up in regards to Pella Windows and Lowe’s!
    I have direct knowledge of both, and I suggest to do your homework.

    * The first point I need to make is that regardless of what brand of window you go with, the window is only as good as the install.
    * Lowes’s sells Pella Product, but there installers are Not Pella Certified as Lowe’s would like you to believe, Lowe’s offers a 1 year workmanship install warranty “There is a reason for this” Not all but many of their installers install roofs, decks, windows and anything else given to the installer. They hate to sell wood, they would rather sell Atrium Windows, I wonder if that is because the CEO of Lowe’s sits on the Reliabilt Atrium Window board of directors. Over 70% of all Pella complaints will have Lowe’s involved and were not sold from a factory Pella Distributorship.
    * A Pella Store has certified installers, has to deal with all Lowe’s problems because they are handle all product service issues, and 75% of Lowe’s issues that are directed to a Pella Branch are directly connected to the installation from Lowe’s not the product itself and referred back to Lowe’s because they are responsible for their own installation! Pella Branches have a 10 year workmanship warranty not 1 or 2 that is the industry standard.
    Pella now offers a on lifetime warranty on all wood window products and wood doors / When will Fibrex and Andersen do that?
    The 250 series and 350 Series is as good or Better than any other vinyl product on the market, and the Architect Reserve window has been deemed the most historically correct wood window on the market.
    Do not be fooled by internet trolls and those who are paid to post bogus reviews whether good or bad.

    1. I am not an internet troll. Pella sucks. Anybody want to question me about it? I’ll show receipts and will be willing to share my story. Reply and I’ll give you my phone number.

  40. Don’t do it. Just don’t. I bought 36 for my new house, and 19 of the 36 had chips or edges that weren’t quite matched up. Not super serious issues, but enough that it pisses me off that I paid almost $700 per window and their quality of workmanship is NON-exsistant! Go with another brand. Any brand, just not them. I FINALLY got a partial refund, but after many phone calls and them wanting me to sign a waiver releasing my warranty on those windows.

    1. Sorry to hear about your experience. No company can please everyone all the time, but it certainly does seem like some companies try a little harder than others.

  41. Hi,
    I’m deciding between Pella 350, Great Lakes Comfort Smart, and Kensington Kingston. The quotes I got are about $900/window for the Pella 350, $800 for the ComfortSmart, and $600 for the Kingston. The glass options included are such that their performance data is pretty similar. I personally think the Pella 350 look the nicest, and I’m willing to pay a bit extra for that, but probably not $300 per window extra…

    Any recommendations?

  42. Thanks for the response!

    We are in Chicago (city proper), and it doesn’t look like Window Universe is available here, nor does there seem to be a recommendation for the best local window company yet, unfortunately.

    1. You’re right that we’re not in the city yet, but you never know what the future holds. I’m sorry I can’t help with a project right now.

  43. I am looking at Soft-lite Barrington vs Pella 250 series. Which is better window? Or could you recommend another window to look at such as element etc. I live in Tennessee.

    1. Hi Jerrod, I’d probably pick the Soft-Lite. I like the look of the Pella 350, but I don’t have a lot of personal experience with it. Did you pick one yet and how did it turn out?

      1. I did some research and went with soft-lite Imperial LS. I really like them so far. I went with the primitive prairie grid pattern and it looks great on our long windows.

  44. We have replaced all of our windows with Pella 350 over a 3 year period, 1/4 at a time, through Lowe’s. In the last group, one large arched window was misordered and clearly too small. Lowe’s reordered, and the installer came out and said he didn’t have the right materials to install (needed a molding). Several days later, a different installer came, with the molding, and said the window was improperly cut and wouldn’t fit. The following week, 2 different installers came back, no appointment, to install the same window. We declined, and had the Lowe’s rep come out with the Pella rep. Pella agreed the window was cut wrong and wouldn’t fit. Now they are telling us they can’t make a window that fits the opening because they no longer make an arch that large. The old window has a vertical mull, dividing it in half, and we would be okay with that, but they will only make the new one with a horizontal mull. Not what we were promised, nor what we ordered and paid for, as I think it’s going to look really odd. Can you recommend a different manufacturer who could make a matching window, or is the size the problem? They can make it in the wood with metal exterior, but it seems like that will look very different than what we had. Any suggestions?

    1. Sorry to hear about your trouble. We generally her good things about the Pella 350 windows, but we get mixed feedback on the installation process from Lowes. I’ve never understood why the box stores don’t hire an expert and turn the window business into a powerhouse. They have the scale to really take over the industry and they don’t seem to do anything about it. It’s a real missed opportunity in my mind, but I guess it’s better for my company that they don’t do it.

      Anyway, what’s your zip code and what’s the approximate size of the arch? I may be able to recommend something.

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