Polaris Windows Reviews

Polaris windows reviews

As we get started with our Polaris windows reviews we can take a look at the ownership of Polaris windows.  Modern Builders Supply is a family run building products distributor based out of Toledo, OH.  They have several branches in Ohio and the surrounding states, but compared to the nationwide distributors they’re a pretty small operation.

Being a smaller family owned company certainly isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’ve been reading through our reviews you probably know by now that we tend to like window companies that have some real financial backing.  The manufacturing and distribution businesses necessitate relatively high fixed costs and that can be difficult for a smaller company to manage in tough times.

We have heard from folks that Polaris windows can sometimes come with the the of long drawn-out sales pitch that we discuss in our section on common window sales tactics.  This is 100% defendant on the local company that is offering the windows, but if you get this kind of pitch don’t think that Polaris windows are the greatest things since sliced bread.  They’re fine windows, but not remarkable.

We’ll be writing Polaris windows reviews on the following models:

  • UltraWeld
  • ThermaWeld
  • ValueSmart

As you can probably tell by the names, UltraWeld is their “high end” offering (read high priced offering) and ValuSmart is their low priced option.

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100 thoughts on “Polaris Windows Reviews”

  1. We are replacing original aluminum sliding windows and have spoken to installers who sell/use Alside Mezzo and Polaris Ulta Weld. Would like a bronze vinyl which both say they have/can do but hubby is leary of Alside because they paint over white, not an extruded color. Help.

  2. Considering getting the Valuesmart for a duplex I currently live/rent out. I haven’t been able to find much information but I got a really good quote (lowest other than Silverline) and the limited information I have found has been positive. How does this window compare to Silverline 1200 and Softlite Barrington?

  3. I purchased a home 2 1/2 years ago that had 30 Polaris windows installed in 2010. These windows are under 5 years old and 9 have failed seals resulting in mold/film/dust between the panes of glass. When trying to address the issue with Polaris, I was met with a too bad, you’re not the original owner, therefore there is no recourse. I just wanted to drop this warning that the ValueSmart window warranty is non-transferable so beware if you are replacing your windows with the intent to sell.

    1. It’s a shame you’re having trouble with the seals on your windows. This is unusual regardless of the manufacturer once you step into the higher-grade products like Polaris. Here are some possible solutions:

      First of all, if you are the second owner of the windows, you should have the balance of Polaris’ 30 year warranty transfer. Polaris allows their original lifetime warranty to be transferred to one future homeowner for 30 years from the original installation date, and the warranty is non-prorated which is extremely rare and quite strong.

      Second, if you are beyond the second ownership and the windows are no longer warranted, Polaris can make new insulated glass units or entire new sashes for very little compared to the price of a new window. And since you have so many failed seals, they may be willing to offer you a special consideration to make you happy and to earn a potential long-term customer.

      The most important thing to keep in mind is that before you go out and spend any real money correcting this problem, consult with a window contractor you trust to see if there are any problems with the way your windows were installed. Any contractor will tell you that the vast majority of problems with replacement vinyl windows are usually installation-related, especially when dealing with quality products.

      Good luck and keep us posted.

    2. That’s a shame, because the Polaris Ultraweld series has a 30 year transferable warranty. The previous owner cheaped out, probably with soon selling the home in mind. Polaris is a great company, but that’s their lowest price line, priced and featured accordingly.

  4. I have a 1927 home with single psne glass windows with storms on. I am looking at Polaris Thermaweld ( $7,500-7,800) windows vs SoftLite Barrington ( hugely more expensive at $11,300). For about 20-22 windows.
    Advice on window quality justifying price difference. And how to judge installation quality. Companies always say theirs is best.

  5. I have 10 double hung, 5 deadlight, 1 slider, 1large picture(w/atattched double hung) plus 1 patio door all JUNK ASSED POLARIS BRAND, in my house and I hate the damned things. Modern Builders supply DIDNOT tell me before I purchased and installed them that they bow and warp all to hell because they are brown in color. I am the original owner of the home but don’t want a thing to do with Modern Builders because of this

    1. Rodney-

      Well it’s really a shame you’re having so much trouble with your windows, and judging by your choice of language, it’s clear that you’re pretty upset about the matter. This is totally understandable considering the size of your investment. Good windows aren’t cheap and you want to be happy with the product you choose

      For you to be having warping/bowing problems with Polaris UltraWeld windows is extremely uncommon regardless of the color you selected. I have installed thousands of Polaris UltraWeld windows and hundreds of those have been in the brown color, and I’ve never had a single warranty claim due to warping or bowing of frames and sashes.

      But regardless of my highly successful track record with the UltraWeld product, you can rest assured and be confident that your problem will be fixed as warping of the UltraWeld mainframes or sashes is covered by Polaris’ lifetime warranty for as long as you live in and own the home. I’m surprised that the folks at your Modern Builders branch failed to mention that or provide you with warranty paperwork at the time you bought the windows. And if you purchased these windows through a contractor, they should be well aware of the warranty also as it’s a significant selling point to the product.

      If you’re dealing with an ineffective counter rep at Modern, you can just contact Polaris warranty service directly. Their number is on their website:
      http://polariswindows.com/uwindows.html

      The only reason they wouldn’t cover a warping/bowing problem is if the windows were not installed correctly.

      Did you install them yourself or did a contractor perform the labor? If a contractor installed your windows, they should be willing to handle all warranty claims through Polaris on your behalf-I know that’s how I’ve always done it. It’s a service my customers really appreciate.

      Good Luck,

      Cale

        1. I don’t deal with Polaris, but the company that did the installation typically handles the warranty. Just give them and call and I
          bet they’ll be able to help.

    2. I built my home 10 years ago, I had to replace my exterior French doors and now my Polaris windows, due to ice and snow coming through the seams. When I had modern builders come to look at the door, they claimed it was the install.. the contractor that installed had 40 years experience… anything to blow the customer off

      1. It’s true that you can always find an installer willing to say he would have done something better. There certainly shouldn’t be snow coming through the seams. Have you tried contacting Polaris?

  6. Hi –

    I’m looking to install 14 vinyl windows in my house in Nashville.

    I’m looking at Polaris Thermalweld, and also Wincore.

    Anyone out there have info on how these windows perform?
    Can anyone recommend them?

    Thx!

    1. Hi there Dan.

      I have some opinions about these windows but first a few questions:

      I’m curious to know how is it that you have landed on those two particular windows. Are you planning on working with a contractor who recommends those windows?

      Also, which Wincore window series are you considering?

      Also are you doing any special color options? What are the details of your project?

      1. Hi Cale –

        Thanks for replying…

        I have one contractor in PA who recommends the Polaris
        Thermalweld — he’s put in many of those.

        Without putting my hands on the window, they appear to be pretty good. I live in L.A. so I can’t see the actual windows –
        Neither Wincore or Polaris is distributed out here.

        My contractor in Nashville is recommending the Wincore –
        not sure which model – the 5400 or 7700.

        I want plain white.

        If you have any insight or experience with these, please let me know.

        Thanks –

        Dan

        1. Thanks for the additional info. Just a couple more questions:

          Are these windows for your personal residence?

          And where is the home located?

          Cale

  7. Here’s a quick follow-up for you, Dan.

    My experience puts the Polaris ThermalWeld in the top-end of the field of mid-priced windows. It’s a solid product with great wind-infiltration numbers for the money and it’s an overall good value. You can get it with triple-pane glass but don’t do that. Triple-pane is my recommendation only when going with an elite window so if you’re very budget-conscious stick with double-pane. That said, I’m going to plug the triple-pane UltraWeld from Polaris a little here and tell you to get that window quoted as well before you pull the trigger on the ThermalWeld.

    I have no personal experience with Wincore but here’s an uninformed opinion. The 5400 series doesn’t look like much.
    The 7700 looks like a very nice window. I would be interested myself in researching the performance details of that window and if I get around to that I’ll follow up again.

    In general, unless you are looking for the cheapest possible window you can get, (which you really don’t want to do under any circumstances anyway), I think a shopper should always have the contractor quote and demo at least two different quality-levels of window so you can really see & appreciate the difference in the way a higher-end window looks and operates.

    If this is your primary residence or second home you should really look at a nice product or two. In addition to Polaris UltraWeld the Sunrise window is a primo product but it’s also a bit more money usually, and the Soft-Lite Imperial LS is a fine window as well.

    If this is a rental property or something you’re just looking for a top-notch budget window I recommend the Polaris ValuSmart, (which you’re ThermalWeld guy can get along with the UltraWeld I’m sure), and also there’s a window made in New Martinsville, WV called Sprouse and they make a great cheaper window that’s actually worth buying.

    Good luck out there.

  8. HI Window Dog.

    Here’s a response to this website’s overall assessment of the Polaris brand found the top of this page. It appears as if The Window Dog (TWD) doesn’t think too highly of Polaris windows and I’d like to set the record straight on a few points.

    Yes, Polaris is a family-owned brand, but they are pretty big for a family operation. While they aren’t available everywhere, Polaris windows are sold in 38 states and that goes way beyond the bounds of what most consider a “regional” product.

    As far as the financial stability of Polaris is concerned, they’re doing very well and are in fact looking at expanding. According to my last meeting with Polaris (just last month) they are currently looking into two different locations as possibilities for opening new production facilities. Furthermore, they don’t have a huge corporate debt-load as do some of the big corporations like AMI, which makes Alside windows, for example. Huge debt can, when times get tough enough, make even a large manufacturer vanish overnight (bye-bye warranty and service).

    TWD then says they’ve “heard” that Polaris windows often come with a high-pressure sales-pitch. If this is in fact the case, and I’m at least one example where this rumor doesn’t apply, it is purely coincidence and solely based on the luck of the draw with which contractor you’ve met. The sales support that Polaris offers its contractor customers doesn’t have anything to do with how to pressure a homeowner into making a snap-decision. Polaris provides contractor sales tools in the form of demonstration materials, window hand-samples, presentation books, facts & figures sheets, but in no way is it my experience that Polaris tells or recommends that it’s contractors sell with high-pressure tactics. I meet with the Polaris VP of sales several times each year and this high-pressure thing is purely anecdotal and should not be given any weight whatsoever in considering the Polaris product line. If you find yourself dealing with a pushy rep and you don’t like it, tell him to leave and find another dealer.

    In what I assume are terms of quality and performance TWD goes on to say:
    “[Polaris are] fine windows, but not remarkable”
    Well, compared to what exactly?

    I, for one, sell on a value proposition, and it’s my belief that Polaris offers exceptional value compared to the competition. Across their entire product line, from top to bottom, Polaris is just super-solid. They offer a true sloped-sill, no weep-hole design in ALL their double-hung offerings. This means better performance than most others, and it also provides a larger glass area. I live in Columbus, Ohio and the 800 pound gorilla of the window business here sells a window with about the thickest frame in the business, with air-infiltration numbers at .18 CFM but, hey, advertising sells windows. Polaris windows have no bulky felt-pads at the meeting rail ends to compensate for second-rate air-leaky design, they have uninterrupted meeting rail interlocks across their entire line, and each DH window has a clean look about it with a simple 4 -corner design that doesn’t tack on sill dam strips to get their air-leakage numbers down.

    The Valusmart is arguably the best “price-window” on the market (wind infiltration = .08 CFM).

    ThermalWeld is one of the best mid-pricers out there.

    UltraWeld is a top-window. They look very nice, they have great performance, and their ease of operation is second-to-none. Over 70% of my window business is triple-pane UltraWeld and homeowners just love them.

    It’s my view that, from a value perspective, Polaris is a leader. As I’ve mentioned previously, there are some other very nice windows out there, and you’re going to pay for them. The UltraWeld certainly isn’t cheap buy any estimation, but I’ve found it to be somewhat less expensive than the windows that it competes with in terms of performance.

    And the ThermalWeld and UltraWeld share one of the best warranties in the business. Lifetime for the original purchaser and NON_PRORATED 30-years from install date for the tranferee. That’s super-strong.

    Like I said, it seems as if TWD doesn’t think too highly of Polaris and I must respectfully disagree. When I launched my business 3 years ago I investigated most of window makers in and around Ohio and, believe me, that’s no small feat. We have a ton of window companies around here. If you take money off the table, Polaris is one of the best out there already. When you put dollars back into the equation, Polaris is, in my view, the best value in the business.

    1. Thanks for sharing the info Cale. We do appreciate having industry people share their info. Next time we’re in Columbus we’d be glad to come by to talk windows.

    2. How does the Polaris ultra weld, which I have in my home for 2 years now, compare to the Seabrook line that Great Lakes Window makes. The local company that use to sell Polaris now sells Great Lakes Windows because, they say, The Maxuus glass system has two lites of Low-E glass and Polaris only offers one lite of low E glass in the double pane. That’s what the sales rep says.

      1. I would suggest looking at the VT rating. A second surface with a low-e coating will typically result in darker glass and a lower SHGC rating. If you’re in the north you probably want a higher SHGC rating. Find details on window ratings here. Hope that helps!

      2. Hi Steven.

        This is a really great question. There is a ton of confusion and misinformation out there about insulated glass units for replacement windows: What’s best for my home and why, and the short answer is, there is no short answer.

        The number of possible options for insulated glass units (IGU’s) is almost endless. First of all, there are many different types of Lo-E glass, most better window makers offer more than one option, and they will be better or worse for your home based on a number of factors. Some of which the doggy has already touched on. Some of these factors include: which direction the windows face for each elevation of the structure, the amount of natural seasonal shading the windows receive, the size of the windows, the building’s latitude (remember that there are many different climate zones and each zone calls for different window specs for optimum performance), and the list goes on.

        Then there are other considerations. There are different strength levels of Lo-E glass. Some reflect more sunlight, some reflect less. These properties will determine certain performance numbers like solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and visible light transmittance (VT) as the doggy mentioned.

        Consider this: The room where you keep your late grandmother’s Azerbaijani area rug faces southwest and has several large windows. Perhaps it would benefit you to spend a little more on the glass with a lower SHGC in order to protect that beautiful rug from solar fading.

        If a person (or a contractor) is willing to put in the time and effort, the absolute best approach is to do a customized, elevation by elevation (and even room by room) configuration that would likely include a combination of double and triple-pane windows, with standard Lo-E, as well as low SHGC glass depending on the opening. In reality though, most homeowners simply don’t have the time, and most contractors are too lazy and apathetic to do this.

        And in all fairness, most homeowners don’t have a 6-figure antique rug to protect.

        What most people end up doing is picking one window type that is the best overall fit when considering all these factor and to go with a good average performance rating that suits your house as a whole.

        I live in central Ohio where we have hot summers, cold winters, and for 6 months of the year we don’t run HVAC. Most of the windows I install are high-end vinyl triple-pane windows (Polaris UltraWeld) with a Lo-E profile that’s good for our climate zone which is a medium-strength Lo-E.

        In Arizona, where they run AC year-round and it never gets very cold, they mostly use 2-pane windows with a very strong low-SHCG Lo-E surface to deal with the relentless sunlight.

        Having said that, if you have a contractor who is willing and able to customize your project, let them!

        Now I’m ready to attempt to answer your question. As far as a 2-pane window with 2 Lo_E surfaces, that may or may not be right for your house. Why does the contracor like that over a single Low-E surface? Where do you live?

        If that’s really what you want, Polaris can do 2 surface Lo-E double-pane windows if the contractor asks for it. Almost any window maker can do it. For example, Alside offers 2 different double-pane glass options with 2 Lo-E surfaces. Climatech 2 glass has 2 surfaces of standard Lo-E glass and Climatech Elite 2 has one surface of Lo-E glass & 1 surface of Low SHCG Lo-E glass. I’m sure your contractor can get those windows as well. I’d really ask why he likes 2-surface Lo-E glass for your project.

        Now, taking glass options off the table and looking at the basic overall design of the window, the Seabrook is simply not in the same league as the UltraWeld. The UltraWeld has smoother operation, prettier balance covers, longer sash travel, better wind infiltration numbers, and a better warranty. If it were my home, it’s not a close decision.

        The Seabrook is also less expensive on a wholesale basis and that could have some bearing on your contractor’s decision to switch lines.

        Do a little digging and I think it will pay off.

    3. Hey Cale,

      Can you recommend an installer for Polaris in Columbus? Reached out to the only one I found in Lancaster and he doesn’t want to come to Hilliard.

      TIA!

    1. Hi Kevin. What would you like to know about the Polaris windows line? I’m very well-versed with the product.

  9. I want to know how Alside Mezzo compares with the Polaris low and mid range lines (Valuesmart and Thermalweld). I am interested in the low to mid range end of the market because we are on a budget, and we plan to sell our house in about a 3 year time frame. However, I don’t want to buy garbage, so if the Valuesmart (or Thermalweld) is significantly better than the Mezzo, I’d be willing to pay a little more for it.

    1. I haven’t seen anything about the Polaris windows that would make me think they’re any better. Maybe someone else will chime in. Did the salesperson show you anything that seemed to make those windows different or better?

      1. Not really, I’m going off of the positive things Cale Bowling had to say about them above for the most part. None idk the salespeople we’ve had out for any product we’ve have been particularly informative as far as comparison to other products.

    2. Hi Rick.

      The good news is, you’l be happy with any of those choices.

      And since you’re selling the home in 3 years you’re not marrying these windows anyway.

      The Mezzo is one of Alside’s newly designed windows. They are in the process of streamlining their lineup. Geneva and Centurion (The Alside cheapos) were just replaced by the Fusion, and the mid-range Excalibur was replaced by the Mezzo. Their 2 higher-priced windows (Sheffield and UltraMaxx) are old, bulky, and still around. The Mezzo is the best and nicest window Alside has ever produced and is much better than even their own higher-priced offerings.

      The Mezzo has a stock U-factor of .27 which is what they say will be the new Energy Star minimum U-factor next year so Alside is positioning themselves for that.

      In contrast, for now, the Polaris ThermalWeld and ValuSmart both come stock at a U-factor of .30 which is current Energy-Star requirement. If you add the foam insulated sash and mainframe & use an upgraded spacer to either window you get .27. It remains to be seen whether Polaris adds these as stock features if the Energy Star numbers actually change.

      While I’m pleased how far Alside went to make a better product this time, I still prefer both windows from Polaris in terms of value for these reasons.

      You should find that the ThermalWeld will be priced very similar to the Mezzo. If you’re seeing a big price difference on these two windows from the same contractor, somethings off.
      The ValuSmart should be the least expensive of the three.

      I think the two Polaris windows are better designed in terms of the frame concept (which is cleaner and simpler), they have better balance covers by a mile offering increased sash-travel, and they both score much lower wind infiltration numbers. Alside Mezzo leaks air at about .17 CFM and the two Polaris windows are .06 and .08 which are industry-leading numbers for inexpensive windows.

      The ValuSmart has a 20 year non-transferrable warranty, the ALside Mezzo has lifetime for buyer and 30 yearprorated for 1 transferee. ThermalWeld has lifetime for buyer and 30 NON_PRORATED for 1 transferee which can be a nice selling point in 3 years.

      You’ll find the ValuSmart to be a huge improvement over your existing windows and they should be pretty cheap.

      The Mezzo is a very nice window overall.

      For about the same price I give the ThermalWeld the nod due to wind numbers and frame design.

      But again, you’re going to be fine with any of these products.

      1. Turns out the pricing for an upgraded Thermalweld (with the low e glass, foam filled frame and the stainless spacer) is about $70 to $75 more per window than for Mezzo. I had told the salesman I would be willing to pay about $50 more vs Mezzo (this was before I found out the warranty difference) and he was able to split part of the difference with Polaris, so at the end of the day I’m paying about $57 more per window (for a total of 23 windows), which I think is definitely worth it.

        Thanks for your help. It was instrumental in getting me to a decision I’m happy with.

      2. Cale, would you mind pointing me toward the warranty information you outlined on the Polaris website, if it’s available? I’m having trouble locating it.

      3. Hi Cale, thanks for the helpful response. You’re wrong about the air infiltration for the Mezzo window. With the composite reinforcement which is standard now, the air infiltration is 0.04, so it’s lower than the Polaris.

        Thanks for taking the time to write.

        1. Hey there doggy, thanks to you also for taking the time to write.

          I was completely unaware that they were scoring those numbers. I went to the alside technical site and found those results as well as some other interesting info as well. I’m sitting down with my alside rep tomorrow morning to go over a few things I have questions about and I’ll report back soon.

      4. You seem to be an expert on Polaris. I will soon be getting a quote for here in Dayton. I am tempted to go with the ValuSmart just because I have been so underemployed for last 8 years and am still struggling with basic expenses. Was just going to go with Reliabilt 3500 but then my guy said he used Polaris so I started researching them and def a better window, but not sure I can afford them.

        Any idea how much more, on average DH Thermawelds would run per DH?

        Is the screen upgrade negligible cost? I have a nice woodsy view that would like to not sacrifice.

        Also saw that “ENVIRONMENTAL GREEN” option… is that worth the $ for the additional cost per window?

        Spacers? do I need to pick one or is the standard issue one sufficient for my needs?

        These two windows are south facing and get quite a bit of summer sun… most of day… in winter the sun often dips behind the trees in the very close woods.

        I have a cinder block home built in 1941. It is not even remotely air tight…lol but not really… tax value is under 60k… so trying to keep it real but not get crappy windows I will hate in 5 years.

        Steel frame single pane french windows with concrete sills and sitting in plaster walls.

        I can only afford to do 2 windows right now, but want to make a good choice for the long term.

        I would wait, but when I went to put plastic up outside the other day I noticed that where the window meets the block house there is some trim missing creating a nice big gag and these 2 windows are hard to reach to do plastic… I have to kinda spiderman it… not safe… so trying to figure out how to get good windows I can afford that will run the long haul.

        I might be here 5 years or 30… no real way to know that. I prefer to make a good choice regardless as someone else will live here at some point and if it is within 20 years or so I’d like to not leave them a headache… that just ain’t cool…

        any thoughts on best options to keep the cost down as much as possible given the context is much appreciated! I trust my guy, but would like a second opinion on the options and what I can get by with.

        many many thanks!

        1. Hi there Clara.

          I’m glad to hear you’re looking at the Polaris products. I’m sure you’ll find something within your budget and be completely happy.

          A double-hung Thermalweld window sized at 101 U.I. (united inches = with + height) costs me roughly 25% more than a Valusmart of the same size. So there’s that, and then a dealer can charge whatever they want to, so there’s that also. As far as average price difference goes, that’s the best information you can really get unless you get 10 quotes and do the math which I don’t recommend.

          I recommend you have your contractor quote both, and then have a quick demo of both models side by side and see which you prefer for the money.

          You will likely have to go with the upgraded spacer to qualify for Energy Star tax credits (if you itemize) so I’d go for that but, windows with standard intercept spacers still perform very well all things considered. It’s .1 U-factor which is something, but nothing to turn cartwheels over. That said, most of my customers go with the upgrade.

          The composite reinforcement bar is what I think you’re talking about with the green option (correct me if wrong) and it’s a great upgrade, but if you’re dealing with budget constraints, you’ll have to pick your spots. Just ask what the charge is for the upgrade and see if you think it’s worthwhile.

          The same goes for the high-visibility screens. They are very nice, usually not expensive (that’s subjective of course), and it’s your call if they are “worth it”. I don’t push options on people, but I do show them, and I have many customers who have opted for the screen upgrade and all of them were pleased with their choice.

          In general terms, I always encourage people to go a bit beyond what they need just to “get by”. I think it’s most important first to find a product you really like from a contractor you trust. That’s the hard part, and once you’ve cleared that hurdle, a good contractor will work with you to find the best solution for your budget.

          Both the Valusmart and Thermalweld windows are great products in their respective price ranges and you really can’t go wrong either way.

          Good luck out there Clara.

  10. Where are the reviews of the windows? I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve been naïve. I don’t know if Polaris windows are any good? And how do I know that the salesman is actually going to have Polaris windows installed? I’ve signed and paid a small down payment and have been considering having all my windows done. Before I send another down payment, I’d like to see the reviews. I don’t want to read comments from someone that I don’t know, I’d like to see the reviews on this site.

    1. Hi Susan, Poaris windows are fine windows. You don’t need to take my word for it, take a look at some samples and talk to some contractors who are familiar with your project. They’ll be able to suggest options that make sense for your specific application.

      We’re working on reviews of Polaris windows, but we have many things in the works and they’re not too high on the priority list right now. It might be a little while.

        1. Susan,

          Polaris are great windows. They are a value-gem and provided that they are properly installed, they will serve you well for a lifetime and you should be proud of your choice.

          As far as making sure you get what you bought, what does the contract you signed say you’re getting? Once we establish that, it’s simple to make sure you get what you bought. Custom window makers like Polaris (and most others) put a sticker on the windows prior to shipping. Just tell the contractor you want to see the stickers-they’re not supposed to remove them.
          And why are you worried about the contractor pulling a fast one? Have you checked any references? Do they have a history of this kind of shenanigans?

          When you say you already put down a deposit, have you also signed an agreement?

  11. I am looking to purchase new replacement windows. I have quotes for Polaris Ultra Weld vinyl double-hung and Alside Fusion double-hung. Which is the better window of the two? Thanks.

    1. I don’t think the Alside Fusion is a very nice product, but the Alside Mezzo window only costs a few dollars more and is much nicer. The Mezzo has ratings that are comparable and sometimes better than the Polaris windows.

  12. Cale, I just had 24 UWD (Polaris Thermalweld) double hung windows with grids, super spacers, and Innergy inserts installed for $10,200. Is that a good price? The company says the windows normally go for $900 apiece, but we all know how those claims go.

    1. Hi there Kevin.

      I just saw your posting and while this is a year old and prices do creep up, that’s an almost too good to be true price even last year. If the installation was right, that’s a steal of a deal.

      Was this a friend or family member of yours who you got them from?

  13. Hi, I’ve been meeting with several window companies to replace my old drafty ones. I can’t seem to find anything on the Windows the two different companies were presenting to me. One was United 4800 Plus and the other UniShield, which he said was a Polaris brand. Does anyone know anything about these companies which could be of some help? Is the UniShield window a Polaris window?

    1. I was told at the Cleveland Auto show by the Universal Window rep thay the UniShield was made by Polaris. Is the super spacer now industry standard?

      1. No, you’ll hear a lot of claims like that from certain companies… Super Spacer is available on many windows and it’s a pretty nice product. There are several upgraded spacers and they all have similar performance numbers. Remember that it doesn’t matter one bit what the spacer is made out of; the only thing that matters to you is how efficient the window is. In the case of a spacer, look at the U-Factor to see how efficient the window is and you’ll be in good shape.

        Btw, did you see the Window Universe both at the Cleveland Home Show? I hear they were looking sharp and offering fantastic deals!

        1. Unishield is/was definetly Polaris but I just went to a Home & Garden show in another city and universal was selling the Mezzo. They either made a complete switch or now they let their dealers use whichever they prefer. Also I’ll add that while a premium spacer does generally increase the U-factor of the window, it also increases the condensation resistance rating and I’ve seen much more seal failures in standard Intercept vs superspacer, Duralite, or Stainless

          1. Thanks for sharing that. I didn’t know Universal was selling Mezzo windows. I wonder if they’re still telling people they are the only company that offers Super Spacer?

          2. I enjoy going to shows to see other windows and speak with window salesmen. Sometimes I’ll let them know I’m in the industry sometimes not. The UWD rep was very funny to talk to. Not because he was a funny person but because of all the BS he was spewing. He was also not very knowledgeable about his products(this was the owner i was speaking with). He did tell me the window was not the Mezzo (It clearly was) but AMI, this is the same story you get from WW. He also stated they are the only company that has SuperSpacer, which cleary is untrue. I will say that when they were with Polaris they did have exclusivity with Superspacer in the polaris windows, but that is not the case with the mezzo. One of the things he was BSing me about was the corner cut samples he had. They were showing the Ultraweld corner cut fully foam insulated and a Mezzo full window samples passing them off as the same.

          3. Ha, they also told me that they were the only company that offered Super Spacer which is of course not at all true. The fact that we’ve both heard it in different markets would make me wonder if it’s a standard line for them. I wonder why companies think lying to customers is a good idea. I suppose it shows that they don’t think people would buy from them if they were honest.

  14. Before I pull all my hair out. Mezzo with ClimaTech ThermD Elite for $8950.00 or ThermaWeld for $7500.00. This is for 13 Double Hung, 4 double sliders and 1-3 way slider. Grids on all front windows.

  15. We live in northeast Ohio and need to replace four French doors that all face the east. We are going to replace them with sliders but I don’t want to lose the look of the French doors. All doors currently are 3 panel. My husband is afraid if we do three panel sliding the walk through opening will be narrowed down significantly. I’m afraid if we go to a two panel it will just look like a patio door. By the way all will have grids.. Any thoughts on that would be helpful. My next question is that we are currently looking at Polaris and Provia. I would like some feedback, comments, comments, reviews comparing the two brands., Thank you

    1. We deal with Provia doors all the time and I think they’re a great product. I do not believe the opening size of a 3 panel sliding door will be much different than a 3 panel hinged door. It may be slightly smaller, but not much. There are also French style sliding doors which might be an option. They have the thicker, more substantial look of a French door but they slide open.

      You should definitely call Window Universe if you haven’t already. Anyone in Northeast Ohio would benefit from a meeting with them. I know they offer several options for sliding and French doors. Good luck with the project and be sure to let us know how it goes.

  16. I feel the same as a lot of people out there….. it seems difficult to narrow down the manufacturers let alone their products.
    My brick colonial was built in 1964- we are replacing 21 windows. We will be moving in a few years so we want a mid level solid window that we can transfer the warrenty. I have two concerns.
    1. All my trim is cream and shutters are black. Garage doors are cream and gutters and sofits are also. Custom ordering two toned windows is 30% increase in price. (We want white on inside) Will the white look strange as it does not match trim? I’d like the least amount of vinyl showing- as we are replacing wood windows. Cant seem to get used to the look of vinyl.
    2. We have narrowed it to Polaris Thermalweld (double paned) or Soft-Lite Elements (triple paned) – Help. Which is better? more dependable? better quality?
    Thanks.

    1. Karen, you have narrowed your decision down to a couple reputable choices so that is a good thing 🙂

      1) It’s VERY common for homeowners to go with white exteriors and maintain the existing color scheme via the surrounding trim. Obviously that looks better on some homes than others, but by your description I don’t think that it would look bad. For a painted exterior, keep in mind that you will also have a reduced warranty on that in addition to the higher price. The coatings used are very durable so there is not much to worry about, just throwing that out there in case you were not aware.
      2) This would be a slam dunk IMO for the Elements. You are comparing a mid level window from Polaris with the flagship from Softlite, and with triple pane to boot. The Polaris Ultraweld would be the appropriate comp, however even at that I’d give a slight nod to the Elements. Compare u factors, air infiltration ratings, DP ratings, and you will see a significant difference.

    1. We’ve installed many 6100 doors and customers always loved them. It is an older model now. I think most companies are installing the 6400. I’m less familiar with the Polaris, perhaps someone else will chime in.

    2. I would ask for the 6400 Series Patio door from Alside. If they’re aren’t willing than there are probably a dozen or more contractors that install that door in your area. We still offer the Alside 6400 as our standard patio door and used to offer the Polaris Ultraweld. In general I would say the Ultraweld is a slightly better made product, but with all of Polaris products imo they are hideous in appearance and for this reason we opt for the alside 6400. If its only between the 6100 and the Ultraweld hands down Polaris. I just cant get over the fact that the 6100 patio door has a wood frame/sill and the sashes are glued/screwed together and a lot of times the laps are sloppy.

  17. Can anyone give me a phone number for a Polaris window facility. I need a window replaced that is still under warranty.

      1. Actually, you cannot find the phone number anywhere on their site. They seem to be dealing with email only, although they give an option that you be called rather than contacted via email.

        1. Yes, looks like they want you to contact them via the contact form on their site. That probably helps to keep things organized. I would expect they’ll respond to you. Let us know how it goes.

  18. I had BarrBros. build our house and they installed these windows. They are the BIGGEST piece of garbage!!! I called Polaris several times regarding the fact that my double hung windows and Patio doors offer no protection from the elements. If we have air on they will fog up, if it is cold outside they condense and or get frost on the inside!!! Yes frost!!!! Polaris idea of warranty is to want to check the felt strip in between the windows!!!!I have frost on glass but they want to check felt!!! I can’t even install triple tracks to these junk windows because the lame design actually cascade the frames beyond the exterior wall of the house. More profit for the builders by having less work with siding. DON’T EVEN CONSIDER THEM!!! NO WARRANTY NO HELP!!!NOT ONLY INITIAL cost waste, but through energy loss they will continue waste your money. Also screens are horrible!!! DON’T BUY THESE!!!

    1. Hi there Rocco.

      It’s terrible that you’re having such a bad experience.

      If your windows are collecting condensation on the interior glass surface when your A/C is on then this may indicate a more serious non-window problem as A/C dehumidifies your home making it very difficult for windows to fog up.

      If, however, your windows are fogging up inside the insulated glass unit (IGU) then that’s a seal failure and will be covered by the Polaris warranty.

      If you’re getting frost on the inside of the window when it’s very cold out then that is most likely a result of poor installation and the builder should stand behind their work.

      What did they say when you brought this to their attention?

  19. Purchased Polaris Ultraweld windows this summer from a long standing, reputable company here in Cincinnati. Can already tell improvement with the A/C and sound. Waiting to see what the winter bring. I believe it is a fine window, but the excellent installation goes a long way in making it effective.

    1. Having 26 degree temps and 16mph winds here in Cincinnati and so far the Polaris Ultrawelds are doing a fine job. Very pleased, so far.

    2. Ron, I may have met with the same long standing reputable company you mentioned in Cincinnati. Are you still happy with the Polaris Ultra Weld windows?

      1. Well pleased with them over the winter. No drafts or frosting. Believe it also improved our heating bill. Sound deadening also is obvious

  20. Window Dog/Cale….Can you point me towards the best value in terms of performance and price (brand) and also recommend an installer for a whole house 13+ windows and possibly 2 new doors. I’m located in Pittsburgh, PA. Also, a friend of mine recently had a great experience with Polaris Windows and his installer. I feel like the true test for windows and the installer is years later after the window has expanded and contracted trough the hot and cold months.

    1. Hi Dan.

      I don’t know the Pittsburgh Market at all so no help there, sorry. If you’re friend with the great Polaris experience is local to you I’d certainly go with that as a starting point.

      My experience with windows is that Polaris offers the best overall value in the business.

      Among the better consumer brands, performance is really quite similar now as the overall quality and performance of modern windows has gotten better and better. I think the best way to decide is on looks and value. I encourage you to have your contractor demo any window before you buy. They look, feel and operate differently and that matters to some people.

      For entry doors, my experience is that Polaris, again, offers great value. I think Masonite doors are worthwhile as well. And Provia is a really terrific product that is sometimes beyond budget for some but man they are nice doors.

      One thing to know is that Polaris has just made a major change to the way they finish their exterior door jambs and brickmold. If your doors are very decorative, or even if they aren’t, this is something worth checking out. Some door makers (like Provia) offer aluminum trim-cladding kits as a permanent & maintenance-free way to finish & protect the jambs & brickmold of your door. Also good installers can craft their own trim covering out of aluminum coil to achieve the same effect, but this new trim-wrapping option from Polaris is very reasonably priced and looks great while eliminating the need to cover the jambs & brickmold with metal.

      Good luck out there and take care Dan.

  21. Hi Cale,
    Can you tell me the difference between Wallside Windows and Polaris Ultra weld products. I have 12 windows, 6 foot slide and a 9 foot slide. I have received quotes from both and want to get your thoughts.

    John

  22. Can anyone give a good comparison between the Polaris ultraweld and the aside mezzo? I am replacing 15 windows in my home and for my budget I am leaning towards these two. Thanks

  23. i have polaris door wall installed 7 years ago and now lines and fog within glass. have tried emailing polaris several times and no reply the is no phone number.
    Can someone help me with contacting warranty

    1. Did you send an email using the form on their site? The warranty asks you to mail in a claim, but I would bet they have a process for email claims.

  24. My daughter has a bedford stone home and needs to replace a large picture window that a single panes. She wants 3 double hung in that space. 7 single window and a small double hung over the sink in the kitchen. Would Polaris be a product what could be used in a bedford stone home. How would they install Windows in this type of home. The current windows are the original single paned Windows from 1960. Help please. She lives by seymour Indiana.

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