Start Here

best replacement windows

Most folks go about buying replacement windows all wrong.  

When you think about it, that shouldn’t be too surprising.  I know a whole lot about windows, but I don’t know anything about your job.  If you dropped me in the middle of your office and told me to handle things, there’s a solid chance I wouldn’t do nearly as well as you do.

On this site we work to solve that problem.  Our goal is to give you the info you need to do a great job with your window project.

The number one thing you can do to start your project off right is to talk to a great replacement window company about your project.

You see we get comments from people all over the US and Canada who have received a TON of misinformation from some high-pressure window sales company.  It’s not their fault.  Some company probably came knocking on the door offering a great deal because they were working in the area (or some other silly sales tactic).  The potential customer let them in and then got bombarded by the BS.

Preservation window reviews

We know how this goes.  That’s why we try to put you in touch with a great replacement window company right off the bat.

If you start off by talking to a reputable company you’re much more likely to get accurate and helpful information from someone who is trying to take great care of his customers.  That’s what you wanted in the first place right?

Common mistake #1: Don’t try to pick out windows first

There are 2 reasons that trying to pick out a brand or model of windows before you identify a few great local installation companies is a HUGE mistake.

Reason 1: The absolute most important part of your window project is the quality of the installation.  You can get great windows, installed by a joker and you’ll have problems.  You can get solidly mediocre windows installed by a craftsman and you’ll be thrilled with the results.

Reason 2: Many replacement window manufacturers have limited distribution.  There may only be one company in your town that offers a certain brand.  They may be great or they may be jerks.  It’s a big waste of time to fall in love with a window model only to discover that you don’t like the company that sells it.  We see that happen all the time.  I mean ALL the time.  Someone probably posted a comment about it today.  Don’t be that scorned window shopper!

Solution: Luckily, there is a very easy solution to this problem.  Start by identifying a few fantastic local replacement window companies and see what they suggest.  I bet you lunch that if you do a good job of identifying which companies to meet with you’ll be happy with their suggestions, you’ll avoid all of the common window scams and you won’t understand why some folks have such a bad experience buying new windows.

Vinyl vs fiberglass replacement windows

How do you know all of this?

I’ve been in the window business since 2004.  That’s a pretty long time to be working with replacement windows.   I started out working in a distribution center in Baltimore unloading semi trucks.  From there I worked in manufacturing, distribution, sales, installation all over the country.  Now I own one of the largest window companies in the country.  That means I know a lot of people in the industry, both the good and the bad.

If you’re in an area my company serves I’d be happy to help you out and if you’re in an area where I know of a great company I’ll be happy to send you their way.  You can find our list of the best window companies right here.

It might feel like every window salesperson is a complete jerk, but I promise there are plenty of good folks out there and I’m happy to let you know who the good guys are.

Once you’ve identified a great company or two the next step is to compare their suggestions to find the best replacement windows for you.  You can compare their options with our in-depth collection of replacement window reviews right here.  We’ll show you how to understand the ratings, compare the warranties and much more.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming posts on the next 3 most common mistakes folks make, and our fantastic new video comparisons that will be out soon.

For now, take a look through the most common window sales scams to save yourself a lot of trouble down the road!

Thanks for stopping by; we really are glad you’re here.  We sincerely hope you find the info here to be helpful.  If you have any questions or suggestions just post a comment on any page.  We check them all and respond as quickly as we can.

Other posts you might find helpful:

Remember the number one piece of advice I have is to start with the a great company and you can find the best companies I know of right here.

Update: We now have more recommend LOCAL window companies than ever before.   Click here to see who we recommend in your town.  It's 100% free.  You'll thank me.  There is no better resource; you're going to love it.  See for yourself right here.  

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345 thoughts on “Start Here”

    1. We are looking to replace 2 dormer picture windows that open to an unused attic. We want windows that are plain, with obscure glass, weatherproof and with a good warrantee. We have 5 estimates. All are companies with good ratings on Angie’s list. The windows proposed are Sunrise Essentials, Softlite Pro, Ideal Perfect Fit, Simonton 5300, and Alside Mezzo. Which do you recommend and why?

  1. Have you heard of the Starmark brand? And, are vinyl windows traditionally better for energy conservation/insulation than wood?

  2. Hello-
    Trying to decide between Pella 450 Aluminum Clad Wood from Lowes vs. VantagePointe by Simonton via Home Depot. Much more impressed with the installer from Lowes and know the Pella name, but Home Depot talks, talks, talks about Simonton as being much better.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Neither one is fantastic. The box stores typically don’t offer a great value when it comes to vinyl windows. I would suggest getting a quote from a reputable local company to compare. You’ll likely get more personal attention and better warranties from someone who specializes in windows.

      1. Thanks for your help. After reading most of your website, I agree. I know I want vinyl, single, replacement windows for brick mid century modern. Still trying to narrow down companies???

          1. The recommendation on windows, in Carrollton Texas

          2. Window dog- first thanks for the excellent source of info. Second, we live in Denver and have 4 new windows by Amerimax. Our installer got them for us at an amazingly reasonable price, however they have a terrible draft that comes of the glass and quite a bit of condensation on cold mornings/days. These 4 windows aren’t really big so I’m concerned that the much larger windows we’re replacing will look great but be no better than the 15 year old builder grade windows we have currently. We’re remodeling and need new windows that have better uv protection so everything doesn’t fade, are not drafty (we don’t want heavy window coverings-we’re going for an open look) and don’t have half the window covered in condensation every fall/winter day that it’s 40° or less. We stayed at a hotel in the mountains. They had big windows that had zero draft (even off the panes of glass). They were Milgard but I don’t know what style. I’m overwhelmed and just need great windows at a great price. What are your thoughts?

          3. Hi there, sorry to hear about your trouble. Luckily it’s pretty easy to quantify the difference between replacement window models when it comes to air infiltration and condensation resistance. You should be able to get both of those ratings from the company offering the windows to you. With that info you can compare the differences and pick a model that should work well for you.

            If the company suggesting the windows doesn’t know the ratings or says they can’t get them for you I’d look for another company.

            We tend to offer models with air infiltration rates under 0.05 and condensation resistance rates in the range of 60 to 70 or higher. You’ll find that window options that are frequently praised by installers often don’t have very good ratings. That’s the topic of a post I’m working on right now.

          4. On your list of “Best Window Companies in my town”, you do not list any for South West Florida. Ft Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs etc. Are there companies with in this region you would recommend?

          5. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone in the area to recommend. If you find a great company let us know.

          6. Hi, I’m looking for window replacements in Houston, TX. What Brands do you recommend. I’ve been reading on your post which I appreciate. I like to look off the Anderson window with the exterior frame, but. I’m turned off by price and sales tactics.

      2. Do you have any thought on patio slider doors. I have one already from Home Depot which Is so-so. I was also considering a simonton forna mid range option

  3. it is imperative to view windows on display (in a showroom or “windows store” or Lowes or Home Depot )before you even begin to consider an installer. i was stunned to find that even “big name” manufacturers (e.g., anderson) still fabricate with visible, raggedy, interior corner weld lines. OK for a garage or basement, but certainly not for a living or bed room. What are these manufacturers thinking about?

    1. You’re absolutely right. I would never suggest buying windows without seeing samples. Often companies will being samples to you as it’s like pulling teeth to get most customers to come to a showroom. Good advice not to order out of a brochure.

    2. What quality are Andersen windows compared to Simonyon? I have never heard of Simonton, are they any good?

      1. Simonton makes a range of options from ok to not so great. They don’t make really nice vinyl windows, but there are worse options. Andersen is the same way. The vinyl windows they make are on the lower end, but they make some nicer wood windows. It’s hard to compare one whole brand to another as they all make a range of options. It’s like saying is Lexus better than BMW. There are cheap BMWs and there are fancy Lexus cars out there. It really depends which model you’re comparing.

        1. Any recommendations for replacement windows in the $150-$200 range? I’d be doing the install.

          I was initially eyeing the Simonton Asure, but there are so many options I think I’m overwhelmed.

          1. You’ll probably need to spend a little more to get a nicer custom made window. There are penalty of great options out there.

  4. Are there any reasons/advantages to purchase double (vs single) hung replacement windows? i saved almost $1000 by purchasing 17 single hung vinyl windows. In the 42 years in my house, I can’t recall opening any top window except for painting or repair, neither of which I expect to (rarely) require for my warrantied vinyl windows. And, as often I expect to need to clean the outside of the top window, it should be easy to access it from the flipped-down bottom.

    1. No that’s a great way to save a few bucks. The cost difference between single hung and double hung windows is typical about $20-$30 per window. The downsides are that with single hung windows you can’t open the top and you can’t tilt the top in for easy cleaning. If you’re ok with that trade it’s a great option.

    2. Looking for replacement windows that have the option to have black as the interior color, in the $500 per window range, Based in Houston.

  5. I am considering having a local lumber company install replacement vinyl windows made by Custom Window Systems, Ocala FL. Any rating on their windows? How do they compare with Alside which we had on a previous house and we were happy with. Thanks

  6. I am looking for some information on Diamond windows by public supply in Oklahoma City. The company is now bankrupt and for the last several years they have been selling silver line by Anderson. But before that they manufactured these “diamond windows”. I have found a guy that bought out the entire inventory during a bankruptcy sale. There are hundreds of windows and are VERY reasonably priced. I was just wondering, are these quality windows? Thanks in advance!

  7. Looking at Windsor vinyl/sash sash kit vs Simonton Asure I don’t see any reviews on Windsor. I know that I will be giving up some glass with the Simonton but any other pros/cons?

    1. I my experience people are often unhappy with sash kits. I’d look at a vinyl window with a thinner frame if you’re concerned about glass area.

  8. We are in the market for replacement windows and our budget has us looking at midrange windows. We live in northwest Missouri where it seems we can get both extremes in our weather. I have gotten several estimates and have it narrowed down to four window manufacturers and I was wondering which would be the best way to go. We are choosing between Pella 250 series, Alside Mezzo, Plygem contractor, and the Sunrise windows. What are your thoughts. Thanks

  9. Are you familiar with Rosati Windows, Columbus, OH? We are considering replacing our windows (20) and a sliding glass door.

  10. Fantastic info!!! We currently have single pane double hung wood frame windows with additional storm wundows. Should we replace all of it with triple pane ? Or should we just replace the single pane with double pane and keep the storm windows? We live in Atlanta, GA .

    1. You may not need triple pane windows in Atlanta, but if you like them go for it! Glad you find the site to be helpful!

  11. Looking for information on American Jewel Windows. Did you hear of them and are their windows any good?

      1. Yes. Do you have an opinion on the Omega 12 single hung windows? Can you give me 3-5 comparable alternatives from competitors?

        Thank you.

  12. Hi there,

    I’ve found your website to be most helpful as we decide on replacement windows. Most of the brands we are considering have reviews published with the exception of PlyGem. The bid for Plygem windows is the lowest considering all our other options. I’m keenly interested in your opinion when it comes to the PlyGem products. Any insight?


    1. Hi Jamie, glad you’re enjoying the site. PlyGem makes so many products now. It seems they offer about everything. Which brands or models are you considering?

  13. what is the best material for the frame. seems life most are vinyl
    will these hold up long term. just tying to make the best decision
    thanks jack

  14. We are currently working with a builder preconstruction. Original plan includes installing Casco windows which is a direct, local company. I researched reviews and became concerns after some of the reviews I saw. Obviously we want a quality window but certainly do not want high end. I guess we are looking for middle of the road with known quality. Our builder is open to other windows. What would you recommend? Windows will be double hung and we will need a sliding door. We are in Chicago, IL area. Thanks!

  15. Trying to decide between Alside Fusion windows and VWD 210 series (both double hung). Two different contractors gave me estimates, one uses the fusion, the other uses VWD. Price wise they are comparable, however, I can’t find any insulating specifications for the Fusions while VWD has the U-values of the 210 series published online.

    Your insights are appreciated!

    1. The best advice I have is to spend a few bucks more and upgrade to the Alside Mezzo window. The cost difference between the Mezzo and the Fusion is small and the product difference is huge. You’ll be much happier with the end result.

  16. what advice do you have for someone in Western Maine where temps can dip to -20 and below. still trying to decide between replacing my old (original to the 1940 house) with replacement or new construction…some of my sills are punky, soft…..on the Northern side of the house. I will miss the character of the old window but not the heat loss.

    1. Those old windows are pretty, but they’re just not too efficient. If you’re going to be replacing them you might want to look at triple pane options. The best options would be windows with low u-factors and higher solar heat gain as you’ll want the heat from the sun.

      I would expect the local window companies would be able to make some good suggestions for the area.

      1. they have given me a quote for 10 Silverline new construction double hung windows… 31 1/2 w x 59 1/2 Energy star standard white low E argon DP 45 standard glass colonial contour grills between the glass , full screen, double lock, jchannel filler and nailing fin …each one is 243.89….just not sure about that brand Silver line by Anderson…and the grills between the glass just look cheesy to me. I am so used to my old windows.

        1. I’ve never been a huge fan of Silverline windows, but with new construction your options are limited. If you’re not happy with the look ask for other options. There are plenty of fish in the sea!

  17. We signed an agreement with Windows USA but I can’t find anything positive about their company online. In fact, a lot of the reviews I’m reading are about similar high-pressure sales tactics we endured. I am really concerned that we are about to get ripped off but can’t find any info one way or the other. We have until midnight Friday to cancel per the lawful “cooling off period” and I know we are doing this totally backward. The only way we can afford to replace our windows is very inexpensively. We live in a little bitty out of the way town that doesn’t have a lot of options. Do you have an opinion about Windows USA?

    1. I don’t know them, but I often tell people that if you’re worried about how long you have to cancel an order you should probably cancel it. If you decide to go back to them they’ll gladly take you back. There is no need to feel rushed or pressured.

      1. We went ahead and cancelled the order this morning. We just really didn’t feel good about the project and we aren’t about to spend nearly $5K without being absolutely certain. We are going to try to do it the right way and do research and get several quotes.

  18. With regards to the Window World 4000 series, do you think it is worth it to pay the extra $89 per window for the Solarzone Elite?

    1. It depends. If you’re in a very high sun area it probably makes sense. The SolarZone Elite glass is darker than many other options so I’d only suggest it if you’re in a very high sun area.

  19. We met with a rep from Apex Energy Solutions for installing their Alside manufactured Insignia casement windows. I have been looking for reviews for Apex and only found a few, though they were all good. A full install of 20+ windows is expensive so we want to make sure we are getting what we pay for. Thoughts?

      1. They were fusion welded, argon filled, triple-pane glass. The construction seemed superior to anything I have seen before. The hardware was sleek and the screens were of welded aluminum so they were very strong and had virtually damage-proof material. I just could not find them listed in any of the review aggregators so all I found were reviews in a smattering of places. All were positive, though.

        1. Sounds like pretty similar features that you’d find in all Alside casement windows. I’d get a couple of quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

  20. We are considering purchasing Alside Revelation windows. They stated they are the highest rated residential, but I am having trouble finding reviews on the product, product information is out there. Know of any reviews?????

    1. That’s because Alside doesn’t make a window called Revelation. You must be seeing a private label product, which means it’s another Alside window with a “special” brochure. Did they tell you what the model number was? We’ll be happy to show you which model it really is.

      They make many models that get very similar ratings so there really is no “best”. Be careful out there!

  21. I am replacing 16 windows and have 3 quotes for the replacement windows. Wincore 7700 for 4,000, Polaris ultraweld for 5,300 and Grand Estates for 4,300. Any thoughts? I was also thinking of installing them myself and save 1,000 dollars. I have a friend who has installed them before who is willing to help. I live in Akron OH.

    1. We ordered 8 windows from YKK, we waited 3 weeks but when they arrived they were the wrong windows.
      Now we can’t get anyone to help us find out about the missing windows, our house is boarded up waiting for windows, no one will call us back or let us know whats going on.

      1. A mistake can happen to anyone, but it’s strange that they wouldn’t call you back. Have you heard back from them yet?

  22. Just ran across your site, like it. We live in St. Pete Florida. I recently found out that my wife’s parents who live in Danvers Massachusetts paid Sears and Roebuck almost $6000.00 to install 5 windows. This was about five years ago, but still. approximately 36 inches wide X 52 inches high. Non impact, just standard windows. I’m not even sure if they were double insulated. Keep your eyes peeled and get multiple estimates. I told her parents I could have drove up and done the project for at least 1/2 price and had a little vacation, but it’s too late.

  23. I’m in the Hartford, CT. area and I’m wondering if you’ve done or plan on doing a youtube review of a popular window company in this area. AWS (Advanced Window Systems). They “mfg” their windows locally and would like to get a honest opinion.

    1. AWS do manufacture their own window, for Connecticut having a weak recycled vinyl frame will not stand the massive expansion and contraction due to the swinging temperatures, their visibility % is usually in the low 40 which means their pretty dark, the only good thing about those windows is their warranty, even though they’re not true energy efficient windows, the glass breakage warranty is good to have, my opinion is that those windows are good for rental properties, not for everyday living though, just because they’re local doesnt mean they’re great, their price point is somewhere between 400-700 depending on double pane to triple pane, again the low end 400 dollar one is worth for rental properties, garage, basement and attic windows

  24. We are replacing 20 windows 400 series (double hung & picture). I’ve gotten an estimate from Renewal by Andersen for over $27,,000. Also 2 sets 400 series french doors at $12,500. I am waiting on Home Depot who is quoting the 400 series as well. The Renewal by Andersen rep said there is a huge difference between their windows (composite) and the windows at Home Depot (wood clad optimized for new construction and an older system). And their warranty is much better (they don’t stand behind Home Depot because malfunction can be caused on installer). Any advise you could give would be greatly appreciated.

  25. We currently have single hung aluminum windows are are looking to replace with vinyl. We have several quotes, but have narrowed down to Vista, Great Lakes (Seabrooke model) and Soft-Lite (Classic model). The GL and SL are about the same price, and the Vista is a couple thousand less. We have 36 windows to replace so it’s a big job. Each installer talks up their windows like they are the best and a better deal than the other guy, but who can we believe? Would appreciate some outside input. Thanks.

  26. Do you have any experience with H Windows out of Ashland, Wisconsin? They warrant their windows for 10 years. This seems short for a fairly expensive wood interior/aluminum exterior awning or casement window. Also, any feedback on Alpen Windows – a fiberglass, high-efficiency window? I believe they are owned by Serious Windows or vise versa. Thank you.

  27. How do you feel about glass replacements vs. frame and glass replacements?

    Our windows are 10 years old. No low-e and we live in an area that experiences all 4 seasons (averages 20-100 F) for highs.

    How do you feel about glass replacements vs. frame and glass replacements?

    Our windows are 10 years old. No low-e and we live in an area that experiences all 4 seasons (averages 20-100 F) for highs.

    Since we do not operate the windows very often and the frames are “ok” we’re thinking about trying just glass replacements to get LowE and better performance.

    1. If you were ordering new sashes from the manufacturer that would be one thing. Trying to replace the glass units in your windows has a relatedly large percentage change of being a problem. Our company used to offer glass replacement and we had so many headaches we needed to stop offering that service.

      It’s certainly possible that it could work out just fine. Just be aware the chance of a problem increases. Be sure to let everyone know how it goes!

    1. You typically see sash kits for wood windows and we’ve installed many of them. Oftentimes it’s not an easy installation and the results aren’t always fantastic. It can work well in certain circumstances, but we’ve found at the end you get pretty new sashes and you still have a beat up old crooked frame.

  28. Am retired on fixed income in SD, CA. Best bang for my buck to replace 5 sliding windows & 6 sliding glass doors.


  29. I have 21 windows that need replacing. The home is 45 years old. Only one big box contactor out of three other contractors stated 14 out of the 21 windows needed the sill replaced due to rotting. He stated you can only replace these windows with “New Construction Vinyl windows vs. Replacement Vinyl windows. He then went on to say you cannot use Replacement Vinyl windows if the sills are bad. Does this sound valid? Other contractors mentioned that they would replace any rotting wood if necessary and still use the Vinyl Replacement.

    1. This does not sound valid. We replace rotten sills when we’re installing vinyl replacement windows all the time.

  30. My bad WD on a closer look Rite Window is the name of the company. They don’t say in their ad what type of vinyl window they install. A rep is coming tomorrow and I will find out then and write again if I have questions. Sorry for the confusion.

  31. Hey Dog, Great site you have and extremely informative. My question is we have a 1936 house on a busy road and we’re on a budget. Would you choose a Pella 350 dual pane tempered (3mm/5mm glass) or Bershire Elite dual pane laminated? I like the smooth pella look and narrow profile of Berks. Or if you think of better mid price window with excellent STC ratings. Thanks!!!

    1. The laminated glass will typically provide better sound reduction. That should serve you well.

  32. Dan,

    We have builder-grade windows (my assumption, but this is an original build); they’re double pane supposedly low-E. At any rate, they need to be replaced as they are drafty and fogged not to mention that in a hard rain they leak (not all, but some). I’ve been following your emails (thanks), but should we go for a complete replacement, frames and all? I realize it depends upon they manufacturer and installer, but the windows I’m most impressed with Alside Mezzo and I don’t know if I can find an installer in the San Antonio, TX area.


    1. Hi Dean, you’re in the same boat as a lot of folks. Builders tend to use really cheap windows. Are your current windows vinyl? If so the whole frame will come out when they’re replaced so that’s not an issue. If they’re wood it typically depends on the condition of the wood frame. We’re about to start another project in San Antonio and I’d be happy to help with yours if you’d like. You can find info on our new program here.

  33. Hi
    Been reading on this site for about an hour now. My wife and I just had a visit from
    HTC Home Town Contractors out of Pace Fl
    Come and look at the brick ranch (built in late 60s) to do a replacement window project. We have 12 Windows They offer Windows by
    Wincore. Explained how the company was formed by executives from another firm
    We’re in Pensacola Fl So we’re going to go with the high impact Windows as the cost difference for the shutter option is minimal
    Looking At the 50 series (offer of a 50 or 70)
    I believe has to due wth the solor protection?
    At any rate the salesmen wasn’t pushy at all answered our questions. I informed him we are about a year out from doing the job as we want to pay cash and have no financing involved
    He was fine with that said price wasn’t guaranteed for that long but would be more likely very close to it
    So with “discounts” they come in at just under $10000 for the 12 double hung impact Windows complete.
    I’ve had two other firms contact me one wouldn’t come out due to the delay in the job that’s fine. Another talked with me at length and offered viynil Windows impact resistant
    At probably about 10 to 12k. I don’t know the window manufacturer on this one
    Any suggestions since we’ve got some time before doing this project?

    1. That’s probably not an unreasonable price for impact windows, but it never hurts to get another quote to compare. Wincore was formed by former Simonton executives, at least that’s the story I’ve heard. You have plenty of time so I’d check Angie’s List and get at least one more quote to make sure you’re in the right ballpark.

  34. Do you have any experience with Amcraft vinyl windows? I am looking to replace, using new construction windows in my house.

  35. Hello Window Dog!
    Great informative site…I am replacing 4 Windows in my 1950 ‘s home.
    Are you familiar with Zen Windows? The Nirvana line? I also got an Okna quote for 500’s that was a bit more expensive.
    Both installation companies have good Angieslist reviews. I am in Milwaukee.

    1. Hi Maxwell, thanks for taking the time to post a comment. I know of a great company in Milwaukee and I’ll be glad to put you in touch with the owner. I’ll send you an email right now. I’m sure he’ll be able to help out.

  36. Received an estimate for windows. $8300 for Sunrise Restoration windows. 1 window is 40×59 and 3 twin mulled windows are 35×59 (6 windows). Does this quote seem reasonable?

    1. 7 windows for $8300? Feels a little fancy, but it’s hard to say for sure. Just get another quote or two and you’ll have a better idea.

  37. Your site has been very helpful. I got a quote from 2 companies.
    Sunrise windows called “sunrise ” which is middle of the road window. 7 windows for about $7000. Windows will have the nail fin and they will replace any rotten wood, trim the inside wood sills, put new house wrap and foam insulation.

    Next company. Simonton prism platinum. $3275. Windows will also have nail fin for installation but didn’t go into detail on what else happens.

    If installation is the same for both companies, is it worth spending the extra 3700? Not sure how long we will be in the house but at least 5 more years. House was built in 1998.

    1. I think the Sunrise is probably a nicer product. You won’t find too many top notch window companies offering Simonton windows. They’re an older design typically offered by smaller outfits. That is a big price difference. It may be reasonable to talk to them more about the details or get another quote to compare.

  38. Hello, WindowDog!
    (And I do love the doggy pic, but s/he should be poking out a window, no?!)
    I just wanted to say, THANK YOU! Your info and suggestions on getting started are great. Your reviews are upfront and sure seem honest and well-considered. (Apparently, you just need to get more folks writing reviews, based on many of the comments I have read – but time and money, and the staggering number of brands and styles out there, have a hand in how many reviews you can realistically do in short order.)
    I am only just getting started in what I am sure is going to be a painful process, so your web site is a breath of fresh air.
    I have seven 120+ year old windows (no storms) falling apart in the third-floor “penthouse” apartment of my three-family. I really WANTED to repair the wood and the fabulous old wavy-glass windows, and was looking to get good old-fashioned triple-track storms. Then I could work on the windows at my leisure (I am a somewhat skilled DIY’er, and pretty fearless in taking on new challenges – I built my penthouse apartment myself – except plumbing/heating – from demo to design to framing to finish. I am one of those Yankee cheap people!)

    However, the Lowe’s rep who came to check it out said he could not find anyone to take it on, due to filler strips put in when the house was vinyl sided; they’d have to be pulled, siding re-cut, etc. I don’t think my fearlessness extends to what I’d have to do to DIY it – third floor, tall house . Vinyl replacements scare me, as the 33 windows in 1st and 2nd floor apts. are crap, and were installed horribly (that was before my time). Price of any replacement windows scares me somewhat too. Wood would be nice, but again – price, and having to do maintenance on outside of windows way up high is not a pleasant thought. (I live in the Northeast, and know wood comes with some expectation of regular paint/stain.)
    So… all that is to say that I am considering my options, and I am REALLY glad I found your site. Will pass it on, too!

  39. Hello window dog, this is our first visit, We are looking for replacement windows and have had 2 estimates of different manufacturers. What do you know about Quaker Advantedge E4 or the Pella 250? Ours is an older home 1960’s and some of the prices we are seeing is outrageous for seniors. Preservation blew us out of our shoes. Can you help? Thank you.

    1. Ha, that can be common with Preservation. The pricing for those really depends on the local dealer. I’m not familiar with Quaker and not a huge fan of the Pella 250. I’d suggest starting with Angie’s List to find a reputable company in the area and then see what they recommend. If you’re not a member you can join here completely free. Good luck with the project and feel free to post more questions.

  40. Great web site! I’m glad I stumbled upon it.

    We got a quote today from a local company (Costal Windows). It seemed weird to me that they would price it out using “window inches” where they would add the width and the height to get the inches for that window (so a 50 by 38 window would be 88inches). At the end, he added all of the inches up for the non-basement windows and multiplied some fixed cost per inch to get us a quote (and then said he can give us a 10 percent discount on that). Is that a standard way to give estimates or just gimmick? I would think you just estimate it per window. No?

    They use soft-lite windows.
    The estimate for 8 double hung windows to replace 8×2 case windows, One picture window with 2 side sliding windows around it, 2 double hung bathroom windows, and 3 basement windows came to $16,582. I realized as I was writing this, I don’t know the series and the packet didn’t really have that info other than we talked about double pane, argon, and foam. Does his quote seem reasonable?

    I also submitted for a quote from Window Universe. I think the link they have to their Angie’s list profile is broken. It took me to the post a review section. However, I couldn’t find a way to actually get to their profile.


  41. hi windowdog, great blog!
    I have had 4 window estimates from 4 different companies for 6 double hung and 1 sliding, 7 windows total. also wanting the woodgrain vinyl option on inside.
    Valley Brook Premium Windows $7165.00, seems way out of line and never heard of valley brook.
    champion 365 12 layer low-E double pain $6329.00 upgrade to wood grain vinyl $7583.00, ouch!
    window world window $4984.00, salesman seems to be wanting to keep brand of window a secret!
    sunrise restorations R7 triple pane $5546.00.
    Ive read positive reviews on sunrise and it seems to be the clear winner, the company using sunrise is running a speacial October deal on triple pane that comes out to be cheaper then the sunrise double pane. windowdog any thoughts??? ever hear of valley brook windows? I would consider window world but im hearing negitive things about them and i hear they do a lot of outsourcing which is kind of a deal breaker.

    1. I haven’t heard of Valley Brook and it looks like google hasn’t either. From the sound of those numbers the Sunrise looks like a decent option.

      1. Champion did come down on their price a bit but not enough to sway me over to them. After many hrs of research I found that the consensus is the sunrise restorations are a bit better window then the champion + the contractors that install the sunrise get very good ratings on Angie’s list, the bummer is they busy so I’ll have to wait a bit.

        1. Sounds like you got to a good place. Remember the windows will be in the house for 30+ years. An extra couple weeks probably doesn’t make much difference in the long run. We sometimes get customers who are very antsy to get their windows in this week instead of next week. In the big picture it makes very little difference. Good luck with the project!

          1. A window dog this is just a follow up, The triple pain resterations were installed 1st week of february on a unseasonable nice 40 degree a day!
            We had just a few really cold days sense the windows got installed. One night we had a low temp of 4 degrees and i turned the humidifier to its highest and the hummidity in the room was around 55% @ 69 degrees and no condensation on windows but more important no drafts! The certainteed windows upstairs that got replaced in the mid 90s by previous owners had condensation on them and were starting to frost. Im very impressed so far but will wait till after some hot summer days to give my final review on angies list.

  42. I am in need of some thoughts and opinions on replacement windows. I need to replace 16 windows, with 14 being double hung, one fixed window, and one large fixed with obscure glass that needs to be tempered. All double pane and white on both sides. I have looked at Pella but wasn’t overly impressed (10k). I liked Gilkey windows (11k) and sunrise windows (12k). I just got an estimate for Polaris ThermaWeld for 9k which seemed descent. I plan to contact them tomorrow to see how much to upgrade to UltraWeld. I liked the block and tackle for the Sunrise and Gilkey. I liked the insulated frame on the Sunrise and Polaris. I liked the lock on the Sunrise. I didn’t care for the balance systme as well on the Polaris and Pella. I also didn’t like the play in the Pella sashes. I did like the 36 months same as cash from Pella. All the installers use foams except the Sunrise installer uses fiberglass. Am I overthinking this whole thing?!!?!?!? Thoughts?!?!

    1. You’re doing some good thinking about it! Keep in mind, all dealers can probably offer the 36 month financing, but it does add to the cost. Some may have included that financing cost upfront and others may not. Nothing is free.

      Don’t worry too much about the foam in the frames, focus on the U-Factor to gauge efficiency. Who cares if the windows are filled with foam or cotton candy? What you care about is the efficiency and you can see that in the U-Factor (and cotton candy might attract ants so that’s a bad idea anyway…).

      Where are you? I might know someone to recommend.

    1. In general I’m not a huge fan of fiberglass or composite windows. What did you like or not like about them?

  43. Thanks so much for your site — a Rosetta Stone in such a (surprisingly) complex area. But I still have questions. I have an oceanfront rental house on the Outer Banks of NC that was hard hit by Hurricane Matthew. Code now requires DP 50 high-impact shatterproof glass windows to replace my old and leaking (air/water/sand) Andersens circa 1995. I have quotes for 7 windows from Home Depot that are all over the map. Anderson Coastal at $30K and Simonton StormBreaker Plus at $8500. I have another quote from a Preservation dealer for 16 (not 7) EnergyMaxx 10 windows for $18,000. They were giving me a deal (after a 4.5 hour sales pitch) if I replaced all the windows. What do you advise?

    1. I have a friend on Hatteras Island who is an expert installer…and builder and roofer and all around good guy. Find him here. If you give him a ring let him know Dan from sent you!

  44. Dear Dan,

    Topic: Casement and Awning replacement plans – backside house

    I have five 3’Wx6’H openings in the rear of my Texas country home & prefer unobstructed views. Two of these windows (for a dining rm.), adjacent to one another, are protected outside by a 3′ soffit; the remaining group of 3 adjacent openings (family rm.) are protected outside by an 8′ porch cover. My plan is to make the dining rm. windows ‘awnings’ and the family room windows casements. These will be latest Revere Elite designs. Because of size & weight do you believe the strength of these with stainless hardware will generally be stout enough to hold up in open position for the long haul?

    Also when in closed position will all 5 windows look alike?

    Thanks in advance for your help! Your answer should help me expedite my order with you.


    1. Hi Joe, I’ve been a little slow on getting to the comments lately. Feel free to shoot me over an email for faster answers. In this case they don’t make the windows in sizes that won’t hold up. You have lifetime warranty and they don’t want to make a product that will fail.

      You’re also right that the casement and awning windows look just about the same when closed from the outside. They’re essentially the same window with a different configuration.

      Hope that helps!

  45. Hello Window Dog,

    I have enjoyed reading your emails and I am now “starting” in earnest to tackle the investigation toward the purchase of replacement windows for my house. But first, I would like to ask your opinion as to an idea of mine ….. and whether it has already been done or if it is even viable.

    I live in south Georgia. My wood frame house is about 35 years old. My window frames are in good condition with no rot. I have mostly double hung, 9 pane windows. On the back of the house, I have storm windows. I cannot remember ever opening a window. I would like to removed the double hung sashes and replace them with one solid window with either a clip-on or an inside the glass pane divider. It appears to me that this could be fairly easily done and look very nice with just a little molding around the insert. Of course, the bedroom windows would need to be double hung so as they were capable of opening for safety. When I have mentioned this to a general contractor they have looked at me rather funny and immediately discounted the idea. I have not spoken to a window installer.

    What do you think? This would apply to over 60% of my windows and would most likely be a fairly inexpensive install.

      1. IMHO the North Star window is built better than many of the big names. I saw one next to a Jeld Wen and a Plygem in a show room and it was twice the window for about $10 more. Not the biggest name out there but it certainly seems to be a well built window. Warranty is good too.

  46. My wife and I are currently in the process of building a home and are approximately 1 week from closing. The windows installed are manufactured by Atrium but not sure of the model or series number. The windows were just cleaned but when the sun hits the glass we noticed smudge marks and some scratching. It appears that these are
    Between the two panes of glass. My builder said he would advise the distributor (oh boy). The builder also indicated that these issues could result from the gas which is used to increase the R value. We are located in Cleveland, Ohio. Any suggestions on who can provide an informed opinion? Thanks

    1. It’s definitely not from the gas. It’s possible that the glass didn’t get properly cleaned before the units were sealed or that the low-e coating has a flaw. I’ve seen both of those happen in the past. The only solution will be to replace them. Should be easy enough.

    2. Atrium is a company that is big on customer service from what I’ve seen around here. The local dealer says that they want happy people. The gas comment is nonsense. Argon is invisible. I asked the local guy about replacement parts and he said there is a sticker in the top of the frame where the inside sash goes. With info from that they can get you anything you need. The builder can solve your problem, make sure he does before you move in.

      1. You’re right that it should be pretty easy to solve. Unfortunately builders don’t always have the b best reputation for helpfulness. Hopefully it gets fixed up.

  47. Love the site! Very informative! Do you know anything about Parco windows out of Eau Claire, WI? Been around for 30 years but can’t find many reviews about them. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Tasha, glad you’re enjoying the site. I’m not familiar with Parco windows. Don’t think they make it out to this area. What did you like or not like about them?

  48. We are looking at doing replacement windows. We have total of 38 windows with 20 of them having transoms. One provider suggested that we don’t do replacement on the transoms and put a window tint material on so that the transoms window color/tint would match the replacement windows. Another suggested doing a wrap on the transoms, problem with that is that the vinyl covers reduce the size of the transom windows and looks like a half open eyelid. We were thinking of doing away with transoms totally. Not sure how the cost would compare with larger replacement sized windows to cover the additional transom size. We would appreciate your thoughts/comments/suggestions. Thank You

    1. Ho Jon, depending on the framing you could probably eliminate the transoms easily enough. They’re typically just there for the style so if you wanted to get rid of them and make the windows larger you can. I don’t think I would suggest skipping them or tinting them as you’ll still be left with old windows. You’ll probably be happier in the long run if you replace all the windows so they’re all the same and they all have warranties, etc.

      If you’d like you can check our recommended contractors list to see if we know anyone in your area.

  49. Hello! I live in Aurora, CO and w/ the weather and where the sun hits our condo i’m not sure if vinyl windows are the way to go?

    I’ve lived in this place for close to 10 years, the place was 15yrs old when I bought it (so assuming 25yrs on the windows?) I noticed over the last 8 years when we had high heat for long periods and cold, the vinyl started to leak air when we would have wind storms.

    My goal is to get new windows to give added value to the home before selling in 5yrs. What do you suggest for windows where direct sunlight 365 (Denver is always sunny!) as I really would like to get good quality as we will be replacing our AC unit, and a few other items to make the house more energy efficient….


  50. my <2 yr old townhome had plygem windows that were not installed correctly, i.e. pickle barrel. builder shimmed the sides but they still leak.
    the local OKNA rep quoted $881 for the 400; $1014 on the 800; and $1095 on the composite. i called OKNA requesting another vendor but was told they have only 1 rep in my zip code?. However, the rep did not provide a quote for the Insul-Tec (500) series. And, the rep did not bring any samples. I did see the 400 and 500 and a cross section of the composite i his showroom. The company is in North Wales, PA and had a good reputation. Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you.

  51. Hi,

    Does anyone have experience with Rite windows out of Woburn, MA? Their double pane, double hung ESM Majestic windows with a U Factor=.23, SHGC=.27 and air leakage of .02. These seem comparable numbers to the Okna 500 Deluxe, but would be cheaper by $800 for 9 windows in the Boston area.


  52. Hello, we are currently in the process of having a new home built here in Virginia. The builder has given us three brand options for the windows. The majority of the windows will be double hung, there will also be a couple of casements. All of the windows are vinyl. We haven’t received pricing for the windows yet, but we wanted to find out about the brands, if one stands out over the others. The window brands we have been given to choose from are MI, Andersen Silver Line, and Jeld Wen. They are all new construction windows since this is a new build. We were hoping to get some opinions on the brands from window experts on this site. Just trying to figure out which brand to go with if the prices are all similar. Thanks!

  53. Very informative site! Based on your insight and local research (Hartford, CT) I seem to have a dilemma. The local Window World franchise has a great installation and service reputation and attractive price but they install a seemingly low-grade product (MI 4000 series). Any thoughts on MI and where should I put the most weight between installation, product and price?

    1. The MI windows aren’t the nicest products out there. If you’re going to be in the house for a while I’d suggest finding someone else who offers another brand.

  54. Lowe’s in my area (60108) is selling the Pella 250 Window series, are these good windows to buy.
    They look better than the Sears ones I bought. We did get a quote and they are having a great
    sale for Memorial Day. We got a quote from Window Works and if we didn’t buy that day the price was going to go up almost $1500.00 to $2000.00 even though they told me over the phone the price was good for a year. Not into pressure sales and will NEVER use them.

    1. I like the Pella 350 windows better. Did you pick one already? I could probably help out in the Chicago area.

  55. Window Dog, do you have any experience with YKK vinyl residential windows. I am comparing and considering YKK, Atrium, Jeld-Wen and Andersen. It’s a new install not a replacement project in the North Florida area. Thank you,

    1. I’m not very familiar with YKK although you’re not the first person to ask about them. What did you like or not like about them?

  56. I’m debating between Atrium 8900, Simonton 9800, Seaway Signature Series, or Interstate Compositewood. Any one better than another?

        1. The wood windows I have now are in great shape with storms. I have a 5000 sf house and the utilities are never more than $350 but the house is totally renovated and my realtor buddy says “new windows are a must vs storms”.

  57. 20+ year old home in SE minnesota, with Caradco (now Jeld-Wen) wood windows. Several of the windows have significant rot under the exterior clading, so the glass/seals have failed. The failed windows are large openings with casement/picture/casement combo units approx 5’H x 7’W. Have six openings that are that size, and another ten that are single casement, double casement, or picture windows. Gotten bids from two different installers: one bid Andersen Renewel with stainable wood interior (44K), one bid Richlin 751 series with stainable wood interior (24K). Want the look of wood windows from the interior, stained to match existing woodwork. Recommendations on wood replacement windows – gun shy after experience with existing wood windows? Any thoughts on the stainable interior wood overlays in terms of appearance over time? When comparing price per window — do I consider those large openings a single window or multiple since they are really three windows installed in a single opening?

    1. If you have 3 windows in a single opening it would typically count as 3 windows. We do a lot with Jeld Wen and Weathershield with good success. I don’t know a good window window installer in your are. Have you found any other options yet?

  58. I live 35 miles south of Madison, Wisconsin and have a 17 year old home with wood windows. I want to replace 10 windows (6 double hung, 3 sliders and a 1 of 3 lite casement), patio door and an entry door. I looked at a lot of windows and had quotes from Renewal by Anderson, Feldco and Jordan Exteriors. I even looked into Starmark by Okna which was priced the highest. I chose Jordan Exteriors because of the reviews, no pressure from Chris, the look of the windows and the cost. We chose the Okna 800 series double pane, deluxe glass package with white in and white out. I was thinking of the triple pane but decided on double. Chris has been great and can’t wait to see how they are after they are installed. The door is manufactured by Albany Doors in Illinois.

  59. Howdy thewindowdog,
    Some wisdom if you please. Purchased ten double hung windows for the house in 2003. What’s happening is the form spacers in the windows are swelling up. So far I have had to replace two windows and I can see where other windows are starting to have the same problem. The company I purchased the windows from are replacing the windows minus the labor costs. Long story short labor costs are starting to add up. My questions are:
    Is this a problem that occurs on all vinyl windows sooner or later.
    Did I receive a bad batch of windows?
    Were the windows not manufactured for the Houston area. Lots of heat, humidity and direct sun light.
    Am I expecting too much for the form spacers to last more than thirteen years?

    Thanks in advance

    1. There was an old spacer called Swiggle that had many failures like that. It’s not a product that exists anymore. I wonder if that’s what you have and why it’s failing. Typically windows should last much longer than that.

  60. We live in Sunset Beach North Carolina and we only have 2 window replacement contractors available in our area. We are looking to replace a triple double-hung and a single double-hung window with casement windows. The price from the first contractor is $2,000 using MI windows and the second price is $2,700 for West windows. $700 seems like a big differential. We were thinking because of a lack of window replacement contractors, we thought to get prices from a general contractor, who can use various window manufacturers. We haven’t seen good reviews on either MI or West windows, that’s why we continue to search. What is your advice?

    1. A general contractor may be able to help out. You do have fewer choices in more rural areas so that’s just part of the fun of living away from the rat race. Have you made a decision yet?

  61. I have a question regarding the pricing of materials and installation. I’m getting window quotes for Vinyl windows. One product has a vinyl brickmold and sill nose option eliminating the need to wrap our existing exterior wood trim. One of the installers charges a material fee that includes aluminum coil amongst flashing, caulk, foam. The window installation charge also includes performing the wrapping. If I go with the exterior vinyl brickmold, he said that charge would stay the same and I asked why if they didn’t need to supply or install wrap. His answer was its automatically priced in on every quote and can’t be removed. Seems I shouldn’t have to pay for a service not being performed. What is the Window Dog suggestion for politely asking if the price can be adjusted for not adding wrap?

    1. I wouldn’t suggest worrying about individual charges like that. Focus on the overall price for the project. If it’s a good price then you’re all set and if it’s not good relative to your other options then you can buy elsewhere. We charge a disposal cost on our orders in some stores and customers will tell us that we’re thousands less than another quote, but they still want to take of the disposal charge. Our answer is typically that it’s part of the project and we’re thousands less than the other company so this should probably be ok.

      I know your charge is a little different, but it’s similar. Focus on the overall price and if it compares well then everyone is happy and if not you can buy elsewhere.

  62. I have two window prices for okna 500 at $5141 win core 5400 at $5100. Both are high quality installers with 5 star reviews. The difference is the win core installer will put on the window casing and all I have to do is buy the casings and paint them. The salesman said the only difference between the 4500 and the 7700 is the 7700 has two security latches. Its not worth buying the 7700.
    I like the idea of not having to finish the windows on the inside. I would like your comments and recommendations.

    1. I bet they’d both put up the interior trim if you buy it and paint it. Did you end up picking one yet? How’d it go?

  63. Hi There,
    We live in New Jersey (just outside of Philadelphia). We have a 160 year old house with its original windows. Our house isn’t in the nicest neighborhood of the town, but it has LOADS of charm. Because of the neighborhood, as with all upgrades we make to this house, we will NEVER get the money back in what we can sell the house for. This is not our forever home, but we’re committed to staying for a few more years (5-8).

    So, we need new windows, but don’t want to invest tons on money into fancy windows that we won’t get a return on when we move in the future.

    Any advice?

  64. Earlier this evening we had RBA out to give an estimate on replacing all 8 windows on our 1972 ranch style house…I booked the appointment last night when they called after I inquired online…I knew immediately that it was going to a long drawn out deal… I didn’t care about his stories of other customers and his experience with them… I’m much more interested in a short run down on RBA’s product..then of course the cost….he arrived at 5:45PM finally at 7PM we were given the price… it was decided that if we were proceeding it would be 3 windows at a time…are you sitting down? UPWARDS of $9000. for 3 windows…We had expected a high dollar amount but NOT to this extent..Of course there was some pressure to sign now but the sales guy was no match for me…at the beginning of the end when he was hesitant to leave I made it painfully clear that if we decide to go with RBA he would hear from me soon …PERIOD! He left… BTW we did get the ” husband & wife ” should be present at the appointment… bottom line is its NOT GOING TO HAPPEN…

  65. We are getting replacement windows and had a salesman from Your American Window out. They have been in business for 10 years. Climate solutions are the manufacturers. My problem is I can find no information about this company online, good, bad, or otherwise. We are in the Chicago area. Do you have any knowledge of this company?

  66. We just inherited a parents home. The money pit. The entire 40 yr old home is stone. Most of the Anderson windows and doors leaked and we are going to have to replace drywall along with with Windows. My opinion is the installer definitely needs to know what they are doing. Do you recommend anyone in the IL southeast area?

    1. Hi Cindy, I don’t really know anyone to recommend in that area right now. Good luck with the project, sounds like an adventure!

  67. I know these are both low end windows, but is there a difference between the Alside Fusion windows and MI Windows 2000 series windows? Is one better than the other or more energy efficient for winters here in cold Michigan? I have had a harder time finding much info on the 2000 series windows. This is for a house I’m plan to be in for 5 years tops. Thank you!

  68. HI- Great site! I’m doing replacement windows and have been offered Wincore 5400. The reviews on that look to be mediocre. I also have the option of Survivor VINYL WINDOWS 7100 SERIES. I don’t see much information on Survivor other than their website.
    I was wondering if you’ve ever heard of this brand. I’m in Connecticut so really looking for something to keep the cold air out. Thanks

  69. Hello,

    We are looking into replacement windows and received several bids. The best bid so far with a mid-line window was Window Depot who is offering a window called Compass by Vista. They claimed this is a proprietary window but I haven’t been able to find much in the way of criticism with online searches. Do you or anyone here have any feedback about Window Depot and their products?

        1. Thanks! I filled out the form. I found a bit more info on the windows, they are Vista but the panorama series with a reinforced frame.

  70. Hi, What a great resource your website is for those wanting to replace windows! But do you have any information on new construction windows? Our builder offers a couple brands that they will install and I could really use help deciding which is the best between Andersen – Series 200, 400, or Silverline. Or PlyGem – Pro Series or Mira Premium Series. Can you help me? If you had to choose between these two, which is the best? And better yet, If you could choose ANY window you wanted, but were budget conscious, what window would that be? Thanks again for your help!

    1. Hi Amy, I think the Alside Mezzo window represents a pretty good option because you can get it with an integrated nail fin and you get a 0.04 air infiltration rate which is something most new construction windows don’t come close to. Unfortunately, builders often use the cheapest windows they can get and the results aren’t great.

  71. I am dealing with a similar problem with Alside or Associated Materials warranty department. Moister is creating in between the dual pane some windows are so bad that mildew is growing which clearly is a seal problem or manufacture problem or defect . I have been back and forth with warranty department I have spent more than 2 hours on the phone not counting time spent on sending emails back and forth taking pictures writing all of serial numbers etc . They finally told me that windows are not cover because im the second owner and the time frame has voided the LIMITED LIFE TIME WARRANTY. No costumer should go thru all this trouble when its clearly a MANUFACTURED PROBLEM OR DEFECT from their part. I will never deal with this company again or recommend it I will be telling all my friends and family to never do business with this company. Their number is (425)481-7101 claim number 0104254.
    Show less

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your experience. The warranty on any product is the warranty. If you buy a car with a 36,000 mile warranty and try to get free repairs at 50,000 miles you’ll likely find that you’re out of luck. I don’t know that it’s reasonable to be mad at someone about that. It’s written in black and white and easy to see.

  72. Looking for local window company in Richmond, VA. Want to replace new construction windows that are 18 years old? Any suggestions?

  73. I’m in East Central Ks. and wanting to replace the eleven 35 year old Crestline Casement windows in my house and have had several different window companies give me bids. My brother is in the market for new windows too & talked to ENERLUX windows out of Crete Nebraska and they look to be good but on their websight have AAMA test ratings but no NFRC ratings. Anyone know anything about their windows and why they do not show NFRC ratings? From what I’ve researched, those are the true apples to apples tests.

  74. I’m in Washington, MI and looking at Sunrise, North Star and Pro Via Encore – can you tell me the best choice. Prices are very close. The Sunrise dealer does not specify the model of the Sunrise and that is confusing since I’m reading about different models. Any info would be appreciated.

  75. WindowDog,

    We are looking at replacing 18 windows in our split-level home (built in the mid to late 50s). We have the aluminum-framed 1 over 1 double-hung windows in most of the house; they look like they were replacement windows because they stick out from the siding…a lot! We have one pair of wood windows that look like they might be original to the house, but they are single-pane. We have no choice but to go with replacements, but we want to make sure they are installed correctly so our house looks better. Any recommendations? Home Depot is pressuring us to make a decision on their Simonton 6500 series window…but we have no idea what it will look like on our house. Recommendations? Lehigh Valley area, PA

  76. Looking for new construction fiberglass to be installed by my contractor and me (15-year old vinyl we did is working fine). Got prices for Fibertec (Canada), Andersen A-series , Marvin Integra and Pella Impervia. Pella has bit better SHG and VLT, with decent U, and is much cheaper.

    Any experience with these or explanation of how one is priced so much lower than the others? Thank you.

  77. Any current suggestions for company and product in Northern Virginia? There must be 100’s of companies all offering different products in the area. So far my only quote is from Pella (Encompass model), and I’m guessing they are a good $5000 over what other companies might offer. The salesman didn’t push any of their other lines (250, 350) saying they wouldn’t make a noticeable difference from the Encompass series relative to the cost difference.

  78. Hi, I have an unfinished basement (we may finish it at some point). I am looking to swap our builder grade windows for something more secure and efficient and white. Any recommendations for make of window? I live in Naperville (60540) IL.


  79. Moved in 4 years ago to a 30 year old house an need to replace all windows but would like to start with 10 that are in most need, we have met with several windows companies only to find out they have given us a sales pitch were their window is basically going to change our life and for that reason we need to pay a ton of money.

    We live in a Chicago Suburb, the subdivision is somehow nice with well maintained homes around us, we currently have Andersen 400 and I’m inclined to replace with the same but not necessary.

    Andersen 100 is more reasonable price than the 400 and is made from Fibrex which is the same material used on their higher end series, on the other hand I prefer to do this replacement project done right than saving a bit of money.

    We like to have a dark color outside and white on the inside, any suggestion is appreciated.

  80. First off, I would like to thank you for putting this site together.

    Second about a year ago my wife moved into a home and need to replace a lot of casement windows. We would like to start off with 25 windows. We’ve got quotes from Pella (450), Anderson (Fiberex), Marvin (Integrity & Infinity), and Great Lakes (EcoSmart).

    We are looking to do full frame jobs and the prices range from $23K – $28K, this seems kind of high to us and we think we could do better. We’re in the suburbs west of Chicago and get very cold winters and hot summers. We’d like a option that can perform and handle both seasons and last for years to come, but we don’t want break the bank or sacrifice quality. Can you please advise ?

    Also, we’re leaning to towards the Marvin Integrity Ultrex with a wood interior return, are these good windows?

  81. I’m so confused. There is SO much info out there. Its hard to know truth and reliable reviews. We live in the Colorado plains. Its hot and windy in the summer, cold and windy in the winter. We used Amerimax Windows in our house in the city. But our here, I don’t know what window to buy. I want a double-hung tilt-in window and I have to be careful because we have 32 windows in our house. And a sliding door. That’s alot of money. Please help me find a definitive solution.

    1. Revolution isn’t a real brand. It’s a private label that one company uses and they could sell any product under that label. I believe they used to be Sheffield windows which were an older design with worse ratings. I don’t know if they’ve changed or upgraded what they’re offering under that brand.

      I’m considering starting a private label window directory so folks can help to sort through some of that fluff. The challenge is that companies will change what product they’re offering without changing the brand name so it’s hard to tell what you’re really getting.

      You could ask them for the model number or send us over a copy of the brochure and we can help to show you what model it really is.

  82. What can you tell me about Apex Energy Solutions? They offer triple paned windows and I’m just wondering if they are better than double paned windows. I couldn’t find anything about them under your reviews. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated

    1. They’re not listed under the reviews because they’re not a manufacturer. They install Alside windows to the best of my knowledge. They do use a decent Alside window, but I’m personally not a fan of the way they operate.

      What’s your zip code? I may be able to provide another option.

  83. I live in Chicago and am trying to replace 14 double hungs on my house. We are down to Thermal Industries 7000 series and Kensington HPP 300 series. Any thoughts?

  84. Hi, I’m having a new house built. The builder has installed the wrong windows and we are having BIBS insulation installed. He wants to have insulation installed now, then remove and replace wrong windows. What could go wrong here? Is it ideal to have windows in first and insulation last, does it matter? He also installed cheap Pella Encompass windows, so there’s that too. Thank you in advance for your help.

  85. I signed up for 12 Anderson Renewal replacement windows for around $17500. Salesman was somewhat pushy and we fell for the “appointment sign-up” sale. I am definitely feeling like this is on the high side and may back out of the deal. Do you think it’s possible to find a nice replacement option for cheaper?

  86. I am looking to replace my sliding door. There is a leak in the corner where water gets in and my header joist gets wet when it rains. Would you replace the header noice? Or just install a new flashing as part of the door that will keep the header dry in the future?

  87. I have double pane double hung windows here in Sarasota FL. I have large issues with condensation in the winter on one side of the house. I also have problems with water /dirt in the window due to drainage issues. My windows feel metal with vinyl around the glass. Would like to know my options for replacement. Obviously hot climate. Also interested in understanding options for hurricane protection. Currently we have no protection and leave the area when there is a storm.

  88. HI,

    I’m looking at replacement windows and just want to get a good window at a fair price.

    I was quoted $1450 per twin casement window, installed. The brand is Lindsay casement Pinnacle series. Do you have an opinion on those windows and that rate?

    Thanks for your feedback!

  89. Hi
    We’re in zip code 49336 – new construction. Looking for an energy efficient, low maintenance window with good warranty.
    Probably vinyl…maybe fiberglass, but, have read not to put fiberglass into new construction as house hasn’t had time to settle.
    Not impressed with Pella-wood is great, other options, not so much. Have read/heard not good things about Anderson. Read mixed reviews about Jeld-wen – for last couple years. We’ve looked at Polaris and Marvin, too.
    Open to any thoughts/suggestions you may have. We need to makw a decision quick!

  90. Hi! We’re in the initial stages of getting quotes for replacement windows. So far, we have a quote for Renewal by Anderson and Marvin Integrity windows. Last quote will be from Window World. Any comments on which are better? Also, not sure if we’re going with casement or sliders…what’s your recommendation. We’re in southeastern Wisconsin so colder winters and warm summers.

    1. You’re comparing different things when looking at Window World, Marvin Integrity and Renewal by Andersen windows. Did you pick on yet and what made the difference for you?

  91. Hi… I’ve been reading your site as I research replacing 2 bay windows at the front of my house. I’ve gotten 3 quotes ($12K, $18K and $25K) for the two bay windows. I understand it’s not just the window, but also the head & seatboard, and that’s why it can be so expensive. Does this sound reasonable? And the $12K quote is from one of companies on your recommended list… but the terms of the contract (and description of window) are very sparse, and I’m hesitant to sign a contract where it’s not clearly specified of what I am getting. The $18K quote had specifics and details of the window, and the $25K also had no details and was just a quote on price. This is not a small amount of money, and I’m hesitant to purchase a $12K window that I have not seen and don’t even know the exact details of what I’ll be getting (i have a model number, but that’s it).

    1. I’d say if you’re unsure about something just ask them and see if you can get some clarification. When you’re talking about a $6k+ price difference I think it would be worth the time to see if you can resolve your concerns. If not, there are always other options.

    2. To DK,
      See te difference between them
      Start from the material they’re using, research it, ask for the thermal properties of the glass, and why they work that way, and how long you should expect that feature to last, keep in mind, nothing last forever, stay away from triple pane if your goal is energy efficiency, you can find some brands that offer lower u values with double pane than triple pane, read the warranties, look up the companies and what their feedback is online from other people, follow your gut but see the facts as well

      1. Hi Jay, what are the thermal properties for the glass you sell? This advice feels a little suspect to me.

        1. Your comment seems suspect since I don’t tell people one company is better than other, I just like to help people but helping them understand warranties so they’re happy with what they buy, all pros and cons ladies on the table

          1. No, it seemed suspect because it doesn’t make sense. Felt like the kind of thing you might hear in a window sales seminar. For example, triple pane is more efficient than double pane glass. You don’t find companies with options for double pane glass with better efficiency. I know companies can make this info difficult to sort through. Just let us know if we can help out.

          2. Window dog, it almost feels like I’m talking to Tucker Carlson here, triple pane argon filled windows as well as double pane low e argon windows both let massive amounts of heat coming to the house in the summer and wasting heat in the winter, sure maybe they’re both better than single pane, and yes maybe triple and quad pane windows can achieve a bit more energy efficiency than double pane but if they all waste heat, are they really energy saving windows or should we label them “ this window wastes a bit less heat then the competition” if they’re crap, does it matter which is crappier?

          3. I’m having a little trouble following you. You think Krypton gas lowers the SHGC rating or somehow helps in the summer more than Argon gas in windows?

  92. A am being directed to YKK AP windows for my new construction house. My goals are good efficiency, bullet-proof/no maintenance, and reliable.

    What am I giving up by not going with a better known brand, Anderson, Pella, etc?

    1. I’m not too familiar with that product specifically, but it’s not at all unusual for folks to be unfamiliar with the various window manufacturers. Unless you’ve been in or around this business before there will likely be many manufacturers that you’ve never heard of. I don’t think that means they’ll be any better or worse than a company you have heard of. Good luck with the project.

    2. By not going with those 3 brands you’re wont be paying for expensive advertising, those products are back by weak warranties, the good things about being big is that usually you can go to their websites and download warranties, you’ll be surprised at what you read, the best place to hide things are at plain sight

        1. Ok, maybe you skipped physics in high school, or maybe you don’t remember Chemistry, if you google the periodic table, you will find under the noble gas line, argon and right below two latter Kr, that means krypton, also means the lower they are placed in the table the heavier they are, which in this case, the denser they are, can we at least agree on that?
          Go ahead, google it, I’ll wait for the response
          Unless like in the movie “my cousin Vinny” the laws of physics work different in your part of the US, so YES, the denser the gas the more energy efficiency the glass will get, the bigger the atoms the slower the dissipation rate, WOW! we are getting somewhere here Dan, which means lower u values, lower Solar heat gain coefficiency, yes, titanium dioxide helps, gees!, even silver oxide coating s help but if you want people to believe you, please acknowledge science, and yes again, Krypton will help achieve lower reading and stay lower for way, waaaaayyyyy longer than argon
          The window dog, Dan, please don’t argue about facts, I can guide you if you’re ignorant on a subject, just for the love of god, don’t confuse people by giving them wrong information, now, if you’re agenda is to push your window at WU, then I apologize, I thought this website was unbias and educational, not trying to sell garbage to people
          If you’d like to can direct contact me at
          If I may recommend a book “ what Einstein told his cook” is a great read

          1. Don’t you think if there was data to support the idea that windows filled with krypton gas held up better than windows filled with argon gas we’d see real information from the manufacturers rather than sarcastic comments from industry outsiders who enjoy learning about windows?

            They’d be screaming it from the hilltops, every salesperson would have a flyer touting the virtues of krypton gas. Why do you think we don’t see that? The fact that we don’t tells me there is no meaningful difference in real world results.

  93. I live in Wisconsin,so varying temperatures, winds and elements. I am looking for an awning window above kitchen sink that would need to replace existing so needs to be custom. I am having hard time deciding between fiberglass, composite or vinyl. Also, dont know what brand. This is too hard to choose. Ugh! I liked the idea of fiberglass due to the durability and no warping , but have read your reviews that your are not impressed, so that made it even more confusing. I am not going for the look of wood as I want white interior and exterior. Please help!

  94. Hello. Appreciate thewindowdog’s great info, including link to WindowUniverse (NH), hoping they serve northern suburbs of Boston. I’m considering Zen Windows and another independent contractor with good reviews on Angie’s List. Specific models aside, which company, if either–Simonton or Softlite (which I think supplies Zen)–is better overall if we want a vinyl replacement window with solid ratings and good value?

  95. A while back in one of your responses, you submitted a bid to a customer that wasn’t a Sunrise or a Soft Lite window. You indicated that your window was equal to the testing #’s of those two windows. I was curious what window you typically recommend or would recommend aside from Sunrise and Soft Lite.

    I live in Green Bay and looking for replacement double-hung windows suitable for the climate.


    1. My company offers different models in different areas depending on several factors. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone in Green Bay to recommend, but I’m sure there good options up there. Have you found a good one yet?

    2. Joe,
      Around your area I hope I’m right by assuming, the heating of the house may be more important than the cooling of it ( as far as the energy efficiency goes) if so, look for windows that exceed the u factor called for your area, if the silly “energy star” call for u values at or lower than .33, look for windows that are way WAY below that, low 20’s and teen number will do it , just look also for the Visibility number to make sure it doesn’t drop below 43, other wise that glass may be too dark, like a dirty fish tank, and have the company warranty thermal efficiency of the glass IN UOUR CONTRACT so they get legally liable for that performance since it’s your money that the oil or gas company’s

  96. I’m replacing 3 screens in a three season room to windows for year round use of the room. Two are 68″H x 57″W and one is 68″H x 45″W. I received three quotes:

    Pella 350 Series vinyl slider – $5,600
    Soft-Lite LS Imperial 2 lite vinyl slider – $4,050
    Preservation Reserve 3002 2 lite vinyl slider – $2,615

    These quotes are all in – product, labor, etc.
    Any guidance would be appreciated!


  97. Wincore screens are garbage-they don’t seal enough to keep out insects and the rep said to ‘use insect spray on a sponge and stick it in the holes’. ‘You can make it sit better in the track if you take it out and bend it a little–but then your screen will sag.’ Screens that are separating in the corner are ‘just two pieces of metal in a joint–that’s normal.’ Stiff windows should be fixed with Downey fabric softener. Seriously–stay away from these windows if you ever plan to open or close them!

  98. Hi, struggling to decide between several brands and found your website, you seem to be so helpful, so maybe you can help me! I am trying to decide between the Pella 250, Marvin Essential, and the ProVia Endure. My home is in northern Illinois along the Wisconsin state line, built in 1979, a ranch in a smaller town. I need to replace 5 bedroom windows(3 ft x 3 ft), 2 on the north side, 2 east and 1 south. the south window gets full sun all day. I still have the original Andersens with storms, they held up well but the south window is shot(warped, wiggles,drafty)as well as one east window, but surprisingly no foggy glass. I ended up with these 3 choices because I want a reasonable jam extension for blinds, my house is 2×4 construction( I want to install top down/bottom up shades in all the windows because I live in town and they offer great options for privacy and screwing them to the trim they stick out, hang crooked etc.) and after looking at many brands(and per the salesman)the PELLA 250, Marvin Essential or ProVia endure were my choices for a narrower window/wider jam extension. I should say I do want white vinyl/fiberglass inside and out, I like maintenance free. All that being said, whats your opinion? Will the fiberglass or vinyl hold up better on that south window? Pella uses the fuzzy weatherstripping, Marvin rubber type seals and ProVia both, is one better than the other? Marvin is only 2″, will it insulate as well as ProVia which is thicker and more chambers in the sash? How long until I would have to paint the fiberglass? With such a wide jam extension would the Marvins look out of place in my older home? As you can see I have lots of questions and am hoping an independent opinion or any suggestions you have to offer will help. Yes, I have asked the sales person these questions and of course they are all “good” windows. The company I went to does seem to have a good installation reputation , but if you have someone to suggest in far north central Illinois I would appreciate it. Thank you!

    1. I’m not a huge fan of fiberglass generally because of the silly claims that we hear from their salespeople. Of the windows you mentioned the Provia would probably be my choice. Good luck with the project.

  99. Hi, looking for choices. What does it mean to be high end vinyl. Had a quote from Marvin infinity, but now looking at Provia (which series should I look at?) and Sierra pacific (I know you have not reviewed yet. Also got a quote for Vytec but is see you review is not great. Live in NJ, have casement and will replace with casement and some sliders to cut cost. What do you think of those 2 and any other brands I should consider? It is so confusing!!

    1. There are a ton of choices and the labels like “high end” don’t always make any sense. I often suggest finding a reputable company to help you with your order before you fall in love with one window model or another. What’s your zip code? We may be able to recommend someone to help out.

  100. Who makes a good casement window with blinds built inside them that isn’t hiway robbery priced? I’ve checked on Pella and Soft-lite..Pella is very expensive and Soft-lite is plumb nuts on their price.

    1. Ha, it’s probably more the dealer that is nuts on their price. Those guys tend to make huge margins when they do succeed at selling a project. I’m nota huge fan of blinds inside the windows. The blinds get old long before the windows do and you’re stuck with old and broken blinds in your perfectly fine windows. I’d suggest getting regular blinds, much less expensive and easy to replace in 5 or 10 years.

  101. Good day, I want to build a new air-tight passive house with Low-e 3 with argon casement windows. The house will be built between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro, NC. This is Low-e 3 country. Lots of builders are using low quality MI and Ply Gem vinyl windows, followed by Ply Gem 1500 series, then Jeld-Wen, then Windsor Aluminum windows on $1 million homes. Then a scattering of Anderson, Pella windows.

    Here are my choices –

    Vinyl Windows – MI, Ply Gem (builder and 1500 series), Jeld Wen (builder and premium), YKK AP Styleview, Sierra Pacific

    Fiberglass – Integrity (I read you are not a fan of fiberglass claims)(they make low-e 2 windows down here, low-e 3 would be a special order).

    Aluminum Windows – Windsor

    Aluminum clad Wood windows – Anderson, Jeld Wen Siteline, Sierra Pacific

    Aluminum, vinyl and wood Windows – Sierra Pacific H3 Casement

    Pella is available, but I know nothing about them.

    I have narrowed it down to YKK AP Styleview and Jeld Wen Siteline, casement windows. YKK Styleline windows offer NEAT coating from Cardinal windows, which looks impressive. Is it worth the money?

    What is your opinion?

    1. Hi Rocky, I haven’t come across and Amerimax window in a while. I remember the last time I did see them it was a cheaper looking product. It’s possible they’ve updated things. What did you like or not like about the Amerimax window you saw?

  102. I have Aluma Glass windows in my house. They are double pane aluminum frames. They were installed in 1985. They slide right to left. There a 3 windows that have condensation out of 13. I have one Garden window. They have hard water spots on the outside. My question is whether I should replace the windows or can I just replace the front glass of the window and have the seals fixed on the ones showing condensation?

    1. Often times replacing the glass on an old window can cost almost as much as new windows and you’re left with old windows that have new glass rather than new windows with warranties, etc. If you tackle it yourself you can sometimes end up saving a bit, but that can sometimes be easier said than done. Replacing the glass in old windows, especially old aluminum windows can be trickier than people expect sometimes.

  103. Question – I received a quote from a local company. They need to do some mullion removals and are recommending metal wraps for $95/window or a “full tear out/full-system nail fin installation.”

    What does this mean to me and what do you think is a better option?

    1. Some companies will definitely make that more confusion than it needs to be. The full tear out nail fin installation is often not necessary, but there may be a reason they’re suggesting it. I’d say your best bet is to ask them the advantages and disadvantages and if they can’t explain it or if you don’t trust them just find someone else.

      That is a question that’s pretty easy to explain in person so they shouldn’t have any trouble.

  104. I have had six different window company quotes. Four of the companies all use Simonton. The other two are Alside. I have a choice from the Simonton 5500, Alside Mezzo, and the Preservation series. All are coming in around the same price. Since I am in North Florida and most of my house’s windows are in direct sunlight, I looked at the triple pane. I did get double pane prices as well. What are your suggestions on these types of windows? I am just getting overwhelmed now. Thanks for any information.

    1. I’d rank those choices Preservation, Mezzo, 5500. If the cost is the same and you’re happy with each company I’d probably pick the Preservation model because it gets you upgraded hardware over the Mezzo. Downside to the Preservation is that the air infiltration is a little higher than Mezzo and it uses a slightly thicker frame. If those are critical aspects for you I’d pick the Mezzo model.

      Good luck with the project.

  105. I am the superintendent in a condo complex. There are 54 units in the building and they have Silverline double hung through out.
    I have to replas some of the broken sashes and wanted to know where to buy them. We use to deal with silverline directly in therre New Jersey office.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    regards, Dan Douglas

    1. The number on their website is (844) 332-8288 so you might start there. Silverline was recently bought out as it had been owned by Andersen in the past. I haven’t heard much about the quality or warranty service since being purchased. Let us know how it goes.

  106. Thanks for very helpful website. I am looking at windows by Climate Solutions, which offers an 8000 series window. I found a good contractor and these are the windows that he installs. Do you know anything about these windows? As far as I can tell, they are solid windows, maybe a slight step below the Soft Lite imperial LS. I look forward to hearing from you, and again thanks for a great website.

    1. I’m not the worlds biggest Soft-Lite Imperial LS fan so that’s not saying too much. Is it the 8000 series made by either Associated Materials or Alside? That info would give us a better idea of what he’s suggesting.

  107. Just had Andersen replacement windows installed beginning of February. Picture window with 2 casements. Already had people back twice because they are more drafty than 20 year old contractor grade windows. First guy used foam block outside and next guy used silicon caulk all the way around the brand new window inside. Should this be remotely expected?

    1. Well, there are factors that can contribute to that. Do they think they have it solved, or are you still having an issue?

  108. Purchased a 20 year old house just outside Savannah, GA and am having work done before moving in. There was evidence of some prior leaking around many of the windows. Outside has been sealed and seems to be no more leaking.

    However, I discovered most of the windows have components that are broken or the windows don’t open or shut right or they have broken seals. I have been told they’re okay and no threat and don’t need to be replaced right away.

    I feel like they need to be replaced, but trying to get professional help is very confusing. I learned there are 2 types of windows – replacement windows and new construction windows. If money were no object, I would replace them now with new construction windows. If you buy replacement windows, they don’t have flashing and you don’t know what the state of the insulation or existing flashing (or lack of) is. All those things seem like replacement windows would make no sense if you have possible water intrusion, moisture issues from humidity or condensation, or poorly insulated window frames.

    I just can’t wrap my head around it all, though. How do I find an intelligent and knowledgeable contractor who can look at my house and tell me what I need to know to make a sound decision? Can they pull siding off around the window to see the condition and existence of flashing, vapor barrier, and insulation? So far, all I get is folks telling me the windows ate fine or they are window salesman who just want to sell me whatever brand they deal in.

  109. Please be wary of Home Advisors. Follow the money. That back their “workers” to the hilt NOT YOU the consumer. Remember that the workers, painters, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. are the one’s who keep them in business.
    I had a lady paint my kitchen cabinets and wooden stairs. She used the same paint on both. I don’t plan on walking on my cabinet doors. I came home the first day and she had used my laptop. Watched several Netflix movies. Not the sharper knife in the drawer, she didn’t even clear her history. And there was gray paint on my laptop. And I still noticed it even on the aluminum Mac Book Pro. I asked her nicely the next time she decided to use it could she please wipe the paint off of it.
    One day she got mad at me and I thought she was gonna hit me. She was in USMC I was not.
    And one day she washed the clothes in my washer and dried then. So she could wash her own clothes. REALLY???? I’ve had a lot of men work in my homes over the years without any of these incidents.

    I was so angry but I waited because I didn’t trust myself to make a comment. But I did about a month later. She came back and blasted me big time. I’m sure many here have heard the ream quote.
    Home Advisor “talked” to me on their comment section. Backing her. So I read some more of her reviews. Most were as bad if not worse than mine. And yet she’s still on their website.
    You’ve been warned. I hope you get a legit quote and a good worker.

    1. Wow, that’s quite a time you had. I would say your issue is probably with that contractor rather than with Home Advisor.

  110. So we had WindowNation out and they quoted $5800 for 10 double hung Grandview windows. They appear to be a little better than the Georgetown, but not the Fortis quality. We do like their reputation and installing and know they aren’t the cheapest. We felt like this was a good value for what we were getting, but after some further research I’m questioning if we left money on the table or are better off with another window? This is not our forever home, but is our home for another 5 years or so.

  111. Hi Window Dog,

    Thank you for this website. My dad is looking to replace 13 Double hung windows in a house he recently purchased in NY (10956). After getting a quote from renewal by Anderson ($22k) not sure what model they were pushing on him, needless to say he started looking for other ways to replace old vinyl windows. The inside of the Double panes have the seals cranked and dilapidated.

    My father wants to order just the window panes and replace just the windows inside the Plastic holding it together. Any advice if that’s a good idea?

  112. i am dealing with Zen Windows for a quote in Charlotte NC and i noticed
    that you recommend then on this website…do you still recommend them now?
    is there anyone else in Charlotte that i can get a 2nd quote from that you would recommend?

    Zen is quoting Softlite windows to me by the way, 11 windows and one half circle window as well for about $8000
    Mike from Charlotte NC

    1. I do think Brian and his team do a great job down there. Don’t know anyone else in the area to recommend, but I expect you’d be happy with them.

  113. Do you know anything about Precision Millworks ENVIROGUARD windows?

    Any thoughts on Vinyl vs Cellular PVC?

    1. I’d ask them about the air infiltration rate. They might not seal as well as a vinyl window. That would be my guess, will be curious to hear what they say.

  114. Hi guys- All these ‘top brands’ don’t seem to be sold in the Northwest (Pkna, Sunrise, Soft-Lite, Zen, Simonton). I do think I can get Andersen. I’m building my own home and what am I to do? Settle for Jeld-Wen? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and take care,

  115. I have been comparing sliding glass door companies. I have looked at Angie’s List and have 2 companies in mind. One sells Sunrise and the other sells Revere. Specially, I am looking at the Sunrise Verde and the Revere Sanctuary 6400. How do these two compare on quality and efficiency?

    Is the Sunrise Vanguard or Revere Berkshire Elite worth the difference in prices compared with the Sunrise Verde and Revere Sanctuary 6400?

  116. The price for the Revere Sanctuary sliding glass door I’m looking at is $2363, and the Sunrise Verde is $3228.00. So is the price and quality worth it?

    1. I’m pretty familiar with the Revere model and I think it’s a great door. For $900 extra for the Sunrise door I don’t know if you get $900 of value. Did you see anything about it that you liked better?

        1. That sounds good. You’ll find most nicer doors will have 2 or 3 locking points. At some point it’s as secure as it’s going to get and someone will break the glass before they break the lock. Cheaper doors do definitely use cheaper hardware that can leave a lot to be desired.

  117. I am currently in the process of replacing 11 vinyl windows in the New York area. I have an installer that I really like. His supplier who he’s worked with for 15 years who also has great reviews offers both Provia vinyl and aluminum clad wood weather shield windows . My wife and I like the weather shield due the fact they had more options in colors and features and was only a few thousand dollars more ; but after reading some reviews it seemed that there were a lot of issues in the past with the weather shield windows. It seems as if they made some changes in 2018 as far as getting their glass from Cardinal and making some changes in design. I was wondering if you know anything to help finalize our decision . Thank you

  118. We are looking to replace our doublehung windows in our recently purchased 85 year old home. 22 windows total, including one round one and 5 sliders in the basement (the basement windows are currently metal and built into the concrete of the house which he will build wooden frames for to install replacements). We received a quote from a reputable company for $9,350 for Alside Mezzo and $9800 for Wincore 7700. The window installer has a 10 year warranty on labor and lifetime window warranty. I’m really struggling to figure out which window is better. The $450 price difference doesn’t make a huge difference, I’m more concerned about quality of window.
    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Laurie, I’d probably pick the Mezzo window between those 2 choices. Mostly because they’re backed by a much larger company. Where are you located? We might be able to help out with another option.

  119. What is the difference between replacement windows and new construction? And are they interchangeable? We are getting ready to tear our house down and rebuild in the same spot. We need lots of windows, having difficulty getting a call back from anyone. Business must be good.

    1. Hi Brenda, business is pretty good right now for most companies but they should still be calling you back! In terms of replacement windows vs new construction windows the only difference is the nail fin that goes around the perimeter. In general windows that are designed to be replacement windows are often of higher quality than windows designed to be new construction windows but there are always exceptions.

  120. Hello Windowdog,
    I have been getting quotes on a fairly large project here in Rochester NY.
    13 DH windows, “typical” 1958 house size (all currently single pane with storms)
    1 Bay Window
    1 three lite slider (80×60″)
    2 Casement
    1 Picture
    Aluminum wrap, bay includes new roof covering which I think is common practice but one or two installers made a point mentioning this.

    I’ve got Okna quoted at ~$20,000 for everything for the 500 series. The 800 series is ~$600 more (total, not per window).
    Alside Mezzo came in ~$16,000
    Softlite Imperial – $22,500
    Also have a local brand, Comfort, $17,000
    Renewal by Anderson – $42,500 (oof)

    I’m leaning towards Okna but the $4,000 premium seems a tad steep to me over the Mezzo series? Hoping you might have some input? Is Okna worth the $4,000 premium?

    1. Hi Nick, when comparing the Okna 500 model vs Alside Mezzo windows did you see anything that would justify the $4,000 price difference? I do have much more experience with the Mezzo windows than the Okna models. One of our locations has been carrying the Okna 600 line for some time now with perfectly good results. I’d say those two options would be the best choices on your list.

      1. The biggest thing I noticed was the work around the Bay Window. The folks doing the Mezzo were either requiring me to remove the roof material on the bay myself, or were leaving the current roof and cobbling a bay window in. I say cobbling because it’s currently a Bow going to a Bay.

        The Okna group is doing it all, installing a new roof over the bay and doing all the tear out. I just have to paint after. I was able to get them to come down $1,500 negotiating which is nice, so they’re much closer now.

        1. That is a big difference. I would think any company could do that extra work. It’s true that you sometimes see small companies dealing with Alside windows so maybe they’re not prepared to deal with the bay window. Did you ask them about a new structure with a new roof? Maybe they’re just suggesting the other strategy as an option to keep the cost down.

  121. Hello Windowdog,

    We live in Orlando FL and are replacing a few single pane windows with some double-hung double-pane or double-pane laminated glass to have a couple of safe areas in our home in case of hurricane or tornado. We have two quotes so far:

    WIndow World for seven windows at $5000 for their 4000 series and $8400 for their 8000 impact windows (triple pane)

    FAS Window for Simonton 9800 series double-pane at $6,900. Adding the laminated to improve impact is $7,400.

    Next week we are getting a quote from Pella.

    Any thoughts on the best option?

  122. We live in Denver and upgraded our front picture windows to Marvin Infinity fiberglass a few years back. We went with a pebble gray exterior color to have more flexibility with future house paint colors. Now we want to upgrade the other windows in the house and replace mostly wood and vinyl windows. I understand that to match the gray exterior in vinyl it’s going to cost much more and get us closer to the cost of fiberglass. What are your thoughts on colored vinyl vs. fiberglass for the rest of the house knowing that we have fiberglass in our front windows?

    1. I don’t know off the top of my he’d how the pricing would compare, but nicer vinyl windows do tend to have much better air infiltration rates than fiberglass windows. They tell a lot of stories in the sales pitch for many fiberglass products, but always forget the part about how they don’t seal very well.

      That said I do like it when things match in my house, maybe I’m weird. If the cost was similar you’d need to decide if you like the vinyl enough to have windows that don’t match. There isn’t one right answer. I don’t think there’s any issue with the paint holding up on vinyl vs the paint holding up on fiberglass. It’s paint either way.

  123. I live in mid central Florida (wet environment)and I bought Architectural windows about two years ago. They are wood on the inside and I thought vinyl on outside. I have read they really are wood with just a vinyl covering. These windows are large and are just a few inches off the ground. Am I going to have a rotting issue and when? Thanks!

  124. Quick question. You have recommended Window Universe for the Cleveland area. I went to their web site where it shows they use Okna for vinyl windows. So then I went to the Okna site to look at their products. I was rather to surprised to find that they only give you a half screen on a double hung window. What is the point of getting a double hung window if you only get a half screen? What am I missing?

    1. Hi RJ, the windows are all custom made so you can order them any way you want them. If you’d prefer a full screen just order them that way. The guys at Window Universe will be able to help out.

  125. Imagine buying 14 premium (4500 series) Jeld-Wen windows, installing the first 1 and finding it’s defective? You can barely open or close it, 1 cam lock is broken and the other is loose. What do you do? Why, you call Home Depot and they in turn call a Jeld-Wen rep. Jeld-Wen rep comes out and says, yup, this window is defective. You try another window and it’s defective too. You try a cam lock on 2 other windows and find they are loose. What should happen? Well, you say, take these windows back, they are defective, I want something other than Jeld-Wen.

    Alas, that did not happen. Jeld-Wen will only replace defective/broken windows and since we only unwrapped 2 of them, only 2 can be replaced, regardless if cam locks on others are loose.

    Well, you complain a bit more to Home Depot, you wait a week and secretly another Jeld-Wen rep comes out and checks the windows. Why he/she doesn’t contact anyone on site to look at the windows is a bit mysterious. Guess what, you get the same reply as the first Jeld-Wen rep. We can only replace broken/defective windows.

    But you say… these windows are bad. Two of them are admittedly defective. The cam locks are just a disaster waiting to happen. The other windows that were checked are still difficult to open/close and lock, just not as bad as the defective ones. And you ask… why didn’t you check all the windows since some of the windows are still wrapped up?

    Home Depot, why aren’t you standing behind the products you sold to me? Why are you hiding behind Jeld-Wen?I trusted your sales person to stear me right. I spoke to another home depot sales person and they were aware of the issues and admittedly would not have sold us those windows.

    Unfortunately, this is just wrong. I’ve spent 1000’s of dollars at Home Depot over the last 15 years or so. My contractor spends buku bucks there every year. It’s a shame this will result in a substantial amount of lost business for Home Depot because of this issue.

    1. Before you get too upset about it, that’s how it would work with any company. I would suggest you carefully look over the whole order, make a list of what needs to be addressed and get it addressed all at once.

      They’re not going to give you a refund on a whole order of custom made windows because there was a broken lock or even because there were a handful of issues. That’s just not how it works.

      I remember once long ago I bought a brand new motorcycle and it was super cool. I was in college, the ladies loved it, that thing was great. Then the very next day I had a problem with it. They don’t throw that one in the trash and give me a new motorcycle, they just fix the problem.

      With custom made windows they can’t sell them to someone else or use them anywhere else. They’d just go in the trash and nobody is going to throw out all of those windows because there were a couple issues.

      The absolute worst thing you can do is find one problem, have that one problem fixed then find another problem, get that problem fixed and then find another problem, etc. You’ll get frustrated with them and they’ll get frustrated with you and nothing has been made easier. They don’t want to make 10 trips to your house and you don’t want them to make 10 trips to your house. It’s the worst possible way to deal with the situation you’re in.

      Don’t have anyone back until you have carefully looked at all of the windows. Otherwise you’re wasting their time and your time.

      The way to make it easier is to go over each window, open it, close it, tilt it in, make sure it works the way you want. If it does then cross it off the list. If it doesn’t then note exactly what that individual window needs. Use the serial numbers to identify individual windows. Share the list with the service people and when things are fixed cross them off. I’d probably suggest installing them first so everything on your end is done.

      Don’t throw out blanket statements like “none of the windows lock” or “the cam locks are a disaster”. That’s not helpful and they have likely made millions of windows with those same locks. Their experience is greater than yours with those cam locks.

      Your past spending history at home depot will not make any difference so I’d probably suggest not trying to throw your weight around like that. They’re a billion dollar international corporation. Your thousands aren’t a big deal. The individual person answering the phone doesn’t care at all and that conversation isn’t constructive. It won’t be helpful.

      All that said, Jeld Wen can be a hassle to deal with and they are very inconsistent in terms of quality so hearing you have a few issues doesn’t come as a surprise to me. We dealt with their wood windows for years and stopped due to issues like that. We were always able to get everything addressed, but it seemed like every single project had a punch list of items to be resolved a the end. It was a hassle and we stopped dealing with them.

      Good luck getting it all fixed up.

  126. Trying to determine if I am getting a good price on Grandview Windows from WindowNation. I received multiple quotes and they are in the middle. I am getting 22 windows (15 double hung, 5 picture and 2 casement). The price includes converting a bow window into 2 double hungs and a window (windows included in total above). the price i received was $15,500. They also said they would through in “triple silver”. Not sure if that is a real thing or i’m being bamboozled. is this a good quote/price point?

    1. You’re getting bamboozled (in my humble opinion). Triple silver tells me you met an old school window salesman as that’s a phrase from the olden days. When did I become old?

      They may be including a different glass option, impossible to tell what they mean as triple silver doesn’t really mean anything. Anytime a company uses fancy lingo without backing it up with a difference in efficiency ratings I tend to assume it’s just fluff. So if you want to find out if that means anything you could ask for the efficiency ratings as originally quoted and with the triple silver to see the difference. That’ll show you what you’d be getting. Maybe there’s value, maybe there isn’t.

      The salesperson in me has always appreciated that company as they always have a new story. Plasticisers in the vinyl or Quad caulk and foam or G8 trim. They tend to take a thing that is pretty common and try to act like they’re the only guy to do that super duper thing. This can be a funny business and I get a kick out of it. To their credit they do tell a good story.

      In my experience they are going to be great at telling interesting stories, but not necessarily the best value around. It does seem like they’ve lowered their prices in some markets over the last year or so. I wonder if the covid had an impact on the door to door sales model. Reading through the fine print at the end of their contract is also a little funny, but that’s a post for another day.

      If you’d like another option I believe my company offers windows in all of the same areas and many more too. You can find us in this section. In most areas we can email you the pricing with no runaround. We offer hundreds of efficiency options and all of them come with efficiency ratings so you can see how they work. We work to make things easier rather than harder.

  127. Hi. I discovered your site about 2wks ago & it is amazingly helpful! Thanks so much for taking the time to provide all this information!! I have a question of my own regarding the best window for my house; especially since the top 2 we are considering isn’t (as far as I can tell) comparing apples to apples. We live in a 46yr old house with all original wood frame windows; save 2 that were replaced almost 5yrs ago with Andersen 400 double casement vinyl clad. They’ve been great thus far. We are now looking into having 4 more double casements replaced. I’m partial to going with more of those but my husband got another quote from Window Nation who is suggesting the Potomac HP double casements. Side not that we also asked for pricing for the rest of house, which would include a triple as well as a few single casements, if that makes a difference.
    The Window Nation sales rep was very nice & not pushy but the company’s pricing model is ridiculous. E.g., we’re told right off the bat that we can be given a 58% discount off of retail price. Why not just make that the standard price? I don’t like the sales technique of being led to believe I’m getting a discount when it’s where the pricing is going to end up anyway. But that’s beside the point. From what I find online, the Potomac HP casement is considered a very good vinyl window but I can’t find much of anything comparing it to the vinyl clad Andersen 400 casement window. Can you shed some light & offer a recommendation?

    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Fen, you’re right that companies like that will routinely use tricky pricing schemes for new windows. They always want everyone to feel special like they’re the only people to get the super special deal when really the pricing is pretty slippery so you never know if you’re actually getting a fair deal or not. It can be hard to sort through.

      In comparison to the Andersen windows the option that Window Nation was suggesting will be a vinyl window, all vinyl inside and out. That’s the main difference. It’s also from a very small manufacturer which isn’t necessarily my first recommendation.

      If you’d be interested in an option from a larger manufacturer my company could help out. You can find us in this section. You can get a quote online with no door to door salesman and the pricing is all clear and itemized so the price you see is the price you pay. We try to make this process as easy as we can.

      Just let me know how we can help out.

      1. Thank for your input & the links. A company you recommend is just around the corner from us &, with a very quick & easy google search, are very well rated. In terms of window material, what do you think of replacing a current wooden window with a full vinyl in terms of quality & durability? The Andersen 400 casement window we’re considering is vinyl clad wood outside & wood sash (correct term?) inside. We had 2 of those installed 5yrs ago & they’ve been very good thus far. We’ve been in our house almost 20yrs & easily see being here another 30-40. Considering that the house’s original wooden windows have made it 45 yrs with maintenance, I’m very inclined to replace with a window that also has a hope of making it that long.

  128. I posted on the Soft Lite page as well. Your site Recommended Zen windows in the St. Louis area, they offer both nirvana soft lite and lotus Joyce windows. I see various reviews on both sides of this, would you recommend one over the other since though they seem to be the same price?

    We are comparing the Zen bid versus other contractors that use Wincore 7700 and VinylMax Franklin windows.


    1. Hi Ddog,
      I just reviewed those same windows from them and they had an offer for getting the Joyce Lotus windows at no extra charge. So If you can I’d get the Lotus window at the same price.

  129. Hi,

    Any thoughts on Diamond Windows and Doors Manufacturing in Dorchester, Ma? We are replacing 4 double hung. Thanks!

    Also if you have a favorite installer near 02113 I would appreciate it (already reached out to Zen- waiting for reply)

  130. Contacted you favorite contractor in Houston, Tim of Texas Remodeling Team. He does not do condos or townhouses for window replacement. Got anymore suggestions for the Houston area?

    1. Hi Glen, I can help you. Send me an email with some info about the project and we’ll go from there.

  131. hi, we are thinking to replace all our windows, previous homeowner told us they are all Andersen window but i can’t find any etched marking in the glass or any sticker in the frame mentions Andersen…blablabla, i have a yellow sticker on top of the window , do you think you could do me a favor to see whether you can recognize what window company does it belong to ? sticker info as “880244.002” and followed by the 2nd line” UF5C2FR 031204-46A 85″ , the last line is “PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE”

  132. I live in southern Delaware and am looking to replace my awning windows. What are my best options? Looking for windows that won’t stick and are not drafty.

    1. Hi Bill. All new windows will have an air infiltration rate that shows you how much air can get through them when closed and locked. If you’re concerned about the windows being draft you’d want to start by looking at that rating. You’ll find most nicer options will be 0.05 or lower and many cheap options will be 0.10 and higher. Hopefully that gives you some place to start.

  133. We are looking for replacement windows. We live in Illinois but 60 miles south of Chicago. Your list for Illinois companies don’t reach us. any suggestions

    1. Hi Savannah, I don’t know anyone in that area so I’m sorry I’m not more help. I do know a great company in Lafayette IN but that’s also probably too far away.

      If you find a great option for windows and doors in your area let us know. I’m sure other folks are looking too.

  134. I left this comment in another section and it probably should go here. I am in the middle of replacing 7 windows and 3 sliding glass doors with new PGT Impact windows. As things stand right now I would not recommend them to anyone, ever. One of the extremely large sliding glass doors has 2 scratches on the interior pane. One is 1 3/4 inch long and one is 2 1/4 inch long. I have a window with 4 different scratches and bubbles also on the interior pane. None of the corner seams on the sliders line up evenly. Most are so severe you can see the problem from about 8ft away. I understand imperfections, and glass imperfections but that window and slider should never have left the warehouse. After they were installed the installers agreed the windows and seams were awful. I have 4 windows left that need to be installed and the installer won’t install them until the issues with PGT are resolved. Not sure what that means for us. What happens to the deposit we paid? Are we stuck paying for the windows they have sitting in their warehouse? The installer went from helpful advocates to evasive after they contacted the PGT rep to come out to inspect the windows. The weep holes are also a huge issue that if we had known about before hand we would never have gone with PGT. The holes are wide open leading directly into your house in the ends meaning everything from bugs to water freely enter your home. Not sure what to do.

  135. I have a large Champion Sun Room addition which has constant warranty issues. Mostly window seal failures resulting in cloudy glass, however that is significant when it is sliding glass doors that I can hardly see out of. One sliding glass door has been “on back order” for over a year. Another door on back order for over 5 months. Leaks are common with additional caulk being the “solution” which has been a temporary fixes at best. Lately the service people have become non-responsive to phone and email follow up requests. I have also reached out to the corporate numbers and online chat with no response. They also charge a service fee for warranty work which is about what a local glass company would charge to fix some of the problems. I will never buy anything from them again. Today I can say that warranty service has been unavailable to reply to phone calls or emails after three weeks of trying to reach someone.

    1. Hi Larry, I’m sorry to hear about your trouble with Champion windows and sunrooms. Let us know if you get any resolution. I’m sure other readers will be interested.

  136. I am purchasing a hybrid sunrise patio door with the following specs: cpd#suk-5-00478. V .25, vt .49, air leakage .02, solar heat gain .26. U live in nw IN. Is this a good patio door and does it equate to the Vanguard line? Thanks for your help!

    1. It looks like Sunrise only makes one model of sliding door. The CPD number is SUW-K-5 and then they have different efficiency packages available. So, sounds like just different options in basically the same door and they use different model names to try to help one dealer differentiate himself from another. That’s relatively common in the window industry.

  137. I purchased a bow window through Home Depot and my installer installed (2012). Things were well until I had two of the panels leak and I threw a mulch chip to break the other. In speaking with American Craftsman, they were good with sending me panels and 10 each of 10-foot lengths of vinyl trim with no instructions. This was considered a lifetime warranty and they send me parts to construct and tell me since my window is discontinued, this is all of the warranty they are responsible for. SKU item 346-373, 6100. And to boot, I was sent 4 each panels and FEDEX went and broke a glass panel on me. No cost to me so, would I approach and only three panels were needed. I just got done having a local glass replacement company install all of the glass panels that were needed. Final cost $525.00. So much for lifetime warranty. I guess I was supposed croak first before American Craftsman discontinued the 6100 model. Not that happy with warranty specifications and when I hear that, I have to give it side eye.
    Joe McGrath

  138. We were quoted on replacement windows from Sunrise. We told them we wanted another quote on full frame replacement. The came out and measured for full frame replacement, however the contract states pulling jambs. When questioned if “pulling jambs” were the same thing as “full frame replacement” windows, we were told yes. The company insisted we were getting full frame replacement windows. They did not have the factory install the brickmold, they did it themselves. What I think I got is a replacement window with brick mold nail fin added. The installers removed the entire window down to the rough opening and they installed the new window by securing the window on the sides not from the nail fin. 3 of my windows leak water and all of the windows are leaking air. My electric and gas usage has actually increased since the installation of a whole house of new windows. When we questioned the original contract language regarding pulling jambs, they stated the following “New construction style windows (replacement windows): New construction style windows are windows that are made to fit with the new construction window jamb removed and installed
    back to the buck frame (or within a couple inches), also called “pulling jambs”. A jamb extension
    is then installed on the inside to make up for the gap that is left between the new construction
    window and the casing on the interior. In the process of removing the new construction style
    window the exterior nail fin is cut, then the new window is stopped out on the exterior and
    capped. The window is spray insulated between the buck frame and the new window jamb.”

    Since then we asked why we were not getting the attached brickmold and they stated they would have the factory add it, but it turns out is was added to the window at the installers shop. When they installed this window they did not stop out the exterior and cap it because it now has the nail fin brick mold, however we believe it was not installed using nail fin at all.

    Can you just add on a nail fin brickmold and still install it from the insides of the window rather than the brickmold. Is this why I am getting water and air leaking.

    Can another be done to fix this?

    1. Well, brockmould is just trim so that’s not really anything to be too worried about. It can be put on at the plant or in your front yard and the result would be the same.

      I’d focus on the fact that the windows leak. New windows shouldn’t leak so the first step would be to get them to address that. Whether or not the windows installed with a nail fin can depend on many factors and at the end of the day it doesn’t make any difference.

      I’ve always through it was a mistake for Sunrise to push the full frame replacement idea so hard because it causes issues like this where you think something was done wrong when it might have just been oversold.

      Without seeing it I don’t know what they did or didn’t do, but if you can get them to fix the leaking windows and if the rest of them look good and work well then you’ll probably be in fine shape.

      What does the salesperson or the dealer say about it?

  139. Can you advise on patio door options with a relatively narrow frame? Our house doesn’t have a lot of windows and the patio entrance is our best source of light. We want to preserve as much glass area there as we can.
    We have a quote for an Okna patio door and a few windows. We like the specs and the price… not so much the look on the exterior… but the main hangup is the bulkiness of the patio door. I’m sure it’s very solid but it wouldn’t exactly maximize glass area.
    I’ve looked at the Gentek and Alside doors, which look identical and have a 3″frame option. But the info in their brochures is limited compared with that in the Okna brochure… for instance, I can’t find anything on air infiltration or water penetration. Also, they don’t offer foam insulation… though I’m not sure how much that matters in practice… you tell me.
    How do these options stack up with the Okna? What other options can you suggest I look at? Is there anything good with a frame even narrower than 3″?
    Bottom line, I’d be willing to sacrifice some of the sturdiness and efficiency Okna seems to offer for a reasonably solid and efficient door with a larger glass area.

    1. Hi Stephen, where are you located? That’ll help to make a recommendation. If you’re looking for more info on the Alside or Gentek options you should be able to get that from the person offering those products to you. Some ratings will vary a little based on the size so there isn’t necessarily one rating, that’s why they might not be printed in the brochures. For example, a large company like Alside will generally offer many more options and sizes than a small company like Okna. That doesn’t necessarily make one product any better than the other but it will mean that there are potentially too many configuration, options, ratings, etc to print in a brochure without completely overwhelming people.

      Let me know where your project is and I’ll be happy to help if I can.

      1. …and I didn’t answer your questions on the foam insulation. It only matters if it improves the efficiency. If the efficiency ratings aren’t better then it doesn’t matter one bit. Usually it only changes the U-Factor by 0.01 if it has any impact at all. So, it’s mostly a sales pitch, but you’d want to evaluate the value of foam insulation based on how much you think a 0.01 difference in U-Factor is worth. Typically it’s not worth very much.

  140. Hi, I am hoping you can help me. I have had several window replacement companies quote 20 new windows. Our home is approximately 17 years old and we used Pella which failed almost immediately. A shady sales person and a manager who did not want to admit the batch of windows we received were bad made it worse. And we were returning customers having built twice before. They fog up constantly, wind blows through the wood joints, do not open or close properly and have now warped so the screens blow out on windy days as the clips are flimsy and barely hold them. Renewal by Anderson quoted us a special price of $126,000.00. Yep, you read that correctly. That was the “take it now before this amazing offer is over” price. Mad City beat them with a little over $65,000.00 and only if I change casement windows to sliders in a composite wood looking window that does not match my woodwork. At this point, plywood with heavy plastic seems more affordable and weatherproof. Can you suggest someone in the Milwaukee or Green Bay Area in Wisconsin, or simply a window that can be purchased through a lumbar yard and we use installers we trust? Every sales person has the same dance they just switch the window names.

  141. Hello Window Dog!
    I am working with multiple companies on a full house window replacement project quote. I am replacing double hung windows with mostly sliders to keep cost down with an Open Prairie design. I have met with Universal Windows Direct, Windows Nation, New South Windows, Zen Windows, and multiple general contractors. I live in a single family home in Harrisburg, NC and the project includes 29 windows total.

    The general contractors are coming in a much lower cost (approx. $16,000 for the whole project), but I worry about the quality of window installed and the warranty (or lack of) that comes with working with a third party contractor directly. They will be using the Simonton window from Home Depot.

    Windows Nations and Zen Windows both came in at reasonable prices (approx. $30,000) with lifetime warranties and high quality windows. Windows Nation will use the vinyl Vytex brand and Zen Windows will install the vinyl Soft-Lite Classic (Nirvana).

    I understand these windows are comparable and that installation will be the deal breaker. What advice or thoughts do you have on these companies? Is there someone else I should be researching? Is the general contractor route the way I should go?

    Any help is appreciated!

    1. Hi David, I think you’re right that the Simonton windows from Home Depot won’t be as nice as other options. I would bet there are some pretty substantial differences in either the products or the scope of work to yield that much of a price difference. Companies that specialize in windows do tend to offer better products and they tend to have a much more robust installation and service operation. If you’d like you can email over a copy of the quotes and I can check them out to offer more suggestions.

  142. A boat load of windows are 3.5″ of thickness; good for a mobile home. Is there windows out there with 4.5″, 5.5″ or even wider?

    1. The standard jamb depth for most vinyl windows is 3-1/4″. You will sometimes see slimmer windows around 2-7/8″. but that’s more common for new construction (or for mobile homes). You’re right that walls are generally thicker than that. The installer will finish the interior in whatever way is needed. It could be a drywall return or a jamb extension.

      That’s how basically all windows work. Even if you find a model that advertises a 5-1/2″ jamb depth it’s just a jamb extension that is added to the window. Many manufacturers will let you order windows with jamb extensions already installed, so you can order any depth you want, but most installers like to do that in the field to make sure everything lines up right. The end result is the same.

      So, you can probably just as your installer or a salesperson about the options and I’d expect they’ll be able to help out.

    1. You can look at the STC rating to see how well different window options and glass packages will impact sound transmission. Generally speaking laminated glass will be better than triple pane for blocking sound transmission, but it’s more expensive and less efficient than triple pane glass. So, there’s a bit of a trade off when considering laminated glass vs triple pane.

  143. I am trying to “match” wood trim. I am looking for a vinyl double hung window manufacturer that has a option of an interior brown sash and tan/beige exterior.-Thanks

    1. Hi Joe, what’s your zip code? I might be able to help with a replacement window option with beige exterior and woodgrain interior and matching interior trim available too. It would just depend on your location.

  144. Hi there – I’m looking for your recommendations for reputable window installation companies in the Oro Valley/Tucson, AZ area. My daughter & her husband recently purchased a home there & she said the house needs new windows. Thanks for any help!

  145. We are deciding between 2 types of windows soft lite w/ low E glass and v500 restoration windows with ultra u plus glass. We live in the chicago suburbs. I’m having a difficult time between the 2. The restoration seems to have a better frame, but soft lite is about $5k cheaper and still a good product. Any recs?

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