Choosing windows for your home can be a complicated process with all of the different types and brands available to you. Poor quality windows can create inefficiencies that will run up your heating and cooling bills. For this reason, it’s important to choose quality windows and one of the most important parts of choosing quality windows is deciding on the brand.
Why Brands Matter
There are quality windows made by a range of brands, but some brands like Marvin make better wooden windows and others like Simonton make top quality vinyl products.
In most cases, quality brands offer a more durable and attractive product. Their products may be more expensive, but that’s because they rely on higher quality materials, superior construction practices and more specialized treatments to enhance performance and longevity.
Choosing a quality brand will provide a window that’s going to look better and last longer saving you money over time.
The Major Brands
Each of the major window brands offers something different to a home or business owner. Some brands are better than others, but mostly it’s a matter of tradeoffs and choosing the brand that meets you specific needs. Some brands like Andersen or Marvin are known for being some of the highest quality available, but they are more expensive. Some other brands like Alside or Harvey deal in more affordable products, but they may lack some of the features or may not be quite as efficient as the Marvin or Andersen models are. Below is a brief description of each of the major brands. Click the links to get to a more detailed description of any brands you are interested in.
Andersen windows are one of the leading brands in the industry. Their windows are known for being made from quality materials. The hardware is of higher quality, the warranties are more comprehensive and the windows last longer than the products offered by cheaper brands. Their Renewal line is a well-known product offered all over the country by contractors. It’s an insert window designed to fit into an existing frame for quick and easy replacement.
Pella windows are known for being aesthetically pleasing and well built. They are most well known for their wood line including the highly detailed and customized Architect series, the trendy and adjustable Designer series or the durable and simplistic 450 series. Pella also offers durable vinyl windows in either the Encompass, 250 or 350 series. Finally the company has a line of fiberglass windows, some of their most durable products available in the Impervia series. Pella windows are available in double or triple pane and are highly efficient.
Window World is a leading Vinyl window manufacturer in the United States. The company sells windows that range from affordable bare-bones budget models to high-end windows that are made for efficiency aesthetics. Unlike many manufacturers, Window World offers installation services as well, and many of their windows can be purchased with the installation included. This makes getting the windows installed a simple process, but it might not be the best option for someone who has a specific contractor they want to work with.
Marvin windows are known for their durability. There aren’t as many material options with Marvin as there are with other brands, but the variety of styles and designs gives customers plenty of choices. Marvin windows are available in natural wood, fiberglass and aluminum. The roll form aluminum is particularly effective at resisting weathering over time.
The company offers custom sized windows and has a rugged fiberglass line with an interior wood finish for strength and style rolled into one.
Milgard is a window manufacturer known for its variety of vinyl products. With four different lines of vinyl windows, there are a variety of styles and functions to choose from when shopping with Milgard. The company also offers a Quiet Line that’s designed to offer impressive soundproofing for noisier locations. Their aluminum windows are known for having a simple and modern look with thin frames and minimalist styling. For a more upscale look, the company also offers a wood-clad fiberglass window line built to withstand heavy weathering while maintaining a traditional wooden appearance.
Simonton is another leading vinyl window manufacturer. If you’re looking for a vinyl window specifically, this is a great brand to check out. All common window styles are available and the company offers a selection of glass types with treatments against UV and Infrared light to help regulate your home and keep out unwanted heat or damaging rays.
Harvey windows are offered in vinyl and wood. The company offers quality casement and double hung windows in wood, and a wide variety of vinyl types. The most interesting vinyl windows are the Impact series, designed to withstand heavy storms which are popular in coastal regions. Harvey vinyl windows also come in an Acoustic style, made to hold out the noise more effectively. When searching for quality vinyl, or simple wooden windows, Harvey offers excellent options.
Wallside windows are another supplier of vinyl windows. They’re known for having easy-to-operate windows with spring assists, smooth track rollers and other comfort features. Wallside offers both Low E Glass and Argon gas filling for enhanced insulation and performance. The company offers double hung and double sliding windows, bay and bow models as well as casement windows.
Loewen a long-established Canadian manufacturer, offers competitive wood windows with optional metallic claddings in aluminum, bronze, and copper. Their brand, now in the US, is known for its ability to withstand heavy winds, storms, and cold, offering argon-insulated panes and storm-resistant glazings, as well as energy-efficient Low-E glass and thermal spacer bars.
Ply Gem is a reliable vinyl window brand, known for its foam-filled vinyl windows. The upper level windows come packed with foam for enhanced insulation and can be fit with double or triple pane glass and filled with Argon gas for boosted insulation.
Alside vinyl windows are affordable and of good quality. The range of model options and window types cater to most needs. The Fusion product line offers exceptional insulation, Sheffield windows are known for their durability and beauty and the 8000 series offers some of the highest quality vinyl windows available on the market with features like triple pane glass, double layered low-E and enhanced spacers.
PGT is a vinyl window specialist that crafts most common window types for use in homes. Each of the window frames are composed of never used uPVC vinyl that’s infused with heat and color stabilizing materials. The windows meet heavy standards for durability and can be relied upon in most weather conditions.
Silver Line windows are now a subsidiary of Andersen and are a leading vinyl window provider. The windows are affordable and can be outfitted with screens, argon gas, low-e coatings and double or triple panes for excellent performance. There are even impact-resistant options available for the more active sections of your home.
Work with Quality Suppliers
Choosing a manufacturer is an important step, but it’s only part of the equation. After windows are manufactured they are sold and distributed by other companies. Businesses like Lowes, Home Depot and other regional and local suppliers help connect customers to the right windows and installation.
It’s important to work with a quality supplier when searching for the right windows for your needs. Skilled suppliers will assess your home and ensure that you have the right product.
Pay Attention to Warranties
A good quality window is nice to have, but even the best windows can fail. That’s why warranties matter. A quality warranty will pay for a defective window and the labor to remove it and put in a new one. Poor warranties often skimp on one of those steps and you’re left picking up the tab. Pay attention to the warranty and ask questions about it before making the final purchase.
One of the best ways to become familiar with windows is by reading customer reviews. By looking through reviews you’ll see the benefits of different brands and product lines. It’s a quick way to find out about the options that will meet your needs most effectively. Sure you’ll have to research more than just reviews, but reviews will give you the information that isn’t on the manufacturer websites.
Find a Quality Installer
Quality windows won’t help any more than cheap windows if they aren’t installed properly. Take a look around for quality window installers and only work with someone who has excellent reviews. It’s a good idea to spend a bit more money on an installer to make sure the windows you buy get put in right.
Deciding on a quality window brand isn’t a simple process. Taking the time to learn which brands are good for the type of window you want is a good first step. Speaking with a professional about your specific needs and working with a local supplier to get your windows is next. After all the hard work is done you can have high quality windows installed in your home and increase your home’s value.