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Ply Gem Windows Buyer’s Guide

The Ply Gem Windows story began in 1943 with Bernard Hewitt. During World War II, Bernard began tearing apart and discarding plywood crates and reselling the wood to furniture and construction companies who were experiencing supply shortages. After the war came to a close, he formed Craftsman Plywood Corporation, supplying plywood for the housing boom which followed the end of the war.

Since their founding over 70 years ago, Craftsman Plywood has grown into the leading manufacturer of home exterior building products in North America, known as PlyGem since a name change in the 1970s. Today, the company has over 25 categories of home exterior building products available including siding, replacement windows, fencing, and stone veneer. Their incredible growth has enabled them to grow to include over 8,500 employees all over the United States and their products are distributed all over the world.

Since their founding, Ply Gem has prioritized giving back to the community through their active participation in Habitat for Humanity and the Homes for Heroes organization. Additionally, the leadership strongly believes in the importance of moving towards a more efficient and environmentally responsible way of life. This belief has led them to take steps each year to change their manufacturing processes to reduce their environmental footprint and create products which will contribute to the energy efficiency of homes.

Types of Windows by Ply Gem

Ply Gem features a full line of replacement windows. Each window is designed and engineered to meet the specific operational needs of a project. A variety of styles, shapes, operation, color, and other features are available in the contractor, pro, and premium series. Ply Gem windows are designed to meet the needs of the regions where they are sold, so not all windows are available in all regions. To ensure the preferred style is offered in a particular area, call or check the website. Continue reading to learn more about the types of windows available by Ply Gem Windows.

Double Hung Ply Gem Windows

Double hung windows allow both the upper and lower sash to move up and down. The movable sashes both tilt inward allowing for easy cleaning of the exterior panes. On twin and triple units, homeowners can choose integral mulls for enhanced performance and a polished finish.

Single Hung Ply Gem Windows

The single hung window by Ply Gem is a classic of the window industry. The bottom sash of this window opens upward and can be tilted inward for easy cleaning, while the upper sash remains fixed in place.

Casement and Awning Ply Gem Windows

These replacement windows are popular choices due their efficiency and ease of operation. They provide excellent ventilation and work well in areas where homeowners desire an unobstructed view. These two styles of windows are similar in that they are single pane windows which open using a cranking mechanism. Awning windows are hinged at the top, opening from the bottom outwards. Casement windows are hinged on one side, and open outwards from the opposite side.

Garden Ply Gem Windows

The garden windows by Ply Gem angle outward from the home providing exceptional natural light and shelf space for plants and flowers. Because they extend out from the home, garden windows should not be used near walkways.

Jalousie Ply Gem Windows

The Jalousie Window by Ply Gem is designed for moderate climates which provide abundant sunlight and require plenty of ventilation. These windows are constructed from angle blades, which can be opened at varying angles to provide the homeowner with control over the amount of fresh air they allow into their home.

Sliding Ply Gem Windows

The sliding windows by Ply Gem have two or three sashes placed side-by-side. Both sashes of the 2-lite configuration slide left or right to open. The outside sashes of the 3-lite configurations slide left or right to open, while the middle sash remain stationary. Sliding windows allow homeowners an unobstructed view, while giving them control over the ventilation of their home. All of the sliding windows by Ply Gem are tightly sealed, making them weather-resistant and energy efficient.

About the Ply Gem Replacement Window Series

Ply Gem has created three lines of replacement windows, each meant to meet the specific needs of both homeowners and contractors and their unique home projects. Ply Gem’s replacement windows and doors are offered within three different collections – the Contractor, Pro, and Premium Series. Each series is available in traditional or custom sizes. Some windows are not available in certain regions so it is best to call or consult the website to ensure availability. Continue reading to learn more about the Ply Gem window collections.

Contractor Collections

The windows of the Contractor collection are characterized by their value, durability, and energy efficiency. Ply Gem’s windows are highly customizeable, with glass and upgrade options designed specifically for certain regions of the country. The 400 series was engineered for the unique climate of the western states while the 2000 series is better suited for eastern states. All of the windows in this collection will meet the specific ENERGY® STAR requirements of the states where they are sold.

Available window options in the Contractor series include single hung, casement and awning, sliding window, garden window, and sliding patio door. Contractors and homeowners can choose from white, sand, or clay frames with a wide variety of between the glass grille options.

Customers also have the option to choose from Low-E and HP Glass options. The Low-E glass options work well in areas experiencing hot summers and cold winters. This option features a secondary, thin metallic, dual layer coating that allows the sun’s heat and light to pass through insulating glass while at the same time working to reflect and radiate heat back towards the source.

Ply Gem’s HP glass packages combine warm edge spacer options with Low-E argon gas-filled insulation. This option makes for a highly efficient, well-insulated window. For homeowners seeking to maximize their investment while staying within a budget, the Contractor series is a good option. Window options in the Contractor series include single hung, sliding windows, casement and awning, garden windows, and sliding patio doors.

ply gem windows

Pro Collection

Pro collection replacement windows offer the same features as the Contractor series but with access to upgraded window packages including HP Max Glass triple pane windows and R-5 highly insulating windows. As with all of the windows manufactured by Ply Gem, this collection is further organized into east U.S. and west U.S. series, which are designed and engineered specifically to the needs of the climate of the regions where they are sold. All of these windows will meet the ENERGY STAR® requirements in the states where they are sold.

HP Max Glass units include two chambers or argon gas fill along with warm spacer options. They are available in HP2MAX and HP3MAX options. HP2MAX are triple pane windows with two lites of Low-E and two chambers or argon gas fill while HP3MAX are triple pane windows with two lites of Low-E, one lite of interior surface Low-E, and two chambers of argon gas fill.

Homeowners can choose from birch woodgrain, oak woodgrain, white, and beige interior finishes as well as five different exterior finish options.The Pro Series is available in single hung, sliding window, casement and awning, single hung bay, single hung bow, casement bay, casement bow, garden window, sliding patio door, and French sliding patio door. Depending on the region, some styles may not be available.

Premium Series

Ply Gem’s Premium series replacement windows offer the same features of the Pro series including the upgraded glass package options. These windows come standard with the vinyl mainframe filled patented R-Core insulation. All of the windows within the Premium series will meet the ENERGY STAR® requirements specific to the states where they are sold.

Similarly to the Contractor and Pro collections, these windows are further organized into two collections specifically designed for the east and west regions of the United States. These windows are highly customizable, and homeowners can choose from multiple hardware options as well as three woodgrain laminate interior finishes and standard white or beige interior finishes. Additionally, five different exterior finish options, between the glass designs, and designer glass options are available.

Windows options in the Premium series include single hung, sliding windows, casement and awning, single hung bay, single hung bow, casement bay, casement bow, garden window, sliding patio door, and French sliding patio door. Window option availability varies by region.

About Ply Gem’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

Ply Gem offers a limited lifetime warranty on their replacement window and new construction products. Each window is tested to ensure it meets and/or exceeds the air, water, and structure standards set by AAMA/WDMA 101/I.S.2. Ply Gem’s windows have a DP rating of 35 for double hung windows up to as high as 70 for certain casement windows.

Specific information regarding ratings for Premium series products is available from Ply Gem dealers and distributors. Homeowners may select energy package upgrades that include the HP or HPMAX Glass Package with the option of adding R-Core to the sash and frame. In double hung and slide window units with DP50 and DP45 ratings, Interforce II fiberglass reinforcement is included in the meeting rails. Ply Gem’s replacement windows energy package options ensure strength, durability, and energy efficiency.

Ply Gem believes in the quality and value of its replacement window products and backs each unit with a hassle-free limited lifetime warranty. As with all warranties, the exact details of Ply Gem’s Limited Lifetime Warranty varies from product to product, and some exclusions may apply to your specific circumstances. Because of this, we always advise homeowners and contractors to carefully examine the warranty documents of each product before making a purchase.