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Read 20 Custom Window Systems reviews from contractors and homeowners on their hurricane and impact windows and prices.

Have a question for our site editors, Dane and Tim? Email them and let them answer your specific project questions. Make sure to include your email address so they can get back to you directly (we never use or sell your email, we promise.)

» More On CWS Windows Prices | Aria Series | 600 Series

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CWS Aria Windows Reviews


CWS Aria Series vs. Soft-Lite Durashield

Hi Tim, I live in Sarasota FL and am looking to replace all 12 windows in my house. I've spent a lot of time doing research and calling the various companies to get quotes. One company claims that the CWS Aria series windows are not good and don't compare to Soft-Lite Durashield. Is this true? Is the CWS Aria series windows really of bad quality? This company also claims PGT windows have various issues. I am not sure if I should trust this claim. Any advice would be highly appreciated!

Jo - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Jo, the CWS Aria window is an okay vinyl window. It's the company's entry level vinyl window and not the model I would go with from CWS. I would prefer you go with the Windpact series from CWS.

In terms of how they compare to Soft-Lite, I would definitely give the nod to Soft-Lite over CWS. My understanding is that the Durashield is Soft-Lite's entry level impact window. Their Armor or Barcelona series are going to be preferable the Durashield.

PGT has a good reputation, perhaps a bit above CWS. But basically they are both considered good impact window manufacturers in Florida.

Each company makes a number of windows. If you don't need impact windows, go with a mid range or premium vinyl series. Impact will cost considerably more, but obviously they are much more durable.

CWS, PGT, and Soft-Lite all have good reputations. Just stay away from their entry level windows.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

[Jo's Reply]

Thank you Tim! We do not need to get impact windows. So what series would you recommend from CWS and PGT that I look into?

There are very few window companies I talked to in my area who would even quote Soft-Lite windows. I really wish your website could provide some insight into who and which companies we should talk to. I have spent a lot of time calling around and haven’t been able to get quotes for Soft-Lite. It has been a very time consuming and frustrating process.

Jo - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Jo, I would look at CWS's Windpact Plus series and the PGT EnergyVue series. I believe these are the best vinyl window series they carry, but definitely double check with the sales people on this. If you get the "premium" vinyl window from either of these companies, you will be getting a very good window...certainly one that I would have in my own home.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018






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CWS 600 Windows Reviews


CWS 610/615 vs. Simonton 9800

I live in the Orlando area I have narrowed my search to the final three. I believe that I’ve negotiated the best possible price and wanted your opinion. The Simonton has the best warranty but I’m more concerned about the quality of the product and appearance and not the warranty (since all three have a good warranty). Thanks in advance for your assistance.

$11,500.00 Simonton 9800

$11,268.00 CWS 610/615

$10,175.00 PGT 5400 EnergyVue

I have the following size windows: 2 each 36 x 49 ½ picture window, 1 each 82 x 105 Picture Window, 1 each 72 x 24 x 12 Eyebrow & Legs Picture, 1 each 36 x 24 picture window, 1 each 96 x 19 picture window, 1 each 36 x 61 hung window, 3 each 30 x 36 picture window, 3 each 52 x 70 hung window, 1 each 36 x 24 hung window

Meredith - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Meredith, I like all three bids and windows you have and good work on getting the bids as low as you can get. I would say the PGT is the winner for me given the product and the price. Assuming you are comfortable with the company doing the work, I think you have found a good option. My second choice is the Simonton 9800 series.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018






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CWS 8100 Windows Reviews

The CWS 8100 is a single hung vinyl impact window, which seems to offer good quality and value. It does however use a pocket sill, which funnels water through the frame and out weep holes. I don't like this feature, but CWS does tend to make a quality window, despite the design flaw.

Dane - Site Editor


CWS Series 8100,8200 and 8800 vs Simonton Storm Breaker Plus

Hi, We are looking to replace large sliers (8 ‘ and 9’) and windows in our beach front condo in St Augustine FL. There is less than $2000 difference in total cost from two contractors, one using CWS and one using Simonton. So its the CWS series 8100,8200 and 8800 vs Simonton storm breaker Plus The Simonton is offering a lifetime warranty(which is only as good as long as he is in business?)

Can you give me some basic insight into these two window manufacturers? I am snowblind reading reviews on line. Thanks so much.

Laurie - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Laurie, Both CWS and Simonton have relatively strong reputations in the industry. CWS is a MUCH smaller operation -- Simonton is the largest manufacturer in the business.

I'd probably give the nod to CWS in terms of their impact windows, but I'd give the nod to Simonton in terms of overall reputation and strength as a company.

Both companies make lots of window series. The CWS 8000 series is a good impact window. Likewise the Simonton Storm Breaker Plus is a solid impact window/door as well. So I think you have to good options, so kudos to you for that!

Assuming the installation quality is equal, I'd go with the less expensive option. If there is a significant difference in the reputation and track record of the company doing the work then this would add a wrinkle to the equation.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018


CWS 8100 Windpact Plus vs. PGT 5500 Windows

Hi, we recently got bids for CWS and PGT for three sets of Hurricane Non-Impact windows. The quotes are for six 73 x 52 windows (in three pairs across the front of our home).

The CWS windows quoted are for 8100 Windpact Plus vinyl single hung windows. The PGT windows are 5500 vinyl single hung.

The estimate from Zager (CWS bid) is approx. $8800.

While the one from Weather Tite for PGT is 1$2,800.

This is also for the replacement of one cast windowsill inside and out. We are being told the PGT window is a better window, that the vinyl will not discolor and that the slider and locking mechanism are better quality. Seems like a big difference in money. What are your thoughts?

PS We live about 2 miles from the Gulf of Mexico in Seminole, FL.

Thanks.

Fraser - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Fraser, I would say that PGT has a bit better name and reputation than CWS, but not by much. I would say the two windows you have bids for are very close in quality. So I'd do the CWS if I were you and save yourself some money.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018


Custom Window Systems 8200

Hi Dane, my husband and I are contemplating adding a Florida room to our home. The contractor was here today to give us a quote, and told me the windows he would use are Custom Window Systems 8200 series. Since this room is going to be 90 percent window, I really want to make sure we have at least a mid-grade window.

I know that CWS has a good rating when it comes to their impact windows. I'm wondering, what is your opinion regarding the 8200 series. Is this a quality window, or is it a low-grade category window?

Marie - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Marie, the 8200 is quite a nice impact window, assuming you like how the window looks. My own opinion is that it's nice looking, nothing crazy, but nice lines and a clean design. I like that the window comes in a number of interior colors that you can choose from and the performance data on the window is quite solid. The window has a design pressures of 60, which is excellent. CWS has a very good reputation in the industry. All in all, if you like and trust the people doing your installation, I think you are choosing a quality impact window for your Florida home!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016



CWS Patio Door Reviews


CWS Sliding Glass Doors

Hi, I’m replacing a sliding glass door in a house in Destin Florida. As a complete novice, I have no idea whether this price is too high.

$6400 for 3 panels 143 x 80. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Susan - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Susan, I'm not sure if that too high, but it does appear to be quite expensive at first glance. I would recommend a few more bids to see how these compare. One big issue with patio doors is whether the door has to be custom made for the order. It sounds like the opening is probably not standard so this is probably the reason (one of them certainly) for the high cost.

Call up a bunch of companies and tell them the opening size and see if they can give you a ballpark quote -- they will probably want to come out to give you a formal bid, which is great. I would say local companies that carry PGT, Sunrise, Okna, Soft-Lite, Zen, Polaris, Vytec, and Simonton would all be good brands to pursue.

Collect your bids and then see if you can negotiate down the price.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018






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General Custom Window System Reviews


CWS Window Bid vs. AmCraft

Tim, I have a fairly complex set of windows and work that needs to be done for the install. I got a quote from CWS today on 18 windows for $22,640. Then with some slight trickery of the pen the quote was changed to $19,936, which is still too much for my budget. The CWS salesperson carries PGT and claims that PGT line is 8-10% more than the CWS line.

It's so hard to trust what's truth from fiction with this industry. AmCraft came in around $16,500. The CWS windows were nice but averaged $1250.00 per window. I feel like they were trying to rip me off.

Again, thanks for your insight.

Meredith - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Meredith, I agree that the CWS bid is too high—although honestly I don't know much about your project. AmCraft isn't what I would consider a very good brand and I would be wary about going with them. If the AmCraft bid is only $3.5K above CWS though, the CWS bid might not be out of line. If you need work to the sills and or frames, the per window cost can go way way up. That's not the fault of the window company, but a function of the condition of your home.

I would say you need two or three more bids to round out the estimates. Take a look at our recommended brands and do a simple google search to see what is available in your area. Once you have the bids collected, send them over and I'll throw in my two cents.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018


Painting CWS Windows And PGT

Dane, I live in an association that requires replacement windows be the same color as the original single pane bronze aluminum. They can be vinyl, which I prefer, but must match the color of the rest of the association windows. Do you know of vinyl material that is a bronze or even tan color in bulk.

I have looked at PGT and CWS, but it seems that all extruded vinyl for the frames is white in color, but can be painted on the exterior facing surface. I am concerned about the adhesion and life of the paint on the vinyl. Are there any window fabricators that make in bulk colored vinyl product? Your advice and help is appreciated. Thank you.

Michael - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Michael, I would be wary about painting vinyl, it can void the warranty in some cases. Off hand, I don’t know which companies in Florida offer an exterior bronze vinyl window. (I’m assuming Florida because of your mention of CWS and PGT).

I took a look at the PGT website and found that they offer the PGT single hung 5400 series and the double hung 5460 in a bronze finish. Can you go back to the local dealer and ask them to custom order it for you? It’s possible they don’t know (you’d be amazed what the “pros” don’t know about their own product sometimes).

http://pgtwindows.com/products/sh5400/

Unfortunately, custom color finishes can add quite a bit to the price tag, but if that’s what your HOA requires, then you don’t have much choice.

If this doesn’t work, I would start googling local window dealers in your area and simply asking them what brands they carry and if the brands can be ordered in a bronze exterior finish. Make sure to ask how that affects the cost to make sure you know what you’re looking at from the get go.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018


CWS Windows vs EAS

Hello Tim, I’ve been on your website and really appreciate the education that it provides. I just had a window replacement guy out at the house to give a quote. He was really pushing EAS windows. I noticed that many people had asked about those windows in 2016 and was wondering if you have any better feel for the product?

So far, I like the CWS product but can’t get any intel on the EAS product. If you have any updated information I’d be grateful for any input you might have. Thanks for your time and efforts.

Kind Regards,

Nat - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Nat, I don't know anything more about EAS windows than what I knew in 2016. My one line response is that they seem to be a decent window, but I don't hear much about them. I would be inclined to endorse CWS windows over EAS for the simple reason that I know CWS makes a very solid and reliable product. Of course, if there was a big price difference between the two, I think you'd certainly have to take that into consideration.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2017


CWS Windows Complaint

We are in the process of having hurricane impact windows and doors installed in our home in Southern FL. Project is ongoing as I write. The company has used CWS for our family room. The doors are of a very sturdy, nice-looking quality. However, they are tremendously difficult to open and close, requiring two hands to pull on the handle. The installers concur that they are difficult to open and close.

The company who is doing the project has tried several "possible solutions", none of which has worked. They have not yet tried installing different wheels but have mentioned that. Is it possible that a slider should be so difficult to open just due to its weight? That is the story we are being give. Concern is that youngsters and people older than ourselves would have tremendous difficulty using these doors.

Joanne - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Joanne, a slider shouldn't be difficult to open or close, or at least I've never heard sounds like something internally was put together wrong. I agree that you should continue to work with CWS to find a solution that works. I'm not quite sure what remedies are out there though :(

Dane - Site Editor - from 2017


CWS Windows vs PGT

Hi. I need 5 impact windows (preferable white vinyl framed) installed for my home which was built in 1981. The rest of the windows were replaced when I bought the home in 2014 by the GC who did my remodel, as they were leaking and it could not wait.

The dimensions of the ones I need are;
)3) 23 x 70 casement type
(1) 52 x 38 single hung
(1) 26 x 38 single hung

I am looking at quotes for PGT and CWS. Do you recommend one over the other.

Pamela - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi, in terms of impact windows, PGT and CWS both offer a nice selection and array. I would put them both in the quite good category and I think they both offer a nice long term value for your money. I think PGT has a bit better brand recognition, but I wouldn't say their windows are any better.

I would definitely get a bid from both -- different reps/companies may have access to different models, get different pricing etc. This also gives you a great way to work the prices on both down by playing them off against one another. (I would love to go with your company, but you are more expensive than the CWS -- if you could match them, I would sign with you, etc.)

Get a few bids, work the prices down, and then pick the window you want with the best options and cost.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2017


Custom Window Systems vs Jeld Wen

Hi Tim. We are in the midst of looking at different brands of sliding vinyl windows to replace the old windows. Recently, the brown vinyl stripper started to warp. By the way, we live in PA . I read a lot about PGT and CWS brands on your website.

One of the contractor suggested Jeld Wen brand windows. I read on the website that Jeld Wen windows are not the best vinyl windows. Can you suggest a mid range price vinyl windows?

Tracy - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Tracy, PGT and CWS are mainly available on the coast, particularly in Florida. Jeld Wen makes good doors and a decent wood clad window, but I'm not a big fan of their vinyl windows. Since you are in Pennsylvania, I would suggest looking at Okna, Sunrise, Zen, Soft-Lite and perhaps Polaris.

Certainly some of these will be available and sold through local companies. All of these vinyl window brands should offer a series in your price range. I would particularly recommend the Okna 400, which is a great entry level vinyl window, better than most manufacturer's mid range offering.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016


CWS vs Simonton VantagePointe

We got two quotes on 14 windows. I included the measurements and location of the windows on the yellow sheet attached above. I have also attached the warranty info on the Simonton Window from home depot which is a double hung and priced out at $8500 for 14 windows and the windows from FHA are single hung CWS windows and are priced out at just over $12,000. I am leaning towards the CWS windows but I wanted to find out if $12,000 is reasonable. Thanks for your help and I hope you have a great night!!!!

Jeromy - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Jeromy, that's a big price difference. I like the single hungs from CWS and they are going to be a much better window than the Home Depot Simonton (I'm assuming it's either the Daylight Max or the VantagePointe series). The Simonton is actually not a bad window, it's a decent middle of the road vinyl window, although I'm always very wary about the installation you might be getting from the subs through HD.

I would say this, either go with the Simonton and find an experienced installer yourself or see if you can get that CWS bid down to $10K. Use the HD bid as leverage, say something like, I have a bid on Simonton (leave out that it's from HD) that is $8500 and I know you can't match it, but I need you to work with me on the price because I really want to go with you. I feel like that would be worth the price difference. You may also want to get one more bid to see where it falls in that price spectrum (and you could use it as additional leverage with the CWS company.)

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016


Jeromy's Response

Hello Dane, thanks for the response. FHA actually reached out and they now have a double hung CWS and they are able to install them for $10,750. How does that sound? Have a great weekend!!

[Site Editor's Response]

Jeromy, that price is much more in line with what I was thinking. I would go back and tell them if they can do it for $10,250, you will sign today and see what they say. If they refuse, I think you still have a fair price.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016


CWS Windows vs Storm Tight

I have been researching hurricane impact windows and have become thoroughly confused. We spoke to someone at Storm Tight and though we were going to go with them, but we are now having second thoughts. What are the best hurricane rated impact windows we can buy?

Lisa - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Lisa, I don't know much about Storm Tight, I did a bit of checking and they seem ok, I noticed a few people had some negative reviews that centered on slick sales presentations and poor customer service, but that doesn't mean much. In terms of the windows they sell, I couldn't say because it looks like they probably resell windows instead of manufacture them themselves (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).

I'm assuming you are in Florida based on Storm Tight's location. If it were me, I would search for local companies that carry PGT windows, Custom Window Systems (CWS), and perhaps someone who carries the Simonton StormBreaker Plus or the Simonton Impressions 9800 (you will need to get a couple upgrades to get the 9800 hurricane rated).

I would suggest getting a couple more bids and seeing how it compares to the Storm Tight quote.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016


CWS vs PGT Windows

Hello Tim, I have to replace 17 standard windows in my house for Hurricane Impact windows. Home Depot quote me $20,000 for Vinyl PGT windows with a lifetime warranty. Any other better options out there using the Ygreene program? Thank you.

Pablo - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Pablo, I'd never heard of the Ygrene Works project, it looks intriguing at first glance, I'll have to do more research. It appears that it's simply a financing program so that wouldn't help with the overall cost (although certainly it would help alleviate that initial cost payment).

The price quote from Home Depot seems high, $1175 per window, I think you can do better than that, although I don't have any project specifics to back that up. Here's what I would do, call up PGT and see who their local rep is in your area and have them give you a bid. Do the same with CWS, Custom Window Systems, and see what their bid comes in at. The other affordable hurricane window that is available throughout Florida is the StormBreaker Plus from Simonton, if you google "StormBreaker Plus Jacksonville Florida", or whatever city you live in, you should be able to quickly and easily find a contractor who carries this brand.

Get these 3 bids and see how they compare. Typically, HD has great prices, but I would go somewhere else for the installation, the big box stores don't have a very good reputation for the subcontractors they use (not always the case, but I wouldn't take the chance with my home.)

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016


Michigan And Florida Window Recommendations

Do you have any suggestions on which brands to look at for our cold Michigan winters? Also we have a home in sw florida and are considering building a home there and would like a product for that area as well but must be hurricane rated. Have a great day and thanks again.

Lorelei - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Lorelei, here are 4 manufacturers that should have dealers or local window companies in Michigan that carry their windows. Okna, Sunrise, Soft-Lite and Wallside. I would try to get a bid from as many of these companies as possible to maximize your chances of a high quality window at a reasonable price. Typically, the mid range window series is going to offer the best long term value.

In terms of hurricane rated windows in Florida, I would suggest looking at Custom Window Systems, PGT and Simonton. All of them are definitely available throughout Florida and offer nice quality vinyl windows at a mid range price.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2015


CWS Hurricane Windows

We live in the southwest section of Florida and recently received a bid for hurricane windows on our home - 10 windows in all. The company that bid it out had two options, either the WinGuard from PGT or the Wind Pact Plus from Custom Window Systems. The CWS window costs, which were for single hungs, were $7,500 total, the PGT windows price was $800 more. I had definitely heard good things about PGT, but I've never heard of CWS and was curious what their deal is and whether the prices seem in line. Btw, I had a quote from Gorell 5400 hurricane windows that was more than double this!

Braden - Homeowners - from 2012

[Contractor's Response]

The CWS and PGT bids you got don't seem out of line in terms of price, the Gorell price bid is ridiculous - do not go with that ridiculous bid regardless of what they say. In terms of CWS windows, they are very high quality. I've personally installed hundreds of them (thousands? not sure...). I've had very few issues with them and when they did the company worked with me to make sure that everything was worked out to the customers satisfaction. I have no qualms recommending them.

Holland - Contractor - from 2012


Options In Florida

Vinyl windows are getting more popular in Florida, but they aren't available in a lot of colors. They are pretty much white, beige, and tan. They tend to be either laminated or painted, and both have some drawbacks. There are only two manufacturers that have decent designs and color choices, Custom Window Systems and PGT windows. PGT makes a PremierVue series that isn't bad, and if that is too high as far as cost, look at their 500 series.

Ian - Contractor in Florida - from 2012


CWS Windows vs PGT Windows

We're looking at Custom Window Systems for our hurricane windows, but there isn't much out there on the company. I'm also wondering what other companies I should look at in Florida?

Renton - Homeowner - from 2012

[Contractor's Response]

CWS does make good hurricane windows and they are not too crazy in terms of cost (or they shouldn't be). I recently put a ton of single hungs into a home in Florida and the homeowner was very pleased. They have a very cool latch and auto lock feature that is quite nice. The other company you should look at is PGT, which is my go to window. It's more expensive and some homeowners just can't afford to go that route (in which case I suggest the Custom Window Systems). One downside to the CWS is no double hung because it's more difficult to make them hurricane code complaint.

I'm very bummed that we can no longer get Gorell (out of business), the 5400 that they sold was a very hefty window and very well made. For very cost-conscious customers I would suggest the Silverline 9500 with several upgrades to make it code compliant. A very uninspiring window, but it does get the job done.

Bill - Installer - from 2012






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