Composite Windows Reviews


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Composite Windows Reviews

Read 8 composite windows reviews to see what brands and models homeowners and contractors recommend. For additional information, see our page oncomposite window prices.

Composite Windows vs Vinyl

How reliable are composite windows? Some composite siding have had some pretty big issues.

William - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

William, you bring up an excellent subject and one that doesn't necessarily have any a single answer. Even the word composite is a bit all over the board because every window company that manufactures and markets a composite window uses a proprietary mix of materials. As a general rule of thumb, composite windows are made from a mixture of vinyl and wood (often time essentially saw dust, although they rarely use this word in their marketing because it hardly sounds like the stuff of strength).

Composite window manufacturers often tout their composite windows as stronger and more durable than all vinyl windows out there. This is rarely the case. Are top composite windows better than low quality and mid range vinyl windows, yes. But certainly the opposite could be said as well.

Composite windows must be judged on a case by case basis. I would say that the top composite windows are going to be just as strong and durable as top vinyl windows, perhaps even a bit more durable. However, I would say that the performance numbers (and here I'm talking about U-factor and air infiltration primarily) on the top vinyl will outperform the composite equivalent. Look at Renewal By Andersen, they make a very expensive composite window that is admittedly quite nice looking and has some nice features. However, the performance numbers on the RBA double hung is pretty darn mediocre.

Here's a case in point.

The title of your email was Okna composite windows so let's look at this window. The Okna Starmark series is a beefy window that is an excellent performer, made extremely well, and is going to last for a long time if installed correctly. It typically runs about 10% to 15% more than the Okna 800 Envirostar (the company's top of the line vinyl window). However, the Okna 800 offers a .01 AI, while the Okna Starmark offers a .05 AI (the U-factor and SHGC numbers are nearly identical). Is this a huge difference no, but the question then becomes why spend more for a window that offers less impressive performance.

I think at the end of the day, the answer to your question comes down to the particular window you are considering, how well it is made and what performance it will offer. As far as the Okna goes, it's a great window.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2015

Vinylmax Sherwood Review

Any opinions on the Vinylmax Sherwood? It's supposed to be some kind of vinyl/wood hybrid? I was originally looking at the Simonton 5500 and the Sunrise (not sure which model Verde maybe?), but then someone suggested these and I'm not sure what to do.

Anna - Homeowner - from 2011

[Contractor Response]

I don't like the Sherwood model, it looks to me like they made a cheap vinyl window and glued wood to it. It's also bulky, which means a lot less glass to let light in. Look at the Andersen Woodwright, it has similar vinyl exterior and wood interior but much higher quality. Marvin makes a composite, too. For that matter, there are tons of all vinyl windows that offer wood-look interior.

Todd - Contractor - from 2011

Read additional Marvin windows reviews.

Okna Starmark

I looked at a lot of windows before going with the Okna Starmarks. They look nice and actually cost less than the Marvin Infinity. They aren't vinyl, more of a composite, and the only thing I didn't like about them was that they have a little less glass space. We were able to afford entry and storm doors, too, which we weren't sure we'd be able to get. I'm really satisfied with them and I don't regret it at all.

Joe - Homeowner - from 2010

Andersen 100 Composite Series

I've used some Andersen windows, mainly the 100 series. The only real benefit to using them is that they paint well. I would recommend switching to a vinyl window, the Andersens are a composite of fiberglass and wood. They are overpriced and don't perform as well as cheaper vinyl windows.

Bradley - Installer - from 2010

Okna Starmark or Viwinco Cambridge

Starmark vs Cambridge, I think the Starmark wins by a mile. The Viwinco looks good on paper, its ratings are competitive, but they don't last long and they are just cheap and flimsy.

Will - Contractor in Illinois - from 2010

Okna 900 Series

I've been looking into Okna and I've found out a lot of info. The Starmark has a thicker frame, and I don't like that so much. The Okna500 and Okna800 are very similar as far as the frame goes. The 800 has smaller lifting rails (I think they look nicer than the Okna500) and it has a magnetic seal which I like. My biggest problem with the Okna500 is that you can see from the outside if it's locked or not. Basically, I like the 800 better, but it is also more expensive. It isn't much in terms of cost and I think the difference is worth it. Also, the Okna800 I was looking at qualified for a tax credit, but the 500 didn't, which kind of makes up for the higher cost.

Steven - Homeowner - from 2009

Read more on Okna windows reviews.

Amsco vs Milgard Windows

I think Amsco makes pretty good windows. I'd go with Milgard as my first choice, but Amsco is better than Simonton windows. You'll definitely get a better price if you're doing at least one side of the house, one window at a time gets steep.

Amsco's Studio and Artisan series are vinyl, and the Renaissance ones are composites. Their warranties are lousy, they will send you parts but they don't cover any labor at all. They'll tell you that the dealer or installer handles that, but when you ask them they'll say to ask Amsco about it. If you can handle any repairs yourself, then you don't need the labor warranty and they aren't a bad deal.

Mike - Homeowner in Colorado - from 2005

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