Great Lakes Windows Reviews

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Great Lakes Windows Reviews And Prices

Explore Great Lakes windows reviews on their Harbor Light, Comfort Smart, and eco Smart vinyl window and door series.

Company Information: Great Lakes is owned by Ply Gem, which is a large building material company that sells windows, siding, roofing supplies etc. This is probably a good thing in the case of Great Lakes because it means stability and a warranty that most consumers can assume is going to be there should they need it.

Are Great Lakes Windows Any Good? The company makes decent vinyl windows - their entry level vinyl windows aren't the best, but their mid range and premium windows are solid performers. The Comfort Smart is their mid range offering and by far the most popular Great Lakes window series on the market.

Overall Reputation: Great Lakes has a good reputation in the industry for standing behind their work and providing good solid customer service (this cannot be said about all window companies, that's for sure.) If the price point is there and you feel comfortable with the installer, then Great Lakes is a nice option that should definitely be considered by homeowners.

Overall Rating: Great Lakes Windows gets a 4.2 out of 5 stars based on 58 consumer reviews below.

Dane - Site Editor - Page Last Updated: March 7, 2024

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Comfort Smart Cost: $$$
(3 out of 5)

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HarborLight Series

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ecoSmart Series

Uniframe Series

Patio Doors

Grandview Series

Great Lakes Window Prices

Great Lakes Bayshore Windows Reviews And Prices

At one time, Great Lakes sold and marketed the Bayshore window on a standalone website. More recently, 2015 from what we could tell, the company revamped their site and did away with pretty much all of their product names on their site (at least their lower end vinyl windows). Instead they just sort of show you the style window that they offer, as well as the color, grille and glass options available. Interestingly, if you search for their higher end windows such as the ecoSmart or the Uniframe, you will find these standalone websites that market these windows. Our best guess is that this is a amarketing tactic that gets away from lumping their entry level vinyl windows as just sort of okay.

What is also interesting is that on the website, which lists performance and ratings numbers on its site, if you search under Great Lakes for a double hung, you will see that the Bayshore / Seabrooke / Lifestyles series are all lumped together under one listing. It seems that Great Lakes, who is owned by Ply Gem, has decided to either slimline their product lines or to simply make their entry level window models a bit less transparent for the consumer. We will go with the first theory to give them the benefit of the doubt.
I would give the Great Lakes Bayshore Series Window a 4 out of 5 stars rating.

Tim - Site Editor

Great Lakes Bayshore vs Milgard Tuscany

I'm looking at the Great Lakes Bayshore and the Milgard Tuscany window.

Contractor's Response

The GL Bayshore is an alright vinyl option, but nothing special. I think it's overpriced. The Milgard Tuscany however is always good, they rarely have problems and last a long time. I think the Tuscany is a better choice between the two.

Wayne - Contractor - from 2008

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Great Lakes Seabrooke Windows Reviews And Prices

Great Lakes Seabrooke Windows vs Jeld Wen

Hi, I am really hoping you can help me. I own a condo which was built in 1984. In October 2013, I purchased Great Lakes Seabrooke Windows. These are brown on the outside, white on the inside, slide side to side and have no grid. One of the reasons I purchased this model was due to the ability to slide the screen into either position which was previously not an option.

All went well till a neighbor had a fire on 2-13-16. The management company is rebuilding but has replaced my windows with a Jeld-Wen. The contractor is trying to tell me that these windows are far superior to the Great Lakes ones.

I am trying to have them give me the model number as there was not any paperwork hanging on the window with information, just with the brand name on it. This is an insurance issue and I am more than willing to fight them once I can prove I am correct.

Living in Connecticut and the winters are brutally cold. The electric rates (which is my only choice for heat) are the highest in the country. Can you assist me? Or at least offer an opinion?

Ruth - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Ruth, the Great Lakes Seabrooke is a pretty low end mid range vinyl window (does that make sense?). However, I have never hear anyone say that Jeld Wen is far superior to Great Lakes, but again it depends what window series we are talking about in terms of the Jeld Wen. They should absolutely be able to tell you what model and series of window they are putting in. If they can't this would cause me a bit of concern and lead me to believe that they are using a builer grade vinyl to keep the price tag as low as possible.

Frankly, the windows are probably about the same. The big thing I would look for with the contractor is that they do a REALLY thorough job installing and insulating around the window. Be the squeaky wheel when they come to install, that way you have a better chance that they don't cut corners - they don't really work for you so this would cause me a bit of concern that they are just trying to bang out the job instead of really installing the windows and insulating and sealing the windows as tight as possible.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016

Great Lakes Seabrooke Window Review

We are thinking about replacing our windows and are looking at Great Lakes Seabrooks installed by Windows Doors and More from Ft Wayne IN. We want windows that will last and improve our home. Would these be a good choice?

Sally - Homeowner - from 2015

[Editor's Response]

Sally, the Seabrooke Window is not a bad vinyl window, although it is their less expensive model (I usually recommend trying to stretch into the mid range series). The Uniframe is certainly a good vinyl window -- have you gotten window pricing on either this or the Lifestyles (mid range), just to see how they compare?

One rule of thumb I might throw out is to go with a better model or series and then see how to get the per window cost down from there. One place is in the components such as going with a plastic hardware instead of the upgraded metal or upgraded color frame. Ask the sales person to suggest places to reduce the cost, without sacrificing quality (you will sometimes sacrifice on aesthetics, but I've found that once vinyl windows are installed you barely notice them unless they leak or do not work properly).

I don't know the company you mentioned for the installation, but the installation is 50% of the total package, so getting really thorough installation is a very important component. How are their reviews? Get some references just to make sure that you like what you hear from other consumers on their services etc. Great Lakes has a good reputation (they are owned by Ply Gem) and make a solid vinyl window. Let me know how it goes!

Pete - Industry Expert - from 2015

[Homeowner's Response]

We still have more companies coming to give us quotes. One company, Bee Windows, makes their own windows. Their manufacturing plant is in Indianapolis. Can you tell us anything about them?

[Editor's Response]

Sally, I haven't heard of Bee Window, I did go on their website and took a look, but there was not much information on their vinyl window specs. They sell Marvin Infinity windows, that's a good sign :)

The numbers with their special insulated glass was impressive, but beyond this I can't say. If they sell a decent but not great vinyl window (which is likely), but have excellent customer service and installation reputation, they may be a nice fit --

windows 50%
installation 50%

Good Luck!

Pete - Industry Expert - from 2015

Great Lakes Seabrooke vs Simonton Bronze

I've narrowed down my window selections to the Great Lakes Seabrooke and the Simonton Prism. First off, how does the Simonton Bronze compare to the Simonton 5500 window? I've never actually seen the GL Seabrooke, although I have read the brochure and they seem like a quality window. Are the Seabrooke and Simonton 5500 comparable? We are limited in window brands where we live, but for everything I've read I should avoid the big Home Improvement stores. Is that right?

Steve - Consumer - from 2010

[Site Editor's Response]

Steve, let's start out with the Simonton question. The Simonton Bronze is the equivalent of the Simonton Reflections 5050 Series, which is the entry level Reflections model - it goes 5050, 5300, and 5500. The Reflections 5500 series is the equivalent to the Prism Platinum, the higher end window model. I would recommend the 5300 and 5500 models, but not the 5050 or Prism.

The Simonton Prism and the Great Lakes Seabrooke window are probably on par with one another, although I would give the nod to the Seabrooke Series. In terms of Great Lakes, I would recommend upgrading to the Lifestyles or the Uniframe Series if you are able to stretch your budget a bit. It will pay off in terms of long term value.

Holland - Contractor - from 2010

Great Lakes Seabrooke vs Gorell 5300

I'm considering the Great Lakes Seabrook and the Gorell 5300. The price is close, warranties similar, etc. What makes one better than the other?

Sara - Homeowner - from 2011

[Contractor Response]

I don't think that the difference is that big, but Gorell in general is a better product. I personally like the looks of the Great Lakes better than the 5300 but as far as performance, build quality, and everything else the Gorell is better. A lot depends on what exactly you're looking for. Check out the Timeless and 5100 series.

Scott - Installer - from 2011

Read more on Gorell windows reviews.

Great Lakes Window Complaints

I had 8 Great Lakes put in a couple of years ago and this spring 3 out of 8 windows have mold growing between the panes. I called to complain and they send new panes, but I wanted a full sash replacement. So now I have to find an installer to come swap out the glass. I'm disappointed because I was told they should last 15 to 20 years and it's been less than 3.

Phil - Homeowner in Illinois - from 2010

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Great Lakes Lifestyles Windows Reviews And Prices

Great Lakes Lifestyles vs Simonton 5300

My husband and I are researching replacement windows. We had it down to Simonton 5300 model (or maybe it was 5500) through Home Depot or Great Lakes' Lifestyles through a local company, which seems to have a good track record. The local company was definitely more aggressive in their sales (after almost three hours of the "pitch" we ended up signing on) but they're definitely more expensive and over budget. The window styles are comparable, warranties too. But Home Depot quoted about $5000 and the local company quoted $9200 (after really intense negotiating we got it down to $7500.)

Which is the better product? And which company do you think would be better to work with?

Lauri - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Lauri, I do think Simonton makes a good window, the 5300 and 5500 models are quite decent vinyl windows. However, Great Lakes Lifestyle is very solid and probably comparable to the 5500 Series. I'm not surprised that the local company was more expensive, HD typically uses subcontractors who are often paid by the window, which means the quicker they get the job knocked out, the quicker they get paid. This is not a great recipe for quality installation.

What is the reputation of the local company like? Assuming it is good and their installation teams have lots of experience installing this particular window, then I would say spend the extra money and go with the local company. I like the installers who are super finicky and seem almost anal about their work - these are the ones who are going to make sure that each window is installed perfectly. Do they come with a warranty on the labor, 1 year is typical, just in case there are any issues.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2015

Great Lakes Lifestyles or Ply Gem 9000

I am getting a variety of quotes for prime vinyl, double hung window replacements and now have approx. a $12,000 price difference in these quotes - 6 picture windows (4 transom above 4 double hung, 1 bathroom above a tub, and 1 super large in the kitchen dining space) and 14 double hung (4 that are oversize). The quotes were all from TVA listed companies. After doing more online research I came across your site and have been stumped by the various reviews regarding the manufactures.

I believe they are all from either Sunrise (not sure of the style - just a prime level) or Ply Gem 9000 series (Great Lakes). They all have shown written lifetime warranties no questions asked and one even had a lifetime labor warranty. This is a big investment and I don't want to make the wrong choice based on what I have read in a review, but mold and seal failure in a short period of time after the install is not what I want to experience, nor the hassle to get them repaired/replaced.

Please help clear up my uncertainties and why I shouldn't have just gone down to a big box store and contracted out with them. Have to make a decision ASAP, because the existing windows even though they are only 13 years old they are the construction grade wood and in lack luster shape. We are in the south and get high summer temps - already at 98 today, on a hill so wind and rain attacks the windows unmercifully. Any recommendations or suggestions are gratefully appreciated.

Annie - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

I'm not sure what the 9000 Series is from either Ply Gem or Great Lakes - GL offers the Bayshore, Seabrooke, Lifestyles and Uniframe window models. I would ask what replacement window model the 9000 Series is most closely associated with, I've listed them here from entry level to premium (the Uniframe is the Great Lakes premium model). I would also ask to the rep to give you the performance numbers on the Series he is suggesting (U-factor, SHGC, AI and VT) in order to compare them to the Sunrise option.

Having said that, as brands go, Sunrise is tier 1, while Great Lakes and Ply Gem are tier 2 (not bad options by any means, just that they aren't considered the cream of the crop, which Sunrise generally is). The Sunrise Essentials window is not great, but the step up Sunrise frame is very solid and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this model, assuming a good price point and solid installation.

I think you need a couple more price quotes though from someone offering different window brands - Okna, Kensington, Polaris, Soft-Lite, ProVia, HiMark to help even out the huge price disparity of $12K. That's too big a difference to make a choice between.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2015

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Great Lakes Grandview Windows Reviews And Prices

-- Estimated Great Lakes Grand View Price: $500 to $650 installed --
(assumes medium window and normal installation)

Great Lakes Grand View 4000

I was planning on Pella windows because I used to work for them and I know they're a decent company. But the contractor that I want to use really likes Great Lakes, and I trust him and know that he knows what he's doing. He likes the Grand View 4000. They are expensive and the numbers look good, but I'm not sure because I don't know much about them.

Bill - Industry Insider in Michigan - from 2010

Great Lakes Grandview Review

Great Lakes has really good customer service. I've been installing them for years, and whenever I need a part or have a problem, they are all over it. I'd rather work with them than anyone else.

Buddy - Contractor - from 2009

Great Lakes Window Review

Great Lakes makes a good window. The Grandview is a pretty good deal for the price. They have some seal failures, but from what I've heard they always send new glass without a lot of hassle.

Mike - Contractor in Delaware - from 2009

Great Lakes Grandview 5000 Window

I have a bunch of windows to replace - sliders, double hung, casement, and a sliding door. I've pretty much narrowed it down to a few choices. They all qualify for the $1500 tax credit, which is nice. I'm looking at:
Alside Sheffield (with Climatech & Super spacer): $6400
Simonton Prism Platinum 5500 (w/ Super Spacer): $7700
Great Lakes Grandview 4000: $7500
Great Lakes Grandview 5000 (triple pane): $8300

Sheffields are affordable but there's usually a reason when one thing is a lot cheaper. I've heard good things about Simontons, but are they worth that much more? And I don't know a lot about Great Lakes but they look good and I think the price isn't that bad.

Jack - Homeowner in Colorado - from 2009

[Response From Contractor]

The Simonton is always a good bet. Great Lakes makes good windows, and they have good customer service. Either would be ok. I would stay away from the Alsides unless the money is a problem.

William - Contractor - from 2009

Read more on Simonton windows reviews.

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Great Lakes Windows Reviews | Uniframe Series

The Uniframe was one of the premium vinyl windows from Great Lakes and generally consider a very good vinyl window. I would put it at the bottom of the first tier vinyl windows out there. Depending on the price point, it should be a contender against some of the better vinyl windows out there.

Tim - Site Editor

Uniframe Windows By Great Lakes Window

Hi Dane, I have a local contractor offering me a 50 Year Labor and Material Warranty on the above product. I have read the warranty of the Uniframe windows furnished by the manufacturer and read that generally they are not transferable to a future buyer. The wife and I plan to live in the house 15 more years max. The contractor is offering to install 19 of these windows with vinyl wood texture interior and color exterior, colonial grid, triple pane for $ 28,000.

I realize to get quality I have to pay for it, but is this too much? And what about the warranty? What good is a 50 year labor and material warranty without a transferable clause on the material?

Thank you for your reply, Dane. I look forward to it.

Bob - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

Bob, 19 windows for $28K is a hefty price tag, especially for a vinyl window. $1475 per window is nothing to sneeze at. The Great Lakes Uniframe is a very good window, but its not $1K plus per window good.

I have no idea about your project specifics, but you should be able to get a better deal than that. Or at least get a few more bids to see what the cost breakdown is between labor and windows. Have you looked to see if any of these brands are offered by local companies? Because you need a few bids to see what you ought to be paying for this project.

Sunrise, Okna, Soft-Lite, Polaris, Kensington, Zen, HiMark. The premium window from each of these is comparable if not better than the Uniframe model.

The problem with the warranty is that it costs so much money in labor to pull out the window and put in a new one (often this is the case) that homeowners don't often bother or the company is unresponsive 15 years down the road. Most buyers won't put much weight on the transferable clause anyway. My own opinion is to get a quality window from a well respected company and hope you never have to use the warranty. If you do, hopefully they will be responsive to your claim.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2019

Great Lakes Uniframe Window Review

I have a quote for 9 double hung (on the large side 35 x 59) with grids, one sliding window 71.5 x 43.5, one sliding door 71 x 79.5. Interior white wood grain. Full screens. The cost of the windows w/o installation is $8900 for Great Lakes Uniframe. Does this sound high?

Deanne - Homeowner - from 2015

[Contractor Response]

With the large sliding window and sliding door, plus all of the features, that price does not sound out of line. Have you gotten 1 or 2 more bids to compare this too? I would definitely do so and you can let the other guys know that you are collecting three bids to make sure that they are coming in with their most competitive price quote.

Dane - Contractor - from 2015

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Great Lakes Patio Door Reviews And Prices

Great Lakes Patio Doors

We would want a vinyl door or a fiber glass one. But both the local contractor and HD said the doors are not standard size and need to be customized. Soft lite does not do customized doors in vinyl or fiber glass, hence the wood one by Marvin. A third contractor quoted $4500 only for smooth fiber glass patio door from Great Lakes. Is Great Lakes a good product? Do you think it is a better idea to have the windows and doors done by different contractors?

Jackie - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Jackie, I don't think it's imperative to have the windows and doors done by the same company, as long as the different look of the hardware doesn't bother you. Great Lakes generally makes a good product, depending on the window model you select. In all honesty, I don't know much about the quality of their doors, I would imagine they are solid. What I would do is ask for the U-factor and air leakage numbers and see how they compare to the Marvin.

Marvin does make a great window and door, but you will definitely pay a premium for the privilege. I think you will be fine with the Great Lakes door though, assuming you like the look and the performance data.

- Site Editor - from 2016

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Great Lakes HarborLight Reviews And Prices

The Great Lakes HarborLight is the company's entry level vinyl window. I would give the Great Lakes HarborLight Series Window a 3.9 out of 5 stars rating.

Tim - Site Editor

-- Estimated Great Lakes Harbor Light Price: $550 to $700 installed --
(assumes medium window and normal installation) *

Great Lakes Harbor Light Cost

Good Morning, we currently have builder grade windows by Carefree that went bankrupt shortly after we moved in our home. The windows are currently single hung. We are looking to replace them on a budget. We are 60yr old and are totally unsure how long we will live in this house, so don't feel high end windows are needed.

We have 17 windows in a 2 story home. We also need a 3 panel sliding patio door replaced.

We have a quote for Great Lakes Harbor Light from Home Path Windows and Doors in New Berlin, WI for $21,600 and a quote for Provia Endure for $28,000 from All American Window and Door in Germantown, WI.

What are your thoughts? Any advice?

I also wanted to ask your thoughts on how good these companies are to work with. After reading many many reviews, it sounds like Plygem Great Lakes can be a problem to work with - but many of those reviews are older, so unsure if they have improved.

Thank you!

Nancy - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

Nancy, if you aren't going to be in your home for all that long, I agree that you don't need the best windows out there. But $21.6K for 17 windows and a large patio door is still not exactly cheap for what amounts to their entry level window. I think you should consider getting two more bids just to see where they come in at. Based on the ProVia bid, I'm not saying the Great Lakes bid is bad, but I still think it makes sense.

Now, I googled "Home Path Windows and Doors reviews" and they get excellent reviews so that's definitely a bid to consider. I also googled "All American Window and Door reviews" and their bids were even better! So you have two quality companies -- I just think you need to see if their prices are the fair market price, or whether they're throwing out expensive bids to see if you'll bite.

Dane - Website Editor - from 2022

Great Lakes HarborLight vs. Reliabilt 3201

Dane, I've enjoyed your website, and would appreciate your thoughts on choosing between these two options.

The Reliabilt 3201 is being sold/installed by a local Lowes, and the Harborlight is being sold/installed by a local (metro Atlanta) window company.

The local company had shown me two other more expensive models (ComfortSmart and Kingston), but I asked them to show me something similar in features to the 3201; thus the Harborlight option.

Once I'm able to get all the window features nailed down to make an apples to apples comparison, I'm guessing the Harborlight will be ~ $3,000 more.

Are the Harborlight windows worth that? We just purchased a 26 yr old home with 85% single pane windows which are very drafty, and this is our first home w/single pane windows.

Thanks for your help.

Ed - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

Ed, I would absolutely say that the Great Lakes HarborLight is going to be worth the extra money over the Reliabilt 3201. The installation from those big box stores can be all over the place. I'm always a bit wary of them personally.

Of course, I don't know how many windows we are talking about so that could factor into the equation. Also, you said this is your first home, so the length of time you plan to be in the home should affect how much you are willing to pay for the home improvement.

Was the Kensington Kingston a lot more than the Great Lakes HarborLight? For an "entry level" window, the Kingston is a very efficient window. I like this window the best of the ones you mentioned. Kensington makes a very good window.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2019

[Ed's Reply]

Dane, thanks for the quick reply. We are looking at about 35 replacement windows. This isn’t our first home, but it is our first older home that we’ve needed to replace windows. So this is an all new experience for me.

What are your thoughts on replacing a door transom half round window that’s over fence doors? The Lowe’s guy is replacing it while the other local guy is saying not to now unless we plan to change the French doors now, which we’re not.

Final price difference between reliabit and harborlight is ~ $2000. You think the harborlight windows are worth it? Thanks for your help.

Neil - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

Neil, I definitely think the Harborlight is worth the extra $2K over the reliability.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2019

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Great Lakes Comfort Smart Reviews And Prices

The Great Lakes Comfort Smart window is a nice looking vinyl window with decent, but not great, performance numbers. The Comfort Smart is the company's mid range vinyl window that does have nice upgrade options, interior and exterior frame color options, and hardware options that can create a good looking residential vinyl window.

Unfortunately, the Great Lakes website doesn't provide any performance data on this, or any, of their vinyl windows, but the company is listed on the website.

For the Comfort Smart series with a low-e glass and no grids, consumers can expect a 0.31 u-factor, 0.27 SHGC, 0.52 visible transmittance, and a 51 condensation resistance. These aren't overly impressive numbers, but they aren't bad. We couldn't find any information on air infiltration, which is what we were looking for, but I'm going to speculate that it is in the .11 to .13 range.

Overall, a middle-of-the-road window that is better than most in terms of looks.
I would give the Okna Starmark Series Window a 4.2 out of 5 stars rating.

Tim - Site Editor

Great Lakes Comfort Smart Windows

Hi, I have a house that is about 15 years old. It was built with defective Pella casement windows. Many of them have started to fail and one is rotting. I had a local contractor come out to give an estimate on replacing my windows. They are quoting me 35k to install 28 new Great Lakes Comfort Smart Windows. Is this a good price? Is the Comfort Smart a good window?

Connie - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

In my opinion, $35K for 28 windows is pricey. The Great Lakes Comfort Smart series is a good window. Not the best, but a solid window series I would say. If this were my project, I would get a bid from a few other local companies and compare prices. In my experience, contractors often charge more than window companies who specialize in replacing windows. Rule of thumb only.

Dane - Website Editor - from 2022

Great Lakes Comfort Windows Quote

Hello, I really have enjoyed your advice and comments about Window Companies.

We are replacing our wood single pane drafty and broken windows with double hung double pane windows dual white inside almond outside.

We have received quotes from Renewal by Andersen for $68,000. Which is out.

Then from Euro-tech for also $68,000 (but as low as $45,000 if we decided to go with them right that moment, who knows today). We liked their Starmark Evo, but their aggressive sales tactics really turned us off.

We also have quotes by American Thermal Windows for their Great Lakes Comfort windows for $31,000.

We liked the salesman and reviews for Semko and their $19,000 was great, but their Advanced Window seemed a bit cheap I'm person.

Then, we have Scientific Home Solutions (another company with great reviews) for Climate Solutions a local window we can not find any reviews for $28,000.

If the windows are to choose? Price, installation company or window quality. What weighs more in the equation?

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thank you. I'm in Chicago.

Nuria - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

Nuria, the Great Lakes Comfort windows are a quality product. American Thermal Windows gets good reviews. Seems like a generally quality bid.

Scientific Home Solutions gets great reviews, but I don't know much about the Climate Solutions window. So I'm scratching my head on this one.

Have you reached out to an Okna dealer who sells the 500 series or 600 series? I would be interested to see how this price compares to the other two. This would be the superior window -- I'm assuming it would come in around $45,000. This would be the option I would go with IF this were my forever home.

If this isn't your forever home, I would probably go with the Scientific Home Solutions based on their reviews....I'm just still not sure about the product they're selling.

Here are my 5 Chicago recommendations ...

Recommended Windows List
[Email for his recommendations]

Dane - Website Editor - from 2022

Great Lakes Comfort Smart vs Pro S3000

Hello, would you please give me your opinion between Great Lakes Comfort Smart Series double paned (U-Factor.30, SHGC .21) installed by local company here in Atlanta, GA and Window Source they said they use Great Lakes Pro S3000 with double paned glass or Pro Line S6000 (U- Factor .30, SHGC .21) The cost approximately is the same.

Appreciate your opinion and respond.

Ella - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

Ella, I'm not sure I know what the Great Lakes Pro S3000 or S6000 models are. They are probably labeled exclusively for Window Source. I would go back to them and ask them point blank which of the Great Lakes models listed on their website this is comparable to -- if you look at the GL website, you will see there are three windows: Harbor Light, Comfort Smart and ecoSmart. They should certainly be able to tell you -- my guess is it is the Comfort Smart, but that's just my guess.

If Window Source is selling the same window at the same price, I would switch my focus to trying to determine which of the two companies has better online reviews/reputation and make your pick based on that...

Recommended Windows List
[Email for his recommendations]

Dane - Website Editor - from 2022

Great Lakes Windows Comfortsmart

Tim, I heard back from the installer who sells Ideal casements in my area. He said they are not currently showing or really offering Ideal windows at the moment. Due to Covid, Ideal Window's glass manufacturer went bankrupt and closed down due to Covid. This, combined with the social distancing required in their factory in Bayonne, have made them a nightmare to receive product at the moment. Ideal’s factory is small and there is no way to social distance, so they've had to lay off employees, and try to work shifts to make up for lost productivity. Right now their average lead times are 12-16 weeks. That goes for any parts as well.

As an alternative, he’s offering the Comfortsmart by Great Lakes Window. Which is Hunterdon Siding & Window’s most used product. He sent me a brochure as well as technical information. Here’s what they mainly use. Any opinions on the window manufacturer and glass?

Comfortsmart Window

Smartguard Low-E & Argon gas glass package

Energy Edge Spacer

Gus - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Overall, the Comfortsmart is a decent to good window. I wouldn't put it in the same category of the Ideal Platinum 3000 or the Okna 500. But generally a pretty solid window in my opinion. The components and features on that window are also solid...just not in that real top tier of vinyl windows.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2021

Comfort Smart Great Lakes vs. Wallside Windows

We have 15 windows & 2 doors that need to be replaced. Have a few estimates that are all over the place as far as price go. We are probably going to do a full replacement as most of them said this is the way to go with what we have.

Wallside Bid: $16,800
The salesman is a friend and has 20 years of experience.

Local Window Company Bid: Belmont window $14,434
Labor warranty is good for only 5 years.

Great Lakes Comfort Smart triple pane: $23,400
Seems like a great window, but it's very pricey.

WeatherGuard Bid: $19,800

Berkshire Elite Triple Pane: $14,200

Tiffany - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

Tiffany, I like the Wallside bid because of the strong connection with what sounds like a quality installer. The Belmont isn't a very good window. Great Lakes makes a good window, but that's a steep price and I'm not sure its worth the price difference with the Wallside. The Berkshire Elite is the other bid I might consider, but it would depend on the installer and their reputation.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2019

[Tiffany's Reply]

I just got a bid tonight on the same mid-range Great Lakes windows for $15K. Plus the company has their own installers who have been with them 20 years. I almost canceled on them. I'm exhausted meeting all these people but it was worth it. I learned so much. I just can't believe I just saved 8K on the same windows. That's insane! Plus $1,800 less than Wallside. Wallside's quality doesn't measure up. Thanks. Wallside Windows reviews

Tiffany - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

Tiffany, glad to hear how well that worked out! Yes it is amazing how much prices can vary and the reason I'm always telling people to get lots of bids, you just never know! Best of luck on your upcoming project.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2019

Great Lakes Custom Smart line or Pella 350

Dane, I am replacing the windows in my home, around 13 of them. I have narrowed it down to Pella or Great Lakes. Renewal by Anderson was out of my price range.

Am I safe going with the Great Lakes Brand? The Custom Smart line or Harbor Light line? Or is Pella a better Choice. I need to make a decision quickly. Thank you.

Jackie - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi Jackie, I would tend to say that Great Lakes and Pella are pretty close in quality in terms of their vinyl windows. I'd probably give the nod to Great Lakes over Pella in the vinyl window department.

I think the Great Lakes Custom Smart line is a sensible option with nice features and some nice optional upgrades. This would be my pick over the Pella 350 series.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2019

Great Lakes Comfort Smart vs. Sunrise Pure Core Platinum


If both windows cost same which one you recommend. Thanks for all your help.

Raj - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

While I think the Great Lakes Comfort Smart window is a good mid range vinyl window, I would still pick the Sunrise Standard window in a head to head "showdown." The triple pane on the Great Lakes gives me a little pause because this is certainly a nice feature, but I still think the Sunrise is the better option. Close I think.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2019

Great Lakes Comfort Soft Windows

I’m planning to have the windows on my house replaced soon. I have gotten various quotes and am not sure what the better option is. I have had one that includes Simonton windows and one that includes the Great Lakes Comfort soft windows. I have 15 double hung, a 6 panel bow window, 1 picture window and a kitchen window, which I have been told can be a casement or sliding window. It’s currently a casement. I’m wanting to have more energy efficiency, low maintenance, and good sound control. My current windows whistle when the wind blows. I moved in a year ago and plan to stay quite a while here. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Kari - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Kari, good quality vinyl windows should get you energy efficiency, low maintenance, and good sound control. The Great Lakes Comfort soft windows are certainly decent, their mid range series. Their performance numbers are not bad, but not off the charts by any means. Simonton makes some decent windows as well, but again they are not typically known as the best vinyl window manufacturer on the planet.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2017

[Kari's Reply]


I really appreciate your input and feedback.

I think I have narrowed it down to a company that installs Great Lakes windows or Provia. After the initial visit they are recommending the Comfort Smart by Great Lakes or Endure or Aspect by Provia.

Is the ecosmart by Great Lakes their upper end window? What about the Comfort Smart are you not impressed with?

I'm definitely looking for a great Window and don't want to cut corners investing in good windows.

Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

Kari - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Kari, the Comfort Smart is a good middle of the road vinyl window. Both Great Lakes and ProVia make good vinyl windows. The Comfort Smart is simply not a top tier vinyl window. The .11 air infiltration, .31 U-factor, 51 CR are all mid range performance numbers, which aren't bad at all. They just aren't the .24 u-factor, 65 CR and .02 AI of an Okna 800 series. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. Now, most consumers don't need a great window, but if they do want one, the product will run you more.

If you do want a very good window, go with the ecoSmart from Great Lakes or the ProVia Aeris. These would be my choices for long term value and energy efficiency and shouldn't be too cost prohibitive.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2017

Great Lakes Comfort Smart Window Quality

Hi Dane, we are considering a company who wants to use Great Lakes Comfort Series windows for our replacement windows. Are these decent windows?

Lori - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Lori, the Great Lakes Comfort Smarts are decent windows, but certainly not a top performer like a Sunrise or Okna. It's the company's mid range vinyl and I think it is a nice looking window that doesn't wow me in terms of performance. But it's not bad, it's somewhere in that mid range. I would be very curious what the air infiltration data is on this window (if you ask the rep, please let me know). I would say this, keep this as a possibility based on how the other bids you get stack up. You definitely want to get a couple more to compare with and see what else is out there. Feel free to send me your other bids and I'll throw in my two cents!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

[Lori's Answer]

Thank you Dane. We have several other quotes (Pella Encompass for $12,980; the Best Buy Comfort Smart for $10,878; and SL2700 from Power Home Remodeling for $26,920) but I specifically searched out one for Sunrise based on your recommendations. We received one last night for Sunrise Vanguard, 24 windows, for $15,734. I'm assuming you will say go with the Sunrise. Unfortunately there is no Okna distributor in my area.

I have one more estimate coming out Saturday for a quote on Sunrise Restorations as well as a ProVia 4 panel 12' or 16' slider. I originally loved the Pella ProLine slider with the wood interior, but have since read some not so great things. Any suggestions on the slider??

Thank you for your thoughts. Your website has been my "go to" to keep me in the know for all these estimates. (More on Power HRG reviews.)

Lori - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Lori, sorry I didn't realize the middle bid was the Great Lakes, it's clear now. The Sunrise Vanguard bid is by far the best window of the bunch, but it's significantly more than the Great Lakes. The SL2700 is a decent window, but not worth the price tag they quoted you out at. The Pella Encompass is not a very good window in my opinion so I would pass on that one as well.

My own take on your situation is to see what you can get the Sunrise Vanguard for by going back to the rep and using the following technique to get a better price.

Incidentally, I would ask one of these two Sunrise reps to quote out the Sunrise Classic window, which is the same frame as the Vanguard and Restorations, but doesn't include any of the standard upgrades. You might be pleasantly surprised by this option.

The Sunrise Restorations will probably be more than the Vanguard, but shouldn't be by much. Of course, that might not be the case, you will learn that reps are all over the board in terms of what price they will sell to consumers at.

In terms of high end patio doors, ProVia makes an excellent door. This is where they got their start and they make a great product.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Great Lakes Comfort Smart Pricing

I came across your website while researching windows – great site and info! I’m learning a lot. I’m writing to ask your insights on brands, types and pricing.

We live in Chicago in a brick bungalow build in 1929. The house has original wood windows, with weighted pulleys and storm windows. The house is very drafty in winter and the heating bills high.

We’ve decided to replace the windows in our house and have just started the window shopping process.We will remain in this house for at least 4 years possibly longer. We’d like a good quality window that is solid for energy efficiency, sound insulation and is low maintenance. We also don’t want to break the budget! In doing cursory window and internet shopping, our first big hurdle is interior color options. They are SO limited! We want to maintain a wood finish or color in walnut to match all our existing trim. We are open to wood, wood clad, composite and vinyl. It seems that vinyl can meet most of our wish list but not the interior finish. Wood and wood clad can meet our interior color, but I’m not sure its within our budget and it requires maintenance. Same with composite.

I know I need to get multiple quotes. I’ve found a local window manufacturer – Climate Guard that will be coming by to quote. The first quote we have from another local company American Thermal Window. They quoted us on Great Lakes Vinyl Hybrid Comfort Smart series. The quote was for 16 double hung windows, 6 casements with Triple Pane EG3 glass with Low-E and Argon. Extra’s included prairie grids for the 13 LR windows, the casements are frosted glass and the interior has wood grain finishes. The exterior front has capping and the remaining exterior windows are white. This brand offers everything we want BUT its costly - $21K including installation. Our budget is $15,500-$18K.

Is that price excessive or is our budget unrealistic? Can you recommend other quality brands we should seek out for a quote? In vinyl, Kolbe seems to be the only other choice due to its interior color options. Haven’t come across others.

Suzanne - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Suzanne, you should be able to get an excellent vinyl window within your budget, although it does sound like there is some extensive installation work so let's see how the bids come in before I make that claim. I think you should see if you can find the following brands sold by local companies -- Okna, Sunrise, Soft-Lite and Zen. With the exception of the Zen, I believe all three of these brands come in an interior laminate that may or may not match your interior. These laminates should be as realistic as the Comfort Smart or better and also offer energy efficiency -- although I'm not sure how they compare to the triple pane Great Lakes bid you received.

Ask each company on the phone about their interior colors and their interior laminates -- and ask them to being samples. I'd start out here and see how the bids come in. The brands I mentioned are generally considered better than the Great Lakes, although I'd like to hear what you think after you seen a couple of them.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016

Connect with Local Window Companies

Top Of Page ˆ

Great Lakes Windows Reviews | ecoSmart

The Great Lakes ecoSmart is marketed as both a premium window series and as eco-friendly. Performance wise, the window is very solid, although I have still not found specific air infiltration numbers, nor U-values for the window. In terms of features, the ecoSmart comaes standard with a sloped sill, pinch fusion welded frame, a true sloped sill, foam fills, I-Core spacer system, composite sill reinforcement, and integral lock and tilt latch mechanisms.

All in all, the Great Lakes ecoSmart series is a good performer with solid features.
I would give the Great Lakes ecoSmart Series Window a 4.4 out of 5 stars rating.

Tim - Site Editor

ecoSmart vs Vanguard

Our project has a sliding door and 10 openings - 9 will be casements and one larger picture window in the front. Which would you do?

Sunrise Vanguard: $38.7K ( Sunrise Windows Reviews )

Great Lakes ecoSmart: $30.1K

Drew - Homeowner - from 2024

[Site Editor's Answer]

Drew - that's a big price difference. If I liked the company giving me a bid on the Great Lakes ecoSmart and they had good reviews, that's what I would probably go with. I think that's the better value.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2024

Great Lake eco smart vs. Simonton Performex Gold

Hi! Looking for guidance for window replacement. So we’ve gotten 3 replaced since we’ve lived here. Two I hate, one is pretty nice. We have 12 windows approximately and one patio door that needs replacing.

First quote was 13,450, + 1200 if our patio door has to be custom, which I’m pretty sure it does because it’s a weird size. He says he would go with Jen Weld, but could get any type we wanted

Second quote from a newer company, says they only have connections at ABC Supply, so I’m not too keen on that anyway, but I think their quote was $9000.

Third company, $9,100 charges per opening, not per window I guess? Quoted me for Simonton Performex Gold

Last company has great reviews, uses Great Lake eco smart vinyl reinforced windows. $13,410.

Honestly I’m super overwhelmed and don’t know what’s the best window and where to even start with all these numbers. Would love your advice!

Abby - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

Abby, I definitely like the company with great reviews that is using the Great Lake eco smart vinyl reinforced windows. $13,410 sounds like a decent price to me for that window/door. The Simonton Perfexion Gold would be my next pick -- if the company has good to great reviews and the $9K is for the windows and doors, then I might be tempted to go in this direction.

Dane - Website Editor - from 2022

Great Lakes EcoSmart Windows Quote

Hi Tim, thanks for your site. I have some work that needs to be done on my exterior casings, replacing my windows and getting a patio door. The quotes I have are for 8 windows and 1 patio door. I received a few bids in the $11K to $13K but this was for pocket replacement and it doesn't seem like the smartest option. Renewal gave me a quote for $33K, but that is so far out of my price range it's not even funny. (Unless you're them I suppose.)

My three quotes I'm considering (all for full frame replacement) include a bid on the Great Lakes EcoSmart for $15K. The same dealer also sells the Comfort line, but its only $500 less. Finally I have a bid on the Zen Nirvana at $13K.


Kristin - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

Kristin, the best quote is the Zen Nirvana. The Great Lakes windows are good, but the prices seem high to me. I'd still get a couple of quotes to so if you can't get something in that $11K to $13K range. I think you should be able to, that seems like the appropriate range, unless your installation requirements are really huge.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2019

EcoSmart Window Reviews

Thank you for your website as a place to gather information.

I have shopped for windows for a while and have narrowed down to 2 choices. Full replacement with Great Lakes ecoSmart windows or pocket replacement with Okna Insul-Tec windows.

Our home, located in north central Illinois, has original builder-grade wood casements from 1989 and we are replacing everything with sliders. 13 windows (8 of the windows are 55x69) one half moon arch, and 2 patio doors.

The replacement windows appear to have similar features with the ecoSmart windows quoted with “wood grain” interior color and their ecoCore frame. The Okna windows quoted with HeatSeal spacer and the deluxe energy package.

EcoSmart cost is $27,300 all in and the Okna cost is $24,300 all in.

Interested to hear your comments on replacement vs pocket installation and differences of windows and costs.

Thank you.

Chris - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi Chris, so full frame and pocket replacement both have pros and cons. The con on the pocket is you lose some glass area. The pro is cost.

The con on the full frame is what it entails in terms of installation (and a higher cost). The pro is a stronger and better wall protection (this is premised on the installer properly flashing the header and sides of the opening.)

In your situation, I’d leaned towards the Great Lakes ecoSmart with the full frame installation. (As long as the installation company doing the work had my full confidence.) The ecoSmart is a good window and with full frame install, you are getting a chance to see if any water damage has occurred and shoring up any places where that might have occurred.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2019

EcoSmart vs. Softlite Imperial LS

Hi Dane, need to get 7 second story double hung windows replaced. Vinyl sided home with J channels around older aluminum clad wood windows. Spec out for double glazed low e argon gas filled. Full screens. Oak finish interior. So far, only have 2 estimates. Others pending. Sizes are below. The Eco smart contractor does complete tear out, re-flashes, foam installation, etc. Reputable installers, did some work for a neighbor, looks professional. His bid is 8100.00 for 7 windows. He tells me the eco smart is the best window in the business ( red flag ?) From the numbers on your site, it doesn't look like it.

The second installer uses Softlite Imperial LS but does an insert installation leaving the frame from the old window intact. He also enjoys a good reputation in the area. He seems reluctant to discuss tearing out the old frames. He wants to flash around the exterior with aluminum and caulk the openings. His bid is 5140.00 for the seven windows. If the Imperials are a better window than the eco smart, why would a tear out on the eco smarts be 3000.00 more than inserts for seven higher quality windows?

I like the softlite brand better, but, I'm reluctant to leave the old frames in the house ( 1992 windows) for fear of trouble down the road. I have an estimate pending for Simonton 6500 series, but, I like the softlite efficiency numbers better. For northern Illinois, do you think these quotes are a little out of line? I'm having a hard time believing that an eco smart costs over 1000.00 per window. Could it cost more because they're on the second floor? Both installers use their own crews, no subs.

Thanks in advance for your help. ART

Art - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

Art, the Great Lakes Eco smart window is a VERY GOOD window with lots of nice features. However, I personally would still choose the Softlite Imperial LS window over the EcoSmart. That's the bid that I'd be taking a close look at.

The tear out bids can be high because the installer might be giving you a "worst case scenario bid" so that if he finds significant damage he can cover his costs. Tough to say, but the work on the frame and sill can be expensive in terms of materials and labor.

In these cases, I think getting more bids is the way to go...not because you need more brands or bids themselves, but to get a consensus on whether you are better served going with the retrofit or full tear out approach. I'd get bids until I felt like the decision on retrofit or full tear out was clear in my mind. That way I wouldn't second guess myself down the road. (That's just the way my brain works.)

It's a tricky decision for sure. Certainly one factor is how long you plan to stay in the house.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2019

Great Lakes ecoSmart vs. Okna 500

Is the Great Lake window a good product? I want the Okna 500 but America’s window is only allowed to sale them 7 windows for $5800. They did call back and say the manager wanted to meet and drop the price. Thank you very much.

Michael - Homeowner - from 2018

[Website Editor Reply]

Michael, Great Lakes makes a number of window models. I would perhaps put their premium ecoSmart model somewhere in the same vicinity as the Okna 500. I would still rather go with Okna myself, even if I had to pay a little more.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

Top Of Page ˆ

Great Lakes 6000 Windows Reviews And Prices

Great Lakes Windows 6000 Series

It was recently suggested to replace JUST the sashes in my current wooden windows- not all - just the most needy ones.

A local lumber place that handles Jeld Wen wooden sashes gave me the following materials quote- ( I did ask about cash or senior citizen discounts possible & was told- not available that these figures are 'contractor pricing') 1 @ 24x46 & 12-@ 24 x 66 ( these indicate 'primed sash' - the smaller one does not)

(All indicate: "double hung Auralast Pine sash replacement kit in white 14 Deg sill, with Plow Jambliner, Compression Jambliner & no tilt latches, white hardware, insulated SunStable Annealed Glass, No protective Film, Black Spacer, Argon filled; u factor: .29 "

Total for 13 sash kits & tax= $6593.44

Labor for install will be quoted separately & I don't have quote yet from the painter.

(My home has a total of 19 openable wood windows- in first & 2nd story)

**Champion windows quote was close to the Andersen window quote- so I think that's too much $$, & not really impressed.

**Window Source says their product is made by "Great Lakes" Windows in Ohio

Quote for their series 3000 - 19 double hung = $10, 651
+ with the additional smaller windows(3) & the 4 FG eyebrows - total came to $12,151 ( includes a 1/2 screen only)

For their series 6000 ( without the FG it appears(?)- & "double hung all welded" is crossed out) — was $13, 565.
Looks like 22 windows covered in this price, maybe the eyebrows are the same $485... ( the 6000 includes a full flex screen& says sound control glass- lifetime breakage warranty- those attributes are NOT noted on the 3000 series)

Cyndi - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Cyndi, the Great Lakes 6000 option sounds like a fair price to me at $13,500. I wouldn't do the sash replacement myself as I feel like too much can go wrong if they are really really good at that process. This is all premised on the idea that your Window Source branch has a stellar reputation. The Window Source in San Antonio is highly recommended I have heard.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

Great Lake 6000 Series

I am looking to replace 18 windows in my house. I received two quotes, one is for the Atrium 3000 window $11,200 and the other was for Great Lake 6000 window $10,000. I was wondering what your opinion of these windows are

John - Homeowner - from 2020

[Website Editor Reply]

John, the Great Lakes option is going to be the much better here...and it's less expensive. I don't think it would hurt though to capture two more bids to see what else is out there. You very well might be able to get a better window at a similar price.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2020

Connect with Local Window Companies

Top Of Page ˆ

General Great Lakes Windows Reviews And Prices

Great Lakes Windows vs. Anderson 400

Could you please send me your recommendations on vinyl windows? I live in North Carolina am replacing 28 double hung windows and 8 fixed windows ( 6 are shaped like a quarter moon).

I just spoke to a contractor that prefers to use Great Lakes windows. If I step up he would recommend Marvin for the double hung and Pella for the shaped fixed windows ( to save money).

I spoke to another that recommends the Anderson 400. If I got to vinyl he offers Vinyl Design Windows.

Bruce - Homeowner - from 2023

[Site Editor's Answer]

Bruce, the mid range and premium options from Great Lakes are solid options. Pella isn't worth it in my opinion, my Marvin makes a good fiberglass window. The Andersen 400 is a good wood clad window -- I've never heard of Vinyl Design Windows -- I'd avoid vinyl window brands that don't have proven track records -- there are literally 100s that do, so why take the risk? I'll send you my recs.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2023

Greatlakes Replacement Casement (triple pane) Windows

Do you know what the reviews are on this window? I'm not finding much positive reviews about Great Lakes windows.

Greatlakes Replacement Casement (triple pane) Windows

What is a good replacement casement window?

Michelle - Homeowner - from 2020

[Website Editor Reply]

Michelle, Great Lakes makes three series of vinyl windows. Their entry level Harbor Light, is definitely not something I would have in my home, while their premium window, the ecoSmart, is quite a good window. So it really depends on what product you are purchasing from them.

I would put Great Lakes in the solid mid range category. Not a top tier manufacturer, but a well respected manufacturer nonetheless. Here are more options for you to consider and most of these series will be available in a casement window.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2020

Great Lakes vs. ViWinTech

Hi there! I am in need of replacing 12 aging Pella casement windows, and am researching double-hung windows for replacement. I have priced Great Lakes, Pella, and ViWinTech so far. Honestly, I have not been blown away with any of these windows.

Suggestions? My goal is to be in this house for years, so I’m looking for the best replacement possible, as reasonably priced as possible.

Any help is appreciated!

Brandon - Homeowner - from 2020

[Website Editor Reply]

Hi Brandon, thanks for the question. Memphis isn't exactly in my wheelhouse for suggestions, but I'll do my best. Great Lakes is at the top of my list for the three brands you have so far. Then Pella and ViWinTech at the bottom.

Champion Windows is available in your area and they make a solid window. Unfortunately, their bids tend to run high in my estimation. Check it out and see.

Marvin windows has a presence in Memphis, but fiberglass will run quite a bit more than vinyl. Worth a look.

Perhaps the Andersen 100 window is available in one of the big box stores. This is a decent window. You would need to find a good local installer and for that I would use yelp.

Then I'd check Angie's List and Yelp for top window replacement companies and see what comes up.

This is where I'd start.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2020

Great Lake Windows Complaints

I have had the worst service from Great Lake Windows! My windows are 25 years old so the warranty is 90% gone. But I have 3 windows panes that the seal has broken and Leaked. Trying to get someone to answer my questions has been a nightmare. I started the process in May and sent in pictures, order numbers and warranty as requested. In July I finally heard from Ply Gem and started the process all over again.

I was promised delivery of the windows plus screen material plus a crank handle for a casement window. In August I got ahold of the person handling my account and was informed that she could not honor which she had told me!!! So now I am supposed to get 1 window glass free and pay $210 for 2 window panes -how does this work as how does one get them to seal properly.

Of course I have not heard from the company again. . .I have left messages and no one returns my calls. The customer service leaves much to be desired. . .I would not deal with this company again. Promises not kept, phone calls not returned, I guess they do not want my business. I am a senior citizen on a fixed income and dealing with a company that does not care.

Pat - Homeowner - from 2019

PlyGem/Great Lake Window Review.

Trying to keep this short. It has been almost a year of grief so the story is long. Worst customer service experience in my life to date. Four glass inserts were installed. Four times the pictures windows (costing over 1K each) have scratches between the panes and dirt and dust. Four days off of work as they will not do weekends no matter what.

We spend hours cleaning windows full of grease and grim as they do not clean them as the glue must set for 48 hours. Months of phone calls that do not get returned. Their solution is only to keep reinstalling the windows which involves more time off work and hours cleaning. They will not compensate for time off and will not do weekends or cleaning. They will keep supplying defective windows—no other choices apparently are available.

The frustration has been extreme. We give up as they will not provide us with any reasons why the fifth time might work. We will purchase new inserts when we have saved enough money as it is insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Customer service is basically gate keeping. They tell you the representative is busy. They will call back. They never do. You call again. I no longer am willing to try which is why I will simply buy new inserts in the future. I would hire a lawyer but that is probably more expensive than just getting the new inserts at some point.

So they honor their lifetime warranty in that they will keep installing defective windows for you. I hope you have lots of time and patience and do not work if you choose them as your vendor.

I certainly would not deal with them again. The choice is yours.

Great Lakes customer through American Thermal.

Debbie - Homeowner - from 2019

Great Lakes Vinyl Replacement Window Issue

Tim, we had Johnson Window & Siding company replace all our windows in our 1910 two story house with "Great Lakes Solid vinyl replacement window - natural woodgrain". They are double hung half screen windows with now name that I can find. The sun has faded and peeled the finish on the top of the bottom sashes. We would like to replace the damaged ones, but have no idea what brand or quality they are since our bill only said "Great Lakes Solid vinyl replacement window - natural woodgrain". Johnson Window and Siding no longer exists. How do we go about finding replacements for the "replacements" with no name on them? Could I send pictures of them to you? The have two slide latches on each sash for removal besides the locking latch. We live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Ken - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Ken, there should be manufacturing information written somewhere on the window, often in the corner of the glass. I'm not quite sure how Great Lakes does it, each manufacturer tends to handle this a bit differently.

If it were me, I would find a local Great Lakes rep or dealer who services your area and have them come out and give you a bid on replacement windows. They should be able to tell you what window it is and how much it will cost to replace the sashes, assuming they can. When you call, I wouldn't say too much, just that you are looking to get some replacement windows in your home. Then when they get there, you can steer them towards your specific problem and see what they say. Good luck!

- Site Editor - from 2016

Great Lakes Windows Warranty

Approx. 18 months ago, we lost a seal on one of our many Great Lakes windows. I am STILL attempting to be able to buy a replacement panel. Their warrantee, which is still valid and still posted on their web site, guarantees that windows are covered for 20 years on a pro-rated basis. Since the windows were already 17 years old when the seal let go, we were aware we would have very little warrantee to apply to the purchase, and we accepted the fact that the purchase would be mostly our responsibility. To date, I have contacted them by phone, thru dealers, thru a web-site representative, & thru the web site in the contact us section.

The windows will soon be 20 years old, the panels are still available but this company takes NO responsibility for their consumer s purchase rights! I have spoken with at least 5 of their representatives, and not one of them have followed thru on our request. The two best responses I got was for one of them to mail me their warrantee (which I already had as well as it being posted online); the other person suggested that since the windows were 17 years old, we should probably think about replacing them.

Their nearest dealer now is approx 100 miles away (our original contractor has retired and dissolved his company), and we have all the necessary part numbers for the panel. We also have a contractor friend who will help install the panel they still ignore us, even tho the only thing they need to do is ship the panel and accept our check! Our windows contain 20 panels in 13 windows (one triple-pane and many two-pane windows, all are casement style). They are fine windows, and this is the ONLY issue we've ever had but I will NEVER purchase from the Great Lakes company again, nor will I recommend them to any of our friends.

Lynnie - Homeowner - from 2015

Great Lakes vs Vista Windows

We've gotten several window estimates for whole house replacement windows. Most of our current windows are low quality, builders grade aluminum. We're looking at low-E, argon, double pane windows and are deciding between 2 companies. One uses Vista Window Co and the other uses Great Lakes Window. I see mixed reviews on both, and the price for the Vista windows is much less, so I'm wondering is it a good deal, or should we pay more fore Great Lakes? Any advice appreciated.

Sunny - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Sunny, on the face of it, Vista and Great Lakes have roughly the same reputation in the industry. To be honest, both are known as good middle of the road vinyl window manufacturers. Neither is considered top tier, but they are both quite solid, which is a good thing for you. Vista carries one principal vinyl window, which they call the Panorama, while Great Lakes carries 4 different grades of vinyl windows. So my first question would be, which Great Lakes window did you get the quote for? I would say the Panorama from Vista is comparable to either the Lifestyles or Uniframe model from Great Lakes - the Uniframe is GL's premium series, while the Lifestyles is their step down. I would say the Bayshore and the Seabrooke from Great Lakes are both a step below the Panorama and I would not recommend these models over the Vista.

You said the price for the Panorama is lower, so I would start here. Assuming that the company offering the Vista windows is professional, competent, and is going to offer thorough installation from a team of installers that has lots of experience with the Panorama and has a reputation for quality work, I would go this route. If, however, you have any concerns about the installers and/or company, then perhaps a bit more leg work is involved. First, find out which Great Lakes window model you have gotten the quote on and get the U-factor, AI, SHGC and DP ratings for the window and compare this to the Panorama ratings (the person who gave you the quote should have these numbers readily available). Then figure out if the company offering the GL is going to offer better installation, do they provide a labor warranty, do they have references, and a long track record of excellence in the community?

If you don't feel comfortable with either company, then I would say get two more quotes and see if this sheds some light on the issue. Let us know what you come up with!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Great Lakes vs Ply Gem & MI

Allied Building Products has a private label window called "Cutting Edge" and I'm trying to figure out who manufactures it. Any ideas?

Jay - Homeowner from 2010

[Contractor Response]

They're made by MI. They are also sometimes called Xacts. They are a cheap, builder grade window designed to be the lowest cost possible. If you have your heart set on Allied, look at the PlyGem Premium or Great Lakes 5000. Before you buy anything take the time to check out Okna, Gorell, Sunrise, Polaris, and SoftLite. With any of those, you'll be getting a window that's worth your money and won't fall apart in five years.

Holland - Contractor - from 2010

One Customers Take On The Windows

In the 1990s I was an installer with Great Lakes. They do have strong fused corners, and the glass is great, low-E, argon filled, all that. They're also good about providing replacement parts quickly and without hassle. I think their biggest weakness is the darker colored vinyl frames can warp when the temperatures change too much too quickly. If they've taken care of that issue, then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

Don - Homeowner in Minnesota - from 2010

Great Lakes vs Sunrise

I like Sunrise a lot, I think they're one of the best on the market. I wish I worked with them, but I rarely have the chance to. They've been around a long time. They definitely beat Great Lakes, Plygem, or just about any other brand. I'm not familiar with Seaways but they seem decent, but Sunrise is always a good bet.

Harry - Contractor - from 2010

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