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Kolbe Windows Reviews

Read 18 Kolbe windows reviews from homeowners and industry experts who have experience with the Latitude, Classic, Vistaluxe window series.

Have a question on window quotes, prices, or reviews? Send our site editor Dane your questions, and get personalized answers that can save you thousands of dollars on your project!

Kolbe Windows Prices | Latitude Series | Classic Series | Vistaluxe Series | General Reviews

Editor's Kolbe Window Review

Kolbe has always been known for their wood and aluminum clad windows. The manufacture 6 series, two of which are vinyl windows. They are a smaller manufacturer based out of Wisconsin, although they now own Pointe Five Windows based in Colorado, which should provide them with more distribution in the Western states. Kolbe has a long reputation for producing quality wood windows and doors.

It's tough to recommend Kolbe vinyl windows only because there are so many top quality vinyl windows out there. It makes more sense to go with a company that specializes in vinyl windows (but this is only our opinion). The Kolbe Heritage Window is the most popular product in their arsenal and is a decent middle of the road wood window.

Bottom Line: Kolbe makes good aluminum clad wood windows that are expensive, but not the priciest options on the market. If you can get a competitive bid for the Heritage, Ultra or Kolbe VistaLuxe model, you should be very happy with the aesthetics and performance.

Aluminum Hopper Windows In The Bay Area

Hi Dane, I found this Q/A thread online with you providing such great, detailed answers regarding windows...so, I thought I’d reach out for some advice.

I’m renovating a single story house in Pacifica CA with stunning ocean views. We are only keeping one of the interior walls, so effectively new construction. Design is modern!

The ceiling on the ocean side of the house is 15’ high (shed roof). I’m using casement windows, picture windows and sliding glass doors for the lower glass. For the upper windows, I want hoppers (hook and pole operation), because I want to take advantage of nature’s free air conditioning (and don’t want to get a ladder out every time I go to open/close the window). But, I’m having trouble finding anyone that manufactures modern hoppers.

I reached out to Blomberg, who I know makes modern windows, including hoppers. But their lead time is 16-18 weeks, AND they are telling me that can’t make the sliding glass doors with a U-factor of 0.26.

My questions are:

1. Do you know of a vendor that makes modern hopper windows? Of course, I want to minimize the frame and maximize the glass. My reading tells me that aluminum frames are typically thinner and more modern in design than vinyl. But, set me straight if there’s a modern vinyl window manufacturer.

2. My understanding is that the U-factor requirements for CA new construction (we are officially renovation, not new construction) is 0.30. So, I don’t even understand why Blomberg is telling me they can’t meet the U-factor requirements.

I’d appreciate any advice you might have about hoppers, and from whom to buy modern aluminum or vinyl windows (or fiberglass if that’s a good idea).

Kind thanks.

Pam - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Pam, thanks for the question. I'm going to be honest with you, this is outside of my wheelhouse. I might have some observations though. Modern design is typically going to be thermally broken aluminum windows, which means your energy efficiency numbers like AI and U-value are going to be pretty poor. On the plus side, aluminum windows are strong as hell and they have that sleek design for modern construction. I'm sure that's why Blomberg mentioned the U-value, just so you'd be aware that if you're looking for strong energy efficiency, you're probably not going to find it there.

Milgard does make a somewhat sleek and modern vinyl window in the Trinsic series. Worth a look if nothing else, and probably good to get a quote to see how the pricing compares. It is available in a darker exterior color, which is a popular trend right now. They also make an aluminum window, so take a look there as well for some comparison shopping.

The Anlin Panoramic series is going to be their slimmest profile. You're always going to lose out on energy efficiency with a slimmer frame, but the thinner vinyl frame is going to still offer much better numbers than aluminum. Of course, vinyl really doesn't have that modern look, but if you go with a darker exterior color, it can kind of mask that look. Whether it passes your smell test, I couldn't say.

Kolbe Windows has a pretty strong presence up there and they offer aluminum, vinyl, and wood clad options. They would be one place I'd look and get a bid from a dealer.

I'm not really familiar with higher end or boutique window sellers in the Bay Area. I'm sure they exist, but I'm not privy to them. I'll bet a dozen phone calls to some of the design centers in the city would produce a handful of additional leads in terms of who sellers hopper style windows.

Sounds like an exciting project. Best of luck!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

Kolbe & Kolbe Latitude Windows Reviews

Kolbe Latitude Vinyl Windows vs Sunrise

I have 38 year old single pane Weather Shield double hung windows in my home (1978 Ranch). A couple have been replaced with SIMCO sash kits prior to us buying the home. One of those is already showing air leakage problems (condensation on the glass in winter). We've settled on insert replacements since a full siding replacement is not an option for us at this time. My sons bedroom window is leaking air and condensating so bad that the wood sash started to mold at the end of last winter. Originally we wanted Andersen 400s but cant afford the 720 window price tag per window (uninstalled). The comparable Kolbe was $893 (uninstalled).

Quickly we're realizing a good vinyl insert is going to be the best price point for us. We're more concerned with good function than keeping the look of the wood on the interior. Our son's bedroom window is the one we've price out to try to compare costs. It has an inside frame opening of 43 7/8" wide by 53 7/8" high. We really like the warranty and reputation of Sunrise windows - got quoted a single window price of $559 from our only local distributor. I have that distributor coming to do a full quotation for everything we have. They're offereing $250 off for 4 purchased windows.

Is that a decent price for that size and brand? I think it is, but can't seem to find 3 other comparable vinyl manufacuters with distributors in our area to get quotes from. I have a quote for a Kolbe Vinyl Latitude insert replacement for $354. I know the quality won't be as good, but is the difference worth $200 per window for Sunrise? Any knowledge of the difference in customer service or warranty? Lastly what, if any, manufacturers should we be looking at for vinyl double hung windows in our area? We live in La Crescent, MN 55947. I have 12 double hungs to replace on the first floor, and 2 smaller sliders in the basement. We'd like to do a few a year and plan to stay in our home - not flip it. Any advice you could give would be great.

Tom - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Tom, sorry to hear about your current issues, but it does sound like you are on the right track with the Sunrise. I'd say the $559 per window is a good price and it sounds like they are offering some sort of discount from this. So yes, this is a good price.

In terms of the Kolbe, I haven't had much experience with the Latitude. They are more of a wood window company, so I wouldn't take the chance with their vinyl window "pick up." If it were me and I was going to be in my house for longer than 10 years, I'd go with the Sunrise. If you aren't going to be there that long, then you may want to consider the Kolbe (I sort of hate this advice for the next homeowners but its the truth from a purely economic standpoint).

I believe that Polaris, Soft-Lite, Andersen (100 series composite), and Marvin are all available from dealers in Minnesota. I would focus on the first two as nice comparisons to Sunrise. Let me know what the bids come back at and I'll give you me 2 cents!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Kolbe Latitude vs Marvin Integrity

I'm looking at the Marvin Integrity All Ultrex Fiberglass and the Kolbe Latitude Vinyl. The Marvins are about a third more expensive. I think they're both good windows. Is the Marvin better? Is it better enough to pay that much more?

Betty - Homeowner in Louisiana - from 2011

[Contractor Response]

The Marvins are actually that much better if you can afford it. Kolbe makes a good product but they don't compare to Marvins. The ones you're looking at are very different. The Marvins are fiberglass, a much stronger and nicer material, and nothing looks better than Marvins. Right now there's nothing on the market at any price that I'd put above a Marvin.

Wayne - Contractor - from 2011

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Kolbe & Kolbe Classic Windows Reviews

Kolbe Classic vs Jeld Wen Siteline EX

For a remodeling project, I needed a wood clad double hung. We've been looking mainly at the Kolbe Ultra & Classic, as well as the Jeld Wen Siteline EX. The Siteline, I learned, advertises that it is extruded aluminum, however it's rolled on aluminum. The Kolbe Ultras are real extruded aluminum, so they shouldn't have the problems rolled on can. Kolbe Classic is rolled, and it seems real similar to the Siteline. They are priced pretty much the same, although the Ultras are a bit more ($2K for the entire project). I'm not sure if it's worth the extra money for the Ultras? If not, which of the others should I get?

Helen - Homeowner - from 2011

[Contractor Response]

Definitely go with the Ultra. Rolled aluminum isn't nearly as good, and I don't like Jeld Wens of any type. The Kolbe Ultra is a great window, it's well made and will last a long time. Jeld Wen bought 3 low-quality window companies to get their start, and they haven't improved on the quality at all. I've never seen a house with Jeld Wens that didn't have a ton of issues. If they're the best you could afford, it wouldn't destroy your house or anything, but you probably would always wish you'd picked different ones.

Miller - Contractor - from 2011

[2nd Response]

If you've narrowed it down to those, I wouldn't even consider it a comparison. The best Jeld Wen can't compare with the cheapest Kolbe. Either Kolbe would probably be fine, but the Ultra is a little nicer - I don't like rolled on aluminum much.

Wayne Installer - from 2011

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Kolbe & Kolbe Vistaluxe Windows Reviews

Kolbe & Kolbe Vistaluxe vs. Marvin Ultimate

Dane, I have a large, high-end home in Cherry Hills Village, CO. I am looking into replacing my double-pane, original wood windows with new, wood windows (and some doors) that have either extruded aluminum cladding, or possibly composite external cladding. Colorado’s climate with high sun-exposure constantly destroys the paint on my windows, requiring a lot of upkeep.

I have been researching Renewal by Andersen, Pella, Kolbe & Kolbe, Semco and a variety of others in person, in home, or online, and many of these windows/doors look great, but it seems there is always some notable online negative reviews that are making it very hard for me to decide on a brand (let alone a competent installer).

Do you have recommendations for brand of window, among those I have listed, or any other brand that I should explore?

James - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi James, in terms of high end wood windows, I would give the nod to the Marvin Ultimate, Andersen 400 Woodwright, Pella Designer, Kolbe and Kolbe VistaLuxe, and Loewen Standard wood window. I have heard good things about Semco, but I don't know enough to say one way or another. These are the top wood windows in my book, but there are others out there that are well made, but VERY expensive.

Wood window manufacturers always have negative reviews because wood windows tend to break down over time. (There is a reason they offer 20 year warranties instead of lifetime for vinyl.) They are expensive, require upkeep and they just don't have the energy efficiency numbers to match vinyl. However, in a beauty contest, wood windows win by a country mile. If you are set on wood—choose a good brand, have a professional installer doing the work and don't worry about negative reviews.

One suggestion I always make is to take a look at a high end vinyl window with an interior laminate to see if the interior fools your eye. The Sunrise Restorations may be available in your area. It's a fantastic window (it will blow the doors off of the Renewal composite and will be 30 to 40% less) -- and is available in a faux wood. Also take a look at the Zen Lotus Plus (Soft-Lite Imperial LS that you should be able to order in a faux wood interior).

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018

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General Kolbe & Kolbe Windows Reviews

Kolbe Windows vs Semco

I had a chance to compare the Kolbe and Semco windows and found the Kolbe was much thinner, both in the frame and the sash. It also used a compression sash, although and I liked the Semco tilt latch. The Kolbe was rolled form and the Semco was the extruded aluminum, which I thought was much better. Also, Semco had way more exterior colors to choose from, I thought they were the better product, hands down.

Comparing the Semco and the Marvin was interesting as well. The cut away comparison showed the Semco was a thicker window, with more wood used in the frame. Besides this, I found the quality similar, but the Semco is quite a bit less compare to Marvin window prices.

As far as Pella goes, I thought their cutaway of the Pella Architect series looked cheap. It was really thin and sort of flimsy. The salesman kept saying how great they were, but just from the product demonstration I was not impressed.

Dave - Homeowner - from 2015

Kolbe vs Marvin Windows

Both Marvin and Kolbe are very well regarded -- Windsor Windows tends to be a less expensive wood window, but I'm not sure I would recommend it when you have those two options in front of you. Have you gotten a quote on the Marvin Integrity with the real wood interior (as opposed to the all Ultrex Integrity)?

A friend of mine in the Bay Area just got Hurd windows put in and loves them, but the company has had some warranty issues in the past...as have a lot of wood window companies to be honest...Have you gotten a quote on the Andersen 400 window? Or Loewen windows (gorgeous, very expensive). The Marvin Infinity has an Auralast wood veneer option that is pretty slick looking and requires no maintenance.

Barry - Industry Insider - from 2015

Kolbe Windows Reviews

I can't believe people are comparing Hurd to Marvin, Eagle, and Kolbe. The Hurds don't even compare. Other brands have much better designs and materials that will last a lot longer and give you fewer problems. Hurd is a lower quality window - nothing wrong if that's what you want, but lower quality.

Wayne - Contractor - from 2012

Kolbe vs Pella Windows

If you're looking at Pellas and Kolbes, the Pella is probably a little cheaper, but not by much. I think the Kolbes are better by a big enough margin to be worth the higher cost. I had 20 double hung wood windows put in about 15 years ago and they are still like new.

Guy - Homeowner in New Jersey - from 2011

[Contractor Response]

Kolbes are definitely better. Pella is better known, but people in the trades know Kolbe. Better post-sale service, better build quality, just a better choice all around. Explore what Pella windows cost.

Tim - Contractor - from 2011

[2nd Response]

I honestly am not impressed by either of these. Kolbe to me is just an unimpressive mediocre window. Pellas, though, are garbage. Even their top-line Architectural series are lousy. The showroom models look nice, but when you get your windows all the details are off. Hardware is on crooked, miter joints are bad. The Pellas I put on my house are decent, but only because I put a ton of work into fixing them after they came. As delivered, they weren't something that could be put on a house.

Mark - Contractor - from 2011

Kolbe Frame Color

I was looking at Kolbes and they seem really good. They look solid and well made. My only problem with them was that the cream colored interiors were a strange color, not like any cream I've ever seen. The price was a little high, but they're good enough that we're trimming some costs on the interior doors and hardware to make up for it. I just hope the cream doesn't look bad in the room.

Jeff - Contractor - from 2011

Kolbe Or Semco

Semco windows are a low budget option, and they're going to have to be replaced in 10 years or so. If you really want a wood window, Marvin and Kolbe both make nice ones. Marvin is more expensive and more well-known, but the Kolbes are excellent.

Brandon - Installer - from 2010

Kolbe Windows Complaints

I've put Kolbe sash kits in a lot of homes, they're a good alternative to a full replacement if you really need a wood window for some reason. Most of the problems we run into were minor. At first we were measuring and ordering our screens from Kolbe, but there were a lot of misfits and other issues. Now we have a company that comes out and does the screens on site. It's cheaper and every screen fits perfect. Also, a lot of the sashes don't fit well against the existing slots. It doesn't cause a problem in the end, but it means more work for the installer. These certainly aren't cheap, but they're less expensive than a high-end window. They're mainly for esthetics, though, they won't help with energy costs.

Mike - Contractor - from 2007

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