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MI Windows Reviews

Read 2023 MI windows reviews to see whether this company and their Pro 5000, Energy Core, Homemaker 3, 1650, 3500, 4300 series, and Storm Armor 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!

MI Window Prices

1500 Series | 1600 Series

1850 Series | 3500 Series

Storm Armor Series | Professional Series

Energy Core Series | HomeMaker 3 Series

General Reviews

Editor's MI Windows Reviews

The company started out in Florida and now operates three manufacturing plants in Arizona, Texas, and Pennsylvania. MI is quite a large operation and is widely known within the building and contracting world. Unfortunately, here is where the "accolades" stop for this window manufacturing company. For the most part, MI makes a low quality vinyl window that is mostly sold to large builders and contractors who are looking to put in a large number of run-of-the-mill vinyl windows at a low-per-unit price. Basically the company tends to use low quality components, parts, and features. The end result is a low end vinyl window that has sub par design, tolerance, fit, and finish.

MI Vinyl Windows get 3 out of 5 stars based on the 77 MI windows reviews below.

The problem is that to look at the MI window on day 1, most consumers won't see much difference with other better-made vinyl windows. It's in year 8, 9, and 10 that balances, locks, seals, and glass will begin to display issues that then must be fixed or simply dealt with. It's very doubtful whether the MI windows warranty will apply to these issues after this many years.

The company does make a number of different models, including the Pro 5000, Energy Core, Homemaker 3, and 1600 series. Their top-of-the-line Energy Core does seem to offer some decent energy efficiency, but honestly I haven't the numbers personally so I can't speak to those with any authority. So unless you are getting this Energy Core model, I wouldn't put these windows in my house. The only caveat to this is if I were using them on rentals or I was flipping houses.

Check out our recommended windows page for a list of windows that will offer you some nice long term value. You will pay more up front for them, but you should save money in the long run and be happier over the course of the life of the windows.

Tim - Site Editor

MI Addison Windows

So I talked to my sales guy at Window Nation about the brand. The Addison model windows are made by MI out of reading and only have the minimum standard on the air infiltration rate of .3. How big of a difference is .3 to .06 in reality? I do like the lifetime transferable warranty they have, but don't know anything about the window company they are using in my area.

So I have a quote from Window Nation, but as I said, they are the MI Addison windows that they are quoting, around 25k.

Additionally, I have one from Zen WIndows and they are using Soft-Lite Classic Plus (not sure the difference between Classic and Classic Plus though) around 18k.

Both seem to have lifetime transferable warranties, so from that end, they are good. I have attached both quotes, if you don't mind reviewing.

Given the costs involved, just want to make sure we are getting a really good quality window/install and not getting overcharged for the name/install.

Thanks again - glad I found your site today!

Steve - Homeowner - from 2022

[Site Editor's Answer]

Steve, in my opinion MI has never been all that reliable a brand. It has always been more of a builder grade window company. However, their premium EneryCore series is a good window. They purchased Sunrise windows in 2020 and I'm wondering if they aren't relabeling this as the Addison -- by the way, saying the AI is less than .30 is like saying that a Hyundai drives like a Tesla -- there is a massive difference between .30 and .06 -- anything over .12 is not considered a top tier window in my opinion. The Soft-Lite Classic (AI .06 ironically) is quite a good window and a proven performer by a very solid company. How does that Zen branch do in terms of the online reviews/ratings?

Dane - Site Editor - from 2022

MI Victory Windows Cost Quote

Hi Dane, I came across your website and appreciate your help for homeowners. I submitted my contact info on your website and got quotes from a couple of companies. We have ten (10) double-hung windows (6 34"x58" and 4 22"x58"). The following are quotes we have so far:

1) Victory Home Remodeling: $19,375.00; MI Victory Window

2) Power Home Remodeling: $11,893.30; ProVia (we were told that they use the 'Comfort Series' but did not see a 'Comfort Series' on ProVia website)         

3) TAC Home Remodeling: $9,775.00; OKNA 500 series

4) Window World 4000 DH SolarZone Package: $7,846.00;

We also have a scheduled estimate from Castle Windows coming up.

Both Victory and Power offered today /on the spot prices lower than their 1-year prices I listed above. We did not feel that we could make a decision right away.

My questions are:

1) How good is Castle Windows?

2) What do you think of the quotes we have so far? The quoted prices seem to be high with inflation considered. A neighbor used the same contractor with OKNA 500 series and got replacement windows at about $560 per window installed about a year ago. What do you think about these quoted prices? For your info, we live in New Jersey.

3) if it is needed, we are willing to get more quotes, would you please give us some recommendations?

Our decisions on a couple of quotes are needed within a few days. We will appreciate it very much if you can respond to my email at your earliest convenience.

Thank you very much for your help!

Sue - Homeowner - from 2022

[Site Editor's Answer]

Sue, Castle Windows makes a decent, but not great window. I'd toss the Victory quote as MI windows just can't compete.

ProVia doesn't make a Comfort Series as far as I know. The ProVia Endure and ecoLite are both good series from them.

The real winning bid for me is the TAC Home Remodeling using the Okna 500 series. This is one of the best windows on the market and it's one of your least expensive bids. This would be the heavy favorite for me -- assuming the company gets good reviews / ratings.

As far as prices go, all bets are off these days. The Okna looks good in comparison, but I can't say whether it's a fair price or not. It probably is -- since you are in NJ, you should definitely get one more bid from Ideal Windows. Their Platinum 3000 and Majestic series are comparable to the Okna 500 and sometimes their prices are fantastic!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2022

MI 1500 Windows Reviews

-- Estimated MI 1500 Price: $400 to $550 installed --
(assumes medium sized window and normal installation) *

MI 1555 Windows Bid

Dane, I stumbled across your site and have learned a lot. We need to do something with our windows. We have 15 windows that need some love- don’t know if that means replacement or replacing the glass. Essentially a lot of broken seals. Half of the house has already been done with Pella and Jeld Wen when the previous owners did very recent remodeling- within 3 years so we do want to “match” the new ones at least from the outside of the house and the grid styles. The ones that need replacing are triple pane Nu Prime windows that are not the original windows, but I suspect about 30 years old. House was built in 1962.

We received two quotes- one for Okna 500 (15k) and another for Mi 1555 ($5k). The more I read on your site, the Mi windows aren’t so good, but the Okna seem to be better. I have a family friend checking to see how much putting new glass would be and if that is even a smart option- he is in the home contractor world and has been since before I was born! Any recommendations?? We haven’t reached out to other companies yet because all of it is so complicated, expensive and so many numbers to compare- but we want to make the right investment and don’t want to be cheap and do the wrong thing in the long run.

I feel we are paying for a huge profit margin for the Okna salesman who works for Windows on Washington, and the other guy was someone our home inspector actually highly recommended- he can get other windows. He works for Supreme Windows. And of course we realize everyone needs to make a living. Any insight would be helpful. We live in Northern Virginia where it is hot, cold, and expensive! :-)

I can provide more info if needed.

Thanks so much.

Sara - Homeowner - from 2020

[Site Editor's Answer]

Sara, I would wait to hear what your contractor friend says about the glass replacement. If you can get away with that, you may want to consider it. If you are going to replace your windows, you probably want to do them in one fell swoop to match the style and quality.

Okna is one of the very best vinyl window out there, while the MI 1555 is a builder grade that I wouldn't put in my house. Two very different bids and you are correct that you are paying top dollar to WOW for their reputation, marketing, expenses, etc. $1000 a window is quite high.

You may want to search out an in between option if your contractor contact can't do the glass option.

I would say look for local companies that sell Sunrise, Soft-Lite, Polaris, Kensington, Vytex, Great Lakes, Zen, and even Simonton. Google "Polaris windows in [your city and state]" and see if local companies come up. Get your bids and see where you stand then. Hopefully, the process will get easier and provie you with a better array of prices and product options.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2020

MI 1556 Series vs Simonton Pro-Finish Contractor

Our contractor proposed three windows for our house: either the Andersen Silverline, MI Windows 1556 and the Jeld-Wen Builders Vinyl. I also read reviews on the Simonton Pro-finish Contractor series. What do you think of these different windows?

We are not in the market for high end windows, but certainly want one that will last for the next 20 years.

Stacey - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Stacey, the Andersen Silverline, MI Windows 1556, and the Jeld-Wen Builders Vinyl are lower quality windows that I wouldn't recommend if you are looking for a window to last you the next 20 years. The Simonton Pro-Finish Contractor is a better window in my opinion than these others, but still not quite what would be ideal for a top notch window.

Maybe your contractor can get you pricing on an Okna 600 Eco Pro series? Or a Sunrise. Or even a Ply Gem.

What about a Sunrise window?

These would be my suggestions.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

MI Series 1556 Window Bid

Hi Dane. Thanks so much for your great website. It really helps me to understand all these brands.

One thing I felt strange is the estimated cost from your website vs the quote I received from local contractors. For example, your website estimate good vinyl window at 5K for 10. that sounds way cheaper than the quote I attached as an example. is it because the bay window and french door? or they just gave me crazy quote to rip me off?

MI Series 1556 Windows

Double Hung

36x50- (3) Twin

53x50-(3) Twin


53x40-(2) Twin

19x38 obscured-(1)

91x61 Bow-(1)

One 60x80 French Door

We hereby propose to supply material and labor for completion in accordance with the above specifications for the sum of $15,850.00

Ming - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Ming, a bay window is incredibly more expensive than a simple replacement window (it's basically three windows and way more installation work). For instance, if you put in 1 bay window and high end manufacturer into the calculator, you receive a result of $2710. To be honest, bay windows are so complex, that your bids may be all over the board, depending on the amount of work needed to do the install. The calculator is certainly not meant to be an end all be all when it comes to pricing—there are too many factors that come into play in real life.

French doors are also much much more expensive than a simple window, for obvious reasons. French doors can run $1500 to $3000 or more.

I'm not a fan of MI windows, you can do better than that. Get a bid from Sunrise and Okna -- they should have dealers in your area and they are much better than MI windows.

Send me your bids and I'll give you my opinion on what looks good and what can be tossed out. Also remember that companies often throw out the highest number first, but that's not necessarily the number they will take the job for.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018

Select Type Of Window
MI Window Series
Installation Needs
How Many Windows?
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MI 1600 Windows Reviews

-- Estimated MI 1650 Price: $450 to $600 installed --
(assumes medium sized window and normal installation) *

MI 1650 Vinyl Windows

Dane, I’ve received a quote for $16k to replace 17 windows in my home using the MI double hung 1650 vinyl windows. Includes instillation.

For some reason this feels high to me. Your thoughts?

Josh - Homeowner - from 2022

[Site Editor's Answer]


Dane - Site Editor - from 2022

MI 1650 Double Hung Windows

Hi Dane/Tim, I stumbled across the replacement windows reviews webpage and it has a ton of info. I am in the early phases of having a home built and the builder is suggesting MI double hung windows. This is my forever home so I want to put in some windows that will last without breaking my budget. Should I ask for something else or are MI windows for new construction better than replacements? If I should ask for something else, what would you recommend?

Alan - Homeowner - from 2022

[Site Editor's Answer]

Alan, I would not consider MI windows unless he is suggesting their higher end Energy Core series, which I might put into my good quality list below -- maybe. Most contractors don't consider windows all that important in my experience. I think this is because they are installing brand new windows and by the time they begin to fail 8 to 10 years down the road, they are long gone...they don't really deal with the fall out, but you do...

Dane - Site Editor - from 2022

Dane or Tim

MI 1600 Series Cost

Can you please give me quotes for these 2 types of windows? Quantity: 40ea.

Marvin Integrity Wood Ultrex

MI 1600 Series

Natalie - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]


Marvin Integrity Wood Ultrex: My best guess for a fair market price would be $1,000 per window for a normal sized window with retrofit installation.

MI 1600 Series: My best guess for a fair market price would be $450 per window for a normal sized window with retrofit installation.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

MI 1650 Series Reviews

I came across your site while doing some research on vinyl vs wood windows. My house currently has single-hung Andersen wood windows (unsure of model) that were probably installed pre-1998.

While I'm not certain the sealed units themselves have been compromised, I have noticed the sash frames of the ones in the bathroom and half bath have "mold" at their bases (which could be from interior condensation since they don't have storm windows), some of the sills appear to have had some water infiltration at some point, and I am quickly learning that wood maintenance is a pain, so I got some quotes on vinyl replacements.

I live in a small town in Indiana, right on the line between climate zones 4 and 5, and I'm waiting on responses from Okna, Sunrise, and Marvin as to whether they have dealers/installers in my area. This is my forever home, and the quotes I was able to get are all mid-level vinyl, double hung, low-e glass for 10 windows.

#1: Alliance Belmont; ~$5500

#2: MI 1650 Series; $5650

#3: Berkshire Elite; $5800

Are the above brands relatively "equal" in quality as their prices suggest? If I'm unable to get Okna / Sunrise / Marvin installed, is there any definite loser in the above brands? Given that I'm on the border of frigid and mild winters, any particular series I should look for?

Thank you!

CW - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi there, so of the three quotes you have, the Berkshire Elite is the one I would go with -- a solid mid range window. Assuming the installer or installation company has a good to great reputation, these should do the trick. They aren't the best out there, but it is a solid mid range choice. I probably wouldn't put an Alliance Belmont or an MI 1650 Series in my own home to be honest.

If this is your forever home, here is a list of good and great windows if you wanted to see if one or two of these brands are available in your area. [List redacted.]

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

MI 1650 Double Hung Fix

My name is Tim Foster and I had bought windows MI 1650 double hung triple pane (unit size – 39.5” w x 37”) . I was wondering if there is a way to adjust the open height of the window as there is not enough opening to put a window air conditioner. The window only opens to 11.5”. There is a good three to four inches at the top but there is a stopper that will not allow it to go any higher. I only need 1-1.5 inches.

Is there any adjustment that can be made?


Tim - Homeowner - from 2020

[Site Editor's Answer]

Tim, the only option is to take out the rubber stop (now it escapes me how that window is set up) and see if this gives you any more play. The issue is always that the hardware at the top stops when it hits the frame. My advise would be to find a local window repair person on yelp and see if they will come out and offer a solution -- they might have a creative fix for you.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2020

MI 1680 Series

Hello! I recently had a company put in some windows in Springfield OH. Contract said I would be getting Mezzo. Well after the fact I learned they were MI. I felt deceived. Owner of window company said these are better windows and from what I've read that is not the case. Can you tell me your thoughts on the comparison and how I should handle this dispute? Thanks so much.

Zee - Homeowner - from 2020

[Site Editor's Answer]

Zee, I certainly understand why you feel deceived. I would put the Mezzo above the MI 1680 series, but I don't have the energy efficiency ratings to back that up. They are relatively close to one another, but I like the Alside Mezzo more than the MI1680. He might have had different experiences. Regardless, that is fraudulent business practices.

My first question to him is if you promised me one window and gave me another and claim one is better than the other, prove it.

Do you have a work order? If so you can report him to the Better Business Bureau. Or write a bad review. Other than that, I'm not sure if insisting they pull them out and replace them is your best course of action. This is tricky.

I think you should post this question on another forum https://www.replacement-windows.com and see if you can get a consensus on how the pros on this site would handle it.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2020

[Zee's Reply]

Thanks for your response. I have came to an agreement and they are giving me 15% off the order of the four windows which comes to $327. I too have came to conclusion they're similar in quality. I read that Window World uses those two windows and puts their stickers on them. The company seems to have a good warranty on them so I guess time will tell.

Zee - Homeowner - from 2020

MI 1650 Series vs. Simonton 5500

Hello, I am in process of doing roof windows and gutters and doors. I am ok with all with my contractor but had concerns about windows he selected in bid after reading reviews. He recommended mi 1650 I believe they were. Asked to quote different windows and he did. He came back with Provia Aspect and quoted both of an upgrade on 2500.00 more than original quote of 20k installed.

Roughly 40 windows not really sure when counting transom, half rounds etc. Most are standard size I guess with a few larger ones. Any advice on if contractor is pricing correctly and difference in windows listed above would be great. Thanks for your time.

Chris - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

The move from the MI 1650 series to either the ProVia Aspect or the Simonton 5500 is without question worth the additional $2500. Frankly I'm surprised that the upgrade cost from a builder grade window to these mid range windows isn't more.

I like both the Provia Aspect series and the Simonton 5500 window and I'm not sure which one I would recommend. I think they are pretty darn equal in terms of performance and craftsmanship. I would see which one your builder likes or has more experience. Obviously, if you like the look or feel or function of one over the other, then that should tip the scale one way or another.

I'm assuming you are doing new construction installation and paying $560 per window sounds about right to me. It's not cheap, but it certainly doesn't sound unfair either. It's always a little tricky dealing with a single contractor because you are already sort of bought in and can't leverage other window bids to lower his price.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

MI-1650 vs Atrium Windows

We are replacing 24 wood-frame windows -- mostly double-hung -- in a 19 - 20 year-old house in southeastern Virginia. One contractor quoted $11,900 for MI-1650 windows. Another quoted $14,300 for Atrium Series 40 windows. In general, MI windows appear to get a low quality rating on various websites. What do you think about these quotes?

Frank - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Frank, you are right about the MI windows, they are builder grade windows and you can do better. Atrium makes a decent window, but I think you should keep going on your search for something that's going to offer you better long term value.

There are a number of other excellent vinyl window brands available in your area - you should be able to call up these companies and find out easily enough if they have a local rep who services your area - Okna, Polaris, Sunrise, Soft-Lite. All four of these brands that I mentioned are going to be a clear step above the Atrium, which again is not bad, just not the best. The brands I mentioned all have a few different windows series and models, one of which should be in your price range.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016

MI Cutting Edge 1650 Windows

I had whole house window replacement (25 units) in September, 2008 with subject model. They had a ten year warranty. To date, three have failed seals. The installation contractor is no longer in business and unreachable. Can anyone suggest a reputable contractor to replace the windows? I would prefer the same model for conformity's sake. Otherwise, suggest a higher grade brand with a like or similar appearance to the subject model. Thanks.

Roger - Homeowner - from 2014

Select Type Of Window
MI Window Series
Installation Needs
How Many Windows?
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MI 1850 Windows Reviews

-- Estimated MI 1850 Price: $500 to $650 installed --
(assumes medium sized window and normal installation) *

MI Vinyl Windows In Texas

Tim, Aloha! My wife and I live in Hawaii at present but are working with a custom builder in New Braunfels, Texas to build our retirement home.

One of my pet peeves is high quality windows. In the builder’s initial proposal, they specified MI low E vinyl brand, which I have never encountered before. In our Maryland condo, I installed Andersen windows and doors, and they were fantastic as to quality, easy cleaning, and durability.

I’ve read the review on your site about MI, and all have them “thumbs down”. From your professional experience, what are the top 3-ranked window systems that we should consider for our retirement home in the Texas environment?

Stan - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Stan, in Texas I would highly recommend taking a look at an aluminum window from Don Young. They also make a decent vinyl window.

There very well might be a Sunrise dealer who services your area. The Sunrise Restorations is one of the best vinyl/fiberglass window on the market and would be in the top three windows I'd want in my house. Their standard series is very solid as well.

There may be a Zen dealer who carries the Soft-Lite Pro (called the Zen Lotus). Some Zen dealers carry the Zen Lotus Plus, which is the Imperial LS model. This is a very good vinyl window.

The Simonton 9800 Impressions series or the Reflections 5500 series are two decent options.

Finally, the very best series from MI (which varies by where in the country you live, I believe its the 1850 series in Texas) is a decent window.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

Select Type Of Window
MI Window Series
Installation Needs
How Many Windows?
Zip Code

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MI 3500 Windows Reviews

-- Estimated MI 3500 Price: $500 to $650 installed --
(assumes medium sized window and normal installation) *

MI 3500 Series Cost

Good morning , I was just googling info about MI Single Hung Vinyl windows and came across your blog which I found informative.

I recently saw the MI Single Hung Window 3500 series on display in the Washington DC area where I live and I liked how it looked and how single hung windows tend to cost a little less than double hung windows. My house will be paid off in a few years and I will likely sell and move to a one level condo in the area. In the meantime, I'm getting estimates on single hung windows to replace my current 20 year old very cheap builder grade double hung windows (that I've had no major problems with this whole time!) and the cheapest estimate so far is from a reputable local company for $7090 for 11 of the 3500 series.

Is the 3500 series considered energy efficient and eligible for the government's $600 tax credit? Does it have low-e glass? Will the 3500 series last at least a few years? If not, does MI make a better grade single hung window? Not all manufacturers make single hung windows, i.e. Universal Windows Direct, so which manufacturers would you recommend for single hung windows that are entry-level energy efficient and have low-e glass without breaking the bank but offer good resale value? 

Thanks in advance for your response. 

Beyshinah - Homeowner - from 2022

[Site Editor's Answer]

Beyshinah, I consider the MI3500 series a mid range vinyl window. Not something I would expect to last for 40 years, but with quality installation, I would think it should hold up well. I don’t know the energy efficiency details of the 3500 series off hand — the store or rep should have that info on lock as they sell it everyday.

As far as I know, the MI Energy Core is their top rated window. Not all dealers will carry it though —

Dane - Site Editor - from 2022 Thanks for responding so quickly! I just saw this post on Mi Windows and Doors facebook page...

"From the MI site -- we are conducting a voluntary recall of our 1620 single-hung impact window with window opening control devices (WOCD) manufactured prior to November 3, 2022."

I will check out your other recommendations. Mi also makes a energy star single hung window, series 3540 which qualifies for the government's $600 tax credit so I will look into that as well since it seems to be a slightly better grade than their 3500 series.

MI 3500 Series vs. Andersen 100 Series

Hello Dane, I am considering the MI 3500 window or the Andersen 100 series for new construction. What are thoughts on the above two windows? I haven’t found the MI 3500 to touch, but did the Andersen 100 in Home Depot. I noticed a little extra play once the window was in the lock position and wasn’t really impressed with the lock mechanism. The half screen wasn’t a locking screen and the frame looked a little flimsy. Please share your thoughts.

Thank you .

Tim - Homeowner - from 2022

[Site Editor's Answer]

Tim, while I wouldn't say the Andersen 100 is the best window out there, I would put it above almost anything that MI makes. For me, the Andersen 100 series is the better of the two windows. Sometimes those HD window samples aren't the best because they get so much play, but I also don't like that you didn't like the window. That's never a good sign...

This is my list of windows...

Dane - Site Editor - from 2022

What Do You Think of Price Difference?

Tim, I have read through your site extensively to educate myself on windows. I know your site is about replacement windows, but I was hoping you could offer your opinion about new home construction windows. Both builders we have interviewed install MI windows as part of their base price. Builder one uses MI 4500 and quoted us a price of $4500 to upgrade to Anderson 100 series.

Builder 2 uses MI 3500 and quoted us $10,000 to upgrade to Anderson 100! Both houses are very similar in size and number of windows. We like the house and builder 2 better, but asked if they could get us a quote for Sunrise V series. There is a dealer in our area. We were told that due to insurance, liability, and warranty purposes our only choices would be MI (any series), Milgard, Anderson, or Pella.

I don’t understand why liability , insurance, etc. are limited to certain brands, so we have set up a meeting. I will not put MI windows in the house, and saw that Milgard was bought by MI in 2019. I’m not sure why builder 2’s pricing for Anderson is so much higher than builder 1. Is there that much difference in price from MI 3500 to MI 4500? I wonder if the big price difference is to try to deter us from using another brand.

Any thoughts you have would be appreciated. We are in Overland Park, KS, which is a suburb of Kansas City.


Deb - Homeowner - from 2020

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi Deb, I can't say why there would be such a big price between builder 1 and 2, but perhaps 2 doesn't get very good pricing because they don't use the Andersen 100 very often. That's a possibility.

That's funny (but not really) that liability and insurance requires you to get a worse product. The Andersen 100 is a decent enough window though, and the one I would go with over any MI product. I just think that you open yourself up to potential problems down the road going with an MI window. I get why builders like them -- they're cheap and by the time they start having problems 8 years later, the builder is nowhere to be found.

I believe that Milgard is still made in the same plants as before (although they did close two of the manufacturing plants since they were purchased). The Tuscany is on par with the Andersen 100 window I think. I might give the nod to the Andersen 100 over the Milgard Tuscany.

The 10K price increase is a lot and so that gives me a lot of pause.

Why can't you hire Sunrise to install the windows and tell the builder you're using them for the windows only. Your homeowner's insurance won't allow this? I've never heard of this.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2020

[Deb's Reply]

Thank you so much for your quick response. I hope you had a good Fourth of July weekend. My realtor called builder 2 and pushed on Sunrise Windows again. He got a firm “No, not going to happen.” He then asked about the high quote on Anderson and was told it was just an estimate. I have given the builder details on exactly what is wanted, so waiting now for a more accurate quote. Builder 1 was open to exploring the possible use of Sunrise. This has been very frustrating, so again I appreciate the feedback from you.

Deb - Homeowner - from 2020

Mi 3500 Single Hung Windows

We have been replacing our windows a few at a time. I bought the Mi 3500 single hung windows. I was assured that these were very good. Over the past 3 or 4 years, we have started getting love bugs. This year, I noticed some coming in the house. There have been well over a hundred. They're only coming through the new windows, not my old ones.

My old ones are very old and bad, but bugs don't come through. They don't even have screens. The new windows have screens and the bugs , I think are coming in on each side, left and right of these windows. There is a space on each side. I'm pretty sure this should not be happening. The windows are only a couple months old. I've reported this to the store where I have been getting them.

I have one at the store to be delivered and I have several still to be replaced. And the windows were caulked well, also. I'm not sure of what to do. I don't know if I should get any more of these. I don't know what the fix is. Please advise.

Vicky - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Vicky, if bugs are getting through, I would think it was the result of poor installation instead of the windows themselves. Try to document the bugs getting through if possible prior to anyone coming out.

You can try to get in touch with the company that installed your windows. If it was done a few years ago, I would think you would have that information still.

You could call up some local companies and ask for a bid on new windows. Get the bid (not intending to get new windows) and then pepper them with questions regarding the problem.

If you get no relief here, you can go to yelp or craigslist, find a local window repairman and see if they can come out to diagnose the problem.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

MI 3540 Series Quote

My contractor recently quoted me on the above windows, which I never heard of, nor can I find on their site. Was just wondering if you ever heard of them or know what type of quality they are.

4 windows to be replaced. The total bid is $2,810. I've attached the bid for you.

Thank you so much!

Terri - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Terri, the bid you have is for the MI 3540 series, which is a single hung window unit and one of MI's better models. I would consider it a decent mid range vinyl window. MI is typically considered a builder grade window manufacturer. Not really thought of as a high quality manufacturer in most industry pros opinion. They do sell lots of windows though.

I would ask if he has access to Simonton windows. I would consider Simonton's premium windows a nice step up from MI windows. In particular, I would recommend the Reflections 5500 series or the Impressions 9800 series.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

MI 3500 Windows

I don't see any consumer feed back on these windows. I assume it is because the consumers are experiencing the same worry free performance and maintenance we have enjoyed since their installation.

The only issues are the release tabs will break when the windows are being cleaned. This could be a result of my gorilla torqued clumsy thumbs are snapping the tab off. The company was kind enough to give me a half dozen replacements for free.

This product is the best bang for your buck. Fifteen years later and my windows look brand new.

Don - Homeowner - from 2017

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MI Storm Windows Reviews

-- Estimated MI Storm Window Price: $700 to $900 installed --
(assumes medium sized window and normal installation) *

MI Storm Armor Windows

I'm looking to purchase a home from a builder in Fl. who has won "Builder of The Year" awards on multiple occasions. Im a bit concerned because he will be using the MI high impact windows (Storm Armor)if I purchase the home. I cannot find any reviews on these MI windows and was wondering if these are rated any better than the non-impact windows they sell. Thanks for your feedback on these windows.

Don - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Don, MI does not have a stellar reputation in the industry, but I know lots of builders like them, I'm assuming because they get them at a good price and they figure the windows are "good enough." I don't know much about the Storm Armor series. I'm sure they are better than the standard MI vinyl windows, but that isn't a recommendation by any means.

I would ask the builder for two other impact options or brands that he could order. If he does, see if you can compare the performance to the Storm Armor, specifcally the Design Pressure Rating, U-factor, Air Infiltration Number and Condensation Resistance Rating.

I would ask if he has access to PGT, Custom Window Systems, Stanek or the Simonton StormBreaker Plus window. Without knowing anything about the Storm Armor, I would think that the options I mentioned would be a better long term solutions than the MI. Each of the companies makes a very solid impact window that will be more expensive than the MI, but isn't going to be exorbitant.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Select Type Of Window
MI Window Series
Installation Needs
How Many Windows?
Zip Code

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MI Professional Series Reviews

-- Estimated MI Professional Series Price: $600 to $750 installed --
(assumes medium sized window and normal installation) *

MI Windows

My MI windows are leaky and now I have lots of damage to the walls and frames and sills. Need professional opinion so we don't repeat. My daughter bought a "flipped house" last April in Northern California. Flippers replaced old aluminum windows with MI Professional Series retro fit windows into old frames. The rains came and water flowed into interior of walls around frames and when vinyl white cover strip at top of window was pulled back water flowed in when tested.

- Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi, I would get a bunch of window companies out there to take a look and let them give you their bids and see what brands they carry.

There's quite a bit of work there so make sure you get five or six bids as I can imagine they are going to vary widely.

Once you collect all of the bids, feel free to shoot me another text with the bids and brand of windows and I can give you my two cents!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2017

Select Type Of Window
MI Window Series
Installation Needs
How Many Windows?
Zip Code

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MI Energy Core Windows Reviews

-- Estimated MI Energy Core Price: $650 to $800 installed --
(assumes medium sized window and normal installation) *

MI EnergyCore Series Reviews

Hello Dane, I am looking to replace all 15 windows in my 1955-year house in Fort Worth/Dallas Texas area. I'm looking for a vinyl window that provides energy efficiency at an economical cost. I'm 59 years old and this is my forever home as far as I know.

Below are the quotes I have received for parts and installation. They all provide full warranty except M&M Door with their EC 4 window as shown below. What are your thoughts about this? Considering this price range, are there other windows I should be looking at? I will spend a little more to get a much better window .

VistaMark Endura 110 $14,000

NT Windows Presidential - $10,800

Window Universe Express / Revere Berkshire Elite $10,405

Statewide Energy Solutions / Texas Energy Pro $9,980 (They say they mfg their own window.)

M&M Door and Window is quoting EnergyCore Windows EC4 White Vinyl 366 Low-E Argon for $7,3000

That is with lifetime warranty on windows and only ONE YEAR warranty on labor. But I am not sure who makes this Energy Core EC4 window. Here is a link to the vendor. Honestly, this cost is tempting. But the last thing I want is to make a costly mistake.

Greg - Homeowner - from 2022

[Site Editor's Answer]

Greg, the EnergyCore is made by MI and is their top of the line window. Not a bad window, although I don't know all about it. The window I do know about is the NT Presidential series, which is a very good window. If this were my forever home, this would top my list...although I do agree that the EnergyCore bid is tempting. Plus M&M Door and Window has really good reviews, which makes me think you are in good hands.

To be honest, most of the labor warranty will happen within the first year anyway so their labor warranty is just fine -- once the windows go in and you are happy with them, then its year 12 t0 15 when you have issues. I'm not a big fan of MI, but I like the good reviews of the company and the EnergyCore should be roughly equivalent to the NT Presidential.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2022

MI Energy Core Review

We are in the process of designing with our builder a new home in the Kansas City area. We are generally very pleased with our builder, with his reputation, and with the quality of his work.

We have one concern, though. He regularly uses MI windows, even putting them in his own home. But most of what I see online about MI windows is negative. So, my question is: does MI have a line of high-quality windows? I'm willing to pay for good, thermally efficient windows, but I want to be sure that the windows I put in my new house really are good windows.

Any help or insight you can give me on this matter would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much for your willingness to consider my question.

Rich - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hey Rich, so in general MI is a builder grade window that just doesn't measure up to other top tier vinyl windows on the market. The one series that does though is the MI Energy Core series. This is a very solid window and the one that I would consider having in my house. I would ask him to price out this option and see if it's within your budget.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

[Rich's Reply]

I'm willing to pay pretty much whatever the Energy Core windows cost as long as I can be sure that those windows are going to be good, energy efficient windows. But if I pay for those windows and they really are not very good, then I'm going to be very disappointed!

So . . . do you feel those windows will work reasonably well for me, or should I press my builder to try to get him to use some other brand of windows?

I might mention here too that I'm asking my builder to install triple-pane windows. Even though our climate zone might suggest that double pane are good enough, I'm wanting to be prepared for the increasing energy costs that I think are coming in the days and years ahead...

This house is going to be so nice -- the nicest one we've ever lived in -- and it's our retirement home. We plan on living there for a long time, and I certainly don't want the windows to be a huge disappointment . . .

Kyle - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

If this were my project, I would press my contractor and ask what other windows he has access to...here is my good and great windows list...no MI windows included...

[List Redacted -- contact us directly (Dane or Tim) for our good and great windows list]

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

MI Energy Core Recommendation

From reading your answers to homeowners questions about the MI window… both of you clearly don’t like it. I’d like to know why. You don’t exactly say in any of your answers and most of your comments include something along the lines of, “I don’t have the data to back this up but I would go with window A or B over the MI window”.

I’m considering new windows and I really liked the profile of the MI window over others I’ve seen. The energy efficiency of the glass (LoE) is just as good if not better than others. I’ve also seen an alside window and a Simonton window. The profiles differ but the frames are the same thickness. All have the same lifetime seal failure warranty and all have the same exclusions and limitations.

Being that “Exposure to the elements” is listed as an exclusion to all vinyl windows, this tells me that warranty claims can be denied for just about anything. So, why exactly, is MI so low on your list of replacement windows?

Can you show a data/spec comparison to other windows where you can point to specific reasons that make windows A B, C etc better than MI? I don’t mind spending extra on a better window but I need to know what justifies the added cost and what actually makes it “A better Window”.

Best regards.

Beau - Homeowner - from 2020

[Site Editor's Answer]

Beau, I think the MI Energy Core is a solid window. But...you are correct, I don't think much of their windows. MI makes and sells most of their windows to builders and contractors who look to cut costs where they can.

There are lots of things that go into making a good vinyl window. Custom vinyl molds not generic ones, good corner welds, quality glass, hardware, spacers, the list goes on. Cutting corners here affects fit, tolerance, and overall quality. MI does this because they sell to a particular buyer and there is a big market for this lower quality vinyl window.

Proof? Most quality manufacturers are proud to post their numbers: U-value, AI, SHGC, DP, VT, and CR. MI doesn't, or I'm hard pressed to find them.

I'm not saying that if you buy an MI window you are going to have problems...but I've been around long enough to know that the chances are a lot better than if you buy an Okna, Sunrise, Soft-Lite, Polaris, Kensington, Vytex, or Vinylmax windows.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2020

MI Energy Core vs Simonton Windows

Dear Dane, we are in the process of replacing windows and have gotten a quote from an installer for MI Energy Core windows. However, after doing some research online, it appears that MI windows are a lower quality window and have gotten some bad reviews (as well as a class action lawsuit).

We are looking for a good quality mid-range window. We basically need 8 23"W x 59"H double-hung windows and 10 23"W x 59"H single hung windows. Looking at your website, Simonton appears to be a good brand. However the series names that are listed on the website do not match up with the collection names on the Simonton website. I'm assuming they just came out with new names? Can you recommend which Simonton collections are the better quality ones and which to stay away from? Is there another brand that you recommend over Simonton?

We live in the mountains outside of Albuquerque, NM. Our house is pretty shaded, but we do get quite a bit of sun, as well as 19" on average of rain and 59" of snow (not sure if any of this matters). Also, do you recommend vinyl over aluminum (or fiberglass)? Thank you very much for your time,

Melissa - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Melissa, I would have to agree to the MI is not typically on many contractors top 10 list. The Energy Core is not bad though, although I haven't seen numbers on it. In terms of good mid range vinyl windows on the west, I would say look at Milgard, Amerimax and Anlin. Milgard will be available for sure, Amerimax possibly and I don't know whether Anlin has reps in your area.

I would say stick with vinyl, although fiberglass is certainly an option. Aluminum is really only something you should consider if you are in very hot climates, which Albuqueque is not based on the fact that you get that much snow. Fiberglass options should include Marvin Infinity, Inline, and Milgard Ultra.

Simonton is a good brand, probably not as good as the ones I mentioned, although it all depends on which model you select. I like their 9800 Impressions, and their Reflections 5300 and 5500 series.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

MI Energy Core Windows

I like the new Energy Core better than their old lines, but they still can't compete with most other brands. Builders go with low quality windows because they're cheap, and when you buy thousands of windows the money adds up. You want a real window for your house, not cheap junk that's only made to look good long enough to sell. Go with Sunrise, Gorells, Okna, SoftLite, they're all great.

Matt - Installer - from 2012

Read more Gorell Windows Reviews

MI Energy Core Windows Reviews

MI has a new Energy Core line that looks like it might be good. My biggest problem is it has a pocket sill, which I really don't like unless you have an impact window or some other good reason. Their other lines are nothing special. You can find plenty of others for around the same price with a much better track record as far as satisfaction, efficiency, and performance.

Holland - Contractor - from 2012

Select Type Of Window
MI Window Series
Installation Needs
How Many Windows?
Zip Code

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MI Homemaker Windows Reviews

-- Estimated MI Homemaker Price: $550 to $700 installed --
(assumes medium sized window and normal installation) *

MI Homemaker's Series 3 Windows

Thank you for all that information. A local business recommended MAI windows which I believe bought out Milgard. Any information on their homemakers series as far as quality goes? Appreciate your knowledge and expertise on this. I would like to go with Amerimax craftsman but I still have not been able to get a hold of them I will continue to try

Joseph - Homeowner - from 2022

[Site Editor's Answer]

Joseph, I would suggesting steering clear of MI windows myself. They are more or less all builder grade windows -- not totally true with their more premium series, but as a brand, I just don't think much of them. The Zen branch in your area should carry Soft-Lite, which is one of the best vinyl window brands out there in my opinion.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2022

Select Type Of Window
MI Window Series
Installation Needs
How Many Windows?
Zip Code

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MI General Windows Reviews

MI Windows or Ideal Windows

Hey are they any contractors you recommend in the 07072 area. I'm looking to replace about 10 windows this year. Also would you recommend MI windows or ideal windows from Bayonne NJ?


Azeem - Homeowner - from 2022

[Site Editor's Answer]

Azeem, between MI and Ideal, I would recommend Ideal without question. MI makes mostly a builder grade window.

Dane or Tim

Dane - Site Editor - from 2022

MI Window Questions

I have read the questions about MI windows and your responses regarding their quality, or lack thereof. You recommended Sunrise windows, but I read they were acquired by MI in Dec. 2020. So, here are my questions: 1) Are MI sliding doors…in particular, the 1600 series….also of low-grade builder grade, and as such you would not recommend? 2) Since Sunrise was acquired by MI, do you still recommend Sunrise windows? 3) I live in the Tampa area; what sliding door manufacturer(s) do you recommend for this area.

Thank you for your assistance and opinion.

Rodney - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Rodney, this is an excellent question and the answer to will Sunrise window quality go down after being acquired by Sunrise is I don’t know. My understanding is that MI acquired their assets but has allowed them to keep making windows using the same parts and components…but will his change somewhere down the line? I don’t have the answer to this. I am still recommending them based on what I know, but the first time I head of an slippage in quality or manufacturing, I will be adding this to any and all recommendations.

As for MI, I am still not recommending their windows and doors as I feel they make a builder grade product, especially in the 1600 series.

My top picks for storm windows and doors include the Sunrise Coastal Series, Soft-Lite Barcelona Impact Series, Soft-Lite Armor Impact Series, PGT WinGuard Series, Stanek UltraExtreme Series, CWS Windpact Series, and the Simonton Stormbreaker Series. Most of these should be available in the Tampa Bay Area.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

MI Windows Problems

Hi Tim, we are in the process of replacing some MI windows that are about 7 or 8 years old, side seals, hanging off the inside, wind coming in, water leaks, etc. Been doing research on some better windows and wanted to see your list of recommendations for windows. We live in Southern part of Oklahoma so we get high winds and some extreme heat and cold winds too. Thank you

Jerri - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Jerri, here is my list of recommended windows. [List redacted. Contact us for our list.]

Tim - Site Editor - from 2021

MI Windows Quote

Hi Dane, we are looking for replacement windows for our home. We live north of Houston, Texas, where it is very humid. I can hardly keep up with the mold that forms on the aluminum single pane windows we have now. We have gotten 2 bids so far, one from Lowe's and the other from an independent contractor. The independent contractor quoted MI windows, since I was not familiar with them I have been searching for information and came across your site.

I have decided, per your comments, that the MI windows are not for us. The bid from Lowe's is almost 2 times higher than the independent contractor's. Lowe's quoted Pella (R) 259 Series Windows PSE. They have a lifetime and transferable warranty. I have attached the quote and would really appreciate any feed back. Thank you.

Karen - Homeowner - from 2020

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi Karen, so I’m not a big fan of either Pella or MI windows. MI for the quality of window, Pella for the price. I’m just not sure there’s much long term value in either.

The good news is there are a fair number of quality window brands in your area.

Sunrise should have a dealer in your area. They make a great vinyl window.

Zen (assuming they are selling the Soft-Lite and not the Alside) has a Houston dealer and they sell two nice series of windows — I’d stay away from their lower end window.

Don Young makes a high quality aluminum window and a good quality vinyl window.

I believe there may be an Anlin dealer in Houston as well.

Finally, NT windows makes a good vinyl window in their higher end models.

These options are going to be a big boost over either MI or Pella 250 and they should be in the ballpark cost of your Pella bid.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2020

MI Windows

I’m going to be replacing the siding and windows on my house. The contractor quoted MI windows but I have since found all of the negative reviews so ask for a price on different manufacturers. They are going to provide pricing using Milgard and Krestmark. What is the consensus on these two manufacturers?

Toby - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Toby, with the exception of the Energy Core series from MI, I'd say the company makes mostly builder grade windows. Not something you want to put in your home to maximize long term value.

Milgard makes a decent vinyl window in the Tuscany, although the pocket sill is not the best design. If you are in an area where there isn't much rain or moisture, it isn't an issue though.

The Krestmark 220 vinyl replacement window is a very average product. Probably on par with the MI 1650 series.

Milgard makes the best product of the three manufacturers you've mentioned.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

MI vs. Pella 350 Series

Dear Sirs, we are building a new house in Kansas City and our builder uses M&I and Pella windows in his model homes. The house ours is patterned from used M&I. We are struggling to get comfortable with them and are leaning toward insisting on using the Pella brand. We have never heard of M&I and my research shows a class action suit brought in 2012 and settled in 2015. Red flag indeed. Can you give us your opinion of both M&I and Pella and your recommendation, please.

Morey - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi Morey, I would agree with you that there are immediate red flags when it comes to MI windows. They are a builder grade windows for the most part, meaning builders buy them because they are cheaply made and they save money by using them. The problems often rear their heads come year 7 or 8 or 9 when you begin to get little things happening (I'm not saying this will happen to you, but I deal with enough consumer's complaints to say this CAN happen) -- broken seals, locks that don't work right, sashes that don't smoothly open, etc. By this point, your builder has obviously moved on and MI isn't overly concerned about addressing your problem because they are in the business of selling more vinyl windows.

I would say that MI's premium vinyl windows are better, but it's still not a brand I would feel comfortable with in my home if I were interested in long term value.

Pella used to be just as bad when it came to vinyl windows. The Pella Thermostar was one of the worst vinyl windows ever made in my opinion. However, the company has certainly improved with their 250 and 350 series a few years back. They aren't the best vinyl windows on the market, but I would probably feel comfortable with the 350 Pella in my home.

They wouldn't be my first pick, but if my choices were MI and Pella, I would go with the Pella 350 series with a nice low-e glass package. The installation of the windows is important so be the squeaky wheel when they are installing it so the installers bring their A game and don't cut any corners.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

MI Windows Quality

Hi Dane & Tim, I am having a room addition done on my house. The GC stated in the contract that Milgrd Tuscany window and sliding door would be installed. He brought out and installed Mi window and slider, when I asked what was up, he said they are comparable. As I have started researching online, I do not see a lot of favorable reviews of Mi, and a class action suit. I am unable to find a head to head comparison. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Tom - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Tom, I don't know that many people who would consider MI windows to be comparable to Milgard. MI is typically thought of as selling mostly builder grade windows, i.e. poor quality windows. I think the only exception I might put here is their Energy Core series. So what MI window did he put in? If the contract says Milgard and suddenly you have MI windows in your house, that's a serious red flag.

One of two things, assuming you have this in writing. One you tell him to take them out and put in the window that you specified in the contract. Two (and much more plausible), you get a significant break on the price he quoted you on the windows themselves. That is bait and switch, plain and simple.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Mi Windows vs Milgard

Are MI windows comparable in quality to Milgard window?

Yvette - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Yvette, the Milgard windows are going to be better than MI windows in my opinion. I really like the Milgards, while the MI is considered more of a builder grade option.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

MI or Ply Gem Windows

We are in the process of renovating a 1950s mid century modern house in Houston, TX. Our builder has given us the option of MI or Ply Gem windows. Can you tell me which would be better? Thanks!

Katherine - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Katherine, Ply Gem is clearly the better of those two window brands. Frankly, MI is a builder grade window that is not particularly made well in terms of long term durability. I would avoid the Ply Gem Contractor and would insist on either the Ply Gem Pro or better yet the Premium Ply Gem vinyl window. It's quite good.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Mid Range Vinyl Windows

We had Oxford windows but had a house fire and the basement windows need to be replaced. There are 3 smaller windows, and we will now have 2 egress windows. Our contractor wants to replace them with MI windows, but from the reviews I've been reading, it's not a good nor comparable replacement. What would you recommend that would be in the mid-range and still look nice?

Lisa - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

I would agree with you that MI windows are not a high quality window and I would recommend using another replacement window for your project. Several excellent vinyl window manufactures that produce numerous models (one or two of them will be their mid range series) include Sunrise, Soft-Lite, Okna and Polaris. These brands tend to be located in the mid west and northeast states and will not be available in the west.

For west region options, I would consider looking Milgard, Anlin and Amerimax. Ask your contractor if he can get you quotes on several of their mid range windows to get some comparison pricing that contains your specific product needs. You will be amazed at the price differences!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

MI And CertainTeed Windows

Have you heard of MI Windows? www.miwd.com

Mark - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Mark, I have heard of MI windows, although they don't have a very good reputation either. They are a large building supply company that owns CertainTeed. While CertainTeed has a good reputation in terms of their siding products, their windows do not have the best reputation in the industry. The company manufactures a lower end vinyl window that isn't going to provide very good long term value. They are well priced of course. I would suggest looking at the window brands I mentioned - if you are looking for more of a budget priced window, I would go with these company's entry level windows, they are still going to be better than an MI window in my opinion.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016

MIWD In The Desert

Dane, We need to replace all of our windows in a twleve year old house that was built on speculation and now has water coming in through the frames where the joints have opened up. We have spoken to an MIWD representative, but I see that you don't particularly like those windows. We are not looking to go "cheap" here, but we do want to make sure we don't throw our money away. The windows we now have are Jeld-Wen and they have not held up well in this relatively new house.

So...with the understanding that we live in the Sonoran Desert and we have south and west facing windows, what would be your recommendation for a quality window that will last a long time and be as energy efficient as possible? Thank you for your considered opinion.

Jeff - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Jeff, if you are looking for the strongest windows that can hold up to harsh conditions, you may want to look at an aluminum clad window. The problem is they aren't very energy efficient. Milgard makes a good aluminum window, Don Young out of Houston might be available in your area and they make a good aluminum window as well.

You can also go with a good quality vinyl window. In Arizona, I would recommend Milgard, Amerimax and Anlin. All three of these brands will have companies in your area that carry and install these windows and they are my west coast go to vinyl window companies.

I would suggest getting 4 or 5 bids and trying to get a consensus as to what the local companies think is the best window option for your climate and environment. The desert is a tough place so finding the best fit is key - the local companies should have a better idea of the right fit.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016

MI vs American Jewel Windows

I need to replace an old bathroom metal frame slider window. I have quotes at the same price for an American Jewel 1500 vinyl double hung with standard double insulated clear tempered glass. For the same price, I have an MI Windows and Doors series 1555 vinyl double hung insulated glass. Which window is better? I see many of your reviews do not like the American Jewel.

Trudy - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Trudy, neither MI or American Jewel tend to get very good marks in terms of a quality vinyl replacement window. You are obviously on the East Coast and there are some nice options, including Soft-Lite, Sunrise and Polaris. These three vinyl window manufacturers should be available through one or more local companies who service your area. I would suggest continuing your search in order to at least see how the prices compare, they are going to be more expensive, but I can pretty much guarantee that these windows will provide better long term value for you over time.

If I had to pick between the MI and American Jewel, I would have to go with the American Jewel windows. However, I think you can do better for hopefully not THAT much more in terms of cost.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

MI vs Sunrise Windows

Which window would you recommend? Sunrise, BF RICH OR MI ?

Chris - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Chris, you've asked an easy question to answer. The Sunrise is the better brand by far over the MI. BF Rich is not bad, but no where near the Sunrise. Sunrise offers a number of different models, all of which are very good except perhaps their entry level Essentials model. The Standard Sunrise is a very good window. You can order this and then choose any ala carte upgrades that suit your particular needs and budget.

Let me know how it works out! Good Luck!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

MI Windows vs PGT

I am building a new home and looking at windows. The sub originally quoted MI windows, now Jeldwen and PGT, all vinyl, Should I go with Vinyl or another type and which would be rec. pending pricing.

Rob - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Rob, congrats on building a new home, that's exciting stuff...and also very stressful so I hope you are enjoying the process as much as possible. In terms of quality, MI windows are near the bottom and not a brand I would ever recommend. Jeld Wen has an okay reputation in terms of windows, and a very good reputation in terms of doors. I like PGT a lot, obviously depending on the model and features you choose.

As far as materials go, vinyl runs the gamut. A low quality vinyl window is not going to hold up over time and can cause you lots of problems and headaches - poor seals, poor weatherstripping, clogged weep holes, overall poor air infiltration.

On the other hand, a high quality vinyl window will provide more long term value than almost any other material out there - wood, aluminum, composite, fiberglass. Good vinyl windows are not the best looking windows out there, but they have excellent energy efficiency ratings, are quite durable, and they are one of the most affordable windows on the market.

A mid range or high end PGT window, along with proper installation and quality glass and features, should serve you well for the next couple of decades. This would be my selection, no questions asked (actually you should ask as many questions as you can think of to your builder to make sure he feels comfortable installing the particular window you select....). Let me know what you decide!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

MI Windows vs Viwinco

Viwinco makes a lower end window. They're on par with Silverline or MI. If you need a cheap window, they aren't the worst you can do, but if you're going to live in the home for a while, try for something a little better. Oknas or Sunrise, Himark, Softlite, all of them are so much better in terms of performance and looks. Of course, sometimes that just is out of budget, and you have to do what you have to do. Really, you want a window with a u-factor of .28 or lower, a DP rating of at least 50, and air leakage under 0.07.

Michael - Contractor in New Jersey - from 2012

MI vs Milgard

I'm getting two windows replaced and every quote I get seems to confuse me more. I can't afford to do all of the windows at once so I am only doing the two worst "leakers". I have quotes for 3 Milgards or an Amerimax with 2 MIs. But when I went to look at the Milgards again to try and decide, I saw the Andersen Series 100 and loved them. One installer said they are really good for the weather here in Arizona.

Al - Homeowner in Arizona - from 2012

[Contractor Response]

I'm in LA, not exactly the same weather but not too far off. The Milgards and Amerimax are all good choices. The Andersens, I'm not so sure about. They have a new Silverline that might be worth it and might not.

Jeff - Installer - from 2012

Builder Grade Windows

MI windows are made for builders. They're cheap, designed to look good just long enough to sell the house. They aren't a window that anyone wants to live with. You'll be stuck dealing with flimsy materials and poorly made frames. You'll be replacing them in 5 years.

Mike - Contractor - from 2011

MI Window Warranty

My house has MI windows that are about 15 years old. I've heard they have a lot of problems, but I've been impressed with mine. Their warranty was better than a lot that I looked at and when I did have a minor problem they stood by it with no arguing. They replaced 15 year old glass at no cost to us, and not everyone would do that.

Grant – Homeowner – from 2011

Xacts vs Ply Gem

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 Ply Gem Premium or Great Lakes 5000. Before you buy anything take the time to check out Okna, 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

Good Customer Experience

We looked at three options when we got our windows. Pella from Lowes, Simonton or CertainTeed from Home Depot, all with a local installer. We liked the Simontons, but finally decided on MI Xacts, which are made by the same guys who make CertainTeeds. They are identical to the Bryn Mawr IIIs. The installation was great, plus the installer had worked with the windows before. He didn't cut corners and the whole thing was done neatly and carefully. He did the trimming and priming and some really nice caulking and touch up work. The windows all work really well and look great. Plus it only cost us $3600 for 9 windows.

Steven - Homeowner in New Jersey - from 2008

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