Universal Windows Direct Reviews

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Universal Windows Direct Reviews And Prices

Universal Windows Direct Reviews

Universal Windows Direct is an Ohio based company based that has been in window and door business since 2002. (Still what I would consider a newbie in the industry.) The company offers a number of home improvement services, including replacement windows, doors, and vinyl siding. Universal Windows Direct has been expanding as of late and currently operates throughout Ohio, as well as in the larger metro markets of Georgia, Massachusetts, Illinois, Colorado, and Texas. Scroll down to read homeowner Universal Windows Direct reviews.

Company Rating:Universal Windows Direct gets a 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 24 consumer reviews below.

UWD Window Cost: $$$
(3 out of 5)
(Amongst All Vinyl Windows)

UniShield Plus Windows

UWD sells and installs what they call the UniShield Plus series. What this actually is is a relabeled Polaris ThermalWeld window. (FYI, It's totally normal in the industry to relabel windows and shouldn't be considered a red flag.) The Polaris ThermalWeld is considered a darn good vinyl window by myself and many industry insiders.

I wouldn't put the ThermalWeld in my top 30, however, the series is not far off the UltraWeld. (The Polaris Ultraweld is the company's premium series, think 15% to 20% more expensive - this window would absolutely make it into my best vinyl windows list.) The Unishield Plus (again, a rebranded Polaris ThermalWeld Plus) is a good vinyl window that achieves a 0.06 air infiltration rating and .29 U-value.

The company has multiple locations / branches across the United States. Within the state of Ohio, this includes Cleveland, Akron, Cincinnati, and Columbus. Additional locations include Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte (NC), Chicago, Dallas, and Denver.

"As a brand, Polaris manufactures high quality windows and doors. UWD has been growing quickly and I think they are poised to just get bigger."

Universal Windows Direct Warranty

UWD offers a very nice warranty. It is lifetime warranty on the frame, sash, movable parts, hardware and locks, as well as the installation and labor. The warranties is non pro-rated (a nice feature) and transferable to one additional homeowner (the new homeowner gets 30 years of coverage from the installation date - a generous time frame when compared to other companies).

Dane - Site Editor - Page Last Updated: April 21, 2024

Related Topics: Universal Windows Direct Prices

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Also please consider filling out the free form on our site for 3 quality window price quotes — it's how we afford to provide free consumer information. We're not incentivized by ANY company and will help you with ANY questions you might have, and help you navigate ANY bids you receive. That's our guarantee to you!

Universal Windows Direct vs Pella

Company: UWD does not manufacture their own window series, instead they buy them from Polaris and then relabel the series with the name Unishield Plus. They have various locations that sell the Unishield Plus in these regional or local markets. Pella, on the other hand, is a major manufacturer that makes a number of different window series using different materials, including vinyl, wood clad, and fiberglass windows. They sell their windows through a dealer network across nearly every single market in the United States.

Windows: UWD sells the UniShield Plus, which is a relabeled Polaris ThermalWeld window -- quite a good vinyl window. The Unishield Plus double hung delivers a 0.06 AI or air infiltration rating. While the ThermalWeld in not in the top tier of vinyl series, it's not that far off the Polaris UltraWeld series (which most definitely is in my top tier vinyl window list). Pella sells all sorts of series, but their most popular competitor of UWD is the Pella 250 series (vinyl). The Unishield Plus is better than the Pella 250 series in quality and craftsmanship and I believe the data performance bears this out.

Marketing: UWD markets their Unishield through their various branches and locations. They offer a similar marketing strategy to Champion windows.

Pella markets theirs through a dealer network, which is probably the most common method of selling replacement windows.

Cost: I put Unishield Plus windows cost at $650 to $850 per for a normal sized opening and retrofit installation. Please note - this is what I call ideal pricing - what I hope you could buy this window for. But this is not necessarily what your initial bid might be and that is why I always recommend collecting 3 to 5 local price bids.

Pella Windows Cost is all over the board because they sell vinyl window options, which are less expensive and they sell high end wood clads which can go for $2500 per. The Pella 250 series, which again is the closest match to the Unishield will be very similarly priced at $650 to $900 per.

Dane - Website Editor

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Universal Windows Direct vs Window Nation

Company: UWD doesn't manufacture their own windows, instead they buy them from Polaris and then relabel them with the product name Unishield Plus. Window Nation also does not manufacture their own window series -- they purchase them from Vytex and Soft-Lite, relabel them, and sell them as their own. This is not an uncommon practice in the industry.

Marketing: Window Nation’s Marketing approach is nearly identical to UWD in that they have branches that market and sell in regional markets. This is referred to as direct to consumer -- as opposed to using a network of dealers like most companies do.

Cost: UWD sells a single window, while WN sells a number of series so comparing cost is difficult. The UWD Unishield Plus cost is $650 to $850 per for a normal sized unit. Window Nation prices will vary based on the series you purchase. In general, Window Nation prices should be quite comparable to UWD. Pound for pound, I would say UWD offers better pricing than WN.

Dane - Website Editor

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Average Cost of Universal Windows Direct

The average cost of a medium sized Unishield Plus series with normal installation is $750 per window. Please note - there are LOADS of factors that go into the per window cost for any particular project so please take my specific price point with several grains of salt. Check out our recent Universal Windows Direct reviews for more pricing information.

Dane - Website Editor

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Recent Universal Windows Direct Reviews And Prices

Below you will find 2024 and 2023 homeowner reviews, questions, comments, complaints and probably a whole lot more about this window seller. Then you'll find my answers -- hopefully they provide at least a few good tips and advice. :)

Dane - Site Editor

Universal Windows Direct vs Window World

I have 2 bids on 16 windows so far and they are so different. Universal Windows Direct for $26K and the Window World 3000 series for $13.K I know that the UWD is the better option here, but what would you do given the massive price difference.

Mark - Homeowner - from 2024

[Site Editor's Answer]

Mark, if your timeline in the house is less than 10 years and WW in your town has a good reputation, then I would go with them. Anything over 10 years and I would probably not do Window World. The UWD is really steep - I don't think that's a very good deal, especially given what the WW bid came in at. I think I would collect a couple more bids and see if I couldn't find something that was right in between those two.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2024

UWD vs Okna 500 Series

Hey guys, love the site. It seems like you like the Unishield Plus window. But I was curious how you thought it measured up to the Okna 500 series. We’ve narrowed down our bids to two companies that both get very good reviews and this is the window that we’re sort of comparing against one another. Love to hear your thoughts because you seem like you like both of these options.

Colette - Homeowner - from 2024

[Site Editor's Answer]

Colette, I do like both of these window options myself. I think I would probably give the nod to the Okna 500 over the Polaris ThermalWeld, which is what the Unishield Plus is. But not by much at all, these are two very equal series to one another in quality and craftsmanship. I think maybe where it gives, the nod is in the overall window brand, and I think Okna has a slightly better name than Polaris. But again not by much. I think both of these options are great, especially considering that both companies have good reputations for installation. For me would probably come down to price.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2024

Universal Windows Direct vs Alside

Dane, I recently received a bid on the Allside Ultramax series. Would you say that this is better or worse than the Mezzo? The other option that I am looking at is from Universal Windows direct on what they have which is called a Unishield Plus. Which would be the better option for me in your expert opinion?

Rachel - Homeowner - from 2024

[Site Editor's Answer]

Rachel, for me, the Unishield Plus is going to be the superior window to the Alside Ultramax perhaps not by a ton, but enough that I feel secure in making that recommendation. That UniShield Plus is a relabeled Polaris Thermal Weld series, Which I would say is an eight out of 10 for all vinyl windows. I might rate the Ultramax as a seven or a 7 1/2. If the pricing is equal, I would do the UWD route myself.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2024

UWD vs Ideal Majestic

Hi Dane! Now the window in the kitchen (same wall) is leaking...so i called the place i got the door from but they dont really deal w Provia windows. They do carry Ideal. He said for Ideal Perfect Fit would be approx 800-900 per widow installed. Is that a decent price? (Thats if i do a few, just one or two he said “would be a little more”. Said 20yr warranty n 3yr on installation. I also have an appt w Universal Windows Direct, which they said they would need to get into tenants apt too, so i may have to postpone as there are issues with them. I believe they use polaris? From what ive gathered on your site. Should i ask them to make sure? I am in NJ.
( Ideal Windows Reviews )

Hi I forgot to ask…i have a 2 family(up n down) so there is 29 windows, there is no way for me to replace all. I am thinking of doing sections, but i have 2 leaking so i may have to combine 3 onside, 4 on back etc. if i were to do the ultra shield inthe rental n the plus in mine would u be able to tell from outside? Is there a big difference in quality is the reg ultra shield also a polaris window? Thank you for your universal windows direct reviews and most of all for all of your help.

Dawn - Homeowner - from 2023

[Site Editor's Answer]

Dawn, the Ideal Perfect Fit is an excellent window. Definitely get a bid from them. I would think there would be someone who deals ProVia windows in the state of New Jersey. Universal Windows Direct sells the Polaris ThermalWeld series -- quite a good option as well.

My understanding (and it's been a while since I've seen those windows) is that they look very similar to one another - the Polaris ThermalWeld and Polaris UltraWeld - I believe they look very close, but please ask the sales rep specifically about this question as he deals with these windows on a daily basis.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2023

UWD In Philadelphia

Hi Dane, I need to replace 17 windows. I am in Philadelphia, PA. I am updating to move within 2-5yrs. and do not require top quality windows. Most of my windows have problems and need to be replaced. I recently received quotes from Andersen Windows: $52,000 went down to $39,000 Lowes: $13,000 for a Distinct brand window, and UWD prices went from $57,000 to $29,000 to $23,000 and down to $18,500, last offer.

Please give me your advice on this and can you recommend a brand that is not very expensive but a decent quality for what I need, keeping in mind that I will be moving in the near future. Thank you!

Harold - Homeowner - from 2023

[Site Editor's Answer]

Harold, I would say if your timeline is 2 to 5 years, then whatever you do you won't make your money back. I also don't like the idea of putting in some no name brand from Lowes. I would continue to get bids on say a middle of the road Simonton window -- that could be a good bet. But even that isn't going to make your money back with that timeline. I might advise you not to switch out your windows. I'll send you my list of good brands and series for you to take a look at.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2023

UWD Review

Hi Dane, looking to replace our 34yo builder grade woods on our brick transitional in the midwest. The window sill and a couple of bottom sash are shot and most of the double hungs don't stay up. The window heights for double hung are from 67-71 and width from 25-47. One company with two windows quote for full frame hybrid and the rest for retrofit with replacing rotted wood. Our back gets beat by the sun. We are near Cincinnati.

11 DHs, 1 bay (DH/P/DH) 45deg w hip roof (so +2DH), 6 2-lite slider XX, 1 picture (could be 2 - convert above sink slider to picture), 1 extended leg half round or eyebrow, 1 eyebrow (convert from 2 halves above DH)

Chose only basic extruded colors. Originally planned to do front and back doors but might postpone. Almost all quote are Provia doors.

Top Installers:
Windows Plus - Soft Lite Elements triple glaze w grids on front facing DH windows (FF) $39,740
Windows Plus - Provia Endure double glaze, no grids, w extended sill (FF) $37,320
West Shore Home - Sunrise Restorations Double glaze w grids (Quote good for 1 yr, 0 down) $38,891

Universal Windows Direct - Unishield (still waiting for quote)
America's Best Choice - Provia Aspect $27,862
Windows Direct - Sunrise Restorations double glaze w grids, no bay, 2 eyebrows $34,042
Marvin Infinity $60,900.

Was also interested in the Home Guard Inc windows but we need to look for our own installer, also Gilkey for the window design and glass, but with mixed reviews, mostly warranty and customer service issues. Would appreciate some nudge to a direction.

Victoria - Homeowner - from 2023

[Site Editor's Answer]

Victoria, great on the ProVia doors, they are some of the best in the business (if not outright the best).

Obviously the top installers would be nice to use and the prices all look pretty similar in this category. I would rank the windows as such Soft-Elements, then ProVia Endure, then Sunrise Restorations. Honestly though all of these are excellent windows. I would choose based on company reviews myself. Windows Plus Cincinnati reviews revealed some solid reviews so might be inclined to choose them.

Pricewise, the Provia Aspect at $27K is pretty enticing. Not quite what the Endure is, the Aspect is not that far behind it. I also like the Unishield, which is the Polaris ThermalWeld and quite a nice window. But without the price tag, it's tough to know. If this is your forever home, I would stick with the Top Installers. If not, I would be tempted to drop down into the Secondary list and save $10K (assuming the America's Best Choice Cincinnati reviews were decent).

Dane - Site Editor - from 2023

Universal vs American Weather Tech

Dane, I got estimates from 4 companies for 18 windows + 1 8' sliding door. My home is 40 years old, traditional styling, brick construction. all original windows.

Improvit Cost (selling Vinyl Kraft) $33k
Renewal By Andersen Window Cost (selling fibrex) $43k
UWD (selling unishield) ($$ not available)
American Weather Tech (selling Preservation) $18k

I contacted Okna, but they don't have sales in my area. My take(s): American Weather Tech - low end. Improvit - needs to improve. So it seems to be between Renewal (too expensive) and UWD. I'd appreciate your thoughts. Lovin the Universal Windows Direct Reviews. Cheers.

Rob - Homeowner - from 2023

[Site Editor's Answer]

I agree with you on improvit. American Weather Tech seems to get pretty darn good reviews in Cincinnati and Columbus from my research (maybe I’m not looking at the right branch for your home, but I believe I am.) Preservation windows are a good option in my opinion and that price is actually pretty solid. Usually I don’t recommend them because they are price prohibitive. I think it’s worth taking a closer look at these reviews…

Universal Windows Direct Cincinnati gets good google reviews — their Angi reviews are a bit iffy. They sell a very good window in the Polaris ThermalWeld though (which they call a Unishield Plus). If the price was right here I would investigate this one as well.

What about a Sunrise, Polaris or Soft-Lite dealer? These should be in your area.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2023

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Price List

Hi Dane, I recently received this quote from UWD and I’m pretty sure I’m getting taken for a ride. This guy is literally quoting me double the price based on what I have researched. Let me know your thoughts. Here are the Unishield Plus price list installed:

Double Hung Cost (sized 40 by 63): $1400
Picture Window Cost (sized 84 by 63): $1796
Picture Window Cost (sized 52 by 54): $1550
Slider Cost (sized 30 by 48): $1650
Casement Cost (sized 30 by 48): $1950

Danielle - Homeowner - from 2023

[Site Editor's Answer]

Danielle, those prices do seem quite high. But remember that your project is unique so his pricing might not be be out of line -- it kind of depends on the state of your existing frames and sills. The only way to know is to compare some more quotes and see what other quality companies in your area are charging. This will sort of show you the current pricing for your project at this time. I'm more than happy to send you my list of recommended brands and options for your area.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2023

Universal Windows Direct Cost

I looking for options in Lorain Ohio 44053 first quote was 21,000.00 for 14 windows and a sliding Patio door. This was from UWD. is this good and what do you think is a fair price for double hung white vinyl with cross bars in them. Without the patio door, the estimate was $17,000K.

Allison - Homeowner - from 2023

[Site Editor's Answer]

Allison, not a horrible price, but at the top of what I'd expect for this window, which is quite a solid performer. I'd collect a few more bids and that will give you a fair assessment of the price range for your project.
[Email dane@replacementwindowsreviews.co for his recommendations]

Dane - Site Editor - from 2023

Plus Line Prices

Hi Dane, we had Universal Direct give us a quote on our farmhouse project. It’s a complete gut and not just replacement windows. Some of these are larger than the originals they are replacing but all will need new frame work. We need a total of 10 windows, 2 exterior doors, and 1 triple panel sliding patio door (only middle panel slides). All windows will be black exterior with prairie style grills.

Universal quoted their “Plus” line at $51,648. The sticker shock is part of their sales pitch. They let that price sink it for a couple of minutes while they use the restroom. Then he comes back and says he can get the price down to $39,875 if you let them put a sign in the yard and basically be their poster child but only if we sign today.

Basically I set him straight that we NEVER fall for that and we need a few days to process and will get back to him. But if that price was only for today it is a no. He them came down again to $36,000. Again I told him we need a few days. I am going to research some of the brands you recommended but wanted to know what you think of $36,000 for the windows and all the construction/installation framing. We did like the look and construction of the windows.

Bonnie - Homeowner - from 2023

[Site Editor's Answer]

Well, that is not the approach that I like to see -- and it doesn't seem like it's all that effective with consumers either -- but it's not like these guys are the only ones to do use it. They sell a good window though in the Polaris ThermalWeld -- I don't think I can tell you if that's a good price or not due to the 3 doors -- these tend to be all over the board to be honest, especially with triple panel sliders. Plus the black exteriors can get pricey if they are custom... I think you need to collect your 4 bids and then we can reassess from there. My notion is that your bids are going to be all over the place, but I could be wrong :)

Dane - Site Editor - from 2023

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Universal Windows Direct Lawsuit

In 2021, a lawsuit came about called Dragon vs UWD 2021, which was filed in the Southern District of Ohio. It seems to have been an employee who wasn't being properly compensated for overtime hours that they'd put in. I couldn't find any relevant outcome to the lawsuit to be honest. From what I can tell, there have been no significant Universal Windows Direct Lawsuits against the company. If any do come up, I will be sure to update this section!

Dane - Website Editor

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UWD Reviews 2021 And Earlier

UWD vs ProVia Endure

Dane, I need some help with these 3 quotes. I live in MN.  Replacing 3 large triple casement windows with full replacement casements. 2 are 80"x64", 1 is 76"x84 with a half circle on top. Possibly staying another 10 years in the home.  

Is the Unishield comparable to the Classic Pro as the price difference is great. Are there any other companies you would suggest getting quotes from? Universal Windows: $9190 - Polaris UniShield - I think they are Thermaweld but will confirm
Zen: $11830 - Soft Lite Classic Pro 
MN Exteriors: $12784 - Provia Endure

Todd - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

Todd, I believe that you are correct that the Polaris UniShield is the Thermaweld series. All good windows to be honest. I think I would make my choice here based on how long I planned to be in the home and how good or bad the reviews are of the different installation companies. The Zen Windows in the Twin Cities seems to get very good reviews for instance. Yes, I would probably rate the Soft-Lite classic Plus and the Thermalweld as equal to one another. Have you looked over our Universal Windows Direct reviews to see what others have to say?

Dane - Website Editor - from 2022

[Todd's Reply]

Dane, thank you for your insight. Both companies have good installation reviews. Zen is offering a free upgrade to the Pro series, but they are $2500 higher in cost over the Thermaweld from Steve the Window Guy / Universal.   We plan on living here another 10 years or so. We are leaning to the Thermaweld.  

Todd - Homeowner - from 2022

UWD vs. Apex

I have UWD, Apex Energy Solutions, and Inside Out (Anderson windows) coming out this week for window quotes. So now I am looking to replace 8-10 double hungs. Are there any other companies I should consider? I am not interested in Bee Windows as I do not like their pressured approach to sales. As well, I am not interested in Pella windows either. I will not go to a big box store because installation is as (or more) important to me as the window quality itself.

Karl - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

Karl, here are my good and great window recommendations…

Recommended Windows List
[Email dane@replacementwindowsreviews.co for his recommendations]

Dane - Website Editor - from 2022

UniShield Plus Windows

Dane, I am replacing 4 window in a condo unit in NJ. I received a price quote of $5028 or $4525 cash for UniShield Plus windows from Universal Windows Direct. Your window price estimator gives a price of $2280 for this project. Are these quality windows, and do you think the price is fair?

Pete - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

Pete, I would consider this a premium vinyl window and if you are getting full frame replacement, then I get a price of $3520, which I think is fair. Anytime I see a price above $1K per window I advise getting a few more quotes to find out what's going on. It could be a fair price depending on what needs to be done on the existing frames and/or stops. It could just be a bid that is too high. Only way to know is to get a few more bids.

Dane - Website Editor - from 2022

Universal Windows Direct Bid

Hello! I live in the Indianpolis area and am trying to figure out replacement windows on a foreclosure I recently purchased. All current windows are low end vinyl installed when it was built 25 years ago and only a few still have kept their seals so the place isn’t holding in the AC at all and my energy bill definitely shows it. I plan to be here 30-40 years so am looking for a long term solution window ideally but have lots of projects to fix this house right now so the budget is strained.

Universal Windows Direct came out today and identified 19 windows (with the internal crossbars as they are required by my HOA) and a sliding glass door needing replaced and quoted verbally at just shy of $25k(!)for “their most energy efficient windows”. Big plus was the windows were lifetime of my ownership plus 30 years to the next owner so they certainly stand behind them it appears.

He wasn’t pushy and that’s great too but I also didn’t get the bid in writing so I don’t know the exact window model as he understood I was early in my research mode so he was more chatty and telling me about windows in general. I think if I call, I can get that exact info easily though. He said the bid was good until the state fair ends at the end of this month. If I do even one window now, they lock in the price for all the others for up to two years, which is interesting of them to offer too.

1-In this current climate, is that honestly what I should expect to pay for “forever” windows?

2- Bee Windows and Renewal by Anderson are supposed to come out next week but your site gives me a hint they are even more expensive. Should I just cancel with them?

3- Who should I be talking to for “forever” windows in Indiana where it’ll be zero degrees this winter and 95 in the summer? Any other factors I’m missing to look out for?

Love your site and the Universal Windows Direct reviews! Thanks for the tips!

Chad - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

Chad, Universal Windows Direct sells a good window, but not probably what I would recommend for a long term stay. Get the bid from Renewal, but prepare for it to be like $2K per window. I would search through the following list...

Dane - Website Editor - from 2022

[Chad's Reply]

Thank you for your response! I’ll be working my way down the list as suggested but had one point of confusion - Universal Windows Direct called back for a “special rebate” to adjust their price to $21,300 and I got a chance to ask a few more questions about what the window was exactly- it’s the Polaris Thermalweld windows apparently! So does that change your thoughts on them at all since that is then listed in the good quality list you provided - or am I missing something else about them here?

And if they offer full lifetime replacement including labor, what isn’t good about them in the term term stay scenario? Are they just hard to work with to actually get free replacements? I’m learning a lot about this overall business and appreciate your insights to help fuel my convos with each of them. Thanks again!

Chad - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

Chris, yes that definitely changes my opinion! Excellent window and the drop in price is great. They have a good warranty/a<> for sure -- it's just that I'm always suspicious of whether in year 15 they are running out to change out a window...that's the cynic in me though.

Dane - Website Editor - from 2022

Unishield Classic Cost

Thank you for the information. Currently 2 quotes fit our price range; Universal Windows Direct/Unishield Classic ($1930) or Plus ($2326) and Lowes/ United Series 5900 ($2833). Your thoughts?

Jaz - Homeowner - from 2022

[Website Editor Reply]

I think the Universal Windows Direct/Unishield Classic for $1930 would be my call.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2022

What Windows Does Universal Windows Direct Sells

So how do I get my project done without paying these ridiculous markups. I used your estimating tool and it gave me a total of approximately $4,600. Do I buy windows and then separately find an installer. Do the brands you gave me have a list of installers they work with.

By the way I used your link below and the first call I received was from Universal Windows. They immediately started in about the space age technology that goes into their windows.

Richard - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Richard, the window cost calculator is no longer correct -- at least right now they aren't...not with what's happened in this industry and the demand. The brands I sent all use local dealers or install companies so you have to find the local company who sells those products in your zip code.

UWD often sells the Polaris Ultraweld, which actually is a VERY good window -- space age though -- I don't think so :) One of the reasons all the prices are going up is that the supply costs have gone up -- it's a vicious cycle that's causing the inflationary trends we are seeing. I think the only real piece of advise I have is to collect four or five bids and then see what looks to be the best bang for your buck.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

Connect with Local Window Companies

Universal Windows Direct Prices

Hello Dane and team. Bit of seemingly simple situation. I just bought a condo in 63043 Missouri, and it has two windows in need of replacement. Ground floor, garden style, double hung. I've gotten quotes from 3 prospects:

Universal Windows Direct Prices: $2007
Was told they use Polaris, and no other company in the area uses them. He didn't specify but I suspect it's their ThermaSheild relabeled as UltraSheild Plus.
14-16 weeks estimated time

Window Nation: $1965
They use HarborLight's midrange tier I believe.
14 -16 weeks estimated time

Penny Window: $1253
They are local, and told me they use MGM Industries (?) for their windows but I can't find much out there on them.
22 - 24 weeks estimated time

I'm having a devil of a time determining if $1k per window is absurd, or if this is the price paid for getting this started in the middle of a pandemic constrained supply chain. Overall reviews for Universal and WN are fairly similar also (generally positive, with a few noteworthy experiences some have had with both).

I like Penny price, but the timeline is crazy, and I'm unsure of their window type and quality (other than what I found on MGM website). They also will charge me for getting the county permit they need to do this work. But $1453 is still a better price. Do you have any other suggestions, or clarifications? Are these quotes reasonable? I need to get and show SOMETHING to my county, or otherwise they won't issue my occupancy permit.

Aarin - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Aarin, a decent start...do me a favor and look up Zen Windows of St. Louis. They get great reviews and let's see where they come in using their Nirvana series (really a Soft-Lite Classic, which is a very solid vinyl window.)

I'd be interested to know how their pricing compares because the bids I've seen out of them lately have seemed pretty fair...

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

Prodigy Energy Saver Plus Unicorp

What do you think about Prodigy Energy Saver Plus XpS Windows by Unicorp?

Krystal - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Krystal, I actually don’t know much about this window. I did some searching and they seem to get good reviews (here's a link to our Universal Windows Direct reviews page) but beyond this I don’t claim to know. I wish I knew more.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2021

Universal Windows Direct vs Apex

Tim, I am looking at replacing my 21 windows which are double hung original 1971 single panes with storms. Apex came out and quoted $17500 or $830 per window. Seems high but I got another quote from Universal Windows Direct for their Unishield Plus for $16500. This is a double pane window vs Apex triple pane.

Both quotes seem high to me. What other brands should I get quotes on? Ad a reference I live in Indianapolis Indiana and plan on being in the home another 5-15 years. Thank you very much.

Steve - Homeowner - from 2020

[Website Editor Reply]

At first glance, they do seem high. Here are my suggestions for who to get a quote from:

Tim - Site Editor - from 2020

Polaris Ultraweld From UWD

Hi Dane, I may have gotten myself in a mess. I have been setting through presentations trying to learn more. Then, I finally caved 2 days ago and felt that I was pressured and may not have made a good decision. Of course, I was hoping you could get back to me today, because I have a 3 day cancellation period without penalty. I have 18 windows to replace. No additives just Glacier White vinyl window. There are 15 double hung, 1 slider, and 3 small arches.

This is for the Polaris UltraWeld (I believe). It is through UWD. I have a bid for $14,800. After reading your reviews it seems high and should be more in the $10,000 - $11,000 range? I did contact the sales manager and she informed me I could get the UltraWeld window cheaper, but it would come with the metal spacer not the super spacer that is made exclusively for their company.

Also, I would not receive the Lifetime Warranty no questions asked and is transferrable for 30 years to the next homeowner. Going with the UltraWeld with the metal spacer, I would only receive a 20 year prorated warranty. Is this all true and what do you think I should be paying for these windows? I am in the St. Louis, Missouri area.

Cindy - Homeowner - from 2019

[Site Editor's Answer]

Cindy, a couple of points here. One, I personally would not go with any company that puts pressure on your to sign today--unless its a smoking deal and they are trying to keep their installation team working (ie filling in a day of work.) This isn't the case here. That bids strikes me as pretty high.

The Polaris Ultraweld comes with the Intercept spacer, which is quite good. It is a stainless alloy, which makes it pretty equivalent to the super spacer. Polaris provide a Lifetime Warranty, but you would not perhaps get the same labor warranty (which is never lifetime). Check out the Polaris warranty with this link -- it's a page long and specifies quite a bit. Polaris Warranty

I'd get a few more bids to see what else is out there and wha prices are offered. I think you can get a better deal. Google them and see what local companies come up who carry the following recommended brands. Sunrise, Okna, Soft-Lite, Polaris, Kensington, Vytex, and Zen.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2019

Polaris UniShield Plus

UWD sells the Polaris UniShield Plus, but I can't figure out which window this actually is. I check Polaris's website and they sell three windows — Polaris ValueSmart, the ThermaWeld and UltraWeld. I'm replacing 14 double hungs, and one sliding glass patio door. The Universal Windows Direct bid out the project for $8310 and ProVia bid out the Endure for $14,200. Which is the better deal in your opinion?

Steven - Homeowner - from 2018

[Website Editor Reply]

Steven, the Polaris UniShield Plus is I believe their ThermalWeld mid range window. It's a good mid range window. The ProVia Endure is better for sure, but there is a huge price difference. Assuming you like UWD and feel that their installation will be good, then that's what I'd go with.

You may want to look at more quotes.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2018

Polaris UniShield Plus vs. Okna 500 Deluxe

I am looking at 2 replacement windows by UWD but different contractors. One is Okna 500 deluxe (energy saving package). The other is Polaris ( UniShield Plus). In your opinion, which is better? The warranties are the same. Thank you for help.

Robert - Homeowner - from 2018

[Website Editor Reply]

Robert, I would go with the Okna 500 DX over the Polaris Unishield Plus. Universal relabels the Polaris window and sells the Unishield Classic, which is the Polaris ValuSmart window and the UniShield Plus, which is their ThermalWeld. The ThermalWeld is a nice window, but the Okna 500 DX is the much better of the two.

Dane - Website Editor - from 2018

Universal vs Apex Energy Solutions

Hello Dane, I'm in Charlotte NC and looking at replacing 22 windows. I have quotes from both Apex Energy Solutions and UWD Plus. They are close, but I'm trying to determine quality difference and anything else about the companies. Apex offers just the 1 product - the Insignia series, and Universal has 4 types and we are looking at the 2nd level up (the plus).

Any thoughts or insights would be appreciated. Thanks.

Mike - Homeowner - from 2018

[Website Editor Reply]

Mike, I don't know enough about either company to give you a strong opinion either way. I tend to hear better things about UWD than about Apex Energy Solutions. Based on this, I would go with the UWD, but I would ask them to provide you with some performance data on the window series you are considering. I would pay particular attention to air infiltration, which should not be above .12.

That's sort of my over under for a decent mid range vinyl window. Feel free to send me the data and I'm happy to give you my opinion.

Dane - Website Editor - from 2018

Unishield Plus vs Ply Gem

We are looking to replace our patio door. Do you recommend the Plygem or Unishield Plus? Thanks.

Mary - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Mary, first off, let me apologize for how long it took to get back to you, the email fell through the cracks. I don't know a ton about UWD, but I did take a look at their website.

It appears that Ply Gem and Universal both make decent windows and doors, probably mid range quality for each. Ply Gem is obviously the bigger company and that has some positives in terms of warranty, overall strength of company and replacement parts.

Universal is much more regional and that has some advantages also - they will both sell the door and install the door so if there are any problems, you know actually who to go to. Assuming you like the Unishield Plus patio door and feel comfortable with their warranty and the installation team, I might go with them for a simple fact that they are responsible for the whole project and therefore it leaves little question as to who is responsible if something should go wrong in the future.

I'm assuming you are in Ohio and there are some excellent companies that sell patio doors in your area. Take a look at our Ohio replacement window link and get a few more bids from local companies that service your town or city if you would like some additional comparison pricing and options. I would put the first two or three companies on the list into the first tier and Wallside probably on par with the selections you have now. Good luck and let me know how it works out! Wallside Windows Reviews

Dane - Website Editor - from 2016

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