Vinyl Windows Reviews
Read 13 vinyl windows reviews and find out what brands and models are the best and worst according to contractors, installers and homeowners.
Quality Of Vinyl Windows
Dane, Florida building code was changed in 2015 and pretty much requires vinyl windows be used to meet the energy efficiency. I am concerned about the long term durability of using vinyl in such a high temperature and high UV environment. I am considering the Simonton Impressions 9800 series as a replacement for 14 Windows. Several of the Windows on on the southern side of the house get direct sunshine most of the day.
[Site Editor's Answer]
John, vinyl windows are the most energy efficient on the market (fiberglass is very close behind). Aluminum is very bad in terms of energy efficiency, even the thermally broken options now available.
Vinyl Windows vs. Andersen 400 Series
Thanks for all the info as I have found you and the website to be very helpful. Last question I have is, have you heard or experienced any "leaks/drafts" with the 400 series? I've been looking at reviews on the 400 series and some have commented on them being drafty and not always having a good seal. To be fair, most of these reviews were from 2-3 years ago so not sure if they changed the window since then. The air infiltration rating is <.3 if I'm reading it correctly. Will a good Vinyl window have better air infiltration ratings then a good wood window like the Andersen 400?
[Site Editor's Answer]
Bill, the AI of a good vinyl window will always beat out a good wood window. The Andersen 400 window is quite good, but if it were me, I would go with a good vinyl window any day. They are less expensive, achieve better performance, have a better warranty (i.e. will last longer), and they require less maintenance. They just don't look as nice, although some top vinyl window manufacturers have done a good job with their interior laminates that mimic the look of wood.
Vinyl Window Replacement Or Sash Kit?
Dane, we just purchased a home which is about 19 years old with very bad Jeld-wen wood frame windows. The company has offered 50% off to replace just the window part. We are intrigued because our quote from Pella is around $30,000 just for the windows. We need around 30 double-hung, 6 cottage style. We are also close to a major highway and want to reduce the sound along with increasing energy efficiency.
[Site Editor's Answer]
Chris, I’m a fan of vinyl because I feel like quality vinyl windows can provide the best long term value for most consumers. If I had the money, I would go with a high quality fiberglass window myself, but they can be $1000 plus per window and that’s simply not in my budget ☺
Vinyl Windows In Large Spans
Dane, can't thank you enough for taking the time to write. I am doing as you said and getting a quote for Okna. One factor I forgot to mention and I don't know if it matters in your opinion but my window openings are very large, 3 light panels, that are around 86"x50." We have 6 of them to replace (along with all the other 16 windows in the house, all original aluminum). Is there a worry that Vinyl won't be able to support that large of a window opening appropriately? Or is that something the fiberglass salesman just says to make me nervous? He said if I walk around the neighborhood I would see vinyl windows were more wavy looking because the glass has shifted and is not smooth. Anything to that? Thanks so much!
[Site Editor's Answer]
Angela, he is not wrong that vinyl windows can bow if the span is too large and the window cannot support the weight over time. However, there are all levels of vinyl windows, from poorly constructed ones to very well made ones like with Okna. So this is the question I would ask the Okna rep -- will his windows (I would imagine he would suggest upgrading to the DX package with the foam fills as extra support) support the span over time? I would also insist that he give me a reference to a past client who had large span windows and see if you can quickly contact them and ask how they have held up.
Vinyl Window Color Matching
Thank you for the opportunity to ask you these questions and for your honest opinion/expertise. I just purchased a fixer upper home (basically the brick exterior is ok, the rest needs to be changed) and it is a very expensive project, but i feel i am lucky enough that i can fix these efficiently as possible with proper homework.
I have 30 very huge 40 by 50 inch double hung windows i need to change. I am on the east coast D.C area.
[Site Editor's Response]
Fixer uppers are fun and frustrating at the same time! I don't think it's a problem to have the vinyl in the bedrooms and wood clad in the guest areas.
Pella Vinyl Windows
Pella definitely is not known for their high quality vinyl windows, although they have made some definite strides in the past several years to improve the overall quality in the 250 and 350 series windows. Both of these windows use the pocket sill however, which I think most installers would agree is not a very good design feature. Most of the bigger players in the industry have seen the market share of vinyl windows grow over the last decade and obviously want to part of it. I'd still be hesitant to tell my customers to go with Pella vinyl windows, not because I think they are poor in quality, but instead that there are so many good vinyl options out there.
Vinyl Windows Reviews From Florida
Vinyl windows are getting more popular in Florida, but they aren't available in a lot of colors. They are pretty much white, beige, and tan. They tend to be either laminated or painted, and both have some drawbacks. There are only two manufacturers her in Floirda that have decent designs and color choices, Custom Window Systems and PGT. PGT makes a PremierVu series that isn't bad, and if that is too high as far as cost, look at their 500 series.
I'm getting some vinyl replacement windows, 28" x 62". I had a guy from Window World come out for a quote and I'm afraid there might be some trick. I was told that they were $189 each, but when he came here he said $336 and that I needed argon filling, low-e glazing, an extra warranty, and some other hurricane coverage. When I balked at that he said he could give me a special for $269. Is he trying to pull a fast one on me? It doesn't seem right.
Asked my contractor friend about Lincoln windows. He just finished a job with their Harmony line and thought they were good. Their vinyl line is Timeline, which is what I'm looking at. There isn't a lot of info on them online. Does anyone know about them?
Lincolns are the bottom shelf of the window market. If you're getting ready to sell, then they aren't too bad, but I wouldn't want to live in a house with them.
Amerimax vs RBA
About 5 years ago I had Amerimax vinyl windows put in my Los Angeles home. They are still very nice and white. They work well, with a smooth movement and no leaks or drafts. When we were shopping for them we saw some really cheap junky vinyl windows. I'm sure if we had bought those we would have problems. We also looked at Renewal by Andersen, but those cost 5 times as much. He kept saying that we wouldn't be happy if we went with vinyl, but that's crazy. People have been using vinyl windows for years, and if they were horrible no one would buy them.
Gerkin Vinyl Windows
I'm a Kansas home owner and I've been looking into Gerkin windows. They have a vinyl line that seems to be a mid to high end. They have some nice features, like Duraseal insulated glass and LowE glazing. They also produce aluminum windows, which most people aren't making these days. They have reinforced aluminum frames, which makes them fairly sturdy, and they seem pretty good. For the most part they seem to have pretty good products.
Six months ago I got them out in and they're really good. One screen was bent when they got here but they have good customer service. I like that a real person answers the phone when you call.