Replacement window brands: an overview on brand names and price range

November 18, 2011

Most window companies offer a selection of windows in different price ranges--value, mid-range and premium. Of course, some window manufacturers start their prices considerably higher than others.

Vinyl, the most popular replacement window material, offers performance and value at the lowest cost--around $150 to $300 per window installed. Custom window installation costs or higher cost materials or window features can push the price up to $1,000 or more per window. However, you can often find performance at a reasonable price in the mid to upper range of a value manufacturer's product line.

You can also step up to the mid-price range with aluminum, composite, fiberglass and wood or upgraded vinyl. Most upgraded composite, wood or steel windows are considered to be in the premium price range.

In his blog, Josh Knight, certified window installer and owner of JK Exteriors in Commerce City, Colorado, discusses the vinyl replacement window companies that he thinks provide the most "bang for your buck." Noting that Andersen, Pella and Marvin have some wonderful products, he says their windows are either "too expensive or for the money there are some better alternatives." For vinyl windows, he recommends looking at Alside, Amerimax, Atrium, Cascade, Revere or Simonton.

Windows for every budget: value to high-dollar

Pella windows are designed, customized and built specifically for your home. Pella offers aluminum-clad wood as their premium window option, a fiberglass composite in the mid-price range and, for those on a budget, Encompass vinyl, sold only through Pella dealers and ThermaStar vinyl, sold at Lowe's. The Designer and Architect Series have more interior and exterior finish options while the value vinyl and mid-range fiberglass composite windows have fewer options.

Andersen windows have the 200, 400 and Architectural series, with Architectural at the top end of the price range. Marvin offers the fiberglass Integrity and Infinity lines, and their most expensive line--Ultimate in wood and aluminum-clad wood.

Alside windows are custom manufactured vinyl with a limited color selection--beige for the value Excaliber line and beige, white and brown for UltraMaxx and Sheffield, their mid-range and premium lines.

Simonton also offers a wide variety of vinyl window products from value to premium.

Quality window installation: nothing less will do

Whether you have unlimited resources or want to find that price point where quality and performance meet value, you can find windows that satisfy both your aesthetic eye and your budget with a little research and comparison shopping.

While window professionals don't always agree on which windows are the best, they all agree that poor installation can make even the most expensive window problematic. Look for an installation contractor with a proven track record for quality workmanship rather than just looking at the cheapest window installation cost estimate.


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