Worst Window Brands To Avoid With Reasons (And 15 Brands To Trust)

I am not trying to throw any brand under the bus but while shopping for replacement windows there are certainly some worst window brands to avoid.

As a rule of thumb, any cheap vinyl windows are trash. Ask any contractor, you will get your answer. 

So, I mainly put those brands on my list because of their cheap window series and many homeowners are suffering with them. 

Later you will understand why some contractors push these brands. Let’s begin!

Which Vinyl Windows To Avoid?

Here is a list of those brands I would personally avoid:

  • American Craftsman
  • Silver Line
  • Lincoln
  • Amcraft
  • Crestline
  • AMI/MI
  • Atrium
  • Window World
  • …and many more!

Let’s see why homeowners and contractors advised these brands to avoid:

  • Silver Line
silver line

Prior to Ply Gem, Silver Line was used to owning by Andersen. Ply Gem is renowned for lower-end windows. So, they have made Silver Line windows price-focused as well.

Of course, there is a big market for lower-end vinyl windows and there are many people who are looking for inexpensive options.

But if you are looking for something nice with decent quality, you will be better off avoiding Silver Line. 

  • American Craftsman
American Craftsman

Another brand is owned by Andersen windows. Their 2 most popular window models are AC50 and the AC70. The first one is less expensive than the latter. 

Vinyl windows from American Craftsman are meant for budget projects. That’s why many homeowners and contractors consider this as low-quality. 

Maybe good if you decide to flip your house. But if you need to add long-term value to your house, you should look for somewhere else. 

  • Lincoln
lincoln windows

I know some contractors recommend this brand. But try to find any reviews on this brand yourself. I can bet, you won’t find much!

That’s because when it comes to window markets, Lincoln windows are not that good if you plan to live in your house. 

In fact, they are on the lower shelf of the window market. But a good option if you decide to sell your house.

  • Crestline
crestline

For poor quality windows, Crestline has certainly made their name! Check some forum feeds to see how many homeowners got ‘burned’ from their products.

As usual, the price of their vinyl is very cheap but don’t get your hope high regarding their quality. You are welcome to buy your vinyl windows from Crestline at your own risk.

  • Atrium Windows
atrium

Let’s explain it this way… according to many installers, Atrium windows are nothing but craps! Apart from quality, their windows even function properly sometimes.

Also, a lot of homeowners don’t have good experiences from Atrium as well. Within just weeks of installation, they see condensation between the window panes and broken seals.

  • Amcraft
AmCraft

Vinyl windows from Amcraft are good if you need affordable solutions. Because Amcraft is primarily focused on price-driven products. 

They have vinyl replacement windows for any budget and applications. Yes, they have improved their quality control recently, but I would not expect any high performance from inexpensive options.  

  • Window World
window world

They have made their name paying less to the installers. So, you might think that’s why some installers are bad-mouthing them.

Well, that’s not entirely true…

Window World is famous for being cheap and price-focus. With cheap cost comes quality compromises. Besides, they are famous to keep their employees unhappy as well.

  • AMI/MI

They have renamed themselves from AMI to MI but they are renowned to offer some of the cheapest vinyl windows. Their windows are good only if you try to flip your house. 

Other than that, try avoiding MI for your house where your family will live.

  • Pella Vinyl Windows
pella windows

I must admit that their 250 and 350 series windows are good but other than that, Pella is not known for high-quality vinyl windows.

Also, some installers find the pocket sill in their popular 250 and 350 series windows as bad design features. I have compared Pella and Jeld-Wen windows for your better understanding as well.

I have already covered a lot of those least-preferred brands. Here are another 3 brands that most installers recommend to avoid:

  • Owens Corning
  • Tafco
  • Duo Vinyl Window

Best Vinyl Window Manufacturers

You might consider I am throwing a lot of vinyl brands under the bus recklessly. 

I don’t know but I think you should avoid these brands because there are plenty of high-quality windows brands out there with good reputations and reviews.

Here is a list of those trusted window brands with some good vinyl options:

  • Andersen Windows
  • Jeld-Wen Windows
  • Marvin Windows
  • Cascade Windows
  • Milgard Windows
  • Simonton Windows
  • Harvey Windows
  • Alside Windows
  • Loewen Windows
  • Ply Gem Windows
  • Earthwise Group LLC
  • New South Window Solutions
  • Polaris Windows & Doors
  • Sierra Pacific
  • Weather Shield Windows And Doors
  • Woodgrain Millwork

A big list of trusted replacement window manufacturers, right? Since there are plenty of good vinyl options out there, why should you trust cheap brands? 

That’s why I put some brands on my worst list some of which you may think NOT right.

Now, let’s talk about some of those trusted brands in detail:

  • Andersen Windows

I would call it the market leader of doors and windows. They have at least 35 different types of windows to choose from.

For high-end windows, you can choose from their 400 series windows. For an affordable option, you can get either the 100-Series or 200-Series windows.

Andersen offers 20 years’ warranty for their glass items and 10 years for non-glass items as part of their Owner-to-Owner® limited warrant arrangements. 

  • Jeld-Wen Windows

A North Carolina-based company that offers aluminum, wood, vinyl type replacement windows. Their EpicVue window series has made some noise in the market.

But you need a good budget for EpicVue!

Other than that, you can get their double-hung V-2500 series windows. That should cost you around $400 or less. 

They have good warranty conditions including replacement arrangements if something goes wrong.

  • Marvin Windows

A Minnesota-based window company with several factories across the U.S. Since 1904, they are offering quality windows and doors with huge customer satisfaction.

They have been awarded several awards for their outstanding quality, employee, and customer service. In fact, President Obama touted Marvin as the benchmark of American manufacturing quality!

So, you can put your full trust in Marvin windows for any of your replacement windows requirements. 

  • Harvey Windows

They have made their name for their custom-made replacement windows and doors. And since 1961, they are keeping their quality and trust intact.

Along with their quality products, they pride themselves in customer service as well. You can get proof of their pride reading reviews on several forums too.

Harvey windows have multiple variations and you can order your custom style as well. Their windows and doors are carefully engineered to be noise-free and energy-efficient. 

  • Sierra Pacific

For the last 3 generations, Sierra Pacific has remained a family-owned business with utmost reputation. They don’t sublet their job. Meaning, from processing the lumber to the finished windows and doors, they are involved all the way up!

So, no double, Sierra Pacific is a trusted brand for your replacement windows. 

They produce multiple styles of windows like single or double-hung, awning, and casement, etc. They also use different materials other than wood-like vinyl, aluminum-clad, and H3 Fusion Tech. 

How To Avoid Getting Worst Windows?

avoiding worst window brands

A homeowner gets a lot of push from the installers and sales rep. It’s easy to get confused. So, how do you stay away from these pushy brands?

Well, here are some effective tips for you:

  • Check The Rating

Usually, bad companies don’t participate in any nationally rated programs. So, before you pick up your brand, make sure it is Energy Star Rated. Check their ratings on the windows.

Also, check their ER rating. More ER rating means more energy-efficient windows. Usually, windows with triple glazing have more ER ratings.

  • Beware of Pushy Sales Rep

No matter how lucrative the deal sounds, don’t just sign the contract right away! No offer or discounts will end momentarily. Take your time and don’t buy from the first person who visits your home.

Gather information about the companies those sales reps represent. Get their credentials and make all the necessary queries until you are fully satisfied.

  • Know The Details of Contract

It’s boring stuff to do but this will save you from getting burned later. Read the details on the company’s policy on dry rot. Will they replace them? With or without a charge? 

Don’t forget to put the charge of removing the older windows included in the contract. Get everything in writing to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.

  • Get Detail On Installation

The job of the sales rep is to sell it to you. It’s the installation crew who will do the actual installation. 

Efficient installation is crucial when it comes to vinyl windows. So, ask the sales rep who will install the windows. Is it the company’s crew, a subcontractor, or what?

If that’s a subcontractor, make sure they have the necessary experience and expertise for such a job.

Closing Remarks

This list of worst window brands to avoid was prepared based on reviews from homeowners and contractors. You can visit relevant forum sites to get this idea.

I just shared this list hoping you can avoid getting frustrated.  

If you have good experience with those brands, please mention them in the comment box. I am always ready to correct myself. 

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