Will we regret going with Pella Proline?

formosalilyApril 29, 2007

After reading many posts on this forum comparing products from Pella, Andersen, Marvin, Jeld-wen, I still couldnt' decided which brand is right for us. We are replacing 3 sliding doors and 7 windows with wood interior and aluminum cladding exterior products. Got quotes from Pella, Jeld-wen and Andersen. Andersen is highest, Jeld-wen second, Pella Proline is slightly lower than Jeld-wen. However, Pella Designer is twice as much as Pella Proline. We prefer having the option of retractable screen option, which is only available in Pella Designer but not Proline. But it doesn't seem economical to pay twice as much just to get retractable screen.

We are thinking about going with Pella Proline. At the same price range, are their other brand that would give us more bang for our bucks?


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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Proline is an entry level product.

When shopping for wood windows, if it's cheap, it has to be cheap for a reason.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 7:28AM
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Proline uses the same wood, glazing, hardware, cladding and engineering that the Architect Series uses.
Proline is limited to certain sizes, colors & options. It is a highly manufactured product and costs to build them are less.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 3:34PM
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We used Proline sliders to replace existing french doors 8 years ago for the ones off of the kitchen and 7 years ago to replace the ones off of our bedroom. I stained and polyurethaned them to match our woodwork, and my husband and a friend installed them each time, saving us hundreds of dollars. I think we paid about $600 for each set of doors plus tax and delivery. I think we bought them at Menard's. If not, HD -- they're nearly next to each other in our neighborhood.

After all of these years, these doors are still wonderful -- we have alot of traffic from two highways near our home, and we can't hear anything when the doors are closed. They slide beautifully. When we installed these, neighbors came by to ooohh over the doors because most houses in this neighborhood were built with cheap, lightweight vinyl sliders.

If we need to replace the doors, we will have them installed next time because they are huge and heavy and our friend has moved away. For this house, we would probably use the proline again. Most houses in our neighborhood are in the $250,000 (for the really small ones) to $400,000 range(a few on the lake are $500,000 - 800,000). Our retirement home is going to be a little more upscale, so we may decide to use pricier doors. But, I wouldn't be disappointed if we used the Proline again.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 8:27AM
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I am having grid problems with Lowes on Pella Architectual windwos I ordered in Jan 2007. They have shipped Grids 4 times in "cheap cardboard flat pieces" and sent them to Lowes 4 times UPS rather than sending one box with the whole order 1 time correctly wrapped; with them Bubblewrapped. Grids won't make it from Iowa to Virginia without the due care it will take to get them here.
You MUST finish your Pella windows with stain or gloss within 1 month of them being "correctly" INSTALLED. Make sure your builder uses both shims &[ Great Stuff Door & window foamRead the directions that are shipped on EVERY window or read them ONLINE; I had to stop my framer After he installed the first window because he didn't cut the Tyvek right, didn't use Shims didn't follow the directions on NOT taping the SILL and he didn't use foam correctly as REQUIRED by PELLA. I asked him had he read the directions? He said no, he just "A$$umed" they were like every other vinyl window he has installed. It takes a little extra time to do , but that is why windows leak...cause they are NOT INSTALLED CORRECTLY on Day 1.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:19PM
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Jeld-wen recently announced that they will be offering integral retractable screens from Phantom.

We just had Jeld-wen Custom Clad (formerly Pozzi) installed throughout our house (new construction), and they are gorgeous. Our builder says they are the nicest windows he has ever installed.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 12:30AM
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do not use pella period, pella has a huge class action lawsuit against them for windows rotting

any of the jeld-wen lines are all better than pella and have a much better warranty, you can buy retractable screens from jeld-wen or from a local screen company that can be retrofitted to most windows

andersen renewal are complete junk and are way overpriced

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 11:44AM
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1) A class action lawsuit has never been certified by the courts against Pella.
2) Any LEGITIMATE claims have been addressed by Pella, as they d@mn well better. Any other claims have been denied by the courts.
3) These problems stem from windows made in the early 90's and have long been corrected.

Jeldwen (Pozzi only)is a nice window, and true, their warranty looks great to consumers. However, there are plenty of clauses to relieve them of ANY/ALL liabilities. Warrantys are written by lawyers to protect the manufacturer, not the consumer.

In 20 years are people still going to make a claim that Pella sucks because at "one time" they had a problem with their design?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 2:45PM
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If you ever need them to fix something it will take them six months to come out and fix it and when they do it won't be right! They care nothing about customer service once you bought the window they want nothing more to do with you.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 11:18PM
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You should remember that Pella service is provided be the distributor, not the manufacturer! Even if your distributor is call "Pella Windows", they're not the manufacturer. (Although, in some cases, distributors are own by Pella Corporation) Your experience with your service does not accurately reflect service across the country. Service from my distributor has been prompt, courteous, and by far exceeded my expectations.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 12:43PM
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One thing everyone needs to understand is where they're getting their windows from. Just as Jay was saying above there are multiple outlets to purchase your Pella products. I know that Lowes, 84 Lumber & Menards are all retail vendors of Pella products. Lowes has an installation program that installs Pella products and warranties their installations. I know Menards doesn't have an installation program that I know of and 84 Lumber has limited programs in certain areas. The biggest mis-understanding I always see are from those who purchase products from the local "Pella Stores". These Pella Stores are a completely separate entity from Pella in most cases privately owned. These stores carry the Pella name and product but don't have any ties to the manufacturer. These local Pella Stores are independently owned and operated. How they perform locally is hit and miss. Many people feel it's the manufacturers outlet store when it's not. Pella also has local warehouse distribution centers in most of the states they ship to. These warehouses store and ship products that are purchased directly from builders and contractors who use Pella products. Some of these distributors also sell Pella products to end users with the option of installation. These distributors are a direct descendant of the Pella Corporation. So you can see where a lot of frustrating issues evolve from.

We install Pella products daily. I've seen good & bad products that are no different than any other manufacturer around the nation. Most of the bigger issues are the people in between the consumer and the manufacturer. The ball seems to be dropped in these places and the blame ends up going on Pella. I can't see any reason why buying any Pella product would be a nightmare. I'll tell you one thing, the new Pella French Doors are the nicest and most innovating pair of doors I've ever seen. If your looking for double doors take the time to look them over, you'll be glad you did.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 10:08AM
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Guy Exterior Man - I've seen tons of complaints online about Pella windows leaking, rotting, etc. Is that different from your personal experience?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 4:15PM
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Pella went through a period of design failure that has been remedied awhile ago. Their theory in design was based on a removable clad panning. They thought it would be a great idea if the customer could remove damaged aluminum cladding and replace it if damaged by hail or everyday wear. Unfortunately the design was a huge failure and they could never get the removable panels to seal tight enough to shed water. I also heard they were using a wood preservative that didn't do what it was suppose to, very similar to what Marvin went through back in the late 70's into the 80's. One thing Marvin did that Pella didn't do is stand behind their mistake and do all they could to help customers get new product with out sinking their ship. Marvin did what they could and gained huge respect doing it. Pella on the other hand has tried the other route by not really admitting their failure and playing dumb. Eventually it became an overwhelming issue that they couldn't avoid. Just as Marvin pulled out of their problem, Pella will do the same and earn their respect back. I know all the design flaws have been re-designed successfully. I can tell you first hand their new French Patio Door design is by far the best I've ever seen. Hands down one of the best designs on the market.

In defense of Pella and all the other manufacturers. The biggest downfall and failure of any window is the installer. Now I'm not saying every installer out there is worthless. I'm saying that over the past 32 years in the trade I've seen a lot of window issues blamed on the manufacturer when it was really an installation issue. Customers and attorneys tend to go after the deeper pockets when they feel they've been wronged. They don't go after the framer who is barely making ends meet. It's cheaper for the manufacturers and big box stores to give the disgruntled customer new product and take the blame for something they didn't do. The money & respect they would loose amounts to more than the replacement would be. In todays fast paced market I'm seeing these big box stores and especially Pella standing up to the customer and taking a stance on poorly installed products. The building code has even come to their defense and passed codes that specifically state that the manufacturers installation guide on doors and windows is code and must be followed as stated.

The biggest problem in the industry is poor installation. Over the past 10 - 15 years the boom on new housing has been so big that the people installing doors and windows have been overwhelmed with keeping up. Framing crews have always been the ones who installed doors & windows in new housing. Most of them were never really educated on proper installation procedures or never really cared about how things were done. They were just always being rushed to get things in and move to the next job. Time was money and many contractors were rolling in the boom of the industry. Today many of these whirl wind installers poor jobs are coming to the surface with all the mold and mildew issues we see nation wide. It's all pretty much an epidemic everywhere we turn. The market is over flowing with issues from across the land.

Today it's gone full circle and customers have the ways and means to get the education they never could by visiting forums such as this one and a couple others. The average consumer can now arm themselves with a wealth of knowledge to fight against the fly by night installers and companies that have been fleecing America. That's exactly why I spend my free time helping those of you who are overwhelmed with trying to make a good decision when buying these products. If I can help someone steer clear of these clowns out there I'll be able to sleep better at night. I'm not here to sell my product and services to consumers visiting the five sites I answer questions on. I'm only here to help consumers get the proper answers to questions that will keep them safe from dishonest sales practices and poor installers. I'm just trying to help my industry gain some respect back by giving consumers something for free with no strings attached!! It doesn't happen much anymore.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:53AM
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My local Pella store has a very responsive service department. I can not speak for those around the country but Pella Corporation pays very close attention to their distribution. If the distributor is not doing business the way Pella wants them too, they can, and will, pull the distributorship. That would be the extreme. Pella trains all distributors and prides themselves on the partnership. Pella is the only one with window stores!! The distribution method is far better than another company that let's everyone distribute the product. That manufacture has no control on quality, SERVICE and customer SERVICE. Do not be afraid of Pella. True they may have to come out and fix a window for some reason, but the person that comes out has been trained by Pella to service the window the way that the manufacturer insists. And sometimes there may be issues that were not planned for. Pella may have to come back, BUT THEY DO!!!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 8:53AM
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I agree with the other posters - Windows and Doors are much more of a local product than people realize. Here in Ohio, you can buy Pella, Anderson, Therma-Tru etc.. a big box stores, building supply places and general contractors. You must investigate who you buy from and who actually does the install. Use Angies List or some other local ranking system. During a large kitchen addition we decided to spend more on doors and less on windows so we went with Weathershield vinyl windows but Pella Designer (triple slider, and double entry). The contractor had his framers install. Ugh. Ofcourse they never looked at the directions. I had to say "uh I think it calls for flex wrap on the sill..." etc.. to get them close to the manufacturers instructions. On the vinyl windows the didn't open any packages so NO jamb adjustment screw installed.

The Designer Pella's - the triple slider is fantastic. Thankfully it did not get screwed up in installation. The double entry door - OMG - what a mess. The guys had never put one in before - the non active side did not open and you had to lift up on the active side to get it to close. As the trim carpenter said days later "yeah, these are tricky to get right" He was able to fix it but we wonder just how many years it lost off its life. No matter what you buy, get the best installer you can.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 7:11PM
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The wood on the bottom of my 1995 Pella Proline sliding glass door has completely rotted from moisture leaking from outside for 12 years. Unfortunatly it took 12 years to completly rot the wood through my interior finish because the door was not directly exposed to rain. Pella said the door is only covered for that kind of damage for 10 years. They never had a notice or a recall. It was a major manufacturing flaw that I believe they ignored because it was too expensive to replace all the windows and doors that leaked. I now have to purchase another sliding glass door. It will not be a Pella.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 3:32PM
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In Ohio, Pella service is horrible. If you have a problem and it goes through Pella corporate it will take forever and a day. I've been fighting with them for 2 years now, one set of windows has been stored in my basement for over a year now and they still haven't figured out what to do with them. The factory says minor defects, the independent expert we asked to inspect them says maybe minor to an earthquake but not minor in the glass business. Now we are stuck with scratched up windows that have streaks that are in the glass itself. When a 16 year old asks what is wrong with your windows they must really look bad! Does that tell you my opinion of Pella!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 12:39PM
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John 7447 could you tell me a manufacturer that has a better warranty than Pella. Their 20/10/2 Warranty is one of the best on the market and is fully transferable when a house is sold. I had a major manufacturer that I put in a house that was built as spec, the warranty looked great however when I dug into the warranty the windows were registered in my name, and when the house was sold to the new homeowner...guess what the warranty did not fully transfer over and when we had a failure in a couple of French Doors it ended up costing me $4000 to replace them out of my pocket because the "great warranty" did not cover them as I no longer owned the house

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 7:02PM
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Gay Exterior Man - Or anyone else,

How do we find an installation person who will reliably install the windows according to manufacturer specifications?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 8:31AM
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I asked the very same question myself last week and Galefarm gave me some great advice. Look at my post, Confused about aluminum-clad windows to read his response.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 1:18PM
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I predict that you will regret buying any Pella product, if your experience is like mine.

I have a house full of Pella Proline Casement Windows. About half of them are rotten.

I called and wrote Pella, and they basically said tough luck because they were beyond the warranty period.

We'll I paid twice the price to get the Pella brand, only to learn that they were worthless. I expected these to be essentially lifetime windows, regardless of the warranty, but instead they were rotten in 10 years.

I've found that Pella management is negotiable, but hides behind a very hard shell. They denied my claim about 6 different times. Only after I told them that I knew of other similar cases where Pella either gave the homeowner free windows or windows at 70% off did we start making some progress.

They started at 30% off, then 50%, then 70%. I said ok to 70% and in the end they ended up GIVING THEM TO ME.

It took a year and perhaps 40 phone calls and emails but that was the result.

To win this game you have to ultimately get the name of a high level manager, and I mean a really high level manager. All of the low level folks are told to deny, deny, deny. You can have the low level person to give you the name of their manager and work up the line persistently this way.

In the end, it was access to a top level manager in PELLA IOWA (outside of customer service), and my pictures showing the bottom of the sashes rotted completely through that won this for me. If you are not unusually persistent you will fail. Ultimately I had the names and email addresses of possibly 4 top level managers.

Good luck to all who try. I did my own installation, and with some good help, you can replace one in about 20 minutes)

If Pella Windows were free I would decline them. They are junk through and through, in my opinion, and the Pella folks will try every trick in the world to make you go away.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 10:50AM
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I just had some Andersen Frenchwood Gliding Patio Doors installed. They look beautiful and I'm happy with the modern glass (i.e. minimal water spots, energy efficient, etc.) Just know that Andersen Renewal and Andersen products and distributors are not the same and I recommend Andersen, not Andersen Renewal. Andersen Renewal has extremely aggressive and unpleasant sales techniques.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:04AM
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