Pella, Jeldwen or Marvin

bevangel_i_h8_h0uzzAugust 12, 2007

Can anyone tell me how windows and patio doors by Pella, Jeldwen, and Marvin generally tend to compare in quality and price? (Top of the line aluminum clad exteriors, stain-grade interiors for all manufacturers, please). Also, can anyone tell me if Pella and or Marvin has cottage-style double-hung windows available as a "standard" feature?

We getting ready to build a custom home that will include four sets of patio doors (all with transoms, one with sidelites) plus 43 windows (mostly tall, rather narrow windows b/c this will be an an old farm-house style).

Frankly, our local Pella dealer is Lowe's and their salespeople don't seem very knowledgeable about much of anything - and seem to get miffed if one asks them to "please find out" something about any product they sell. And the local Marvin dealer was outright rude! Wouldn't give me a price when I asked specifically about the price of a specific sized window with specific features (so that I'd have some basis for comparison of costs to Jeldwen.) Instead he asked what size house I was building and what my overall budget was and when I told him, he threw his nose in the air and informed me that "Marvin windows typically go into homes starting at about twice your budget". He then turned on his heel and walked over to some other customers and ignored me thereafter! The Jeldwen dealer on the other hand spent almost an hour showing me the differences between Jeldwen's various lines and getting me the cost of several "example windows" and doors. Thus I'm sorely tempted to stick with Jeldwen for that reason alone but decided it isn't wise to make a decision about such a significant purchase just because of a couple of salepeople.

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We have Marvin clad exterior and wood interior for staining. High quality product, happy with it. This post though is about that stupid salesman. We had exact same sort of encounter at a local Marvin dealer and we left. It closed not long after. We ended up at another Marvin dealer who was very very good. Finding a good shop is important.

Four things to share.

First, I will apply our SF Bay Area pricing from 4 years ago to your list. All approximate cost but it may help. Assuming 43 Marvin Ultimate Dbl-Hung at 36"x48", low-E II, Argon, no SDL, standard hardware and standard color at $430 each (2003 price), that totals $18,500. Assuming four sets of three-door French Ultimate inswing with three pane, two operable, one fixed, Low-E II, Argon, no SDL, standard everything and dimension is 9-ft by 7-ft at $5000 each, that is $20,000. For transom and side lite, it will cost more, let's guess $2000? So approximate cost w/o tax, excl installation, is about $38,500+$2000 = $40,500. This will give you a ballpark number to play with. Any salesman who balks at this amount can take a hike.

Second, it helps to create an initial specification of what you want before visiting shops. Find out types of windows (casement? dbl-hung?, Simulatd Divided Lite (SDL)? T (True) DL? etc?), types of doors (French? inswing? outswing? two operable? one operable?), low-E II? Argon filled? double pane or triple pane? tempered glass? regular glass? laminated glass? and other factors you care about. Organize this into a specification. Do a lot of research to learn about windows and doors and the features. List your questions. There is a lot of info on-line. A good place to start is:

Third, show the specification to each shop and ask them for time to answer your questions. If they are busy, then set up an appointment for dedicated service. Any shop that refuses to set an appointment does not deserve your business. Any shop that makes you feel like you are begging to give them your cash does not deserve your business. Make them earn it.

Finally, salespeople are taught to ask that how much is the budget question. I find that really stupid. They should be asking what your needs are and try to address your needs. As they address each need, it will then be appropriate to mention cost. This is the right way to treat a prospect. We have a standard answer to this dumb "budget" question. We always look them in the eyes and say seriously, "If you offer what we want, we will be happy to pay. If I tell you a low budget, you may ignore me or show me something real cheap. If I tell you a high budget, you may show me fancy stuff I do not need. I have a specification here, let's start from there and see how far we get." If they balk, we walk.

No help on Pella or JeldWen but hope these tactics will help your dealing with the shops.

1 Like    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 12:29AM
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Marvin is a top notch window/door. If your budget fits, you won't go wrong. If you really want Pella, don't buy through lowes. Find a Pella store. If neither works, Jeldwen is a very nice mid to upper mid range window. (pozzi, not the other jeldwen brands)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 9:30PM
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When it comes to clad wood windows, Marvin is the best quality out of the brands you mentiioned. Marvin does have cottage style windows, but I'm not sure if they are standard. I can tell you that when I priced them, Marvin cottage syle double hungs were a little less expensive then the casements I ordered.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 10:22PM
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I had the same problem with the local Marvin dealer. They were snotty, rude and and basically looked down their nose at my "small" job (probably 15K range). Unfortunately there IS no other dealer in my area, since one dealer seems to have all of the state of Florida. And Pella has had too many quality issues discussed on this board, plus I didn't trust the Lowes (or HD) subs for installation. So as a result I think I am going with Jeld-Wen, whose dealer has been very helpful. Marvin may have fabulous windows, but they really should reign in their dealers with an attitude.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 12:08PM
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Well believe it or not, Pella just received the JD Powers Award for customer satisfaction. I'm not sure what the studies criteria involved, but it beat out Andersen. Link is attached below.

You really need to find a supportive sales person to help you out. They will be very important to you down the road with delivery dates and follow up to any issues. Your blue print should have a "door & window schedule" which gives all the sizes. Just take a copy of this and have them bid the project. Tell them what YOU want and when you want it. All your choices would serve you well. The Pozzi window by Jeldwen is their best window. I wouldn't choose anything else from them in comparison to the others.

Here is a link that might be useful: J.D. Powers

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 7:46AM
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The Marvin dealer in Coppell, TX is very good. The salesman spent a lot of time configuring and reconfiguring all of my windows (only 20 or so) and I ended up spending $9200 with tax total delivered for the ultimate series. There were two casements, one awning, one fixed picture, and the rest double hung, wood/clad with 6-pane simulated lights on top and Low-E w/ argon.

All the windows came in on schedule and were exactly as ordered.

We have been in the house for 2 months now and the windows are utterly beautiful, and even better mechanically. Also very energy efficient.

I paid half on order and the other half at delivery. Home Depot wanted 100% up front for Andersens. I am SO glad I didn't go with Andersen although I think the Woodwright is very good.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 11:54PM
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I would definetly stay away from Pella, they have no customer service and the products are crap.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 11:02PM
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well thought out and explained.
i just can't figure out how they have the highest JD Power & Assoc. rating, yet their products are crap?
no comment on service, they vary depending on location.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 12:38AM
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I have Jeld-wen patio doors, and I've had nothing BUT trouble from them. THe guy from their company that was supposed to have fixed them has NOT fixed them. They've worked on these doors, and they still don't fit right. They leak. And now I've been told that I need to have some sort of covering to protect the doors. What the heck!!?? These are EXTERIOR doors. If I had to do it all over again, I would NOT buy anything from this company. My doors have been messed up for over 8 months now, and I have no idea when, if ever, they will be fixed.

Also, the people at Jeldwen are rude. I don't like this company at all. It's not only the fact that I don't think that the installers know what they're doing, and the people at the company itself are rude - it's also the fact that the doors are pretty crappy. I have blinds in between the glass (of my doors), and those things don't half work right. Never again will I buy any of Jeldwen's products.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 11:24AM
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Does anybody have any experience buying Marvin's windows in Alabama (Birmingham)? We are gearing up to reside our house (going from aluminum siding over asbestos-concrete shingles back to only cedar shingles and its Cape Cod-style roots) and, since the windows are shot anyway and the house will be taken apart, we figured we would replace the windows as well. Just another 'little' addition to planning and work--right??? ;)

We only need 12 windows (we have a very small house) and it sounds like Marvin's is the way to go.

Can you buy Marvin's windows at Marvin's Hardware Stores?

Thanks for any info.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 10:07AM
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I use Pella all the time and get much better customer service from them than I do Marvin or JeldWen. I ad an experiance with Jeldwen where on a $80,000 rder they would not take care of a broken grill or a dented frame on two windows Salesman told us it was installation problems which was a jke since the one with the dented frame was never installed. Pella had some problems in the past but was very satnd up about taking care of it. A lot of it depends on the distributor. Pella is 2 sep while most other companies are three step or more. Pricing should all be fairly comparable to each other

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 4:18PM
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There is a disproportinate number of Internet complaints against Pella compared to almost any other company. I don't know if it's because they sell a hell of alot more windows or what, but I would avoid them. Marvin has a reputation for expense and quality, but some people have been upset with customer service at times.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 11:34PM
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Pella is one of the only two completely nationwide window companies, and sold extensively throughout Canada as well. Neither Jeld-Wen or Marvin falls in that category of a nationwide company. Every company has had its problems at one point or another. I installed a Marvin French Door set where the hinges did not operate properly 2 years ago and am still fighting with Marvin to take care of the problem and have not as of yet beenpaid by my cusomer for the job ($9679 I have not recieved. I have had Jeld Wen reps tell me that they will not take care of a window that was dented in thier shipping to me. Pella did have some problems with a series of windows they sold several years ago. When I reported the problem to My distributor 3 years after installaion they made hree service trips to try to remedy the situation, when they could not set it right, they replaced all the windows with the new series and my customer has not had a lick of trouble with them since. I try to steer my customers into Pella whenever I can

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 6:35PM
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I would stay away from Jeldwen as they are not on the same level as Pella or Marvin. Buying Pella from Lowes isn't a great idea because they typically don't know the products all that well. I would never consider Jeldwen for my house. I think Pella offers the best product on the market with the most options avail.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 8:49PM
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We've looked at all three windows and went with Jeld Wen's Custom Series (Pozzi) for our new home. It was our favorite as far as looks, color choice, warranty (20 years on their Auralast wood and Kynar clad finish) and we had a hardworking, knowledgeable sales rep as well.

The price for Jeld Wen/Custom/Pozzi was between Pella (lowest) and Marvin (highest). The Pella store we went to unfortunately had someone working there who had very little knowledge about the product and ultimately turned us off. The Marvin dealer we went to was where we actually saw the Jeld Wen window for the first time and liked it best, so we never got a quote for the Marvin windows but the salesperson said it would be more than the Jeld Wen.

For the record, we also considered Sierra Pacific, Windsor and Hurd, all of which were more similar to Pella pricing. However, we decided to go with the window of our choice since we felt it was well worth the price difference in the end.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 3:21AM
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Treatment like that from a dealer should be reported to Marvin. They are a national brand and I'm sure they don't want to be represented that way.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella Contact Us

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 12:57PM
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Pella's warranty is 20/10 /2 giving 2 years free labor. I had a customer who had Marvin and 6 months after installing them a balance went. He heard it snap when opening the iwndow. They called Marvin and a service rep came out and replace the balance....the part was free but they charged $75 in labor

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 7:38AM
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So what brand did you go with?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 1:42AM
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Kolbe, for sure.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:45AM
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gosh i guess doing your own pella's was the way to go..

dh did all the work, when we found out (at the time) a $189 window at then home depot, was $300 at the dealership..(labor)

i must admit i got the sheet provided by pella, had exact measurements, and style all picked out, so neither home depot ir lowes gave us any trouble...but then we only go to certain stores of the big 2...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:03PM
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    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 10:44AM
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