Ply Gem or Atrium?

andaleeSeptember 30, 2010

I have a quote in hand for windows for our new construction carriage house. Here are the basics:

7 windows (6 sliders, 1 fixed, all of them either 4'x4' or close to it)

Ply Gem Builder 400: $1,630

Atrium 2000 Series: $1,840

Ply Gem Pro 200: $1,917

I'm somewhat frustrated because the websites don't have much real detailed info, and while there *must* be a difference between all of these windows, I can't seem to find them. The Atrium website doesn't even list the 2000 series. I'm leaning toward the Ply Gem Pro 200, but that's only because I feel like going with bottom of the line is a huge mistake.

I'm going to need to go back to the building supply and grill the saleswoman . . . but it would be really wonderful if someone here had some experience with any of these window lines. This decision seems like a shot in the dark . . . partly because I've been unable to get access to the people who might know. DH is so busy with the rest of the building project that he just wants to get something and be done with it.

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Correction: this is for 12 windows (only one fixed, the rest sliders).

I just got a Ply Gem Preimum 1000 quote: $2,985

We'll see what happens tomorrow, when I go back in to try to make heads or tails of this . . .

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 7:58PM
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I have been in the building material/window and door business for 25 yrs. I have sold Atrium back when the only product they made was a center hinged patio door right thru their wood windows and now they are onto vinyl products. I would not touch one of their products if they were giving them away. I have seen nothing good in anything they have produced. As far as Plygems they used to carry these wood patio doors and for my money, the product s they made were low quality products for home centers, long before HD and Lowes(think Pergament's and Rickel's). Again only my opinion but you asked and please take it for what it is worth.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 10:54AM
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I appreciate your opinion and feedback, millworkman. This seems to be a pretty quiet forum (punctuated by various spats about who knows what and why they don't know anything ;o), so I'm really glad you spoke up.

I went back to the showroom today, and neither the in-house saleswoman, nor the company rep from Ply Gem, could tell me why the more expensive windows were any better than the builder series. And the engineer is on vacation until Monday. So, back to square one.

I've been given advice to look for a "good DP rating" and "well-built windows", but I don't even know what those terms mean. Does anyone know of a website that educates consumers on those types of things in general? So far all I've come across is a lot of hype, sales pitches, and glossy advertising from the people I've been able to talk to around here. Maybe I'll try calling our old rep from Sierra Pacific, tell him up front that we just can't afford their windows this time, but I need to know who to talk to about vinyl around here . . .

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 2:35PM
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Try here

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 5:36PM
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Thanks, skydawggy. Will it matter much that those sites are for replacement windows, and I'm buying new construction windows?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 7:19PM
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Nope, give it a try.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 8:11PM
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Hello. My name is Donna Esposito and I am the Regional Sales Manager for Ply Gem Windows in California. Thank you for your interest in our products. If you would, can you tell me where you reside, so I can best guide you to the proper sales rep who can walk you through all the products to ensure you get the information you need to make the right decision. You can email me directly at I look forward to hearing from you and again thank you for your interest in our products.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 9:46PM
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Hi Donna,

Thanks for the offer. I've emailed you, detailing my situation. In short, I haven't been able to get answers to my questions about the design & construction of Ply Gem windows from the sales folks here, or from their contact at Ply Gem, and am waiting to talk to the engineer at Ply Gem.

Take care . . .

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 12:29PM
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