Jeld-Wen Siteline EX or Kolbe Classic or Kolbe Ultra

gardenguytxSeptember 30, 2011

We have been looking at double-hung wood clad replacement windows for a remodel project. We started looking at Jeld-Wen Siteline EX, but not being one to accept the first window that came our way, we began doing a bit of window shopping, and a whole lot of window education.

That said, we have narrowed our choices down to Jeld-Wen Siteline EX, Kolbe Ultra, or Kolbe Classic.

I've learned on this forum that Siteline advertises as all extruded aluminum, but it is applied like roll form and is right up against the wood which makes it more like rolled.

We really liked the Kolbe Ultra Series, and noted they are true extruded aluminum.

Kolbe Classic are rolled aluminum and seem to be a somewhat even comparison to Siteline (I think).

We've gotten the pricing between Siteline and Classic where they are essentially the same. Kolbe Ultra would be about $2K more.

Would you choose the Siteline or the Classic? Is it worth spending the extra $$ to go for the Ultra?

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millworkman

I would go with the Ultra all day. I do not like the roll form windows at all and I do not think much of Jeldwen at all.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 9:52AM
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windowsonwashington

+1

If those are the two choices, it is not a fair comparison for the Jeld-Wen.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 11:02AM
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gardenguytx

Thanks for the feedback. Windows, I know it's not an exact comparison point by point on the two. It's just where I'm at now. Any preference over either manufacturer in general?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 4:08PM
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windowsonwashington

I think Kolbe makes the better window across the board.

Millworkman would have much more feedback on that comparison though as he dealt heavily in wood windows.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 12:11AM
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millworkman

As I said I would take the Kolbe Ultra all day, the Classic is roll form while I like Kolbe products I do not like roll form aluminum cladding.As far as Jeldwen they purchased 3 marginal at best window companies some years back and as far as I am concerned there products are still marginal. For what hey are puporting to sell I do not feel the quality is there and had been told and have numerous problems and issues. Now that being said now were no disaster or horror stories so they are serviceable windows just on the lower end of the wood window scale in my honest opinion.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 9:11AM
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gardenguytx

Thanks Millwork. I appreciate your response, and I think you're on target. Ultra it is.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 2:50PM
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Esko

Not to resurrect an old thread, but for the benefit of any who happen to stumble across this thread with similar questions, I would offer the following information. I have sold all of these lines for many years and while I do agree for the OP's needs the Kolbe Ultra is the best fit, I would not discount the Jeld-Wen as a "marginal" window.

The Jeld-Wen Siteline EX is a fantastic mid line window with high end features and may be a better fit for many projects. That being said I am not a fan of the Siteline EX's double hung window. It operates a little stiff compared to the competition and I don't care for the size of the Vinyl jamb liners.

In my opinion Marvin makes the best double hung window on the market. If your budget rules Marvin out, Kolbe Ultra is a good product for the money.

If we were talking casement windows I would say Jeld-Wen/Kolbe is a much fairer match. The Jeld-Wen is typically cheaper, but the Kolbe has more custom capabilities.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 1:26PM
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millworkman

Is all I have to say about that.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Esko

lol

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 2:29PM
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windowsonwashington

Grumpy Cat strikes again!!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 5:52PM
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Davis_Helen

we are in the middle of this EXACT debate - about to start a new custom build - and at this point have the Jeldwen Siteline EX in clad in the bid - the entire house is casements. There are quite a few as the house is three levels (with one of the levels being a lower level rec room, exercise room, etc on a sloped lot so only half of that space has windows) - without counting all the windows on the plans I can tell you that the allowance for windows with the Siteline is a little over $32,000 for the windows (without installation)

I want to investigate if our budget can handle going to the Kolbe Ultra Clad casements - anyone willing to offer a guess as to what type of premium on a % that would do to our allowance? I have no clue and before I run a bunch of cycles to figure it out thought I would check with some experts to see if it may even be in reason to do the investigation.

Thanks so much!! Really appreciate all the expertise on this forum from the window folks.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:11PM
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millworkman

25% - 30% off the top of my head. Depending on the options chosen

This post was edited by millworkman on Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 21:52

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:51PM
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Esko

Like millworkman said it really depends on the options. I typically sell Kolbe for 15-20% more than Jeld-Wen Siteline EX. It will also depend if the Kolbe bid comes from a dealer or a distributor. We buy at a distributor level which gets us a slightly better price.

If you decide to go with Kolbe, be sure to get the Stainless Spacer bar otherwise your glass warranty drops to I believe 10 years. Many dealers don't realize this and will quote the incorrect warranty.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Fenestration_Taylor

I personally think the Kolbe windows are worth the extra cost from a mid level Jeld-Wen. Especially if you have divided lites. Jeld-Wen doesn't cope the bars into the sash and I think it doesn't look proper.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Esko

@Fenestration_Taylor

That's actually the Traditions Plus line not Siteline EX. The Siteline EX is a much better window. As you can see the Siteline SDL bars are coped and the cladding looks thicker.

(sorry for poor image quality)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 4:29PM
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Fenestration_Taylor

I guess everyone make sure you're buying the right line of Jeldwen

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 7:04PM
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lzerarc

I went with Kolbe Ultra EPs in our new home. All casements and fixed with a couple awnings. I think awnings are some of the most under used windows out there. All windows crank super smooth. We have some larger casement sizes (36x56 in the triple pane) so time will tell how they work with the hinges. I do know they upgraded the hardware on the larger triple pane windows.
When deciding, I looked at about everything out there from all major US companies (including Jeld, Marvin prem and Integrity, Anderson, eagle, pella) then some fiberglass lines from Canada such as Inline, Fibertec, and a couple others. At the end of the day Kolbe had what we wanted (true triple pane, 1 3/4" glass and black alum exteriors). Also got the patio door and custom front door from them. I got special pricing, but my price otherwise would have been inline with Marvin Integrity triple panes.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Davis_Helen

Just spent the evening with our local Kolbe dealer reviewing our home plans and answering their questions to put forward a bid - they also rep Jeldwen and the person I was working with cited that the Ultra would probably be 5-8% or so more than the Siteline EX - having a Siteline bid in hand I was encouraged that the Kolbe Ultra may well fit our budget - we'll see tomorrow if that % uplift stands.

What concerns me is once I got home all excited that I may have reached a key decision on the build - I get knee deep in a thread of post after post after post of folks citing what they felt was a sill design flaw from day one of the Kolbe Ultra that lets water effectively stand over time and cause rot issues - just post after post of folks claiming thousands of dollars of rotted windows and no support offered. I wonder now if that is true - or in fairness to the product these posts were a bit dated (year or two old if not older) and I wonder if there was indeed some type of flaw but the product we would buy today has addressed it.

I never thought window shopping would be such an issue - I was so naive going into it - still hopeful on the Kolbe bid - and also have our local Marvin Distributor getting us a quote on the Integrity Ultrex/Wood casements

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 11:15PM
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millworkman

Not sure of the issue your speaking of but not something I have heard of and while I do not currently sell Kolbe still have numerous friends who still do and they have not said anything about that issue either.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 9:10AM
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lzerarc

looking at my casements, I can not see how any water stands. It slopes out and is covered by extruded aluminum. The sills are pretty dry after any rain.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 12:53PM
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Fenestration_Taylor

I've dealt with Kolbe windows for 22 years and have never had such issues. I have however seen those posts. The aggressiveness of them and the information provided lead me to believe it was a lot of BS seeking money after they were unhappy with their construction experience. The sill design on Kolbe Ultra series casements is the same as almost every other brand, it's sloped.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 5:37PM
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Davis_Helen

Thanks so much for the follow up from those in the know and have so much hands on experience with the product - and windows in general. As has been pointed out before here, few go online to post how much they love something - most have a bone to pick when they post online as a general rule. Our builder when we told him we were thinking about going with the Kolbe he nodded that it was a solid product to consider. So it certainly is still a contender for us - waiting to get the numbers back on the Integrity from Marvin now.

Hope to have those numbers back this coming week - if it comes down head to head on the Kolbe Ultra and the Integrity we are thinking we could not really go wrong with either - so at that point it will come down to what look we like the most, budget, and which one 'fits our project' the best from a size and option perspective.

Any one think that perception is not good thinking?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 3:52PM
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millworkman

2 completely different windows but your correct, you cannot go wrong with either, both excellent windows.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 4:42PM
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Davis_Helen

Ok - for us quotes are in - still hoping the Kolbe and Integrity reps will improve their numbers, but assuming they do not.....or even if they do assume it would be similar movement - so for our new build with about 40 casements of various sizes and some transoms - here is where we are:

JeldWen SiteLine $32,700
Kolbe Ultra $38,700
Integrity (Ultrex/Wood interior) $42,500

These numbers include tax, delivery, primed interiors, screens, standard hardware - same grid patterns, SDL with spacers - tried to keep it as 'apples to apples' for quoting purposes - so as you can see it is roughly $5000 each time we move up the ladder.

Which would you go with if your priorities were more around longevity of the units function and lifespan - not going to get into an overly analytical comparison of 'performance' - we live in a moderate climate and think all things aside any energy cost differential would be not that great - and really not as important as which unit will still be functioning structurally the best in 15+ years (we have no plans of moving from this house we are building)

So wadda' think?

Thanks for the guidance and feedback.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 10:56PM
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millworkman

Durability Integrty, looks while still very durability Kolbe Ultra. Personally I would take the Ultra's.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Esko

If you go with Jeld-Wen ask the dealer if they have a service available called SmartCare. In some areas the distributors offer a service where a field tech visits the job twice. Once to confirm the installation and waterproofing has been done correctly (they address any issues in a diplomatic and informative manner with the builder if they need to). They provide a full report with pictures of their findings. The second trip they adjust any doors or windows that require it and complete any punch list items. They also discuss maintenance and warranty with the homeowner. Some dealers charge $1,000 for this. I include it on any jobs over $25,000. You can probably get it included if you ask.

Don't get me wrong, Kolbe is a slightly better window, but not $6,000 better.

If you like the Integrity, get another bid. That number should be less than Kolbe in my experience.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Davis_Helen

Thanks for the feedback and the lead on the installation / service program through Jeld Wen. We spent some time this evening with our house plans and some tracing paper and played around with the grid pattern in the entire package. The Architect of course drew it up with tons of panes in his work. Too much we think when we really sat down and looked it over and played with some different configurations - we were able to reduce the number of panes in the overall package by over 80 and not materially impact the look of the house from what we could tell. So we have those notes out to the Kolbe rep in hopes they can continue to get us to a point that it will fit our budget - we need to ultimately get to $35k if we are to go with that line. Know the reduction in 'lights' won't get us there - but maybe that and if they will make some movement on their side we can more seriously consider going that direction.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:50AM
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millworkman

You would be surprised at how much a difference those 80 lites will make. I agree with Esko on the fact that Integrity should be less not more than Kolbe (missed that ay first read) but I am still not a fan of Jeldwen Windows in any series.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 8:27AM
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windowsonwashington

Something about Jeldwen's warranty history that just gives me a bit of pause.

I can't speak with any measure of familiarity about how their new stuff is so I am not commenting on that part.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Davis_Helen

Well you guys were right to go back to question the Integrity quote saying it should be less than the Kolbe Ultra -

We took out about 80 lites across our entire package - again, without materially changing the look of the house - in fact we think we like it better. The architect had lites EVERYWHERE - in any case what a difference that and a little nudging makes on the pricing. To those out there shopping - certainly don't take that first quote as the answer - and 'value engineer' your grid patterns.

Original Koble quote $38,700 - after removing those lights and continuing to press for some price movement $35,300 - more from the lite reduction that a price reduction - but we got 3% off if we pay in full at time of order

Integrity - and this was the SHOCKER - original quote was a bit over $42,000. With the reduction in the number of lites, and the Marvin rep citing a 'calculation error and some more aggressive pricing' - the new quote came in at $29,300! This includes the hardware we want - Ultrex/Wood with primed interiors and screens.

So now we really do have to think long and hard about which one to go with - thought it was getting easier (to go with the Kolbe) with the first Integrity quote $6K more than the Kolbe - but now with it thousands under, not sure which way to go - maybe it actually did get easier, but just swung in the other direction.

Thank again for all the guidance - and had it not been suggested that some were surprised that the Integrity was higher than the Kolbe I probably would have disqualified it as an option without going back and questioning the quote.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Davis_Helen

oh and the other kicker - this new Integrity quote came in under the Jeld Wen Siteline EX.....

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Esko

Integrity is built around function & longevity, Kolbe is more geared towards Architectural detail and the feel of craftsmanship. The good news is you will be happy either way.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 10:23PM
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