my atrium window saga continues... never buy atrium! photos...

whidbeyOctober 9, 2008

This is mostly just me venting, but also a warning to anyone out there in the window-picking stage of their build.

Long story short, our windows were just installed yesterday and boy are they shoddy. I could've gotten better quality windows at K-Mart (if they sold them). :)

Besides the fact that the gridding is all wrong (the grid pattern is uneven, supposed to have gone down the center, yadda yadda)... the "quality" is despicable. Most of the window glass is uneven, the foam is uneven and doesnÂt seal completely, the windows are crooked, framing is dented, black smudges everywhere, corners are peeling and/or cracked, frames are warped, tempered glass peeling absolutely unacceptable.

I only purchased these on the recommendation from a saleswoman that said Atrium windows were comparable to Milgard. For Milgard's sake, I sure hope not. I am still waiting to hear back from the saleslady today about having them replaced.... with another brand. I could see if maybe one or two windows had a goof here and there, but ALL of them??? C'mon now...

This last one I had marked where the interior grids were missing as per their original bid. Sorry for the humongo photos... didn't have time to resize them all. :)

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Yikes! That is a bummer for sure. As a long time vinyl window rep i can honestly say that this happens fairly often. The real question now is will they stand behind the product in a reasonably quick period of time?

Atruim has a pretty good rep, but they are big so you don't want to slip between the cracks. They may give you a bit of a hard time as to why the installer went ahead and put some of them in. Things like glass can be easily replaced after the fact. They will remake any sash units needed for a fast swap out.

Your first pic looks like the mulling strip just needs to be banged in with a rubber mallet. The second pic (if i'm seeing it right) looks like a broken frame. If that's the case - someone will have to uninstall.

Good luck, if you're persistant (and patient) i bet they can resolve most of this to your satisfaction.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 3:38PM
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I think you have a combination of very poor quality control and perhaps compounded by a bad installation. If you have a level, place it on top of the bottom sash and on the jambs to see if they were installed level. Then put a T square in the corners. If the window wasn't installed square and plumb, you may want to reconsider having the same company (or individual installer)redo the install, if that is an option. I would also be very concerned about allowing them to just order new sashes.

Hope you can get this resolved. If you still owe them money, tell them to forget about being paid until you are 100% satisfied.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 5:13PM
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Mu husbad put a level up and they are level, that's what's weird. We're meeting with the Atrium rep on Saturday. We'll see how it goes. ;)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 8:15PM
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I have sold windows and doors for years and the next QUALITY ATRIUM product I see will be the first. They should have stayed bankrupt after there patio door business put them under. Complete garbage

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 11:39AM
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Wow that is scary. I'm sorry that you guys are going through this. My experience with windows is very minimal but from your pictures some of the things look to be poor quality.

My Fiancee and I actually had a rep come out last night and bring us 2 sample windows to hang on to for a few being Atrium 8700 Series and the other being Kasson & Keller 2000 Dakota series. At first appearance the Atrium was nice but we've been examining the window closely and we're noticing the aluminum U shaped spacer in between the glass isn't level on both sashes, to close properly one needs to push the top part of lower sash outwards so the interlocking system lines up or it won't fully close and the lock won't work. To top it off the lock feels cheap and has TONS of play in it and the sample we have is not a demo but an actual brand new window that my rep brought me because they just picked up the Atrium line. Seeing this post is definitely helping me make my decision.

I'll say picking a midgrade window is hard. Obviously one could go out and get a Marvin, Anderson or Pella BUT those are big bucks and our house isn't a half million dollars plus to fit those kinds windows. Its kind of like putting some expensive aftermarket wheels on a 12 year old car thats only worth a few hundred dollars more than the wheels.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 1:01PM
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Their Atrium sales rep is coming out tomorrow to "examine" our windows. Will post the outcome. :)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 1:31AM
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Wow! That's not a sign you want to see. I hope it all works out.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 4:13PM
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Any news from the reps visit?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 2:54PM
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Well, he came out and of course offered to replace them. My DH decided to let the guy replace them (even after we agreed the night before NOT to keep them). I was quite peeved. :(

And so, Friday the new windows should be here. I imagine they will not be visibly cr*ppy like the first batch, but the underlying quality will still be the same.

At least they make up for the poor quality with decent customer service. We complained on Thursday and the rep was there Saturday. Not too shabby.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 3:26AM
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hi there. i was looking into purchasing 19 atrium 8500 windows and have them installed by a company who has been in in the window/insulation industry for 20 yrs.
which model atrium windows did you get and how are they holding up?
after seeing this 1 post i am already deciding on another brand (crystal windows), but it seems like every brand that provides vinyl windows have some sort of issue.
if anyone else has had atrium windows installed, i'd love some extra feedback.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 11:06PM
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I signed up on gardenweb just so I could respond to this one. I know windows and installation very well. Some of what I see is, no doubt, product defects. However, I also see things that could easily have been handling or installer related. In my opinion, these windows should never have been installed in the openings to begin with. I wonder what the Atrium rep had to say about that?

As to the last post, jkim820. You are right, every brand of windows have issues, just like every builder or every other manufactured brand has issues. There are a lot of people involved in the process of measuring, selling, ordering, producing, delivering, storing and installing windows. Think about the number of hands that, likely, handle a product in one way or another before it makes it to you.

I am very familiar with the Atrium 8500 and, for the money, I think it is a good value. Simply hold your installer and the window supplier accountable to reasonable standards and I don't think you would be disappointed vs. other windows in the same price range.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 10:58PM
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    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 3:01PM
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Windows on Washington

The installation is not in question.

The fact that those are poorly produced windows is also not in question.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 3:28PM
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We'd like to say that we resolved this issue to the satisfaction of the customer. We appreciate your voicing of opinions and experiences. What we have read here has allowed us to gain further insight to what our customers experience. Atrium stands behind all of the products we manufacture and believe in their quality and value. If there are any warranty issues that you feel are still unresolved, please contact us at Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 2:06PM
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Atrium do NOT make a good window in my opinion. however, the installation seems poor as well.
not saying this is what happened but when i see this kind of situation its usually because the homeowner went with the cheapest or close to the cheapest contractor and got what they paid for.
classic case of cheaper is ALWAYS MORE EXPENSIVE.
Careful, Lowes use Atrium under the "Reliabilt" name.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 8:17AM
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Fortunately, I had a good experience with replacement windows as I did avoid Atrium.

After researching replacement windows a couple of years ago, my exhaustive search led me to decide upon Simonton Windows.

Simonton manufactures the 'Weatherbeater' Windows for Sears.

I found a local dealer that had been in the business for many years, had their own installation crew, and did a spectacular job.

The Weatherbeater Windows (double pane, argon filled) were ridiculously expensive. I actually bought a higher line (triple pane, krypton filled) of Simonton windows with several enhancements for about a third of the cost the Sears rep was trying to sting me with.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 5:34PM
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