Pella Designer Series

skinnytonyDecember 25, 2005

We're doing a kitchen remodel and want to replace the slider and window in our kitchen. We want a wood interior and between-the-panes blinds (we like the accordian blinds as opposed to the aluminum). The only ones we've found are the Pella Designer Series but they blow our already bloated budget even further out of the water. Does anyone else make these at a more reasonable price? Any suggestions?

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Sorry I can't help with another manufacturer for a window with between panes blinds.

We are going with all Pella Designer Windows for our house. For the 2nd/3rd story we are getting the between the panes blinds, only we are getting the aluminum blinds. We tend to have a problem with south and west sun, top stories only, and the aluminum blind keeps out a bit more damaging sunlight.

Sorry I could not help more. Perhaps a talk with the salesman could get you a better deal.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 6:41PM
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We have been having problems ever since they were installed. So many problems that my notes are now over 10 pages long typed in word perfect. We have the designer series. Poor installation by a recommended Pella installer. Poor craftsmanship out of square windows, cracked sash, missing parts you name it. Do I recommend Pella? NO!!!!! Pella corportation does nothing but takes complaint and calls the store who then in turn gets ANGRY that you call the Pella Factory. But if the store would follow through with their promises then maybe we wouldn't call the Pella Corporation.

I have lost all respect with the Pella Corp. and specially the Independent stores trying to push this Over Priced Merchandies that doesn't live up to their name.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 1:16PM
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Anyone have experience with the Pella Designer with built in pleated shades? We're considering them for a sliding door and tilt out double hung for kitchen. A Lowes Mgr. told us they can only be purchased thru a Pella store or one of the "test" DIY stores like Lowes. Does anyone know where these "test" stores are located as the local Pella store has "hit 'em on the head" prices with installation prices beginning at $800 per unit!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 2:33PM
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I have the designer Series windows with horizonal shades not pleated and I like them. As far as poor craftsmanship mentioned above, I have to disagree. If they are not properly installed then yes things will be broke and windows will not work properly. My neighbor use to have has own company for years and exclusively sold and installed Pella windows. Eventually with bad economic times he went out of bussiness and started working for the Pella corp for servicing Pella windows for problems. If you had an isssue with your window and called Pella about it he was the one that came out to fix it nomatter what. He told me that 90% of the problems were due to poor installation from the installer. Even though it really was not a warranty issue he did make the customer happy by fixing what ever. Technically the installer should have been called back for the repair or have billed for there screw up.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 8:43PM
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does anyone know an approximate price for the pella designer series?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 12:13PM
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Another company that makes blinds between the glass is Eagle. In recent pricing I did, they were 10-15% less than Pella. Eagle windows are very well made, I'd argue superior to Pella, more in line with Marvin. But I do think that Pella's between glass shade design is better.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 3:47PM
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I ditto the responce from "disappointed" above.

As for "blue fastback" All window servicemen blame the installer. Of course it's not the windows fault. There are several articles floating around on the web regarding a class action lawsuit for Pella windows rotting out, this must be the installers fault.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 8:26PM
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Re: Cost of Pella designer windows.

I got an estimate for 33.5 wide by 47.5 long (rough opening) designer windows last month. With triple glass, raising and lowering al. blinds (also open and close) and low E coating, the cost was on the order of $750. This may have included a 20% discount as a "sale" was going on at the time.

We can't get argon filled windows at this altitude (6500 ft). Did go with Pella, but chose the Proline with double panes, low E coating and grills between the glass. These are energy star rated for our area. Had the interior wood painted as well. Cost was roughly half, about the same as Pozzi and Marvin windows of similar construction.

Michelle, White Rock NM

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 12:22PM
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We've gotten quotes from Pella and Eagle. I haven't had time to study them yet, but at a glance I can say that the Eagles are less than comparable Pellas and they do offer the blinds between the glass. Pella doesn't even make sliders, which are even less expensive, but we also priced casements from each brand.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 7:56PM
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    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 8:33PM
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Re: Triple pane

If you look at the archetect specs at various window sites, Pella, Pozzi, etc., you will find triple panes offered. The triple pane improves the energy status, including the U factor, a bit. In some windows, both the inside of the the outside pane and the inside of the inside pane can take a low E coating when you have triple panes, reducing sun damage. You still have space for "window fashions" as the air gap remains wide.

At this altitude, we need to limit brilliant sunlight all year round and still provide against below freezing nights from October into April. Thus, the apeal of a third pane. However, I think that putting cell shades over the windows improves the U factor at a more reasonable cost than adding the third pane of glass. And, in fact, that is the tactic I've taken for the metal (possibly over a foam core) windows in the remainder of the house.

Heat remains a problem for June-August, thus I am reducing the amount of glass in our sunroom, replacing it with insulated wall.

The third pane may dampen sound, fortunately, noise is not a big problem in this neighborhood.

Michelle, White Rock NM

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 11:09PM
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I really need the blinds between the glass. I can't tell you how many times my blinds/drapes/curtains/shades have been replaced on existing windows. Eagle and Pella seem to be the only vendors in the US to offer these windows (we're way behind Europe). I'm leaning toward Pella sliding doors only because they have the room darkening inserts. The price, of course, is out of this world. My problem is that some windows will be replacement, and some new construction, so I've got to "marry up" the two so the room addition matches the rest of the house. Any suggestions?

Sharon Bias, Elverta CA

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 2:01AM
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You all really haven't a clue. Without the blinds pella would have gone out of business. They are trying to make so many low end price point products to sell through the box stores the quality has suffered company wide. True, they made great products in the 70s'. So did andersen. They are now in the same shape- shipping inferior products just to get them out the door. Andersen bought eagle just to have a nice product. Marvin- still the same. Good.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 5:48PM
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Schuco windows sells a tripple pane window. It's a very nice window. They will not make claims for sound dampening and when I worked there , there was no industry standard to test windows for sound dampening. it however adds insulating value. in my humble opinion it's not really neccessary to have triple panes. the added krypton gas was nice though. and the tps glazing is again in my humble opinion the best way to seal a window. The web site is they don't seel directly to the homeowner only to dealers but if you live in the area you can pick up some returns for fairly cheap. not scratch and dents just returns most often sealed units

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 3:43PM
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Hi sgbelverta,

I have to shake my head in disappointment when I see the type of replies that you've had so far. The first response was very negative and had incorrect info; the second suggested only one window brand you didn't want or ask about and didn't even come close to addressing the issues you brought up. Anyway, here's some corrections, answers, issues:

Planetjc stated you haven't a clue, which is uncalled for. He also stated that Pella would have gone out of business if it wasn't for blinds and that their quality has suffered. The fact is that Pella has excellent performance statistics. In the three times that Consumer Reports magazine (a non-profit, unbiased consumer products research organization) has rated windows, Pella has always tested well (in the excellent category) and has always been their recommended best value window. In fact, they have the only wood/clad double hung in the country that is DP50 rated (Marvin, Eagle, and Andersen, the other 3 brands he mentioned, only reach a 30 to 40 unless they somehow modify it or only look at very teeny sizes). I'm not saying the other brands are bad, but I am saying that planetjc is wrong. Also Pella includes labor in their warranty and their service department makes house calls. Andersen does not include labor but their service guys do make house calls too. Marvin and Eagle do not have service departments at all (it's up to the dealers in the area to decide what they want to service), and Eagle doesn't even have a transferable warranty like the others. He then stated that Andersen makes inferior products just to get them shipped out the door. Andersen products are very good, as their test results show and as Consumer Reports will also testify to. Sometime salespeople for other brands of windows get a bit zealous for their own particular brand or agenda and are blind to the features of other competitors; they just think everything made by the competition is junk.

As for watboy's comments, he talked about a vinyl window without blinds(you asked for windows with blinds and mentioned two brands of wood windows), talked about sound dampening (you never mentioned it), sealing methods of the glass (you didn't ask about it), and triple paned benefits (you didn't ask about it). It's as if he never read your question but wanted a forum to discuss his preferred brand of vinyl windows.

Your questions (slightly reworded) were
1. What vendors are out there that offer between-glass blinds?
2. How can the look of the windows best match up since some will be replacements and some will be new construction?
3. Any other affordable suggestions on windows that would meet the above requirements?
Here goes.
1. Pella and Eagle are the two wood windows (with aluminum cladding) that offer between-glass blinds. Pella's blinds are (usually)about 10-15% more but not necessarily. I've never yet met anyone who has liked Eagle's current blinds more than Pella's current blinds. Also Pella between-glass blinds are available in all sizes and Eagle in only some sizes. Just compare the two for yourself and usually the price for blinds between the two brands is justifiable. Eagle has advantages two, such as more standard colors, so it doesn't hurt to compare the two on a number of variables. There are some vinyl window manufacturers out there that offer between-glass blinds, one that I'd recommend looking at is Sunrise, but I warn you the blinds will look kind of hokey compared to the nice system you'd find with Pella. However, my guess is that vinyl windows with between-glass blinds would cost less than wood windows with between-glass blinds, so it might be worth looking at for you.

2. You should have little trouble matching up the look of new construction windows and replacement windows if you're looking at Pella or Eagle. Their sashes look the same with both methods, and from the interior they would look very similar. However, on the outside, the existing window frames would be presumably be remaining in place where the replacement windows are going, so the thickness of that existing frame and sill and trim would not be present with the new construction of your project unless you do one of two things. Thing #1 is to add a similar sizes trim to the new construction windows on the outside, so all of the proportions are the same throughout. Thing #2 is when replacing the existing windows, do a full tear out (that's what I would do) so that the old window frame & sill are removed, and a new construction window custom made to that opening is put into the existing openings as well.

3. Other affordable suggestions, in order of price:
a. $ vinyl window without blinds (yeah I know you said you WANT blinds between-the-glass, but this would definitely be the lowest-cost way to go)
b. $$ wood or fiberglass windows without blinds
c. $$$ vinyl windows with blinds
d. $$$$ wood (clad) windows with blinds

I hope these answers are helpful, and that future posts on this topic could at least somewhat address the topic!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 6:33PM
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Hi True Blue

Only reason I mentioned sound dampening, triple pane, benefits and other is because see post posted by ekoreilly. I was answering this person's post. I don't even know what between pane blinds look like. I was interested in the post becaue I'm looking into getting new windows for my whole house. I have decided to go with Pella windows because of cost and being easily available and Lowes which is close to my home and the windows are easily available. I actually came on this sight to see what people are saying about Pella before I go an purchase the windows. the prices seem reasonable and the windows look solid. Schuco windows are not my preferred brand of windows. I just worked there 3 years ago and happen to know they sold triple pane windows. No more no less. So as you see I adressed a question posted in this post. This is an open forum and If I have some information than can help someone I feel like I should chime in and offere an opinion at least.

Posted by ekoreilly (My Page) on Wed, Nov 8, 06 at 20:33


As for watboy's comments, he talked about a vinyl window without blinds(you asked for windows with blinds and mentioned two brands of wood windows), talked about sound dampening (you never mentioned it), sealing methods of the glass (you didn't ask about it), and triple paned benefits (you didn't ask about it). It's as if he never read your question but wanted a forum to discuss his preferred brand of vinyl windows.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 8:04AM
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Hi Watboy, now your comments make sense. Instead of commenting on sgbelverta's recent question, you were addressing a concern from a question posted last year. So sorry to suggest you weren't paying attention to the issue. I don't know if the person who originally asked the question will ever read your answer since it was from long ago, but your intentions are good and future readers might benefit.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 8:48PM
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haha whoops did not see that the post was a year old! i need reading 101 hahahah.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 8:01AM
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we have both pleated and aluminum between the glass ones from Pella
love em also luv the rollscreens
course units are at least 5 years old some were factory installed
Most we installed ourselves after we installed the windows ourselves. We still have a few windows w/o the pella shades at this 2nd home.I guess I have to remember to visit a Pella showroom to see the latest
Just my humble opinions

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 3:15PM
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We need to replace the original aluminum single-pane windows in our 30 year old home, and love the look of Pella's designer series. However, we live in Southwest Florida where it is hot and humid, especially in the summer. Can anyone tell us how well they think the aluminum clad wood frames are likely to hold up over time in our environment? Likewise, if we get casement windows, will the interior wood trim of the window itself (which we would have Pella paint white and maintain appropriately) become damaged by being exposed to the outside air/humidity/sun if the window is cranked open on a regular basis?The casement windows would be on the North side of the house. Any advice and insights before we spend the $$$ is greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 2:09AM
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Well, just be sure of the color blinds you pick. I ordered what looked like beige in the sample and what I got was yellow and they are doing absolutely nothing about it so far. Still fighting for a swap out. I don't get why its such an issue for a standard sized door. Customer Satisfaction, sure, until you have an issue.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:11AM
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I went to a window dealer and saw the Pella Designer Series compared with the equivalent Marvin aluminum-clad wood window. Anyone seriously considering buying the Pella should find a dealer who sells both and see this simple comparison. The Pella windows use single-strength glass vs. the double-strength for Marvin. The aluminum on the outside is rolled-on versus the extruded Marvin. Just looking at the Pella aluminum on the outside there is an ugly overlapping seam. It's amazing how much nicer the Marvin are. Just see for yourself. I was set on the Pella based on reading online; seeing the windows myself convinced me Pellas are simply marketed well. They are not good windows compared to Marvins and others out there.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 9:21PM
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I have had Pella windows in two different houses over 25 years. It is a shame that they have marginalized the company by working with Lowes, etc. I agree that their quality has suffered. Case in point, 2 years after we built our last home, the French slider failed because of poor exterior aluminum cladding. The door essentially rotted out on the bottom panel. Pella, knowing full well this was not an isolated case and they were facing a potential class-action suit, refused to back the failure. It was the local distributor that did and we simply paid installation. Of course, I had to re-stain and varnish the new door, but so far so good 10 years later with the new slider.

However, the inside the glass shade systems to me were far too valuable to pass up when we were choosing windows for the new build. I simply could not imagine not having them after enjoying them for 10 years previously. They are not without problems, however, and I think that is why other window manufacturers have passed on that option. Pella constantly improves the design, but if years later you want to retrofit your existing windows, watch out, because their customer service is so abysmal, you seriously have to pitch a fit to get them to admit there are options. They just don't want to be bothered unless you are ordering thousands of dollars of product.

The bottom line is that they are not the best made window anymore on the market. Pella installers will tell you that to your face. Their customer service is even worse. However, other window companies have their own share of issues and have few options to compensate for their deficiencies.

If I rebuilt again, would I chose Pella? Probably. As I said, I cannot imagine my life without the blinds between the glass.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 12:14PM
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Not worth the price or the headache of having them installed. I recently spent a fortune on the Designer series and the whole experience has been a nightmare. The windows are not quality made and their installers are not skilled workman. I had more damage done to my house than it was worth. It has been 3 weeks and I am still waiting to have the job completed. It is the middle of winter in Colorado and one of the windows even had an air leak around it. The amount insulation around the 1 � 2 inches of space between the frame of the house and the window is minimal. The temperature in the rooms after the windows have been installed, have decreased by 2 � 3 degrees. I wish I had not spent the money. It has been one big headache and the reason I don�t want to upgrade anything in my house. Not work the value even when you go with the top of the line. But cheap and replace every 20 year you will have to do the same with Pella if not sooner.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 9:51PM
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Epiarch Designs

pella and Eagle are 2 different cats. Eagle > Pella are far as overall finish, fit, and quality. This comes from experiece using and installing both products. However I also believe Marvin makes one of the best alumn. wood clad out there, but they do not have blind option you are after.

However Pella's "triple pane" is certainly not a true triple pane that you see from Serious, Fibertec, etc. It is actually simply a typical double pane sealed window, and they add a removable 3rd sheet of glass. It is not sealed, and really gives you 0 extra u or r values in your window. However they will claim a lower U, but that is tpyically due to the blinds in the glass. However the point of this is to remove the blinds later if broken, switching out colors, etc. But do not be fooled, you are not buying a "highly energy efficient triple pane window". You are buying a Proline double pane and paying for a 3rd piece of glass. However this allows you to still have grills in the glass, and blinds too.

Ealge, on the flip side has the blinds in a fully sealed double pane window. They use a magnetic lever to raise and lower them. However you can not switch out blinds like you can with Pella, or its my understanding you can not have blinds in the glass and grills. Its one of the other. You would need exterior or interior divided lights instead. May or may not be a big deal for people.
Eagle's is cheaper then Pellas, but thats mainly bc you are not paying for that useless 3rd sheet of glass.
There are definately perks to blinds in the glass with ease of use, clean, etc. But they are pricey, and if they break, even more pricey. For our house we will most likely have them in the sliding patio door because external blinds are impossible it seems for doors, but use standard blinds mounting inside the window jamb for the rest. Much cheaper, and many more blind options as well. Plus you are not limited to Eagle or Pella.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 2:37PM
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