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Loewen or Marvin?

Posted by pds22 (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 6, 12 at 17:02

New construction and was planning on moving forward with Marvin Ultimates aluminum clad - casements, french door, sliding glassdoor. Friend who is trim carpenter suggested looking at Loewen given douglas fir usage and where now have Loewen quote that is $3k less than Marvin quote now received for mixed douglas fir.

Hence wanted to inquire to folks if would select Loewen or Marvin and if any recent Loewen experiences, concerns to be aware of. Previous posts indicate delays with delivery times and service for Loewen. Also seems as if Loewen did not fare so well with housing downturn unlike Marvin which gives some concern as well. There are only a couple Loewen dealers in my area vs several Marvin dealers.

Also saw previous post as to Loewen standard not being vertical douglas fir but rather "flat grain" douglas fir. Is this correct?

Thanks in advance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

Yes Loewen standard is "mixed grain" Douglas Fir which I feel is a good stable window wood (better in my mind than Ponderosa Pine). Loewen I don't have much experience with as the dealer I had worked for took on the line same time I left. However a very good friend of mine has the exclusive territory dealership in NYC and he tells me they are a excellent product and very comparable in quality to Marvin.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

+1

Everything I have seen and read puts them right on par with the premium woods out there.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

The "vertical grain doug fir" is more please aesthetically but really does not any strength to the wood. If they are cheaper than the Marvin Ultimates I would run with them as from what I have been told they are more in a lot of markets!


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

I resurrect this thread because I, too, have the same question.

We will be replacing 12 double hung windows in a house built in 1980 because they are originals with single panes, are somewhat drafty, the exterior aluminum has chipped on some of them, and the wood interiors have definitely seen better days (considerable flaking and fading is evident on most of them).

So we think it's time for an upgrade to double pane low e 366 glass. I have received bids from a Marvin dealer for the Ultimates with ponderosa pine and a Loewen dealer for their douglas fir mixed grain with the 70% extruded Kynar exterior. The replacement windows will all be double hungs.

The Loewen bid is approximately $3,700 less than the Marvin bid for everything, including taxes, installation, and staining of the new windows. I'm wondering if the Marvin Ultimates are worth that much of a difference.

Yes, the staining and installation cost, which I don't know, make the comparison a little tricky, but we are focusing on the bottom line to us.

Based on the experts' advice above, we are leaning toward Loewen but wanted to see if there has been any new thoughts or concerns with doing so.

The only potential downside of using Loewen that I can foresee might be followup service down the road in that I suspect the current Loewen dealer might not be around to the end of the warranty period whereas the Marvin presence seems well established in my area.

Any advice?

Thank you.

This post was edited by radar on Wed, Jan 15, 14 at 14:13


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

Marvin Ultimate's are not fiberglass, Integrity and Infinity would be fiberglass and should be less than Ultimates. So I am confused some what as to what your actually quoted on?


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

Sorry, we were quoted on the Ultimates, not the Integreties. No fiberglass involved.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

OK then. It really is a toss up then with which company will give you the best service in your opinion. I think the Marvin is a nicer window while the Loewen is still a very nice window it is a small step down from Marvin. If your gut is telling you the Loewen guy may not be around long term then that would weigh pretty heavy towards my decision as you know Marvin dealers will always be around. While I have no doubt that Loewen itself will be around there very well be no distributor in your area of this guys goes out of business.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

Good advice above. On product alone I think that the Loewen probably presents a better value here, but I would DEFINITELY give proper weight to the stability, reputation, and quality of the company that sells and installs the windows. That could well be worth more than the $3700...
...Imagine 5 years from now, your windows are all twisted up and leaking. You go back to the dealer and he is out of business. Now you go to Loewen directly and they tell you that the issues were 100% installation related and there is nothing that they can do. The company installing should get at least as much weight as the product itself. Stuff like this happens everyday in this industry. FAR too many dealers selling for cheap because they don't understand how to run a business, so 5 yrs later their doors are closed.

This post was edited by HomeSealed_WI on Wed, Jan 15, 14 at 16:38


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

Very goods points, which reflect my concerns, too. I don't know the likelihood of the Loewen windows needing warranty work 5 or more years from now, but if that chance is really pretty darn remote, then I'd be tempted to go with them. Otherwise, it's probably not a chance worth taking....


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

Loewen makes a good window, but all windows have little things from time to time. A glass seal failure, stress crack, a hardware piece breaks, and so on and so forth. As I mentioned above however, that is not as much a concern. You would simply get those parts from another Loewen dealer, if not manufacturer direct. The concern is where the installation is concerned. When it comes to major warranty claims in the first 10 years, improper installation is astronomically more common than product failure. If/when that should happen and your dealer is no longer around, you are SOL quite frankly... Not saying that will happen, but just something to keep in mind and give proper weight.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

The other thing to think about is why would you suspect this dealer may not be around? Investigate whether ir not this maybe due to the fact that his business is not doing well possibly due to workmanship.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

I agree. Clearly there is some reason that you are feeling cautious about this company, I'd probably go with your gut on that.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

The business seems fine. It's been around for 7 years or so. It's just that the owner is 50 and has 5 employees. A small family operation. When the owner decides it's time to retire, I'm not sure there will be a successor.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

Generally, owners don't just walk away from a business they've built up over many years. He's most likely got a plan in place for his departure.

The Loewen window is a fine product, and unlikely to give you much trouble. If you do end up needing something down the road and the dealer is gone, you've got $3000.00 to use. If the don't have any issues, you've got a fair savings in your pocket.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

+1. At 50 yrs old, most business owners are not planning on getting out anytime soon, especially not after only 7 yrs. I'd thoroughly vet any company that you are considering, but I would not disqualify the, based solely on that.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

Thanks again for all your input.

My only concern with the local Loewen dealer is about getting service 10-15 years from now should he close up shop. The next closest Loewen dealer, at this time, is 350 miles away. Maybe Loewen will expand its dealer network over the next 10-15 years.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

You mention the Loewen being $3000 less. That may be a large percentage or a minimal one as you do not tell us what the overall price neighborhood was. To me that may make a difference as in if the job 75k worth of doors and windows I would run with the Marvin's all day as I believe them to be the "better" window. However if the total was 20k Loewen all day!


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

A followup question: for those of you who believe the Ultimate is a better window, in what way(s)?


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

  • Posted by oberon north central (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 8:38

Way off topic, but what the heck. Puts a bit of a different spin on the subject:

January 7, 2013

Marvin Windows & Doors and Loewen usually battle for sales with homeowners, architects and builders, but this week, employees of the neighboring window and door makers will face off in an international border battle for bragging rights on the hockey rink.

About 90 miles separate Warroad, Minn.,"home of Marvin" and Steinbach, Manitoba "home of Loewen". A group of Loewen employees will make the trip south on Saturday, Jan. 12, to help inaugurate Warroad’s newly remodeled Olympic Arena. The game begins at 4:30 p.m.

There is no charge for admission to the game, but free-will donations will be accepted to raise funds for new tables and seating in the arena lobby. Concession sales at the event also will go toward lobby furnishings, and there will be a raffle of VIP hockey gear and other items.

“We’re happy to invite our friends from Loewen to Warroad, to show them how we play hockey in Minnesota,” says Paul Marvin, Marvin's director of materials. “All kidding aside, these are two great companies that share a Northern heritage and a love of winter sports that crosses national borders. We’ll have players from just about every department, and every age range."

Refereeing the game will be Warroad native, NHL All-Star and 1980 Olympic gold medal “Miracle on Ice” team member Dave Christian. Despite being a Warroad native, Christian is uniquely suited to referee the game without favoritism, as he is also quality manager of Cardinal Glass in Fargo, N.D., which produces insulating glass for both Marvin and Loewen.

Another local legend, Marvin plant manager and 40-year employee Ron Lund, has signed on to manage and coach the Warroad squad. “It will be a fun event to raise money for a worthy cause "and one team will go home with some friendly bragging rights,” Marvin says, adding that there are already plans for a rematch in March on Loewen’s turf.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.windowanddoor.com/news-item/noteworthy/marvin-and-loewen-face-hockey-match

This post was edited by oberon on Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 20:03


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

OK guys, it's decision time. Any last minute thoughts would be appreciated.

The price differential between the Loewens and the Marvin Ultimates is now down to $1,800 on a 20k job.

They both carry 20 year warranties on glass failure and the aluminum cladding (both Kynar 70%), but Loewen goes 20 years for the wood (Douglas fir) whereas Marvin is 10 (pine).

I would be interested in learning whether the Ultimates are a superior window, and if so, why. If not, it looks like Loewen.

Thanks!


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

I usually defer to the guys that deal with wood all day (i.e. millworkman) on these comparisons between well regarded windows.

I can comment to the extent of dealing with non-US company sometimes providing some difficulties with lead and turn around time.

The few times I have seen complaints about Marvin, they appear to have been handled extremely well and fairly.

I think you are in the comparison of a Lambo vs. Ferrari at this point. Both are great...it just depends on your preferences.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

The performance numbers could be compared such as U value, DP ratings and air infiltration. The actual air numbers can be elusive to find as most wood window companies post only the minimum standard, but they are out there somewhere.
I always encourage to examine the actual product and look at construction, build quality, ect.
As WOW has eluded to they are both nice units and it may come down to personal preference, performance numbers, small details in the construction of it.
The biggest difference just may come down to installation and warranty and that can make all the difference.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

From my experience the windows are fairly comparable. Loewen isn't quite furniture finish quality on the interior as there is some final work to be done to the interiors. There is a pretty big difference on the doors, so hopefully you have seen those and as wow referred to, Loewen's leadtimes can be excessive so check those at time of order to make sure your project isn't delayed.


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RE: Loewen or Marvin?

I'd be most interested in the actual air infiltration numbers, the others are easier to obtain.From what others have said here the Marvin air infiltration number is quite high, have seen Loewen's?


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