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pella versus jeld-wen

knoxvillHokie's picture

My wife and I are building a new house.  We've gotten comparable quotes on Jeld Wen "Builders Windows" and Pella Proline.    We are going with low E, pop-in grilles, pre-painted white on the inside, white aluminum clad on the outside.

Any thoughts on JeldWen versus Pella.  Both seem like fairly good choices to us.

Thanks  in advance.


(post #69239, reply #1 of 23)

In that lower price range, I would go with Andersens



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We did the best we could...

(post #69239, reply #22 of 23)

There's been many threads like this. How much does the performance of a window depend on its installation rather than the brand.?????

(post #69239, reply #23 of 23)

Installation errors cause leaks from outside or around the perimeter frame.  Leaks from somewhere within the unit are the cause of faulty design or manufacture.

Installation errors can cause faulty operation, such as doublehungs with bowed-in frames in which one cannot operate sash, cross-legged casements that won't close and seal right, etc.

Most air and water infiltration issues encountered soon after installation are the fault of the installer.

And most of the well-known brands of windows produced today will perform well if installed well.  What you are hearing about here are mostly fit-and-finish, and service-related issues.

(post #69239, reply #2 of 23)

I've had much more success with Pella.  I just installed a jeld wen door (on one of my own buildings) and within 48 hours there were laminated issues on the bottom rail.  (even though I primed it with oil based 'cover stain' in the shop before it saw any weather) 

another jeld wen door I installed (again for myself) had begun to separate somewhat at the joints. 

a third door is hanging in fine, but then again it's covered by a porch roof.

my pella windows show no problems.

(post #69239, reply #4 of 23)

I've been inspecting re-sale homes for 22 years now so have seen a lot of early Pellas up here in the cold north. Most are operating well but need small maintenance such as replacing some seals for the inner pane- a small job. The jenwelds,marvins and Andrsens that make it up here are all fairly new and haven't had much working history. If it were my house, I'd be giving the Pellas a hard look, especially for their between-the-pane features.

The glazing system on the 2 pane Pella models is much more efficient and resistant to condensation at the sash edges. The wood spacer as part of the sash is much warmer than many sealed pane edges. The sealed pane units have a glass-metal spacer-glass sandwich at the edges that does not offer much resistance to heat loss and hence a cold edge leading to condensation in colder weather. Some sealed panes now have better edge spacers so ask for them if you buy the Jenwelds.

(post #69239, reply #3 of 23)

another Andersen fan.

They've got a great service program if you ever have problems with them.

(post #69239, reply #5 of 23)

The Pella ProLine window is a better unit than the JeldWen.  It is better than the Andersen 200, and even better than the Andersen 400.

If you have any hinged or sliding patio doors in the job, go with the ProLine also.

(post #69239, reply #6 of 23)

I thought Proline was the cheap crap that Pella developed to sell at Lowes.

(post #69239, reply #8 of 23)

Pella's "between the blinds" are MUCHO expensive.

I was looking for a 60" french door. Andersen "equivalent" was like $2800 from HD (not including installation).

Pella @ Lowes was like $2400

The Pella with in-between blinds (Lowes cannot sell them) from our local Pella store:


I think for the almost $2,000 price difference I can have blinds on the inside.

Quality wise the pella and the Anderson 400 series seem the same to me. (based on looks).

(post #69239, reply #9 of 23)

I agree, the Pella proline and the Andersen 400 are of similar initial quality.

The difference comes in once you get a couple of years on them, pella makes their best effort to ignore you while Andersen jumps through hoops to make any problem right again.

Also, the Andersen cladding is fused righ to the substrate, while the Pella is only an AL clad. There are numberous stories of it being wrapped in the wrong direction and trapping water to rot the underlying wood sash, which Pella looks on with a blind eye.



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Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!



Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #69239, reply #10 of 23)

I have been a fan of the Pella ProLine since they came out.  And when they came out, I was in a market that Pella owned so well that Andersens were rarely seen.

I never heard of the failures of which you speak, re the water intrusion due to cladding misfabrication or bad assembly.

I lived with a house full of Pellas for 15 years, and the place was 7 years old when we bought it.  Never a problem.

Service levels run hot and cold depending on where you are.  In my present location, the Pella serviceman will beat the volunteer fireman to your house, while you play phone tag for a week and a half with the Andersen guy.

(post #69239, reply #15 of 23)

about 6-8 years ago, maybe a little longer, there were a bunch of news articles about the failure of Pella windows- they had rotted from the inside out. And all those Pellas customers were pretty much left on their own to fix the problem.

Now I admit that I haven't used Pella more than a 1/2 dozen times in 30 years. Part of it is dealing with their dealer network. Its much more convenient to just go to my regular yard and place the order for lumber, windows and doors at one time.

And over the years I've only had to call Andersen's customer service a few times for problems, which they have taken care of promptly. I usually don't even have to be on the job. Their service tech makes the appointment, shows up, and takes care of the problem.

(post #69239, reply #17 of 23)

Quote:"about 6-8 years ago, maybe a little longer, there were a bunch of news articles about the failure of Pella windows- they had rotted from the inside out. And all those Pellas customers were pretty much left on their own to fix the problem."

Sometimes you have to be careful about "news articles" since the press is generally looking to sensationalize anything that sells more copies. They are not specialists in anything that they report on and as such are not able to know the full validity of claims being made. I've seen things reported/claimed even by some of the syndicated popular housing writers that are far from the facts as known in the research.

About six years ago, a window and glazing consultant who told me a story about a windows lawsuit where he was brought from about 1500 miles away as an expert witness. In one of the northern, cold plains states a man's new windows were "sweating" profusely. In the first complaint from the homeowner, it was determined by the local window dealer that the man ran the house at a very high RH like 55-65% in the winter. He had replaced his older windows because they also had sweated but had not mentioned this to the window dealer at any point in the sale/installatin transaction.

The man would not accept the high RH as the/his problem but blamed the windows as being the problem and sued the dealer and manufacturer. The trial was held before a single judge.........who ruled with the man!!!!!! Even when the expert said the high RH was the problem! The window manufacturer paid about $10,000 for the dealer (since he was right) and they didn't want to pursue the case to an appeal. It was just cheaper to pay up and let it die!!

So if you heard the storey "about the payment by a window manufacturer" (the juicy part of the episode) and didn't know a window expert didn't blame the windows, what would you think??? Right, this guy has a prettty poor product!! NOT

(post #69239, reply #16 of 23)

I can't agree more on the location issue.  There are markets more heavily saturated w/ educated service reps for different man. products no matter where you go.  Where I live, I have installed many Pella and Andersen windows and have seen more issues with the Andersens than the Pella.  I have seen Andersen cladding actually fall off, (more than one window, two years in between).  As far as Jeld-Wen, all I can think of is the old crappy Wenco Windows that were about $75 for a 32-48 double hung; can't get myself past that visual to even look down that road. 

(post #69239, reply #18 of 23)

I've come to the opinion that service history and the local rep dispensing it is 40% of the decision when it comes to windows.



Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!



Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #69239, reply #13 of 23)

Don't be buying windows at the Depot or Lowes. Last order I had for Anderson 400 windows and doors was 38k at my supply yard. The Depot was having a big Anderson promo so just for kicks I gave them a copy of the order. Their price was 46k. The fella said, "well we match any price". I said "oh you folks now have free delivery and carry the order inside the house?" Poor guy just looked sad eyed and I said "yep it's no fun letting shoplifters just walk out the door if the put things back, which is all a 'price match ' is.
My supply yard has always beat the big boxes by more than 10% with no payment until good are delivered on site.
I once asked a manager at Lowes how they could keep low prices with all the money spent on 'lowest price' signs and the break room always having more workers there than the checkout registers. No answer then either.

(post #69239, reply #14 of 23)

Wow, I wish our places were like that. Around here, the local places are about 30% more on Andersen and Pella than Lowes and HD.

I got annhilated (because I needed it sooner than a special order from the HD) for two sets of Andersen windows. $1700 each. If I could've waited the 4-6 weeks for the HD it would've been about $1200 each.


(post #69239, reply #7 of 23)

I've never used Jeld-win, but I have done two complete houses with Pella Proline windows and have had no problem.

I dont know about the jeld wins, but the Pellas are aluminum clad. Thats why I choose them over the andersons (which were vinyl clad).


Family.....They're always there when they need you.

(post #69239, reply #11 of 23)

I recently purchased Jeld-Wen windows and doors. I went with all wood, (no AL or vinyl). I looked around locally and couldn't find any other distributor for all wood.

Their customer service has been incredible.

The pre-priming left a little to be desired, but it wasn't the worst. The aura-last (TM) wood is supposed to be top-knotch.

If I were a builder I probably wouldn't have bothered with this line (my time is less valuable), I would went with the Aluminum clad, hung the window and been done with it. No more priming, pre-painting etc.

However, you should check out this thread before you make a decision:




Edited 12/1/2005 10:28 am ET by Sailfish


"I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that's all the ammunition they had" -Sheriff G. Judd."

(post #69239, reply #12 of 23)

I've used both brands (bought from Home Depot) and would probably vote for Pella.  I did two windows and a patio door this summer and wasn't impressed with the Home Depot version of Jeld-Wen. 

The window screens were very difficult to remove and install (they needed to be 1/8" smaller) and if the sliding door had been 1/16" longer, it would have been impossible to remove it from the frame.  The millworks guy at HD told me that HD was really twisting Jeld-Wen's arm to keep cost down and that Jeld-Wen seemed to be cutting corners on "fit and finish".

I just installed 12 Andersen "Frenchwood" doors in a McMansion, and we had some real issues with the three point latches.  The bottom latch arm would swing partially out and whack the wood stile when the door was closed.  Andersen sent 12 replacement latch mechanisms but they did the same thing.  Apparently, Andersen redesigned the latches a year or so ago and they've had lots of complaints.

(post #69239, reply #19 of 23)

Andersen is the best in service.  I needed a few parts for some Andersen windows that were 60 or 70 years old.  No problem.  Screw holes and everything lined up.  The rep was all apologetic because the replacement parts were stamped steel.  The original were die cast.

I own apartments and I can't tell you how many times I've had to rip something out and throw it away because some small but necessary part was "unavailable"

(post #69239, reply #20 of 23)

One problem with comparing Jeld-Wen with anything else is the question of "which" Jeld-Wen is being compared.  Since Jeld-Wen seems to be in acquisition-mode most of the time, there really isn't a specific or generic or typical "Jeld-Wen window" out there.

In other words, is it Jeld-Wen Pozzi, Jeld-Wen Wenco, Jeld-Wen Caradco, Jeld-Wen Norco...or what about Jeld-Wen Summit or one of the other half-dozen or so window companies that Jeld-Wen has acquired over the past few years.... 

So when trying to compare Jeld-Wen to any other company it helps to know which Jeld-Wen is being compared.

Edited 12/3/2005 8:42 am ET by Oberon

(post #69239, reply #21 of 23)

I have been remodeling for 20 years here in Iowa. If it were my house I would choose Anderson over Pella or Jeld-Wen. For years after the rest of industry went to thermal pane windows Pella persisted in their removable double pane so they could sell the blinds between the panes. We have many Pellas up here that are rotten because of condensation. Their stuff is a true thermal pane now but the basic philosophy of Pella has been sell what is best for us and the heck with the customer. I too have ordered sash and parts for 50 year old Andersons and the fit was great.  I have also seen Anderson make good on glass that has gone bad within the warranty period. 

Vinyl wrap vs aluminum clad. The Anderson vinyl has held up pretty well, but it's still vinyl. I have seen Marvin's jointed units fail where they where factory jointed and the water leak caused extensive damage. That's when I like the vinyl wrap, it's seamless on many of their windows. That's my two cents.