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Great Lakes WindowPoor quality

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Purchased 8 replacement windows less than 6 years ago. Over the last 3 years at least one of the windows has suffered a broken seal and mold is growing in between the dual panes of glass.

Great Lakes does send out replacement glass but I'm responsible for the cost of getting the new glass installed in the vinyl frame. They don't send a complete, ready to install pane.

3 of 8 windows (so far) is a horrible failure rate and I just hope to keep other prospective window buyers from purchasing the same low quality product I'm now stuck with.

Responses

  • Ar
    Arvada63 Sep 07, 2009

    About 6 years ago we had a high-end PlyGem garden window installed as a replacement for a cheap, original construction wooden garden window. We went with gas-filled triple pane easy-clean glass with the insulation option on the outside bottom, and with oak base and interior trim. This is the best window/door on the house and we had only 2 years earlier spent over $30K on replacing all of our other windows and doors with Pella Designer series replacements. Don't get me wrong, the Pella stuff is good stuff, but the PlyGem garden window is a wonder of beauty and durability under extremely harsh weather extremes (golf ball size hail, high altitude UV, 100 degree summers, -15 degree winters, 3-foot snows).

    I can't recommend strongly enough the quality of materials and construction of the PlyGem garden window and its durability. BTW, it is PlyGem windows by Great Lakes Windows, not the other way around.

    Arvada, CO.

    1 Votes
  • Ch
    C.H56 Nov 15, 2009

    I used to work for them and I can say the management sucks. People are trained to make windows as fast as possible and are not given the time to check for such things as seal failure in your case. If Its not broken or has a huge flaw by the time its at the end of the assembly line...guess what? Its going on a truck to be put in your home. I have been told to send defected materials because they will miss scheduled delivery if remade.

    -6 Votes
  • Gu
    GusH Jan 25, 2010

    I am a Great Lakes Windows dealer. I worked at the largest replacement window company in our state which died of big overhead in 2003, but some of us award winning workers decided to open a small overhead shop and still service the Great Lakes Window our former employer had sold 60, 000 of. We do this gladly and for free with the proven idea that people will recommend us and buy more windows from us. Your problem is that you don't know a good thing when you see it. Traco and Republic are gone, no warranty there. I am a Silverline dealer as well, the warranty has three sections and lettered A-W take away disclaimers basically saying they cover nothing if they don't want to. I have been to houses that have repurchased Marvin windows after the first claim of bad sealer only to have mold show up in a few years. Most of the companies won't cover anything after a few years. Most of them try to blame it on improper installation. Recently someone gave me a quote on the glass doctor for one small glass pack with a two year materials (only) warranty of $258 and Rapid Glass and other companies are like that. Most of us charge $150 trip charge at most for a large picture window or patio door glass and if there is another only $25 to $35 addtional. What you are whining about is a like a co- pay! You are so glad to finally get a company that answers the phone that you have lost your senses and think they should pay for everything. What you didn't say is that many of the Great Lakes Windows products also cover accidental breakage and perhaps your handling of the windows could be part of the problem.

    We service 60, 000 of the GLW windows from 16 to 11 years old and 10, 000 from the last 6 years. We have about 100 service requests per year and GLW sends the parts for the all with few questions, as they have a two home owner, life of the structure warranty and even though few people pay the $75 to transfer and some might even be a third home owner, they happily send the part. There are a few houses that get a couple of these a few years in a row, and then 20 others with zero ever. So you had a few seal failures on your windows and you're whining about a little labor charge? Check your attitude. Anderson and Pella and the other guys still in business would have you paying for the part too and with a lot of hassel to boot!

    You don't know how good you have it!

    -2 Votes
  • Sp
    Sparklesue May 16, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @GusH We bought a home with one Uni Frame window. The man and women died in the last year, and their son destroyed everything in the house that was paper. No warranty info. We need replacement parts. What do we do? Don't know who contractor was. [protected]@gmail.com

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Mara Craver Aug 17, 2018

    @GusH I am having a terrible time with my Great Lakes Windows. How can I contact you?

    -1 Votes
  • Hi
    HIC DD Jan 26, 2010

    I have either installed or sold windows for over 30 years. The last 13 years I have owned the company that I have worked for. I find that the Great Lakes/Plygem window is one of the best on the market. When a problem arises, they take care of the parts and my distributor takes care of the labor. Maybe the homeowner who is having the problem should talk to their contractor about warranty work. We service our work. Did they buy from a reputable contractor? Any future work should include a specific written labor warranty.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Mark DeRo Feb 09, 2010

    This company sucks!!! I have had 4 windows damaged due to leakage. DO NOT USE PLY GEM OR GREAT LAKES WINDOWS!!!

    3 Votes
  • K1
    k1875 Jun 02, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @Mark DeRo We are on our 2nd bow window and both leaked within a couple of years. It was difficult to get anyone to respond. When the second window first leaked they sent a guy out to fix it. And his response to our comment "it shouldn't have leaked this soon" was: "I wouldn't have a job if the their windows didn't leak". We were not impressed to say the least. Window continued to leak and we didn't notice it until the wood started to rot on the inside. Wonder how long it will take someone from Great Lakes to come out and what the labor cost will be to replace it

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    WindowCust Mar 05, 2010

    I have heard from a salesperson for the Ply-Gem product that the distributor targets elderly people for window replacement they may not need. The company has lists of potential customers (following obituaries of deceased spouses is one tactic) which they use to agressively sell window replacements for the entire home. These customers may have more pressing needs for their money and/or may not understand the true condition or replacement value in energy to their homes versus the money they are spending. I get a bad vibe about Ply-Gem in general. I bought one "Obama energy" window before I understood Ply-Gem's window problems and unsavory distributor marketing tactics. Time will tell as to how long the window lasts.

    -1 Votes
  • I have been trying to get a Great Lakes rep to my home for over a year now. All of my windows in my 6 year old home look like they have mold growing in the glass. I can't even see out of my windows. I am still trying to get them here. I am once again on a 3 week waiting list. We will see. The installer has informed me i will have to pay for the installation of the new windows which is going to cost me a fortune since i will have to have two installers to replace my large dining room window. At $50 to $100 an hour to install it will cost me thousands to replace all of my windows. Why should i be responsible for paying for faulty windows, when the company is clearly aware they have a problem.

    -1 Votes
  • Da
    Dalton holms Jul 09, 2010

    I purchased 13 replacement windows nine years ago. One had to be replaced because my son droped it. The company that sold and installed them replaced it at no charge. NO Complaints! Sometimes good companies get a bad name because of bad dealers. Get ahold of the attorney general in your state.I bet they wont have to wait long.

    1 Votes
  • Bu
    butterflyangel28 Sep 16, 2010

    i used to work for great lakes/plygem windows, and I ran the window frame cleaning machines. I can say from personal experience that the quality of the windows are great, despite what some people might say, they do inspect every window before it goes to finals[before they send it out, and trust me they will not hesitate to send it back down the line if there are any defects and the person who caused or overlooked the defect has to correct it before it is sent out to customers. Just because the management likes for you to be very fast paced at your job does not mean that they overlook damaged of defective windows, they have an hourly target that you have to reach so that the windows are sent out to their customers in a timely manner. I have seen the end result in the making of the windows and the windows are by far the best quality window that you will get or purchase. They are a good investment and compliment your home perfectly.

    4 Votes
  • Sc
    SCOTT KUK Oct 15, 2010

    CHECK THE BBB ON PLY GEM I AM SURE YOU WILL FIND AN A PLUS RATING. THESE WEP SITES HAVE NO CREDABILITY I WILL BET HALF THE PEOPLE [censor]IN DONT EVEN OWN PLY GEM WINDOWS!

    1 Votes
  • Dj
    djuppity Dec 21, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    you guys all confuse the [censor] out of me - thanks for the helpful [censor]ing confusion

    -2 Votes
  • Pe
    Peg Christensen Dec 24, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I DID purchased 21 top of the line ply gem windows that have been inspected by the manufacturer who said they were installed correctly, but they leak, buzz and can blow a candle out with them closed!!! The company has been giving us the run around since May! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!

    -1 Votes
  • Si
    sick of corrupt greed Jan 09, 2011

    We too have spent thousand of dollars replacing our windows with Plygem windows only to have the same problem. The repair tech has been out numerous times only to tell us you can't stop wind from coming in on real windy days!! I thought that was what they told us when we replaced them, that we won't feel that anymore with their windows RIGHT!!! Don't waste your money on these windows. They are just as bad as their support once you have paid for them. Take the money and run!! Now we are left to deal with leaky windows or spend thousands again to replace these. I sure hope the CEO is enjoying our money!!

    -3 Votes
  • Pe
    Peg Christensen Jan 09, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    What was the manufacturing plant you got them out of, Toledo Ohio? We live in Iowa and they came from that plant, maybe if that is the same plant we could collaborate??

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    MARK MINELLI Jan 23, 2011

    SPENT A LOT OF MONEY ON THESE WINDOWS FROM COUNTRY WINDOWS AND SIDING IN ORANGE COUNTY NY AND I WISH I WOULD HAVE READ THIS BEFOREHAND I GOT THE TRIPLE WINDOWS AND THEY ARE THE WORST WINDOWS IVE EVER SEENTHEY ALL BOWED AND CRACKED I DONT KNOW WHATS WORST THE WINDOWS OR THE COMPANY THAT INSTALLED THEM

    -1 Votes
  • Di
    Dicky Trickle May 17, 2011

    PlyGem should be called Lie Gem.

    -1 Votes
  • Sa
    SAD IN MN Jul 17, 2011

    I agree very poor windows. we have had one window replaced because it cracked when the new one came we found out we paid for front windows with a higher rating with gold window grids only to find out you cannot get that window with grids in them but we paid for them, out of all pour windows 21 windows three of them have broken seal (our front livingroom windows) they all crank out only 3 window we can open because the cranks do not work! WOW!!!

    -1 Votes
  • Pa
    Patt iO-D Aug 19, 2011

    Cindy was so pushy and agressive. First she was late, then I could not get her to leave after she'd been here 3 hours!!! I practically had to beg her for the estimate that was over 50% more than any of the others we got!! I hated the fact that I had to fill out a "workbook" and play games with her. For this type of sales tactic alone I would never, ever buy from her and I will tell everyone I know to avoid Ply Gem, Great Lakes, and Remodel America's windows and other products!!

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    kathleen sweet Nov 25, 2011

    I brought ll windows and a patio door from great lakes back in 2002 since then 3 windows heaved fogged up and one has broken. Since the windows are fairly new yet I fee that they should be replaced with no charge. not so. I will have to pay over$ 2, 000 just for these 3 windows not including labor. I will never again buy windows from any dealer that sells Great Lakes windows.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Markbet Dec 06, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have had Great Lakes windows since 12/2005. Two years ago, I had a window lose it's seal and fog up on the inside of the two glass panels. Called Great Lakes, gave them the number from the sticker on the window, and with no problem, a replacement window including the frame was shipped, popped the old out, popped the new one in. 12/6/2011, I have had another window lose it's seal, same thing, provided the needed information, and the window is on it's way. My experience with Great Lakes customer service has been nothing short of great.

    4 Votes
  • Nu
    nuview Jan 05, 2012

    Installed a Ply Gem garden window in a customer's home three years ago, and the seal has failed already...Ply Gem is sending a replacement, but I will have to supply labor...not sure if its a reflection on the brand or not, each and every garden window I ever installed, regardless of brand, has eventually failed. Three years just seems rather fast. I now strongly discourage my customers from considering garden windows. If anyone knows of any that hold up well, I'd love to hear about them

    -1 Votes
  • An
    Ann in Houston Mar 22, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We had 13 Great Lakes vinyl windows installed in 1999. This year they all began to fog up. If I put my hand on the window, I can feel the heat/cold on the inside pane. At first they also filtered out noise. Now we are hearing a lot of noise. Because there is no moisture between the panes, they claim they are not defective. We assumed that the gas had just seeped out. Now they have informed us that the windows sold in 1999 did not contain argon gas. Does anyone know if this is true? Since the company that sold and installed them no longer uses their windows, are we just up a creek?

    -1 Votes
  • Be
    Bernie B. Dec 14, 2012

    After getting 5 different estimates for replacement windows, I am more confused then ever. No matter what brand of window, I read so many bad reviews about replacement windows. Where are the good replacement windows for the State of Florida? Two of the estimates were PlyGem windows, one co. wants to sell me the 1100 series and the other co. wants to sell me the 3600 series. Trying to find out which one is better, there seems to be no reports (unless I don't know where to look). It is funny that here in FL they build new homes with aluminum windows but need to replace then in a few years. Then you hear that those new ones having problems. I am beginning to think that the best window is the old fashion wood kind with storm windows being seperate. Where are the good quality windows?

    -1 Votes
  • Kl
    KL Mich. Dec 19, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I replaced all the windows in my house (34) and two sliding doors and have issues with almost every one of them. I paid for what I was told was "the best window and door on the market". I fell for it. After the windows and doors were installed I proceeded to wash them. Three of the first 6 windows I washed had scratches in the glass, between the pains and outside. I naturally began inspecting every window and door very carefully. I am not a supper fussy person, but the quality issues I found were not acceptable. I had a Ply Gem factory rep out to my house. He said they will replace all the windows with glass issues and replace the door walls. Now all of a sudden I went from brand new windows and doors to reconditioned windows and doors. That is not what I paid for. I would not recommend this company to anyone.

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    bigbox25 May 06, 2013

    We are in a big box store that sells these...and 1 the REP is horrible! Degrading me and another associate in the aisle...2.Customer ordered 25 windows and every one of them came in with extra molding on it that the customer had to cut away from each window...3. We ordered windows for someone and the whole order got shipped with the exceeption of one (which was the same as another window that came in )..the customer that ordered them we actually talked into dealing with us instead of competitors and now I doubt we would ever have her business back!!! They said we were suppose to get it 2 weeks ago and now it's still not here the people from the office we have been speaking to never call us back or dont have answers for us. They are horrible!!! It's ridiculous to the point we have called our corporate office to have them removed out of our stores! Horrible company to order from...Also they are level by no means the glass tends to set weird when installed(per a customer). I refuse to sell these in my store now because of all the issues we have with them!

    0 Votes
  • Kl
    KL Mich. May 23, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I ordered my windows in Aug, 2012 and as of May, 2013 I am still having door and window issues that will require replacement. The factory rep came out as promised to do replacement 7 times, and still has not completed the job. I thought I did my homework on this one but I guess I forgot to double check it. I hate bashing this company since I do have a lifetime guarantee and I don't want them to go out of business, but seriously.

    -1 Votes
  • Sa
    SanGus Mar 16, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have had Great Lakes Windows since 1999. Two years ago I noticed the Oak Vinyl on the sash was discolored. Everything went downhill from there. After 6 months the vinyl literally wore off to the wood. I called the 800 number and was directed to a local dealer to repair the window. I was told that since the sash is defective it can't be repaired .The entire bay must be replaced for the cost of approximately $2, 000.00.
    This being because of the age of the window they no longer use the same design. Excuse me??? There's a lifetime warranty for as long as I own the house not to mention that's what I paid for it originally. However, they did offer to repair the bad seal on another window for the labor cost of $ 80.00. By the way ...if I had $2, 000.00 I would NOT replace the window with a Great Lakes.
    Your warranty's a Sham and it sucks!

    -1 Votes
  • Ki
    K in MN May 10, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Has anyone had issues with a musty, moldy smell coming from their windows? We have had Great Lakes Windows since 2003 and 4 of our 10 windows are giving off that smell. The entire rooms smell. We actually had our wall ripped out because we thought we had mold growing between it. There was none but the smell is still there, coming from the bottom corners of the windows. We are not happy about the thought of replacing windows that have a lifetime warranty!

    -2 Votes
  • As
    Ashli1 Jun 30, 2014

    All 12 of our brand new (Sept 2014) Ply Gem windows are leaking in the corners. We started smelling a musty, moldy smell and soon realized that all of the windows upstairs are leaking in the corners. We also found black mold in my son's window right by his bed! Still trying to determine if it's the window's fault. Anyone else have this problem?

    -2 Votes
  • In
    ?inmind Jul 18, 2014

    I installed several of Great Lakes 3500 series from 7 to 9 years ago with no complaints, but now after reading these complaints I'm going to follow up with those customers. I'm planning to install 11 in my own home, so I don't want any issues, so I will post if there are any complaints similar to these. I do know one of my customers has since ordered a few more directly from my supplier because I no longer install, so he must be happy. All of them told me after the install they where very happy with the product saying they where quiet, much warmer, and operate smooth.

    1 Votes
  • Zo
    zombieman3000 Jan 30, 2015

    Stuff happens not everything perfect. Youll get over it yall. Just disgruntled employees getting revenge by making stuff up...lol ...fail! Yall hide behind a computer and make stuff up cause yall couldnt come to work everyday on time. Typical toledo trash. Dont eanna work. Want stuff for free. And when yall dont get your way, you seek revenge.You know who you are!

    0 Votes
  • Zo
    zombieman3000 Jan 30, 2015

    Lol yall just seeking revenge cause yall could do a little work...lol grow up and stop hiding behind a computer and go to work. Typical toledo trash...lol

    0 Votes
  • Rt
    R.Turrent Sep 29, 2015

    I purchased six Great Lakes windows in 1992 because that was all I could afford at the time. Six windows cost me over $2, 200 and we agreed since we were told these were the "Cadillac of windows." Within five years, one of the seals broke and condensation developed. I called, and the installers replaced it it at no cost. Within the next several years, six more sections had faulty seals and needed replaced. I finally called the company two months and they sent someone out. After several weeks, after replacing the wrong order (no muttons), six new sections were installed. I received a bill for $687.00!!! I should have called the company at the first sign of condensation in the corner, but I did not. I am truly disappointed with the quality of the window and would NEVER buy them again.
    When I finally replaced the rest of the windows, the company installed Polaris windows and they are wonderful! The trim work and caulking done were superior to the previous job, too. No condensation to this date. Perhaps I can contact Great Lakes directly, but the people at the installers in Burgettstown, Pa. told me to file a complaint here. So, I remain disappointed and would use this company again.

    -1 Votes
  • Ha
    hamlin57 Dec 14, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    YES leaky windows, mine leak between the outside glass and frame, don't buy them. Bought mine at LOWE'S...

    0 Votes
  • Ji
    Jim in HVL Jan 19, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Horrible company. Been 6 weeks now for a WARRANTEED sliding glass door part for which the mortise lock broke. No part, contacted company 6 times and they are clueless and just given a run around. Cannot lock the door and no other parts fit as this is the lock with the 41" metal strip riveted to it, for which no one else makes.
    I will be filing suit under the Federal Magnuson-Moss Act

    -1 Votes
  • Ca
    CA Feb 01, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have purchased in 2015 a patio door and a large bay kitchen window manufactured by Ply Gem Great Lakes Window, and in less that a year, one of the latch/lock of my left side panel window, broke in half! Now this side cannot open or close normally without the latch. I have tried to contact the contractor who installed these windows to get the replacement part since October 2015, and to this day I am still waiting!!! Stay away not only from this manufacturer's products, but also from American Best Choice Windows, who are totally not customer service reliable, non-responsive, yet I have a life time warranty document which serves what purpose exactly to me?!! Hope someone can suggest something for me to do at this point!

    0 Votes
  • Te
    TedTed8 Mar 05, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Stay away from the Euroglide sliding pario windows - the screed doors are worthless - they do not meet properly - extremely difficult to close - the plastic part where the doors meet is ridiculous - bugs get in all the time and they are extremely frustrating - installers said there is nothing they can do about it - DO NOT BUY THESE DOORS

    0 Votes
  • Gr
    Great Lakes Window Mar 08, 2016

    Thank you for sharing your feedback. We're sorry to hear that you're disappointed with your EuroGlide patio door. If you would like to speak with us directly about this, please call our customer service department, we would like to learn more about the issues you are experiencing and see if we can offer any potential solutions. Please contact us at [protected] or [protected]@gmail.com.

    0 Votes
  • Te
    TedTed8 Apr 27, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Wish I would have known how horrible their "customer service" is. I have only been able to leave messages and no one calls back. Stay away.

    0 Votes
  • Po
    poppa1450 May 04, 2016

    I have been reading the posts on this site and I too would like to put in my 2 cents. In 1988 we had 7 casement windows and a very heavy etched six foot sliding patio door installed by a contractor who went bankrupt shortly after the job. I too have had my share of issues with mold growing inbetween the frame and glass, loss of gas, they were ARGON filled as per contract, which caused fogging of windows, vinyl covering on screens peeling off and it seems as if they no longer filter out noise and cold/heat like they used to. To add insult to injury, when you ask for replacements because they fog up, you are responsible for the labor to remove the old glass from the frame as well as remove and replace. But try to find a glazier to replace the glass! I went to a business whom Lowes recommended and their response was, I`m not familiar with this type and would not touch it. Called warranty service, Great Lakes, who told me good luck finding someone to repair them. Called Plygem and was given the names of two contractors who might be able to help as they had worked with these windows in the past. The problem is that they are in two different directions and 25-30 miles from home. Asked why they no longer send whole windows ready to install and was told that the colors they use are different from original. Mine are white on the outside and oak on the inside. wish me luck on getting someone to change the fogged glass out for new.

    1 Votes

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