Pella Windows and DoorsSqueaky, leaky expensive windows!

Review updated:

Spring, 2005 -- moved to our former rental house and paid $16,964.47 to Pella for new casement windows (doesn't include installation/finish labor and material costs). These windows replaced old double-pane sliding windows and newer outside storms. Casement windows were recommended because they were expected to provide maximum sealing when closed and offered "enclosed" blinds. We wanted triple-pane windows (the equivalent of doubles with storms), but later found we had double-pane ones (not obvious to the eye and little difference in price). We've had frost formations between "sealed" glass panes, bugs entering around locked windows, warping of a few frames (causing terrible noises when opening/closing during humid weather), and cold air coming inside from between "sealed" panes. However, we have NO problems with the 10-year-old spare room cheap side-slider we did not replace (doesn't even have a separate storm). The salesman claims we wanted double-pane windows to "save money" -- simply not true -- our contractor was present during the ordering and remembers distinctly that triple-panes were specified. We used top-quality oak wood for all the finishing, and wanted beautiful, new maintenance-free windows for our retirement residence. Technicians have come promptly after our calls and have done what they can to adjust, replace seals, etc., but they differ on opinions about whether or not the triple-panes would have prevented our cold air and frost problems. Funny -- we had no frost and cold air issues with the old windows/storms when tenants closed them properly during cold weather. We understand that these windows are a new design. Pella should have stuck with their former design -- we've checked out several homes with older Pella windows and they don't have such problems -- no frost by the blinds and no extremely cold or drafty interior frame/crank/lock areas. We'll see what the next "solution" is when the tech(s) come back, and we're considering having the gas company do an energy-saving review/recommendation on these "energy efficient" windows. In the meantime, we're trying tape and foam tubing in the worst areas, being grateful that we haven't seen any rain leakage, and trying to stop worrying about where water goes when frost melts. We've even stopped complaining about one small, high deep-set casement unit downstairs that opens from the top down for blind maintenance (in lieu of side-to-side), placing and our heads so close to the suspended ceiling that we can't reach down in to clean or dry off the melted frost -- we have to wait until it's warm enough to crank the windows open and climb up into the flower box outside to get into it comfortably. There is a cable that one tech offered to show us how to remove for wider opening inside, but that would lay the window down against the wide sill and add to the chances of our messing up the sliding locking mechanism of an already ill-sealed window. We'd rather just live with it, but feel that we should have been told initially that windows of that height would operate differently than taller ones when the blinds were enclosed. When we are ready to replace our really large living room windows, we'll probably just go to our local hardware store -- it would be likely be a less expensive and more efficient way to get quality windows.

  • Updated by Monty Hougen · Jun 14, 2018

    The interior coating on my 12-year-old casement windows has deteriorated so that the windows are cloudy. It looks like moisture has gotten into the space between the coating and the glassy. It is very unsightly. I do not see any fix other that scraping the coating off with a razor knife.


  • Fo
    Former Pella Corp. employee Jan 16, 2007

    Sorry you got sucked in by Pella's advertising campaign. They shouldn't advertise the quality of windows that are made at the end of a twelve hour shift by exhausted workers. Nope. Those Dutchmen can talk about quality all they want. What really matters to them is meeting the quota at the end of the shift, not how well the windows are built.

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  • Sb
    SB Leader Oct 12, 2007

    I too got s*cked into the ad campaign. The sliding window doesn't slide unless you put all your weight behind it. The three panes of glass make it extremely heavy and since installation it has settled with the rest of the house.

    One pane needs to be removed to clean the inside were the enclosed blinds are. This is almost impossible to do and the pane of glass is so big it is rather terrifying. If you don't clean it the space gets foggy looking.

    It is a beautiful window with oak trim on the inside and aluminum on the outside. The outside is corroding. Bubbling up and flaking away. It looks hideous.

    Just out of the 10 year warranty - PELLA IS SORRY WE ARE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH THE WINDOW.

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    windowguy Dec 18, 2008

    if i read correctly regarding pella's blinds in between glass there are two options: 1) what thy call dual pane which means a outer pane of glass and then a panel of glass that swings open to allow access to the blinds. that means that you actually don't have a sealed unit.
    2) a triple pane unit consists of a dual-pane sealed outer panes of glass and the inner 3rd pane is a swinging pane that allows access to the blinds. The outter 2 panes are equivelent to a standard dual pane window other manufacturers offer. If you got dual pane then you really don't have much of a energy efficient window in my opinion.

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  • Ma
    Mary Sateren Apr 13, 2009

    My 6 DESINGER PELLa windows installed in "91 are in need of replacement. The exterior silicone between the cladding and glass (a mfg. defect!) has disintegrated and the cladding is separating from the glass, allowing outside moisture to get inside. One bedroom window has rotted wood and truly needs new window. PELLA claims it is my responsibility to reseal the window periodically with new silicone. Yes, the inside glass needs to be removed a couple times a year and cleaned and the air vents collect spiders, etc. A royal pain when I thought I purchased the best windows.

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  • Gs
    gsmckee Nov 21, 2009

    We purchased Pella this September 2009, to the tune of 53 windows. We have had nothing but trouble, and we don't live in the house yet. We are looking for others, like ourselves, who would like to join in taking Pella to court. We live just 35 minutes from Pella Iowa and still we have many problems. We can be reached at [email protected] if you would like to join us in a law suit.

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  • Ab
    ABailey Jun 30, 2010

    I've experienced these same issues with my Pella Architect Series windows and doors (cladding problems, seal failure, rotting wood, spotted glass etc.) installed throughout my home in 1995. Pella denies responsibility for these issues. Please check out this website, detailing the various window and door failures/defects: I'm interested in hearing any similar stories regarding your problems with Pella on my website. Thanks for your time!

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  • Mo
    Monty Hougen Aug 16, 2018

    I was trying to replace a 33-5/8" high x 25-3/4" wide screen for one of my Pella windows. The parts person in Baltimore insisted that the cost for a half screen was $440. When I questioned him, he repeated the cost. I cannot believe that number. I am having a replacement made locally.

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  • Pe
    Pellum doors Sep 01, 2018

    The doors are coming apart. Bottom of doors are on the inside are bubbling and peeling off. There are 2 doors on the back porch. Both doors are in bad shape. I have sent photos of both doors for you to see. Need this fixed as soon as possible. If you have any questions you can email me at [email protected] Thank you for your time.

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  • Ka
    Kathy L. Johnson Jan 23, 2019

    Our window is about 3 to 4 years old and does not have a good seal between the upper and lower piece. I can see the ground outside between the two pieces and air is coming in. We have replaced all of our windows with Pella and have never had a problem like this. Does Pella replace windows that are guaranteed against this?

    0 Votes
  • Ba
    BarbaraCochran Nov 17, 2019

    Bad installation. Been out 3 times and still not fixed. Door catches on bottom.

    0 Votes

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