Pella Windows Review (2021)

·9 min read

Courtesy of Pella

Going window shopping? Actual window shopping, that is? Then chances are you've heard the name Pella, which is one of the leading window manufacturers in the United States.

The Pella Corporation is headquartered in Pella, Iowa (which has a population of just over 10,000), and the company currently runs more than 200 showrooms across North America. According to a 2019 report by the industry trade publication Window + Door, Pella is a billion-dollar business—and once you see the brand's offerings, you'll understand why.

Pella Window Types and Sizes

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Pella offers a variety of window types and sizes, including conventional styles like single-hung and double-hung windows as well as customization options. Here's a quick breakdown of Pella's window products.

  • Awning: These windows hinge at the top and swing out from the bottom using a handle. They tend to be installed higher on a wall to add more light to a room (such as above a door).

  • Bay or Bow: Made up of at least three windows that form a curve and jut outward, bay (or bow) windows are typically found in larger rooms, like living and dining rooms.

  • Casement: These windows have a hinge on the side and open and close using a hand crank. They're often seen in bathrooms and kitchens. Pella notes that casement windows are especially easy to operate and fit well in contemporary homes, making them one of the most popular designs at the moment.

  • Single-Hung: These windows have a bottom sash that slides up and down and a fixed top sash. You can pretty much find this traditional window type in any room of a home.

  • Double-Hung: These windows feature two operable sashes that move up and down. They tend to be more common on second and third floors due to their ventilation capabilities.

  • Picture: Made with just one pane of glass, these windows typically provide unobstructed views of the outdoors, meaning no grid lines, and generally do not open.

  • Sliding: True to their name, these windows slide open horizontally and also offer excellent ventilation in areas like basements.

  • Special Shape: Pella allows you to get creative with shapes, offering octagon, trapezoid, and half elliptical windows, just to name a few.

  • Custom: If standard windows don't fit your home or style, Pella's made-to-order products can be customized to suit your specific needs.

Pella windows are available in a wide range of sizes, which vary depending on the product line and window shape. For instance, the Architect Series features an awning window that's as small as 17x17 inches while the Reserve line has windows that are operable in sizes as large as 6 ft. wide and 12 ft. tall.

Pella Window Materials

Pella windows are available in three different materials: wood, fiberglass, and vinyl.

  • Wood: Wood is a classic window material that's often found in traditional and historic homes. Today, wood windows also come in modern aesthetics. Pella's wood windows have the most customization options and are available in many paint colors and stains. They feature aluminum cladding on the exterior to protect against the elements. You can find wood windows in Pella's Reserve, Architect, and Lifestyle Series lines.

  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a strong, durable material that consists of fine, thread-like pieces of glass. Pella claims its proprietary low-maintenance fiberglass will never rot or corrode and doesn't require repainting or refinishing. The windows can also withstand sub-zero temperatures and extreme heat (up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit). You can find fiberglass windows in Pella's Impervia line.

  • Vinyl: Vinyl is a durable synthetic plastic polymer that typically costs less than other window materials. Many of Pella's vinyl windows are designed for regions that experience severe weather phenomena, such as hurricanes. The brand's Hurricane Shield Series, in particular, meets or exceeds Florida's strictest building codes and is approved for use in High Velocity Hurricane Zones. You can find vinyl windows in Pella's Encompass, Hurricane Shield, Defender, and 250 Series lines.

Courtesy of Andersen Windows & Doors

Pella Windows' Energy Efficiency

Windows account for between 25-30% of your home's heat loss, so by installing energy-efficient windows, you can help lower the cost of your utility bills and make your home more environmentally friendly.

All Pella windows have energy-efficient options and the company is an Energy Star partner, meaning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes Pella products as being cost-saving and good for the environment.

The brand also has a number of energy-saving window glass offerings, including:

  • Advanced Low-E Insulating Glass with Argon: Two glass panes that block 84% of the sun's UV rays (recommended for many U.S. climates).

  • AdvancedComfort Low-E Insulating Glass with Argon: Two glass panes that block 85% of the sun's UV rays (recommended for Northern U.S. climates).

  • SunDefense Low-E Insulating Glass with Argon: Two panes of glass that block 94% of the sun's UV rays (recommended for hot, sunny climates).

  • NaturalSun Low-E Insulating Glass with Argon: Two panes of glass that block 69% of the sun's UV rays (recommended for cold climates, like Alaska and parts of Canada).

Pella Window Product Lines

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Pella carries eight different window series. Here's what each one has to offer.

Architect Series

Available in traditional and contemporary designs as well as standard and custom sizes.

  • Material: Wood

  • Window Types: Awning, bay (or bow), casement, single-hung, double-hung, and picture

Reserve

Available in traditional and contemporary styles and features options like expansive glass panes and historic grilles.

  • Material: Wood, aluminum-clad wood

  • Window Types: Awning, casement, single-hung, double-hung, picture, curve top, angle top, corner unit, and custom

Lifestyle Series

The windows in this line meet or exceed Energy Star guidelines in all 50 states and reduce outside noise, making them a great option for city dwellers and homeowners who live close to highways.

  • Material: Wood

  • Window Types: Awning, casement, double-hung, and picture

Impervia

Pella's fiberglass window line is low-maintenance, durable (it's designed to withstand harsh weather conditions), and sleek.

  • Material: Fiberglass

  • Window Types: Awning, bay (or bow), casement, single-hung, double-hung, picture, and sliding

Pella 250 Series

The brand claims that its exclusive vinyl formula is 52% stronger than ordinary vinyl, and the windows in this line can be upgraded to triple-pane glass for added energy efficiency.

  • Material: Vinyl

  • Window Types: Awning, casement, single-hung, double-hung, picture, and sliding

Encompass

Made with high-grade vinyl that's fade-resistant, Encompass is one of Pella's most affordable lines.

  • Material: Vinyl

  • Window Types: Single-hung, double-hung, picture, and sliding

Pella Hurricane Shield Series

Designed to withstand hurricanes and extreme coastal temperatures, the glass in these windows is shatter-resistant and noise-reducing.

  • Material: Vinyl

  • Window Types: Awning, casement, single-hung, and sliding

Pella Defender Series

Engineered to weather all types of storms, including hurricanes. The insulated glass in the Defender line also blocks 99.7% of UV rays.

  • Material: Vinyl

  • Window Types: Single-hung, double-hung, and sliding

Where to Buy Pella Windows

You can buy Pella windows directly from one of the company's 200-plus showrooms across the U.S. (find one in your area), but the products are also sold at Lowe's and various lumberyards and building suppliers, including ABC Supply, Builders FirstSource, Hammond Lumber, National Lumber, Carter Lumber, and McCoy's Building Supply.

Once you've purchased the windows, you'll need to find a contractor who can install them. Search our local services database for window pros near you, but before you hire a contractor, check that they have experience installing Pella windows specifically.

There are two types of installations:

  • Pocket window installation: This process replaces the window in the existing frame and takes about an hour per unit. One drawback, however, is that the size and shape of the window likely can't be changed.

  • Full-frame window installation: This process replaces the entire window, frame, and trim. It tends to cost more and take longer than a pocket window installation because it requires significant work on both the interior and exterior of your home. But this method does allow you to choose a new window size and shape if you wish.

Pella Window Prices

Pella doesn't provide prices on its website (you'll need to call and request a quote), but the cost of windows varies depending on size, material, and product line. HomeAdvisor notes that the demand for windows has gone up over the past year, making materials more expensive and contributing to longer wait times. So if you have multiple windows that need replacing, it's best to get them done all at the same time. In a November 2020 report, HomeAdvisor broke down the average window costs of several Pella lines.

  • Architect Series: $850-$1,500

  • Reserve: $1,000-$1,800

  • Impervia: $250-$600

  • 250 Series: $150-$300

  • Encompass: $100-$300

Courtesy of Pella

Pella Windows Warranty and Customer Service

For its wood, fiberglass, and vinyl products, Pella offers limited lifetime warranties—meaning they last for as long as the buyer occupies the home in which the windows were installed. You'll get the same type of warranty if you purchase Pella windows through Lowe's.

Still, check the fine print of your warranty (it will come with the product when you purchase it) because certain restrictions apply. For instance, if you modify the window, such as drill into it, the warranty no longer stands.

Pella's customer service line is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m CST to answer any questions about the brand's products, services, and warranties.

Pella Window Reviews

In general, customers appear to be satisfied with their Pella windows. The company holds an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau and scored decently in a customer satisfaction study conducted by J.D. Powers in 2020, earning 858 out of 1,000 (one point below the industry average).

"Pella has excellent products. I have worked with Pella professionally as an architect for decades and have always been impressed with the quality of the [windows]."—Dan D., May 3, 2021 (5 out of 5 stars)

On Pella's website, the reviews tend to fall between 4 and 4.5 stars out of 5, and the brand's wood windows get more favorable ratings overall than the fiberglass ones. Here's a sampling of recent customer reviews:

"Pella products are first class. Installers—ultimately—did a very good job. Customer service is one of the worst I have ever experienced. Two months from date of contract until first installation date." (4 out of 5 stars)

Richard M., July 5, 2021

"Quality and overall aesthetics was superior to other products that I researched. The sales rep that I worked with didn't act like most salesmen that I've experienced… he was very friendly and listened to what I needed. He also didn't pressure me into purchasing extra stuff that I didn't want. The installation team also was friendly, professional, and did great work!" (5 out of 5 stars)

Steven M., May 2, 2021

"Negative: Giving Pella $11,000 for four months and having to wait to have the window installed. Pella should take a down payment from customers and then let them earn interest on their money until the job starts. Positive: The team quickly addressed any issues and even came out during the holidays to fix, which I really appreciated." (3 out of 5 stars)

Adriana K., January 17, 2021