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PGT vs CWS for Impact Windows

Nicole Perry
6 years ago

We've received multiple quotes from multiple companies on impact windows. We've narrowed it down to PGT and CWS. We compared apples to apples as far as being vinyl, Low-E, Argon filled, etc. We live in South Florida so both hurricane protection and energy efficiency are important to us. We have a lot of openings (20- some of which are very large) so we knew this would be an expensive project. CWS is coming in at nearly $9,000 less than PGT!!! We hear about PGT all the time and both of my husband's siblings went with PGT on their homes. I know NOTHING about CWS, so I am skeptical! Anyone have long term experience with either company? We are having a difficult time accepting such a huge price difference.

Comments (83)

  • HU-157466464
    3 years ago

    Has anyone used Weather Tite Windows out of Tampa, FL? Leaning towards using them to install PGT doors and windows

  • womah neeranjun
    3 years ago

    Hi all

    has anyone use home depot for windows installation. seems like they use PGT windows

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  • mjavstreih
    3 years ago

    Home Depot subcontracts instllersinstallers so there is a double layer of mark ups. My CWS quote was DOUBLE my PGT quote, so you need another quote directly from a local dealer/installer. I am going with Simonton. Quote was comparable to PGT but much better warranty.

  • PRO
    Evolution Hurricane Shutters, LLC
    3 years ago

    Don't forget to check the performance specs of the windows! Does it matter how good of a deal you received if you have thousands of dollars in water damage? I'm not a window expert and don't have a dog in this but I think that most windows are tested for water penetration up to about winds of 60mph. Hopefully the experts here can correct me if that's wrong. So, from what I can tell, once the winds reach hurricane strength your windows are no longer promised not to leak. Look for the window with the best leak performance and you might be one step closer to avoiding buyer's remorse. Also, I'm not a big fan of using PVC windows in the south. Many of the plastisizers that make it more flexible have been replaced by UV inhibitors that make it more brittle. Even with the addition of these inhibitors, the southern sun restricts the lifespan of these windows. When you see a "lifetime" warranty, make sure to find out what the lifetime is. If the manufacturer says that the life expectancy of their window is 20 years, it is my understanding that this is the lifetime that they are referring to.

  • martha ross
    3 years ago

    From my research re HVHZ windows, water penetration is based on volume per minute and not wind speed. Re manufacturers, Simonton has a double lifetime warranty. Can be purchased as an option with PGT. Not sure of CWS transferable warranty in standard or an option.

  • PRO
    Evolution Hurricane Shutters, LLC
    3 years ago

    The test that I was thinking of is ASTM E331. Which one were you thinking of??

    So if someone has Simonton windows installed, what will be the percentage of the replacement cost covered by the warranty in 10 years? Does the warranty cover just the cost of the window so that the labor of replacement is put on the homeowner? Most times the factory will pay for only the window and force the homeowner to use only it's factory sponsored labor (at a high rate) to try to offset the loss of product value.


  • PRO
    Wiltrack Construction And Development Group LLC
    3 years ago

    I have used both windows in multiple homes I have built in South Florida.

    Personally I would recommend PGT especially if you can buy them from a diamond dealer that can provide you the crystal care warranty. It is a lifetime warranty that covers everything including screens.

    If you have any questions or if you’d like me to recommend my local window distributor, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

  • Windowmaster
    3 years ago

    Years ago we used Gorell Windows. They made one heck of an impact window.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago

    "Need personal recommendations for a business that sells & installs PGT hurricane impact home windows."


    GG:


    Call Doug Ramsey at Sequel. He and I go back nearly 50 years. We did a window job together several years ago.

  • noel Certain
    3 years ago

    FAS Windows & Doors!!! If your In Central Florida Orlando & Tampa Offices. Scott

    Vargas & his Team are incredibly talented and Customer service is Job #1 . The key

    is pick great windows but the installing company is just as important!! They are doing

    Impact PGT on a Build for us Now.

  • Janice Smith
    2 years ago

    You guys are making me nervous! I just contracted with New South for 12 panels (4 large sliders) of lower level sliding glass high impact doors out to the pool. I did not have the same experience as Noel C as far as the initial sales visit, and when I told them my husband works long hours and it would be almost impossible to meet with us both - they still scheduled the appointment with me. Yes, at the end of the visit, Joe DID ask for a commitment, but that is what any sales person would do. He was not obnoxious or pushy. I was originally going with PGT's but I feel the New South window is a much better quality window and has the best warranty in the business and for the same price as two of the PGT quotes I got. If you are considering PGT's - READ the warranty. It doesn't cover much! Yes, I saw the complaints on BBB, but BBB does not publish positive reviews, only the complaints. I saw many positive reviews on other sites. SO..... I am just going to pray that all goes well and I have a positive experience! I'll let you all know how it goes!

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    2 years ago

    " I told them my husband works long hours and it would be almost impossible to meet with us both - they still scheduled the appointment with me."


    I'd never run a one legger, especially in the highly competitive window business.

  • Roman Nyich
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Looks like NewSouth is good enough for PGT - PGT acquires NewSouth in $92M cash deal

    PS: thank you all for sharing your stories, I'll be replacing 28yr old windows this year and my research brought me here. We're in Sarasota and narrowed it down to PGT and NewSouth.

  • ayllinda
    2 years ago

    How about ECO window systems in Florida; how do they compare with PGT?

  • Best Results
    2 years ago

    Ive had my CWS windows for a year now and the only thing I don't like are the latches. They feel really cheap.


  • millworkman
    2 years ago

    "How about ECO window systems in Florida; how do they compare with PGT"


    I only looked as far as some online reviews and saw nothing to like about them.

  • Elizabeth Keough
    2 years ago

    We are in Tampa and looking at replacing our windows with impact hurricane windows. Lots of research ongoing. Two quotes so far: Karlovy, who or neighbors used and liked, but we have a few Simeonton windows and the vinyl frames in the south windows are chalky (it's only been 5 years since install--non south facing windows are fine). And New South, whose product pitch was impressive. We fell in love with the product claims, the low heat transfer and easy operation. We like the idea of a local mfgr, but pricing was astronomical-almost double the Simeonton quote (ummm...factory direct implies a more reasonable price). 😳

    FAS is coming out today. A Marvin dealer tomorrow (because I ❤️ Matt Risinger), and I'd prefer an aluminum framed window if it's not out of reach based on our southern exposure vinyl experience. But I'm prepared to be in sticker shock.

    I appreciate the posters who shared their experience. Curious about your final installation experience Nicole and Janice?

  • Amy Asher
    2 years ago

    Why vinyl over aluminum? I’m looking at Home Depot who quotes PGT made exclusively for them and 8 week delivery and install. The small business I like very much has a 4 month delay on PGT so quoted me on Cws. I’m leaning toward Home Depot but need to decide between aluminum or vinyl. Across street from ocean. Thank you!!

  • Elizabeth Keough
    2 years ago

    When I had companies out to quote, I asked about aluminum frames and was told you could only do aluminum in new construction. Beyond that, as I understand it, aluminum can last longer, but unless well maintained is more prone to degradation by salt water. I'm no expert, only sharing what I read.

  • millworkman
    2 years ago

    " I asked about aluminum frames and was told you could only do aluminum in new construction."


    If you are doing full framed replacement windows you certainly can use an aluminum framed window same as vinyl or wood. Also Marvin does not make an aluminum framed window. They make a wood window with any aluminum cladding.

  • Karen
    2 years ago

    Does anyone have an idea about the price difference between PGT Winguard Aluminum windows and Marvin or Anderson impact windows? I know that PGT is in our budget but suspect the others won’t be. We are building in Tampa. So far have only spoken to Carrollwood Doors and Windows. Would love any recommendations.

  • Paul Amaral
    2 years ago

    Hi - Looking to build a new home down in Florida on the waterfront. Anyone have any experience using Pella's Impact Windows or Viwinco Impact Windows? Have looked at PGT and CWS but don't seem to come across much info on Pella or Viwinco? Thanks.

  • millworkman
    2 years ago

    Both Pella and Viwinco are not considered quality windows. Fit and finish, performance, customer service is all on the lower end of the scale. Builders grade at best products.

  • Paul Amaral
    2 years ago

    Thanks millworkman. So what brand do you recommend?

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd
    2 years ago

    Staying the vinyl family of products, Simonton Stormbreaker and the PGT impact product are two of the more favorably reviewed products.

  • Elizabeth Keough
    2 years ago

    Seconding Wow. We live in Tampa and came down to PGF and Simonton. We liked the Simonton product slightly better, but most important, we found installers with great history and recommendations. That is as important as picking the best windows.

  • safen secure
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Hi Karen,

    Reach out to Scott Vargas at

    FAS Window & Door they are in Tampa

    & Orlando Florida

    and do an incredible job tell Scott Noel sent

    you. They stand behind their work and actually

    care ..service is key

    321-388-1935

    or 813-514-9490

  • safen secure
    2 years ago

    btw paul,

    all the homes I visited on the water had either

    CWS or Pgt Impacts but 85% had PGT .My

    builder used PGT on his own waterfront home

    so that tells me allot.

    Viwinco has had some reviews in florida

    that were not good look into

    them. Pella builds a great

    window but I don't think they have the experience or

    market on impacts as yet.

    if I was building on the water I would

    install PGT again plus get the most relaible installer

    possible that was a Diamond dealer for PGT

    and hire them. I would also monitor the work and be hands on

    as much as possible the crews work better when they know

    their work is being monitored ,and the owner really cares.

    Take care of the installers and treat them good it all works

    out in the wash. My crew was Anthony and Justin a small crew

    with may years of experience whom explained every step and took pride

    and professionalism in their jobs.

  • HU-397866653
    last year

    Any comments regarding Soft-Lit Barcelona impact windows? Or Paradise Exteriors? I was going to contract with a local Diamond rated PGT Dealer (Weather Tite) and then Paradise Exteriors offered to drop their estimate for the Soft-Lits to almost the same amount. Soft-Lite appear to be a very good quality product but can't find much info on them... and barely anything about Paradise Exteriors, but don't want to miss out on potentially great windows for an awesome price!

  • Karen
    last year

    Of those of you who have installed PGT Aluminum Winguard windows, what color did you choose and are you happy with them. Ultimately, I want black/bronze exterior and white interior. Can’t make up my mind.

  • PRO
    Uneeda Home Improvement Co., Inc
    last year

    In the PGT WindGuard Aluminum line the black or bronze is only available on both the exterior and interior. The PGT WindGuard Vinyl is available two toned.

  • Karen
    last year

    Uneeda Home Improvement - Thank you. That is my issue. In aluminum, they don’t make what I prefer. It seems as most folks I hear speaking about vinyl vs aluminum PGT Winguard windows prefer the aluminum, but I would love to know why and to hear from anyone who has the vinyl to see if they are happy with them.

  • J
    last year

    We too are trying to decided between the vinyl vs aluminum PGT Winguard windows and doors. Will the vinyl ones hold up as well as the aluminum in
    a tropical storm or hurricane?

  • millworkman
    last year

    "Will the vinyl ones hold up as well as the aluminum in
    a tropical storm or hurricane?"


    They pass the same standardized testing chambers under the exact same conditions and carry thee exact same approvals.

  • J
    last year

    Thanks millworkman!

  • Karen
    last year

    Have narrowed my search down to PGT Winguard Aluminum windows and now trying to decide between single hung and casement windows.
    Majority of windows are 36x72.

    Does anyone have any advice regarding the operability/ease of use of the casements versus single hung windows? Are my windows too large fir casement gear mechanisms etc?

  • millworkman
    last year

    "Are my windows too large fir casement gear mechanisms etc?"


    Not at all to large for a properly engineered unit. As far as double hung or casement that is up to you and whether you want the ease of a casement crank or have no issues sliding the sash on a hung window. House type and interior window treatments also play a part in this decision.

  • marcelinsb
    last year
    last modified: last year

    HU-3978, I just got quotes on windows from Paradise, Window Wall and PGT from Home Depot. Wondering which you chose and why?

  • millworkman
    last year
    last modified: last year

    "I just got quotes on windows from Paradise, Window Wall and PGT from Home Depot."


    PGT BUT from a window dealer not a box store. Never heard of the others and nothing about them looks impressive from their website and PGT has a pretty good history for products and customer service.

  • bluerosem
    last year

    Elizabeth Keough - Which company did you go with to install your windows?

  • Elizabeth Keough
    last year

    We used Karoly Windows and Doors to replace our windows with hurricane rated ones. Over 30 windows and they did it in about 5 days. We had a great experience. They came back out to adjust a window that wasn't closing properly after the installation, and have been following up with Simeonton on the one window that arrived cracked and had to be replaced before they can install it.

  • bluerosem
    last year

    Thank you Elizabeth! Karoly's quote was too high for me unfortunately, but I did like the Simonton windows he sells.

  • pattiandjohnpiper
    last month

    DO NOT BUY PGT WINDOWS! SIX YEARS AGO WE BOUGHT OVER $47,000.00 WINDOWS AND SLIDERS (7 SLIDERS) - as of yesterday I just filed / called for replacement of our fourth sliding glass panel doors - these are the Miami Dade double insulated with all the extras - failing. The seals do not hold. The company we bought the window/sliders from does not like going thru all the trouble to replace and then reinstall....they can charge me whatever price they want for labor. PGT will replaced the windows - they will probably say "out of warranty" - it is very unclear just exaclty what their warranty is (!). Do NOT do business with PGT....I am at the point of just replacing every defective window with a different brand .....this is so unfair and unprofessional and poor business standards....

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd
    last month

    Are seal failures not covered as part of their warranty? A service charge from the dealer to swap something out as large as a sliding glass door panel would be normal.

  • oberon476
    last month

    what kind of seal failure are you seeing, and how old were the units that failed?

    Any pictures?

  • safen secure
    last month

    Poor Customer Service all around, you expect when you spend that kind of

    money with a reputable installer and Manufacturer you get both of them working hand in hand to get the client satisfied. However, not surprised especially since I have been told by over several professional installers that PGT Sliders have High Seal Failure, but usually are always warrantied.

  • J
    last month

    We purchased multiple PGT aluminum windguard windows and slider doors for a condo by a “reputable” window and door company. It has not been a good experience ….product seems ok but the installation has been a diaster!!

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd
    last month

    Forgive me for the question, but what does that have to do with PGT in this case?

  • camann89
    10 days ago

    DO NOT go with CSW. We did this past summer for 5 hurricane impact windows. Upon inspection at delivery we found all windows had significant defects and we refused to have them installed. These windows should never have been delivered to our home for installation. We are now tryomg to cancel our contract with FHIA and get our deposit back. We are being ignored unfortunately.

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd
    9 days ago

    Guessing you meant CWS in this case? What were the defects in this application. I will say that since the pandemic, the manufacturing attention to detail has suffered across the board. Brands that were previously the "standard" are just like everyone else (used to be) and turning out stuff with QA/QC issues. Depending on the "defects", I think you will, contractually, need to give them the opportunity to remake the product and deliver it in specification.