nikki1026

Marvin Integrity Window Review

nikki1026
February 9, 2014

Do NOT buy Marvin Integrity windows with grills in them. Although I feel that Marvin did a good job with the window itself, the removable, wooden grills were so poorly made that you will never be able to remove them once they are put in, if you can even get them in.

Two years ago I purchased many new construction M.I double hung windows with the wooden grills inserted from the interior side of the window. The windows I purchased are fiberglass exterior clad and wood interior clad. They are beautiful but the wooden grills that they made for these windows are "junk". First off, almost half of them broke upon their initial installation with some already broken right out of the box. They were made of cheap pine or some other softwood and made in pieces. Each piece is poorly glued to the other pieces and as soon as you apply slight pressure to them, they break. Initially installing them in your windows is a guarantee that they will break in so many places, even in places where there is no joint revealing how weak the wood itself is. I can't tell you how many times my expert carpenters, painters, and family have verbalized inappropriate language when installing and painting the windows on the inside. I found out that my neighbor, who has the same windows and purchased them several years earlier than me, had the same problem. They finally took the grills out and threw them away. Now there house doesn't look as nice. I like the looks of the grills. My house is a colonial and would look horrible without the grills in the windows. Sadly, I can't wash my windows unless I want to break some of them. From experience, I have found that you have about a 30% chance of breaking the grills when removing them to wash your windows. And that is with careful removal. In one particular window in my house, it broke into so many pieces that I now have a double hung window with a grill on the top and no grill on the bottom. It looks horrible next to the other identical set of double hung windows that both have their grills. This particular window has never gotten a chance to have a grill in it. It was broken in several pieces as soon as we attempted to put it into the window after it was painted. To remedy this, I will now have to purchase a new grill for this window; something I shouldn't have to do. Oh and all the glue in the world couldn't fix it. This is very frustrating. I am not sure what to do. I should have bought windows with the grills between the glass but with an upscale house, I wanted to purchase windows of fine quality and appearance. I don't understand why Marvin did not resolve this problem years ago. I can't imagine that they would not have noticed this in their initial project testing of the M.I. windows. What a shame that something as minor as grills can hamper the value and reputation of a window. The next time I build a house I will not purchase the M.I. windows because of this problem. I have seen other companies with grills that do not easily break.

I am not sure if this is the proper site to leave this comment so I will leave it everywhere on the internet that I can. I want to spare consumers the great disappointment in Marvin Integrity windows with grills that I have experienced.

Comments (229)

  • millworkman

    I have not heard anything about the issue in a number of years. I can check with a couple buddies of mine who sell Integrity currently.

  • dwill109

    Dear megstwin,

    My wife and I custom built our home in 2003 and insisted on Integrity Windows because they seemed well built and the concept of a Fiberglass window was very appealing. Unfortunately I did not realize that the fiberglass was coated with a very poor "Ultrex Coating". It is this coating that failed and is now peeling on all of my windows. Our windows were just past the ten year warranty period when we noticed the issue and Marvin would not stand behind their product. The only recommendation we received from Marvin was to paint the windows!

    The whole idea behind a fiberglass window is to eliminate maintenance like painting and now I am faced with either replacing them all or treating them like any other wood window. This is QUITE frustrating.

    I urge you to look at other products and put the extra dollars into better quality windows now during the building phase as it is much less costly than having to replace them later down the road.

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  • megstwin
    Thanks for the responses. I will need to ask my builder some tough questions about the longevity of the finish on the Integrity windows and read their warranty information closely. Does anyone have a suggestion for impact windows in a bronze finish that can hold up to the Florida salt and sun?
  • millworkman

    PGT Windows are made in Florida.

  • BirchPoint

    Why trust their product now???? They sold us known defective product and many architects and builders were promoting them when Marvin KNEW there was a problem. Why would anyone want to buy from them with this track record?!

  • megstwin
    Thanks for the PGT suggestion Millworkman. I took a look at them, it is a vinyl window throughout. I was hoping for a wood interior. I have Pella in my home now and may see what they have for impact rated options.

    To Birchpoint's comment, you're right, it does seem that I would be crazy to go with a company that has blundered. I went through a 2 yr saga with Crate and Barrel before an issue was resolved, but that doesn't mean I won't shop there again. Companies make mistakes, they're run by people and sometimes the wheel doesn't turn fast enough for us when we have problems with them. This will be my second ground up build, will there be problems?, I'm sure. All I can do is arm myself with the information from the companies I choose to do business with, get names of contact people from my builder, ie; his vendor, get names of people I speak with on the phone with dates and time written down, make sure that I don't clean my house with chemicals that can interact with the finish on my windows, (the care information should come with windows) etc. Be like a Boy Scout, be prepared.

    Side note: Just got a call from the window rep after sending him an email this am. He advised me that he has only seen this paint problem on a commercial install once, where the building was washed with a chemical that interacted with the paint. He sells many different brands of windows, does he make higher commissions on this product?, who knows? Point being, he's willing to stand behind the product and informed me that they have a great service dept. should it be needed. That's important because I can tell you that here in the southeast Pella does not. I'm willing to take the chance because it is the window that best meets my needs.
  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    Your rep is incorrect. This was a known issue with the paint finish on the Integrity window that was not isolate to an interaction of chemicals. They do have warranty coverage for the defect and they have offered remedy for folks that are experiencing the failure. I don't know of any manufacturer, that makes enough units, that does not have some issue with their product at one point or another. The important detail is how do they handle the repair.

    Unfortunately, if you are wanting a wood interior, you options are limited.

  • mariaf924

    Currently in the process of building a modern farmhouse and am looking to do black on black windows. Been doing a ton of research. Andersen 400 series, A Series and Marvin Integrity were all suggested. We were really leaning towards the Marvin Integrity because they're supposed to be top of the line and achieve the look we are going for the best, however these reviews are freaking me out. I see the thread was from 2015, i plan on ordering my windows within the next few weeks. Can anyone provide me with some advice/updates?

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    The Andersen 400 (and other models for that matter) are quite good and will serve you more than fine if you have hesitation about the Marvin line up. I would only say that Marvin has acknowledged the issue and made the apparent formulaic changes to the finishing process to eliminate this type of failure. It also appears that they did stand behind the product and own responsibility of it and cost of the repairs. I think that is all you can ask from any supplier at the end of the day when issues do happen.

  • BirchPoint

    Yes, my experience did take place in 2015, however, Marvin had been aware of the problem with their product (that was being promoted to me by architects & builders) for several years prior! Why would a company continue to sell & promote a product they knew had a significant problem?!? That is an unforgivable trust broken in my mind! In my other home, I have Andersen windows which have been beautiful and problem free!

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    I have a bunch of Andersen windows in my previous home that all rotted out on the sill edges. This happened because the sill edges are both untreated and unclad. Something the Andersen also knew about and has acknowledged via their warranty personnel. I would be willing to bet that if you dig deep enough, you will find some bad act by 100% of the manufacturers in this world.

  • mariaf924

    I went to my local lumber store and he brought up the issue to the Marvin rep and neither of them knew anything about it. The Marvin rep did say he had heard about the issue with the faulty sealant/coating they were using or whatever the specific issue was. One thing I found with the companies I looked at and was taken back by is regarding the black on black option.... no one makes a black window jam & weatherstrip so everything matches. Andersen offers grey & white and a Marvin offers taupe. Seems like a no brainer yet no one has done it. Some say just paint it but I've read by many that that is a horrible idea. It looks like the top runners are Andersen A Series, Marvin Integrity and now upon research the Pella Impervia offers a black on black option. Any feed back on those? I'm waiting on my quotes for both. I have a feeling the A Series quote is going to be high with the impression i got. Certainly not going to skimp on something as important as windows but also don't want to go over budget so early on... trying to find a happy medium!

  • Stewart Colley

    I was ready to use Marvin windows until I ran across this thread. I chose Anderson E-series instead and am very glad that I did.

  • millworkman

    "Seems like a no brainer yet no one has done it."


    Black absords heat more readily than lighter colors. Thin flexible/movable parts that need to remain in there current place don't like heat absorbation.

  • millworkman

    " I chose Anderson E-series instead and am very glad that I did."


    Somewhere along the line they have had issues as well, all manufacturers have. If you look hard enough you WILL find them with Andersen and Eagle (previous mfr of the Andersen E Series windows).

  • Natasha Tessier

    My anderson e series woth doors just came in at 77k. I need to look at number if windows and doors on new home. It is 5000 sf but thi is higher than any other bid thus far.

  • Sandra Brown

    Building a new coastal home in North Carolina so I hope folks are still following this thread. I need impact resistance which is the Marvin Integrity Wood / Ultrex, the Anderson A or 400. The Florida brands are harder to come by. Have friends who had a Pella nightmare so not going there. I am resisting aluminum as I just don't believe the paint will survive eventual pitting from salt spray.

    Anderson issue is that it is a clad wood product. Wood rots. Vinyl cladding getting pounded by the sun for years fails. So rot.

    Marvin issue is exterior color failure. Can you beat this by going with a white window? Is the entire exterior then one unified piece of white fiberglass that can't delaminate?

    Looking at the catalog, the colored layer of the fiberglass looks so thick and delicious. It looks much thicker than what has peeled off on the windows above. Explanation?

  • PRO
    Redding's Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

    Sandra Brown, did you ever get more information about this?

  • mchroland

    Put on 20 marvin top of line aluminum clad outside in Baltimore md area. I spent much time looking at all of the issues and finally decided that top marvin was worth the cost given the labor and aggravation. It’s been 2 years — no issues — I’d extol these windows— no issues and Marvin was quick to respond on initial paint related scratches/screen issues due to install. Also — Since one has to see and use the windows regularly, its much better to be happy with the product imho. Good luck and recommemd Using a good installer —

    — didn’t see the salt spray comment — the marvin direct contact (not dealer) should be able to point u to someone in the area with aluminum installed or comment on salt issue. He does all the repairs for the dealers— doesn’t deal with the money - but can be candid about performance (eg likely verbally)

  • wackydave9

    A great alternative to any of the above mentioned windows would be Beechworth (www.beechworthwindows.com). Fiberglass window with a wood clad interior. Removable grids, Grids between the glass and simulated divided lights are all options they offer. As an installer for over 25 years I have installed just about every brand of window available in our area and have chosen to become a Beechworth Dealer after first seeing the window and discussing with other dealers across the country. If you have yet to look at this product I highly recommend it. James Hardie (www.jameshardie.com) owns the product line so you have a huge backing. If you are in the Greater Philadelphia area and would like to check out this great product please reach out to us and we will be happy to set up a no obligation consultation to show you the differences. www.remodelingconcepts.net

  • PRO
    toddinmn

    You would be first ever to install every brand of window. I will consider all your post either biased, boasting or untrue.

  • beccaw57

    I would not recommend Marvin Integrity Windows to anyone. We've had them a little over ten years, so they are out of warranty, but numerous window Sashes will not stay up due to problems with the balance tubes. From things I've read, this seems to be a problem the company is aware of. Had a dealer come out three months ago about ordering new balance tubes, but after numerous emails, they've apparently dropped the ball and lost all paperwork and information. It's really frustrating because some of the windows that no longer function properly have seldom been opened or used. Sad to think I'm 60 years old and I've lived in numerous houses with inexpensive vinyl Windows, which never had a problem, but picked Marvin Integrity when building our "Forever Home", and now have numerous Windows that don't function properly!

  • mariaf924

    My house is still under construction, but had the Andersen A series black on black double hung (avoided doing all casement because I thought we would run into mechanical issues with the cranks down the road) installed months ago and so far we are very happy with the outcome.

  • agray911

    Looking at Marvin Integrity vs Anderson for a new build in the very northern New York State (i.e. think lots of cold and snow)!! Is Marvin still having “issues” with the exterior of their windows? We like the look of the darker exterior colors, but not if it is going to fail. Any thoughts ?

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    Haven't seen or heard of anything on that front for a long time now. It appears they resolved the finish complaints and they appear to only have been an incremental batch to my reading of the situation.

  • Yvonne Glas
    agray - Marvin's are heavy. I've found it difficult to open/close and wash. If you don't plan on washing windows or opening the windows, you're ok. One window scraps the finish off when opening/closing. I've been disappointed in my purchase.
  • BirchPoint

    I would definitely keep looking!!!

  • millworkman

    I agree completely with Windows on Washington. People that I know in the businesss have stated it is a non-issue and was a limited issue at the worst.

  • dwill109

    From what I have seen the issues with Marvin Integrity windows have NOT been resolved and was definitely not an incremental batch issue!


    I will NEVER use Marvin windows again as I have learned a very expensive lesson!


    It may be difficult to do but spend the extra money up front to get quality windows as it will pay off in the long run.

  • BirchPoint

    Right, People in the business steered me to use these windows EVEN AS THEY KNEW OF THE PROBLEM! They took my $30K+ dollars with the pitch that they were the best window finish for my location! They didn't sell them to me saying, they are a great window with finish problems!!!

  • PRO
    Ryann Reed Design Build

    I would find out the supplier they were purchased from and go back to them to ask for assistance. Typically the contractor would buy from a supply house or larger dealer. The dealer will have pull with Marvin depending on their volume. Good luck. From my knowledge is not a normal issue at this point.

  • Bruce H

    Any further comments or thoughts on Andersen vs Marvin? We are remodeling a Lakefront house in Texas. North side faces lake and can get some brutal winds, sometimes sustained 35mph across the lake during fronts or sudden storm bursts. Looking for black exterior/black interior casement & awning style windows, which limits selection. Have it down to the Marvin Integrity line and Andersen 400. It's Texas, so Solar Heat Gain is a factor, as well as just trying to improve the efficiency of the house over standard builder grade basic picture windows.

  • PRO
    Out of the Woods Inc.- Window & Door Specialists

    If you're going with casements and awnings you'll be good with most brands when it comes to winds and storms. Those types of windows seal up best with the elements. I'm not the biggest fan of vinyl products being painted dark colors where there is high heat and sun exposure. The 400 series from Andersen is a vinyl clad window and vinyl does not do well in high heat. The Integrity fiberglass/ultrex is more stable in changes in temperature. The other thing is the Integrity and Andersen windows look very different when it comes to hardware, sash profiles etc. So design might be a factor and that is just your preference.

  • Bruce H

    Thanks for the quick reply. Has Marvin corrected the peeling issues for the Integrity line? I was favoring Integrity because of the fiberglass/Ultrex construction, but then found several reviews regarding the peeling finish and started second guessing my decision. I have read reviews of the Andersen Fibrex product which were not favorable as well. I guess we could step up to the Andersen aluminum clad product, but that is quite a price jump.

  • millworkman

    Yes Marvin has corrected the paint adherance issues on the Integrity Windows

  • tundra20160

    Bruce H, sorry for the slow response. So I don‘t remember where I left off with my story but to sum it up, the windows came out fine. A crew from Minnesota stripped each entire window and they came out great and no problems since. That was July of 2017. I originally put these windows in 2010 and I have about 20 more to replace. I haven’t thought about it lately but if I use Marvin again I’ll go with the fiberglass inside and out. Nothing against the wood inside but I just remember leaning this way and I don’t remember why

  • jcohen199

    When we built a home 30 years ago, our builder recommended Peachtree aluminum clad. The first thing we learned that it was a mistake not to have had the Peachtree dealer install as there were some issues and Peachtree wouldn't fix them since they didn't install them. Also, the clad exterior finish on the windows turned powdery after a few years making cleaning the windows difficult. We are about to break ground on a new home in Memphis, TN. The majority of the windows will be facing East and West. I have always enjoyed the casement style windows and will go with them again as well as a clad window so as to avoid outside painting. A few questions I have are:

    1. Our builder is recommending we use Lincoln windows. Any thoughts on those?

    2. I will also be looking at the Marvin Integrity fiberglass ultrex, Also want to compare the Anderson & Pella brands & possibly Kolbe. So out of those - who has the best warranty?

    3. Would aluminum clad be our best option for casement windows for our location and the location of the windows?

    I have seen many of you that have posted on several websites giving your expert advise. Would certainly appreciate any advise you are willing to give. Thanks.

  • millworkman

    Peachtree was awful, and Lincolns are not much better. Integrity Wood Ultrex would be a good choice as well as a premium vinyl. I would stay away from anything Pella. You could use aluminum clad but if you were to use these I personally would only use either Kolbe Heritage or the Marvin Ultimates. I would have the window supplier install whatever windows you decide on as many builders have the framers install and as you have found that is not so great an idea.

  • jcohen199

    Appreciate your info We went with marvin ultimate casement and will have a certified marvin installer to protect the warranty

  • Yvonne Glas

    I hope your Marvin's turn out better than mine. I was so disappointed. Keep us posted.

  • dwill109

    I could not disagree more with millworkman!


    I would RUN AWAY from ANY Ultrex window! Ultrex is just a very thin plastic coating that is adhered to the exterior of the windows and will PEEL! Unless you are looking for a short term solution and do not expect to remain in the home for more than ten years I would look for a better product that Ultrex coated windows!


    Marvin warranty is not worth the paper it is written on! I have a $55,000 loss on my Integrity by Marvin Windows to prove it! I'll be happy to provide pictures if requested but these windows are CRAP!

  • lt1pwr94

    dwill109, Ultrex is not a thin plastic coating, it is the trade name of the pultruded fiberglass on Integrity windows. What you are dealing with is paint peel, which can be very easliy repired. In my twenty years in the industry I have only seen two situations where the finish has peeled.

  • monke

    Bruce H, mariaf924, and agray 911, we're looking at the Marvin All Ultrex and Wood-Ultrex and leaning towards the black on black option if available. What did you Bruce H and agray 911 choose and are you happy with the product. mariaf924 are you still happy with your Anderson A purchase. Side note, we're building just outside of Yellowstone so we have large temp swings from the summer to winter. Lastly, we're also looking at Kolbe, Windsor, and Sierra Pacific and any Information from anyone else on these products would be appreciated. Big purchase = big decision. Thanks in Advance.

  • Kirsten E.

    Following because we just put in black on black all-ultrex in our new build in the Midwest (still under construction, so haven’t lived with them yet). We ended up choosing all-ultrex because our builder described it as far harder to scratch than wood, and we will always have a lot of animals! Plus no risk of warping like with wood. I also preferred what looked to me like a thinner profile than the wood-ultrex. When I went to a showroom to feel the products myself, it seemed like the finish was truly “baked in” and not painted on. It was enough to confirm the choice to go with all-ultrex. That being said, I hope white jamb extensions would help to minimize any discoloration issues that could arise. Too late to turn back now, but still want to know what is in store!

  • millworkman

    Kolbe I would assume the Forgent series since you are speaking about a fiberglass or composite window is a good window. Windsor, and Sierra Pacific I would not be able to say anything good about any series.

  • dwill109

    lt1pwr94 In my post dated April 22, 2019 I am referring to the Ultrex COATED Integrity Windows manufactured by Marvin. The Windows I have were manufactured around 2003 and the Ultrex on them IS a thin coating over the fiberglass as can be seen in the two attached pictures. The damage depicted in these two pics is minor as compared to damage on other windows. I have thirty-three windows in my house and all of them are showing the same type of peeling including the Marvin doors I have installed!

    When I contacted Marvin about this issue they refused to honor their warranty and recommended that I have the windows painted! This is NOT PAINT! It IS a THIN COATING over the Fiberglass window! Raw fiberglass cannot be exposed to the elements as it will yellow which is why Marvin used the Ultrex coating.

    The Marivn warranty is not worth one red cent! I would FIND ANOTHER WINDOW and would never use Marvin!



  • Bruce H

    We went with the all black Marvin Integrity line. We are still in construction phase with drywall just installed this last week and the place is an absolute mess, otherwise, I would share some pics. When we are closer to the end, I will definitely post some pics for those interested. I will post one from the outside.



    We remain impressed with the Marvin windows and doors. We compared them to the Andersen 100 series and the Kolbe Forgent, and I think they are just a better looking window. Our installer and sales office have been great to work with so far. Our builder had their installer also install our Buffalo Forge Thermasteel front door as he was very impressed with the quality of their work. Our north facing wall is our feature wall as it also faces the lake. We get some major winds coming off the lake in winter, but with Barry to our east this past weekend, we were getting some rare northerly winds from this storm in summer. With the windows and Marvin 3-point back door closed, we had absolutely no air movement into the house despite the strong winds. We went with casement and awning style closures, and they seal very well. The 3-point closure on the patio door is also very nice and a great option if you have an 8 foot door, and I would highly recommend it. Hope that helps!

  • monke

    Thanks, Bruce H. Looking forward to seeing the finished product. We're leaning towards the Marvin and thanks for the recommend of the Buffalo Forge. Our Garage barn with living quarters above is in the Yellowstone area and Marvin seems the most stable with large temp swings.

  • SK+DVK

    We are looking for Black on Black windows and we are deciding between Marvin Integrity and Andersen 100. Mostly casements but a couple of sliders and hung ones. Can anyone confirm if all the parts in all the windows are black? For example jamb, liners etc.

  • Bruce H

    I would recommend the Marvin Integrity. We looked at both Marvin and Andersen, and the Marvin just had a better appearance to us. Here are some photos from our ongoing project. Please excuse the messiness. We just finished texture and trim is going on some windows. We went with all black Integrity for most windows. We do have Marvin Windows for our great room that are Black Ultrex exterior with wood interior and the Marvin patio door with wood interior as well.



    Casement window with trim placed. Mechanism is gray. That is a protective cover over the crank mechanism.



    Picture window with trim



    Awning window - no trim yet



    Awning at side - locking mechanism does not have cover yet - no trim yet




    Marvin patio door - wood interior




    Marvin patio door black Ultrex exterior




    Marvin interior wood



    Exterior view showing all windows. Black Ultrex exterior on all.

    Hope that helps.

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