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peace_rose_gw

Alside Windows - any reviews?

peace_rose
12 years ago

Hi, I'm new to the window forum!

We are building a kitchen/dining room addition on our home and will be breaking ground early next month. We'll be installing 6 double hung windows. There's a small local window store we would like to support, and the main products they carry are from Alside Windows. I did a search here and couldn't find any feedback. Does anyone have enough experience with this company to speak about the quality of their windows? We are still undecided if we will use wood or vinyl. Thanks!

Comments (67)

  • millworkman
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    since you don't like the advice of probably the most knowledgeable vinyl window man I am aware of I will give you an answer to your question you should understand. NO

  • AKCO
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Skydawggy and Millworkman,
    No disrespect. I didn't re-post because I didn't like the answer. The re-post was an accident. I know nothing about windows and I really appreciate any input. I will ask the builders if there is an option for another window maker.
    Any recommendations for window makers in Colorado?

    Thanks again for the help. Some of it sounds like Greek to me, but I will try to use what info you give me.

    Once again, I really appreciate the help from people who know the business.
    DT

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  • samshah
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi,
    I am living in Knoxville, TN. due to recent storm we had lots of damage to our existing wood windows. The repair guy is recommending Ultramaxx window by Alside. I have to replace about 38 windows. I appreciate all info and opinion about the ultramaxx windows. Any issues with the ultramaxx windows, comparision with other vinyl windows.

  • arete_builders_hotmail_com
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    AKCO- I'm a builder in Montana-should be similar products there. Price out Sierra Pacific's clad wood window. Excellent product for the price. I put in Pella's fiberglass in my own house-they have been very good. If you insist on saving money by using vinyl, check out Amsco. SP and Pella have serviced their own windows. They are top notch. My local dealer services the Amscos. The quality of your dealer is going to make a bid difference in the long run.

  • satchel_cinci_rr_com
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Recently bought a home in the Cincinnati area which requires new windows. Does anyone know of Gilkey Windows,we just talked to a company which uses Alside (Excalibur). Any comments, experiences with the two products. Looking at vinyl, double hung windows.

  • Royj
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I have had Alside Excaliber in my home for 3 years with no problems!

  • websnooper
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    That is good feedback, but I think it would be safe to assume that you should not have any problems inside of 3 years.

    I also think that it is worth noting that the "no problems" endorsement is not the most scientific measurement or indication of how a quality window would be identified.

  • OhioWindoze
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Big issues for Alside AMI, LLC....see website link.

    Here is a link that might be useful: AMI Alsides parent company in major debt!

  • illegalsmile
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Big issues for Alside AMI, LLC....see website link.

    Sigh, i'm doing major reno on a foreclosure i just bought and my contractor had his sub price out Alside Series 80 windows. Now that I'm reading this and seeing these reviews I'm definitely NOT going with Alside.

  • mmarse1
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    you havent had any problems in 3 years with alside excalibur? i guarantee if someone with even the slightest amount of knowledge regarding window performance stopped by your home on a cold day they would feel plenty of cold air coming through those windows. every low budget contractor uses Alside excalibur, Silverline by andersen, or MI Windows..they are cheaply priced and cheaply made. it makes absolutely no sense as to why a homeowner would choose such poor quality just to save a buck..what happens in a few years? they wind up doing the job twice because they are unhappy with the poor performance. i see this all the time.

  • phenie53
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    If you don't like Alside excalibur or silverline by Andersen, what would you recommend?

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Where are you located?

    The brands, in vinyl, commonly recommended are Okna, Soft-Lite, Sunrise, and HiMark.

  • gnancyanne
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I just happened upon this when I googled Alside model 0201 and am aghast! I had Alside windows installed in 2/07 based on the recommendation of an electrician/plumber (who had been an architect & voluntarily changed professions) that I'd used. I have Excalibur windows and except for one in the BR, haven't noticed anything dire. I discovered the one in the BR wasn't installed properly when I had siding put on the house. The window installer did a generally sloppy job, but that's another story.

    Now, I do have a problem. The frame of one of the BR windows wasn't made properly and I never figured out why the installer even installed it. At the time of installation, I was unable to pursue it, but it's always bothered me, so I made a warranty claim 3 weeks ago. I don't have a decision, but after reading about others' experiences with their windows, and elsewhere, where there are condensation problems (that I don't have), I wonder if I should leave well enough alone, assuming they agree to replace the window. (see photo of frame defect)

    The other thing is--I didn't replace one kitchen window because I was considering doing a greenhouse window. Now, I'm redoing my kitchen and was going to have another Alside window installed to match the rest of my windows. But, now I'll be worried about it.

    Could it be that the quality varies depending on where you live? (meaning do they make the windows in various locations?)

  • HomeSealed
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yikes! ... As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words.

  • mmarse1
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    One of the MANY reasons most pro's dislike the quality of the alside excalibur.

  • gnancyanne
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I thought I'd done my homework about replacement windows before settling on Alside, and had checked with Andersen and Pella, too, but the dog must've eaten that homework 'cause I guess I made a big mistake!

    I thought the guy who installed the windows was a pro; he has a home improvement company and installs a lot of these windows. And, as I said, he came highly recommended by another tradesman who knew him (I"ll call him CC) and had used CC to install windows for his own house. Since I'd had the tradesman do electrical and plumbing for me (and he'd come highly recommended, too) and I had been happy with his work, I took his recommendation.

    Due to a number of reasons, I was unable to pursue my complaints at the time of installation about the poor job CC did. And, it was the first time I'd had anything major done to my house so I was pretty naive. Complicating matters was the fact that my house previously had mid-Fifties aluminum windows without any casing (if that's the term)--they were built right into the walls without woodwork or trim. Very modern at the time, I'm sure, but seemed to present a problem when getting estimates for replacement windows.

    I have two bathrooms that back up to each other and the window of each sit next to each other when viewed from outside and appear to be the same size. I had a hint about CC when he told me, jovially, that he only measured the window in one of the bathrooms and they weren't actually the same size, haha, but he could make it work. Oh, we had a good laugh! Saying he was less than receptive when I did try to talk to him would be an understatement. (Then, he had the nerve to send me a friend request on Facebook! and ask for money for a mission trip, too. That's part of what had me fooled; CC talked a lot about doing these mission trips to Central America to improve housing.)

    But back to windows--these seem okay and much better than what I had, they operate okay and don't really seem drafty now that the installation of a couple of them has been fixed, and another one that didn't sit flush with the drywall on the inside (you could see the top edge of the drywall) had to be fixed, and then there was the s****y windowsills that had to be replaced. Oh, yes, where was I? Except for that photo I posted, the rest of the windows themselves look nice enough, frames don't look too thick, lots of glass, no warping, no condensation, etc. So, I feel like I've been lucky.

    What I really want to know is, and I may be putting the cart before the horse, what should I do if Alside agrees to replace the window with the frame defect? I don't see how they can't since it's so obviously from the manufacturing, but I'll have to pay for labor, I'm sure, since it's been so long since the window was installed. Also, it's mulled to another window. So, there would be two windows replaced. Right now, no condensation issues, just a bad corner of the frame. If I have the chance to replace it, will I be opening a whole new can of worms?

    If anybody is still with me, I could use any opinion you care to give. How many vote for "don't worry about it until Alside says they're going to replace the window"?

    This post was edited by gnancy on Wed, Apr 23, 14 at 9:02

  • mmarse1
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Had you installed higher quality windows, you would of really noticed a difference in drafts. Why in the world would you take window advice from a plumber.?

  • gnancyanne
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you for telling me that, but it is too late now. And, you are not helping because you have offered no opinion on what I was asking help with. However, I will reply to your ridiculous question.

    I was taking his advice because he had personal experience with the windows (having had them installed in his house and he liked them), his experience with this installer (who he seemed to know beyond the installation job), and in general, his knowledge of how house/building stuff works, which I don't have. All of this despite his being a plumber. (And, he is a master electrician as well.)

    This post was edited by gnancy on Mon, Oct 14, 13 at 0:21

  • mmarse1
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Dont know what your cat has to do with a window forum, thats very strange. Anyway, hopefully alside will honor their warranty.

    This post was edited by mmarse1 on Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 9:40

  • HomeSealed
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    gnancy, to clarify, you are saying that the window looked like that 6 years ago when it was installed, and you are just making a warranty claim now? Based on that, I'd think that they could probably deny the claim if they wanted, however Alside has always been very receptive when it comes to warranty service in my experience... It almost looks like that area was exposed to some excessive heat or something along those lines.
    On the install, unless your installer provided a labor and/or service warranty, you will be stuck for paying that. The fact that it is a mulled unit with only one bad frame means that the whole thing will probably need to be taken out, pulled apart, and reassembled with the new frame. It will be a fairly intensive process (ie: not cheap).

  • gnancyanne
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The window looked like that at installation. I know it's been a long time, but I figured I had nothing to lose by making a claim. When you see it in person, I think it is obvious that it is a manufacturing defect, and I realize I would be responsible for labor if the claim is approved. As I said, there were extenuating circumstances at the time of installation so I couldn't address the problem then, and subsequently, thought it was too late to pursue it.

    Now, I've been having work done on all the other windows to correct what the original installer considered to be windowsills, and I thought maybe I should see if anything could be done to this one before getting the windowsill replaced. But, even though I don't have a decision yet, I started worrying that maybe I should leave well enough alone because I haven't had any problems with condensation issues.

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    +1

    That inside dam leg is not supremely pertinent to the function and performance of that window. There may be a bit of air leakage at that corner but that is certainly not going to make a huge dent in the cumulative leakage of an Alside window as a general rule.

    Best thing to do would be to open the window, apply some tape to the inside of that area, and caulk that inside seam and let it cure.

    The replacement of that frame would be an expensive undertaking as a singular unit.

  • gnancyanne
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you for the suggestion. No, there really is no air leakage, just the cosmetic ickiness. In hindsight, I wish I would have done something back then, but what is it they say about hindsight?

  • Karateguy
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    If it has not seen heat yet, it might be worth a shot. I've done some amazing things to deformed and damaged vinyl with very careful use of a heat gun.

  • gnancyanne
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    That's a good constructive comment. The carpenter/handyman who's been fixing the windowsills (and doing some other repairs for me) is really good. I'll have to ask him about this since I'm a little hesitant to attempt it myself. Thanks.

  • pspturtle
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi, I'm new to the window forum!

    I just signed a contract with a local window company LEI (around Cincinnati, Ohio and Lexington, Kentucky area) to purchase 6 windows. The windows are from Alside's Revelation line, the glass options says "Argon Triple Pane/TG2". Based on the representative's presentation, the windows seem to be great. Of course, I have very limited knowledge about windows, and only focus on the problems of my old windows, so their demo appears to look much nicer than my old ones. The price tag is 4.5K including installation, tax, and all the expenses associated the the new windows and installations. LEI provides 50 years warranty, labor & windows, which seem to be surreal as one can't assume the company will last that long. They told me for me to get a big discount (from $7,500 to $4,500), I need to agree to be LEI's model home, and display their company sign on my front yard. After signed the contract, I started doing more researches, and found this forum. I guess I should have done the research first. Now I am getting worried about my decision. I have 3 days to cancel the contract. I would like to ask your advise if I should consider the option of cancelling the contract?

    Thank you in advance for all the kind advise.

  • PRO
    Ultra Windows
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Cancel the contract. The "model home" discount is bogus, designed to get a quick agreement before the homeowner has an opportunity to get another estimate. These type of companies should be avoided for the deceptive sales tactics.

    Take some time and get two or three more quotes using better windows like Sunrise, Soft-lite, Okna, Gorell. If you can't find a dealer for those brands, you might take a look at the Simonton 5500.

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    +1

    Model home pitches and 40% discounts are sure fire signs of a shady approach to the business.

  • pspturtle
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Windowsonwashington and Ultrawindows,

    Thank you so much for the advice. I called the salesperson to tell him that I would like to cancel the contract and have my down payment check (30% of the $4.5K) returned to me. I also mailed a written cancellation notice to the company office at Ohio via certified mail. It should reach the company on Tuesday. This way, I will have some basic protection if they claim that I did not cancel the contract officially by Wednesday midnight.

    Thank you so much for the kind guidance. Next time before buying any window I definitely will do a lot of research first.

  • gnancyanne
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    pspturtle, I wouldn't feel bad. I think windows are one of the hardest things to research. I thought I'd researched windows before I bought the Alside, and actually, I haven't had problems with the windows (knock on wood) but more with the installation. (When I got my windows, I don't think I even knew about the GardenWeb.)

    On another note--I just got the response from Alside about my warranty claim for the funky window frame corner (pictured earlier). Guess what they said (after 5 weeks)? I have to have a contractor inspect it before they can make a decision!

  • pspturtle
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for all the kind advises. I called the salesperson to cancel the contract. Next day, his manager called me saying that the salesperson made a mistake when calculating my contract, and the "correct" number should be about $1,000 more (i.e., $5,500), but he was willing to give me the original quot, plus gave me additional $600 discount. I almost laughed when I heard that. Anyway, I insisted cancelling the contract, and mailed him my notice via USPS Certified Priority Mail. The salesperson dropped off my down-payment check yesterday.

    Gnancy, I agree that installation is an important issue with windows. I have learned a lot from reading these forums. I was very confused before reading them. Now, at least I understand why I shouldn't make such quick decision, and why I shouldn't compare my old crappy window to any new windows. Next time I will do more research before making such major decision.

    Thanks to all of you!!!

  • PRO
    Ultra Windows
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Wow. That makes me even more confident that getting away from that sleazy company was the right move. Now you can find a company that deals honestly with you.

  • pspturtle
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for all the kind advises. I called the salesperson to cancel the contract. Next day, his manager called me saying that the salesperson made a mistake when calculating my contract, and the "correct" number should be about $1,000 more (i.e., $5,500), but he was willing to give me the original quot, plus gave me additional $600 discount. I almost laughed when I heard that. Anyway, I insisted cancelling the contract, and mailed him my notice via USPS Certified Priority Mail. The salesperson dropped off my down-payment check yesterday.

    Gnancy, I agree that installation is an important issue with windows. I have learned a lot from reading these forums. I was very confused before reading them. Now, at least I understand why I shouldn't make such quick decision, and why I shouldn't compare my old crappy window to any new windows. Next time I will do more research before making such major decision.

    Thanks to all of you!!!

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Glad you are learning a lesson before you learned a bad lesson.

    Sounds good and keep us posted.

  • JohnG22
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I recently purchased a home that had Alside vinyl Swing & Clean windows installed in what had originally been a screened in porch in 2007.

    The room now has an unbearable smell that I have not been able to resolve. It is not organic and after a lot of research seems to possibly be "off gassing" of vinyl chloride from the windows. Has anyone else ever experienced this type problem from these or any other solid vinyl windows?

  • mmarse1
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Maybe your head is off gassing. Thats ridiculous and this is coming from someone that is NOT an alside fan. The off gassing is probably from the glue you are snifing.

  • HomeSealed_WI
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    @ mmarsel

  • HomeSealed_WI
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    @ John, in all honesty I'd have to agree with mmarsel in that it is highly unlikely that you would get an "unbearable" smell from off-gassing windows. Many years in this business, and the only noticeable smell from vinyl windows is gone within a couple days when the caulk is dry. I'm not saying that no off-gassing occurs, but if you do some more research on the subject, it is very low levels. Far lower than things like carpet, paints and stains, etc. Is there anything else in the room that perhaps you are overlooking?

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Little to no off-gassing from uPVC unless you hold a blow torch to it.

  • JohnG22
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    However unlikely it may seem that my Alside vinyl swing and clean windows are offgassing enough to cause a problem, someting is going on out there. Since we moved into this home three months ago, everything has been removed. The smell may not be "unbearable" but it is distinct and really makes the room unusale. I first removed the carpet and through it away. The floor was floor was sealed with Kiltz sealer and then painted with a normal indoor latex paint. I spent $300 on having an "ordor removal" company come in with an ozone machine that would remove any organic causing odor source to no avail. I cleaned the walls with a industrial strength "odor rmoval" cleanser and vinegar and baking soda, etc. It is definitely a chemical smell and it not to bad when the windows are all open and the weather is very cold. As soon as the windows are closed the smell returns pretty quickly, especially when the sun comes through the windows and warms the room. All the research I have been able to do via google etc. seems to show pretty much what you have said here unless the windows were mfg in
    China which apparently there could be a problem. This is just what I can find, but nothing specific about these windows but a lot of Chinese made PVC products from toys to building materials. Any chance my windows were made in China and how can I find out? Is there any way to test the air in the room to determine what the smell is?

  • HomeSealed_WI
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    All of Alside's products are made domestically to my knowledge.
    It sounds like you are going to great lengths to figure out this problem. If you want to eliminate the windows as a potential culprit, seal them off. You can use some plastic window film or something along those lines, or whatever other means that you may come up with. Was there any adhesive left behind after removing the carpet?

  • PRO
    Ultra Windows
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    As HomeSealed suggested covering the windows with heavy weight plastic might help determine whether or not it's the windows.

    While I would be shocked to hear that the vinyl windows are off-gassing, I wouldn't be surprised if it's the sealants used around the windows. A contractor who would use Alside windows probably isn't overly concerned with using quality sealants either.

    Another possibility would be the accessories used on the vinyl window. Perhaps Alside has purchased weep hole covers or balance covers or some other cheap plastic part of the window from China. This is just a thought based on the fact that we know plastics imported from China can be problematic.

  • JohnG22
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    One of my earliest suspicions about the odor was the carpet. I pulled that up and through it away. Then I wondered about the glue left behind so I had a contractor seal the floor with Kiltz sealer and the paint it with an indoor latex paint. Since we just moved into the home the room is empty. I have had the windows open (even in inclement weather) for 3 months now and when aired out and very cold, the smell is a bit had to detect, but still there. As soon as I close the windows for a day and the sun warms up the room, the odor returns if full force.

    If it is a sealent problem or something else used in installing the windows, how can I determine it? And what could be done about it? Is there any way to get someone to come out and determine just what the chemical is causing the odor? Thanks to all for your responses. I was sure hoping it is not the windows, but nothing else is out there.

  • PRO
    Ultra Windows
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You could hire a professional indoor air quality testing company to test the air. I'm sure it won't be cheap, but they could probably be very helpful in pinning the source down.

    If it was a sealant around the windows, it could be cleaned out from around the windows and new sealants applied. I doubt this is the source, by the way, but thought I'd offer something to at least consider.

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I would also hire and IAQ professional and get the air tested for what contaminants are in the air.

    That will narrow the scope.

  • crabycat
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I just had to respond to the chemical smelling room. I have a boy cat who has ruined several windows. Does is small like cat pee? The urine seeps down into the window seals and down into the wall. When the sun comes in and heats up the smell gets stronger. I have actually poured an enzyme for cat urine Natures Miracle down into the cracks.
    Good luck.

  • garling42
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Anyone familiar with Revelation Fusion - Welded Vinyl Windows by Alside?

  • millworkman
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Any window by Alside is garbage. 60 odd posts and not one will tell you any they make are any good.

  • mmarse1
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I just had a customer call me about replacing his Alside " Ultramaxx" windows. They are 3 years old and leak a tremendous amount of air. The warranty will not cover that because the window is poorly designed.
    He is going to replace all 14 of his windows, he is now doing his job twice.
    Also. The Ultramaxx has a pocket sill which is a cheap/ bad design. This can also lead to problems. Just a bulky, poorly designed window. Same with sheffield .

  • gnancyanne
    7 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    mmarse1--so what kind of windows will you be using? (I know what you think of Alside.) And, are the windows you install a regional window brand? I'm gathering information while saving my pennies to replace my "big mistake".