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Pella Proline Black Exterior Window/ White Interior Window - Help!!!

Mary Ellen Lurie
4 days ago
last modified: 4 days ago

My husband and i are building a new home. We are going for a modern farmhouse feel. The builder is trying to convince us of doing double hung black exterior windows with white interior in the pella pro-line series. Does anyone have a photo that they could send me of what this looks like and will you be able to see the white hardware on the window on the exterior? Window grids will be black exterior and white interior. Worried that we are making a wrong choice. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!

Comments (28)

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    Is Pella the only option he/she is offering?

  • Holly Stockley

    Well, white interiors will certainly make redecorating easier when the modern farmhouse trend passes by.

    I don't see that the white interior hardware is likely to be an issue from the exterior of the house. You MIGHT notice when looking at a window from a side angle outside that the interior grills are white.

    I'll leave this link here, so that you can get a feel for the pros and cons of the black:

  • Mary Ellen Lurie

    Unfortunately yes - i guess we are upgrading to the aluminium exterior and and wood windows. If that helps.

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    Have you looked at the Marvin Integrity? Clean, modern'ish lines, and available in a black exterior white interior split.

  • Holly Stockley

    I don't think the issue the OP is having is FINDING windows with the split - it's that the split is being recommended and she's trying to decide if she would prefer them black inside AND out.

  • lkbum_gw

    Duh.... I think Windows on Washington was politely trying to steer the OP away from Pella which has a very poor reputation if you consider any thing other than colors. hence the question if Pella was the only brand being offered.

  • Mary Ellen Lurie

    Correct Holly! Also concerned if i got with black exterior as suggested, what color hardware do i do for the interior?

  • Mary Ellen Lurie

    Pella is the only brand the builder is offering

  • Mary Ellen Lurie

    Thanks all for repsonding so quickly. Since we are builiding our house on about 5 acres in the country, we are definitely married to the modern farmhouse look. Since we are being offered black exterior windows and white interiors, i wasn't sure if the white window lock would stick out like a sore thumb when looking at the house.

  • Holly Stockley

    If the OP's builder is using Pella, she's using Pella and trying to "steer" her away isn't really helpful. (I do think that Pella, Marvin, and Andersen are more or less equivalent on the quality front, in all cases dependent on which line you're using and how supporting your local sales rep is. As with many other things, resolving issues is highly dependent on that local sales rep.)

    Mary Ellen, if you opt for black interiors, then black hardware. Though, as Maria discusses, black interiors on those windows can be "bossy" when it comes to decorating.

    If you choose white interiors on those windows, you have a bit more freedom. What are you choosing for your interior door hardware? Oil rubbed bronze tends to be a common choice in a modern farmhouse. (Things that you might not have heard - often, the crank handle on Pella windows is interchangeable. If you prefer the look of the Rustic series on the Architect line of windows, you may be able to buy just the handles as "parts" and switch them out after the windows are installed. Nip down to the Pella store and ask, if you're interested in doing so. Likely, this is something you'll do without builder input, once he's out of your hair). Brass might also work, depending on what other finishes you've chosen. I probably would NOT do white, as I feel it looks cheap. AND, if the white paint you're using in your interior is a different white, it can clash.

  • Mary Ellen Lurie

    Holly! Thanks so much for the great advice. Have not even thought about door hardware as of yet. :-) We definitely liked the black exterior window look and liked the option of the white interior since it would give us more options decor wise than if we did all black on the interior. Just so i am clear, with option I am selecting, black exterior window, black exterior grids, with white interior windows and white interior grid, you would opt for black hardware, correct?

  • Holly Stockley

    Oil rubbed bronze, I think, if that's an option. Which is nearly black. But might blend easier with door hardware, especially if that's going to be oil rubbed bronze. Matte black is OK, too, if you're doing that on the doors and hinges.

    So, oil rubbed bronze:


    I do think dark hardware on white windows and doors can look snazzy:

    But it works best of this part of your hardware, at least, coordinates. So, now is a good time to think about that, too:

    Though I also think that white knobs on dark backplates are snazzy, too:

    Then again, I'm enough of a purist, I actually have a collection of antique knobs for my own new build. (You can fit them into modern, pre-drilled doors with a hardware kit.)

  • lkbum_gw

    Not to hijack the thread, but if you believe this, you either need to do more research that is not design related or stick to giving only design advice. “(I do think that Pella, Marvin, and Andersen are more or less equivalent on the quality front, in all cases dependent on which line you're using and how supporting your local sales rep is. As with many other things, resolving issues is highly dependent on that local sales rep.)”. Mary, you need to do a quick search on Pella windows on this board before you move forward regardless of design.

  • Holly Stockley

    ikbum_gw -

    The problem with your advice is that I've done exactly that. And, if you search this board, what you find is approximately equivalent proportions of complaints directed at all the different window manufacturers. Possibly slightly less at Marvin, although Marvin seems to have a smaller market share? Many of the complaints regarding Pella are 10-15 years old or more. What does that mean? Are fewer people using them? Have they begun to resolve whatever quality issues they had? It's impossible to tell from just a BB.

    So, what is a consumer to do? Simply reading a public forum really doesn't speak to the issue.

    I ask this in all seriousness, because I have some similar decisions to make and have somewhat more flexibility than Mary Ellen may.

    What specific issues and in which lines do you know them to be a problem?

    Is there a third-party independent consumer agency (like Consumer Reports, or something similar. I'm not particularly fond of CR since it was revealed that they are not always nearly as impartial as they pretend to be) or a professional association that has any sort of recommendations?

    So, help me balance what you believe against both my positive experience with them in the past and my builder's preference (as well as reluctance to use Andersen based on his own past difficulties in getting them to back their product).

    This sort of information would be much more helpful both to the OP and myself than just being nasty and belligerent.

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    You wondered if you will be able to see the interior hardware from the outside. Well, YOU will because you will be looking for it. No one else will because one, you are on 5 acres and two, no one will be looking for it.

    i have two kitchen drawers with different knobs than all the others. I much preferred one type of knob but the dishwasher door bumped them in this particular spot. So I found two smaller, vaguely similar, but not the same, for those drawers. ONE person has noticed in 12 years, and that was my photographer brother with an eye for detail, about 6 years in.

  • lkbum_gw

    Full on hijack here..... if I were picking a car, which most folks have more experience with, I would first research history, reliability, resell and the like of various brands that fit my needs. After Selecting a brand, I would then pick the color and options I desired. I would definitely not select color, then brand. In the OP’s case, there is no option on brand. And although many Pella posts on this board are old, the overwhelming opinion of the pro installers on this board are that Pella would not be a choice for windows. Windows are not like appliances or paint colors that are easily changed down the road. A little research could possibly save a lot of headache a few years later.

  • snowcountry

    I also have to decide on the window color. The only anodized options are aluminum or bronze which are practically black. So I am going with bronze. My exterior will be earthy red. Would it work? I am hoping the "bronze" has a bit of earthy tone than pure black. Wishful thinking?

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    If Pella is the only brand that is being offered, I guess the point is moot. I do appreciate @lkbum_gw feedback here. The internet is full of "expertise" at the end of the day and if you ask the professionals that have used a given set of products with a longer term history than just building a house with them (i.e. lumber yards that sell them, remodelers that install them and have to service them after the fact, and exterior construction companies that specialize in shell renovations) you will find that those professionals have a bit different opinion of the wood window products that are out there.

    Its a bit like the JD Power rankings that rate "initial" quality vs. the long term history on a given product.

    Almost all the wood windows will have a black/black option. Again...might be want you want right now, but might not be well suited for resale. That said, if you are going to be in the home for a while...Get what YOU want.

  • Holly Stockley

    Ah, but there was no preface of, "I'm a Pro, and here is my long term experience.."

    Now, had someone shared this, I'd have sat up and paid a little more attention:


  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    You ever hear of the golden rule? You will note from my commentary that I overwhelmingly do not actively trash a product or company. If someone is asking, I will make observations and recommendations to what I think might be better options and why the consensus among pros might be "X". As the old saying goes...opinions are like you know what. That said, it is my observation from talking to many others that my opinion is "X". If the OP is only allow to use a given brand, the point is entirely moot. If that was the case, I would highly suggest going with an inorganic to avoid this potential rot issue as well.

  • Holly Stockley

    I wasn't suggesting you should, nor commenting at all on that aspect. I was merely pointing out that some of the upthread comments are unhelpful, especially coming from a poster who is neither designated as a "pro" nor indicated any special experience.

    All I'm saying is that when you are trying to persuade someone, yelling,

    "Brand A is yucky!! Because!!"

    is much less compelling than

    "Brand A has some known issues. Here are some things that are common knowledge that should alert you to do some more digging."

    I can respect that you, Windows on Washington, have a professional reputation and are not going to trash the competition. It was some of the snotty remarks upthread that were both unhelpful and poorly communicated.

    Short version, for the OP - Pella's aluminum clad wood windows appear prone to rot. Second element - this is not a problem exclusive to Pella. Digging around there are similar class action lawsuits against at least 3 other companies. And, talking to my father last night, he indicated he'd had the same problem with his windows, made by yet another company. (He replaced parts of his himself, then added storm windows to the exterior, which has solved the issue for now). The other thing to keep in mind with all of these companies is that, for one reason or another, the warranty did not cover the damage.

    This is not saying that if you put in ProLine they WILL rot. But that if you've got a damp environment, it would be a risk and chances are good the warranty won't cover replacement.

  • millworkman

    As mentioned Holly, the unfortunate thing about Pella is the cladding on the exterior of the sash is ROLL FORM (think soda can) not extruded aluminum. At the end of the day that has been a major issue in my opinion for 30 plus years.

  • Holly Stockley

    No, I honestly thought you misunderstood her question. My bad.

  • millworkman

    Holly, I asked around and Lepage has no distribution in your area (actually they are pretty much just east coast). They could get you the windows my contact says but if it was needed no service would be available.

  • Holly Stockley

    Thank you for checking! Too bad, really, given how close we are to Ontario.

  • millworkman

    Yep, like I said I know I could hook you up with someone to buy from but god forbid you need service from the manufacturer. Take a good hard look at Kolbe. I do not think you will be disappointed.

  • Holly Stockley

    I got a chance to go see some of their models this morning, and came home with a pile of literature. Plans have been e-mailed to their sales rep so he can put together a bid. And then I can ask those pesky questions about what the upcharges are for various options. ;-)

  • millworkman

    Excellent. Let me/us know how you make out please.

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