Great Lakes Windows is a brand of vinyl replacement windows and patio doors, which features high-performing UV resistance and energy-efficient windows.
If you’re wondering whether Great Lakes® Windows is the perfect window replacement choice for your home improvement project, here’s a comprehensive guide for you to help you decide if it is suitable for your needs and personal style.
It will cover everything you need to know about Great Lakes® Windows—from the pros and cons, its costs, care and maintenance, and installation tips.
Great Lakes Windows Overview
Founded in 1981, Great Lakes® Window is a hand-crafted vinyl replacement window and patio door brand made by Ply Gem, its parent company and a manufacturer of home building materials. It offers windows, patio doors, siding, gutters, fencing and railing, trim and moldings, shutters, and accents.
Great Lakes® Window features high-performing and energy-efficient vinyl windows, which appear in eight window styles: Double-hung, Sliding, Casement, Awning, Basement, Picture & Shape, Bay & Bow, and Garden Windows. It is categorized into three product lines: ecoSmart, ComfortSmart, and HarborLight
The HarborLight is available in three different series, including Double Hung Classic Line, Single Hung Series, and Impact Series.
The Double Hung Classic line is available for all markets, while the Single Hung Series is available for the Texas and Southern markets. The Impact series, which offers durable laminated glass, is an ideal window line for coastal places.
Great Lakes® Windows come in a variety of window color options. The available exterior colors are White, Beige, Dark Bronze, Earthtone, Sandstone, Royal Brown, Evergreen, Black, and Shark Skin, while the two available interior colors include White and Beige.
The colors Royal Brown, Evergreen, Black, and Shark Skin are heat-reflective exterior colors. It also features five woodgrain options: Colonial Cherry, Natural Oak, Golden Oak, Warm Maple, and Rosewood.
Its replacement windows also appear in standard window hardware finishes, including White, Beige, Earthtone, and Pontiac Gold with Classic Brass, Satin Nickel, and Bronze as its optional window hardware finish variations.
Great Lakes® Windows also offers two grille types, namely Grilles Between the Glass (GBG), and Simulated Divided Lite (SDL), which comes in nine grille styles: Colonial, Three over One, Two over One, Perimeter Prairie, Diamond, Plaza (Three over One), Plaza (One over Three), Plaza (Four over Four), and Plaza (Eight over One).
Moreover, the glass windows are also available in 12 handcrafted design styles:
Bristol, Chandler, Chelsea, Cheswick, Covington, Glenfield, Grayson, Laurel, Sheffield, Somerton, Stanton, and Stratton.
Great Lakes Windows Pros and Cons
Great Lakes® Windows offers energy-efficient and Energy-Star certified windows, which reduce energy transfer and save money on heating and cooling costs. Their windows have fusion-welded frames that make them durable and weather-tight.
All windows feature laminated and insulated glass, which has sound control properties that prevent outside noise from entering the home and helps absorb sound waves. The thickness of the glass and the asymmetrical construction also helps block a great range of frequency sounds.
Moreover, non-toxic gases are filled in-between the glass panes that further insulates the window and increase efficiency. A spacer system is also added to help improve the window performance and secure the window panes. The space system is available in three options: EnergyEdge, EnergyEdge+, and EnergyTek.
The windows are UV-resistant, blocking ultraviolet rays without reducing the ample light that comes inside. They also feature Low-E coating options, which reduce heat transfer, sun damage, and fading to furnishings and other furniture.
The HarborLight product line also uses SureLok Sill technology, which locks the sash to the sill securely. It makes the windows durable, weather-tight and keeps the weatherstripping intact. It also has interlocking sashes and Forced-Entry Resistant Locks that help keep inclement weather and intruders.
Great Lakes® Windows also features multiple selections of product lines, window designs, styles, and color options. It provides flexibility to customers in choosing replacement windows that suit their preferences and needs. The three product lines also offer ease of installation and maintenance.
Though Great Lakes® Windows provides information where customers can contact a local dealer, the only drawback of this brand is its limited information about its local dealer network and limited distribution of products in the market.
Price and Hidden costs
The exact price of Great Lakes® Window products may vary, depending on the pricing provided by the Great Lakes Window dealers available nationwide. To get the most accurate quote or estimate possible, customers should contact a local dealer through the website or phone.
Since the Great Lakes® windows are custom-built, the pricing may also differ, depending on the home specifications of the replacement windows.
Great Lakes® Window products can be installed by yourself or by a professional installer in two methods. Method A is done by removing and replacing windows from the interior of the home, while Method B is by removing and replacing windows from the exterior of the home.
The installation method used may vary, depending on what is suitable for your window replacement project. Before installing the windows, always measure the window opening height and width to ensure the product fits perfectly in your home. Also, make sure to double-check if the purchased frame is the correct size.
Moreover, Great Lakes® Window also provided a list of recommended tools and accessories to use during installation, including Spray foam insulation material, Dow® Flashing Material, and sealant. During installation, the use of protective gear and adequate safety precautions is important to avoid any injuries.
Care And Maintenance
Great Lakes® Windows provide ease of care and maintenance. You only need to clean the windows using soap and water or any usual glass cleaning agents.
For vinyl windows, a cream wax cleaner, denatured alcohol, turpentine, or water with soap is recommended for everyday cleaning. A non-abrasive household cleaner is best used for stubborn spots.
For painted vinyl, accumulated particles or dirt should be removed using a soft, absorbent cloth or sponge with warm water containing a mild detergent. Use of a power washer, chemicals is not recommended because it can damage or discolor the painted surface.
All three product lines of Great Lakes® Window offer Lifetime Limited Warranty, which applies to the owner of the house where the replacement windows and doors were installed. It also offers 10 years of warranty coverage for the painted exterior colors.
Moreover, the Lifetime Limited Warranty covers the integral vinyl components of the product, insulated glass unit, moving parts, and screen material. After installation, make sure to also register your windows and doors online at their website to record your information.
Are Great Lakes Windows Worth Your Money?
Great Lakes® Windows is a good replacement window choice for homeowners who prefer hand-crafted and custom-built windows. It’s also worth it to buy due to its high-performing and energy-efficient windows, which improve thermal insulation inside your house while reducing your home’s energy usage and cost.
Its product line, HarborLight, is an ideal choice for homeowners who live in coastal areas. If you also want UV resistance windows, then Great Lakes® Windows will suit you perfectly.