Updated On

June 1, 2023

Why You Can Trust Us

Today’s Homeowner exists to help you maintain or improve your home safely and effectively. We uphold strict editorial standards and carefully vet the advice and resources referenced in our articles. Click below to learn more about our review process and how we earn money.

Learn More

    If you’ve looked into getting good replacement windows for your home, there’s a good chance you’ve come across Universal Windows Direct. Established in 2002 in Cleveland, Ohio, Universal Windows Direct takes pride in offering homeowners affordable window options and it is among our top rated window brands.

    As you know, purchasing new windows for your home can be a substantial investment. To help you discover if Universal Windows Direct is right for your wallet, we’ve developed an extensive review of the company that covers costs, customer rankings, products, and services.

    Our Rating83.5 / 100
    Year Founded2002
    State AvailabilityOperates in limited cities and states: Baltimore; Charlotte; Chicago; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Indiana; Louisville; Milwaukee; Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; St. Louis
    Financing OptionsYes, through partner lenders
    Energy-Efficient ProductsYes
    Warranty30-year lifetime transferable warranty on all components, labor, and installation.
    Price Range$750–$2,000
    BBB RatingA

    Universal Windows Direct Pros & Cons


    • Offers seven styles of windows with almost endless customization options
    • Products are some of the most affordable on the market
    • Impressive post-installation support


    • Only provides vinyl framed windows
    • Customization will increase the final price

    Our Review of Universal Windows Direct

    Total Score: 83.5 / 100 points

    Because Universal Windows Direct offers industry-leading products at highly competitive prices, we’ve recognized it as the “Most Affordable” window company. This is because it has a wide assortment of windows in the $750–$2,000 range, which includes some lower-budget options to help you save money.

    We also acknowledge it for quickly building an excellent reputation for delivering great products with superior post-installation support. This would mean an overall better experience for your home improvement project.

    Product Offerings of Universal Windows Direct

    Score: 29 / 40 points

    What we like

    With seven styles of windows on offer, Universal Windows Direct has a comparable level of selection to other industry leaders. As a bonus, Universal Windows Direct provides relatively endless customization options with all its available window styles. In addition to shape, size, and color, you can order custom hardware and grilles, resulting in windows tailored to your home and needs.

    What we don’t like

    Universal Windows Direct only offers vinyl-framed windows. Though there are many advantages to vinyl as a material, this may be considered a drawback if you desire the look of wood or the durability of aluminum.

    Service Offerings of Universal Windows Direct

    Score: 9 / 10 points

    What we like

    Universal Windows Direct offers a free consultation for your window installation project. The company pairs you with a certified installer, ensuring your windows are installed correctly. Universal Windows Direct also installs front doors, patio doors, and siding, meaning you only have to interact with one supplier for all exterior renovation projects.

    What we don’t like

    The only thing not to like about Universal’s service is the somewhat limited service area. The company replaces windows in a smattering of cities and states, but is not available in all areas.

    Affordability of Universal Windows Direct

    Score: 25 / 25 points

    What we like

    Universal Windows Direct is one of the most affordable window suppliers in the industry, with many window options costing under $550 each after installation. Also, the company’s financing options will make your window replacement affordable even if you’re on a tight budget.

    What we don’t like

    Though Universal Windows Direct ranks high on the affordability scale, some customization options will result in a higher price tag. If you have an extremely customized project, it could get expensive.

    Warranty and Post-installation Support of Universal Windows Direct

    Score: 10 / 10 points

    What we like

    With an industry-leading warranty, Universal Windows Direct provides excellent post-installation support. The company’s warranty covers the window, installation, and labor. If you decide to sell your home, the warranty is transferable.

    What we don’t like

    Though the Universal Windows Direct warranty is impressive, the company doesn’t provide many resources to maintain your investment. Though the website has a blog with some material, it’s not plentiful.

    Company Reputation of Universal Windows Direct

    Score: 10.5 / 15 points

    What we like

    Universal Windows Direct has a high BBB rating. Coupled with many positive online reviews, the company has a solid reputation across its customer base.

    What we don’t like

    Founded in 2002, Universal Windows Direct is a younger company, though it’s still well-regarded amongst consumers. One downside is that the company doesn’t offer in-house contractors and install teams, meaning that your experience may vary depending on the independent contractor you work with.

    How Much Does Universal Windows Direct Cost?

    Because costs will be specific to your home, Universal Windows Direct doesn’t provide exact cost information on its website. Prices will depend on any customizations, as well as size and shape. However, the company does offer free estimates.

    Though exact pricing for its windows can only be determined through consultation with a salesperson, the company has some options starting at $200.

    Universal Windows Direct Financing

    Universal Windows Direct has some of the most affordable windows on the market. The company also offers financing options to help make its products even more accessible to consumers.

    Partnering with GreenSky to offer flexible financing options, Universal Windows Direct has multiple choices to finance your investment. From low APR rates to zero percent interest options, Universal Windows Direct provides a wide range of affordable financing plans.

    In addition, the company offers discounts. Though discounts vary regionally, they can make a difference in your final cost. With coupons like buy-one-get-one window and cash discounts, there are many ways to save on the overall cost of your project. Be sure to ask your sales rep about local discounts available during consultation.

    What Types of Windows Does Universal Windows Direct Offer?

    Universal Windows Direct offers a range of window styles. With the option to customize, you’re sure to find windows that will suit your needs.

    Below, we’ve detailed the types of window products available from Universal Windows Direct to help you better understand your choices.

    Bay and Bow

    These windows protrude past the home’s exterior wall, which creates extra space. Though very similar, bay windows have three panels, while bow windows have four. Generally, both types include casement windows which allow you to open them.


    These windows have several styles, including awning, casement, and hopper styles. They’re designed for easy cleaning and maximum ventilation. With their contemporary look, crank-out windows can easily update the appearance of your home.


    The most standard windows found in residential homes, double-hung windows, have two sashes that allow you to open the window from the top or bottom.


    Typically found in kitchens, garden windows create a miniature greenhouse environment for plants. These windows protrude from your home’s exterior, creating a ledge for plants and allowing maximum sunlight to enter.


    Though they don’t open, picture windows maximize glass space and give you a picturesque view of your home’s surroundings. Often, picture windows can be combined with double-hung or sliding windows to create a custom window that offers beauty and functionality.


    A sliding window is similar to a double-hung window in that it functions from both directions. However, they’re oriented horizontally, providing unobstructed views while offering maximum ventilation.

    What Materials Does Universal Windows Direct Use In Its Windows?

    Many window companies offer a variety of window materials like wood, aluminum, or vinyl. However, Universal Windows Direct only provides the option of vinyl casements.


    Though windows from Universal Windows Direct are only offered in vinyl, the vinyl that the company uses is 100% virgin vinyl, meaning that it will never chip, fade, or rot, which is one of the reasons why Universal Windows Direct is one of our top 5 vinyl windows. Other companies use recycled vinyl or filler, leading to low-quality products. Because Universal Windows Direct utilizes high-quality brand new vinyl, your windows will offer lasting beauty to your home.


    Universal Windows Direct produces some windows with an additional rigid fiberglass insert. These inserts provide additional support and insulating properties, producing more energy-efficient products.

    How Energy-efficient Are Universal Windows Direct Windows?

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, vinyl framed windows are thermally superior to other window frames, especially when insulated. Though all of the company’s windows are framed in vinyl, the customization options available from Universal Windows Direct make them especially energy-efficient.

    With UniShield® high-performance window packages exclusive to Universal Windows Direct, the company offers windows with higher gas fill rates and gas retention than other energy-efficient windows. This leads to increased efficiency for a longer period of time than many other windows on the market.

    Soundproofing & Insulation of Universal Windows Direct Windows

    Properties that improve the energy efficiency of Universal Windows Direct products also increase soundproofing and insulation abilities. The UniShield® A series and UniShield® P series offer triple-pane options. Each extra layer of glass is filled with gas, which helps to stop incoming soundwaves and maintain a consistent temperature.

    Though the products offered by Universal Windows Direct can aid with noise reduction, homeowners looking for maximum sound abatement should opt for specialty soundproof windows. These windows will have higher Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings.

    Proper installation is critical for maximum insulation and sound reduction. A professional window installer can take precise measurements and ensure a tight seal, which is crucial to minimize noise and increase insulation.

    Universal Windows Direct Windows Series

    Depending on your needs, one of the Universal Windows Direct window series may suit your home better. With Universal Windows Direct, you can be sure you’ll find a window series that fits your needs.

    Below, you’ll find more information on the window series offered by Universal Windows Direct.

    SeriesTypesMaterialsBest For
    UniShield® P SeriesBay and Bow, Crank-out, Double-hung, Garden, Picture, SlidingVinylSound abatement
    Energy efficiency
    UV protection

    Does Universal Windows Direct Offer Window Customization?

    Universal Windows Direct provides several customizable options, allowing you to create windows unique to your home. There is a multitude of woodgrain finishes and colors, along with glass and hardware styles to choose from.

    The company offers the following customization options for its windows*:

    Customizable ItemOptions
    Vinyl ColorsTan White Brown
    Interior WoodgrainLight Oak Golden Oak Cherry Vintage Pecan Natural Oak White Woodgrain Soft Maple Rich Maple Foxwood Rosewood
    Exterior Paints / LaminatesArchitectural Bronze Clay Forest Green Brick Red Tan Gray Beige Brown White Black Bronze
    Decorative GlassColonial Prairie Double Prairie Obscure Glass Perimeter Prairie Diamond View Over One
    Plated Lock FinishesAntique Brass Satin Nickel Polished Brass Aged Bronze Coppertone

    *Customizability options vary by location and series. View details online or contact a representative for more detailed information.

    Universal Windows Direct Consultation & Installation Process

    Universal Windows Direct has a number of retail locations nationwide. This can mean that the consultation and installation process may vary slightly depending on your location, but you can generally expect the same great service from the sales representatives regardless of which provider you work with.

    When you purchase windows from Universal Windows Direct, you can expect the following experience:

    1. Consultation: Appointments are made based on your scheduling needs and can be made on the same day. Service representatives will help you select windows and an install date based on your home’s needs.
    2. Manufacturing: The company will create custom-fit windows based on your home’s specifications and design needs.
    3. Installation: A certified professional installation crew will deliver and install your windows. The service also includes disposal of the old windows.
    4. Customer Follow-up: The company’s installers should answer any questions you have about your new windows, which are backed by a 30-year warranty.

    Watch below to see what life is like in the day of a UWD Installation technician.

    Does Universal Windows Direct Offer a Good Warranty?

    Many window companies offer product warranties so customers can be assured that their investments are protected, and Universal Windows Direct is no exception. The company backs its products with its True Lifetime Warranty, meaning that the following is protected:

    • All hardware and locks
    • All installation and labor
    • Frames and glass systems
    • Materials, pieces, and parts

    Universal Windows Direct’s warranty can offer you invaluable peace of mind. The warranty is transferable to a new homeowner as well. Though the warranty doesn’t cover some circumstances like misuse or vandalism, you can be sure that if there are any product or installation defects, the company will correct them.

    Universal Windows Direct Customer Reviews

    Customer reviews are a great way to determine the reputation of a company. We’ve read reviews on BBB, Google, and Trustpilot to find out what real customers have to say about Universal Windows Direct.

    Positive Reviews of Universal Windows Direct

    Many customers note the professionalism of Universal Windows Direct team members. From sales members to installation professionals, customers were satisfied with top-tier service.

    “Replaced several windows and a sliding glass door in my home, and couldn’t be happier. The salesman was very knowledgeable, clean and respectful! The installers were as well!”

    -M W , 3/25/2020

    “From start to finish the Universal team were helpful, professional and great! The installer was very nice and professional! He explained how to operate my new windows!”

    -David D, 11/28/2022

    “The installation went well with no complaints. The gentlemen were professional, covered my carpets, and cleaned up all debris as they went along. Very happy with the windows.”

    -Anthony C, 3/22/2023

    Negative Reviews of Universal Windows Direct

    Some reviews indicate that some customers have had issues with communication and messy installations. We must note that many issues Universal Windows Direct customers raised through BBB have since been resolved.

    “I would not recommend this company for the complete lack of communication. No one answers the phone there and they rarely return phone calls.”

    -Stephanie B, 8/25/2022

    “Crews left dozens of nails, sharp aluminum clippings, as well as broken glass around the house that I have had to pick up on my own.”

    -Mike B, 8/1/2022

    How Do Universal Windows Direct’s Windows Compare to Its Competitors?

    The table below shows how Universal Windows Direct ranks against industry-leading competitors for pricing, warranty, and BBB ratings.

     Renewal by AndersenChampionWindow NationUniversal Windows DirectWindow WorldCastle Windows
    Our Rating4.
    Average Price Per Window$1,200+$850+$550+$350+$550+$550+
    Offers Custom FinancingYesYesYesYesYesYes
    Warranty20-year glass/parts   10-year hardware   2-year installationLimited Lifetime WarrantyLifetime Plus WarrantyTrue Lifetime WarrantyLimited Lifetime WarrantyLifetime Warranty
    BBB RatingA+NRNRAA+A+

    *BBB ratings accurate as of June 2023

    So, Is Universal Windows Direct Worth It for Your Home?

    Universal Windows Direct is a great choice if you’re looking for a company that offers affordable window replacement. We like that the company offers customization options and backs its product with a True Lifetime Warranty. However, Universal Windows Direct only offers vinyl windows, which may be a drawback if you’re looking for more frame options.

    We recommend getting at least three quotes from various companies, regardless of where you buy your new windows. Providers like Castle Windows, Window World, and Renewal by Andersen are all top-rated and offer different advantages and cost points that may make them better suited to your budget and home.

    Get a Windows Quote in 30 Seconds

    Still trying to decide if Universal Windows Direct is the right provider for you? Dig into some of the most frequently asked questions about this high-ranking company.

    FAQs About Universal Windows Direct

    Who Manufactures Universal Windows Direct Windows?

    Universal Windows Direct manufactures its own windows. It offers a range of popular window styles, all of which are customizable and backed by a 30-year True Lifetime Warranty.

    Who Owns Universal Windows Direct?

    William Barr and Michael Strmac founded Universal Windows Direct and operated the company as an independently owned business. In 2022, Great Day Improvements acquired the company.

    How Long Has Universal Windows Direct Been in Business?

    Universal Windows Direct was founded in 2002, meaning the company is relatively young compared to its competitors.

    Methodology: How Did We Review Universal Windows Direct

    At Today’s Homeowner, we strive to bring you the most transparent, accurate information for your home improvement projects. Our window company ratings emphasize what matters most to you — a wide range of well-designed products with reliable installation and great curb appeal.

    Our ratings are based on publicly available information about each company, secret shopping online and over the phone, customer-review analysis, and discussions with renovation and building experts. A company can earn a maximum of 100 points across five categories, converted to a five-star scale. We researched dozens of windows installation and replacement companies to develop the following formula:

    • Product Offerings (30 points): Window installers can earn the maximum point value in this category if they offer a wide variety of window styles, frame materials, hardware designs, and glass and coating options. Companies earn more points if they design custom windows for your home. We also score the quality and energy efficiency of the windows each company installs.
    • Service Offerings (10 points): When evaluating this category, we consider factors such as consultations, post-installation cleanup, and additional product offerings. We also look at each company's installation team structure – including whether it uses certified window installers or subcontractors to complete work – as this can cause variances in quality.
    • Affordability (25 points):  Our affordability rating considers the provider’s average window prices and how they align with industry averages, as well as discounts and payment plans.
    • Warranty and Support (20 points): A best-in-class window installer will back up its work with a solid warranty to give you added peace of mind. Companies receive the maximum point value in this category if they offer lifetime warranties for their products and workmanship.
    • Company Reputation (15 points): To ensure we’re recommending worthwhile installers, we check each company’s reputation and standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We also consider how many years of experience it has in the window industry.

    We monitor company data on an ongoing basis to keep rankings and information up to date.

    Editorial Contributors
    Dani Straughan

    Dani Straughan


    Dani Straughan is a content producer for Today’s Homeowner from Durham, North Carolina, with an extensive writing background across multiple industries, ranging from coffee to automotive parts. Dani specializes in creating empathetic content that helps readers make informed decisions about home products and services. When they’re not writing about DIY projects and roof care, you will likely find Dani building custom handcrafted furniture or going on nature walks with friends.

    Learn More

    Lora Novak

    Senior Editor

    Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

    Learn More

    Check Out Window Companies in Your City