Universal Windows Direct

4.0

UWD offers great windows in the $550-$2,000 range, with some as low as $200.

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Superlative:
Most Affordable
Price Range:
$550–$849
BBB Rating:
A-
Availability:
20 states
Warranty:
Limited Lifetime
Offers 7 window styles 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
Limited service area

You can purchase the following window styles from Universal Windows Direct:

  • Bay/bow
  • Awning/hopper
  • Casement
  • Double-hung
  • Garden
  • Picture
  • Sliding

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.

Along with the superlative of “Most Affordable,” we’ve awarded Universal Windows Direct (UWD) 4 out of 5 stars for its many benefits. It provides high-quality windows and services at a cost-effective price, allowing you to enhance your home’s curb appeal without busting your budget. The company also offers doors, siding, roofing, and insulation products for those needing more in-depth home improvements.

To help you discover if Universal Windows Direct is right for your home and wallet, we’ve developed an extensive review of the company that covers costs, customer rankings, products, and services. Read on to learn about each of these factors in more depth.


Our Preferred Window Companies

Universal Windows Direct is just one of the top-rated window companies we recommend. The panel below shows a few more providers to explore for your next window replacement project:

Top Pick

4.3

70 years of experience

Frequent discounts

Offers virtual and in-person appointments

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Limited Time:
Buy 2 Windows, Get 2 Free!
Best Exterior Remodeling
Logo for Power Home Remodeling

4.3

Lifetime warranty

Reasonable pricing

Framing, glass, and style options

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Limited Time:
No current offers available.
Best Window Selection

4.3

Offers wood and vinyl framing options

Excellent customizability

7 glass options

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Limited Time:
No offers at this time.
Most Affordable

4.0

Low pricing

Lifetime labor and material warranty

Custom financing

GET ESTIMATE
Limited Time:
Buy 2 Windows, Get 2 Free!

Universal Windows Direct Reviews

We think UWD is an excellent choice for many homeowners’ window replacement needs. But don’t just take it from us.

Exploring real customer reviews is a great way to determine a company’s reputation. We’ve read reviews on BBB, Google, and Trustpilot to find out what real customers have to say about 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.

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.

Read also: Comparison of Champion and Pella windows


Our Review of Universal Windows Direct

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.

Pros & Cons of Universal Windows Direct

Now, check out some overarching pros and cons of UWD. Understanding these benefits and drawbacks can help you determine if this company is right for you.

Offers seven styles of windows with almost endless customization options
Products are some of the most affordable on the market
Impressive post-installation support
Solid A- rating with the BBB
Only provides vinyl-framed windows
Limited service area
Customization will increase the final price

What We Liked and Didn’t Like

Now let’s dive into what we do and don’t like about Universal Windows Direct’s products, services, and more.

What We Liked

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 Didn’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.

What We Liked

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 Didn’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. UWD currently operates in Baltimore; Charlotte; Chicago; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Indiana; Louisville; Milwaukee; Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; St. Louis.

What We Liked

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 Didn’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.

What We Liked

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 Didn’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.

What We Liked

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 Didn’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 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.

Company

Our Rating

BBB Rating

Avg. Price Per Window

Energy-efficient?

Custom Financing?

Warranty

81.5

A+

$1,200+

Yes

Yes

20-year Glass & parts

85.5

Not Rated

$850–$1,200

Yes

Yes

Limited Lifetime

85.5

A+

$550–$850

Yes

Yes

Lifetime+

83.5

A

$350–$550

Yes

Yes

Lifetime

76.5

Not Rated

$550–$850

Yes

Yes

Limited Lifetime

78.5

A+

$550–$850

Yes

Yes

Lifetime


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.

Most Affordable

4.0

Limited Time:
Buy 2 Windows, Get 2 Free!

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.

universal windows direct bay and bow windows
Credit: Universal Windows Direct

Crank-out

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.

universal windows direct crank out windows
Credit: Universal Windows Direct

Double-hung

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.

universal windows direct double hung windows
Credit: Universal Windows Direct

Garden

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.

universal windows direct garden windows
Credit: Universal Windows Direct

Picture

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.

universal windows direct picture windows
Credit: Universal Windows Direct

Sliding

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.

Read our article to learn more about the cost of sliding windows.

universal windows direct sliding windows
Credit: Universal Windows Direct

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.

Vinyl

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.

Fiberglass

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.

Most Affordable

4.0

Limited Time:
Buy 2 Windows, Get 2 Free!

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.

Read Also: Proper Door and Window Setup


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
Most Affordable

4.0

Limited Time:
Buy 2 Windows, Get 2 Free!

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.
Most Affordable

4.0

Limited Time:
Buy 2 Windows, Get 2 Free!

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.

Read Also: Analysis of Weather Shield Window

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.

Most Affordable

4.0

Limited Time:
Buy 2 Windows, Get 2 Free!

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
avatar for Dani Straughan

Dani Straughan

Contributor

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

photo of Lora Novak

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.

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