Well made windows add beauty to your home both inside and out, but the benefits of luxury windows go beyond looks. High end window brands craft their products with close attention to the details of construction, hardware, and finishes, creating windows that are more durable and easier to use.
Choosing High-End Windows
Material is one of the main factors that sets high-end windows apart from their cheaper counterparts. The warm, traditional character of wood makes it a favorite for luxury windows, particularly on period-style homes, but it requires more maintenance than most other materials.
Durable hardwoods such as oak, mahogany, and sapele are popular choices, but you’ll also find high-end windows made from softwoods, such as pine, fir, and redwood. For improved durability, look for windows with wood interiors and exterior cladding of aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass.
Steel and aluminum windows are well suited to the clean lines of modern architecture. Because steel is stronger than aluminum, it allows for smaller frame sightlines, but it will cost more. Aesthetics aside, metal windows aren’t ideal for homes in cold climates or those near the coast. For a contemporary feel without metal, some high-end window brands also offer windows in vinyl and fiberglass.
Energy efficiency is another important consideration, but a higher price doesn’t guarantee you higher efficiency. For good energy efficiency, look for windows with double panes and low-E glass. Double-pane windows filled with argon, xenon, or krypton are even more efficient.
Beyond this, look for small details such as steel hinges, easy-to-use operators, and PVD finishes on metal windows.
High-End Window Brands to Watch
One of the best known names in high-end windows, Marvin entered the windows market shortly after its founding in 1912. Today, Marvin windows are still made to order one at a time.
The Marvin Essential collection, made with High-Density Fiberglass interiors and exteriors, and the Marvin Elevate collection, with fiberglass exteriors and wood interiors, are the more budget-friendly options.
For a fully custom window, look to the Marvin Signature Series. Here you’ll find the highly customizable Ultimate line, the minimalist Modern line, and the Coastline line designed with impact-resistant features for coastal conditions. Many windows in the Signature collection include innovations such as the easy-to-use Lift Lock hardware and the Lock Status Sensor for use with smart home systems.
Pella offers luxury wood, fiberglass, and vinyl windows in contemporary and traditional styles, as well as completely custom windows with a wide range of options. Innovation has been one of the company’s primary focuses since its founding as a window screen company in 1925.
The Integrated Rolscreen retractable screen for single- and double-hung windows and the easy-to-use Easy-Slide Operator are two of the company’s recent developments. Most of the higher-end wood windows are found in the The Reserve and Architect series.
For an even wider selection, try Pella Luxury, Pella’s partnership with four other well reputed high-end window brands. These are Bonelli, known for aluminum windows, Duratherm, makers of custom wood windows, Grabill, makers of wood-clad windows, and Reilly, known for custom wood and metal windows.
This Canadian manufacturer opened as a lumber company in 1905 and entered the North American window market with demand for premade windows and doors rose after WWII.
By focusing on all-wood windows and wood windows clad with extruded aluminum, the company has built a good reputation for creating elegant combinations of wood and metal. Coastal Douglas Fir is their standard wood, but they also work with Honduran Mahogany, white oak, and the chemically modified pine known as Accoya.
Loewen’s Cyprium Collection stands out for its blending of modern technology with the vintage charm of copper or bronze cladding aged with a hand-applied patina. Other innovations include their proprietary roto gear cranks for casement windows and their proprietary sash lock for single- and double-hung windows, both of which add durability and make the windows easier to operate.
A family-owned business since 1946, Kolbe produces windows primarily in aluminum and wood.
Windows in the VistaLuxe Collection feature clean lines and large expanses of glass with wood interiors and extruded aluminum exteriors that are well suited to modern architecture. Ultra Series windows, also made with wood interiors and extruded aluminum exteriors, are built for additional versatility and durability.
For more traditional or period-style homes, there’s the Heritage Series, which offers all-wood windows in a wide range of both common and exotic woods.
Kolbe’s windows are easily paired with automated home systems.
Fleetwood has specialized in aluminum windows and doors for contemporary luxury homes since its founding in 1961.
The company’s 3-Series line offers the Series 250-T casement, awning, and hopper windows and the Series 530-T thermal frame sliding and single hung windows, all designed for clean, linear sightlines. From the 3-Series, Fleetwood developed the Gen4 line with improvements such as larger glass panes and hidden weep slots.
In the Edge Collection, you’ll find the ultra-modern EDGE |f| window designed with nearly invisible sightlines to allow for maximum view.
Hardware such as the proprietary stainless steel Archetype Window Latch, made for comfort and durability, and stainless steel bearing rollers similar to those used on sliding doors help ensure years of trouble-free operation. Both anodized and painted finishes are available in several colors.
Founded in 1930, Arcadia specializes in custom windows made from thermally-broken steel, thermally-broken aluminum, and wood.
From their factories around America, they offer a wide variety of window styles, including multi-fold and pivot windows, a selection of luxury hardwoods such as mahogany, oak, cherry, and walnut, and distressing options to suit historical homes.
Their Steel Look aluminum windows give you the sleek look of steel at a lower cost. With their Accoya wood windows, you can enjoy the ambiance of wood with lower maintenance requirements and greater durability. Arcadia’s Thermal Steel iCore precision machining and laser-cutting technology improves their windows’ energy efficiency and creates a polished finish.
A relative newcomer to the window manufacturing scene, Arka focuses on high-performance windows in modern styles such as tilt-and-turn and panorama swing.
The Status Line offers all-wood and aluminum-clad windows, the Luxury Line includes thermally broken aluminum windows, and windows in the Modern Line are made with premium vinyl reinforced with steel.
All their windows are fit with double or triple panes for improved efficiency and multipoint locking systems for optimal security.
Hayfield’s windows prove vinyl can look as luxurious as wood. From its beginnings as an aluminum storm window manufacturer in 1951, the company has since built its reputation on wood-look vinyl windows in both modern and traditional designs.
The Heritage series is where you’ll find the more traditional styles. These windows offer the option of a Durawood artificial wood interior. If you prefer the sleek finish of vinyl, the Vinyl Classics series has you covered.
Hayfield’s windows are designed and built to handle the often harsh weather of Minnesota, where they’re manufactured. For state-of-the-art efficiency, they offer triple-pane windows with krypton gas fill.