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Alpen vs. Inline vs. Marvin Windows

Krist0ff | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Hello All,

Building a new home in Minnesota. Builders are going with Marvin essential for windows. While researching for energy efficiency came across this forum and windows Alpen & Inline. Been reading a bit about the two – Would really appreciate if you can guide me here

Requirement: Lots of tall windows (max 8 feet), Casement, Narrow frame (more visible glass), good energy efficiency

Will Alpen or Inline meet the above requirements? How would they be different from Marvin. Spoke to Inline and they said will ship directly to me without any dealers. Builders arguement is on the warranty concern and trusted/proven known name with Marvin vs not familiar name.

Can you please guide me? Thanks

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  1. pjpfeiff | | #1

    Can't speak from personal experience, but a builder I spoke to in my area spoke highly of Marvin and the support they provide. My impression is that their price/performance ratio isn't the greatest, so probably a lot of what you pay for is that support. I understand that Alpen replaced all the windows in the Empire State building with no reported failures, so that speaks pretty well for them. They've also been pretty responsive the couple of times I've contacted them about potential small orders. Anyway, hopefully someone with more direct experience will respond.

  2. dan_saa | | #2

    Find a local Marvin dealer and visit the showroom, they can also show you range of other products & price points, and address your specific window design configurations that may point towards one manufacturer or another. We mostly use aluminum clad windows and Lincoln is more cost effective, but the dealer has explained that Marvin can be better when combining/mulling different window configurations that other systems don't do as well.

  3. user-2310254 | | #3

    I had Marvin wood windows in my first house, and they were a nightmare to maintain. (This was a modern-style home with minimal overhangs.) I also really felt letdown when Marvin announced it would no longer honor warranties on windows installed in EIFS construction, which I had.

    I put Andersen 100/400 series windows in another house and liked those units a lot. But double-pane windows might not be sufficient in your climate. You probably have to go up to one of the higher-cost products.

  4. johngfc | | #4

    We're looking at windows and our builder also prefers Marvin. But we visited the Alpen factory (it's just down the road), and Alpen has an excellent reputation. We were impressed with what we saw in the plant, and I've visited several houses with Alpen windows where the owners were happy. Alpen previously used a plastic film, but this year have shifted to a thin glass inner layer, which should alleviate the occasional observation of minor distortion which seemed to be more common in narrow, tall windows. I just contacted our Alpen salesman yesterday for a price/availability update, and unlike other building supplies our estimate (~$30,000) went up about 5% in the past year+. I think Alpen is the only company that will gas-fill windows for high elevations (perhaps not an issue for you). I'm leaning toward Alpen because of the specifications on the windows and sliding doors (the doors particularly surprised me), fiberglass construction, and they have been very responsive to inquiries. I do have some concern that our build will be far from potential support.

  5. jimkas | | #5

    We just completed our project with 100+K of Alpen windows. Operable units are a mix of casement and awning. We are climate zone 7 in Colorado. Have not had really cold or harsh weather yet. I have also installed lots of Marvins on projects in the midwest.

    Really happy with the performance so far of the alpen units, they are hard to latch/ unlatch. We have had some problems on some units with opening/ closing but the alpen tech who reviewed the issue calls this out as a result of installation errors, which have yet to be resolved. Overall really happy with the look, operation and performance.

    We went alpen for higher performance. we used the 525 and they seem to be approx 2x the r/u value of the Marvin. They also look. feel like a better quality unit. We did not like some of the detailing on the Marvin essential.

    We have had some problems with windows not coming out correct and with correct muntins. Alpen has been reasonable with supplying replacements, but like everyone else it seems these days, they are running hard just to keep up

    If we continue to see the level of performance we have seen so far the small issues will be totally worthwhile

  6. GBA Editor
    Kiley Jacques | | #6

    I think you will get a lot out of this webinar with Passive House expert Enrico Bonilauri:
    How to Choose the Right Windows and Doors for Your Climate. And this is a worthwhile read with lots of opinions on the windows you are wondering about:
    What Windows Should I Buy? .

  7. Krist0ff | | #7

    Thank you all
    Kiley - I'll read and see what I can gather. Thank you

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