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When you are in the research phase of your window buying journey, you have no doubt run into the names Marvin and Pella. They are leading window manufacturers and have brought exciting options onto the market for years. In a showdown between Marvin vs. Pella, which is better?
There’s no black or white answer. In fact, there is a wonderful world of gray to explore. In other words, it depends! On what? On what you need. On what you want. On what you’re trying to achieve with your new windows. On you.
Both companies have a wide range of window types and materials from which to choose. Marvin offers several prominent lines:
As mentioned, Marvin offers one aluminum wood-clad window line, Signature Ultimate. You can select from different styles and options, but all windows are built the same way. They feature an extruded aluminum exterior (both sash and frame) and a wood interior. Clear pine is the standard option, but you can upgrade to other species, such as fir, oak, mahogany, and cherry.
Pella, on the other hand, has two clad wood lines, which are each built slightly differently.
The high-end Architect Series has an extruded aluminum frame with a roll-form aluminum clad sash. For the wood interior, pine is standard but you can upgrade to other species. The Lifestyle Series also has an extruded frame and roll-form aluminum clad sash, but it comes standard with triple pane glass and the famous “blinds between the glass” panel.
Both Marvin and Pella have a number of options from which to choose, and they also offer the ability to customize your new windows to meet your own personal wants and needs.
With all of this information, you might be wondering, what do these differences mean?
Marvin- Extruded Aluminum Cladding
Pella- Roll Form Aluminum Cladding
Extruded Aluminum is about the thickness of a quarter. It is structural due to the thickness of the metal.
Roll Form Aluminum is thinner like a soda can so it can be wrapped (formed) around the wood. It is not structural because it is thin.
Marvin Cross Section showing Extruded Aluminum Cladding
Pella Proline Cross Section showing Roll Form Aluminum Cladding
Marvin- Butt Joints in Corners
Pella- Mitered Corners
Marvin Butt Joint Corner
Pella Mitered Corner
Marvin- 19 exterior finished colors that meet American Architectural Manufactures Association (AAMA) 2605 Standard. Custom color matching is available.
Pella- EnduraClad for the Architect Series is available in 27 factory colors.
Marvin- Wood (Black Walnut, Cherry, Mixed Grain Douglas Fir, Honduran Mahogany, Pine, Vertical Grain Douglas Fir, and White Oak.)
Pella- 3 wood options for standard windows: Mahogany, Douglas Fir, and Pine. White Oak, Cherry, Red Oak, or Maple are only available for custom windows.
Marvin- Your choice of 7 factory stains & 3 painted wood finishes.
Pella- Pine can be pre-finished in your choice of 7 stains or 3 paint colors.
Marvin- Single Hung, Double Hung, Casement, Casement Swing, Awning, Glider, Bay & Bow, Round Top, European Style Tilt-Turn, Picture Frame, and Specialty & Customized Shapes.
Pella- Double Hung, Casement, Awning, and Single Hung. Custom sizes and configurations are available for the Architect series.
Marvin- Standard Option:Dual Pane with Low E & Argon
Additional Options Available: Additional Low E & Argon options, Triple Pane, Specialty Glass (Sound Abatement, etc.),
Tinted , Obscure & Decorative Glass
Pella- 4 different options are available. All with dual or triple pane glass with argon or krypton.
It’s impossible to say! Both Marvin and Pella offer windows, details, options, and materials to meet different needs. For example, if you’re planning on selling your home in the next five years, you might prefer Pella’s budget-friendly Vinyl Windows. Pella’s name and reputation are great for resale value, and your upfront costs will be lower.
On the other hand, if this is your forever home and you prioritize quality, Marvin windows may cost a bit more initially, but your investment will be very well protected over time. The design and customization options available from each line of Marvin windows gives you more flexibility in the final look.
As you continue your search for new windows, consider what features and benefits are most important to you. This is how you determine which window is “better”!