Sliding windows: a buyer’s guide

Image source: Pella 

Chris Gennone

By Chris Gennone

November 4, 2021

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Sliding windows, or gliding windows, feature window sash glides that allow them to open horizontally and provide ventilation to your home. Although sliding windows offer similar functionality to double-hung windows, they feature fewer moving parts than other types, which makes them easy to open. 

Many window manufacturers feature Energy Star-certified sliding windows. These products are tested, certified, verified, and given ratings by the National Fenestration Rating Council. These ratings must also meet the energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA.

But with so many brands and different materials to choose from, which ones are the best for you? Let’s find out. 

Pricing key

$ = $75 - $99

$$ = $100 - $199

$$$ = $200 - $299

$$$$ = $300+

Top brands 

Pella 

pella sliding windows

Image source: Pella

Pella specializes in vinyl framed windows, with one fiberglass option available. Prices for Pella slider windows typically range from $75-$550 before installation. 

Pella's sliding windows:

Encompass by Pella 

  • Vinyl
  • Energy Star-certified
  • Optional AutoLock
  • Selections of different grilles and glazes
  • 3 color options
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • $-$$

250 Series

  • Vinyl
  • Dual or triple-pane insulated glass options
  • Energy Star-certified
  • 11 color options
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • $$

Pella Impervia 

  • Fiberglass
  • Corrosion-free  
  • Durable for most climates
  • Insulated glass options
  • Limited lifetime warranty  
  • 3 color options
  • $$-$$$

Pella Defender Series 

  • Vinyl
  • Insulated glass options
  • Designed to withstand hurricane winds
  • Energy Star-certified  
  • Limited lifetime warranty  
  • 2 color options
  • $$-$$$$

Pella Hurricane Shield Series 

  • Vinyl
  • Designed to withstand hurricane winds
  • Limited lifetime warranty  
  • 2 color options
  • $$$-$$$$ 

Find a contractor near you.

Andersen 

https://www.solarreviews.com/content/images/blog/Andersen%20h3.jpg

Image source: Brennan

Andersen and Pella are two of the biggest window manufacturers in the U.S. Unlike Pella, which uses vinyl materials for much of their products, Andersen typically uses fiberglass frames designed to look like wood. Andersen sliding windows usually range from $300-$3,000 before installation. 

Andersen’s sliding windows: 

100 Series

  • Made with Fibrex composite material
  • Windows feature one operable sash
  • Available in custom sizes
  • 4 interior and 5 exterior color options
  • Energy Star-certified
  • 20/10 Owner 2 Owner transferable warranty
  • $$

200 Series 

  • Wood with vinyl exterior
  • Features one operable sash
  • 2 interior and exterior color options
  • Low-E glass options
  • Energy Star-certified
  • 20-year Owner 2 Owner transferable warranty
  • $$-$$$

400 Series 

  • Wood with fiberglass exterior
  • Features weatherstripping
  • Low-E glass options
  • 6 interior and 7 exterior color options
  • Energy Star-certified
  • $$$-$$$$

E-Series 

  • Wood with aluminum exterior
  • Features one operable sash
  • Energy Star-certified
  • 50 exterior and 14 interior colors; custom color options available
  • $$$$

Milgard

milgard sliding windows

Image source: Milgard

Another top window manufacturer is Milgard, known for its vinyl sliding windows, reasonable prices, and lifetime warranties. Costs typically range from $300-$1,300 before installation.

Milgard’s sliding windows: 

Tuscany Series

  • Vinyl
  • Energy Star-certified
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Features the SmartTouch lock
  • 9 exterior and 2 interior color options  
  • $$-$$$ 

Trinsic Series

  • Vinyl
  • Energy Star-certified
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 10 exterior and 3 interior color options
  • $$-$$$ 

Style Line Series

  • Vinyl
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • Features Positive Action lock
  • 9 exterior and 2 interior color options
  • $$ 

Ultra Series 

  • Fiberglass
  • Energy Star-certified
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • Features Positive Action lock
  • 4 exterior and 4 interior color options
  • $-$$

Standard Aluminum 

  • Aluminum
  • Features SunCoat Low-E glass
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • 3 exterior and 3 interior color options
  • Spring Action lock
  • $$-$$$

Marvin

marving sliding windows

Image source: Marvin

Marvin often compares with Milgard with similar prices, but only offers 20-year warranties instead of lifetime ones. Prices for Marvin sliding windows can range from $200-$1,450 before installation. 

Marvin sliding windows:

Coastline Glider 

  • Aluminum
  • Custom sizes available
  • Features impact glass
  • Dual locking system
  • 11 exterior and 11 interior color options
  • $-$$

Ultimate Glider 

  • Wood
  • Hidden Lock Status Sensor option which connects to your phone
  • Wash mode gives access to both interior and exterior glass
  • 19 exterior and 7 interior color options
  • $$

Elevate Glider

  • Wood interior and fiberglass exterior
  • Features operable panels that open  
  • Uses three operable sash slides
  • 6 exterior and 4 interior color options
  • $$$

Essential Glider 

  • Fiberglass
  • Operable panels
  • Features wash mode
  • 6 exterior and 3 interior color options
  • $$$ 

JELD-WEN

jeld-wen sliding windows

Image source: JELD-WEN

JELD-WEN windows are known for their cost-effective options and are available at most big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s. All of JELD-WEN’s sliders are available as new construction or replacement windows. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200-$2,000 before installation. 

JELD-WEN sliding windows:

Premium Atlantic

  • Vinyl
  • Low-E glass options
  • 2 interior and 3 exterior color options
  • Lifetime warranty
  • $-$$

W-5500  

  • Wood
  • Energy-efficient glass
  • 20-year warranty
  • 28 interior and 27 exterior color options
  • $$ 

Custom Wood

  • Wood
  • Grilles between the glass
  • 9 wood options
  • 63 interior and 27 exterior color options
  • 20-year warranty
  • $$$ 

Builders V-2500 

  • Vinyl
  • Energy-efficient glass
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 3 interior and 5 exterior color options

Premium V-4500 

  • Vinyl
  • Grille options
  • 3 lock options
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 3 interior and 5 exterior color options
  • $$

Brickmould 

  • Vinyl
  • Energy-efficient glass
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 2 interior and 4 exterior color options
  • $

Builders Atlantic 

  • Aluminum
  • Energy-efficient glass
  • 10-year warranty
  • 2 color options
  • $

Siteline 

  • Wood
  • Lock option
  • Energy-efficient glass
  • 20-year warranty
  • 27 exterior and 28 interior color options
  • $$$

Pros and cons of sliding windows 

Pros of sliding windows 

Ventilation - Because a slider window opens from side to side, sliding windows bring in an abundance of fresh air and natural light from both areas without obstructing any views outside. 

Energy-efficient options - While sliding windows don’t have an airtight seal and are not as energy efficient as picture windows, many manufacturers feature argon or Energy Star-certified glass options which help them become more energy-efficient. 

Cost-effective - Compared to other window styles, sliding windows tend to be cheaper than others due to their simple design and fewer moving parts. 

Easy to open - Sliders are easy to open for most homeowners due to the horizontal sliding window design. 

Cons of sliding windows 

Hard to weatherproof - Because windows make up for 25% of heat loss in your home, having window options with an airtight seal is essential. Since sliding windows operate on a track, they can be harder to weatherproof, causing drafts. 

More to clean - Though sliding windows are relatively low-maintenance, the sliding tracks can collect more dirt and dust, making it a hassle to clean. However, some manufacturers also feature tilt and double-tilt sliding windows, which allow you to remove the window from the frame, allowing easy cleaning from inside your home. 

Why buy sliding windows? 

Most homes feature many different types of windows for various purposes. Install bay windows to maximize outdoor views, while increasing ventilation with double-hung windows and casements. With sliding windows, you’ll have both unobstructed views and ventilation that’s affordable and easy to operate.

Get in touch with a local contractor today.

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