MI Windows Reviews
MI Windows And Doors
Are MI Windows And Doors a good company - they are quite popular here in New Mexico and the performance numbers seem decent. Several of my neighbors used them several years back and they seem to think they are a good window. I would just like to get some unbiased opinions, or I guess just professional opinions.
Well, in my professional opinion. MI windows are just plain bad. They actually do have several decent features on their 1650 double hung, which I belive is their top vinyl window. However, it is a very poorly designed window that feels flimsy in my hands and gets an air infiltration rating in excess of .20, which is not good. There are much better opinions out there at that same price point - the top vinyl window from Reliabilt is decent and should be available in your area. Also check to see if the Milgard Slimline is available. Be aware that MI windows is the same as Xact and Cutting Edge - very confusing for the consumer.
Cutting Edge II By MI Review
We replaced roughly half our windows back in 2001 and used Penguin Windows, who are now out of business. We wanted to do the other half and a local company told us they have identical windows, they simply don't have a Penguin logo on them. They installed them and I just don't think they are an exact match. The hardware is slightly different, the frame shape is a bit off, the insulation color seems a bit off and they do not close as well. The warranty does not cover glass breakage, while the previous one did - our old windows were the Great Lakes Uniframe and these say Cutting Edge II Plus build by Tribuilt. Obviously these are different and I screwed up by not doing my research, but I also know that window companies will relabel a window so I'm trying to figure out who makes the new ones.
Tribuilt doesn't actually make windows, they relabel products and then resell them via Allied Building Products. I believe the Cutting Edge II is Ply Gem and the Cutting Edge I or the orignial is MI. The Plygem CE II comes in a few models and is not as good a window as the Uniframe and definitely not as good as the EcoSmart. It uses the same frame, but lacks some of the nice features and add ons.
[2nd Contractor Response]
The Cutting Edge is Metal Industries and is not a very well made or designed window. The CE 2 is made by Ply Gem and is better than the MI window but not even in the same category as The Great Lakes Uniframe. That is a bummer that that happened.
Class Action Lawsuit
MI got hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that the company engaged in deceptive trade practices and that they manufactured defective windows. It's going to be interesting to see what comes of this whole issue and I'm sure there are lots of low end vinyl window manufacturers watching the outcome closely.
If the allegation are true then obviously these consumers need to get satisfaction. It also speaks to buying quality products, this sort of thing doesn't happen to the top manufacturers because they don't cut corners. The lowest price seems nice until something bad happens to the windows or to the company making them.
2nd Contractor Response
MI will weather this storm because they are big enough to do so and they probably make a lot of money producing low end vinyl windows. For better or worse, there are lots of homeowners out there who are willing to buy bargain basement windows and gamble on the result.
Sold To Metal Industries
Metal Industries bought up Certainteed window division in 2009. Since then, their quality has really dropped. Poor manufacturing with poor service. I would go with the Simonton instead and steer clear of Certainteed.
We looked into three different options before choosing windows. It was either going to be Pella (Lowes), Simonton (HD) or CertainTeed (HD) and we decided on a local installer rather than someone from the stores. Simonton had some great features, but we eventually went with MI Xacts, a sister line to CertainTeeds. They are practically the Bryn Mawr IIIs. Our installer was familiar with the windows and we had a great install. He was very professional, taking his time with the work to make sure it was installed correctly. The trimming, priming, caulk work and touch ups were great. We're happy with how well our windows work and how they look. We got a great deal too, just $3600 for 9 windows.