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A Review Of The Marvin Ultimate Window: The Best Window for Unlimited Customization

September 8th, 2021 | 11 min. read

A Review Of The Marvin Ultimate Window: The Best Window for Unlimited Customization

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A small single-hung window in a kitchen with white backsplash and a white frame with a grid pattern on the bottom sash.Shopping for replacement windows can be hard. There are so many options to choose from when looking at the material of the window, design elements, efficiency, and so much more. 

You may know exactly what you want, or you might still be trying to figure that out. 

Every window website you look at highlights the best features and what makes it so great. You know they want you to choose their window, but can you trust the product is as good as they say it is?

What you are looking for is a real, honest review of the window you are interested in. That’s exactly what we’re going to give you.

Video:"Marvin Ultimate Window Review" Link Below

Southwest Exteriors has been a window replacement contractor for over 30 years in San Antonio. We offer windows from five different manufacturers to provide a wide array of options to fit your needs. 

While we sell windows from the Marvin Ultimate collection, we want to provide you with an honest, unbiased, comprehensive review. 

We know that this window is not the best fit for everyone, but if you consider Marvin Ultimate windows, we want you to know about all the features and what it offers. 

This article will review the elements of Marvin Ultimate windows in categories like design, functionality, energy efficiency, and warranties. 

If you’re considering Marvin Ultimate windows for your new windows, this article will help you learn more about the window and feel more certain whether it is right. 

About Marvin Windows 

Marvin is a window and door manufacturer that started as a lumber and cedar company in 1912. They are made in Warroad, Minnesota, and have three major collections of windows: Signature, Elevate, and Essential. 

Marvin’s major values are commitment to design, efficiency, and sustainability. Their style is sleek and contemporary yet classic for an elegant aesthetic.

The design and customizable elements of Marvin Ultimate Windows 

The look and feel of a window are probably one of the first things you look at when shopping for new windows. You want to find a window that will perform the way you want and fit your personal style. 

First, we want to look at what the Marvin Ultimate window is made of and how this fits into its design. 

Material and design of the Marvin Ultimate Window

The Marvin Ultimate Window has a real wood interior with an aluminum-clad exterior. This means you can have that classic and traditional wood window look on the inside of your home without the added maintenance of a wood exterior. With a full wood frame, the window is more susceptible to water infiltration and rotting. 

An aluminum exterior is smooth and sleek. It protects the exterior of your home and window frame better than a wood exterior.

The fact that it’s a clad window simply means a wooden interior with a different exterior. The clad system on this window acts as an extra barrier from the outside to the inside. This helps protect against exterior heat, humidity, and water. 

If you are looking for a window that has a classic wood interior without the added maintenance and improved energy efficiency, then this window may be right for you. 

What can you customize on the Marvin Ultimate Window?

Customizing your window to fit your exact aesthetic is important. Some windows have limited customizability, but the Marvin Ultimate is your window for unlimited design. 

We will look at the design options and customizations for the window shapes, colors and finishes, hardware, and grills/grids. 

Window shape options

The Marvin Ultimate collection offers 28 different window shapes, from standard single and double-hung windows to elegant casement windows. 

They also have the option to customize a window to fit any geometric shape you like. 

Color and finish options

This collection has 19 standard colors to choose from for the exterior aluminum finishes and an unlimited amount of custom colors you can choose from. 

For the interior wood frame, there are seven different wood options: cherry, black walnut, mixed grain douglas fir, Honduran mahogany, pine, white oak, and vertical grain Douglas fir. 

There are also seven different stain options for the wood: cabernet, clear coat, espresso, hazelnut, honey, leather, and wheat. The wood can also be painted in designer black, primed white, or white, which is a little more of an off-white color than primed white. 

A layout of different types of wood finishes and colors for a window frame against a white background.

Hardware options

There are ten different options for locking mechanisms on your window. Some locks are only options for certain types of windows. 

There are 10 different hardware finishes options, with chrome, black, bronze, and white options. 

A collage of window and door hardware in different styles with different finishes like brushed bronze, black, silver, and gold.

Divided lites and patterns

The divided lites on a window refer to the style for the grid system. Typically, for divided lites, you can have a raised bevel detail on the grid, a smooth finish, or the grid between the panes of the glass. 

For the Marvin Ultimate window, you can choose between a simulated divided lite, where the grids are on the outside of the entire windowpane, with or without spacers between the panes, grilles-between-the-glass, where the grid system is between the panes, or authentic divided lite, which consists of individual glass panes between each grid. 

A diagram with examples of simulated divided lites in windows with and without spacers and grilles between the glass.

Marvin can essentially do any design you like when it comes to the actual pattern of the divided lites. They do have an array of designs drawn out that you can choose from, but you can also customize the pattern. 

Now you know all about the design and customization options of the Marvin Ultimate window, you are familiar with all you can do if you choose this window. 

Overall, there is nothing you can’t do with the Marvin Ultimate windows. With almost unlimited color options, grid layouts, and window shapes, this window line is perfect if you’re looking to build your window to your unique style. 

How do you operate Marvin windows?

The functionality of each window will vary depending on the style of the window. However, we can review the ease of operation of Marvin Ultimate windows and what functions some of the windows have. 

Ease of operation of the windows

In the video where we review the Marvin Ultimate window line, Southwest Exteriors Sales Leader Ryan Houchen demonstrates how a double-hung window operates. 

While the ease of operation can easily be seen in this video, the same goes for the sliding functions of all Marvin Ultimate windows. Because of their exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail, the way the windows can open and close is not compromised at all. 

How well a window can slide up and down and stay in place depends on the balance system. If the balance system is low-quality, your window will not stay up when you try to open it. 

For double-hung windows, opening the window is simple. After unlocking the window, depending on the lock, the bottom and top sashes are able to slide up and down easily. 

The sashes can also tilt inwards. There is a small button in the center of the cam lock that you push down to engage the tilt of the window. This means there are no visible locks or slides on the top of the sash to maintain the aesthetic. 

For the top sash, there are very small clasps hidden on the backside of the sash that you push inwards simultaneously to engage the tilt feature. 

To put the window back into place, you simply press down on the lock button or push the tabs inward to pull the side locks in, then push it back into the frame. 

A woman with red hair and a navy shirt cleaning the outside of a single-hung window bottom sash in a kitchen window.

For the other styles of windows, such as casement or bay windows, depending on the type of lock you get, the function of the window is as simple as disengaging the lock and sliding or pushing the window open. 

Because of the craftsmanship of Marvin windows, operating your window is the least of your concerns. 

How energy efficient are Marvin Ultimate Windows?

When looking for replacement windows, you not only want them to fit your style and look good, but you want to know that they are going to protect your home as well. 

When talking about energy efficiency, technical measurements are taken to measure how much UV light is penetrating through the glass and how much heat is coming through. We will define those terms here. 

UV percentage 

This measures the percentage of UV rays that penetrate through the window. The lower the UV percentage, the more UV rays come through, making your house warmer. UV rays are classified into three categories: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. 

According to the International Ultraviolet Association, “normal glass (as used in windows) is transparent to UV radiation to a wavelength of about 330 nanometers (nm) (UV-A),” allowing almost 100% of UV-A rays through the window. Below 330 nm will block UV-B and UV-C rays, which are more harmful.

The Marvin Ultimate window has 4% UV.

Infrared Percentage

This is the percentage of infrared rays that penetrate through a window. Britannica defines infrared rays to be the “portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that extends from the long wavelength, or red, end of the visible-light range to the microwave range.” 

These light rays are invisible to the eye but produce heat just like any other ray on the electromagnetic spectrum. 

The Marvin Ultimate window has 0% infrared.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

This measures the amount of solar heat that comes through a window, ranging from 0 – 1. The U.S. Department of Energy’s consumer resource, Energy Saver, says the lower the SHGC, the less heat from the sun comes through a window, helping your home to stay cool during a hot summer (and fall and spring if you’re in Texas).

The Marvin Ultimate window has 0.22 SHGC.

All of these measurements combined ultimately determine how energy efficient a window will be.

With a low SHGC, you will also not get as much heat radiating from your windows as you would with normal glass. This type of window is at the top of the line for energy efficiency. 

When customizing your window, there are options to add extra coatings to the glass or extra panes of glass which would increase the energy efficiency and insulation of your home. 

Do Marvin Ultimate Windows have a good warranty?

Warranty is one of the key ingredients to the value of your new windows. You want to know that if something goes wrong or breaks, your window will have coverage. 

Marvin offers a fully transferable limited warranty. The coverage begins on the date of installation. 

All components include coverage against manufacturing defects. This means that any problems that arise because the product was not manufactured properly are covered under warranty. 

Damage to non-glass components, like hardware, is covered for ten years. 

Under this warranty, Marvin will repair or replace the product or component of the window or provide a refund. The route that is taken to resolve the issue is up to Marvin. Removal, installation, finishing, refinishing, and disposal costs and services are not included. 

Wood interior coverage

Marvin factory-applied interior wood finishes are warranted against finish defects for five years. Finish defects include cracking, peeling, delamination, blistering, flaking, excessive chalking, and checking. Checking is when the wood starts to separate or split lengthwise.

Fading or changing of paint color is also covered for five years under normal interior environmental conditions. Factor-applied primer is not covered under warranty. 

The appearance of raised grain in the wood is not considered a defect. 

Aluminum exterior coverage

Manufacturing defects on exterior aluminum cladding finish are covered for 20 years. Defects include chalking, fading, and peeling. 


Exclusions in a warranty mean if any defects or issues happen from any of the following causes, the warranty is void. Exclusions are: 

  • Improper installation

  • Lack of maintenance

  • Acts of God

  • Improper moisture management

  • Thermal energy deficiency 

  • Condensation

  • Corrosion 

Overall, Marvin’s limited warranty on window frames stands among others. Most window manufacturers have a 20-year warranty on frame components and 10-year coverage for glass. This makes Marvin a heavy competitor against the rest. 

Our Verdict: The Marvin Ultimate Window is the best window for unlimited customizability 

After looking at the Marvin Ultimate window in categories of design, functionality, operability, energy efficiency, and warranty, you can know if this window is the right one for you. 

If you are looking for endless customizations for window shape, color options, and grid patterns, then the Marvin Ultimate window may be the one for you

While this window is top of the market and will cost more, it is a window that is meant to be a lifelong option and showcase your and your family’s personal style. 

With Southwest Exteriors, we want you to have all the information you need to make an educated decision and pick the right window for you. The Marvin Ultimate window may not be what you’re looking for, and we know that. 

Our goal is to inform you thoroughly and honestly about all your options to help guide you through your decision. 

After you’ve found the right window, you may be thinking, “How much will it cost to get my windows replaced?” We’ve got you covered. Check out this article and video that outlines how much a window replacement costs and what factors go into it.