Problems with Marvin Replacement Windows

by Christine Lebednik - Updated September 26, 2017
Businessman looking out of window

Overall, products produced by Marvin Windows and Doors garner excellent reviews, and the company’s products are considered in the top tier of replacement window products. However, consumers have in the past experienced some problems with Marvin replacement windows products manufactured in the 1980s and possible early 1990s.


Reported problems with Marvin replacement windows, which also involved some Marvin doors which incorporate windows, all concerned problems of premature decay with the doors and windows. The problems occurred with doors and windows produced in a limited interval of time, although the problems did affect many customers. The decay problems with Marvin windows primarily affected Marvin products manufactured during the interval between 1985 and 1989, although a documented individual case involved windows purchased during 1991 and a round of replacement windows also affected by decay installed in 1999.


The root cause of the decay problems with the Marvin doors and windows involved a defective wood preservative which Marvin purchased from a supplier and used to treat its door and window products. The wood preservative, known as PILT, came from a supplier called PPG. The failure of this wood preservative allowed the wood in the window and door frames to decay prematurely.

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Class Action Lawsuit

Customers affected by the prematurely decaying Marvin window products brought a class action lawsuit against Marvin Windows and Doors seeking resolution of the problems with the defective windows products. Admitting to the problem, Marvin Windows and Doors agreed to a settlement of the class action suit during January 2002. Marvin Windows and Doors agreed to settlement terms providing discounts of between 38 and 58 percent on new Marvin Windows and Doors products.

Massachusetts Case

In an instance separate from the class action lawsuit and the product manufacture interval involved with that instance, but also involving decay problems with Marvin replacement windows, a Massachusetts couple discovered that 50 of 60 Marvin replacement windows purchased in 1991 had either evident or “incipient” decay problems. They got 33 windows replaced during 1999 with some assistance from Marvin, and during 2000 discovered that four of the newly replaced windows also exhibited decay problems

Separate Lawsuit

The Massachusetts couple brought a separate, four-point lawsuit against Marvin Windows and Doors for which initially the district court ruled in Marvin’s favor in summary judgment on all four points. A subsequent court judgment upheld the district court’s judgment in three of the four claims against Marvin Windows and Doors, and reversed judgment on one of the claims.

About the Author

A writer/editor since 1984, Christine Lebednik has spent much of her career in business and technical writing, and editing. Her consumer print and online articles include product descriptions for TDMonthly Online, book reviews for Catholic News Service, consumer reports for Consumer Search and works for various other publications. Lebednik received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Salem State College.

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