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Re: replacement windows: Anderson vs Marvin vs Pella?

By using the term "replacement" I assume you are looking to install and insert type of window to retain the existing interior trim.

I can tell you that "Anderson" went out of business in the late 70's to early 80's. That was a company named V.E Anderson. I am very happy to tell you though that "Andersen" with an "e" has been in business since sometime in the 30's and is doing well. :) Sorry, just my sense of humor.

I have been in the construction and retail lumber and building material for over 20 years and would suggest that you try finding a responsible independent lumberyard that carries Andersen and ask them to demonstrate the 400 series Woodwright. Pay particular attention to the Fibrex material that makes the outside surfaces mainenance free.

There are multiple wood species and more than enough options to configure the window for your taste.

I would then ask around about local carpenters that work for themselves or have a helper or two to measure and install. Make sure they pull the weights out of the pockets and insulate the pockets.

When looking at windows you will notice ratings on the glass. Ask the salesman how the manufacturer determines which windows they test. Are they pulled off the assembly line randomly and sent to the lab, or do they make a window to send to the lab. Honest answers will surprise you if you get them. Window companies are allowed to make sure the window tolerences on the window they select are perfect before labratory testing. Andersen pulls from the assembly line for testing so the numbers are very representitive of the product you will receive.

Re: replacement windows: Anderson vs Marvin vs Pella?

Our house had original Andersen windows throughout the house except for one living room window. They lasted for over 30 years. Ten years ago we replaced all of the upstairs windows with the 400 series and then five years ago we replaced the downstairs windows with the Narroline 200 series. The windows are high quality. The insulation (sumer and winter) IS EXCELLENT. The Andersen customer service reps are easy to deal with. Be sure to call their 1-800 #. They will answer all of your questions. The website is the best and you can download quite a few documents. They will also send you catalogues.

One of our windows had a very tiny imperfection upon installation. Andersen sent a brand new pane within a few days.

We now have an Andersen patio door on order. Can't wait!

Andersen products have never given us a problem in 44 years!

Re: replacement windows: Anderson vs Marvin vs Pella?
badbmw750 wrote:

let me warm you about Andersons "sales" people. I requested a quote for Renewel by Anderson. When the lady called to set up the appointment, she asked me if I was married, I told her NO. She then asked if I has a girlfriend, partner or anyone else who lived in the house? I though the Q was strange, but answered with yes, I have a partner named Kenneth. She then said, oh good, I will let the forman know. I then questioned her about the forman. I told her that I needed a sales person, not a forman. She stated that they are sales people. Anyway, when it came time for the appointment, a guy showed up (parked in my driveway blocking one of our cars) and came inside. He was acting really strange and out of place, he did not introduce himself and say anything about what I was needing (mind you that the lady appontment setter had asked what I was wanting done). I then asked him what does he have? his response was "i dont know, you called us"...okay, I was really taken back by that comment, but, went ahead and walked the house and showed him all my windows and large doors looking to be replaced. Most likely, this would have been a 50 to 60K job. Then when we got done with the walk around, he ask me where Kenneth was? I was again taken back by that questioned, but responded with, "he is in the back office, but will not be attending this meeting". The sales guy then said, well maybe we need to re-schedule. I thold him NO, we are not rescheduleing and that he will deal with me since I own the house. The sales guy then asked me a question about my big black Caddiliac that was parked out side. He was asking me who made the decision to buy that? I told the sales guy that it was non of his business and that I am not having him here to ask me questions about my caddiliac. He then demanded that Kenneth attend the meeting or else he was going to call his office because that is thier policy. I told the sales guy to get out of my home immediatly. He then refused and said NO, I will call my office and you can speak with them. I told the guy, you get out now or I physically throw you out. The sales guy grabbed his breif case and yelled at me, "we are the largest window company in the USA, your making a big mistake"....I told the sale guy from Renewel by Anderson that he was poor sales guy and that if this is any refelction of the company, I want nothing to do with either!! I was very angry. The nerve of this sales guy and most of all, the nerve of Renewel by Anderson to train thier sales staff in the tactics!!! my word of caution to anyone seeking Renewel by Anderson, DO NOT HAVE THEM COME TO YOUR HOUSE unless you are prepared for 60 minuted of sale tactic BS...lucky for me, I sniffed this idiot out the first 5 minutes and he was out the door in 7 minutes.

Renewal by Andersen is a franchise replacement window company that is independently owned seperate from Andersen Window and Door Company. It is a shame that you had to go through such an ordeal. I will tell you that this should not be a reflection of the Andersen Window Company and this situation should be reported back to Andersen. I am sure they would love to hear such feed back so that these local guys claiming to be Andersen Employees can be delt with.

Re: replacement windows: Anderson vs Marvin vs Pella?
theOldHouseGuy wrote:

Caution about replacing windows. Visit oldhouseguy.com/windows

It's all a sales pitch. Save your money. No need to add to the landfill. Replacement windows designs will never compliment your house. Ck out the site to make an informed decision.

Also - for those who do replace their windows. Please store the old windows in the basement for future owners to reinstall. Plastic windows are just a fad.

Old house guy:
For an alternative to Plastic Windows please Check out Andersen Woodwright Insert replacement windows. Andersen now ofers an amazing Full frame wood/clad replacement window. Just thought I would share that.

Re: replacement windows: Anderson vs Marvin vs Pella?

To windowguyva,
You don't seriously think that Andersen trains their sales staff this way, do you?
There are Jerks everywhere. You just happened to find the one that sells windows.

Re: replacement windows: Anderson vs Marvin vs Pella?

Nice sharing i am agree with windowguyva

Re: replacement windows: Anderson vs Marvin vs Pella?

I HIGHLY recommend restoring what you already have.

It will be cheaper than replacements & these were made FOR your home. Replacements are just that...meant to be replaced.

If I can reglaze mine...anyone can!!

Re: replacement windows: Anderson vs Marvin vs Pella?

I actually disagree a little bit on two points. All old windows can't be saved reasonably if they are too rotted or rusted (steel windows specifically). The other one is that most windows made since the 1890s, if not earlier, would have come from a factory, even if they were glazed on site, in standard sizes. By the 20's that process was pretty much complete and windows were picked from a catalog as now.

Glenn Smith
Re: replacement windows: Anderson vs Marvin vs Pella?
Chore Boy wrote:

I am replacing many of the windows on a 100-year-old foursquare in Minnesota.

I am just starting to learn about windows and comparing the leading brands. What are the differences between Anderson, Marvin and Pella in terms of performance, energy efficiency, installation/customer service and aesthetics?

Right now they kind of all look the same to this uninformed homeowner.

Chore Boy,
I can't help myself. There seems to be a lot of negative enthusiasm out there for Pella windows and less for the cost of Marvin windows. For close to 40 years I have installed Anderson and Pella as a: residential contractor, a project manager for commercial General Contractor and a Facilities Planning Supervisor for a large Community College.

Most of the problems I have seen have been based on the poor installation of good products. If you never change the oil in a Lexus or Mercedes - you will experience engine problems. If you install windows and never protect them with durable finishes - They will rot, peel, warp and self-destruct. Caulking must be inspected every 5 years. There is no 'maintenance free' window. I have repaired aluminum and vinyl which were 'maintenance free'.

My Wife and I chose Pella windows for our home in Ohio. Custom fit, low-E insulated glazing, removable grids, prefinished and installed under supervision of Pella via their subcontractor. The price was competitive with Anderson - same specifications. 15 years of satisfaction.

These three windows will serve you well. Marvin tends to be expensive because, as previously stated by others, they are a true 'custom' window. If you value aesthetics as well as durability - Marvin is a good choice. Architects love them because of quality and flexibility in design and installation. (They go nuts over 'true divided lites' which are a hangover from the time when you could not buy a large sheet of glass. 1700's Think 'high maintenance costs'.)

You should write yourself a specification- simple in nature - explain what you want, ie., :
Double hung, aluminum clad wood sashes, glazing type, installed per manufacturer's recommendations, all perimeter voids sealed, use of protective substrate materials, etc. Specify the type of trim to be used. Type of finish - interior - stain w/ lacquer. Field-Measured. Then get prices from known contractors who are approved by the manufacturer they represent.

One thing you haven't asked about is the way the windows open out to clean. Pella has a vinyl sash operator which allows each sash to be rotated, giving access to both sides of the glass from inside the house. Screens are simply clipped in place and can be easily removed for cleaning. The sills are easy to keep clean. Anderson is similar. I don't know how Marvin does it - but - you can be sure that they have a system that is equal to the other two. It takes me about 20 minutes to clean the sashes, sills, screens and close them up. Very important to long-term satisfaction.


Re: replacement windows: Anderson vs Marvin vs Pella?

The thread that refuses to die ;)

My $0.02 is this- most failed windows I've dealt with were improperly installed, ill maintained, or both. I've seen very few Marvins but I like what I saw. Pella is over-hyped and over-priced. Andersen's do all that Pella does, and other than the above I've never seen one fail. I have seen Pella's fail and I have seen improper factory-trained installs with them. My vote is Andersen but you won't go wrong with the others either.

Avoid cheaper windows like the plague- they aren't worth the cost savings. Do it once, do it right, take care of them and Andersen's windows will outlast you.



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