cindysb

Pella vs. Andersen windows

cindysb
August 1, 2006

We are replacing windows in a 67 year old house. Also, need new windows for an additions. We like the Andersen renewals for the replacements and thought about also using those in the addition. The Andersen rep says this should be easy and will save alot of money. My contractor is hesitant. What about comparing Andersen vs. Pella Architect series. I was told there is class action suit against Pella because of problems with the wood clad leaking and rotting. Any info would be helpful. Should we start all over and pick another window ie. Weather Shield or Marvin?

Comments (144)

  • brigittamd

    I have been looking at windows and debating my choices for 3 weeks now. Soon it will be winter when I put the windows in and I still need to do garage doors and paint my house and do my deck from the hail damage. I liked the RBA windows a lot but the $ 59K pricetag is daunting. Pella Impervia is next at $43K. Marvin integrity is $42K and the Anderson 100's are $31K. I have to add about $2K for a door as RBA does not do doors and I need one on my deck. They all seem pretty much the same, but some move more (double hung and sliders from both sides) as energy inefficient as it is. I really need to make a decision. Don't want to go into debt too far and the RBA quote is twice the Anderson 100 option. Recommendations? Thoughts? I need to make a decision yesterday!

  • millworkman

    Of those choice I would go with the Integrity no questions in my mind.

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  • millworkman

    Renewal by Andersen is overpriced, high pressure sales tactics for a very average window. Pella Impervia is one of the worst vinyl windows on he market today. And the 100 series Andersen's are a basic low end builders window. The Integrity is a quality quality window at a more than fair price, and I hope you are speaking of the Wood Ultrex as it is a better looking window than the all Ultrex?

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    Can't add much to what millworkman said. Pella Impervia is fiberglass. MWM knows that, he probably just mistyped.


    +1...if you were talking about the wood Ultrex...that is a great set of circumstances for you to have both the best of the choices, and at the best price.

  • timeless3703
    Ive put pella in 2 of my homes that ive bought never had a problem.Iive heard the problem that they were having with reliability so the second time I went thru Lowes. they were installed very well which definitely makes a difference and you will have Lowes covering you before you deal with Pella. I also like Marvin but thry are not cheap. Anderson to me is the base window and then you go up to Pella or Marvin. Good luck and make sure your installer is top notch and alway ask questions until you are satisfied
  • timeless3703
    To windows on washington yes I did. I decided to go with pella again. I was thinking about going with marvin but felt better with pella. I then had read about pella problem s. I had none of the with my home and when I sold that 1 and bought again I decided for insurance to go with Lowes because after speaking with them they guarantee their work up to 1 year. I think thats a good deal and the patio doors and windows I had installed last year I have had no problems whatsoever
  • brigittamd

    I have a newer house built in 1994. I priced out the all ultrex Integrity. I thought the infinity is also ultrex. I cannot find what the plain Martin brand is...

  • brigittamd

    Have been researching more and crunching numbers all day. I found that the Pella Door is about $1800 less than the Anderson 100 door. I will get that for sure. I do not like the mitered corners of Pella as much as the no seam look of the others, but I decided to compare prices between Marvin Integrity (all ultrex) and Pella Impervia (fiberglass) ...found that most of the windows are a little less with Pella. The only places Marvin is better are My master bedroom (not bathroom), my basement and Living room (that is a wall of windows). In the family room and the rest of the house Pella makes more sense. It seems a little silly to go with two different companies...do people do that? Oh, BTW I bought a Renewal basement sliding door when the rep came because it was so beautiful, so I will have that in my house of Pella/Marvin unless I decide to go with Anderson 100's which I am not liking as much now. I am doing 30 openings. This seems like a big enough investment to do it right and hopefully never again!!!

  • friedajune

    Brigittamd - It sounds like you have your heart set on the Pella brand. I can only tell you my experience - that I've been replacing the Pella windows in my home a bit at a time, with Marvins, as I can afford it (I cannot afford a whole house window replacement). The Pellas are all rotted, and look old before their time. And, Pella customer service is not good. They will charge you $75 just to come to your house - not to do any work, mind you, just to come and assess what is the problem. They will also act like the problems in your windows are extremely unusual, and most certainly due to poor installation, definitely not their own quality issues.

    My neighbor who has similar Pella windows to mine is also replacing his windows. He opted for Pellas again, telling me, "they are not the same Pellas of 15 years ago. Since the lawsuit they've fixed their issues". So, when the installer came with the brand new Pella windows, 4 of the 10 he brought were defective out of the box, and needed to be re-ordered, and the installation delayed.

    Timeless2703 - I don't know why you think "insurance to go with Lowes because after speaking with them they guarantee their work up to 1 year" is so great. First of all, even the most crappy windows are OK in the first year. Second, pretty much all manufacturers offer guaranty for a minimum of a year, so the 1-year Lowes guaranty is nothing special. Third, your windows installation isn't really being done by Lowes directly, it's being done by a contractor they hire; I wonder why that contractor needs to get work through Lowes and not on his own. Fourth, I would rather deal directly with an excellent local installer whose livelihood is his business, than deal with a huge corporation like Lowes in which you are one of 10,000. I actually like shopping at Lowes, but let's face it, they are huge, and any windows issues you might have are like a teeny blip on their radar.

  • brigittamd

    Not married to Pella. They were my last bid. I did not like the mitered corner vs the seamless corners and the Martin fits my crazy windows better, I am told than Anderson. On thinking it over I am going to order all the hail-damaged windows from Martin. Follow with the rest of the house later with Martin so I can stomach the cost and pay in cash. I will get a Pella Door, though. Hope they are not bad.

  • Joseph M.

    Do you mean Marvin?...never heard of Martin.

  • brigittamd

    Yes, sorry, mistyped...

  • quasiexpert

    Sorry to jump in so long after the thread died, but brigittamd-you have a Pella door that's $1800 LESS than the AW 100 Series door? I work for a dealer that has been selling 100 Series since the beginning, and it's hard to get one of those doors to cost $1800 total. Is your price installed?

  • sinclair5178

    This is an eye opening discussion. I've had nothing but bad experiences contacting work through Lowes or Home Depot. In addition to being a home owner I've been a property manager and a real estate agent. Going through a known, local contractor is ALWAYS better. So, it's looking like Marvin is a good option for the single, large double hung I want to buy. I was all set to go with Anderson, but now forget it! Very interesting, thanks for this.

  • Lisa (WI zone 5a)

    I am looking at replacing the windows in my house. I currently have crank out windows in my house that was built in 1992. When I moved in 2001, the windows which are wood on the inside were already starting to have mold, softness and loosing the finish. When I added on about 7 years ago, We put in Anderson crank out windows. They are wood on the inside. We have not had any issues with them. My husband would like to replace the older windows with double hung windows. He is able to do the work himself, so it is just a matter of finding the right window for our area. We have so far looked at big box stores and reviewed Anderson, Crestline, and Jeld Wen. We haven't looked at Marvin or Pella. We would like wood on the inside to stain so that we can match the woodwork. I have been reading all the reviews above. I feel more confused than I was when I started. We live in Eastern Wisconsin. I would like an opinion on:

    1. Best window for the do it yourself-er (in other words, we can purchase the window without being a contractor).

    2. Windows that are wood on the inside, double hung, prefer to be able to tilt in to clean.

    3. Double or triple panes? What kind of gas between the panes? We have hot, humid summers and bitter cold winters. We have snow, ice, sleet, rain, heavy rain, and significant winds. We really have everything except hurricanes.

    4. Which type of windows within the brand would you recommend?

    Thanks for any comments.

  • PRO
    East Bay 10

    Are you going to use replacement windows or new construction windows? If the frames are compromised, you will have no choice.

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    Definitely think that triple pane is advisable given your climate. Andersen is probably the most easily sourced window in this case and is a nice unit.

  • Olga Nadeina

    Team,

    We are looking to replace our existing windows, only because we have major gaps in our wood based window(double pane) frames. House was built in '96 and I'm guessing due to the cold/hot weather the frames expanded/shrunk Since we bought the house 2 years ago and I've been taping every window to prevent from air leakage. We got coupons from Andersen Renewals($250 off Every window after paying for 4 full price...they said all their windows automatically priced with delivery & install) and Pella (33% off the install). After reading the reviews I'm a little worried about both companies...or should I? My need is double pane and double hung for Massachusetts weather. Also, would love to hear your advice if we can repair the gaps? Thanks in advance!

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    You can't repair the gaps or at least not at a dollar amount that makes it worth saving those old windows. Are you set on wood windows and why not triple pane in your climate. I know it certainly gets cold up there.

  • Olga Nadeina

    Don't know why not triple pane other than cost? I'm actually leaning against wood windows. My family member just had her windows(double pane) done by AR and she likes it a lot. Someone from Andersen is coming tonight to look around and quote us. Here is the size of the actual window(17 total) but I was only looking to replace the bottom part. Any advice?

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    Be sure to be sitting down when you get pricing. There is absolutely nothing special about the renewal window in this case. Andersen makes nicer windows in their wood line up than is the renewal. If you want the look and feel of wood, I would look at some of the fiberglass options in Marvin Integrity as well.

  • Olga Nadeina

    Ohhh Geezzzz. Thanks for the heads up.

  • millworkman

    "Be sure to be sitting down when you get pricing."

    And be prepared for the mother of all hard sells.

  • friedajune

    I agree with Millworkman about Andersen Renewal's hard sell. My experience (and perhaps it is not the same elsewhere) was that they exhaust you into the sale. They are at your house a lengthy time and state a lot of bewildering statistics. Your contractor may be different. I ended up going a different direction and getting Marvin full-tear-out casement windows. I also got double-pane not triple-pane and I am in the Chicago area and am happy with the double-pane Marvins. I was kind of appalled at how expensive the Marvins are, but went with them anyway.

  • quasiexpert

    I'm a big fan of Andersen Corp in general, and am a factory-authorized service tech for them, but I do not see the big attraction to the Renewal line. I believe in most cases, you'll come out better price-wise by having a local trustworthy contractor replace your windows, whether you do insert or full-frame. Honestly, I think you'll have a better looking product as well, not big on the look of RBA. Plus-if you buy from a dealer(NOT HOME DEPOT) like our company, you have a local relationship to call on for all problems big or small-no calling a 800 number and submitting a request and waiting a while for service. Dealers also have a vested interest in making sure you're happy, so you'll get a bit more personal service and ownership of your problem-and someone to go to bat for you with corporate, since we're not employed by them.

    I suspect this holds true for many other brands as well-my close friend and mentor is a Marvin Dealer in the area, and they do installed sales as well. Just something to keep in mind. There are better dealers than HD, Menards, or Lowes-and there are many different options within each manufacturer's lines.

  • colleenthompson83

    I've been reading about windows for two days now. I am building my own home near Moab Utah. The overriding concern here is the fierce desert sun, which destroys vinyl windows and requires wood windows to be repainted every year. Consequently, I'm interested in the Anderson 100 series. Function and longevity are a priority over attractiveness. Most of the comments here, actually almost all of them, relate to colder, wetter climates. It can get cold here, down to zero, but winters are shorter. With these requirements, what would you professionals recommend? What composite or synthetic materials are available from other manufacturers? I only need about six windows plus a sliding glass door. And I'm on a tight budget, which is why we are doing the work ourselves.

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    Marvin Integrity is nice and if you are mostly worried about summer heating, thermally broken aluminum is tough to beat from a longevity standpoint in a warm climate.

  • Aditi Shah-Gandhi

    Hi. We are purchasing a new home that is not built yet. They are using MI Windows. After hearing about the class action suit against them I am worried that the builder is using that company. We have an option to is tall the Andersen 100 series for 20k more or the 400 series for $40k more. What do you experts suggest? I'm feeling a bit cheated to have to upgrade to these windows for a million dollar home. Shouldn't they already come with quality windows and doors?

  • sinclair5178

    Well rats. I just got a Marvin Ultimate installed. I like it, but now I'm a little concerned. I'm thinking that perhaps the windows that had problems were wooden windows installed in a vinyl sided house, which is always problematic since the vinyl keeps moisture against the wood. Vinyl windows for vinyl sided house, wood windows for wood sided house. I have a wood sided house, so I'll hope for the best. Something to consider in your house, regardless of manufacturer.

  • millworkman

    MI (Metal Industries) are bottom of the barrel builder grade. While I would certainly advocate and upgrade, builders will use what builders use. As far as the costs of those upgrades builders generally charge quite handsomely to upgrade windows, part of the game you play to use this type of builder. Is this a development home?

  • millworkman

    sincliar, Marvin Ultimate's installed properly are one of the best quality wood windows commercially available and certainly nothing to be concerned about. And MI is bottom of the barrel vinyl or aluminum.

  • sinclair5178

    Aren't we talking about Marvin Integrity? Aditi, can you clarify?

  • quasiexpert

    Colleen, the 100 Series is a fine choice for a maintenance-free and high-efficiency option. I'm personally not a big fan of the hung window only being available in single-hung, and don't like the look of the casement's screen much, but overall they're good products.

    sinclair, I wouldn't be too concerned about Marvin Ultimates. What have you heard that concerns you?

  • vanderosiere

    Anderson may be a high quality window however their prices are astronomical compared to other quality windows that can be purchased. I was quoted over $26,650 for eight windows installed. Upon securing other estimates from qualified companies the average for the estimate was less than $8,000 installed for the same eight windows. Be very careful before you enter into an contract with Anderson Windows.

  • sinclair5178

    This is a really old thread, but people still find it. After reading all these comments and others I actually went with a wooden double hung Marvin. I've had it a year and I just love it. No leaks, and I really really love that it can lock at various heights so you can crack it open to get fresh air but no one can't open it any further from the outside. That security was important to me.

  • PRO
    Windows on Washington Ltd

    +1 to sinclair5178 comment. Without know more about who and what you were quoted, the information is mostly anecdotal in this case. If you are talking about an RBA window, that is not uncommon for them to charge $3K+ per opening, but it is mostly a sales organization and less of a window company.

  • sinclair5178

    It was somewhere around $2700 with installation, so you're pretty close. I actually just told my local carpenter to go get it, so he went and got it. I guess it was actually 2 double hungs in one opening. I just didn't trust Anderson, way too much variance, and I wasn't convinced about Pella either. It feels like it's almost a crap shoot. So far so good. It helps to have a contractor you trust. My whole family uses this guy, so maybe he was motivated to be careful!

  • Lyn Ashby

    Andersen were the biggest waste of my time ever.


    We purchased a house recently fitted out with all Andersen Windows. The window above the sliding door had split around the edges and was leaking. Also, ALL the winders on the casement windows were not closing properly, 24 in total.


    Our contractor said that he believed Anderson had lifetime warranty and I should contact them even though the widows were nearly 25 years old and the door was 13 years old. I had no idea what to expect so called to find out. That was the beginning of my nightmare.


    Contact 1 - I was told that the windows went in in 1992 and he didn't know if they were covered but would see what he could do. The door went in in 2004 so he thought they would be able to do something and he asked for all the details for the windows to see what he could do. I spent 3/4 of an hour on the phone with him and after doing measurements, finding codes and taking photos. I emailed all the information within 15 minutes of our call. I got no reply

    Contact 2 - After getting no response I emailed again five days later. I got no reply.

    Contact 3 - I called and got a woman who seemed quite positive and got me to re send the photos and take more photos and measurements and email them which I did within a couple of hours.

    Contact 4 - I called back and got another woman who asked me to hold while she checked. After several minutes on hold I got cut off.

    Contact 5 - I called back and got yet another woman, more time on hold while she checked it out then she said she would put me through to a supervisor. More time on hold. When I finally got put through to a supervisor she basically said they wouldn't do anything except sell me more parts.


    What an obscene waste of my time. Why couldn't anyone at any point have just said screw you we won't do anything, which is essentially what the supervisor said but in different words?

  • quasiexpert

    I'm sorry you were led along by well meaning representatives that ended up dropping the ball for you. I'm sorry that they tried to help you with product 15 years out of warranty...? What exactly did you expect? How about purchase the parts you need and take care of it? Do you expect your car manufacturer to cover your vehicle 2 years out of warranty?


    Sorry if it comes across as mean, but it grates on me the amount of complaints on older used product that could've been abused for 25 years before you got there, but there's still expectation that the manufacturer will take care of it.

  • sinclair5178

    I think the point in this case was what a waste of time it was even trying. If the contractor hadn't suggested it I doubt she would have even tried. It would have been nice for them to just say no sorry can't do anything in the first 15 minutes of conversation rather than lead her on like that for hours and hours. I think that's the point. If they had just simply said no in the beginning that would have been acceptable.

  • Lyn Ashby

    Thank you sinclair5178, that was my point exactly.

    Quasiexpert appears to have a difficulty with reading comprehension, attention to detail and arithmetic.

  • quasiexpert

    Oh, that's so clever, good one. Did you yell at your contractor as well for being so misinformed, and misinforming you? Or is your ire exclusively reserved for the company who had employees try to help you even though your product is out of warranty


    If the case you laid out is truly the worst waste of your time ever, consider yourself fortunate.

  • sinclair5178

    Wow. I suspect you're an ex-contractor? Hope you don't have to deal with customers in any capacity, it wouldn't suit your temperament.

  • quasiexpert

    Nah, not an ex contractor. I'm just a highly rated customer service rep. :D

  • Lyn Ashby

    OMG you are hilarious quasiexpert. With your unfortunate temperament there is no way you could be considered a highly rated customer service rep, certainly not for a reputable company!

    Unlike others reading this post, you couldn't even comprehend what I was complaining about, you missed the point totally, even after others pointed it out to you.

    What is also hilarious is your comment saying "sorry if I am coming across as mean". You are not sorry at all, mean people just say that to justify their meanness. You had many ways you could have commented but you chose the mean option. It doesn't worry me, I actually pity you.

    Anyway, like all the Andersen staff I had the misfortune of dealing with you are just wasting my time so I'm out of this post, bye!

  • quasiexpert

    Ten four...

  • Jenny Ayala

    Hello all any suggestions..Im looking at the Anderson 200 series double hung windows vs Pella 350 series.... which one is better

  • millworkman

    Andersen 200 series. I could not in good conscience reccomend anything Pella.

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