mike_osullivan58

Andersen 100 Series vs Sunrise (Casements)

Mike O
4 days ago

Hello, I am building a new construction/custom home and am trying to decide between Andersen 100 Series and Sunrise Casement windows. We do not have any special feature requirements and are looking for white exterior with white interior. I've received quotes from two different local suppliers and the prices are coming in very close to one another. While I understand the supposed strength difference that Fibrex has over Vinyl, that doesn't seem to be too big of an issue to me as I understand Sunrise is quality in construction. It appears Sunrise has the better warranty which may be the differentiator in this case but I'd love to hear other opinions from you all to help in my final decision. Thank you!

Comments (17)

  • BT

    You are comparing low end a100 to premium Sunrise with double seals. There's big price difference between the products. Where you will notice the major difference is matching sliding patio doors. A100 doors look cheap but expensive with deep ugly gray channel, collecting dirt.

  • PRO
    HomeSealed Exteriors, LLC

    The strength(or lack thereof) of a raw material material has little translation to the strength of an complete, engineered and assembled product. This "fuzzy math" is exploited more in the window industry than almost any other. That said, both of these windows are fine choices at worst.

    The Sunrise casement is very good as vinyl casements go. I'm not a huge fan of fibrex as a material as my opinion is that it is more of a sales gimmick than revolutionary material to use in window construction, and I'd cite the fact that there are no other manufacturers doing so, unlike wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or metal. That said, I don't think the 100 series casement is a terrible window, but I'd choose the Sunrise option if the price is close.

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  • Mike O

    BT, thanks for the comment. I appreciate the feedback on the sliding door as I will have a 12 ft one to include as well and was considering Sunrise 3 panel slider vs Andersen 200 series 4 panel sliders. Glad to hear Sunrise has a good one.

    HomeSaled Exteriors, thanks as well for the feedback around Fibrex.

  • Windowmaster

    The andersen 100 is a cheaply made window. I actually saw it at home depot and couldnt believe how cheap and ugly it looked and flimsy it felt. There is no way the andersen 100 is the same as renewal, no way. The sunrise casement is so much better than the 100 series, its night and day.

  • PRO
    toddinmn

    I think the 100 casement is a pretty decent window, though I have zero experience installing or servicing them. There is know advantage going with 100 over the Sunrise if you do not prefer the more organic look and different profiles That the Sunrise offers.

    Typically Sunrise is sold to companies that specialize in windows , the 100 is available to any yahoo , so take caution when selecting an installation contractor.

    Fibrex may not revolutionized the industry but it did revolutionize the Largest window manufacturer in North America.. Fibrex is used many other Andersen windows and doors and acessories , it. Is not simply a one material for all there products but more a family of products. Vinyl windows are the cheapest to produce and most companies by there extrusions from Large extrusions companies making them mostly assemblers. IMO there are few manufactures that can make there own extrusions let alone develop and develop a new material or Least be willliing to take the chance to..

  • PRO
    HomeSealed Exteriors, LLC

    That's a nice story Todd, I'm sure that Andersen sales people love to share it. How does any of that impact window quality, performance, or benefit the homeowner though? ... and again, I don't think that product is terrible despite the fact that I've personally replaced failed units at 9 years that weren't warrantied due to condensation damage on the interior. Just because Andersen went "all-in" on fibrex doesn't mean that it is better, nor does it mean that their motivation to do so wasn't primarily based on differentiating themselves from other products/manufacturers as opposed to producing something truly better. I think we'd agree that Renewal (RBA) has made a very profitable existence on that aspect, and if I were an Andersen executive I'd probably do the same thing... but also knowing that it would be called out in forums such as this. Fine window, nothing special.

  • Windowmaster

    i agree, fibrex was only develope to differantiate from some other products but aside from that., its not revolutionary. Again, the andersen 100 is junk and looks like junk in my view.

    its different than renewal. Renewal is a pretty nice looking product whereas the 100 is not. the 100 series is MUCH flimsier. Again, nothing earth shattering about renewal.

  • PRO
    toddinmn

    I wouldn’t say they went “all in” on Fibrex, since they use wood ,aluminum, fiberglass and vinyl on there products. Building a product out of your waste and selling it the public for profit sounds pretty revolutionary to me. It is not the best product IMO but obviosly it has its place. I do feel they are built as stoutly as the Sunrise products but I am not familiar enough with renewals to compare directly. I would not call them flimsy and the looks are subjective . Trying to differentiate you’re product is Marketing 101 and gimmick or not it is pretty innovative IMO.

  • PRO
    HomeSealed Exteriors, LLC

    Most vinyl windows have included a recycled component for years, nothing new there. I suppose that it wasn't swept up off their own factory floor so there's a difference there. Either way, my other points stand, and I would agree with you that "it has its place", as well as that it is innovative marketing.

  • Pinebaron

    Vinyl is vinyl and is fine (irrespective of quality aspect) if you are ok with vinyl’s basic colour white on both sides. We wanted all white inside and black outside. We used 100 series and a very large number of them and each is flawless in quality, all windows are double casements, plus picture windows, a large number of transom and a a few others For sliders we used A series for our almost 60+‘ long wall of glass. Ordered through a very large local Anderson dealer, the large custom order was flawlessly built to perfection; perhaps we were the lucky ones. Two years parts and labor plus the usual parts extended warranty. We are satisfied. A few weeks ago i destroyed a double casement window, both panes with stones from my riding mower; Anderson sent me both for the replacement price of one, a significant saving and happy that Anderson have my back. I‘m not sure if HD sell the same quality 100 series as from an authorised Anderson dealer.

  • PRO
    toddinmn

    The marketing is far from innovative, the vinyl companies were doing it for decades before Fibrex. They are only making non structural parts from recycled plastic for vinyl windows which is very small percentage of the whole window. I would concer that some methods of recycling plastic are highly innovative and complex just as Fibrex is and is why you typically only see very large companies that develop these products. Come on over to MN and I’ll give you a tour ofbthe Bayport plant and take you to one of the top dive bars. We can tour, drink, argue and wrestle if needed.

  • PRO
    HomeSealed Exteriors, LLC

    @Pinebaron, are you under the impression that vinyl windows only come in white? To the contrary, they come in a variety of colors with coatings and laminates on both the interior and exterior. Many of them have more options in that regard than the Andersen product, and superior independently tested thermal and structural ratings to boot. The white/black combo is not uncommon. That said, glad to hear that you are pleased with your purchase and that Andersen is taking good care of you.

    @Todd, some extruders/manufacturers mix a component of recycled pvc in with the virgin vinyl. That would include structural areas such as the mainframe of the window. As far as the marketing being "innovative" or not, I would suggest that the entire premise of fibrex as a material is based on marketing at its core, and you've suggested that this material is innovative = innovative marketing. Similar materials are used widely and have been for many years for other products such as decking, exterior trim boards, etc. That fact along with the fact that fiberglass presents greater challenges to manufacturing than something like a vinyl/sawdust combination (fibrex) suggests to me once again that the fact that it is virtually ignored by other manufacturers as a good material to build windows from is indicative of just that: it is not a uniquely good material to build windows from.

    This is a copy cat world Todd, and anytime that someone makes a product that is truly innovative and BETTER, others will follow suit. Period. That is virtually inarguable, I can't imagine that you wouldn't agree with that. Certainly Andersen would love everyone to believe that they have somehow mastered this material in some sort of proprietary fashion, and that it has taken an enormous investment of resources that no other manufacturer could possibly match and that is the reason that nobody else is doing it. If one were to fall for that corporate propaganda, you may also be interested in purchasing some swamp land in Jersey. I'd suggest that the cost vs benefit in that type of material doesn't exist, except possibly for Andersen in the exclusivity of it for sales/marketing purposes. Other than that, as you stated, it costs far more than vinyl to produce, but offers little or no benefit to improving a finished window product.

    Where are you in relation to the twin cities? I do get over there every so often with kids sports, we should catch up one of these days...

  • Windowmaster

    Pinebaron

    i dont know what your idea of quality is but the andersen 100 is not only cheap looking but flimsy. Contrary to your statement, there most certainly is various qualities of vinyl.

  • BT

    Andersen 100 casement and fixed are semi decent. Andersen 100 single hung looks bad and cheap. When installed casements / fixed secured nicely to the structure. Unfortunately I could Not compare 100 casements to 800, but fixed windows appears that 800 has thicker frames that I Not like. I prefer the look of 100 .

    All casements appear to have the same sill

  • PRO
    toddinmn

    Painting on vinyl is available but can add signicantbcost to the window.

    The performance number between these 2 Windows is pretty close.

    I was wrong in the recycled content in mainframes on some vinyl windows, though the content is pretty low or none.

    I would disagree on the premise of the material being developed for pure marketing by looking at the timelines of start of product development til an actual product being sold. Innovative dorm not have to equal innovative marketing, but like I said the vinyl companies were Way ahead on this.

    Even though there are “similar“ materials they came after Fibrex and are not as advanced. There is a reason the largest synthetic deck company any uses Fibrex in there handrails, if you ever seen there handrails the material is very obviously different and pretty strong to boot. The decking obviously took off faster than the windows and a much easier product to develop. I don’t think the sales numbers from the Renewals warranted a others to copycat , but I do think the 100 series could change that, Even though peaple do copy cat , economics tend to rule.

    Mill have to take your expert word on the difficulty of manufacturing fiberglass, but just like vinyl all you have do is buy the extrusions and already developed machinery and you’re in. There is a reason there are so many vinyl companies out there today. there are probably 6 that are within a few hours of me. I think you are confusing my opinion about Fibrex with Andersen’s marketing. The truth is IMO is they have mastered fibrex, it is proprietary, most companies would not have the funds and the one that do are not going to take the chance. I do not know what it cost to produce but I think I could say the upfront cost were huge. I don’t think they intended this to compete with vinyl, but I think it competes well with other products it does compete with. Keep in mind they use Fibrex in the A-series, Woodwright, 400 and some there doors, accessories.

    I would not say the 100 is flimsy the looks are subjective. I would define the Sunrise as a reference point for being flimsy.

    I‘m in Dayton just outside of Mpls.

  • PRO
    HomeSealed Exteriors, LLC

    " I don’t think they intended this to compete with vinyl, but I think it competes well with other products it does compete with. "

    At the end of the day, all products are competing aren't they? Homeowners need new windows, and wood, vinyl, and other niche options like fibrex or fiberglass are going after those same customers. It just so happens that there is not one material that can check ALL of the boxes for the "perfect" window, they all have their own pros and cons, and and consumers need to set their priorities and choose a window accordingly. In my strong opinion, vinyl and wood check the most boxes on one side or the other for most homeowners, but there are those searching for the elusive holy grail of windows that has the best of all worlds, and the fibrex and fiberglass offerings are there to scoop those folks up.

    You seem like an independent thinker, hopefully more so than simply a contrarian, so let me ask you this Todd: What does an Andersen 100 do better than a high quality vinyl window? I'd throw fiberglass in there as well, although I'm sure all of the Marvin guys will come running now spewing their corporate propaganda about tensile strength, etc. Let me answer for you, but you tell me if you disagree: In comparison to that high end vinyl window, if a product of another material does not look better, perform better (thermally and structurally), offer less maintenance, a better warranty, or cost less, then what exactly is the reason for its existence? Differentiation. Why is being different important? It de-commoditizes (if that is a word) the product, therefore making it easier to market and sell, and/or to do so at a higher price.

    I'd take that a step further, and say that with all of Andersen's vast wealth of resources, they could have probably engineered an absolutely KILLER vinyl window if they had wanted to, and certainly with all of the resources invested into fibrex they could have... So why didn't they? ... Sales and marketing. At the end of the day, that is what it all comes down to. When one chooses "different" over actually "better", the only explanation is because of the impact on sales and marketing. Its easier to convince somebody that something that looks and feels different is actually better even when its not, and harder to explain to them that something that looks and feels the same or similar (ie: premium vinyl windows vs junk vinyl windows) is actually better.

  • PRO
    toddinmn

    Of course I know it competes with vinyl and wood as Well. It is typically more than vinyl, at least in the cost of product itself. I think they could have produced a “killer“ window as well but I think they had a price point in mind and a place in there line up for it to fit. I think it fits well and is priced reasonably and competes well with what I would call it more direct competitors , such as the Marvin All Ultrex/Essentials, Pella Impervia and Kolbe Forgent. IMO It was not meant to compete with the small regional companies that sell “high end” plastic windows that often come with high pressure sales or 3 hour presentations and can only be thought through exclusive dealers. It is a nice option for people who do not want shiny plastic. Windows with beveled and contoured profiles. I have never sold a 100 series or even installed one, I prefer my shiny plastic, Most of my comments are based on opinion only, I have pretty much zero idea why Andersen does what do or there marketing strategies but whatever they all were it seems to working nice for them.

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