Vinyl clad Anderson versus aluminum clad BiltBest

emilynewhomeFebruary 9, 2008

Have not received the bids from the window dealers yet, price will be one of the determining factors but not the only one.

The Anderson dealer is telling us that aluminum clad is not suitable for Louisiana weather, something about the wood rotting from the inside with all the rain/humidity!

The BiltBest dealer tells us that is ridiculous as their windows are so well sealed, moisture cannot get into them! For those who chose one over the other please share your input and how they have held up.

P.S. We had aluminum clad Pella in CA years ago. The weather is so dry there we never experienced any problems. In previous posts some have mentioned the unpredictable quality of recent purchases with Pella we decided not to go with them!

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The Anderson dealer is trying to sell you his windows. We purchased BiltlBest casements after looking at all the "better" window manufacturers. fwiw, we love them. Our builder is now using them in current builds. My dad was so impressed, he used them in their lakehouse build. We live in the hot/humid south. His "rotting from the inside" is an outright lie. The only thing that would cause any rotting is a bad install where rain water was channeled into the home. Builder fault, not window problem.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 9:39AM
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We live in TN where we get some of the most rain in the United States, bilt best is used in most of the show homes around here and we just installed the aluminum clad casements in our own home. I have never heard of or seen any problems with these windows. I think the anderson guy is telling you baloney so you will buy his windows.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 10:47AM
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Assuming you are talking about double-hung windows:

BuiltBest uses extruded aluminum which means that rather than being a wood window wrapped with rollform aluminum, it is essentially an all-aluminum window with some wood on the back side of the frame and sash for strength and appearance. The powder coat option is interesting if they don't offer Kynar.

Andersen 400 series Woodright wraps a wood frame with PVC and the sash is a relatively new composite of woodfibers and PVC called "Fibrex" with wood behind it similar to BuiltBest.

Andersen 200 series Tilt Wash has the same frame but the sash is all-wood with a special coating that they call a
âÂÂliquid vinyl systemâ or an âÂÂexterior vinyl finishâ which is a PPG spray-on coating called âÂÂFlexacron" rather than an applied cladding. The applied SDL muntins look terrible.

I wouldn't be too worried about wood rot but I would worry about how the nailing flange is attached to the window (Andersen's must be sealed or they will leak) and how well the finish/color will hold up in your environment.

Of course, casements are different.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 12:11PM
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Susan, I emailed you few weeks ago to ask how the build was going. Drop me an email when you can with an update. Hope it's going smoothly!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 12:36PM
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Thank you all for the feedback.
'Mighty anvil' we are considering casements! Other than the opening mechanism in what way are they different than double hung?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 3:47PM
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We have the BiltBest casements - you will love the single lock.

One thing we ended up doing - our architect had drawn in windows that were 6" larger than we ended up installing. Four rooms have very large windows on 2 or 3 walls to take in lake view. By going down 6", we went from "Mansion Series" size windows to the next lower cost level. Saved a small fortune. He had ALL the windows as functioning - we changed numerous windows to fixed to also cut cost. By doing these two things, we cut 30K from the window bid.

Here's a picture of the breakfast area during construction (9ft ceiling):

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 6:39PM
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The nailing flange of an Andersen 400 series casement is integral with the frame cladding and does not have to be sealed in the field.

With casements be very careful to select bedroom emergency escape windows both in terms of opening size and ordering the right hardware.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 12:53AM
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We will check that out, especially bedroom egress, thank you for the valuable info!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 10:00AM
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All I can say are two things:

- Anderson Customer service is great (they ship out replacement sash's very quickly if the glass fails.


- My sash's are starting to rot on the inside. They are factory finished in the white cladding inside and factory finished on the inside, so you would think that they are would last. Just AFTER the 10 year warranty on the non-glass components and I see one rotting...

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:45AM
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Going back to the original question, it seems to me that the Andersen salesman is not very knowledgeable about windows in general and is offering you specious, self-serving advice. If any window is susceptible to rot it would be a wood window wrapped with PVC rather than an aluminum window with wood added at the interior. Perhaps he is unfamiliar with he other product and assumes it is clad with roll-formed aluminum which would probably be worse than Andersen's product. The good brands of aluminum clad windows abandoned roll-formed aluminum long ago.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 12:41PM
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He could also be talking about his very own product that Anderson was selling in the seventies and eighties. Aluminum roll-formed they rotted like crazy.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 6:23PM
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I'm not aware of any aluminum clad wood windows made by Andersen.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 11:13AM
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Ron Natalie

You need to be careful about egress requirements even with double hungs. We had to size up our windows over what the architect called for because there wasn't one with enough clear space to qualify.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 11:20AM
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Windows that meet the egress requirements of most codes are indicated in most window catalogs. In some locations the requirement is larger.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 11:13PM
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I put Biltbest windows in my house 16 years ago when I built it and the windows are rotting behind the aluminum cladding. Now I have the great expense of replacing all of them. If you don't plan on staying there long go with the Biltbest. I live just down the road from the factory in Missouri.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 7:22PM
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