Andersen windows... Worthwhile deal?

pirwin21March 11, 2014

Hello all. We are planning a build for next summer and have begun to look for building materials. We like the Andersen 400's but have come across a pretty good deal on some cancelled special orders from a local builder. They are 200 series that retail for 325 on sale for 190. I guess what I'm asking is this a deep enough discount or will I be regretting it and wishing I spent the extra 300+ per window and went with the 400's? They also have some casement and picture windows that are pretty deeply discounted that I could use, but they are 100's instead of 400's. are they even worth considering?

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Been researching Anderesen windows also. I like the 200s- side by side, from 200 to 400, I honestly can't see a huge difference. Yes, the 400 sills are bigger and tilt downward more. I know the window forum says the 200s are junk, yet a builder acquaintance of mine put 200s in his custom home.

The 100s are all vinyl (not clad) so have a different look and feel (they do feel cheaper, lighter to me). I wouldn't mix the 100s with the 200s if they are close by each other.

You should go to the window store and open/close, feel touch both the 200s and 400s and decide for yourself.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 7:51PM
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Are the double-hung 400's the Tilt-Wash or the Woodwright models? This is a common point of confusion because both window models have tilt-wash sash.

The 400 Series Woodwright double-hung is a great window because it has a well designed frame with a sloped sill and a drip nosing and has a Fibrex composite clad sash with a hidden jamb system and is available in several different colors.

The 400 series Tilt-Wash is the same as the Woodwright except the sash is protected with PPG's Flexicron epoxy paint instead of a composite cladding and the jamb system is the old compressible PVC type (long ago abandoned by most manufacturers).

The 200 series Andersen double-hung window is the same as the 400 Tilt-Wash except it is missing a sloping sill and drip nosing so in order to avoid water intrusion into the siding below the window, it is necessary to install a "sub-sill" like the one made by Advanced Trimwright (ATW). This is a window only a builder could love. They are so heavily discounted to builders that the seller will probably break even.

To save money and get the correct order on time find a wholesale Andersen dealer instead of ordering through Home Depot. In my area the local Andersen rep is embarrassed that Andersen sells through HD.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:45PM
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Also consider the Integrity windows from Marvin at a price point intermediate between the 200 and 400 series. We found them to be better looking and performing than the 400 series Andersen. I picked up some remaindered 200 series windows for use in my barn/wood shop and have found them to be rather flimsy in comparison to the Integrity windows, though unlike the Jeld-wen windows I put on another side of the barn they haven't broken yet.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:38AM
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Hi Renovator,

When I went looking at the Andersen windows, I did look out for the sloped sill that you had previously mentioned. Yes, the 400 (both woodwright and Tilt Wash) have a very large, very sloped sill. However, the 200 series sill is also sloped- just not as much, and the sill is not as protruded. The 200 series sill is similar (at least looks wise) to the Marvin Integrity sill. The 400 sill is unique in its large, very sloped sill. I don't think that means that Integrity and 200 series will leak water inside because of not being as sloped. I am however, not a window expert... This is just observation based on the 'naked eye'.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 10:24PM
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Unless Andersen has redesigned the 200 series sill and not updated their website, the top of the 200 series sill is essentially flat the the bottom of it is perfectly flat thereby fully exposing the top of the siding to the weather.

The sloped sill of the 400 series (see detail below) and the drip groove of the overhanging nosing creates a slot under the sill for exterior siding to fit into. So, when water runs over the sill it cannot not travel back to the top edge of the siding and enter behind it.

The Andersen detail for the 200 series shows some kind of thick siding and a bead of sealant over a tiny little compressible backer-rod (a construction fantasy) that even if carefully installed would be ineffective as a water stop. It is a partial solution that will eventually fail. No one should need to check the sealant joints under their window sills every year.

This isn't a theory; I have seen many Andersen windows leak under the sill soon after installation. Such leaks led to the redesign of the 400 series frame years ago but for some reason Andersen retained the failed design for the 200 series and continues to offer it at steep discounts to builders. This is not a window a homeowner should buy for their own house.

So if you use the 200's it will be cheaper to install the sub-sill now instead of later. I put a sub-sill under Clad Marvin Ultimate double-hung windows too. One of the few windows that doesn't need a sub-sill is the Andersen 400 so when comparing costs that should be taken into account.

Notice in the 200 Series detail that the sash doesn't have any cladding. Why would a window with a clad frame have a painted sash? And the jamb system was retired by other manufacturers decades ago.

People often speak of the Andersen 400 series as if it was one window model. The 400 Tilt-Wash and the 400 Woodwright may have the same frame but the sash construction and jamb system are entirely different. Since they are both tilt-wash windows it is a mystery why Andersen did not use a different model number for the Woodwright since it is a far superior window.

The 400 Tilt-Wash has a painted all wood sash and a PVC compression jamb from the 70's.

The 400 Woodwright has a plastic & wood Fibrex composite sash with wood attached to the inside face and a weather-stripped "hidden" jamb system like most modern windows.

I would rate these three windows as excellent, mediocre, and unacceptable.

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Thu, Mar 13, 14 at 8:31

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 7:18AM
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We have Andersen's on our house that was built in 1971. Assuming it's the same company. They're great! I can stand by the north windows when the winter winds are blowing and feel nothing! We're building soon- will be putting them in again.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 3:38PM
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All window companies make windows in a range of qualities so making general statements about a brand is usually not useful. The exception to Pella that doesn't make any good windows IMO.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 5:57PM
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