Wanted to Love Anderson Doors, but Didn't!
I'm driving myself crazy trying to figure out which sliding patio door to purchase. Our opening is 88"x80" so the door will have to be custom made. Marvin quote was $3800, Anderson was $2300, Peachtree was $2000. We thought perhaps the Anderson would be the best value option, so I went to look at it closer today. However, I was not all that impressed! I looked at the 200 Narroline as well as the 400 Frenchwood. I liked the greater open glass area of the Narroline, but the 400 did seem like a sturdier door overall. However, on both I was not terribly impressed with the construction details. On both, the bead of silicone around the perimeter of the glass area looked sort of sloppy. Both doors also use laminated veneer lumber in the frame, which I'm not sure about. The salesman assured me the LVL was very strong and sturdy (basically, multiple layers of wood glued together with the grains criss-crossed). However, it seemed sort of like a cheap approach to me, but maybe it is really stronger and superior to solid wood. I thought the hardware seemed a little flimsy and worried I'd end up breaking the deadbolt at some point. Also, and this may have just been the floor model, but neither door wanted to stay firmly closed unless it was locked. When I just pushed the door closed without locking it, you could see a gap which would basically kill off your energy efficiency. I don't really like the restrictions of options on these doors either... the 400 is only available with the High Performance Low-E4 glass, which I believe gives you the "self cleaning" titanium dioxide layer on the outer glass. However, this door will be under a patio roof so will not see sun or rain and therefore this TiO2 layer will never do anything for us. I asked the salesman if it would scratch and he said probably, so that's a concern considering I have 2 kids and 2 cats. But the regular Low E coating may also be scratchable. Basically, I was hoping to be suitably impressed with one or the other of these doors that I would be ready to place an order, but I wasn't. Anderson being a long-lived company with what seems to be better than average (for the industry) warranty support and customer service were the things that attracted me. Also, the $1500 cost savings when compared to the Marvin option. Can anyone dispel my misgivings about the Andersons? I may try to go to another showroom or two and see a few more floor models before basing my opinion on just the one. But I would love to hear others' personal experiences with these doors in the meantime! Thanks!