Comparing Wood-clad: Marvin, Andersen, Pella, Peachtree

cvetteMay 27, 2009

This forum is a great resource for window research.

I am replacing an original, small (~24x30) 22 year old double-hung Crestline window due to excessive moisture damage in a bathroom. The previous owner did not have proper ventilation. I have compared several windows and I was hoping to get some feedback on what features make a quality window. Here are my notes, hopefully they are not too long winded. We are planning to stay in this house for at least 20 years. Any feedback is appreciated.

I am avoiding replacement windows because I think the insulation in the rough opening is poor and I want to redo it anyway. Since I plan to take the trim off, I see no reason to not do a full frame new construction window. Any flaws in this logic? I also found 24x30 is not a standard size so I will probably increase the RO to match a standard size. All quotes are with ~25" x 35". For some quotes I dont recall what the glass upgrades were, but once I narrow the decision, IÂll re-quote as needed.

I decided I didnÂt want vinyl windows. At first I started looking at fiberglass windows due to moisture concerns. I don't know if the stain/seal on the original windows wasn't sufficient or if it started to fail, but moisture and condensation have damaged the existing window. All of the bathroom fixtures (tub, toilet, etc) are tan not white, so if I plan to move away from the existing stained woodwork and go for fiberglass, I'd like to find one with a beige or tan interior.

I looked at the following fiberglass double-hungs:

-- Marvin Integrity - only white interior (not quoted)

-- Pella Impervia - only white interior (not quoted)

-- Peachtree 600 series - only white interior ($325)

-- Marvin Infinity  offered with tan interior, nice replacement window, no DIY - must be installed by Marvin ($435 + $300 install)

Wow! That is expensive for such a small window. So I began looking at aluminum-clad wood windows. IÂm thinking that if I take proper care of the window in the bathroom and re-seal it as necessary, it should last as long as a fiberglass one. Here are my notes and impressions from each window IÂve seen so far:

Peachtree 700 series ($252)

- OPTIONS: LowE glass (need to bump this to ZoE5 w/Krypton to meet tax credit), no grilles, unfinished interior

- OBSERVATIONS: integral nailing fin, internal latch, 0.75" thick glass unit

- SEALS: No hollow bulb seals, flexible "C" shaped vinyl top/bottom, vinyl strip "hairs" on sides, I think it had some sort of interlock where the sashes meet in the middle

- OVERALL: The first aluminum-clad window I looked so I may have missed some thingsÂA nice window

Marvin Ultimate ($370)

- OPTIONS: LoE366 Argon, no grilles, unfinished interior

- OBSERVATIONS: 0.7" total glass unit with 0.125" thick glass interior and exterior, wood jamb above inner sash, tilt feature integral with latch, non-integral nailing fin

- SEALS: "C" shaped vinyl top, hollow bulb middle and bottom, foam filled bulb sides

- OVERALL: A nice window but priceyÂalmost as much as the Infinity

Pella Architect series ($302)

- OPTIONS: donÂt recall glass options as quoted, no grilles, unfinished interior

- OBERVATIONS: 0.625" total glass unit with 0.098" thick glass interior and exterior, can see balance in jamb, clad fit not impressive, flat sloped sill, wood jamb above inner sash, metal latch rails on jamb, non-integral nailing fin

- SEALS: foam filled bulb top/bottom/sides, hollow bulb middle, male/female frame/sash meeting

- OVERALL: Maybe it was a little beat up since it was a floor model but it felt a little loose overall and I was just not impressed

Andersen Woodwright ($252)

- OPTIONS: donÂt recall glass options as quoted, no grilles, unfinished interior

- OBSERVATIONS: 0.695" total glass unit with 0.125" thick glass interior and 0.087" thick glass exterior, Fibrex sill, Fibrex clad sash, wood jamb above inner sash, non-integral nailing fin

- SEALS: I think it had some sort of interlock where the sashes meet in the middle, need to go back and look again at all seals

- OVERALL: I was quite impressed with the fit and finish of this window

I plan to go to a different dealer and check out the Woodwright again. IÂll get another quote with options that meet the 2009 tax credit -- the quote seems low and I thought it would be more in line with Pella and Marvin. For the price, the Marvin Ultimate didnÂt blow me away. The Pella and Peachtree were just OK.

I will most likely install this bathroom window myself. If it goes well and there is room in the budget, I may replace the other main windows in the house to take advantage of the tax credit. The main house windows would definitely be aluminum clad-wood, so IÂm doing this bathroom window research with an eye towards the rest of the house.

Hmm, quite a long post. Any suggestions on what to look for would be great. IÂm interested to see if my notes are consistent with evaluations by other people in their own travels.



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The second Andersen Woodwright quote with smartsun is $327. This is more in line with what I would have expected.

The Woodwright I saw last night was not as impressive.
SEALS: hollow bulb top, foam bulb bottom, interlocking flaps in the middle where the sash meet. The sash sides ride on plastic rails and the rails sit on what I'll describe as a see-saw type mini compression jamb.

Out of all of these different types of seals, I am unsure what is considered a good type. I've heard hollow bulbs lose their capability over time. The Andersen mini compression jamb seemed neat - not sure how well it works. Although their air infiltration is low so it must work well.

This will be a tough decision.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 7:09AM
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I wish I could edit posts. The first Woodwright quote is indeed correct. Including smartsun it is only $270.
Below are the quotes for ~24x36 configured to meet 0.3/0.3.

Andersen Woodwright - $270, $327 (two different dealers)
Peachtree 700 Series - $280
Marvin Ultimate - $370

I like the Marvin but have a hard time paying almost 40% more than the Woodwright. I am leary of the Fibrex material lasting as long as Marvin's Al-clad. The main houst windows face east and take full sun until noon so I have concerns with expansion and fading/flaking.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 8:17AM
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One window, from my experience in selling windows and doors for over 20 years, the quality of the Marvin will no doubt exceed the others. I would probably use an Integrity by Marvin All Ultrex unit if there is still a moisture problem in the house as the all Fiberglass unit will be impervious to moisture for the most part. Marvin Alum Clad would be my second choice followed by Andersen with the Pella and Peachtree units not even being considered. Just my honest opinion and even though i said i have sold windows and doors for 20 plus years i currently sell NONE of the above my recommendation comes from experience only.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 10:36AM
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I replaced my windows last year. I originally wanted to use Marvin Ultimate but I couldn't justify the price compared with Andersen Woodwright. The Marvins only seemed marginally better in quality.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 5:15PM
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Thanks afsa and dennis. It's down to the Marvin Ultimate and the Andersen Woodwright. I have a hard time finding the value in the Marvin but it sure is a nicer window.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 8:53AM
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I personally liked the Woodwright...I got it from a local lumberyard at a relatively decent price and the install was a snap. I wouldn't worry about the longevity of the Fibrex, I know that they invented it in 1970 and tested it for 25 years before making windows out of it...Andersen has been around longer than any manufacturer (since 1903) and for obvious reasons; they wouldnt release something that would fail. Side note: make sure you do order it with SmartSun because that will qualify for the new energy tax credit.

I'd personally stay away from Fiberglass unless you like to maintain your windows...Just like any quality Fiberglass entry door, you will need to paint and maintain ANY fiberglass product, regardless of "coating systems." Read the warranties....Unfortunately, this is a FACT.

From opinions I've heard and research on the web be wary of the Pella line as i'm not sure if the class action lawsuit against their aluminum clad product has fizzled or not....I do know that if you do ANY search on Pella problems waaaaayyy too many pages come up with customer complaints. I'd stay away from that. I'd personally wonder why any company uses Aluminum to clad wood...why don't we clad our homes with aluminum anymore??? hmmmmm

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 3:30PM
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Am deep into window confusion. I need to make a decision. Please help. So far in Brooklyn I am getting higher quote for Anderson Woodwright than for Marvin Ultimate. This is for 9 double hung large windows (42" X 74") Am also looking at Trimline Eclipse. Need wood (pine) inside with bronze clad exterior.
-Any thoughts about Pella Architect Series - I do read some bad stuff on the internet. This installation is for a coop. Advise - Experience with each would be welcome.

Plus - Any idea which has a larger glass to frame ratio. I would prefer more visibility to wood.
- Screen options - question about advisability of paying more for the smaller mesh with claims of higher/clearer visibility.
- Need window that meets criteria (.3, .3) for 2009 tax credit.
- Also need 1 window this size for a bathroom window that sits over a tub/shower. So would have to be good with high interior moisture. This would need to be bronze exterior but white interior is fine.
Sorry for so many questions - I am going nuts with window choices!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 3:38PM
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STAY AWAY FROM ANYTHING PEACHTREE WINDOWS AND DOORS SELLS - This company does NOT stand behind their products. We've got a house full of Peachtree windows and doors and actually are considering replacing every one because the quality is so bad and the service non-existent. Terrible products and terrible company, imho.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 11:06AM
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I agree....never again with Peachtree. Our 17 year old Peachtrees windows are nearly all broken and looking to replace...they do not have customer service at all and don't stand by their warranty. good luck!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 10:02PM
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Well I have used all of the above brands. And all of them are still in use. The ones which have given me the most problems are the Marvins wood frame casements. Many of the glass panels have fogged over, leaked. The wood rotted. I think there was a recall for that problem. Poor wood treatment. The plastic seals fell apart on south, sun facing windows.The Pella's are nice but very pricy. Only used one. The Anderson is OK but the vinyl outer coating broke when hit buy a tree limb. For the money the Peachtree's casement and double hung's have been the best. The Aluminum clad 700 series have been the best so far. The only drawback is that the grills are a little flimsy. I can live with that.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 8:18PM
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