Andersen 200 vs. 400 series

drdugitAugust 16, 2006


Shortly, I will begin construction on a new house. I'm currently cross shopping windows, and was wondering what the differences between the Andersen 200 and 400 series are. I'm having trouble finding unbiased opinions.

I know the sash angle is one difference, but are there other differences that make the 400 series worth the extra money? How important is sash angle in the quality of a window? Which of these windows is more comparable quality wise to the Pella 450 window?

I'm looking for the best "bang for the buck" windows, but have no trouble paying extra if the quality differences are substantive.

Thanks for your input.

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casements, double-hungs ... what windows are you trying to compare?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 10:53AM
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Sorry for not including this in the original post. 95% double hung with the other 5% being picture windows.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 2:10PM
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Andersen makes a 200 TiltWash, a 400 TiltWash and a 400 Woodwright. What are you trying to compare?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 11:54PM
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The 200 TiltWash vs. the 400 Tiltwash

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 12:28PM
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I have the same question. Anyone have any input on the Andersen tiltwash 200 vs 400 series? Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 11:50AM
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I have the same question. I am building a new house and the real estate agent said that the 200 series is really just builders grade and that the 400 series is better. Any information would be most helpful! Thanks

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 11:52AM
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any more input on this?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 8:05PM
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Go to an Andersen dealer and pick up a catalog. Or go to Andersen's website. The differences are way too numerous to list here.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 12:43AM
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Andersen Faces Class-Action Argon Suit

A Los Angeles law firm has filed a class-action suit against Andersen Corp. in the San Francisco County Superior Court alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and unfair business practices. The plaintiff, David Yancey, on behalf of himself and others with the same situation, claim that the Andersen products they purchased have a lower initial concentration of inert glass than what was presented, and that the products dual seal does not prevent or slow leakage.

The case, filed March 19, is being handled by Brian Strange of the Strange & Carpenter law firm.

The filing alleges that "because of improper seals and/or modifications with breather/capillary tubes and/or substandard initial gas fill rate, the gas would leak out or the windows would not deliver the claimed energy-saving qualities."

Though not directly involved with the case, Charles A. Gentry, managing partner at Carson & Coil law firm, noted that this case underscores how critically important it is to make sure what is claimed on warranties, Web sites and other sales documents can be verified. "Homeowners are getting more purchase-savvy and concerned with energy efficiency," he said. "Any manufacturer can learn from thisÂif they're telling the public that argon gas, or whatever method they're using, makes their windows energy efficient, they've got to have a quality control process in place to verify that."

"Energy efficiency is an interesting arena that is growing in importance to the end-user and can be difficult at times to verify," he continued.

At the time of publication, Window & Door has not yet received comment from the involved parties. Check back for updates and continued coverage on this case.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 8:02AM
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I am in the same boat with the rest of you. I really can't find a difference between the two. Has anyone come up with anything substantial???

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 11:39AM
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Pella's 450 or Proline is an all wood unit with aluminum cladding. Andersen is vinyl wrapped. There are multiple issues with that. If you paint the insides white and the outside is brown (colors dont matter, just the contrast) you will see a strip of the vinyl on the inside of the home. Pella has approx. 20% more wood in the sash leading to a warmer more durable window. Aluminum cladding does not react to the environment like vinyl either. Meaning chalking fading and expansion and contraction.

Just some of the info that helped me choose Pella. Oh, yeah go to a Pella store and not Lowe's too

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 8:35AM
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I am also curious about the pysical differences in construction in the Tiltwash 400 and the tiltwash 200 windows. My local dealer told me all I would be paying for is the lowE4 coating because I want my windows white inside and out. I can not believe the 200 series run me $22k and the 400 series run me $27K and all I get is a coating that keeps the windows clean??


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 8:01PM
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There are many difference between the 200 and 400 series. One of the biggest is in the construction of the sills. The 400 series has a fibrex composite sill that will not rot. The 200 series sill is wood. There are also approx 100 standard sizes available in the 400 series with less than 1/2 of that in the 200 series. The 200 series is only available in a white or sandtone exterior color w/ either white or clear pine interiors. The 400 series tilt wash offers 4 exterior colors and has a steeper sloped sill than does the 200 series . The 400 series also offers the Woodwright windows which then open up even more options such as custom sizing, maple or oak interiors and numerous obscure glass options. Also, all 400 series products offer the new Low-E4 Glass. A thin coating of titanium oxide is applied to the exterior of the glass. Sunlight activates the coating helping the glass stay cleaner. Also all 400 series windows come with a plastic over the glass(both sides)to protect the glass during installation and finishing. Hope this helps.

2 Likes    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 6:24PM
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As has already been mentioned, the 200 TW has no sill overhang and there is nothing to prevent water from flowing over the sill nosing and entering the exterior cladding. In my opinion the sill is too difficult to install in a watertight manner. There is a way to do it but it involves putting flashing under the window and bringing it out in the next lower course of siding. If you don't do that it will leak when the sealant under the sill fails. Stick with the 400 TW.

The 200 also provides very limited muntins and no spacers.

I would recommend the Woodwright if you are considering Andersen. It has a fibrex clad sash instead of Flexicron paint on wood.

1 Like    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 9:58AM
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We're replacing windows that will be under the roof of the new porch we're adding, so will be protected from rain and sun. If we can resolve the muntin and spacer issues, would the 200s (or Marvin's Integrity) do OK? We're having to do so much work to the house that we're trying to stretch the $$$. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 11:57AM
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My wife and I currently have a house under construction and we have had the 200 series installed and this product is complete junk. The sashes don't line up (some are warped), the balancers are out on other, the alignment is off, the locks don't line up or close properly without brute force. Stay away!!! I was told by a window rep that Anderson uses a Silverline window for their 200 series and they are mass produced junk.

We have a nightmare now trying to resolve this between the GC and Andersen rep. One claims an installation issue, the other a manufacturing issue. In any case, the only certainty is that we are stuck in the middle with a very inferior quality window in our newly constructed home

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 1:19PM
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Did you every resolve your window issue with Andersen? I,m experencing the same problems and just get a big run around from my Andersen Rep.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 5:35PM
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One main diffence in the 200 vs 400 series is that the 200 series has a painted wood sash and the frame is a vinyl clad. The 400 series is an all vinyl clad exterior system. There are also many other differences in the construction of the windows. If the 400 series is within your budget, definetly go with it.

If you are talking about casement windows the only difference is that the 400 series has Low-E glass, the 200 series doesn't. Besides that the casements are built the same.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 9:15PM
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200 series do not keep out the weather like the 400 series. Also one of the biggest problems with windows is the installation. Yes, I know all you sue happy people don't want to hear that, but its true. Contractors are in too much of a hurry to put the windows in square, level, and plum. This contributes to the majority of the problems. Even if theres a minor problem with dust coming through a window, having it installed crooked makes the problems even bigger where as normaly you would have lived with it had it been installed properly.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 2:53AM
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200 series Andersen are not Silverline no matter what anyone told you. The 200 series is just as been metioned a Builders Line wood dbl hung with Vinyl wrap or clad. As far as Pella if you are using dbl hungs be carefull as the sash are ROLL FORM(wood wrapped with thin alum) and the frames are EXTRUDED ALUM, therefore after several years you will have different color frames and sashes as they DO NOT weather the same

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 2:17PM
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"As far as Pella if you are using dbl hungs be carefull as the sash are ROLL FORM(wood wrapped with thin alum) and the frames are EXTRUDED ALUM, therefore after several years you will have different color frames and sashes as they DO NOT weather the same"

This is absolute rubbish. Pella has changed paints so that this is no longer an issue. I have proof, everyone told me brown roll form and extruded would chalk/change at different rates within a year (this was 8 years ago), and I DARE ANYONE to come to my home now and tell ANY difference. Modern polyester paints are MUCH better than those of the 50s, 60s, etc. The problem is that Pella has been in business a long time, and folks point to all these terribly old windows as a reason why not to buy.

Bottom line: Pella is a GREAT window, from my experience/perspective (at least the Architecture series, brown aluminum clad exteriors).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:10PM
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How can you say rubbish then in the same breath tell me they changes "Paint", it is still Roll Form which is the thickness of a Coke can vs extruded on the sash, and no matter what type of paint you use is going to change the fact that they ARE 2 DIFFERENT METALS and will change color differently.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 11:34AM
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"How can you say rubbish then in the same breath tell me they changes "Paint", it is still Roll Form which is the thickness of a Coke can vs extruded on the sash, and no matter what type of paint you use is going to change the fact that they ARE 2 DIFFERENT METALS and will change color differently."

They are not two different metals. Both aluminum. The proof is in the pudding, the colors do not change over time. At least in my house. BTW the roll form is supported by the wooden sash, it is a clad (read that as covered wood). The argument you make is circular, you have no proof these modern Pella windows change color, that is just a salesman's line from another company. Like I said, come to my house and inspect.........there is absolutely no change over years of use.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 6:33PM
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I have sold many window brands including Pella and you may know what you know, but i will never agree and can show quite a few examples if you want to come to Long Island

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 9:08AM
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Well lookie here, yet another window salesman.
The thing that kills me is that these folks do all this roll form bashing, then they proceed to install their brand of windows and put ROLL FORM capping around the install. Amazing.

Still, my gutters have not changed color, neither have the downspouts, nor my Pella windows. I'm not in a coastal environment, but if I was I'd ante up for the Kynar paint option.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 9:40PM
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I see that some of you are doing comparisons not only b/w Andersens 200 and 400 but with Pella as well. I have installed hundreds of each of these companies windows and my customers have been more than happy with them 95% of the time. I have seen the technology of these two companies grow and have seen great improvements as a result. Having worked for many years on both coasts with dramatically different climates has also allowed me a wider prespective on what works were.

I have to honestly say that about ten or fifteen years ago my first choice or first suggestion to the people I was building custom homes for was for them to llok at Andersen and then perhaps Pella as a second. Since then I have seen Andersens quality drop and Pellas rise. I'm not saying that Andersens windows aren't a top of the line but I just don't see the same quality or maybe it is just that I have seen Pella really step it up over the past decade or so.

In terms of the discussion about vinyl cladding v. aluminum, I have to say it has been my experience, especially in the hot sunny areas of southern california, that vinyl cladding not only fades but does have a problem with cracking due to heat and the expansion and contraction rates. This I see as a problem on the east coast as well because of such a wide variance of temperatures. It is my conterntionb from experience that the aluminum wrapped cladding is supperior.

Either way you go you will have a fine window but I just thought I'd share if your going to get down to the nitty gritty.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 4:31PM
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Bumping this to see if there is any new information....

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 12:58PM
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From your experience that the aluminum wrapped cladding is supperior, have you ever seen the finish corrode due to salt water spray.
Also, I have Pella windows that are over 20 years old,
and they are in great condition. I live on the coast, no wood rot, glass still good. I have to purchase new windows for an addition and I will need impact windows, Pella prices are around 50 to 70 percent more than other name brands. Below is a quote, because of the high price I will have to go with another brand.
34 - 1/2" X 72" Architect, Casement Left, 34 X 71.5, White, 5-3/16"
$1,701.64 $1,701.64

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:00PM
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I think there may be a bigger picture to look at here. The issue seems to be really about what "look" you want and how much you are willing to spend.

First off... some areas on the coast require you to have an impact rated product so if this is the case your cost of 1700 is not going to get a whole lot better anywhere else. That glass is very expensive.

Second you may want to narrow down if you are looking for a vinyl window, vinyl wrapped window, aluminum clad window, or maybe even an all fiberglass window. There are tons of differences out there and all sorts of price ranges. In short the vinyl window has its issues with differential expansion between the glass and vinyl frame causing leaks over time ans subsequent loss of the gas fill. Vinyl wrapped have similar design issue but are more stable to do the wood frame. Aluminum wrap vs extruded cladding is a very durable product that has been around for ever. This product will look different(extrusions vs roll form) due to thickness of product and the majority of these differences will be in joint quality and something called the oil can effect. Fiberglass is really the new energy efficient window material that solves almost all of the old issues.

third... Energy efficiency. No matter what materiasl you are looking at you need to look into the testing of the window and compare "Whole Unit" thermal values. This is where you will find the differences in products. most of your windows are going to have U-values in the range or .25 to.35 (lower the better). a .25 U-value window is equal to a R-value of 4 (about as good as you can get with a standard "off the shelf" window, some exceptions apply). Fiberglass offers the best energy efficient values but be CAREFUL!!!! some of them are no better than the vinyl or aluminum clad products and more expensive (pella, Marvin, Anderson, etc). Some of the best windows you will find are the all fiberglass windows with suspended film glass technologies and thermally improved frames (Serious, InLine, Comfortline, Ultralux, etc).

Bottom line... know what you want to accomplish and do your research. Understand what you are buying and verify claims made by different companies with test results. And oh yeah... the term "you get what you pay for" does apply!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 3:54PM
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I think the bigger BIGGER picture is that you just drug up a year old thread and more then likely a decision has already been made.........

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 6:37PM
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Correction to those who have called this Andersen window exterior material VINYL! Actually, it is a composite made of reclaimed wood fiber from Andersen manufacturing operations and a special thermoplastic polymer, some of which is also reclaimed. It doesn't look nor feel anything at all like a cheap vinyl window! It damn near feels like fiberglas, and is much more durable than the cheap vinyl coverings on many competitors. I have the 400 series in my home (20 windows so far), and I'm currently installing two more. The tilt-in feature is perfect for second story window cleaning, and the wood inside takes stains well and looks marvelous. I cannot speak for the 200 series, only the 400. I'm very pleased and have had no leaks, no runs, no errors. : ) If they've NOT been professionally installed, or if the homeowner or incompetent installer has F/U the installation, then it's NOT the fault of Andersen Windows, and that would be true of any quality window. Think of this in quake prone CA; if this is due to the quakes "resettling" of someone's home, then NO window will survive without buckling. I think there needs to be a close examination of what truly caused the problems discussed, but to take one or two cases and call that the norm, is disingenuous. Some things are best left to professionals and not to the handy-dandy dude who goes to the big box stores and think they can do plumbing, carpentry, welding or anything else without the talent and the time to do it properly. All the name-brand quality windows go to serious testing, as a matter of course, and anyone can sue in this nation for the most ridiculous reasons, so put it all in perspective.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 11:24AM
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FYI-Andersen most definitely DOES use vinyl, and have used it for about 50 years. Yes, they do have Fibrex as well, but the 400 Series uses very little of that product. In fact-if you're using the 400 Series TW, the exterior of the sashes is acrylic paint & vinyl glazing beads. If you're using the 400 Series PermaShield Casement, the exterior is covered exclusively in vinyl.
Are you sure you have 400 Series? You may have Andersen's Renewal or A-Series if you have Fibrex.
Don't know where you've been getting your info, but I've been doing Andersen service work for over 13 years now.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 20, 2015 at 8:06AM
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windasman, the thread is also 2-1/2 years old

    Bookmark   January 20, 2015 at 10:52AM
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