Is Andersen's Fibrex Vinyl? Altitude issues?
First my questions. Anyone know where I can find specs (ratings for design pressure, air infiltration, sound transmission, etc.) for Renewal by Andersen windows? And is AndersenÂs Fibrex just a fancy name for vinyl?
IÂm replacing 12 windows in my house and want low maintenance and durability. I live in Santa Fe which is subject to weather extremes with temps ranging from 20 below to 105 (in the shade), 2 feet of snow in one storm, hail, 80mph winds, and at 7000 ft factoring in elevation is important. IÂve heard mixed reviews on if argon does any good at higher elevations but to qualify for the $1500 tax credit all windows IÂve looked at need argon to get below that 0.30 SHGC factor.
IÂve looked at Pella, Renewal by Andersen, and Marvin. Fiberglass seems the most durable (resistant to cracking, rot, etc.) and PellaÂs Impervia fits the bill, but if I want wood interiors then Pella only offers an aluminum clad option and from what IÂve read here and other places people have had leaking, cracking, and rotting problems. Andersen (renewal) offers "Fibrex" which is 40% wood and the rest is "thermoplastic polymer" which sounds like vinyl to me which makes me leery. I do not want vinyl because it has issues with expanding/contracting, cracking, etc. and I donÂt believe will perform well in with the weather extremes here in Santa Fe.
Marvin offers all fiberglass (All Utrex) and fiberglass outside with wood inside (Wood-Ultrex) but IÂm a bit put off by their recommended installer who said he needs about 2 weeks to do 12 windows. Pella and Andersen do their own installation and do 3-4 windows/day so only need about 3 days and their install warranties are better.
AndersenÂs products are confusing to me. There are the 200 and 400 series, and some are "Woodwright" and thereÂs Renewal by Andersen and apparently Renewal comes in all Fibrex or Fibrex clad wood. I found specs for the 400s online, but not sure if thatÂs also "Renewal." I have their Renewal brochure and I canÂt find the specs in there either.
For Pella I could find their specs online, meaning ratings for design pressure, air infiltration etc. Andersen is just a quagmire.
BTW, the Pella rep was the only one who up front told me they have to do lead testing (a new regulation since April 2010) before they do any work. They perform the test and donÂt charge extra. Of course if lead is found the quote needs to be reworked.
For those interested, prices including installation for 12 windows varying from picture, sliders, double hung, some with grilles:
Pella Impervia (30% discount on install): $11,500
Pella ProLine (30% discount on install): $16,300
Andersen Renewal all Fibrex: $20,600 discounted to $15,000
Andersen Renwal wood: $22,500 discounted to $16,000
Marvin fiberglass (but includes more restucco work, replastering): $22,000