Marvin Ultimate Double Hung vs Andersen Woodwright

prrjimSeptember 24, 2010

I need to get two double hung windows, about 32" wide by 48" tall and have been on the fence between Marvin Clad Ultimate double hungs and Andersen Woodwrights. After reading a bunch of posts on this forum I haven't seen much of anything negative about either window.

I was pretty much decided on the Woodwright until I called to get a price on the Ultimate double hung. I was a bit surprised when the Ultimate quote came in a little under $600. The quotes for a comparable Woodwright are right around $500.

Both windows have their advantages. I looked at a Woodwright in maple and oak, both are very beautiful windows, much nicer than pine. The 'upgraded wood' adds about $60 to the cost. Marvin doesn't offer maple but they offer oak and some other woods that are just as nice, but the cost is about triple for what Andersen wants for upgraded wood. I'm assuming part of this is because there is a lot more wood in the sashes on the Ultimate. I can get a Woodwright in maple or oak and still be a little under the Ultimate double hung in pine.

When I looked at the Ultimate I really liked the tilt mechanism. The Woodwright isn't bad, just not as 'slick'. I have to wonder how much this should weigh in my decision. I've talked to other people with tilting sash windows and they wash the outside maybe once or twice a year. It's not something you'll do everyday.

The fit and finish on both windows were very nice. I'd say the Ultimate was a little better. I'm hoping the delivered windows from either company will be as nice as the display models.

From what I have read Marvin had some problems in the late 1980's and early 1990's. I'm assuming/hoping those problems are long gone and the windows today are good for 15+ years. Again I haven't heard much negative about Marvin since then.

If anyone here has had Clad Ultimate double hungs for several years I'd be interested if they are holding up as well as expected. If it matters I'm looking at a white exterior. Again, I'm hoping/assuming the aluminum cladding will not chalk for 10-15 years or more.

The same goes for the Woodwright. From what I've learned the exterior surfaces are either Fibrex (on the sill and sashes) and vinyl. I'm wondering if these fade and if so do they stay close to the same color? That is, I wouldn't want to have the vinyl fade to a different color than the Fibrex. Fibrex has been used in Andersen windows for about 15 years and I haven't seen anyone complaining about the material fading, shrinking, deteriorating, etc.

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I'm a homeowner doing the same research you're doing on DHs. My Ultimate was priced about $470 and the Woodwright was under $350. I couldn't justify the cost of the Marvin window. Plus, with Marvin, I couldn't choose the contractor.

Just recently I found the Andersen A-series. It's a line above the Woodwright and in my opinion it is a nicer window. It even has the slick tilt mechanism you're talking about. It is a little more expensive than the Woodwright but still much less than the Marvin Ultimate.

We'll be placing our A-series order within the week. I think the A-series has only been out on the market for less than a year and it is only in certain parts of the country so far. I'm in NY and both builders supply companies and Home Depots have them. Good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 12:11PM
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Thanks for the opinion on the A-series. I haven't seen them in my area and one dealer told me they are only taking larger orders for them right now. From what you saw do they match the Woodwright on the outside?

I wish I could wait until they become available but I have to have the windows in by winter or the basement's going to be awfully cold. My plan was to put two windows in the basement that I like and if everything is good with them I'd start replacing the rest of the windows in the house with them.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 1:21PM
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Hi Jim, from what I remember, they look similar from the outside. The inside is a little different on the jambs, and tilt/locking mechanism. The Woodwright rides on a plastic raised surface that compresses behind the jamb. The A-Series is like the Ultimate in that it uses the little fuzzy weatherstripping (sorry, I don't know the terminology but if you've seen the Woodwright and Ultimate hopefully you know what I mean). I'm doing the same...replacing four now but hope to use the same window when tackling the rest of the house. I've talked to several people and I feel comfortable that the Woodwright and A-Series shouldn't have a problem with fading (I'm getting white exterior too).

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 9:47PM
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