Choosing Window Andersen 100 vs Simonton

DoggydocNovember 2, 2012

About to start building a new house near Memphis TN and wanted to get ya'lls opinion about these 2 different lines. I have priced out marvins and the andersen 400 series but they are not affordable for our budget. Im looking for a well made energy efficient window that has low maintenance and will last a long time. I think i narrowed it down to the simonton reflection series 5500 and the andersen 100 series. For 42 windows they are both coming in at 24,000 and have good color options on the outside. Do ya'll have a preference between these two. The window outer color will be brown which I know may fade with time. The simonton window is vinyl which is known to fade with time, plus im worried about the sturdiness of the vinyl frame. But it has a better warranty(20 year I think). The andersen's composite material ideally should not fade and should be sturdier but as i understand the fibrex product is relatively new and as yet untested and the warranty is only 10 years on those.

Thanks for ya'lls consideration.

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If your looking at those two windows look no further than the Simonton, it is a good window Andersen 100 series not so much.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 2:22PM
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Thanks. Is the fading issue enough of a problem to worry about. What about the stability of the vinyl frames. Will they warp or loosen with time? Sorry Im paranoid about vinyl now with all the literature.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:51PM
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Well engineered vinyl will not warp or walk on you and certainly not in a mixed climate like TN.

Much of what you have seen or heard created by manufacturers that make other than vinyl windows.

Of those two units, I think the 5500 is the more well built and engineered window.

I would prefer to see another comparable vinyl option and have you quoted out the Marvin Integrity?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 7:41AM
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I did quote the marvin integrity as well but its also over budget. I would like to quote another vinyl window as well. Any suggestions for the South East?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 9:18AM
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+1. Ironically enough, one of the primary components of the fibrex material is vinyl. I'm not crazy about the product, but the 10 yr warranty and misleading sales tactics are what I find truly objectionable.
A premium vinyl window will not have any of the problems mentioned. I'm not sure what is available down there, but you should be able to find at least a few of the following: Softlite, Okna, Sunrise, Gorell, Homeguard, Polaris, PGT. All of those will be as good or better than the Simonton, which means a range from good to great.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 11:32AM
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The primary component is vinyl. I think that is 70% by volume if I am not mistaken.

If you are referencing that site that tries to represent vinyl windows as the end of the world, it is complete BS.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 4:57PM
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I think there is a gorell dealer and possibly sunshine in Nashville. Are these better products than Simonton? Will these be comparable in price to Simonton? If higher any estimate on approximate increase? Thanks, Sorry to be such a Noob.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 2:06PM
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Final item pricing totally depends on where the vendor sets it.

The Gorell window is a very solid unit and any Gorell dealer will likely have access to Soft-Lite as well.

Both of those are worth a look and are considered very good windows.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 8:34PM
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I may be the contrarian here, but of these options I would choose Andersen 100 Series any day. The Fibrex material it's made of was deveoped by Andersen and made of 40% saw dust from their milling. It's been around and tested for more than 20 years, so nothing new. They use the stuff in lots of their products because it's so durable. I toured the factory in Garland, TX where they make them and it was pretty impressive. The window frames are really narrow too so you get lots of glass. I get a lot of requests for really dark colors and black. Vinyl can't do that, but Andersen 100 Series can.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 9:25AM
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I am not sure I would disagree with you here in this comparison. The Simonton is well built but looks a bit like a tank next to the cleaner and more narrow Andersen.

That all being said, if the original poster had a comparative Marvin Integrity quote, I would not hesitate to recommend that unit.

If the Andersen unit in comparison was the 200, I would think that was a better comparison to the Integrity in terms of the quality placement in their respective lines.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 8:50PM
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I like the Andersen 100 Series and will be using them in my home. We want a dark exterior at a reasonable price... hence the 100 series. I think the reflective pigment technology used in dark vinyl is unproven. If we were going with white exterior vinyl would be a more attractive option.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 10:10AM
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Let me first say, the Andersen 100 is not a terrible product at all. It is a fine choice, particularly if you really like the appearance.
That being said, it has no advantages over a premium vinyl product, especially because as mentioned above, it is primarily made up of vinyl. You can get dark exterior colors on a vinyl product just like you can on the Andersen, and while the exterior finish warranty will be the same at 10yrs, the rest of the window will continue to be warrantied on the vinyl option. The 10yr warranty on the fibrex material is a very lackluster warranty, and is extremely telling as to how well that material will hold up IMHO.
It just strikes me as ironic that someone would be very concerned about the coated exterior on a vinyl windows which is warrantied for 10 yrs (20 yrs in some cases), yet have no qualms about a product where the unit itself is only warrantied for 10 years!?
I'm not trying to be argumentative here, just injecting some facts and a little bit of common sense into this thread. :)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 12:40PM
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Well said HomeSealed.

While I was was bit suspect of painted exteriors as well, I have seen nothing over the last 8 years of using to suggest that they will break down any time soon.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 8:13AM
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Don't get me wrong, Simonton makes a nice product. I just happen to like the look and performance of Andersen 100 Series better. Fibrex, although part vinyl, behaves more like wood. Install seems easier because it's rigid with good insulating properties and much less expansion and contraction in high/low temps. The matte finish is really striking compared to vinyl, the profiles are narrower and it has good performance ratings. The dark bronze is nearly black. That I haven't seen in vinyl, but I haven't looked for it either. I've seen in other posts where you can paint 100 Series, I've not done it, but why would you want to when it has such a nice low maintenance finish to start? The company says the color is extruded along with the fibrex so they're bonded together from the get go. I think that's a plus. As for the warranty, I did hear somewhere or from someone that they are considering changing the warranty to be on par with the rest of their products. I'd check with them on that, but that woudl be a big plus.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Nothing about the 100 offers any performance advantage over a well designed vinyl window. There is not "much less" expansion in this hybrid product either.

It comes down to a look preference (i.e. narrower than the 5500, nice matte finish, more "wood like" appearance, etc) at the end of the day.

Like I said, I am in agreement with you on it being the better looking window in this comparison.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:21PM
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+1 to WoW's comments, specifically in this comparison. I'd add that there are other premium vinyl (and composite) products that offer the same matte finish, slim lines, etc that the Andersen does, but with a Lifetime warranty and significantly better performance ratings.
I'm not trying to slam that product or anything, but as I say regularly, it was created as the answer to a question that nobody asked (except perhaps the salespeople who are able to charge crazy prices for it because it is "different"). There is nothing that it can do that a premium vinyl can't do, if not do it even better.
If there is one concern that I do have about that product, is it's mechanically-fastened construction, especially given the fact that it is made mostly of vinyl. I'm sure that I'm not the only one that notices how the spaces between there composite deck boards change over time and seasonal differences.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 12:34PM
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