Any thoughts on Pella vs Andersen for doors & windows?

sandbox5September 3, 2010

DH and I have looked at both and are having a hard time choosing. Both are about the same $$ but the options are really different.

I guess at this point, I can live with either one as far as looks but can anyone comment on the quality of one vs another?



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There is a Gardenweb Windows Forum you should post on, and do a search. Tons of threads with similar questions to yours. Also, there are quite a number of true Windows experts on that forum who install and/or sell various windows with years of experience. They are generous with their knowledgeable advice. But I can tell you from my own experience, I would never get Pella. My house came with Pella, and there are all kinds of problems, you name it. They are poorly engineered. And don't get me started on my Pella sliding glass patio door (I've replaced it with a Marvin--what a huge difference). Anyway, don't take my word for it. There's a class action suit against Pella. Lots of threads on the Windows Forum. I will link one with 100+ postings, called "Pella -Caveat Emptor"

Here is a link that might be useful: Windows Forum Thread Called Caveat Emptor

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 4:00PM
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For what it's worth, we just chose and installed Marvin windows over Pella. My builder had been using Pella for many years and felt that recently the quality had slipped and that Marvin now is a better quality product.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 4:52PM
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Marvin here too

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 5:04PM
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Spoke recently with a window cleaner. He also advises you stay away from Pella.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 5:05PM
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Wow I'm glad I came across this thread. I'm about 2 weeks away from ordering Pella window and Patio door. My contractor likes Pella windows, and my mom had got some Pellas and they seem really nice. I guess I'll do some more research.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 5:19PM
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I'd heard about Pella quality dropping off, and I went with Andersen, but I definitely wouldn't recommend them either! My Andersen's don't fit right, the lift handles are not good, and they look and feel cheap, although I paid a fortune for them (not the entry grade ones either). Stay away especially from Andersen bay windows or sliders. I paid to have them "custom" made to size, and the fit is beyond preposterous, I mean off by INCHES, not by fractions. They covered over the gaps with flat wood stock that just looks awful. Although I complained, and they sent a customer service rep, they did not one thing to make it right. I've been able to steer good friends away from this company, and I hope to spare you from them too. Maybe in years past they were better, but like so many companies these days they're just riding on a name. The bay window is not even vinyl, it's aluminum!

My friend just put Marvins all over her house and she loves them. I'd take a hard look at Marvins over Andersen any day, even if they're more money.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 5:22PM
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we installed the andersen 400 series woodright windows/doors throughout our new build and i am in love. they are gorgeous and really easy to operate (tilt out for cleaning). we did a renovation of a 110 year old house before this build and used marvins and eagle. -don't remember which series, but they were very nice as well. i definitely prefer the andersen 400s though.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 8:22PM
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UGH! We just installed 6 Pella windows and one patio door in our new kitchen addition. Windows are tough to lock and don't get me started on the patio door (triple lock but I have to slam it so the lock catches). I'll have my contractor back soon. We have 100 - 140 year old windows in the rest of the house. This winter on the 1st floor we had 30 windows re-weatherized (plus DH and I reglazed them) and ropes replaced with chains. We did it on the 2nd floor 10 years ago. They all work like a charm (but need a storm for those single pane windows). We do have a few original wood windows too. Why can't they make quality material?! I have a slew of original windows in the attic that are my long term project to bring back into the house. Love that wavy glass!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:20PM
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We have a whole house of Pella windows. I should have quit while I was ahead and changed my mind when the order got screwed up 10 times. We haven't moved into the house yet but I have a terrible time locking them, the Pella specific lever knobs are awful and 2 of mine are already broken. I've been going through and opening them up to straighten the grids inside and clean them and half the parts that operate the in between-the-glass blinds fall on the floor. I'm afraid to touch them.
On the other hand, my in-laws installed a whole house worth of them 10 years ago, all casements with blinds and they have had NO problems. They highly (pressured us half to death) recommended them to us.
I wanted Jeld-Wen (or whatever it's called) or Anderson.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:54PM
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If money allows, Marvins are the best. Unfortunately, money is spread thin for us, so it will be Andersens. They are fine and the ones we already have function well.

The Marvin Tilt n Turns are fabulous though... you can feel and see the quality and I don't begrudge them for charging more for it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 11:59PM
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I have both. I have new construction Anderson windows and a sliding door that were put in when I had my family room addition done 9 years ago. The windows are wood clad, I think the 200 series. My only complaint is that it is difficult to tilt the windows in for cleaning, but I believe Anderson has since changed that design.

The rest of my house has Pella wood clad replacement windows that are about 3 or 4 years old. Most are ok, but there are a couple that Pella had to come out repeatedly to adjust and change out parts. Still, one won't open completely, the other I just don't have the strength to open it at all. After so many service calls, I finally gave up. Their customer service is inept at best.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 1:11AM
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another marvin lover here. i did a ton of research and marvin was the way to go. did my whole house with marvins two years ago and could not be happier with the product. my house is a 1942 cottage style house almost exclusively with vintage divided light double hung windows. their tilt pac solutions are fantastic. has enabled great noise reduction yet retained all the original character of the house. nothing worse that a house with a bad window job - worth spending a bit more to get it done right. i had a christmas party last year and people even commented on them during the party!

i also got a big front window replaced. it is fixed, about 60x72 and had it made with laminated glass for noise reduction. worked like a charm!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 1:57AM
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Our experience differs from the above ... tho windows are about 25 yrs. old. Have a Pella double hung window (two units together) in my kitchen and just love it ... it is as nice today as when installed.

We also installed several Marvin windows and EVERY one of them has the filmy glass where there is a leak in the window. You could not give me a Marvin window!!! And, of course, we can't really afford to replace the *bad* ones :(

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 8:34PM
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I just installed 27 Anderson 400 Series, double hung replacement types, in my 95 year old home, and 1 patio door too. Love them. All of the subs working on my job have complimented them. I went with a terra tone finish on the outside, and they have wood on the inside. They glide very nicely, were installed really well (having a good contractor is everything!), got the screens with them too. It came out to about $700 per window plus or minus (I had odd sized windows - being an old home). Love the tilt out function for easy cleaning.

The patio door was about $2500, including the cost of the hardware (6' door) and installation. It would have been more but my regular contractor as opposed to my window contractor offered to install it when he heard that it was going to cost nearly $4000 for the window contractor to do it (it would have been a special order door in that instance and I went to Home Depot to get the one I purchased instead).

They have been through several heavy rains already and so far, so good.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 9:21PM
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I have pella architect series - double hung aluminum clad wood from 6 months to 8 years old. They've done well. I would advise against the half-screen.

I also have Anderson vinyl clad casements. We had to remove the four in the kitchen because they leaked water. Anderson has since changed the way they do the flanges and I don't know if the new design is better.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 10:18PM
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Check out Loewen. For us, they were better (and cheaper)) than Marvin when we were looking. Made by the Amish in Canada I think.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 10:46PM
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we used loewen too! ...we installed a series of five loewen casement windows in my son's nursery in our old house. these were really beautiful. i loved them more than the marvin's we installed. wanted to use these on our new build but the vendor we had used previously was out of business and i couldn't find another. definitely worth looking into!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 11:33PM
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We also used Loewens; replaced all our 50 yr old aluminum single paned windows as part of a major remodel. I love their appearance and smooth functioning. We also have an Andersen patio door in our bedroom that we installed about 10 yrs ago; no complaints about it either. It rolls smoothly and has stood up to multiple Airedale terrier assaults.

I can't believe how much more comfortable our house is in all seasons with the new double-paned windows, and I love the wood (Doug fir) interiors.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 12:34AM
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No matter what window you pick, you will find someone who says they are terrible! Make sure you get a good installer - it seems that a lot of window problems can be traced to the installation, not the window construction.

We went with Kolbe windows because they did a very good job in matching our 100 year old windows both inside and out. All of the construction workers on the job were pretty impressed with them. We are very happy with them.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 9:08AM
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laura mcleod

We used Andersen Woodright series (w/internal and external dividers) on an addition to a 1920's house with original 6 over 6's, and have been really impressed. They blend with the original windows, and the thick sash makes all the difference. BTW, I am a total old window freak and am probably the only person in the world who prefers her old original windows with the wavy glass (and leaks, cracks, etc..) to the new, easy to open energy efficient ones. :-)

Like others have said, my GC also told me that Pella has really gone downhill and they were not what they used to be.

good luck!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 12:19PM
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We just had a Pella sliding door put in (I hesitate to say it now that I read the other posts), and it wouldn't close correctly. The contractor told us that it was the door itself. However, DH fiddled with some shims a few nights later and now it slides, closes and locks perfectly. The thing is - he had to fix it prior to the wall being closed up. Usually only the installer sees this - and if DH hadn't caught it we would have had a miserable time with it forever.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 9:44PM
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