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Is Andersen's Fibrex Vinyl? Altitude issues?

Posted by desertwest (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 28, 10 at 22:51

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 Andersens Fibrex just a fancy name for vinyl?

Im 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. Ive heard mixed reviews on if argon does any good at higher elevations but to qualify for the $1500 tax credit all windows Ive looked at need argon to get below that 0.30 SHGC factor.

Ive looked at Pella, Renewal by Andersen, and Marvin. Fiberglass seems the most durable (resistant to cracking, rot, etc.) and Pellas Impervia fits the bill, but if I want wood interiors then Pella only offers an aluminum clad option and from what Ive 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 dont 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 Im 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.

Andersens products are confusing to me. There are the 200 and 400 series, and some are "Woodwright" and theres 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 thats also "Renewal." I have their Renewal brochure and I cant 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 dont 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

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is Andersen's Fibrex Vinyl? Altitude issues?

desertwest, any updates? I'm not far from you, but at 10k', so similar conditions.
What do you have in there now?
Although my current all wood windows leak like a seive,
they don't leak from water intrusion.
I've looked at the Integrity, and they seem really solid. The problem is they only come in a few color choices. I may go back with an all wood window, just to be safe.

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