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Old    Adam Zuzelski (azeus17)      Join Date: Feb 2010       12-20-2016, 8:38 AM Reply   
My wife and I have been getting quotes for all new windows and doors in the house. We have two quotes so far from local window guys. Both are within a couple hundred bucks of each other. One guy is suggesting Marvin windows while the other is suggesting Andersen. Both are new construction windows. Does anyone have suggestions/comments one way or the other? Any other good companies we should consider? The Marvin are wood frames with aluminum clad exterior. The Andersen are the 100 series that are Fibrex which I think is their trademark name for composite, but it is their budget line. I don't really know what makes it "budget", but that's what their website says. I plan on going to the showrooms to check out both and also plan to get at least one more quote, but when we are looking at $52k (this number makes me sick) in windows and doors, I thought it was at least worth reaching out to see what others had done and what your experience was.
Old    Rob Fullerton (Gotmods)      Join Date: Nov 2012       12-20-2016, 9:34 AM Reply   
Both are excellent windows and at the top end in the window industry, obviously you're building a high end home. I would rank Marvin slightly above Anderson in quality if I was ranking them. Anderson also makes a aluminum clad exterior wood interior version. It comes down to interior preference, if you plan on keeping the natural wood or stain look, or if you were going to go with painted woodwork. Obviously with the anderson you pick a color and you're done, with the Marvins plan on spending several thousand dollars to have them professionally finished wether you choose paint or stain/clear coat.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-20-2016, 10:10 AM Reply   
If both windows are close as far as price and preferences
Are both windows rated the same as far as Thermal efficiency Low E glass Ect.
Do the Aluminum windows slide open/close better then the fiber flex? I have found that Aluminum windows tend to open and close better then the composit windows.
But it mabey be different with the ones you have picked out.
Does either company offer specs? For sound insulation. Some window offer more sound insulation then others.

These could be things to help sway your opinion.
Old    Adam Zuzelski (azeus17)      Join Date: Feb 2010       12-20-2016, 11:11 AM Reply   
Good thoughts guys. Just to clarify, these are replacement windows for our existing home. We are going with the "new construction" windows so they will have to remove the exterior siding around the windows and pull the whole frame down to the studs and then reinstall. This will give us the best insulation properties and not reduce the glass area. That price also includes 4 sliding doors, one of which is 12 ft wide with 4 panels.

Rob, it is actually the other way around for us. The Marvin guy is going to send all trim, sills, etc. to the factory to be painted with the windows and then will install them all with the windows. The Andersen guy is only installing the windows and then will require another guy to come in and trim out the inside and paint. That alone is leading to towards the Marvin.

Grant-
I have not checked into the exact specs for each. I know they are both Energy Star certified, but other than that, not sure. The noise insulating properties is a good point to look into.

I have been thinking about also getting a quote from Jeld Wen or Pella. I have heard both names before, but don't know much about them and the Pella website is less than helpful.
Old    Bryce (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       12-20-2016, 2:46 PM Reply   
I went through this a couple years ago, received quotes for Marvin (infinity, their fiberglass offering I believe) through one of their authorized installers. i guess they only offer the product to their authorized network. A quote from an independent contractor who recommended some new line of windows from Alside and another company who offered sunrise brand windows.

If I knew it was my forever home, I would have went with the Marvin fiberglass. I went with the alside brand as it seemed to have a good cost to value ratio. Reality is, when it comes to re-sale, most folks will walk into a house and be like "ya, has new windows". Their is no extra perceived value in a high-end window for most home-buyers. Not to mention, the independent contractor was flexible with some stuff, no other window installer would do the siding work i wanted at the same time as the window install and he also knocked quite a bit off the quote when I proposed to pick up and stain/paint the trim/extension jambs.

The alside product was pretty good, as I mentioned, it was a new line from them. They actually had a rep out there from the company over-seeing the install.
Old    Rob Fullerton (Gotmods)      Join Date: Nov 2012       12-20-2016, 3:09 PM Reply   
Then Marvin hands down!
Old    David (99Bison)      Join Date: Sep 2012       12-20-2016, 10:40 PM Reply   
I've had both higher end Andersen and Marvin integrity windows.

Prefer the Andersen for quality, options and warranty experiences, and that's the plan for the next home that's getting all new windows in the spring. Planning to go with 400 series to get exactly what we decide for options and going to make it "long term" home.

Andersen has 100 (value), 200 (builder grade), 400 and architectural series. Marvin has 3 lines if I remember correctly (Integrity top line). So make sure you're comparing apples to apples. 50k seems like a ton especially for lower end versions, but no idea what your project scope is.
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       12-20-2016, 11:21 PM Reply   
We bought Andersen doors/windows 10 years ago and have been really happy. No problems as long as they're installed properly. Our house has white interior trim/casing so their prefinished 200 series was just what we needed for most of our locations and the 400 series filled the gaps where we needed custom sizing. That said, if we had to do it all over again, we'd do Andersen again however, I also know Marvin is high end stuff too.
Old    Nicolas Kohler (monkey_butt)      Join Date: Sep 2011       12-21-2016, 12:51 PM Reply   
been there in the exact same situation 3 years ago after buying our home. Some of the existing windows were literally rotten, single pane - you name it. As we intend to stay here for good - we knew when purchasing the home that some substantial remodeling would go into it. So when I got the quote from Andersen - I got the same number you got ... As my original starting budget for the reno was around 100K I was obviously not in the mood to spend half of it on windows and 3 patio doors. So went over to Menards and got a quote for the first batch of Jeldwen windows (Auralast - aluminum clad).

Installer was a separate issue - got a recommendation from Menards to use a guy and his son. I read the installation instructions and it seemed daunting so I was not eager to take this on myself. Turns out that the installer wasn't really up to code and latest installation techniques either - so some of the windows he put in we eventually took out again and reinstalled them properly. Having that said - I learned a lot along the way. Comparing the various brands you get a quality product no matter where you look. Energy efficient is basic/standard - you can get some minor upgrades like better screens, better water repellency = less cleaning but that's about it. If I would start all over - I would buy Jeldwen again - first customer service was impeccable - had a few issues - they came out and fixed/replaced it including the sliding door of a 8x8 patio door - wood started to bend during the first winter and door wasn't moving easily on the track - came out - ordered new door - replaced it 3 weeks later - no questions asked. I assume all the others would do the same but I can speak for Jeldwen - they're on top in that area - even if you buy from a big box store.

However what I would buy this time is a different type window (I purchased sliding ones): I'm used to windows with hinges etc. (that's what they use across the pond) and the possibility to switch the opening mechanism - Jeldwen calls it tilt and turn. The reason here is that the window has a handle/lock which really shuts it tight. Any sliding/hung window is essentially leaking between the 2 window parts. Casement windows aren't much better - their mechanism is prone to eventually fail. My utility bill is way down now that all the windows are replaced but that also includes a complete renovation and redoing insulation in the exterior walls (3300 sqf home - bills is between 120 and 160 every month). So having that said - you loose energy because of the leak between the 2 windows (and possibly moisture build up in the winter). If you look at a tilt and turn - it shuts solid like a door ... now in regards of cost - yes - they are even more expensive ...

So now to the cost bottom line: I think I ended up spending about 34K on all the windows and doors (one patio door was removed and replaced by a window) but saved a ton on the installation afterwards because once I figured out how to do it (and my 2nd builder did teach me) - it was pretty simple except the patio and some large windows (including some higher up) - you just need more than one person to install those. So whatever window brand you're going to choose - you're pretty much in the same ball park - but you could save money by doing it yourself and you will be surprised how fast it actually goes once you have it down.

Also consider secondary work - if one of the windows was leaking and the window opening (studs, base) has started to rot - this is the time to fix it and do it right (which is also the reason that replacement windows may be a poor choice as you won't necessarily replace window frame and underlying problems won't be addressed (like window is fairly tight but air is moving freely between window frame and stud due to lack of insulation etc.). New construction windows with a nailing flange force you to remove enough siding and trim to be able to see if something else needs to be addressed before popping a new window in.

my 2 cents - here are 2 pics (patio doors aren't really visible - sorry pic doesn't rotate after 3 attempts )
Attached Images
  

Last edited by monkey_butt; 12-21-2016 at 12:55 PM. Reason: rotate picture
Old     (gutia)      Join Date: Feb 2017       02-08-2017, 8:25 AM Reply   
Hello! I was also afraid of the sky-high prices of windows and doors, although other companies do not have such. I recommend you to contact the company from thwindowsdoors. I ordered their windows for my house, I was pleased with them. The price and quality are excellent, they have produced and installed everything very quickly. Good luck!
Old    GD (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       02-08-2017, 8:59 AM Reply   
Adam, how many windows and sliders are you replacing?
Old    Adam Zuzelski (azeus17)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-21-2017, 1:07 PM Reply   
Sorry for the late reply. I think we are at about 20 sets of casement windows and 4 sliding doors, one of which is 12 ft wide. Casements are about 60" tall and between 48-96" wide. Each casement set is made up of 2-3 individual windows with at least 2 that open (middle section does not open on most). This was the most cost effective way to do it as our current setup consists of sets of 4 opening casements for each window. Going down to sets of 3 is one less window and also provides a nice picture window on each set.

We have it narrowed down to either Marvin or Pella. We ruled Andersen out because their quote was almost identical, but did not include finish trimming or painting the interior, both the others did. Also, our current windows are Andersen and some of the quality issues have left a bad taste in my mouth.

Here is a pic of the house from the lake side showing a lot of the windows.
Attached Images
 

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