Published: May 23, 2023
As one of the most recognizable windows brands on the market today, some wonder, “Are Andersen Windows worth it?” Twenty-year window industry veteran and DunRite Windows & Doors Owner Sal Sucato thinks so…with one caveat.
“Really, it’s about what is best for your home and your needs,” shares Sucato. “Not every brand has the right solution for your situation.”
Here’s why this industry veteran says Andersen brings great value for your money:
You Get More Color Choices…Outside AND Inside Your Home.
Typical vinyl windows come in white, tan or adobe, appearing on both the outside and the inside of your home. If you’re hoping for a very specific design aesthetic, most companies are pretty limited. Andersen, however, has a large variety of colors to choose from, depending on the product selected. Also, you can choose two-tone, where the color of the frame on the outside of your home is different from the color on the inside.
Black exteriors and white exteriors are on-trend right now.
This level of customization is partially why you pay a premium when you choose Andersen Windows. For many homeowners, color is an essential part of the decision process.
Andersen Windows’ Fibrex® Material is Among the Most Durable
“In Arizona, fiberglass and Fibrex are by far the most durable materials for a window frame,” shares Sucato. “There’s little to no maintenance needed—you don’t have to reseal, refinish or repaint it. And they last longer, too.”
He says Fibrex is “stout, rigid and holds up to all installation styles over a vinyl product. I would rather put an Andersen Fibrex material in my own home over anything else.”
While Sucato is a big fan of fiberglass, he says it’s far more expensive, and you get similar benefits with Fibrex, which is a patented formula from Andersen Windows featuring a blend o
f wood and composite materials repurposed from the company’s manufacturing processes.
Compared to vinyl there’s no comparison, though, according to Sucato. Fibrex is the better choice where Andersen Windows are definitely worth it.
According to Andersen, “it’s two-times stronger than vinyl and can withstand temperatures up to 150 degrees. It’s also made to resist insects, rot, decay and fungal growth, and it won’t flake, blister, peel, pit or corrode.”
Manufacturers might disagree, but we feel warranties typically reflect confidence in a product. As always, take a close look at the warranties when exploring different window manufacturers. You’ll get a better idea of the product’s true longevity based on the amount of time the company is willing to replace defective or worn parts. Most Andersen Windows come with a 20/10year warranty, although coverage on certain paints, models, treatments and upgrades may differ.
Andersen’s Name Attracts a High-Level of Notoriety in the Real Estate Industry
Whether you’re planning to sell your home or stay for the long haul, Sucato says the perceived value of Andersen Windows can be a wise investment for your home because of the brand’s notoriety, especially in real estate circles.
“People think Andersen Windows are the same as Renewal by Andersen windows, but they aren’t. Someone might purchase a $40,000 package of windows from us, whereas buying the Renewal by Andersen might cost $90,000 for the same frame material and a close comparable window. That perceived cost adds to the listing, so it’s worth sticking to the high-end brand,” says Sucato.
Related article: Are Renewal by Andersen and Andersen Windows the same thing?
From their energy efficiency to their high-end, luxury look, Andersen Windows carry an impressive impact for curb appeal and longevity, making them a big selling point to any realtor.
In fact, the more popular product brands a real estate agent can pepper into their listing, the better. It helps a buyer feel the home’s price is justified because of the high-end touches and the home’s move-in-ready features.
On the Flip Side, Andersen Windows May Not be Worth It If…
- You have a uniquely shaped window. Andersen Windows limits our ability to order shaped windows. Sucato says most window manufacturers request three dimensions: the window’s width, height and radius. However, Andersen only allows us to request two and then supplies the third measurement of what’s possible. If it’s not a perfect fit, this leaves the installation team with a bigger, potentially more complicated project and the homeowner with higher installation expenses.
- You have small windows. Andersen Windows have a higher ratio of frame to glass, and for a small window, that means less visible glass. If you were hoping the new windows would contribute to a more open aesthetic with a slim profile, another brand may be more suitable.
- Your walls aren’t ideal for thicker frames. Not all homes can handle the deep-set frame of an Andersen window. In some cases, a home may need additional interventions to accommodate the change in depth, or the homeowner needs to be okay with losing sill on the insides of the windows. Your blinds may not allow the window frame thickness at all.
- You don’t have a large budget. Windows are expensive and unlikely to drop. Sucato has seen plenty of increase with window pricing over the years, and adds, “I’ve never seen prices drop.” He says manufacturers adjust to the increased revenue, then businesses have to raise their prices to maintain a profit. The recent modest price increases are encouraging. At their peak over the past few years, monthly prices were changing by upwards of 10-12%, but at the last increase, manufacturer prices only went up 5%. If your budget can’t keep up with prices for high-end windows from Andersen or Pella, other high-quality brands like Milgard or Anlin fill the gap nicely. You might have fewer color choices, but you won’t sacrifice energy efficiency or longevity. You can still get nice quality, durable replacement windows at an affordable price.
DunRite District Sales Manager Tony Thomas agrees with exploring mid-range window options if your budget is tight.
“It’s like buying a really nice Honda versus a Lamborghini,” says Thomas. “Both will get you there in comfort, but one is a lot more money.”
Andersen products are priced similar to fiberglass windows, but it’s not a fair comparison when you compare Andersen to vinyl, he says. They simply aren’t the same material.
Andersen’s 100 Series has Fibrex, which is a completely different composite material, and to compare the two wouldn’t be an apples-to-apples comparison. He agrees with Sucato that you may get more color options and that it’s a stronger material, but glass and low-e coatings can be the same, Thomas says. There is minimal difference thermally.
So if you’re focused on energy efficiency when shopping for replacement windows, be sure to compare energy ratings for those product lines.
He adds, “You can paint older Andersen Fibrex windows where you can’t paint vinyl, which is nice.”
Thomas feels vinyl is good if there are no color issues, or if you intend to sell it before that twenty years is up. Otherwise, if your budget limits you to Fibrex or vinyl, some vinyl brands offer a longer warranty. For example, Anlin offers a lifetime warranty, compared to Andersen’s limited, 20-year warranty.
“If you are looking for a wood window, Andersen Windows are excellent,” says Thomas. “You’ll want to compare it with Pella, which are a little higher in price than Andersen.”
He says, “It’s like comparing Coke and Pepsi, most people strongly prefer one or the other, but we install both, and are happy to discuss the pros and cons of each. We don’t come in selling just one brand of window.”
“Andersen Windows may be a top choice by many window professionals, and homeowners ask for Andersen due to their ad campaigns… but that doesn’t mean they’re right for your home,” adds Sucato.
“Once you figure out your wants and needs, we can figure out the product that’s best for you,” he adds.
“Every window manufacturing company has its limitations; it’s our job to determine which will be the best option with the fewest limitations for your home.
Ready to explore Andersen Windows and find out if they’re a good fit for your home? Our prices are up to 40% less than Renewal by Andersen prices, sometimes even more! Plus, we offer all Andersen product lines available in Arizona. Reach out to us and schedule your in-home estimate.