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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default anderson vs marvin

    Howdy, I'm a general contractor that specializes in interior renovations although we often have to replace a few windows or exterior doors. Most of my experience with aluminum clad wood interior french doors has been with Marvin. Although their price is high, I like the product. I currently have a high end client that is interested in Anderson doors. I went to a local distributor to check them out and receive a quote, but they were essentially a vinyl replacement contractor with a showroom. I did not feel comfortable about my knowledge of the product when I left. Is the top of the line Anderson exterior french door comparable to the Marvin in function and quality? I realize this is somewhat opinion related, but am I going to regret not talking my client into the more expensive product and distributor that I am familiar with? Thank you - mgmadden

  2. #2

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    A couple of years later...I just joined the forum. Andersen seems to have as good a wood-clad product reputation as anyone out there, based on my limited experience. I recently got both a Marvin and an Andersen quote, Andersen was about 10% less. The trick with Andersen is that their products are really designed for east-coast brick exterior finishes. By that I mean the sizes in which their windows and doors come increment only in multiples of east-coast brick dimensions (if I'm not mistaken). Their brick mold, trim and jamb dimensions all lend themselves to brick exteriors better than to other types of exteriors. For instance, the trim thickness from nailing flange to exterior edge is 1 5/8". So if you mount these on 3/4" siding, the trim sticks out substantially. If you mount them on stucco, which is 7/8" thick usually, then the trim sticks out about 1/2". Marvin provides several flanging options and their sizes are not so dedicated to any single type of construction.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Duluth, Minnesota
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    I've put in a bunch of Marvins, and have put in Anderson's maybe a half a dozen times. I always tell customers that comparing Marvins to Andersons is like comparing Fords to Chevys. Each has good and bad aspects. I like Andersons nailing fins because they are molded around the corner (none of those stupid foam things that Marvin uses). However, that is about the only thing I like about them. Marvins are stiffer and beefier and a bit more forgiving to install because of it. They also allow you to completely remove the sashes, which can make installation much easier. IMO, their Clad Ultimate Double Hung line does a good job of matching the look of an old double hung. So of the two, I like Marvins, (and Fords).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,828

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    They are both good products and I think either one will perform over the long haul for you.
    For brand new construction I tend to favor Anderson if the money is there for a higher end window,
    for a custom size however we use other than anderson
    Mark Parlee
    BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
    EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
    Level one thermagrapher (Snell Training)
    www.thebuildingconsultant.com
    www.parleebuilders.com
    You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Northern Vermont
    Posts
    404

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    Has anyone tried to buy parts for an old Marvin window?

    I have always been impressed by Andersen's ability and willingness to supply parts for their products even if they are 30 years (or more) old.

    Just wondering how Marvin compares in this respect.

    -Rich

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Upper Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    I second the customer service and parts availability. Having dealt with Andersen , Jeld-Wen and Marvin, it comes down to this...throw a brick through each window. Andersen can have a sash overnighted to you that fits perfect. Jeld-Wen sends someone out 3 months from now to look at it and sends you a sash that might fit but needs to be painted, Marvin sends a guy out and claims that the entire window was installed wrong and you end up having to put an Andersen Woodwright replacement window in to get it to stop leaking air! Just a little fun but not far from my actual experiences!

    The Andersen french doors are very good doors, my only complaint is that for the outswing doors, the retractable insect screen doesn't seem to be very well designed, it just seems to be an after-thought. Marvin has a comparable door to Andersen and whatever you do stay away from the Jeld-Wen / Pozzi line of exterior doors! Good windows, bad doors.

    Just my $.02
    Tom
    Last edited by tommyboy; 01-24-2008 at 06:08 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Middletown, Ohio
    Posts
    765

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    Quote Originally Posted by Catspaw View Post
    Has anyone tried to buy parts for an old Marvin window?

    I have always been impressed by Andersen's ability and willingness to supply parts for their products even if they are 30 years (or more) old.

    Just wondering how Marvin compares in this respect.

    -Rich
    I did a sash replacement kit with 20 year old Marvins a few months ago. It was flawless.
    Jason E. Whipple
    Historic House Restoration
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    http://www.facebook.com/RestoreOhio

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Watertown, NY (NorthernNY)
    Posts
    1,111

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    It may well be an issue of regional suppliers.

    I called Anderson with a customer complaint on their patio slider. The response was "that is our number one complaint. Here's what you do, we'll send you the part." That just turns me off.

    Another case with Marvin windows, the reps where there onsite in 2 days and we resolved the issue.

    Pella french patio door issue. Rep showed up the next day on time and answered our customers question quickly. There was no real problem here.

    Peachtree french patio door. Rep shows up a week later and explains to the customer that the door was installed incorrectly. Thankfully the customer gave me the heads up that he was coming and I arrived with instructions in hand and educated him.

    Vinyl window compaines in general (there are exceptions) don't need to show. They can tell over the phone that the windows are installed wrong.

    You might want to get some advice from your local colleagues on their experiences.

    Good luck
    Dave

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyboy View Post
    whatever you do stay away from the Jeld-Wen / Pozzi line of exterior doors! Good windows, bad doors.

    Just my $.02
    Tom
    Tom, we just used Jeld Wen's Pozzi windows for the first time and were very happy all around - price, quality, lead time. What are the problems you had with their doors?

    Regards,

    Tom

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Upper Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    My experience with Jeld-Wen has been in the last 3-4 years and I do think their windows have improved greatly but their exterior doors are quite a step down from Andersen. Here's a partial list that we have run into on the last 4 jobs! All doors were top of the line Pozzi / Jeld-Wen brands. List is ranked from most annoying to least annoying.

    #1. The handles fall off even after tightening down the set screw twice! This is due to the fact that on most doors there is a solid bar of metal that connects the inside and outside handles together. On JW doors it is 2 strips on thinner c-channel metal and the set screw literally pushes the pieces apart and slips off.
    #2. The hex screws on the adjustable hinges strip out. The screw is like a 2mm head and immediately proceeds to round out upon first adjustment.
    #3. The adjustable hinges on French doors lose their setting and sag at the top and gap at the bottom.
    #4. The weather strip on the bottom on the door protrudes out farther than the exterior cladding causing water to fill it up and soak through onto the floor
    #5. You can see daylight at the bottom corner of a correctly adjusted french door
    #6. You specifically have to request 3-point locking pins on both doors otherwise they just send doors that a basically interior style french doors. (The top and bottom bolts on the passive and just a standard latch on the active so when the wind blows hard it pushes the top and bottom of the active open)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    Thank you for your information and experience. I think the chevy vs ford analogy is fairly accurate, although the price difference in this case is substantial.(ford vs cadilac) I suppose I should just check around for a better Anderson distributor which might give me a little more knowledge and confidence for my clients decision. Thanks again - mgmadden

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    North Coast California
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    I have installed both Marvin and Andersen french doors and liked both. The Andersen outswing door has been a good choice in my area (coastal) because it seals up tight when closed, almost like a ships hatch. Andersen service here used to be great but has taken a beating in the last few years. Marvin has been great all along. As an installer, service has become the most important criteria for me in selecting door and window brands.
    Tom

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ligonier Pennsylvania
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    MGMADDEN-
    Don't go with the Marvin- We've been selling Marvin up till 2 years ago when they got rid of all the little guys that made them and switched to retail stores in our area. I can tell you that our distributor had one full time service guy that went out every day and serviced them. I have Marvins in my house that is 11 years old and then our cost was around 35,000 and at least 5 sashs have been replaced due to rotting. More need replaced but since we no longer sell them we will have to buy them. Warranty is up. The service guy says moisture is too high due to indoor pool ( 45% ) but its funny that all the other failures are the same. My windows were supposely after the big Marvin lawsuit against PPG but its same sorta problem. Sills don't have enough slope on the outside and the water lays there. Look at the lastest change in the integrity line where they changed the slope on the bottom so much that the window looks like it is open from the outside. We toured both the Marvin and Pella plants - both are awesome. I think the Andersens are hard to beat for the money and in all the years installing both practically zero problems with them.
    Rick

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for your detailed response to my question. This kind of specific, factual response, as compared with just general opinion, is a real help. I really appreciate the time you took to post it.

    Sincerely,

    Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyboy View Post
    My experience with Jeld-Wen has been in the last 3-4 years and I do think their windows have improved greatly but their exterior doors are quite a step down from Andersen. Here's a partial list that we have run into on the last 4 jobs! All doors were top of the line Pozzi / Jeld-Wen brands. List is ranked from most annoying to least annoying.

    #1. The handles fall off even after tightening down the set screw twice! This is due to the fact that on most doors there is a solid bar of metal that connects the inside and outside handles together. On JW doors it is 2 strips on thinner c-channel metal and the set screw literally pushes the pieces apart and slips off.
    #2. The hex screws on the adjustable hinges strip out. The screw is like a 2mm head and immediately proceeds to round out upon first adjustment.
    #3. The adjustable hinges on French doors lose their setting and sag at the top and gap at the bottom.
    #4. The weather strip on the bottom on the door protrudes out farther than the exterior cladding causing water to fill it up and soak through onto the floor
    #5. You can see daylight at the bottom corner of a correctly adjusted french door
    #6. You specifically have to request 3-point locking pins on both doors otherwise they just send doors that a basically interior style french doors. (The top and bottom bolts on the passive and just a standard latch on the active so when the wind blows hard it pushes the top and bottom of the active open)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: anderson vs marvin

    I install alot of Marvins and have had no problems with them. I also find them to be, hands down, the best looking window on the market.

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