Copy of Marvin Butt Joint Corner

Marvin vs Andersen- Which is Better?

August 22, 2019

As people search for the right new windows for their home, one of the top questions we hear is, “Which is better: Marvin or Andersen windows? And this is often followed by, “Can I get a quote for both brands?” or, “Can I get a Marvin quote to compare to an Andersen quote I received?”

It sounds like a simple enough request, but it gets complicated quickly. Why? To start with, Marvin has three different window lines, and Andersen has too many to count! We want to compare apples to apples - but without knowing which line, this is difficult. Frequently, customers aren’t told which line of Andersen windows they were quoted.

So, let’s simplify. Here is an easy-to-follow comparison of the two most popular lines we see: the Marvin Ultimate Clad Collection and the Andersen 400 Series.

Exterior Material:

Marvin: Extruded Aluminum Cladding

downloadExtruded Aluminum is about the thickness of a quarter. Marvin windows are known for using this type of clad because of its preventative design and structural integrity. Both the sash and the frame are made of extruded aluminum, allowing water to pool at the bottom and flow out. Also, the space between the sash and the cladding allows for air to easily ventilate and prevents the wood from becoming saturated.


Here is a cross section of a Marvin window showing the extruded aluminum cladding.

Andersen: Vinyl Cladding

Vinyl cladding wraps around the sash to protect against swelling and bowing. With flexible weatherstripping on the perimeter of the sash and a rigid nailing flange, these Andersen windows keep out drafts, dust, and water.

andersen-400-series-replacement-casement-and-awning-window-corner-section-cutawayHere is the vinyl cladding on a Andersen 400 Series window 

Exterior Appearance and Construction:

Marvin: Butt joints in corners, as shown below:

Copy of Marvin Butt Joint Corner

Andersen: Mitered & Welded, as shown below:


Exterior Color Options:

Marvin: 19 Colors

Andersen: 7 colors

Interior Material:

Marvin: Wood (the standard is pine, but you can upgrade to six different wood species)

Andersen: Wood (pine only)

Interior Finish Options:

Marvin: Your choice of 7 factory stains or factory white and primed

Andersen: Your choice of 3 colors (white, black, or bronze), only available with coordinating exterior color

Available Window Types:

Marvin: Single Hung, Double Hung, Casement, Awning, Glider, Bay & Bow, Specialty Shapes, Round Top, European Style Tilt-Turn

Andersen: Double Hung, Casement, Awning, Glider, Bay & Bow, Specialty Shapes

Glass Options:

Marvin: Dual pane with Low E and Argon is standard. You can upgrade to additional Low E and Argon options, triple pane, specialty glass (e.g. sound abatement), and tinted, obscure, and decorative glass.

Andersen: Dual pane Low E/Low E4 is standard. You can also upgrade to SmartSun, Sun Glass, Passive Sun Glass, and obscure and art glass.

Each of these window lines is significantly different, and depending on your material, options, and upgrades, they come with very different price tags. Obtaining a quote for each doesn’t give you a good comparison. It’s important to dig a little deeper and ask:

- Which options are most important to you? Is it specialty features? Color?

- How long do you plan on staying in your home?

- Which is more important to you: upfront cost or life-cycle cost?

Answering these questions will help you determine which window is the best choice for you and your home. If it seems overwhelming, breathe! We are here to help you work through your options and make a great selection. At Franklin Window and Door we will provide you with clear education and help you determine which manufacturer, material, style, and hardware are the right fit for you. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home design consultation! 

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