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Community and Q&A

Major window manufacturers: Marvin, Andersen, Sierra Pacific

Dustin_7022224 | Posted in General Questions on

We have just broken ground for the foundation on our new house and are under some pressure to finalize our window schedule and manufacturer.  We are building an ICF pretty good home.  Would like to have a durable exterior (ie composite or aluminum clad) and wood interior able to take stain (in the main living areas).

Pella has recently pulled out of our area, and I am very reluctant to go with them anyhow.  That dealer has switched and is now carrying Kolbe and Sierra Pacific.  The sales guy (and now our contractor) is pushing us hard on the H3 windows from SP.  I think in the showroom they look fairly good, but I have read awful reviews online in terms of problems, warranty claims, and lack of customer support.  Apparently they bought out the line of Hurd windows.

We were also looking at the Architectural A series from Andersen and now Marvin Integrity.  I am leaning towards the Integrity windows in part due to my impression with their construction and performance, and in part because they also have a local dealer with a long history of carrying and supporting Marvin windows, good reviews, is a family business, and have in house techs.  That being said, I think they will easily be the most expensive of the options we are considering – awaiting quote.

For Andersen, we’d have to order through a local lumber yard.



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  1. insaneirish | | #1

    I've been in a similar analysis and narrowed things down to Andersen A series and Marvin Integrity as well. I'm all but settled on the A series. I'm sure the Integrity is an excellent product, but I like the interior look of the A series better. There's something about the lines/mill work on the Integrity that, while not objectively bad, is "off" to me.

    One nice thing about the A series is that the sizes of double hungs, casements, and picture windows all align. In fact, at JLC Live last month, someone told me that the "A" in A series actually stands for "alignment". (Who knows if this is actually true...)

    1. insaneirish | | #8

      My saying "I'm all but settled on the A series" was a good way of making me go through everything I know and look into some other things I've learned.

      I'm now investigating a variety of European or European style manufacturers (namely Logic, Zola, and Alpen) and my initial research has been enlightening to say the least. I'd say it's certainly plausible I'll end up with tilt/turn options in the price range I need, with compatible aesthetics, and better performance than I would have gotten with traditional options.

  2. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #2

    Are you looking for architectural options (colors, styles, hardware choices, those kinds of things), or window performance (U factor, air leakage, etc) as your primary concern with your new windows? The American manufacturers tend to win out if you want architectural options, but if you want better window performance the canadian and European manufacturers tend to win out (with a few notable exceptions like Alpen).

    Unless you’re really set on the styling of some of the big names, it’s probably worth looking into some of the other manufacturers out there.

    1. Dustin_7022224 | | #3

      Performance is important, but I think Marvin Integrity and Andersen Architectural A series are both sufficient. Quality of construction is high on the list of desirables (don't want leaks, failures).

      That said, price is more important at this point, without sacrificing performance or quality.

      If you think we can find that in a Canadian or European manufacturer, please make a recommendation. Time unfortunately is of the essence. Thanks

      1. Expert Member
        BILL WICHERS | | #6

        I’ve been happy with in-line fiberglass. Dustin has been petty good to work with, but I don’t have anything made by them. Both are Canadian companies. Both will beat either Andersen or Marvin for performeance, but they don’t have as many options — especially for hardware.


  3. Zdesign | | #4

    If you are on the East Coast, take a look at Harvey Majesty Series. Aluminum Clad exterior with stain grade pine interior. Not nearly as many color options as say E series from Andersen but much better price point and Energy Star Rated which you can't get from Andersen unless you go Triple Pane. Fit and finish is also much better than Andersen.

  4. irene3 | | #5

    FWIW we have Marvin Integrity windows in the major addition we did about thirteen years ago, and have been very happy with them. Currently looking to replace windows in the older part of the house and getting sticker shock.

  5. autrekong | | #7

    ditto, (FWIW), in a separate thread I was asking about the performance of slide vs multi-slide patio doors and happened to get some air infiltration performance numbers from Marvin. Not sure if these are of interest but may be helpful:
    Clad Ultimate Lift & Slide Patio Door: Infiltration =0.09cfm/sqft at 1.57psf
    Integrity All Ultrex Swinging Picture: Infiltration =0.02 cfm/sqft at 1.57psf
    Integrity All Ultrex Single Hung: Infiltration = 0.06 cfm/sqft at 1.57psf
    Integrity All Ultrex Double Hung: Infiltration = 0.03 cfm/sqft at 1.57psf

  6. hughw | | #9

    Check out Loewen....good style, lots of options, both architecturally and performance...

  7. Expert Member
    Peter Yost | | #10

    I think your reasons for going with Marvin are well-stated. Just to throw in a monkey wrench:

    for performance comparisons for y0ur building and your climate, try using the window selection tool here:


  8. Dustin_7022224 | | #11

    So we ordered Marvin windows a week ago. The Integrity line is now called Elevate. I like the idea of a fiberglass frame. We went with wood interiors, all painted black. They now offer a black spacer between panes, which we also selected - I've never been a fan of the metallic spacer in multi-pane windows. I think in total we only have 4 operable windows - the rest are all fixed and the 4 that open are casement, so no worries about leaks from single/double hung frames. The 3 back doors are also Marvin Elevate and will match the windows.

    Windows should be here in 2 weeks, which gives me some time to do some more research and make plans for install and flashing details.

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