How to Order Windows Online

Do you want to order windows online without having some salesman in your house? You’re in luck. It’s the future and you can now order almost anything online. You can skip the run-around from a pushy, commission based in-home salesman and order the windows online without needing to measure them. We’ll show you how.

Ordering windows online is a service that Window Universe started offering back in 2015. This has been available for quite some time and they have it completely figured out. Window Universe was a pioneer of online window ordering back then and they’re still the leader in this space.

Window Universe reviews

How can you order windows online?

It’s actually much easier than you might expect. All you do is fill out a very simple form. We have a copy of the form below. It asks for some very basic details about your project. Here is the info they’ll ask for.

First, they ask for your zip code

This is to make sure they can offer service in your area. It’s also so they can suggest a window option and efficiency package that will make sense in your climate. Someone in Detroit will want different options than someone in Phoenix and your zip code will help them make a recommendation.

Don’t worry, there are local warehouses and installation departments all over the country. Everyone involved in the installation is local. They just put the prices and product info in email which allows them to skip the in-home sales pitch. As a result, you can get the info you want without any hassle.

Next, they ask how many windows you’re thinking about replacing

You do not need to measure your windows. Since the windows are all custom made anyway the exact sizes don’t matter yet. At this point they’re just asking how many total windows you’d like to include.

Note: when you place the order a technician will come out to take the exact measurements so the windows can be custom made and fit just right. A professional will take all of the measurements.

You not committing to anything at this stage. If you’re not sure how to count the windows just take a guess. If you’re not sure if you want to replace some of the windows or all of the windows in the house, just pick one for now and they can show you alternatives once you have the online window quote.

At this stage, the idea is to show you how the pricing works. It’s a starting point. Once you see how the pricing works they can answer any questions and make unlimited revisions to get the quote just the way you want it.

Once you submit your request you can also email pictures of anything that you’re not sure how to describe. The terms can be tricky sometimes and a picture does say 1000 words.

Then, they’ll ask how you’d like the windows to open

Basic info is all they need here. Something like “3 open side to side, 1 doesn’t open at all and 10 open up and down, 14 total windows” will do the trick.

You can also ask for an online quote for a sliding patio door or a hinged door.

Note: If you have windows that are curved on top or that are not rectangular it’s a good idea to make a note of this.

Next they’ll ask what color window frame you’d like

There are many colors available. White, beige and almond are the most popular but there are many colors available. Colors like black, bronze, red, gray, green, even woodgrain interiors are available.

Again, you’re not committing to anything here. The idea is to show you how the system works so you’ll see any costs associated with the color choices on the itemized quote and revisions can always be made.

Note: They can also mail out a set of color samples so you can see them in real life. That is sometimes the easiest way to pick a color. If you’d like a set of samples, just ask.

There is a field at the bottom to include any additional notes or questions

After you complete the form you’ll receive a confirmation email from someone at Window Universe. If you want to send pictures of anything just reply to that email.

Next, one of their window experts will review your request and they’ll email you the following info:

  • A copy of the window pricing
  • Product details and brochures
  • Efficiency ratings for suggested packages
  • Photos of past projects
  • Feedback from past customers
  • A detailed and itemized quote

Note: This is just a starting point. They typical quote is revised 2-3 times before an order is final so don’t worry about making changes or asking questions. The idea is to get you this info so you can see how the system works and go from there.

What happens after you receive your online window prices?

Once you receive the window prices and product info by email you can respond with any questions. They can make unlimited revisions to your quote until the order is exactly the way you want it.

They can talk it over on the phone, by email or by video chat. I’m confident they’ll be able to answer any questions you could possibly have.

Once the order is exactly the way you want it they can send you the order forms online, you complete the forms and your order is moving along.

Note: you don’t pay anything upfront to get the process started. More info on payment process below.

If you decide not to place an order that’s fine too. At the very least you’ve received detailed info about the available options and prices so you know what you’re dealing with.

What happens after you complete the window order forms online?

The next step is for the local installation department to contact you to setup a final measurement appointment. This is not a sales call. The person who will be coming to your house is a technician who will be taking the final measurements for your order. They’ll be making sure that what you ordered is something that can be accomplished and they’ll also take the exact measurement to 1/16 of an inch.

You can certainly ask them any questions, but they’re not there to give you a sales pitch or any sort of runaround. They’re just measuring the windows.

What happens after the windows are measured?

After that measurement appointment the measurements are returned to the office and the order is double checked by a window expert. They’ll confirm that what you ordered equals what was measured and that everything matches up.

If there are any discrepancies the folks at Window Universe will be in touch to make sure everything gets sorted out. You’d have the opportunity to approve any change so you’re never stuck with anything.

Then, the windows are custom made just for you. The manufacturing time does vary throughout the year so you can always ask about the current window lead times.

Note: At this point you’ll pay a deposit because the windows are being custom made just for you. They even accept all credit cards with no extra fees. You can also use their 0% financing with $0 down if you’d prefer.

Once the windows are custom made and delivered to the local warehouse the installation department will call you to schedule an installation appointment.

Sometimes customers are concerned that the installation department will just call and tell you what day they’re showing up but that’s not how it works. They’ll let you know the next available dates and you can pick a date that works for you and your schedule.

Then the windows are professionally installed

The installers will deliver the windows and they will typically install 10-15 windows per day. Be aware that it can be difficult to exactly estimate the work time. If the work time is an issue for you just talk with them ahead of time. With that information they can typically accommodate your schedule.

It’s a good idea to walk through the project at the end to make sure everything is looking great. If anything needs to be addressed or reordered make note on the completion paperwork and that will be promptly handled.

It really is that easy to order windows online

The products offered by Window Universe are top notch windows from reputable national manufacturers. Since everything is custom made there are many thousands of available configurations. They typically try to make the process simple by making a suggestion or two.

They will also send efficiency ratings and all of the technical info you could possibly want. Once you get the quote by email you’ll see why so many people choose to order windows online.

They’ve been offering this service for a long time with many thousands of past customers. There’s no question you could ask that they haven’t heard before and there’s nothing involved in your project that they haven’t seen 1000 times. As a result, they’re experts at this and I think you’ll appreciate what they offer.

Can you order windows online without installation?

Absolutely. When you receive your itemized quote by email the labor costs will be itemized in the lower right section. If you want to install the windows yourself or if you already have an installer the installation costs can be removed.

People commonly ask about the warranty if the windows are ordered without installation. There is no change to the warranty. Obviously if the windows were installed in a way that caused a problem that would be between you and the installer, but installing the windows yourself does not void the warranty.

Should I request an itemized quote by email to find out more?

I think it’s a great idea and it costs you nothing at all. There’s no downside. At the very least you’ll know more about windows than you did before. You can review the info on your own schedule, ask questions anytime and there’s no obligation.

You can probably see why this is the future of replacement windows.

Here’s the form to request an itemized quote and price list by email

If you have any questions about the quote or the windows or the options I’m sure they can help and you can always ask me too. The idea is to make the process of ordering new windows absolutely as easy as possible.

Get your completely FREE project quote by email.  

Pella 250 Series Windows Reviews

The Pella 250 Series windows are a decent vinyl window option. This had been the mid-range option with the upgraded Pella 350 series windows being the top of the line. In my humble opinion the Pella 350 series model was a better choice but that model has since been discontinued. Now the 250 series is the top of the line option.

With that said, the 250 series is a decent window model, but not as nice as the higher end options that you can get from other manufacturers. I don’t know why they discontinued their nicer option, but all we’re left with is this 250 window model.

Pella 250 series windows with hidden screens and little kids playing.  Are they saying your kids will be this cute if you buy these windows?

What are the advantages of the Pella 250 Series windows?

The advantages to these windows are pretty limited. They are made by Pella. They’re obviously a large and well established company so that’s a positive.

They do offer a neat screen option in the hidden screen. This is a screen that is attached to the bottom of the window sash and it comes up when you open the window. Here’s a picture:

Hidden screen on these Pella vinyl windows.

They say this screen is backed by a 10 year warranty but that would typically only cover manufacturing defects. If your kids (or your cat) damages this screen there will be replacement costs. It’s also not as simple to fix as a regular screen. I think an option like this is neat in a brochure, but not necessarily as neat in real life.

What are the disadvantages?

There are a few downsides to this window model. They’re not the most efficient and the color options are pretty limited. We’ll have more info in both of those topics below.

Beyond that, these windows are generally more expensive than comparable windows from other manufacturers. The pricing I’ve seen from customers tends to show these windows being offered at a pretty significant price premium. That just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’d say the relatively bad value proposition is a pretty substantial drawback to these windows.

What colors are available for Pella 250 Series windows?

The color options for these windows are rather limited. It is common to see many more available colors when looking at windows from larger manufacturers. In this case Pella limits the color choices to just the few options shown below.

Very limited color choices in the Pella 250 series windows.

As you can see the basic window colors are white, fossil. If you order one of those options the windows will be that color inside and out.

Then you can add an exterior color if you want to jazz it up a little bit. The only exterior color options are brown and black.

So, while the color options are pretty limited they do offer the most popular colors. I would guess these options will do the trick for the majority of customers.

Are the Pella 250 Series windows energy efficient?

They’re very middle of the road in terms of efficiency. They advertise three InsulShield glass packages which is a nice way to try to keep things simple. They don’t advertise efficiency ratings. This is a pretty common thing to do when the efficiency ratings aren’t remarkable.

Generally when a company offers real measurable efficiency ratings that are pretty good they’re happy to tell everyone about them.

Is the Pella 250 Series warranty any good?

Not really. We’ll have a complete Pella vinyl window warranty review coming out within the next several days so look for that. For now, the warranty is decent in that it’s backed by a very large company. That’s good.

There are substantial drawbacks to the warranty. For example, they try to restrict your ability to sue them if the products have issues. The warranty term can also be shorter than you’ll see from other vinyl window manufacturers.

I’d say the warranty on the 250 series windows is probably ok, but not a selling point in my opinion.

What’s the bottom line?

Overall I think this is not the best option in most cases. Some customers are just more comfortable with well known brands like Pella or Andersen and that tends to be why these windows continue to sell.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with the Pella 250 series windows and I think many people would be happy with them. The value isn’t typically the best as you’re paying a premium for the Pella name. I do think you can get a better value elsewhere.

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Andersen Heritage Windows Reviews

Here we have Andersen Heritage windows reviews so you can find out if these are the best windows for your project. These are aluminum windows which aren’t nearly as popular today as they once were. Why have customers turned against aluminum windows? Are the Andersen Heritage windows any good? Let’s find out.

What are the advantages of Andersen Heritage windows?

These windows are made in the Southwest. That’s about the only part of the country where you’ll still see a lot of aluminum windows.

Advantages of aluminum windows are that they can be made with very slim frames in a wide range of styles. Aluminum is stronger than other materials like vinyl or wood so the frames can be smaller and the windows can be larger.

You also get a more commercial look which can be a good fit for some projects. Here’s an example.

Andersen Heritage windows looking very commercial or industrial.

In order to get a look like this you really need an aluminum window. In that case, the Heritage model might fit the bill.

What are the disadvantages?

The downsides of aluminum windows including the Andersen Heritage windows are the prices and the short warranty.

Aluminum windows are generally a fair bit more expensive than their vinyl competitors. In the case of the Heritage window the warranty is also much shorter. We’ll have more warranty info below, but it’s not a great sign that this window model might have the shortest warranty of any Andersen window product. In my mind the warranty is an indication of how long the manufacturer expects the products to hold up. It’s pretty important.

How efficient are Andersen Heritage windows?

Interestingly, Andersen publishes efficiency data for just about all of their window models, but they don’t appear to publish ratings on the Heritage aluminum windows.

Aluminum windows are often not as efficient as other window types and I can only assume that’s why this info isn’t published. In addition to probably being less efficient than other types, aluminum windows can also have relatively high air infiltration rates. If anyone out there has real info on the efficiency ratings, including air infiltration please post a comment below to let us know.

If you’re considering these windows I suggest you do it for the look and the commercial style rather than for the efficiency.

Andersen Heritage windows for a corner window with max glass area.
Here you can see the commercial window style that aluminum windows provide. Check out that cool corner window!

What colors are available?

The color options are rather limited. Below you can see the popular interior and exterior colors. They do also offer custom colors, but that’s not always a great idea.

These are the available color options for the Heritage windows.

You can see they offer the same colors in the thermally improved and the non-thermally improved options. Who knows why they make that distinction in the colors graphics since the choices are the same. They do list the options in a different order which is also a little weird.

The finish warranties are different on the painted vs anodized finishes so that’s something to be aware of. More info on the warranty below.

Is the Andersen Heritage window warranty any good?

Not really. In fact compared with the A-Series, E-Series, 200 Series and 100 Series it might be the worst Andersen window warranty. That’s not good.

Important opt-out clause in the Andersen windows warranty.
Here you can see one important aspect of the Heritage warranty.

This limitation recently appeared in all of the Andersen window warranties. I think it’s a bigger deal than people might realize. If you don’t opt-out of this clause within 1 year of purchase (not installation) your rights are severely limited. I don’t really know how that’s legal, but I’m not a lawyer.

Beyond that, there are other important limitations to be aware of. For example, you get coverage on the insulated glass for 20 years. That’s pretty good, but there’s more to the story.

Very short 2 year warranty on non-glass components of the Anderson Heritage windows.
Here you can see the warranty coverage for non-glass components.

As you can see above the warranty for non-glass components is very short. 2 years from date of purchase is almost silly compared to what you get from other manufacturers. Say it takes 2-3 months from when you ordered until the windows are installed. That means you might only get 21 months of warranty coverage. That’s unusual.

Finish warranty on Heritage aluminum windows.
Here you can see the finish warranty is only 5 years on anodized finishes.

The warranty on the anodized finishes is only 5 years. You also get that same 5 year term on the applied finishes. That’s not a particularly long time for something that is sold as being very durable.

What’s the bottom line?

If you need aluminum windows for a commercial look or for extreme sizes this might be a decent option. Just be aware that the warranty is short and you’ll want to understand the efficiency ratings.

Aluminum windows used to be very common, but other materials have gained substantial market share as customers pick other options. If you don’t need aluminum windows for your specific project you might want to look at other frame materials.

Other Andersen window posts you might find helpful:

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Andersen 200 Series Windows Reviews

Here we’ll look at Andersen 200 Series windows reviews to see if these windows are a good choice for your home. The 200 Series is the cheapest wood window option from Andersen. That means it won’t be as nice as the fancier A-Series and E-Series windows that we’ve reviewed previously.

The 200 Series is a step up from the 100 Series which uses their Fibrex imitation wood frames. Since the 200 is real wood it might be a better option. Let’s find out.

Andersen 200 Series windows and patio doors reviews, warranty, prices and efficiency.

What are the advantages of the Andersen 200 Series windows?

The main advantage of these windows is that they’re made with real wood. As I’ve said previously, my company primarily offers vinyl windows, but I do understand why someone might want wood windows. There are many tradeoffs that come with wood windows vs vinyl including higher prices, shorter warranties and less efficient results.

That said I do definitely prefer real wood to imitation wood products like composite and fiberglass windows. I’d say the fact that these use real wood is the main advantage over other products.

What are the disadvantages?

The drawbacks to these windows will include the efficiency, warranty and prices along with limited options and styles available in this model. The Parma-Shield exterior vinyl cladding can also be a concern.

Years ago my company offered wood windows through Jeld-Wen and the rep from Jeld-Wen used to pick on the vinyl cladding that Andersen offered. He would say that their extruded aluminum cladding was stronger and more durable. I have Andersen wood windows in our cabin and they have the vinyl cladding. It’s held up just fine for me, but it is something that competitors might do better.

We’ll get into a little more detail on the efficiency and warranty below. To keep it short here, the overall efficiency ratings of these windows are pretty mediocre. The air infiltration rates are higher than you’ll see from most vinyl windows meaning they let in more air when closed and locked.

The warranty is also much more limited than a vinyl window, but pretty similar to what you’d expect for a wood or composite window. For example, you get 20 years of coverage on the glass unit and 10 years on most other components. The warranty on exterior wood is 5 years.

There is a substantial limitation of your rights to sue them if there are problems down the road. You can opt-out of this limitation but only if you do it right away. If you delay you may lose those rights forever. Find more info on that below.

Are Andersen 200 Series windows energy efficient?

Not really. While they say they offer the “industry’s widest array of glass options” the efficiency ratings for those options are pretty typical. There’s nothing I’ve seen that would indicate these windows are any more efficient than anything else. In fact, there are many window options out there with far more efficient options.

The air infiltration rates are another concern. They only publish the rating as being <0.20 which is pretty high. I usually suggest looking for a window with an air infiltration under 0.05, but that’s really more geared towards vinyl windows. Wood, composite and fiberglass windows don’t seem to seal as well as they almost always have higher (worse) air infiltration rates.

Andersen 200 Series efficiency ratings and air infiltration.
Here you can see an example of the efficiency ratings for the Andersen 200 series tilt wash double hung windows.

As you can see in the chart above the U-Factor and air infiltration rates for these windows aren’t fantastic. They do offer more glass packages with different ratings but nothing about the efficiency options is remarkable.

Is the Andersen 200 Series warranty any good?

It depends. Compared to most vinyl window warranties the warranty on the Andersen 200 Series windows is not very good at all. That said, when you compare this warranty to other wood windows it looks a little better.

That said, there is one very important aspect of this warranty that you should be aware of:

Andersen 200 Series warranty restrictions and limitations.
Here you can see a change to the Andersen 200 Series and 400 Series warranty.

This is the first paragraph in the updated Andersen windows warranty. In my opinion it’s pretty important. If you don’t opt-out of this restriction within 1 year of the date of purchase your rights are severely limited.

Notice they use the date of purchase as the start of the timeline which is probably a month or two before your windows are actually installed. I would recommend everyone go to their site and opt-out of this restriction ASAP.

Beyond that limitation the rest of the warranty is pretty reasonable. You get 20 year coverage on the insulated glass, 10 years on most other components. There is no labor coverage and no glass breakage coverage either.

Andersen 200 Series window warranty has no labor coverage.

What colors are available for Andersen 200 Series windows?

The color options are pretty limited for the Andersen 200 Series windows. Here you can see the interior and exterior options.

Andersen 200 Series interior and exterior window colors.

The exterior colors are the permanent-shield exterior cladding which is a vinyl cladding. As I mentioned above it’s something that Andersen’s competitors use against them. To be fair I do have personal experience with this product and it’s worked just fine for me. It might be something to be concerned about in a very high sun area, but how much you weigh that concern is really up to you.

The only interior options are an unfinished pine or a repainted white. If you wanted to paint yourself or if you wanted a white interior these options will be perfect. Otherwise this will mean you’ll be paying someone else to paint them which will add to the cost of your project.

What’s the bottom line?

Overall, if you’re someone who has to have a wood window and you want a relatively basic solution this might be a fine product. The efficiency and warranty aren’t great, but they are similar to other wood windows.

The color, style and hardware options are very limited, but many people don’t pick the fancy options you see in many window brochures.

If you do want different colors, styles or better efficiency you’ll definitely want to look elsewhere.

Other Andersen window posts you might find helpful:

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Andersen 100 Series Windows Reviews

Find Andersen 100 Series windows reviews here to see if these are the best windows for your house. The Andersen 100 Series uses Fibrex frames which is a composite material that is also used in the Renewal by Andersen line of replacement windows. This product can come with quite a sales pitch, but is it really any good?

Here we look at the Fibrex frames, the energy efficiency, warranty and the advantages and disadvantages of this window model to see if it’s the right fit for you. Let’s get started.

Here's a fancy picture of the Andersen 100 Series windows.  They really like to show pictures of black windows lately.

What are the advantages of Andersen 100 Series windows?

The main advantage of the Andersen 100 series windows is the look. They can look very nice. These windows use a composite frame material that they call Fibrex. These frames offer a painted finish that can look a lot like a wood window.

They’ll tell you the Fibrex frames are more durable than a wood window and prettier than a vinyl window. Andersen finds themselves in a tricky spot promoting this product. They want to show it as being “better” than a vinyl window, but they don’t want to compete too much with wood windows since they sell so many wood windows.

Unfortunately the nice look of these windows is about where the list of advantages ends. Let’s look at the disadvantages for more info.

What are the disadvantages?

The main drawbacks to this window model are the price, the warranty and the efficiency. Those can be pretty major drawbacks.

The prices for these windows can vary based on the dealer or distributor that is offering the windows. We’d typically expect to see them installed for $1200+ per window so the cost is up there.

The efficiency is another major drawback. We’ll get a little farther into the ratings down below, but the U-Factors are higher (worse) than nice vinyl windows and the air infiltration ratings are higher (worse) also.

Beyond all of that the warranty isn’t as great as the warranties you’ll see from other companies either. It’s true that this warranty is transferable regardless of who owns the house. That’s good. Unfortunately the warranty is much more limited than other options. We have more info on details and examples from the actual Andersen 100 series warranty below.

Here is another glamour shot of the Andersen 100 Series casement windows.  They sure do love those black window frames.
They really love showing off those black frames.

Are the Fibrex frames really any good?

I’m not a huge fan of paying a premium for imitation wood. I do like the look of real wood windows and I understand why some people pay the premium for it. In my mind if you want real wood windows you should get real wood windows. Getting imitation wood windows has just never really made sense to me.

For example, the warranty on the 100 Series windows is 10 years on the frame members. The warranty on the A-Series is also 10 years and the warranty on exterior wood frames on the Andersen E-Series is 5 years.

So, if the Fibrex material was so super duper you’d expect it to have a significantly longer warranty than other models, but it doesn’t. I know some people say they don’t worry too much about warranties, but the warranty is telling you how long the manufacturer expects the product to last. If they thought it would last 50 years it would have a 50 year warranty.

In my mind the Fibrex frames are more sales pitch than anything else.

Are Andersen 100 Series windows energy efficient?

Not especially. There are many glass packages available for these windows and they’ll all have different efficiency ratings. You’ll see catchy marketing names like HeatLock, SmartSun, PassiveSun, etc. These all sound great, but the ratings are all relatively average.

Here is an example of the efficiency rantings and air infiltration ratings for the Andersen 100 Series windows.
Here is an example of the efficiency ratings of the Andersen 100 Series windows. The ratings are perfectly fine, but not at all remarkable.

As with other Andersen wood and composite windows, the air infiltration rates are not the best. It seems that they just can’t make these windows seal very well and that’s not ideal.

For example, a nicer vinyl casement window will have an air infiltration rate of 0.02 or maybe 0.04. The Andersen 100 Series casement windows have ratings of <0.20 which is substantially higher. They don’t publish the exact ratings for each model and size so we’re just going by the published info.

Overall the efficiency ratings for these windows just don’t look very remarkable.

Is the warranty for Andersen 100 Series windows any good?

Not really. Andersen is in a strange spot with the 100 Series windows. They’re trying to compete with both wood and vinyl windows. In comparison to the warranties for most vinyl windows the 100 Series warranty is not very good at all.

Most vinyl windows will come with a lifetime transferable warranty that is good for as long as you own the house. Those warranties are then transferable when you sell the house. The 100 Series comes with a 20 year warranty that is actually only 10 years on many components. That’s shorter.

The salespeople sometimes say that lifetime warranties are actually only 7 years, but there’s just not any truth to that. The fact that you can still find salespeople saying things like that tells you that they know the warranty doesn’t compare very well.

This language seems to have been added to most Andersen window warranties. WATCH OUT.

Note in the paragraph above, they say you give up your right to be involved in a class action suit or to have a jury trial. I don’t know why they seem particularly worried about that, but it’s something for you to be cautious about. You have 1 year to opt out and that year starts when you originally placed the order, not when the windows were installed. I’ve read a lot of window warranties and this feels a little tricky to me.

When comparing the 100 Series to wood windows the warranty looks a little better. It’s very similar to the warranty you get on the Andersen A-Series windows and you might say it’s a little better than the warranty on the E-Series windows.

Overall, I’d say the warranty on these windows isn’t a selling point in my opinion.

Are Andersen 100 Series windows the same as Renewal by Andersen?

Not exactly, but the Fibrex frame material is the same. We’ve heard from many readers who commented at the bottom of this page saying they were able to find much better prices on Fibrex in the Andersen 100 series vs Renewal by Andersen. I certainly believe that to be true.

There are some differences in the products, but you get the same frame material, similar efficiency ratings and significantly lower prices in the 100 Series. We’ll have a full comparison post looking at 100 Series vs Renewal by Andersen soon, but for now it’s my opinion that the 100 Series is a significantly better value.

What colors are available for Andersen 100 Series windows?

There are a surprisingly limited number of colors available for these windows. Below you can see the interior and exterior color options.

Here are the interior and exterior colors for the Andersen 100 Series windows.  Note they do offer a black interior and a black exterior option.

You can see they do offer a black exterior with a black interior which is something you don’t find from most vinyl window manufacturers. If you’re an HGTV fanatic who has to have black interior this could be a decent option. I am surprised that you don’t see 50 color options for these like you do on some other Andersen window lines. I can only guess that they use fancier color options to entice you into more expensive window lines.

You do see more of their signature strange sales claims regarding colors. For example, they claim the finish is 12x thicker than vinyl windows. Has anyone ever been too worried about the thickness of the paint?

Does thick paint matter?  I would suggest that durable paint is more important.
This feels like a pretty questionable sales claim to me. I think you will need to paint it.
Really, I’ll never need to paint it? Seems like it should have a pretty long warranty on the finish, but it doesn’t.

Remember, when you’re reading claims made by window companies you want to focus on what it actually means to you. Do you care if the paint is thicker? I don’t. You might care about how long the paint will last and you can see that in the warranty.

Most vinyl windows with a painted exterior finish will come with a 10 year warranty on that finish. What sort of warranty do you get on Andersen 100 series windows?

Here is the very limited warranty on the exterior finish of the Andersen 100 Series windows.  I don't know how they can say you'll never need to paint it when the warranty is only 10 years.

You guessed it. 10 years. So they claim that the paint is thicker and you’ll “never have to paint it” but then they tell you in the warranty that they don’t expect it to last any longer than the “thinner” paint on other windows.

What good is it if it doesn’t last longer? Sounds like it might just be driving up the cost. How can they say you’ll never have to paint it and then say they only think it’ll last 10 years. Sounds like just another sales pitch to me.

What’s the bottom line?

Overall this is a good option if you’re in love with the idea of the Fibrex composite frames. If you’re willing to pay the substantial price premium over a vinyl window for an option that is pretty but is less efficient, has a shorter warranty and is much more expensive than this could be an option.

I do think this is a much better value than the similar Renewal by Andersen line. If I were buying windows like this for my house I’d definitely get real wood vs the imitation wood you get with this Fibrex line.

That’s really a distinction that’s up to you. If you prefer this look over vinyl and you’re comfortable with the trade offs then it’s a fine solution. Otherwise, I’d look elsewhere.

Other Andersen window posts you might find helpful:

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Andersen A-Series Windows Reviews

Here we have Andersen A-Series windows reviews to see if these are a good option for your home. Andersen says these are their best performing and most energy efficient windows. Does that mean these windows are a great choice or is Andersen just trading on their name and reputation in the industry? Let’s find out.

What are the advantages of the Andersen A-Series windows?

Similar to the Andersen E-Series that we reviewed recently, the A-Series is a very nice looking product. That’s going to be the main advantage to these windows over other choices. Here’s a glamour shot from their brochure:

Andersen A-Series interior view.
These are some nice looking Andersen A-Series windows and a nice looking table too.

Unfortunately, beyond the good looks there are some downsides to these products that you should be aware of.

What are the disadvantages?

There are a range of disadvantages to these windows. For example, they’ll be considerably less energy efficient than a nice vinyl window. They’re also relatively expensive and the warranty is much more limited, in some respects, than others.

For example, in the brochure they say the A-Series windows never need painting and they hold their vibrant finish.

Andersen A-Series windows never need painting?  Maybe they do sometimes.

Then in the actual warranty they say the windows won’t fade for 10 years. Of course most people never read the fine print in the warranty, but we do.

Andersen A-Series paint warranty.

To say the windows will “never need painting” and then say the warranty is only for 10 years feels a little dishonest to me. If they really thought the windows would never need painting shouldn’t the warranty cover the finish for a little longer? Maybe that’s why they want to limit your right to sue them as part of the warranty. We’ll get more into the warranty down below.

So, the main drawbacks of these windows in my mind are the warranty, the efficiency and the relatedly high prices. Next we’ll look at the efficiency.

Are the Andersen A-Series windows energy efficient?

Not really. We know Andersen touts these as being their most efficient windows and the ratings can be decent, but they’re defininltey less efficient than windows you’ll see from other manufacturers, often at lower costs.

For example, in preparation for this article I reviewed efficiency ratings for over 150 configurations of the A-Series casement window. The very best U-Factor available without grilles was 0.24. Lower is better when it comes to U-Factors and 0.24 is ok, but it’s definitely higher (worse) than you’ll see from many other manufacturers. Why is this the very best that Andersen offers? I have no idea.

Andersen A-Series windows energy efficiency chart.
These are the very best ratings we could find for Andersen A-Series casement windows. These aren’t particularly great ratings.

As you can see the very best ratings we could find for the most efficient option available in a casement window still isn’t particularly great. These are probably more efficient than the old windows in your house but they’re not as efficient as many other available options.

What about the Andersen A-Series air infiltration rates?

This is another area that doesn’t look so great for Andersen. The air infiltration is presented in the chart above as being <0.20 which is pretty underwhelming, especially for a casement window. Most top of the line type casement windows will have air infiltration ratings around 0.02 or about 1/10th of the air that you get through the A-series windows.

To be fair air infiltration is one of the ratings that will vary by size so it’s sometimes challenging to present one rating for one window. The size of the window can change the rating a little bit. Still, 0.20 is super high for a casement window. Most vinyl window options will seal much better.

Andersen A-Series are pretty windows.
Here’s another glamour shot of the Anderson A-Series windows.

Is the Andersen A-Series warranty any good?’

Not really. Right off the bat I would be concern that they try to limit your rights in the very first paragraph.

Andersen A-Series window warranty limitations.

As you can see, right off the bat they say that you give up your right to participate in a class action suit or to have a jury trial unless you go to their website and fill out a form within a year of the windows being installed.

This strikes me as being a little tricky as most people won’t have a problem in the first year so they likely won’t actually read the warranty. If you spend $20k on windows and have a problem 3 years down the road your rights might already be limited. Strange.

We already showed you how they claim these windows never need painting but then say if they fade after 10 years you’re on your own.

There are some aspects of the warranty that are better. For example, the insulated glass is covered for 20 years. They may just provide the glass and no labor, but at leas the glass is covered.

The other components like locks, latches, balances, etc are only covered for 10 years which is also a relatively short time period. They also have no obligation to provide labor for a repair to these components either.

And, labor is not covered at all.

Andersen A-Series warranty exclusions.

The warranty is transferable and stays with the windows rather than with the purchaser which is a nice feature. Many other warranties make you transfer the warranty to the buyer of the house hoping you’ll forget. Andersen doesn’t do that and that’s a selling point if you ask me.

What’s the bottom line?

Overall I’d say these window are very pretty. They also come with relatively high prices, a very limited warranty and efficiency ratings that aren’t too great.

If you’re in a situation where the look that they offer is worth the tradeoffs then these windows might make sense for you. for everyone else, there are probably better options out there.

Other Andersen window posts you might find helpful:

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Andersen E-Series Window Warranty

The Andersen E-Series window warranty is definitely not as good as many other window warranties that we’ve reviewed. There are a handful of pretty major drawbacks.

Note: This post is talking specifically about the warranty on these windows. You can also find our reviews of the Andersen E-Series windows here.

When comparing window warranties it’s important to understand the limitations of different window materials. For example, wood windows like this one will basically always have much shorter warranties than vinyl windows. That doesn’t mean wood windows are bad or that I’m pushing vinyl, but it is important to understand the differences.

Here we’ll start by looking at how long the warranty lasts, what is covered and what is not covered by this warranty. First, we’ll look at how your rights under this warranty are limited and how you can change that if you act fast.

How does Andersen limit your rights under this warranty?

Andersen warranty waivers.  If you want to maintain your rights under the Andersen E-Series window warranty you need to opt-out of this restriction.

The very fist paragraph in bold specifically says you can’t be involved in a class action suit and you can’t elect to have a jury hear your case if you were to sue. I’m no lawyer, but these don’t seem like restrictions you’ll want to agree on.

One can only assume they try to limit your rights in this way because they’re concerned about an expensive class action suit. That may not be a great sign for the customer. You can maintain your rights by opting out of this restriction and I would suggest that everyone do that asap. If you wait you might be out of luck.

How long is the Andersen E-Series window warranty?

You might see this advertised as a 20 year warranty that that would be partially true. The longest coverage is 20 years on the insulated glass units and some other components. 20 year coverage on insulated glass is a long time, but many manufactures offer lifetime coverage so it’s not remarkable.

The wood and composite portions of the window frame come with much shorter coverage.

The wood and composite frames have relatively short warranties.  Wood frames only 5 years and composite only 10 years.

As you can see above, the composite frame is covered for 10 years and the exterior wood frame is only covered for 5 years. For windows this expensive that’s pretty short coverage. 5 or even 10 years will go by pretty quickly and then you’ll be out of luck if there’s a problem.

For all the talk about the composite frames from some of these salespeople I would have expected to see longer coverage.

You’ll also see the coverage on blinds and screens is pretty short. Can you believe the warranty on the retractable door screen is only 1 year? I bet that’s not included in the standard sales pitch.

Note some commission based in-home salesmen might tell you that “lifetime” warranties are actually only 7 years. This is not true, but it’s something we’ve ben hearing these guys say for many years. Andersen does not offer a lifetime warranty on these windows.

Hardware, weatherstripping, blinds and screens all have shorter warranties from Andersen.

Can you transfer the Andersen window warranty?

You don’t need to transfer this warranty. One way that many manufacturers will make warranties sound long is to require them to be transferred when you sell the house. They know people will forget to do that and then when there’s a problem there’s no warranty coverage. This is a little tricky in my book, but many manufacturers do it.

To their credit Andersen does not require you to transfer the warranty. The warranty stays with the windows when you sell the house and there’s no work required. That’s an advantage to this warranty over many others.

What is not covered by the Andersen E-Series window warranty?

There are limitations to any warranty and this one is no different. Andersen doesn’t cover things like glass breakage some other manufacturers will cover. Most of the other limitations are pretty common. For example, there’s no coverage for labor and no coverage if bugs get through the screen.

Interestingly there’s no coverage at all for paint on adhesion of paint or stain to wood products.

There’s also no coverage at all for trips to your house to show you how the windows work. If that sounds silly to you it does to me too. They actually list this twice in the same list of warranty exclusions. Maybe they get a lot of calls looking for in-person instructions on how to use windows?

Limitations to the Andersen E-Series window warranty.  No coverage for glass breakage or instructions.
Here is the exclusion for trips to your house to show you how windows work. This is on page 2 of the warranty.
Repeating the same limitation to the Andersen E-Series window warranty.  They really don't want to give you instructions.
Here is that same exclusion listed again on page 3. It’s actually listed twice in the same list. I guess they get a lot of calls for window instructions.

What’s the bottom line?

Overall this warranty isn’t great. That’s especially true considering the cost of these windows. As I mentioned in the Andersen E-Series windows reviews the windows are really pretty.

If you want the look and you’re less concerned about the price and the longevity these might be a fine choice. Otherwise I’d look elsewhere. If you’ve already bought these windows be sure to opt-out of the limitations on your rights. It looks like you only have 1 year to do that. I don’t know if that would hold up in court, but that’s what it says. Good luck out there!

Other Andersen window posts you might find helpful:

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Andersen E-Series Windows Reviews

Find our Andersen E-Series windows reviews here. We’ll look at the options, colors, efficiency, warranty and more to see if these windows make sense for you.

Many people know the Andersen windows name, but that doesn’t mean that they only make great windows. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything so let’s see if these windows are any good.

What are the advantages of Andersen E-Series windows?

The main advantage these windows offer is the look. They can really look nice. Unfortunately that’s where the list of advantages seems to end.

Look at this beautiful corner window.  It's in the Andersen E-Series window line.
Check out these beauties. That corner window is pretty cool, but it might not be what you need for your project.

If you were comparing these windows vs vinyl windows you’ll find vinyl windows tend to be more energy efficient, have better warranties and cost significantly less. Really the only reason I see to pick windows like this is if you must have the look of a wood window.

If you’re in that camp and you just love the look and feel of wood windows then these can be a decent choice. Otherwise, you might want to explore other options.

What are the disadvantages?

The main disadvantages to Andersen E-Series windows are the cost, the not-so-great efficiency and the short warranty. We’ll get into more detail below, but there are reasons that these aren’t the most popular windows in the world.

They are pretty though. Let’s do one more glamour shot before getting into the style options and more of the downsides.

Here is a beautiful contemporary window from Andersen.

What colors are available for Andersen E-Series windows?

There is a pretty wide range of color options for Andersen E-Series windows and that’s one of the selling points. Below you can see the standard colors. When you read about windows as much as I do you start to notice some interesting things. For example, see their note about the colors being unaffected by the sun.

There is a very wide range of exterior colors available for these Andersen windows.
Here are the Andersen E-Series colors. Are they really unaffected by the sun?

As you can see in red above, Andersen advertises that these windows are unaffected by the sun if you pick one of the anodized finishes. That seems a little odd so I read the footnote and reviewed the written warranty. Here’s what I found:

Andersen E-Series windows anodized color warranty.

As you can see, the anodized finish is only covered by the warranty for 5 years. After that if it flakes or fades you’re out of luck. So much for being unaffected by the sun!

They also say that if the finish fails within in the warranty period they might repaint it and the finish may not be the same. Or, they can replace it but they won’t cover the labor so you’re on the hook for that. Or, they might refund you the original purchase price. Not great options.

The warranty on painted finishes actually looks to be better, but they reference anodized finishes as being unaffected by the sun. Marketing is strange.

One more thing about the colors

The footnotes are often my favorite part when reading window info. It’s where they tell you what they actually mean vs what they said in big print.

Andersen E-Series windows interior color options.

Funny that they list mahogany as an available wood species, then say it’s not actually mahogany at the bottom of the page. I guess writing Mahogany-ish would have been confusing too…

Is the Andersen window warranty any good?

It’s decent for a wood window, but substantially worse than most vinyl window warranties that we review. There’s a lot to understand.

For example, you’ll notice right off the bat that they want to limit your right to sue them if you have a problem. That might not be a great thing. Here’s a relevant section:

Andersen warranty is more limited than you might expect.  Pay attention to this paragraph to maintain your rights.

This sounds to me like they very much want to avoid a class action lawsuit. I suppose that’s understandable for them to want, but I don’t think most customers are aware that their rights are being limited in this way.

If you’re buying these windows I’d opt out of that limitation. I can’t think of any reason why you’d want to limit your rights like that.

Other interesting limitations of the Andersen E-Series warranty is that the glass units are only covered for 20 years with no labor coverage for replacement.

Exterior wood is only covered for 5 years, interior for 10 years. The painted finishes vary from 5 years to 20 years and the hardware, blinds and screens are only covered for 10 years.

Overall the warranty is rather short compared to the other warranties I’m routinely reading. We’ll have another post on the Andersen E-Series window warranty soon. Here it is! In the meantime I’d make sure you understand that despite the high cost of this product the warranty is still on the shorter side.

Are Andersen E-Series windows energy efficient?

Not really. I just reviewed efficiency ratings for dozens of packages in the E-Series casement windows as an example. I couldn’t find anything with a U-Factor lower than 0.27 for a triple pane window. Lower is better when it comes to U-Factors and 0.27 for triple pane isn’t great. Most of the products I frequently deal with will have U-Factors in the range of 0.22 or lower for a triple pane casement window. That’s a big difference.

Also, they only list air infiltration rates in ranges, but the ranges aren’t great. For most casement options it looks like they’re advertising < 0.20 which means the air infiltration rate could be as high as 0.19. For comparison, options we deal with frequently will be 0.02 or lower for a casement window.

Andersen E-Series windows efficiency is not so great.
Here is the most efficient package I could find for the Andersen E-Series casement. These ratings aren’t great compared to most vinyl window options.

What’s the bottom line?

overall the Andersen E-Series windows can look very nice. They cost quite a lot, they’re less efficient than other options and they have shorter warranties too.

So, if you need that look and you’re less concerned about the price and the efficiency these windows might be a fine choice. Otherwise, I would suggest you can find other options with longer warranties, lower prices and better efficiency too.

Other Andersen window posts you might find helpful:

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Soft-Lite Windows Complaints

Soft-Lite windows complaints can be caused by several factors. If you’re considering buying these windows it’s worthwhile to understand what makes some customers unhappy. With that knowledge you should be able to make a decision regarding which windows to purchase with less stress.

So, let’s find out what causes customers to be unhappy about Soft-Lite windows.

What causes Soft-Lite windows complaints?

Believe it or not the majority of the Soft-Lite windows complaints that I’ve heard have more to do with the in-home salesmen than the windows themselves.

SoftLite windows are commonly sold through window dealers which are often little more than sales companies. These companies will generate leads either by knocking on doors or going to home and garden shows or maybe approaching you at a Home Depot, Lowes or Sam’s Club store.

home improvement sales tricks

They’ll tell you they’re “working in the neighborhood” or they have a super special promotion available and they’ll ask if you’d like a quote on new windows or siding or a roof.

If you agree to that free quote they send in a well trained commission based in-home salesman to close the deal. These guys can seem great, but they’re sometimes not operating with your best interests in mind.

When they arrive they’ll seem nice, they’ll put your dog and make great small talk. They might say they went to the same school as you or they could have kids in the same program as your kids.

Be cautious because the sales process has already started.

Why are in-home window salesmen bad?

They’re certainly not all bad. I don’t mean to imply that everyone selling windows is out to rip you off, but plenty of them are.

These guys usually drive their own cars for hours to your house. They’ll burn their own gas and waste their own time for $0 if they don’t get you to buy their windows.

That means they can have every incentive to close the deal without a whole lot of concern about whether or not the solution they’re proposing is actually what you need.

For example, I’ve heard of one salesman going on for a long time about the high-quality balances in the windows he sells. The issue was that the customer was buying sliding windows and sliding windows don’t even have balances at all. He was just following his script and selling something that was not going to be delivered.

This can be a funny business.

Other than the pushy salesmen are Soft-Lite windows ok?

They certainly can be. There are some downsides, but you could say that about almost any windows out there.

What about warranty issues?

In addition to Soft-Lite windows complaints about sales people you’ll also sometimes see complaints about warranty coverage.

In my experience this has more to do with the customer not understanding the coverage. For example, there is no warranty coverage for labor to fix an issue or for faulty installation.

So, if the dealer you hire to install your windows screws it all up that’s between you and the dealer. Soft-Lite has nothing to do with it and they would deny any warranty claim. That’s not them being bad guys, it’s just them honoring their written warranty.

For more info on the SoftLite windows warranty check this window warranty review.

Should you buy SoftLite windows?

That’s really up to you. I’m sure there are plenty of Soft-Lite dealers out there who are completely great. I actually know several of them and I do recommend them to readers.

In my opinion there’s no fundamental issue with Soft-Lite windows, but some of their dealers can be less than fantastic.

Their limited dealer network means that there may only be one company in town offering a certain Soft-Lite window model. If that one company doesn’t seem great you should NOT work with them.

What’s the bottom line?

We sometimes hear from readers who have fallen in love with a certain window model, but they don’t like the local dealer. They always ask if they should buy the windows anyway to get the outstanding quality.

That’s an indication that they’ve received a pretty good sales pitch because there are plenty of good windows out there. There’s absolutely no need to work with a company that doesn’t treat you well in the beginning. How do you think they’ll treat you when there’s a problem at the end?

With all that said, if you do find a great dealer of SoftLite windows and you think the prices are fair you’ll likely be perfectly happy with the results.

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Soft-Lite Windows Warranty Review

Here we’ll be looking at the Soft-Lite windows warranty review to see if the warranty on these windows is any good. You’ll hear a lot of claims about window warranties from the commission based in-home salesmen so it’s important to understand what is actually covered, and what is not.

Before we get into that there is another important risk to consider. Soft-Lite is a relatively small window manufacturer which is risky. They were recently purchased by Harvey Industries in New England and that may provide additional stability. I suppose the jury is still out on that.

How long is the Soft-Lite window warranty?

SoftLite advertises this as a lifetime transferable warranty and that’s exactly what it is. The warranty clearly states that it’s good for as long as the original purchases owns and lives in the house.

Soft-Lite window warranty lifetime coverage and limitations.

It’s also transferable one time and then it’s good for as long as the second owner owns and lives in the house. Also, pretty good.

If a competing salesman tells you anything about a lifetime warranty only being good for a certain number of years he’s lying to you. We’ve heard that claim for years and have never seen any documentation to back that up. So that claim in is just a lie in my book.

Are there limitations to the coverage term?

Yes. If you don’t live in the house full time the warranty is only 10 years from installation and it’s not transferable. That’s a big difference. They also state that if the house is used for long or short term rentals the commercial 10-year warranty would apply. They even specifically mention VRBO and AirBNB so if you rent a room on the side your warranty might be very limited. Something to be aware of.

Here’s the relevant section on that limitation:

SolfLite commercial window warranty limitations.

What is covered by the Soft-Lite window warranty?

The coverage of this window warranty is pretty solid. They cover all of the vinyl frames, moving parts and insulted glass for the full term of the warranty. That’s relatively common in this industry, but we do see some window warranties will shorter coverage.

There are some important limitations and you can find those below.

What is not covered?

There are a few important limitations to the SoftLite window warranty. For example, the warranty on the internal blinds is only 10 years. That’s shorter than some other manufacturers, but similar to what many companies offer.

Another important limitation is that shipping of parts or labor to install the new parts is not covered. That means if there was some substantial failure down the road you could still be responsible for a substantial cost to fix it. You’d get the parts for free but the labor and shipping costs could add up.

There is also only 10 year coverage on painted exterior frame. That’s also relatively common.

In addition to that, glass breakage is not covered unless you purchase a glass breakage warranty with the windows. Without that optional warranty the only glass breakage coverage would cover a stress crack within 1 year of installation.

Soft-Lite windows warranty glass breakage coverage.

How do you register and transfer the Soft-Lite windows warranty?

This is an important aspect to note. The Soft-Lite warranty must be registered within 60 days of installation in order to be valid. If you don’t do that you might get no coverage at all.

Also, if you transfer the warranty to the next buyer of the house there’s a $250 fee. The transfer also must be completed within 6 months of the transfer of property ownership. If that step doesn’t happen the new owners would have no warranty at all. Fees for warranty transfer are pretty common, but $250 is on the expensive side

How to transfer your Soft-Lite windows warranty.

What else should you be aware of?

There are a couple more interesting aspects to the warranty. For example, if you have a problem and they deny your claim you can’t sue them. The warranty says you need to pursue your claim through arbitration. And, you need to do it in Ohio.

Arbitration is often confidential so you wouldn’t be able to see what problems other customers have had. They also say you can only enter into arbitration as an individual so there’s no opportunity for a class action claim. We recently saw Renewal by Andersen add this language to their warranty too.

I’m not a lawyer, but this aspect of this warranty doesn’t seem to be great for the customer.

Finally, they note that the foam filled cavities may not actually be filled with foam. That’s been the subject of lawsuits against other window manufacture. These other companies were advertising foam filled windows that were not actually foam filled. It sounds like Soft-Lite is trying to make sure they don’t get sued over that.

Soft-Lite foam filled windows warranty limitations.

What’s the bottom line?

Overall the warranty is perfectly decent. If you’re planning on renting the house or putting it on AirBnb I might suggest looking elsewhere but for an owner occupied house it’s a perfectly good warranty.

It does sound to me like they’re trying to make sure they have ways to deny claims down the road, but I suppose every company does that. Be sure you understand the limitations and requirements and you’ll probably be just fine.

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find interesting: