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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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:
- Why you should NEVER buy Andersen windows
- Andersen windows FAQ
- Renewal by Andersen Complaints – What’s going on?
- Andersen sells Silver Line and American Craftsman brands
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:
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- Why you should NEVER buy Simonton windows
- Is triple pane glass worth the cost?
- Can you get window prices online
- How to find a great window company