Windows are one of the most important aspects of any room. Not only do they allow light and fresh air in, but the best windows are also highly decorative and can be the statement piece to the exterior of your home.
Whether buying new or replacement windows, two of the most popular and arguably best brands to consider are Andersen and Marvin windows. Both have had incredible reputations for providing high-quality, long-lasting, and cost-effective windows for decades.
But which one is the right fit for you?
This article will help you decide whether you should buy Anderson or Marvin. Regardless of the room, we’ll compare these brands across several categories, including price, customization, and materials.
Andersen vs Marvin Windows
What are Andersen windows?
Since the company was founded in 1903, the Andersen Corporation has continued to be one of the most popular window brands worldwide. And it’s easy to see why.
They produce a massive variety of high-quality windows for residential and commercial needs, with various styles, including traditional awning, bay, bow, picture, and casement windows, to modern gliding, pass-through, and customized-shaped windows.
Anderson has five core window series, each promising a professional and elegant finish. From their signature Low E Fibrex window series to their aluminum cladding E-series, there’s a window that can suit any shape, size, and budget.
What are Marvin windows?
Founded in 1912, Marvin has also been at the forefront of window manufacturing for decades and has won numerous industry awards, including the innovative 2021 Architizer A+ Product Award.
With three window collections, including Marvin Signature, Elevate, and Essential, there’s a wide variety of windows, including popular styles like bay and bow, corner, double hung, sliding, storefront, and skylights.
Materials vary between low-maintenance aluminum, wood, and fiberglass windows, each of which promises a vast amount of professional finishings so that every window created suits your style and home. Their latest ranges, including the Marvin Skycove, can reinvent any room in your home.
Which is Better?
We think you’ll agree that, on paper, both Andersen and Marvin look beautiful. And it can be difficult, if not impossible, to separate the two.
But to help you make an informed decision, we’ve examined similar window designs from both parties to compare, contrast, and offer our suggestions on which will suit you best.
1. Price: Winner – Andersen
Cost can be one of the deciding factors on what type of window you install in your home. Not only do you need to consider the initial cost of the product, but also what different add-ons and customizations cost.
Both Andersen and Marvin are regarded as high-end windows, so you can expect to pay a premium for their name alone. Marvin’s windows are often about 10% more expensive than Andersen’s windows. This makes Anderson the ideal option for cost-conscious homeowners.
That said, many shops and contractors will offer competitive discounts on large-scale window products to help reduce the cost for you.
2. Wood Species: Winner – Andersen
Wood is one of the most common and sought-after materials for window frames. Often, homeowners want their windows to match the room’s existing furniture, cabinets, and wooden flooring.
While Marvin offers seven different types of wood grain, Andersen offers up to ten wood choices. You can, of course, buy unfinished wooden frames and apply your own finishings to your liking, but purely on the choices offered at purchase, Andersen narrowly jumps ahead on this one.
3. Warranty – Tied
Nowadays, windows are a massive investment for homeowners to make. You want to install windows that last the test of time but also have safeguards against damage and faults.
Thankfully, Anderson and Marvin offer the same kind of limited warranty; a 20-year warranty on the frame and glass and a 10-year warranty on the hardware and the interior wood. Moreover, both warranties are transferable, making it a lucrative bonus if you plan to sell your house in this time frame.
4. Interior Finishes – Winner: Andersen
Interior finishing features are installed between your new window and the wall, including castings, jamb extensions, and moldings. They can help blend the window seamlessly into your home.
While both types of windows provide an ample selection of finishings, there is a slight difference between the two. Houston Window Experts explain that Andersen can provide up to 23 finishes, while Marvin offers 17. Though incredibly close, Andersen provides that bit more variety.
5. Popularity & Availability – Winner: Marvin
Many high-end window manufacturers only sell through licensed distributors, meaning that only select stores sell products. Sometimes, customers may only buy what proves popular in their area.
Overall, Marvin windows have a broader market in stores than Andersen. As such, you can expect to buy and receive your Marvin windows in a much more timely manner. This can prove very important when you’re replacing windows and need the project completed as soon as possible.
6. Customization: Winner – Andersen
Nowadays, various customization options ensure that whatever make or model window you buy, you can tailor it to your home’s style.
Ultimately, this category depends on what kind of window you’re looking for, but Anderson has a lot more options for you to pick from. The Andersen E-series windows, for example, boast an incredible 50 color options, whereas the competing Marvin Elevate windows only offer 19.
7. Energy Efficiency – Winner: Tied
The right kind of window can not only maximize the level of natural light in your home but also help cut down on rising energy bills by regulating your home’s interior temperature.
One of the key ways of measuring energy efficiency is through a rating system known as the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). A lower SHGC rating means that the window provides better shade and is ideal in warmer climates. On the other hand, a higher rating offers more insulation and will suit colder environments.
Ultimately, the SHGC level you will need depends on two factors; where your home is in the world and your window. Opting for more shading could be wise if it’s exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods.
Marvin and Anderson offer a variety of windows that revolve around the .20 – .30 SHGC bracket. The Marvin essential window, for example, ranks at 0.27 SHGC, while the Anderson Fibrex window scores at 0.23 SHGC.
Buying Tips & Advice
Whether you’re buying Anderson, Marvin, or another brand of window, consider the following before committing to a purchase:
- Material: Certain materials underperform in certain situations. E.g., vinyl windows often blister, peel and crack when exposed to direct sunlight. Consider where your window is, and match its materials accordingly.
- Warranties: Always check the fine print of the window you buy, which can help reduce repair and replacement costs in the event of a broken window. Self-installing these windows usually void the warranty.
- Energy efficiency: The best window designs let sunlight in and help conserve heat, reduce energy bills, and protect you and your furniture from harmful UV rays. Double-paned and glazed windows are exceptionally cost-effective.
- Appearance: Decide on the style, color, and finish before visiting your supplier, especially if you are looking for customized styles. Only with the correct measurements can they offer you a definitive quote.
- Maintenance: Consider how often you’re prepared to check, repair, and maintain windows. Wooden window frames, for example, can suffer shrinkage, rot, and warping, whereas aluminum is often hardier and reserved for exposed locations with lots of moisture and direct sunlight.
- Budget: Finally, consider the total spend of your project. Shop around different suppliers, as many will offer discounts if you simultaneously replace or install several windows.
Andersen and Marvin’s windows are considered the best manufacturers in the market. And for a good reason. Both types offer high-quality, long-lasting service and a wide variety of customization options.
But when compared against each other, what comes out on top?
As our article shows, there’s not much that separates Marvin and Andersen’s windows. Anderson windows are often cheaper and offer slightly more finishing and customization options for you to choose from.
On the other hand, Marvin windows are more popular and more readily available in stores across the country. Ultimately, we recommend you follow your budget and vision – find a style, shape, and design you like and make the investment!
If you have any additional questions about buying Andersen or Marvin windows or want to share your experiences with these brands, please leave a comment.
But when in doubt, remember these three simple points:
- Anderson windows are typically 10% cheaper than Marvin windows.
- Always check the included window warranties on purchases. They are usually separated into two parts; the frame and glass and another one the hardware and interior wood.
- You will only know the price and availability of customized window designs by bringing your ideas to your local supplier.