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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,010
Registered: ‎08-29-2010

Have you replaced your windows? UPDATE

[ Edited ]

DH and I are discussing this as a possible project before the end of the year. If you have experience with Renewal by Andersen windows, I'd appreciate hearing both the good and the bad.  I thought they had a superior reputation; however, I've recently seen some truly awful reviews online. 

 

Thank you for any advice you care to offer.

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,155
Registered: ‎06-19-2010

Re: Have you replaced your windows?

We thought about replacing our windows two years ago. We went to a couple home shows in our area and got names of various vendors. Anderson being one of them. I looked online at reviews and I saw too many bad reviews from them along with the other names we had. We decided not to replace the windows after all deciding the money could be spent on better projects. We did have a window replaced about 10 years ago from Lowe's. Not a good experience either. The gas in the window leaked  during the warranty period and since Lowes no longer used that subcontractor the warranty was not honored. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,931
Registered: ‎07-02-2015

Re: Have you replaced your windows?

[ Edited ]

@IamMrsG

 

I can't recommend a window company LESS than that one.  We replaced all the windows in our home in three stages.  The back of the house got the Renewal by Anderson.  The other two thirds of the house got Pella--good ones that  have reallly held up.

 

Some of the Renewals are sash windows and some are casement (the type that swing out to the side).

 

First of all, the Renewal sash windows do NOT operate as advertised. It is hard to get most of them and impossible to get some of them to release their  latches so that they will tilt inward for cleaning.  This means some must be cleaned from the outside, which means removing the screen from the inside---I know that's hard to understand from my description, but believe me, it's just difficult and annoying, whereas both the sash and casement windows by Pella  have been a dream to own and maintain.

 

The company sent a fellow out to supposedly take care of that tilting problem.  He put in new clips but they did not operate any better than the ones they replaced.

 

Second bad thing about them:  At exactly three months after the warranty expired on the Renewal windows, I opened one of the casements and all the weatherstripping crumbled into pieces.  It was completely dried up, and after opening the window and losing the weatherstripping, the window now leaks.  I called Renewal, they said the warranty had expired and they wanted several hundred dollars to replace the weatherstripping.

 

I  have 17 Pella casement windows much older than the Renewals, and their weatherstripping is still flexible and intact.  Not only that, but they are much better-looking and more upscale. .  Our newest windows are also  Pellas and are on the front of the house.

 

The reason I  had some windows done by Renewal by Anderson  in vinyl (or whatever they call their trademarked material ) was their ease of installation, which did not require major construction and was done in one day.   I was unpleasantly surprised at how much smaller my window views became once those were installed, because the frames surrounding the glass are so wide.  The window frames do not look extraordinarily wide from the outside of the house, but inside, I lost quite a bit of view.

 

 The Pellas are wood and have thinner frames.  To install them,  workers had to rip out and replace all molding and the sill around each one, then I had to hire a painter to paint the new windows and surrounding molding, which of course also led to repainting almost the entire rooms.

 

I suppose you already know that windows from Renewal are not the same as the nice-quality windows normally associated with the Anderson Window name.  Anderson bought the Renewal company some years ago to get its foot into  the replacement end of the market.

 

 Good luck.  Getting new windows is a major improvement that we continue to reap benefits from every day, even from the Renewals in spite of their faults.  You will definitely notice a nice difference , even if you decide the Renewal company is the way to go, It's possible their windows have been improved, but it will pay to shop around.

 

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,155
Registered: ‎06-19-2010

Re: Have you replaced your windows?

I also forgot to mention that we have shutters on the inside and to replace the windows several companies said we would have to remove  the shutters and put them back up after the windows were installed. That would have cost us another $100.00 a window or about $1300.00. Plus the lag time between the removal and install. I would have to put up sheets or something to keep the neighbors from looking in. Not a look I want. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,010
Registered: ‎08-29-2010

Re: Have you replaced your windows?

@novamc1  Thank you so much for your appraisal.  I really do appreciate the time and effort you took to share your experience.  I have one question if you don't mind answering:   Do you know whether your company was a corporate owned/operated 'store' or if it was a franchise?   I ask because I was blunt with the sales rep and told him I've seen a few too many awful reviews.  His quick answer was that we would be purchasing through corporate and therein lies the difference.  I dunno.  

 

BTW, talk about sticker shock--YIKE$!  $2,000 per window -- after a $12,000 discount.    

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,010
Registered: ‎08-29-2010

Re: Have you replaced your windows?

@Meowingkitty  I fully understand your hesitancy and decision to postpone.  We're sitting on that fence ourselves right now.  

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,019
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Have you replaced your windows?

From our experience in this part of the country, I can tell you that if you are 50 or older, and remember all the old names of really high quality and reputable companies (Pella, Anderson and others), disregard your remembrances of the past.

 

Most of the names that were once synonymous with quality are no longer that.

 

We replaced all but our large picture window (a total of 13 windows) and found that more local companies were rated much higher. We stayed away from the Lowes and Home Depot type places, and went with places that manufacture in this area, have their own crews of installers (not contracted out), offered good warranties and lots of contacts (and local ones) for references. We settled on one such company and have been very happy with their work. Many people might think that without that national name recoginition, they can't be good, but there are several in our part of the state that really are.

 

For us, the house wasn't worth top of the line, best in the business kind of windows, and we put in tilt in vinyl for easy cleaning on the upper level especially. If I lived in one of the historic houses I grew up in, I'd have been more particular about the kind/style/composition of window, and I'm sure the cost would have been much more. So know in advance just how much window you really need or want to spend on, then take a look at more local manufacturers/installers in your area before you make a final decision.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,010
Registered: ‎08-29-2010

Re: Have you replaced your windows?


@Mominohio wrote:

From our experience in this part of the country, I can tell you that if you are 50 or older, and remember all the old names of really high quality and reputable companies (Pella, Anderson and others), disregard your remembrances of the past.

 

Most of the names that were once synonymous with quality are no longer that.

 

We replaced all but our large picture window (a total of 13 windows) and found that more local companies were rated much higher. We stayed away from the Lowes and Home Depot type places, and went with places that manufacture in this area, have their own crews of installers (not contracted out), offered good warranties and lots of contacts (and local ones) for references. We settled on one such company and have been very happy with their work. Many people might think that without that national name recoginition, they can't be good, but there are several in our part of the state that really are.

 

For us, the house wasn't worth top of the line, best in the business kind of windows, and we put in tilt in vinyl for easy cleaning on the upper level especially. If I lived in one of the historic houses I grew up in, I'd have been more particular about the kind/style/composition of window, and I'm sure the cost would have been much more. So know in advance just how much window you really need or want to spend on, then take a look at more local manufacturers/installers in your area before you make a final decision.


@Mominohio  Thank you, you give several valid points to consider.  We are seniors, DH is in not-so-good health, and we've already put a small fortune into this house.  We're really questioning the wisdom of spending $25K more for windows. 

P.S.  Can I ask which company you chose?  And, if you do not mind naming them, would you go with them again? 

Strive for respect instead of attention. It lasts longer.
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,931
Registered: ‎07-02-2015

Re: Have you replaced your windows?

@IamMrsG

@Mominohio

 

I don't know about the ownership status of the Renewal Anderson  firm in my area.  I agree with mominohio about checking out local companies which manufacture their own brand--we have some of them in the Wash DC area and I should have considered them.

 

I llive in a high-cost area of the country and have spent many years selling real estate, so I know brand names can be selling points when listing a home's attributes for resale. That was not my main motivation for choosing Renewal   Anderson and Pella, but probably played some part.

 

In my case, we absolutely HAD  to replace the windows, which were ridiculously drafty and made of aluminum with separate storm windows, a few of which had cracked.  What we gained from the huge investment was better insulation, nice soundproofing, ease of cleaning and a more modern look.

 

However, I'm now at the point where I'm looking to move somewhere else, so making such an investment at this point would be foolish, I think.  (I heard one person say a long time ago that the decision to replace one's windows boiled down to a choice between affording to send the kids to college or get the windows--could be true. )

 

Again, I urge you to shop around and check out any sources who make and sell windows and have  factories close to where you live.   I believe both companies from which i bought my windows have local workshops, too, but I'm also sure I paid extra for the brand names.  Do still like the Pellas, hate the Andersons.  Good luck with whatever you decide

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,417
Registered: ‎04-08-2013

Re: Have you replaced your windows?

Hi Everyone!  We had all the windows in our house replaced using Renewal by Andersen.  One of those windows is a beautiful (huge) bay window that looks out into our backyard.  We also had a side door replaced by them.  I can honestly say we haven't had any major problems.  The couple of small things that did go wrong were fixed quickly & efficiently.  There was a broken lock on one of the windows and the other was some damaged woodwork.  We accidentally dropped a screwdriver on the windowsill when installing a shade and it took a small chunk out of the wood.  They replaced it no problem.  I should also mention that they were very accomodating to us.  We have a couple of birds and I was concerned about the smell of the varnish or whatever they use for the window trim.  They were kind enough to stain everything at their warehouse.  I guess typically they install the window trim then stain it.  Yes, it was expensive ~ very expensive but I feel was well worth it.  Hopefully this is something I won't have to do again in my lifetime, lol!  Good luck with your decision.  As everyone else has advised, be sure to do your homework.  Go with the company that feels right for you.  :-)