Andersen vs Pella – Which Is the Best Window for Your Home?

Lily Cosgrove
6 min readOct 25, 2020

When it comes to home windows, the two leading brands (Andersen and Pella) usually go head-to-head. There are various aspects to consider when comparing the two brands, some of which include longevity, pricing, structural uniqueness, and style.

Once you know how they differ from one another, it makes it easier to determine the most reliable brand. So, let’s dive right into the similarities and differences between Andersen and Pella windows.



Company History

Both are family-owned hence longevity of their employee’s tenure. However, the Anderson windows company is larger than the Pella since they have about 12,000 and 7,000 employees respectively. Both companies operate internationally.



Shapes and Styles

Both the Andersen and Pella windows come in all shapes and sizes: sliding windows, casement windows, trapezoids, hexagons, etc.

Basically, the two brands boast of building all imaginable window ideas. However, the Andersen comes top when comparing customizability of the windows.

Unlike Pella windows, Andersen offers its customers the possibility of drawing a design on napkin and sending it to the company. This is then built and sent back to the customers. Such flexibility is only possible because Andersen has a special department for completing customizable drawings from customers.

Nonetheless, Pella also has a similar program, with its Lifestyle Series; however, this is only possible for high-end, highly priced windows. The Andersen offers customization for any customer, and it doesn’t have to be high-end windows.



Automation Systems

Both can have built-in blinds and screens that retract, some of which can automate with the home automation systems.

Although both companies haven’t reached there yet, they are making technological strides towards achieving state-of-the-art automation with their installations. For instance, if you use the Pella hardware in your home, it can integrate with their windows perfectly.

The same is true for Andersen, which works great with Honeywell Products. The future is looking bright though, because both Andersen and Pella will soon be offering compatibility with Google Home and Alexa.

Nonetheless, the Andersen seems to be a step ahead of its competitor. Andersen windows use the Z-wave compatibility. This has the benefit whereby if you have blinds and roller shades in the windows, they can be motorized and controlled by voice command.



Extruded vs. Roll formed Aluminum

The most notable difference is the actual aluminum construction. For example, on the Pella windows, the frame’s cladding is made of Extruded Aluminum while the sash is made of Roll-formed aluminum. What’s the difference?

Well, extruded aluminum is thick and heavy gauged such that it’s difficult to bend. The roll formed aluminum is thin and easily malleable. Its thickness (thinness) is comparable to a can of Coke. You can further read about roll formed vs extruded aluminum cladding to have a better understanding.

The roll formed aluminum on the Pella’s sashes means that it saves the company money with its design. And most importantly, it allows the designers to make contours and get some bends, thus giving the window a more rounded look.

On the other hand, the Andersen windows are made of extruded aluminum on both its frames and sashes. This makes the window more stable.

Because of the lack of roll formed cladding on Andersen windows, you don’t have to worry about moisture getting behind it, neither will you ever have sleepless nights over dents on your windows.

At the same time, with extruded aluminum on the sash, the Andersen windows have sharper and stronger corners. It means the windows have better looking corners, with better seams.



Structural Differences

This is mainly about the aesthetics. Because of the roll formed aluminum in its sashes, the Pella windows have edges that look nice and more traditional.

However, with the Andersen windows, the sashes are hard to make smooth edges, and the extruded aluminum limits the capability to make curves. It therefore has a more “transitional” look. It is not very contemporary or spaceship-looking, but it doesn’t have the traditional look you’ll find in most homes.

Therefore, the Andersen’s design is kinda unique in its features and thus fits anyone who loves somewhat unique windows.

While still on structural differences, the Andersen windows have wider weather stripping compared to the Pella windows. When you slide down the Pella windows to close it, the weather stripping is not visible. This makes the Pella windows have a uniformity in its colors.

Conversely, the Andersen windows have weather stripping that protrudes outside, thus visible when the window is slid down to close.



Sensor Integrated Locks

Instead of drilling a hole at the bottom of the window, to put the alarm sensor magnets, both the Pella and the Andersen windows have the sensors integrated into the locks.

As expected, the option of having an additional sensor costs a couple hundreds of dollars per window. But if you don’t want to drill a hole that might void your warranty, it’s best to get a windows with the alarm built into it.



Glass Material

While Pella relies mainly on All-Vinyl replacement windows, Andersen windows steers clear of the vinyl materials.

Instead, Andersen uses Fibrex, which is made of 40 percent recycled Ponderosa pine wood and 60 percent of PVC. The Fibrex material is actually eco-friendly, which shows how much Andersen cares about the environment.

Despite their differences in glass materials, both Andersen and Pella acquire their glasses from Cardinal Glass Industries. This is a top glassmaker is the U.S. and is the best for quality, visibility, for energy efficiency, and lower rate of seal failure (common in double-pane windows).

The Pella and Andersen windows are thus very strong, well-built and have the same energy specs on the glass itself.



Pricing and Installation Package

Due to the extruded frames and sashes, the Andersen windows are 20 percent costlier than Pella. Also, the Andersen are a little bit highly priced than Pella because the company offers the best and long lasting windows.

With Andersen, you don’t have to worry about windows rotting after several years of use.

At the same time, Andersen usually charge higher because of its supply and installation package. For instance, when you buy an Andersen window, you have the full feature of having their trained professionals to come and install the window.

It is always advantageous to have an Andersen agent to install the window. This minimizes chances of someone messing up the installation, which then requires replacements or repairs in a few years.

On the other hand, the Pella company doesn’t have the certified contractor program (at least not in most states), which allows for trained experts to come and install the windows.

Instead, if you buy a window from Pella, you’ll be required to get a third party to come and install the windows. This is not a great idea because the third party might end up messing the installation process, hence you may have to reinstall the window. Such a move may also void your warranty with Pella.



Final Thoughts

From the comparisons, Andersen and Pella windows are more similar in their designs and styles. However, they are different in their built materials and pricing. Their services regarding installation, customer care, and warranty are different.

Although Pella offers lifetime warranty to original homeowners, the warranty is not transferable. Therefore, if you’ve moved to a house with Pella windows, your warranty is void.

But, if you go with Andersen, the warranty is 20 years but transferable from one owner to another. You don’t have to worry about your warranty if you’d like to sell the house. Also, the Andersen windows have better reviews and customer satisfactions are off the charts.

Unlike Pella, the Andersen windows company offers certified contractor programs, whereby they train and certify local dealers on how to install and replace their windows. This way, you won’t have to worry about a poorly installed window.

At the end of the day, while Pella windows are cheaper and more affordable, the Andersen windows are worth the price, because they are made of tough and strong and long-lasting materials. And the company has a much better customer satisfaction.

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