When decorating your home, a lot of thought needs to go into the kind of windows you use. Not only do they dramatically affect the look and feel of a room, but they also need to be functional and thermally efficient, or you’ll spend extra money on air conditioning/heating bills.
It’s an important decision, and with so many different window brands, how do you know which one will be best for you?
To make this process a little bit easier, we’re picking two of the most commonly used and popular window brands around, VinylMax and Andersen, and are putting them head to head to see which one has the best replacement windows for you.
The main difference between VinylMax and Andersen is that VinylMax focuses on just one thing and does it to the highest level possible. Their vinyl windows are manufactured to the highest level and use the best quality materials. But are pretty limited in their glass/color options.
Whereas Andersen has a considerably broader product range allowing you to find that perfect frame/glass and color combination that’s just right for your home. But as is often the case with diversity, these are not quite as robust as VinylMax and come in at a lower price.
Let’s examine these differences and see if Andersen can hold up to VinylMax’s quality.
What is a VinylMax window?
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As the name might suggest, VinylMax makes only vinyl replacement windows and is entirely focused on refining that singular product as much as possible. They have been in operation for over 40 years and have honed their manufacturing and QA processes a lot during that time.
This allows them to have a supremely reliable product guaranteed to last a long time.
While all of their windows are vinyl, they offer every kind of window type or door type you might want for brand-new construction or replacement windows. This includes your standard single/double hung window to more specialized frames such as bays & bows.
Despite having a reasonably substantial product line, they are all very similar in appearance, playing it safe with that typical white/vinyl style. This will be perfectly appropriate for most home decor scenarios, but if you are looking for something more specialized, you might struggle to find it here.
One of the most significant boasting points of their windows is their ‘IntelliGlass’ window panes which have special Low-E (Low-Emittance) coatings, a microscopic coating that increases thermal efficiency.
Additionally, thin layers of silver help to reflect heat, and a scratch resistance topcoat helps to protect everything against potential damage.
In a nutshell, this is a highly refined and optimized product but doesn’t provide much in customizability and visual style.
What is an Andersen window?
On the other hand, we have Andersen. They offer the same range of window shapes, but you have various materials and colors to choose from this time.
Using their unique Window Design Tool, you can test your ideas and see how your final window will look before you pay anything.
Their window and door frame materials can range from Wood, Fibrex (a special composite material), vinyl, aluminum, and even fiberglass. So your options here are unmatched, and if you have specific decor tastes, you are sure to find just the right thing.
Additionally, their range of glass is far more diverse. They offer their special Low-E windows but also have their SmarSun and SmartSun with HeatLock coating, allowing you to further hone in the qualities you desire in a window.
With that being said, due to their product lineup diversity, they are not quite as refined as VinylMax, but they are also cheaper.
However, it would be best if you were mindful that it only comes with a 2-year installation warranty, meaning longevity might be a concern for some.
What are the differences between VinylMax and Andersen Windows?
The general philosophies between these two brands are pretty straightforward. VinylMax focuses on a smaller range of products, emphasizing refinement and durability. Whereas Andersen focuses more on diversity, offering you as many options as possible to give you the best chance of finding your ideal window that fits your style perfectly.
But does that tradeoff of refinement for additional decoration options matter that much? Let’s take a deeper look at these two windows and see how much these differences matter.
1. Range of available products
Regarding frame types, both companies offer every kind of frame you could want for either a replacement window or a brand-new construction.
But VinylMax does an excellent job of offering both premium and cheaper options depending on your budget and having deluxe and plus options available for most of their lineup, which includes some small refinements that give the window its ‘premium feel.’
Andersen tends to follow suit, offering various ‘series’ of each product depending on your budget and what features you are looking for. But when you combine that with their far more diverse material and color options, it’s very clear Andersen has a far wider variety of products available.
VinylMax has decided to focus purely on vinyl material for their window frames. It’s a robust and reliable material that’s visually neutral enough to fit alongside most window styles without issue.
Whereas Andersen offers a far more substantial range of material options, including aluminum and composite material lines, meaning they can be used in a wider variety of circumstances.
For example, their E-Series has a wood interior and aluminum exterior, allowing you to get that warm, homely feel inside that only a wood window can provide. At the same time, the aluminum exterior offers unparalleled protection against the elements in a way solid wood windows never could.
3. Window glass type
This is another scenario where instead of offering a diverse range, VinylMax has opted to use a single glass pane window type which they call IntelliGlass.
This makes things nice and easy for you as a buyer, as you don’t need to overthink the details. You can purchase this and trust it will be reliable enough to hold up to any use case easily.
Andersen offers a more diverse range of glass pane types allowing you to hone in and get the specific qualities you are looking for from a window. So you’ll need to research to ensure you buy the right one for your intended application.
4. Color options
With VinylMax only offering vinyl window frames, their number of available colors is quite limited. They have only two colors which are white vinyl and tan vinyl.
They used to offer ‘painted exterior finishes,’ which allowed for a far more comprehensive range of colors. Still, these are not currently available and have the added downside of exposing the white vinyl underneath if they become scratched.
Ideally, when you buy colored vinyl windows, you want the color to be worked through the entirety of the frame so that when it becomes scratched, it will simply reveal more of the same color underneath.
Andersen, on the other hand, offers a massive range of color options for almost every type of window they stock. You can often specify different colors for the interior/exterior, too. If you have a wood frame or interior material, you can specify which species and finish you’d like.
Warranty is important as you never know when you might need some repairs or replacement windows.
VinylMax trusts its product implicitly and offers a (limited) lifetime warranty with all window purchases.
Andersen, on the other hand, only offers a 2-year installation warranty, and you may need to consider additional insurance if you are worried about future repairs.
VinylMax is a highly-refined and premium product, and its price reflects its refined prestige. Depending on which model you buy, you could be looking at up to $750 for a replacement window, while their cheaper models are coming in as low as $350.
Andersen is priced far more competitively, with even their most premium new windows only coming in at $450, their cheapest being as low as $300.
VinylMax Windows vs Andersen Windows: Are they the same?
Both VinylMax and Andersen are big companies that produce outstanding products. While we believe both companies’ windows are fantastic, their philosophy towards their products is quite different.
A good understanding of this will help inform you better on which company will provide the best replacement windows.
- Andersen has a wider range of products available than VinylMax, although VinylMax does offer different ‘ranges’ of products depending on your budget.
- VinylMax focuses purely on vinyl frames, whereas Andersen offers everything from wood, aluminum, and composite materials.
- VinylMax only offers a single glass material called ‘IntelliGlass’ which can hold up in any use case. But Andersen provides various materials, so you must research the best for your needs.
- VinylMax, despite initially offering numerous painted finishes, only offers white and tan color options right now. At the same time, Andersen has a vast range of colors for almost every material type they offer.
- VinylMax comes with a generous limited lifetime warranty with all of its products. But Anderson only has a 2-year installation warranty.
- Andersen is generally a cheaper brand than VinylMax. But VinylMax does offer some lower-end frame models to accommodate those on a budget.