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Renewal by Andersen or Marvin Integrity or Starmark Windows

Tom Jones
7 years ago

I spent several weeks researching these three windows and asking for references and also received 3 bids. Did get a Pella bid but they bid vinyl.

I was looking for 7 items in my new windows Manufacturer, Material, Appearance, Performance, Durability, installation, and of course Price.

I needed 12 windows (10 with wood interior and 2 with all white) and 1 patio Door.

I looked at three brands: Renewal by Andersen, Marvin Integrity Fiberglass, and Starmark Composite Vinyl Window.

I have a spreadsheet with this information.

Manufacturer: Winner is both Andersen and Marvin

Renewal by Andersen is part of Andersen Windows - over 100 years. Marvin is about 100 year also. Starmark is owned by a company called Okna - what I can find out -- it has only been around 10 years. Why would you trust or invest into a window manufacturer that hasn't been around for at least 25 years? Why would you purchase a window without a proven track record?

Material: Winner both Andersen and Marvin

Starmark Window is a solid cellular pvc (fancy name for a vinyl product that they just inject air into to make it solid).

Integrity Fiberglass Window: this window looked shiny like a vinyl window and just seemed to thin. Winner

Renewal by Andersen is a composite Fibrex material made out of reclaimed pvc and wood. Winner

Appearance: Renewal by Andersen won this because it was the only window that looked like real wood window without the bulky or plastic looking window and gave us the most glass. Our neighbor went with the Starmark window and it was bulky and they were upset that they were not told that they would lose at least 1/3rd of their glass space due to the bulky built Starmark Vinyl composite window. We thought the Integrity Fiberglass window looked like a plastic vinyl window also.

Interior Appearance: Integrity Fiberglass window has real wood interior. Renewal by Andersen composite window has real wood. Starmark interior is just fake wood -- its a laminate. The Starmark window was bulky and had all that fuzzy weather stripping just like a vinyl window. If I am investing into a window - I want real wood not fake wood. When I wanted just all white for my garage - the Renewal by Andersen and Marvin had the cleanest look and more glass.

Hardware: Renewal by Andersen won because the hardware was all metal and the Integrity from Marvin seemed like cheap metal and the Starmark hardware looked out dated and cheap and had internal plastic.

Performance: Starmark salesperson said triple pane has a U value of .15 to .19 and R value of 45. Integrity from Marvin had triple pane and double pane with .19 to .28. Renewal by Andersen had Smart Glass only two pane with .23 to .27 U value factor.

NOTE: I asked MidAmerica Utility company and they said this: triple pane to two pane - it would take you 25 years to make up the difference in what you paid for triple pane compared to double pane - and to what you will save on your energy bill. So why would I purchase triple pane window? I won't!

I asked all three sales reps why Starmark double hung had the fuzzy weather stripping like a vinyl window & bulky like a vinyl window and Integrity Fiberglass from Marvin and Renewal by Andersen windows did not?

I got only two answers - one from the Integrity window rep and one from Renewal rep: Solid cellular vinyl moves just like a vinyl window in cold and hot temperatures. The Starmark rep just said it was there to make it more energy efficient.

Performance (Air Infiltration): This was a tie between all three window. They all had about the same same Air Infiltration of .05. Considered very good.

Durability and Installation: Renewal by Andersen was the winner. I called references of Renewal by Andersen and all of the customers loved their windows - the only complaint was cost. The references I called for the Integrity Fiberglass window said they liked the windows but had problem with the double hung hardware and screens and cost. I asked my neighbor about his Starmark windows and he said the double hung is hard to open, the casement in his bow window the latch makes a clicking sound and the patio door doesn't close tight - the Starmark dealer said that is normal until the windows and patio doors get normal use. They were very unhappy with the screens. The cost was only about $975 dollars less then Renewal by Andersen and $1,500 less then Integrity from Marvin. They said they wish they would have gone with Renewal by Andersen -- and that the Starmark rep would have been honest upfront with them about the manufacturer & material and they wish they would have done their research like me. Starmark is a replacement window only, Integrity from Marvin and Renewal by Andersen comes in a replacement style or full frame style or new construction style windows.

Price: This was the interesting and pain in the process part.

12 windows and 1 patio door.

The Integrity from Marvin rep was just a contractor and he just gave me a paper quote (no high pressure) with a price. $18,400

Starmark Windows rep gave me a quote for about $ 21,999 then said if I signed tonight he would give me a $5,000 discount so $16,999. This rep also talked bad about the Renewal by Andersen and also about Pella. (Poor taste) He called me again last night and offered another $1,000 off if I buy today. $15,999. After talking to my neighbors and looking at the window - this window is just a fancy name for a vinyl window.

Renewal by Andersen: The rep gave me a quote for $17,100, no high pressure. They had the best installation warranty!

Pella Windows: The rep just said go with the best and this is the price you pay for the best! This for vinyl windows $14,800. The Pella Rep also talked down Renewal by Andersen and Integrity from Marvin rep and the Starmark rep. (Very Poor Taste).

Conclusion: I plan to make my decision this week. That is why I am asking for other home owners advice.

So far, I plan to purchase Renewal by Andersen. But I will wait until weeks end. Why my decision: I want a quality window that looks like a real window not bulky and not vinyl looking. What is also important is installation and who I am dealing with --- Renewal by Andersen had the most 5 stars ratings and the best installation warranty and the easiest rep and company to deal with. The rep from Renewal was respectful and didn't spend time talking down at us or about his competitors.

Please if anyone would like to give me their opinion or give me advice on my decision please do! Please if you give me advice - please make sure you have either purchased the windows or have actually looked at the windows listed above!

Thank you and I apologize if I said to much but this is a big investment for me.

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