Robin Jade Conde

PODCAST: Window Replacements Part 4 (with Ryan Carey)

Today is part 4 of the Window Replacement series. Today we’re gonna talk about the big three window manufacturers.

Ryan Carey first talks about a Minnesota company, Andersen, which is a more popular brand. He discusses the type of windows that Anderson makes: the 400 and 100 series, the regular, and the Renewal products.

They talk about direct competition, Marvin, and why they have exclusive contractors that install windows. He also discusses the window options from the flagship brand Infinity, Integrity, Elevate, and Essentials series. Then they talked about an innovative company, Pella. He highlights their testing process and that only they make a true Vinyl and fiberglass window and offer a lifetime warranty. 

Ryan discusses the differences between the brand’s products, the materials used, and the advantages. He also shares the brand with the best value-for-money and what to expect with the more affordable ones.

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The following is a transcription from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it may be slightly incomplete or contain minor inaccuracies due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.


Ruben Saltzman: Welcome to my house. Welcome to the Structure Talk podcast, a production of Structure Tech Home Inspections. My name is Ruben Saltzman. I’m your host alongside building science geek Tessa Murray. We help home inspectors up their game through education, and we help homeowners to be better stewards of their houses. We’ve been keeping it real on this podcast since 2019, and we are also the number one home inspection podcast in the world, according to my mom. Welcome to the show, Tessa. Great to see you again. We got Ryan back in studio for a fourth time in a row. We have never had a four-time guest four weeks in a row before. Tess, how you doing? 


Tessa Murray: Ryan, do you wanna… Good, good. I was gonna say, Ryan, do you wanna be our co-host? 


Ryan: Oh, sure.


RS: Yeah. We need someone to fill in for Bill. It’s been like a couple months now. Maybe not that long, but month and a half.


Ryan: I’d be happy to.


RS: All right. Yeah. Well, you may have a future as a podcast host here. Tessa, what’s new in your world? 


TM: Well, a few things actually. I’m kind of, I kind of have a part-time job and my first day is on Saturday. I will let you know more once I’m on the other side of it.


RS: Okay. All right.


TM: Just give you a little…


RS: I’m super excited.


TM: Little teaser right now.


RS: Okay. All right.


TM: Yeah, it’s something completely different. I’ve never done anything like it before and it’s, it should be, I think it should be pretty fun, but we’ll see. Stay tuned.


RS: Okay. All right. Sweet. Ryan, how you doing? 


Ryan: Doing really good. Really good. On Saturday, I will be heading to Las Vegas to the International Builders Show, so that’s what I’ll be doing that day. Excited to see some of the new products come down the pike. And of course, all the big name companies will be out there showing what they have coming down the line.


RS: Awesome. Sounds like a good time.


Ryan: Mm-hmm.


RS: So last week we talked about window replacement options, full frame versus sash replacement versus this, that, and the other. And then we got into some of the different types of Vinyl windows. But today we’re talking about the one we’ve kind of been putting off. We’re talking about the big three window manufacturers, Andersen, Pella and Marvin. We’re gonna get into why you might want this window over that one. Which one is better than all the rest? What gives you the most value? No, I really don’t expect you to have a definitive answer for us, but at least I’m hoping you can talk us through. If somebody’s looking for some high end windows, good name brand windows that everybody’s heard of, what should they consider? Brian, take it away.


Ryan: Yeah. That’s really the question that everyone always asks me. It’s, if we’re talking a different brand, it’s, they wanna know how that differs from Marvin, Andersen and Pella or something that I’ve heard of before. And of course, being in Minnesota too, we have Andersen right down the road here in Bay-port, and we got Marvin up on the Canadian border up there, and we have Pella in Iowa, which, not too far away, but we’re all in this little circle because these windows need to be able to perform in this climate. But when it comes to those three windows, obviously they all three have a lot of longevity and they have put serious resources into getting their name out nationally. And they’ve always been big with building new construction. And they’ve all, fairly recently got into the replacement window space because some of them weren’t in that at all for quite a while. I remember Ruben, back in our Home Depot days, when we were selling Andersen windows out of there, people had to make their opening to fit the Andersen window. Andersen did not custom size their windows.


RS: No, it was like two inch increments, right? 


Ryan: Yeah. So people would actually come into my desk back in the millwork department and say, here’s my opening. It’s like, okay, well you’re gonna have to alter your opening this much for this window. And that’s how a lot of these were. They just had their books full of standard sizes.


RS: And Ryan, Ryan, hold on. I just got to say something. ’cause how many times did you have people come in and didn’t have their measurements and they would insist they had a standard window size? 


Ryan: Yes. [laughter] Yes, that’s right.


RS: I don’t…


Ryan: Don’t worry, they’re standard sizes. Yeah. And a lot of times, yeah, when you were dealing with a window that could be custom size, ’cause there was that level of time too, where people, there were standard sizes, but then you’d have a custom size and you have to pay more for the custom size. So there, everyone was always convinced, oh yeah, I got a standard size.


RS: Yes.


Ryan: And of course, every single brand’s standard sizes are different than everybody else’s. There are a few nice ones that just go on the foot and make it make sense. But, most of them, yeah, you are stuck dealing with whatever their standard size happens to be. So sometime, really in the last 20 years, well, first of all, you had the big, like the Andersen renewals where that’s an offshoot of regular Andersen that was specifically made to be a replacement window company. So everything they did was gonna be custom sized. And that, if we’re gonna start somewhere, we could start alphabetically there and go with Andersen. They have that Andersen renewal part, which is made, those windows are made out of Fibrex, which is a Vinyl wood composite, which they actually use some of the byproduct of their windows, their wood windows that are Vinyl clad on the outside.


Ryan: They cut off the ends of all those pieces and they can combine it all into this Fibrex. And then of course they make a lot just for the windows themselves. But that product is sturdy. It’s more rigid than just Vinyl. They like having wood base in their product. So with that Fibrex material, you get a little of the stability of wood, but then you don’t have real wood exposed on the inside. So a lot of times you’re just picking a solid color and you are going to, yeah, you do have an option to do a stainable interior with that one. However, that is a real wood laminate on that one. And we’ve talked about this briefly before. Those can still deteriorate and get moldy if you’re having condensation issues. So going with a solid color Andersen renewal, it is a really high quality window. And they’re not gonna be shy about what they charge for it either. And again, they’re probably the most well-known. They’re everywhere, every home show you go to, they’re on TV, they’re extended ads, they’re in every, if anyone still gets a newspaper, you’re gonna find an ad there, magazine, whatever. They’re everywhere. And…


RS: I’ve even got a jingle in my head, I think.


TM: [laughter] Do you wanna sing it for us? 


Ryan: Yes, yeah, You could. ‘Cause I dunno…


RS: Isn’t it something like, I love My New Windows or some version of that, or We love our new windows? 


TM: Huh? 


RS: No? 


Ryan: That is not actually ringing a bell. I’ve seen a lot of their kind of infomercial commercials lately.


RS: Okay. Just be in my head too. Alright.


Ryan: It might just be you.


TM: This is gold. I’ve never heard you sing before Ruben. Nice.


[overlapping conversation]


Ryan: Yeah. I am hoping that that song gets used at some point by someone or a company. But when it comes to renewal, again, going with those solid colors is a good way to go because you won’t have the deterioration on the inside. And they are the most common company. When people tell me they’ve had someone out before, ’cause people will ask me, well, can I have you out even if I’ve had someone out already? ’cause you’re just my three quotes that… Trust me, it’s not against the law for you to have as many quotes as you wanna have before I get out there and get you some more quotes. But Andersen renewal is the most common one. It’s the most popular window I’d say in our market as far as the one that people know.


Ryan: They’ve seen all the commercials. In Ruben’s head, he’s heard jingles, I mean the whole deal, it’s very popular for people to call. And again the price is gonna be up there and, but it is a good quality product. I’d say just stay away from the laminate, the wood laminate. And then we also know from talking about it before that they use the Z flashing method on most of their installs. They don’t typically do a full frame with a nailing flange on the outside of their house. But they do have a nice looking Z flashing piece that goes on the outside. So that’s just one part of Andersen. That’s the part that came, again, to be in the replacement window world and all the other Andersen lines would not custom size. But then they realize, we’re kind of missing out on something really big here.


Ryan: There’s a lot of people that already live in houses and the windows are all deteriorating. So with Andersen’s lines, their probably most popular regular line is their 400 Series, which is real wood on the inside, Vinyl on the outside. And their casement, which is the crank out window, what’s unique about their casement is the entire sash that cranks out is wrapped in Vinyl. So there isn’t the trouble spot of where glass meets wood. Now if you have enough condensation, it can make it to the wood and the rest of the window. But you do have that entire sash encased in Vinyl. So that’s a nice option because that’s usually where you have the most deterioration. But the rest of their window on the inside is made in wood. So the rest of their frame is wood and the Vinyl on the outside is wrapped around wood.


Ryan: So it has that stability of being, not just hollow Vinyl, but Vinyl wrapped around wood. So that’s why the 400 Series is one of their most popular. And then from there, we can go down a step in price to the 100 Series, which is also made out of the same Fibrex that the Andersen renewal is made out of. But the difference is you can get 100 Series anywhere, anyone can sell 100 Series. With renewal, you have to get it from them and you have to get it installed from them. You cannot buy a renewal window on your own and go put it in by yourself. You have to get it as a furnish and install program through them. The 100 Series, anybody can get, anybody can put in, any contractor can put in. They realized they were missing out on that too, that part to have a Fibrex window that they could use, other contractors could use.


Ryan: Now, Andersen Renewal is not happy about having competition within its own family of windows. So renewal saves a lot of the options, certain colors, the stainable interior. And they have a different look too. The renewal does have a nicer look in it. It’s more of a contemporary rounded look to their sashes. And the 100 Series has kind of more of a plastic hardware and doesn’t look quite as nice, but made out of the same stuff. You can use the same glass. So there’s a lot of real close similarities there. If you don’t need some of the upgraded options, you can save quite a bit of money by doing the 100 Series instead of the renewal. And of course 100 is down from the 400 Series too, ’cause a window with real wood is gonna be more expensive also. Outside of that, Andersen has added like A-Series and E-Series, they bought out this company called Eagle Windows, which is an aluminum clad, so they make an aluminum clad as well.


Ryan: So they really have just, I think Andersen set it up as whatever you’re looking for, we can get for you, whatever that is. Well here… ’cause they did just make the Vinyl window on the outside. Some people don’t like the Vinyl on the outside as much. They like the aluminum. Well, Andersen says, well, we got that now too, so whatever you want, we got for you under the Andersen name. And then of course they got Andersen renewal, which is totally separate from regular Andersen. So they kind of compete with each other, yet they’re all under the Andersen umbrella. So that’s basically everything that Andersen offers. There are so many different features and different types of glass packs and options that they offer. Exterior trim options depending on what line you’re getting. I’m not gonna get so far into the weeds with all of that because every one of these companies has all of that. So it’s kind of, you know, any customer deciding, well, I really wanna go with Andersen. So then you can dive deeper into all the different options and colors and whether you’re looking for a certain kind of hardware, or whatever the case may be. But that’s pretty much it for Andersen. And they’re obviously your Minnesota company.


RS: All right, before we move away from Andersen, would you like to hear the jingle? 


Ryan: Yes.


RS: Okay. I don’t have a great recording, but I do have a recording.


Ryan: Isn’t just you again, is it? A recording of yourself? 


RS: It might be. It might be. I’ll let you decide.


Ryan: Renewal by Andersen. We love our new windows.


TM: We can’t hear it.


RS: Oh no. Okay, well that’s too bad.


TM: Ruben, we believe you.


RS: I’m gonna put it in the podcast so people don’t think I’m crazy. We’re gonna do some magical editing later on, but it sounds exactly exactly like what you heard me sing earlier.


Ryan: We heard you sing it. Yeah.


TM: Unbelievable.


Ryan: Well, from there I would go to Marvin, kinda the same situation. They were doing their regular sizes and everyone kind of figured out it’s pretty important to get into the replacement. So they started custom sizing everything. And with Marvin, their original window and their bread and butter that’s been around for a long time is their aluminum clad wood window. So it’s aluminum on the outside, wood on the inside. They call it their ultimate Series. And their, well their signature Series now. They change names so much it’s just to mess with people like me who think I have a firm handle on all the names, but then they change them all. So yeah, it is their signature Series now. And they’ll make that again with so many different specs. They really go into large sizes, there’s not much they won’t do.


Ryan: And even if it’s something outside of their spec, you can send in to their engineers and they’ll make almost anything you need. But again, that’s your wood interior. And as you’ve heard me say in the past, I’m not the greatest fan of a real wood interior ’cause you have the glass meets wood spot. Of course there’s things you can do to make that better with humidity and getting a good coat of finish on the windows as well and keeping the inner pane of glass at a reasonable temperature with what you have the heat set at and humidity levels. But again, that’s a really well made window, as is the Andersen 400 Series. Some people like the, having that aluminum clad with the real wood for Marvin signature. Now, what they did is they made a window used to be called integrity, and now it is called elevate. And integrity is a fiberglass exterior and a real wood interior.


Ryan: And integrity, that was kind of new. You’ll see a lot of integrity in new construction. It is a little less expensive than the aluminum clad line. So elevate is what the old integrity used to be. And a lot of the same options, but again you’re saving a little money with that one. Then you go to their essential line, which is an all fiberglass. And with that one, it’s sort of like the Andersen 100 Series and the fact that it’s their fiberglass line that has kind of just the basic options, basic colors. But you can get an all fiberglass line with Marvin and it’s not their set aside Infinity line, which is many have heard is kind of my favorite. That Marvin Infinity, which is all fiberglass, lifetime warranty, a stainable interior that does not have any real wood in it.


Ryan: So it can stain up to look like wood, but it is not real wood. And again, they’re a different type of how it goes to market as well. You cannot buy an Infinity and install it yourself. You can buy all those other lines yourself and install it and any other contractor can get those lines. But Marvin Infinity, only three contractors in town can get that line. So they make an agreement with some of the most well-respected local companies. And that’s who you can get Marvin Infinity through. So if you go to Marvin Infinity’s website, they’ll show you the closest company to yours. And of course I work with one of those, ’cause I do a lot of Marvin Infinities.


TM: This might be a stupid question, but why? Why do these window manufacturers have certain specific lines that they only allow certain contractors to install? 


Ryan: So Marvin Infinity was absolutely made to be the competition to Andersen renewal. So, Andersen renewal is, again, you’re only gonna be a furnish and install company. You’re not gonna be able to get this window on your own. It’s a special window that has, just like all the other companies try to say, Hey look, I got this special thing. It’s the only window that’s like this. They don’t want everyone to be able to get it. And again, price it out separately. Just buy it on its own. It’s like this is a furnish and install product. And then also because of all the resources they put into this, they wanna guarantee that it gets installed the correct way. So only these certified installers are gonna put it in. They don’t want some random guy, the chuck in a truck to come out there and put it in and then they put it in wrong and then someone complains online, ah, I got this lousy Marvin Infinity, and it’s because it was installed wrong that they’re having issues with it.


TM: Okay. That makes sense. Yep. To keep it prestigious. Yeah. Marketing and quality…


Ryan: Prestige. So that is where the Marvin Infinity and the Andersen renewal are going at it, head to head with their options there. And I again, like the lifetime on the Infinity and the fact that it has no real wood in it, but you can still get it stained and look exactly really just like wood. And then you’re still gonna have real wood like jams and casing, when it makes that transition from the jam to the window, it’s all stained up to match. You just will never know the difference other than it’s never going to deteriorate and mold.


TM: Nice.


Ryan: So that’s a nice option there. Which is why I like Marvin. Also up in Warroad where their plant is, they’re big, big local supporters. They support all the hockey teams up there and a lot of people ask specifically for Marvin because they know they’re tied in with some of that. They do have a different plant in Fargo for their Infinity line and that’s the top secret line that no one is allowed to go to. You can get the tour up in Warroad, they’ll actually fly you up in their private Marvin plane, which is pretty cool not going through the regular airport and hopping in that and getting up to Warroad. Otherwise it’s about a six hour drive. But it’s nice to go visit that one. But Fargo, they won’t let you see it, it’s all proprietary and how they make their pultruded fiberglass and how they apply this Everwood coating that is the stainable, they won’t let anyone see it. So it is all top secret. Yep.


TM: Top secret.


Ryan: All the rest of these plants I’ve been to, but that one, even though it’s obviously one of my favorites, I can’t see it be made. So we don’t know the secrets there.


RS: Area 51 up there, huh? 


Ryan: Yeah, it is. It is.


RS: Wow.


Ryan: So again, with Marvin, well-known name, they started out as a lumber company back in the, I think it was the ’20s. I love hearing all the histories of these places when you go tour their plants and how they started. And the Marvin family is still involved. The Dan Marvin and Will Marvin, who I met, he’s the one who was working with the Infinity Line. And yeah, good still family run business and has a great reputation obviously here in Minnesota and throughout the country. So I believe that takes us down M-N-O-P to Pella, yeah. They are in Pella, Iowa. And it’s a very interesting, it’s like a Danish type of town. So they have really good Danishes there and they have a tulip festival and all kinds of things you find out about Pella, Iowa.


Ryan: With Pella, they were the ones that came up with some of the options like blinds between the glass. They’ve done some great innovations that they did and then everyone else jumped on after the fact. And they make, again, really good quality windows, but again, their main lines are the aluminum clad wood, just like Marvin, but with, again, with some more options with those blinds. And they have three different Series. Again, they changed all their names. I used to know their architectural and designer and pro-line and now it’s reserve, traditional reserve, contemporary, some thinner lines, and then their lifestyles, which is now the one that has all of the blinds between the glass and the sound proofing glass options and things like that to just give you everything you’re looking for. And I would compare, I mean, they really are a well-made window. And now the big news with them is they have gone to a lifetime warranty on their wood interior windows.


Ryan: This was never a thing before. It is now. And I looked into that a little more and it includes the deterioration of the wood. So they do, they treat the wood quite a bit, not quite to the point where it’s green treated or anything, but they treat it and it does… Some of the stains don’t go into it quite the same way as they do with the other lines, but they have lifetime warranty that now. And it’s basically just for the first homeowner who has it. Most of these other companies, when they have a… Even if they have a lifetime warranty, it switches to like a 10, 20 warranty for the next homeowner. Which is 20 on the glass and 10 on everything that’s not glass. With them, they just cut it off at that point. So again, I think they’re just doing the calculations of how long people live in their house, which is not typically too long, not 20 years, not 30 years, they’re usually moving by that time. But they are lifetime warranting that product as long as you live there, but then they transfer nothing. So the next homeowner, too bad for you. But they are doing that lifetime on the original home buyer on their wood windows.


Ryan: Pella is the only one doing that, Marvin and Andersen are not. Again, Marvin will do lifetime on your fiberglass Infinity, but they won’t do it on the rest of their lines. Andersen will do it on none of their lines. So Pella is unique in that way. And then Pella of course, makes the Vinyl window where they’re the only ones who make a true Vinyl window. So for those of you who want to do a Vinyl window, but they don’t want to use one of the typical Vinyl windows that nobody’s ever heard of, they can do Pella in Vinyl and good solid Vinyl window. I wouldn’t say it’s any thing better than what these other Vinyl companies are. And some of the Vinyl-only companies tend to have some more options because that’s been their space forever. Again, Pella is, their space was mainly new construction. And now that they’re in replacement, they’re adding some things. But their Vinyl window is a good solid Vinyl window if you want to have a window with a big name like Pella.


TM: My kind of my takeaways from that is the Pella has a couple of things that set it apart. The both having the Vinyl line and then having that lifetime warranty that the other two manufacturers don’t have.


Ryan: Yeah. And I actually skipped a line there. They have a fiberglass line too, called the Impervia.


TM: Oh, they do? 


Ryan: Yeah. And I do like the Marvin Infinity a little better than that one. I like their acrylic finish that kind of has a finish that covers up all the fiberglass strands. You can see those a little more in the Pella Impervia, but, and the Pella Impervia is more basic on the options too. They don’t have a stainable interior like the Marvin Infinity does. But again, it’s a good solid window. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen how it’s made. Everything at Pella, the one thing Pella really goes above and beyond is their testing. I mean, we got to go by their testing area, where they basically have robots opening and closing windows millions times, you know. And patio doors. Open and close, open and close.


TM: Wow.


Ryan: And so then they can actually say, yeah, this patio door should survive whatever, 15,000 opens and closes. And then if something goes wrong in that line, then it’s like, well, what happened? Why did this happen? And they’ll go back and try to figure out why. So the quality control there is pretty impressive with what they do there. But yeah, again, looking at all the three different lines, when you asked, what is the best one out there? Well, they all make some pretty good lines and they have some money saving lines to go down to like that 100 Series in Andersen or the Vinyl Series in Pella. With Marvin, I’d say that Elevate Series or Essential Series are a little bit less than the rest too. You’d save the most I’d say on that 100 Series or the Pella Vinyl, if you want the big name and not want to pay the super big price, you have a couple options there. Otherwise, you’re looking at Vinyl if you’re not looking at those three lines. And then there’s some composite lines out there too. But getting the big name, you can, if you have something in mind going in, like you already like one of those three companies, because you had old windows of those, you can usually find what you’re looking for. They offer so many different things.


Ryan: And the last thing to add about Pella, just ’cause I always have to, is their patio door. They’re the only patio door that has a screen on the inside of the house instead of the outside of the house. And it’s a nice screen. They do actual wood interior screen on some of their wood interior windows, and so it protects the screen a lot more to have it on the inside of the house than to be rattling around on the outside. And of course the wood would deteriorate out in the snow and rain and weather. But the downside of that is you close your screen in the summer and the bugs can collect on the screen. And now you have to close the actual panel. Well, normally you’re just closing that panel on the inside of your house because the screen’s on the outside. But it’s on the inside, you have to open your screen, reach out, close the glass panel. And now if you close your screen again, all the bugs are trapped in between the screen and the glass panel, which ’cause there are glass panels on the outside and the screen rides in. So for bugs, it’s not the greatest situation, but it does protect the screen more because everyone can relate to the screen popping off on the outside, and then they’re trying to get the wheels back in, there’s debris and dirt and things in there. So it protects their screen a lot. That’s the upside. The downside is the bug situation.


RS: And it just doesn’t move as well in the track after it’s been worn down for that long. And I had replaced my basement patio door at my last house with a Pella patio door. And I did love how smooth that screen always operated. And also I got the one that had the shades built in, in between the two panes of glass. Loved that feature too. ‘Cause I mean, I just, I like to be able to have the privacy. It was a door where it was kind of my exercise room and I’d love being able to have that privacy there without having something else. ‘Cause I hate shades or vertical blinds or whatever the solution might be. Window treatment.


TM: Window treatment.


RS: Yeah. Over a patio door. And but it’s not a window treatment. It’s a door treatment. And just having that built in blind, that built in mini blind between the panes of glass, extremely convenient. I did love that.


TM: I always wondered though, do those things wear out? 


Ryan: Yeah. When it’s in a sealed glass pack, that can be a problem. If you have the… One of the blinds gets kinked or all of a sudden the system isn’t working as good. There are some blinds that have it in its own separate pack. And that’s, then if something goes wrong, you don’t have to take out the entire glass unit or… There are some windows that do that. But for the ones that are truly in like Lindsay, for example, a Vinyl line, does in between the two panes of glass, that limits what they can use for their Low-E coatings, because there’s soft coat Low-E coatings that go inside the panel of glass. Well those blinds run up against it and make marks in it. So you can’t do a soft coat Low-E with blinds in between the two panes of glass. So a lot of times with that, I’ll recommend against it, but if it’s in its own little panel, then it’s separated from that glass pack.


TM: And did you say Pella is the only manufacturer that uses that type of technology and offers…


Ryan: No, others… They’re just the ones who invented it. They started it and then everyone said, thanks Pella, we might do that too. They invented a few different things. I’m not recalling all the things they… But they had a few innovations they came up with that everyone else kind of jumped on later. So they’re always looking to innovate and they’ve come up with some good ideas that work industry wide now. And they’ve, again, been a good longstanding company. So when they put a lifetime warranty on it, it’s like, okay. I’ve yet to see the long-term since that’s so new, the lifetime. ‘Cause I’ve certainly seen some of their older windows deteriorate. The ones that were just having the regular soft pine.


Ryan: And again, that’s why I don’t like the wood as much, because it’s not like the hardwoods of the old windows that… Some of these windows from the 1920s, the wood is in perfect condition, used an old hardwood, but that’s just really drafty. But using soft, quick growth pine, it takes in the moisture and it deteriorates it. So now Pella is saying, well, we’ve kind of fixed that with how we treat this wood. So now they’re doing the lifetime on that. So I can’t say anything really about it because I haven’t seen it long-term. Other than to say, Hey, they’re putting their lifetime on it. So just know that if you get it and if the wood deteriorates while you’re still living there, then you can go back to them for that.


TM: One thing you said that I’m surprised by is that, and correct me if I heard you wrong, Andersen is the only manufacturer that doesn’t offer a lifetime warranty on any of its window lines? 


Ryan: Right. And yeah, neither did Marvin up until Infinity came along. Any other… ‘Cause they have real wood in those products. They’re never going to lifetime warranty anything that has real wood in it. At the same time, the lines like 100 Series for Andersen or Essential from Marvin, they’re not going to put a better lifetime. Infinity has to have something separate. And so those are both all fiberglass lines. So what do you get with Infinity? Well, you get a lifetime warranty and you get the stainable options, some different looks and color options, but otherwise, that Essential anyone can get. And it’s all fiberglass. But they’re not going to allow it to have the lifetime warranty like the Infinity does, ’cause that has to have some set of parts there.


Ryan: And again, I think that 100 Series in Andersen could have a lifetime warranty on it if doesn’t have exposed wood, but they can’t have it have a better warranty than their more expensive lines that have real wood in it. So it’s just that kind of a situation. But you can count on all of those, whether it’s the Essential from Marvin or whether it’s the 100 Series from Andersen, they’re going to last a long time ’cause they don’t have the real wood in it. But, yes, that is correct. That Andersen doesn’t have a lifetime offering in anything because of that.


TM: So if money was not an object, Ryan, which line of windows would you purchase personally? 


RS: I had the same question…


[overlapping conversation]


Ryan: I like the Marvin Infinity. Yes. And I’ve said that to people too, in the house. Because I chose Vinyl for my house because money was an object. So I did Vinyl. But if money was not an object, absolutely, I really do like… And I want a stained window. That’s just, there’s no other option that matches that because I can stain it, have it look like wood without deteriorating. Absolutely. That’s what I want. And I can say too, with the fiberglass, you’re going to have thinner framing because fiberglass is stronger than Vinyl. So it looks better, it shows you more glass, it doesn’t have the Vinyl welds. Again, it’s definitely a sharper looking window altogether. ‘Cause it really follows the profile of the other Marvin windows out there. It’s really hard to tell the other Marvin windows apart from that window, but this one’s going to be lifetime and no deterioration. So I do pick a winner to that question, which, if I could have any of these windows and all these different lines, that’s the one I would take. And that’s not even their most expensive line, really. Their aluminum clad wood windows are more expensive than that one. And the real wood still looks a tad better, but I’ll take that Infinity all day.


TM: Well, if one of the Marvin family members is listening to this podcast, maybe they’ll do you a favor and fly you up to go see their plant.


RS: Again. Again.


Ryan: Maybe they should. Yeah, I can talk to Will or Dan and yeah, tell them I’ll keep the secrets.


RS: In Fargo, right? 


Ryan: But yeah. No, yeah, that one’s in Fargo. Yep. I’ve been to Warroad and that was a pretty cool tour too. But unfortunately, I don’t know if they’ll ever let me do the other one. So who knows? Maybe it’s just magic in there, but we’ll never be able to see it.


RS: Willy Wonka factory going on in there.


Ryan: I’ll get my golden ticket one of these days. But the fact that I just said in my house, I picked Vinyl instead of them. They’re probably like, no, forget you.


RS: Yeah. Forget that.


Ryan: You’re not allowed.


RS: We’ll cut that out and…


[overlapping conversation]


Ryan: Yes, edit that out so I can get that tour. That’d be great.


RS: Yeah. Well, this has been fantastic. Thank you, Ryan.


Ryan: Absolutely. Thanks again for having me. It’s always fun.


RS: Absolutely. All right. We’ll have you on again soon. And as always, if anybody wants to get ahold of you, wants to have you come out to their house, give them some information. Well, how can people get ahold of you, Ryan? 


Ryan: You can go to And that’s the number three, Or just email me, If you have any questions.


RS: All right. Thank you so much. We’ll talk to you soon.


Ryan: Thanks again.