Are Fibrex Windows Worth the Money?

Are Fibrex Windows Worth the Money?

Andersen is the biggest name in the American window market. In fact, most people who begin their search for replacement windows begin with a search for Andersen windows. When clients find out we sell Andersen windows, we're often asked, are Andersen Fibrex® windows worth the money? Even builders and remodelers, traditionally known for using cheaper products, are beginning to use Andersen Fibrex® windows in their residential building projects. Fibrex® windows offer many benefits and can be comparable in price with higher-end vinyl windows. 

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Who Makes Fibrex® Windows?

Fibrex® is a wood and vinyl composite material used by Andersen in their 100 Series windows and doors. Andersen Windows is a reputable and sustainable manufacturer that's Green Seal Certified. They provide upscale window products for residential and commercial use. 

These eco-friendly windows are popular with consumers, contractors and architects. What's more, the Andersen Window company has price points in the $300 range for budget-conscious shoppers. They also offer premium windows that can cost over $1,000 but include features like custom colors, double panes and automatic security locks.

Advantages of Fibrex® Windows

Andersen patented Fibrex® in 1991 and the highly sustainable material is comparable in texture and price to vinyl windows. Vinyl windows increase the ROI on a home's value by 70%. However, with vinyl windows, expect about a 78% return. According to an Andersen survey↗, "Realtors and homeowners estimate that Andersen® products increase the value of a home by at least 10%."

Superior Materials

What is Fibrex® made of? Combining 60% thermoplastic polymer (vinyl) and 40% wood fibers from Ponderosa Pine, the concept started almost by accident. The business was trying to recycle leftover sawdust and scraps of raw materials. Similar to fiberglass, Fibrex® is twice as strong as vinyl making it durable and versatile. The repurposed wood materials contribute to its strength while the plastic fibers make it easy to maintain.

Resistant to peeling, rotting, corroding, blistering, fading or flaking, Fibrex® is easy to clean and maintain. Simply wipe it down or give it the occasional wash. Fibrex® can also maintain its rigidity in severe weather so it won't warp or expand like 100% natural tree materials (oak, as an example). 

Fibrex® comes in several colors and is 700x↗ stronger than aluminum and 3x stronger than some vinyl materials. Warranties include 10 years for the frames and 20 years for the glass. 

Custom Options and Energy Efficiency

Do Fibrex® windows look like wood? Fibrex® can be designed to resemble premium wood like pine, maple, or oak. It can be stained or left unstained and include popular colors. However, the major advantage is the superior thermal insulation Fibrex® offers. 

Fibrex® can reduce energy costs significantly because pine has a low thermal expansion rate. Hence, Fibrex® consistently blocks cold and heat. It consistently lowers VOC emissions since it doesn't require paints, stains, preservatives or treatments.

Disadvantages of Fibrex® Windows

A major drawback with Andersen Fibrex® windows is the price point and sticker price. Fibrex® is exclusive to Andersen and is considered one of the best and most versatile window materials. 

Additionally, because Andersen is the only business that makes it, it's not available like other window frames. The limited distribution is also a cause for concern as there are unscrupulous salespeople that might give incorrect pricing or window makers selling cheap replicas. Fibrex® window frames might run 3x higher than vinyl.

Because Fibrex® windows are traditionally more expensive, it pays to do your research when shopping for windows. Other disadvantages include the warranty. Fibrex® is guaranteed for 10 years and the customer pays for repairs or breaks. Unfortunately, this warranty is shorter than warranties from other companies but warranty issues usually show up within the first year or two of having a window.

How Do Fibrex® Windows Compare To Other Composite Windows?

Composite windows are windows whose frame material is made up of a variety of materials. Fibrex® windows, though Andersen probably won't like saying, is a composite material. Vinyl and fiberglass windows are also composites. Let's talk a little bit about Fibrex's biggest competitor, vinyl. 

Virgin vinyl is another popular type of window product. It uses 100% new vinyl materials that haven't been recycled. Hence, there are no impurities mixed in that can lead to fading or affect resiliency years later. NT Windows, based out of Fort Worth, Texas sells virgin vinyl. 

Since 1990, they've used 100% vinyl in their products and offer awning, picture, sliding, single- and double-hung windows. Similar to Fibrex®, their windows are easy to clean and maintain. A sloped sill can keep water away while they also provide superior insulation and weather stripping. 

Both Andersen and NT are energy efficient, have multiple color choices and styles. Hence, it may help to make your selection after speaking with a window consultant. They can help you factor in your budget, home size, weather and warranty needs. That way you can make an informed decision and choose the right new or replacement windows for your particular needs. 

Color, Style, and Cost of Fibrex® Windows 

How much do Fibrex® windows cost? When selecting Fibrex® window frames, the price can vary greatly. Factors might include the size, style, hardware, glass and number of windows needed. Because you can only purchase Fibrex® through Andersen, you may receive different quotes from the dealers you speak with. Hence, it's helpful to have the specifications ahead of time and then shop around. 

Sample Price Quote

As an example of the types of Fibrex® windows that you might find and the cost, let's look at what a sample order might cost for the 100 Series single-hung window in a black finish below. Note: This quote does not include installation costs. 

With the size measuring 3’0” wide x 5’0” in height, we chose the Single-Hung window with black color for both the interior and exterior. For the glass let's select SmartSun High Performance and pick Colonial Divided Light with Spacer for the grid. We'll also add a bug/insect screen. With the 100 Series hardware, the sample quote comes out to $1,339.82 (the price may increase over time, please contact a local dealer for the most accurate pricing).

So, Are Fibrex Windows Worth It?

Are Fibrex® windows worth the money? We love Andersen products and think they are absolutely worth the investment. Fibrex® windows are durable, available in beautiful earthy colors, and energy efficient. They are also made by one of the biggest and longest existing window and door company in the U.S. The backing of a national company is extremely valuable as smaller companies are often bought out by others making it difficult to find a representative who can help with warranty and replacement issues. 

A Clearer View Ahead

When selecting Fibrex® windows, ensure you obtain multiple price quotes to avoid being overcharged. And, factor in that repairs and replacements will need to be through Andersen as Fibrex® is a brand exclusive to them. Don't fall for high-pressure sales tactics when you can shop around for a cheaper price or find vinyl windows that would meet your needs and cost much less. 

Let us help you find the best window prices based on your budget. Our team at Brennan Enterprises works with North Texas clients to find the right window and door solutions for their home or business. Contact us to learn more.

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