Category Archives: Home Improvement

Pella vs. Andersen Windows Cost 2019: Pros & Cons, ROI

Andersen and Pella, Pella and Andersen. The two window giants are compared more often than any other two brands, and for a good reason; each company offers an impressive selection of windows ranging from affordable to luxurious, available in multiple materials and all window styles and sizes.

Pella Windows — Modern Farm House Bedroom

via Luxury Home Tours on Pella.com

This buying guide is your comprehensive source for window prices for both brands, plus their complete window series and style information. We start with what’s on every homeowner’s mind:

  • How much do Pella windows cost?
  • How much do Andersen windows cost?

This table lists the series, material and pricing details for all Pella and Andersen windows, making it easy to compare window costs:

Pella Windows

Series Material Types Cost
Architect Series 850 Wood S, D, C, A $835-$1,500
Architect Series Reserve Wood D, C, A $1,000-$1,800
Designer Series 750 Wood D, C, A $650-$1,100
450 Series/ProLine Wood D, C, A $170-$365
Impervia Fiberglass S, D, C, A, G $225-$600
350 Series Vinyl S, D, C, A, G $160-$335
250 Series Vinyl S, D, C, A, G $145-$300
Encompass by Pella Vinyl S, D, C, A, G $120-$315

Andersen Windows

Series Material Types Cost
Architectural Collection E-Series Wood D, C, A $900-$1,425
Architectural Collection A-Series Wood/Fibrex D, C, A $1,000-$1,650
400 Series Wood D, C, A, G $425-$800
200 Series Wood D, G $265-$535
100 Series Fibrex S, C, A, G $185-$315
Renewal by Andersen Fibrex D, C, A, G $885-$1,750

Notes:

  • Cost: The Cost column reflects windows of average size and most common features chosen by homeowners. Specific window costs will range slightly lower or higher based on the feature package chosen such as window size, glazing/glass package, extras like exterior cladding, custom grilles, built-in blinds or shades.
  • Types Code: S=single-hung; D=double-hung; C=casement; A=awning; G=gliding or sliding. Most window series also offer picture/fixed windows and bay/bow window assemblies.

Did you Know? New construction windows are different from replacement windows.

All Pella series and all Andersen series except for Renewal series can be used for new construction or as replacement windows. — If they are new construction windows, the frames are manufactured with a nailing fin used to secure the windows to the home’s exterior sheathing.

Replacement windows are secured to the window opening through the side jamb, so the exterior siding doesn’t need to be disrupted.

If you’re doing a complete exterior makeover including siding replacement, then either type can be used.

Installation Costs

Window installation costs less for new construction projects for two reasons:

There are no old windows to remove first and windows quickly nail to the exterior sheathing on the home.

Installing replacement windows in older homes can take significantly longer if the window openings have shifted or warped or if they need repair. — These delays will increase installation cost.

Window installation costs below apply to labor and supplies required for all window types, double-hung, casement, fixed, etc.

  • New window installation cost: $140-$235 per window
  • Replacement window installation cost: $195-$350 per window
  • Bay/Bow window installation cost: $300-$575 per window assembly

Cost-to-Value Return

National home remodeling and sales data show that window replacement return on investment ranges from about 73% for upscale windows (Pella 750 Designer and higher, Andersen 400 Series and higher, plus Renewal.) and up to 80% for more affordable Pella and Andersen window lines. This is also called cost-to-value return.

For example, if you spend $10,000 on new windows, the potential sale price of your home in the first 10 years will be $7,300 to $8,000 higher.

New windows can help a home sell, especially when the listing price is near the upper end of a potential buyer’s range. The buyer will have the assurance that replacing the windows won’t be an expense for 15-25 years.

Pro Tip: If you plan to sell your home in the next few years, replacing the windows isn’t a cost-effective choice unless they are in such poor condition they’ll turn off buyers.

A better approach is to give potential buyers an allowance sufficient to cover the mid-grade new windows like Pella 350/450 or Andersen 200/400 Series. — This would cover their costs. The buyers could also use the money toward a premium window brand, allowing the buyers to choose the kind of windows they like the best for the price.

Andersen Vs. Pella Window Comparison

Pella makes a broader range of window series than Andersen. Each makes four solid wood series. Pella makes the fiberglass Impervia Series which compares with the Andersen 100 Series, though at a higher cost.

Andersen 100-Series Windows

Did you know? The primary difference is that Pella makes three vinyl window lines, and Andersen doesn’t make vinyl products.

Pella Architect Series / 850 Series

Pella Architect Series

Pella Architect series windows are made in two sub-lines. The Architect Series Traditional windows are beefier with very classic styling. The Architect Series Contemporary windows are sleeker, lither with very clean sight lines. Here’s what they offer:

  • Materials: Pine, Douglas fir, mahogany, white oak, red oak, cherry and maple (Traditional); Pine, Douglas fir and mahogany (Contemporary)
  • Interior colors: 4 paint and 9 stain options.
  • Exterior colors: 27 colors of aluminum cladding.
  • Hardware: 5 Traditional and 9 Contemporary finishes in several styles.
  • Sizes: Standard and Custom
  • Window types: Single-hung, double-hung, casement and awning (Traditional); Casement and awning (Contemporary).
  • Glass: 4 glass package options.
  • Accessories: 4 grille styles and 2 screen types. Insynctive window sensors integrate with smart home security systems.
  • Warranty: Lifetime Limited.

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Top 10 Siding Materials: Costs, Pros & Cons and ROI

Today, you have more attractive house siding options than ever before. This buying guide details the top 10 siding materials to help you decide which type will give your home the look and durability you want, while staying within your budget.

1. Vinyl Siding
2. Fiber Cement Siding
3. Aluminum Siding
4. Natural Wood Siding
5. Engineered Wood Siding
6. Brick Siding
7. Brick Veneer Siding
8. Genuine Stone Siding
9. Stone Veneer Siding
10. Stucco Siding

Did you know? Most other online estimates of house siding costs are unrealistically low. Many other resources take the cost of the basic material and add the “base” installation costs to reach their total. — This approach fails to consider accessories like trim, supplies and fasteners that can add $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is made from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, a plastic. It is blended with pigment to give the siding color. Acrylics are added for strength and fade protection.

The material is extruded into panels. Most panels are textured like rough-hewn wood siding, but smooth panels are produced too.

What we like:

Vinyl siding is known for its relatively low cost and durability. — That combination produces good value. The material lasts 20-30 years depending on its quality.

Vinyl offers excellent styles and color options:

Horizontal vinyl siding is made to look like wood boards from 3” to 8” wide in Dutch lap, beaded and clapboard styles.

Vertical panels are produced in board & batten and flat styles.

Architectural panels are formed like wood shingle and shake siding. Most products are offered in colors from white to deep browns and dark grays.

Vinyl siding is light and easy to install. — This helps cut down costs when hiring a professional and makes a DIY option more viable for handy homeowners.

Maintenance is minimal: Lightly power wash it to remove dust and dirt.

What we don’t like:

Vinyl lacks the authenticity of wood: In neighborhoods where homes are sided with wood, stone and brick, vinyl often looks inferior.

Plastic isn’t eco-friendly: While vinyl siding can be recycled, most of it ends up in landfills.

Warping, cracking and water penetration are frequent problems with bad installation.

Cost:

The installed cost of basic vinyl siding is $4.25 to $7.50 per square foot when horizontal and vertical panels are used.

Architectural vinyl siding panels cost $2 to $3 more per square foot. Cost factors are the quality of the siding and the complexity of the house on which it is installed.

ROI:

Vinyl siding has an ROI of 80%. The ROI is the percentage of the cost homeowners recoup when selling their home while the siding looks new and is in good condition.

Did you know? Vinyl siding is the most common house siding in the US and Canada. It accounts for nearly 30% of siding jobs. However, vinyl’s market share is slipping as other siding materials gain popularity and homeowners want a greener siding solution.

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Rain Chains Cost, Materials, DIY Options & Styles

Rain chains demonstrate a beautiful blend of decorative form and useful function. Instead of water traveling from your roof through a closed downspout, rain chains allow you to enjoy rainwater’s pleasing sound and aesthetics, like a babbling brook cascading downward.

Rain Chains DIY Installation

via Hallmark Channel

In Japan, where rain chains had their origin, they are a common element of traditional building design. Gutters are viewed as too utilitarian to use when the function can be handled by something that also enhances the beauty of the structure. — That view is spreading, and the popularity of rain chains is growing in North America and around the world.

This buying guide provides a comprehensive overview of rain chain styles, materials, options, installation methods, costs, and DIY options.

The Basics

If you’re unfamiliar with rain chains, or kusari doi in Japanese, lets discuss their anatomy.

  • An adapter or bracket is attached to the gutter in place of a downspout
  • The rain chain hangs from it
  • The chain is anchored by a basin, stake or weight

These three essential components might be sold separately, but many top manufacturers produce kits with everything included.

Cost

There is a wide range of rain chain prices, but they can be loosely grouped into these four categories that have some overlap:

  • $15-$50 | Cheap rain chains, fine chains, small design elements spaced widely, most often painted or coated steel or aluminum.
  • $45-$90 | Good-quality rain chains, larger and more design elements, most often copper, but some are brass, aluminum or stainless steel.
  • $80-$215 | High-quality rain chains, large, complex design elements, most often copper or stainless steel, a bottom bowl might be included.
  • $200-$700 | Best-quality rain chains, quite ornate, copper and stainless steel designs, often with a basin and stake included. The very finest rain chains are imported from Japan and cost in the upper end of this range.

How Much Do Accessories Cost?

The accessory options are weights, basins and stakes:

  • Rain chain stakes: $10-$16
  • Rain chain weights: $25-$50
  • Rain chain basins: $35-$150 depending on the size, material and whether they’ve been handcrafted

Most Popular Styles

  • Chain links are interspersed with artistically designed cups or other features such as birds, leaves or flowers at intervals of a few inches to as much as a foot apart.
  • Most rain chain cups have holes in the bottom to allow water to pass through. Other chains are produced with shallow cups, and the rainwater fills the cup and spills over into the cup below.
  • Single links or another type of connector are used to hold each cup to the one above it, so that the rain chain is really a series of cups with little or no chainwork.
  • The rain chain is a series of decoratively fashioned links or loops, often of varying size and artfully interwoven, with no cups at all.

Because of the artistic nature of rain chain design, these three basic styles are produced in nearly limitless variations and combinations.

via Eichler Network

Traditionally, rain chains were crafted from metal, and most still are.

Most Popular Materials:

  • Copper: This is the traditional material choice of rain chain artisans. The copper must be polished regularly if you wish it to maintain its gleam. Most copper rain chains are allowed to develop an appealing patina finish that changes as the copper ages.
  • Steel: This is another traditional metal. Make sure any steel rain chain you consider is coated or painted to prevent rust, though corrosion is probably inevitable.
  • Stainless steel: This corrosion-resistant metal is often used by itself or in a rain chain design with copper.
  • Aluminum: More affordable than stainless, aluminum is durable and will develop a light patina too.
  • Brass: This material is a staple of plumbing fixtures because it resists corrosion. It’s an attractive choice for rain chains too.

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