Pella vs. Andersen Windows: Comparison And Cost Analysis

Kenneth Wilson

Deciding what kind of windows are right for your home is a very important process in any build or renovation. At first glance, many may think, "a window is a window, isn't it?" And while windows may look the same to the untrained eye, the brand of window you decide to use can have a huge impact on you and your home, from budget to energy efficiency to design and everything in between.

Pella and Andersen are the leading window makers on the market, which means these two companies are pitted against each other often when it comes to comparisons. Both companies offer high-quality products. Both companies offer a wide variety of windows in terms of shapes, sizes, and features. Both companies can accommodate both budget-friendly and luxury-level builders.

In this article, we hope to arm you with the information you need to identify where your priorities lie when it comes to your windows and look at both brands with a critical eye. Both Andersen and Pella are high-quality window makers, so in order to make a useful comparison, we will need to go in-depth. Not only will we be discussing cost, but we will also take a look at everything from the materials they use, the installation process, and so much more. So, without further ado, let’s look closely at what Andersen and Pella have to offer.

Pella vs. Andersen Windows: Comparison 

Although both companies are family-owned and operated, and both operate internationally, there are still marked differences. Let’s look at each a little more closely.

  • Andersen - Andersen is a very old window company that has been operating since 1903. Founded by Hans Andersen, who was a Danish immigrant, he began his company in Wisconsin, which at the time was a hub for lumber. Naturally, the very first Andersen window frames were made of white pine. Of course, these days, Andersen is one of the largest window-making companies in the world (although they do sell more than just windows!) with almost 10,000 employees throughout North America and Europe. Annually, Andersen brings in a little over $2 billion a year and sells to both individual builders and companies. If you’re looking to purchase your windows through a big box store, look no further, Andersen works with Home Depot as well!
  • Pella - Pella, on the other hand, is not quite as old and well established as Andersen. Pella was founded in 1925 and was named for a small town in Iowa. Their claim to fame was, at the time, a ground-breaking invention that involved a special screen that rolled up and could be tucked away for easy storage. In fact, this invention went over so well with consumers that they still sell those styles of screens to this very day! Pella is a slightly smaller company overall than Andersen, with approximately 7,000 employees and an annual income of $2 billion. Pella sets itself apart from its competition with its innovative designs. They have a wider variety of fascinating designs utilizing a wide array of materials. Pella is also known for its partnership with the Lowes chain, where they have sponsored the in-store Pella Design Centers.

Anatomy of a Window

Andersen and Pella both offer a wide range of shapes, styles, automation options, materials, and more. To understand the intricacies and differences of Andersen vs. Pella windows, let's first take a look at the different design options they offer and how that might play into the costs involved. (Related: Anatomy of a Window: Parts You Should Know IF You're Planning A Replacement)

Customizable Designs

As we mentioned, both brands offer a wide array of shapes, sizes, and styles. Pella and Andersen offer sliding windows, casement windows, and odd shapes such as hexagons, trapezoids, and more. It is Andersen, however, that really shines when it comes to design because they can customize any window for you.

Did you scratch out a design on the back of your latest home depot receipt? Andersen can turn your dream into a reality, no matter how unique or challenging that design may be. They even have an entire department dedicated to creating these customer-designed windows. On the other hand, Pella does offer a similar program; however, it is only available to customers who are paying for the most expensive windows available. Andersen will help their clients make their designs into a reality, no matter what level of windows they are purchasing.

Automation Features

While neither brand would be considered plug-and-play for a state-of-the-art smart home. They both do offer some great automation features that can be integrated with home automation systems. Andersen brand windows can be set up to work with Honeywell products, and both companies have implied they are working towards being able to integrate with Google Home and Alexa systems. This is great news for the homeowners who are obsessed with new technology and want to build and outfit the smartest home possible.

While both companies are working actively to greater automation options, Andersen does seem to be in the lead on this race towards smart home compatibility. They are already working with Z-wave functionality, meaning anyone with shades in their Andersen windows can set them up to be controlled via voice commands.


In terms of their Window Frames, Pella specializes in all-vinyl frames, something that definitely contributes to their lower overall prices. Vinyl is a great material for windows, as it’s very water-resistant. Alternately, Andersen tends to focus on the use of wood in their window frames. In fact, they use a proprietary blend of wood and PVC called Fibrex. They have combined the two in this proprietary blend in hopes of giving their windows the best of both worlds. This proprietary blend is also considered to be more eco-friendly than the all-vinyl frames that Pella is known for. It’s important to remember, however, that while both companies have a frame material they tend to focus on, they also both offer both kinds of frames. Pella sells a wood/plastic blend, and Andersen has vinyl frames available for purchase. 

Sashes and Cladding

Windows are made up of many parts, and it's important to understand them when comparing your options. A sash is on the interior of a window, and it is the name used for the moveable parts of the window that hold the glass. On the other hand, cladding is what refers to the exterior parts of the window that encases the frame and protects the window from the outside elements. The main structural differences between Andersen and Pella windows lie in the aluminum construction of the frame sashes.

  • Pella - Pella windows are made with cladding comprised of extruded aluminum which tends to be heftier, heavier, and more difficult to bend. Pella sashes, however, are made of roll-formed aluminum.  Roll-formed aluminum is thinner and more flexible – think a can of coke.  It’s part of what keeps Pella’s costs down while maintaining design standards.
  • Andersen - Andersen frames and sashes, on the other hand, are both made of extruded aluminum which gives them greater stability due to heftier construction. Since Andersen has opted out of roll-formed cladding, they also avoid classic roll-formed pitfalls such as moisture build-up behind the windows. Overall, Andersen windows will be able to give your home a cleaner look when it comes to corners and seams due to their construction.

Through the Looking Glass

Both Andersen and Pella source their glass from a company called Cardinal Glass Industries. Cardinal is known to be the best glass company in the country and produces high-quality glass, known for its outstanding energy efficiency and visibility. Furthermore, Cardinal Glass has a very low rate of seal-failure versus other double-pane windows, which means you can expect both Andersen and Pella glass to be both strong and durable.

Safe and Sound – Security Options

Many homeowners want to make sure all points of entry in their homes are as secure as possible. They want to keep intruders out and usually opt for a security system to help them do so. The good news? Both Andersen and Pella windows come with alarm sensor magnets which can be easily integrated into an alarm system you choose. This type of window may end up costing you slightly more upfront, but it will save you the headache of having to drill holes into your frames in order to keep your family safe.

Understandably, energy efficiency is a priority for builders and homeowners alike. With utility costs climbing every day, energy-efficient windows can provide a much-needed advantage, meaning that truly energy-efficient windows will make lower your overall home operations cost over time. Both companies provide “energy-efficient” windows that are designed to keep a tight seal and therefore keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The one main thing to consider here is that, again, Andersen’s energy-efficient options are much more expensive, meaning it could take more time for you to see your long-term costs recouped.

Pella vs. Andersen: Price 

Naturally, price is a very important element when choosing the right windows for your home.

  • Pella Pricing - Typically, Pella ranges from approximately $770 to $1,000 per window, including installation.
  • Andersen Pricing - Andersen is definitely the more expensive window in terms of up-front costs. Consumers can expect to pay at least $1,000 per installed window. At the end of the day, you can expect Andersen windows to cost roughly 20 percent more than their Pella counterparts.

Pella vs. Andersen: Installation Costs 

We have already mentioned that Andersen windows will typically cost around 20 percent more than their Pella counterparts; well, the higher cost doesn't stop at purchase. It is also more expensive to install Andersen windows as well. Although it comes with a higher price tag, many consumers would agree that you get what you pay for. When you buy an Andersen window, you get full service by professionals from start to finish. The well-trained Andersen-certified installers will come to your home and complete the installation safely and professionally. This program minimizes many of the common mistakes you may see made when installing windows, as well as ensure your windows will remain intact for a long time.

Alternately, Pella does not have a certified contractor installation option. When you purchase your Pella windows, you will be required to DIY or hire a separate, third-party contractor to take care of the installation for you. While you may have access to a great contractor, if you don't, it can open you up to voided window warranties as well as problems with the installation like poor energy efficiency, damages, or worse.

Pella vs. Andersen: Resale Value 

It's no secret that having your old windows replaced with brand new ones can increase the sale price of your home significantly and attract buyers. It's attractive to a potential buyer to know that they are buying a home with new, high-quality windows which won't need to be replaced for at least 15 years. Studies have shown that a return on investment for new windows can be anywhere from 70 to 80 percent. This means that if you are renovating your home and you decide to replace the windows to the tune of $10,000, you could be looking at a rise in your home's value between $7,000 to $8,000 over the first ten years.

What Customers Are Saying

So, do customers love their windows? Of course, it's often hard to differentiate between complaints that were lodged due to poor installation and bad customer service from the dealer versus complaints that deal directly with product performance.

Overall, Andersen receives vastly fewer complaints, and those complaints that do tend to surface are typically centered around the customer service of the salespeople, not the product itself.

Which Brand is Right for You? 

Andersen and Pella are both giants in the window industry. They both put out high-quality products; however, there are some key takeaways here that you will want to consider when deciding between the two.

If you are on a strict budget, you may want to consider going with Pella windows, as they are going to typically be 20 percent less than their Andersen counterparts. However, be sure to choose your installation contractor carefully, as Pella doesn't have a certified installer program, and poorly installed windows can be problematic for a multitude of reasons.

If you have a more relaxed budget and want to ensure that your windows last in the long run, consider going with Andersen windows. While they will cost you more, you can rest assured the installation process will be done properly and professionally. They are truly made to last and will look beautiful in your home for a long time to come.

Kenneth Wilson
September 29, 2021
Cost Guides, Window Replacement

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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