Andersen Windows – Pretty Good but Not Amazing.

double-hung-woodwright-interior-400-series-300x300

(They look nice, don’t they?)

Well, looks aren’t everything.  If you’re going to buy new construction windows and are looking at Andersen Woodwright 400’s, don’t even bother with the unfinished clear pine.  That wood is garbage.  Expect to pay an additional $100 or so for the oak or maple.

The response I got from both the company itself and the authorized dealer was, “Well, it’s pine.  It’s a softer wood.”  But really, it’s practically balsa wood, and in some sections it’s just a very thin veneer.  It’s soft, splintery garbage that comes out incredibly blotchy if you don’t use the correct pre-stain conditioner.  Also, I highly recommend using Charles Neil’s Pre-Color Conditioner.  His video made me smile.

http://www.cn-woodworking.com/cn-pre-color-conditioner/

charls neil

(I am not affiliated nor do I get any compensation from his company)

I first tried the Minwax pre-stain conditioner but the wood was a shitty, blotchy mess and I had to strip it back down and redo the whole thing.  With the CN product, the stain won’t come out nearly as dark as it is supposed to, but that’s because the conditioner has to block some of the stain to prevent blotching, so just know that before you choose the color.

Further, the overall quality and feel of the Andersen window is pretty cheap (though the price is not).  I really doubt that these new construction double hungs will last anywhere near as long as my original wood double hungs I bought them to match.  Sigh.  Hopefully when I’m ready to replace them, I can afford to get old-school true divided light all wood DH’s custom made.  A girl can dream.