PGT vs. Andersen Impact Windows: A Comparative Analysis

For residents of coastal regions prone to hurricanes and severe storms, impact windows are a crucial investment in protecting their homes and families. These specially designed windows can withstand powerful winds, flying debris, and even windborne missiles, offering peace of mind and safeguarding property during extreme weather events.  Choosing the right impact windows, however, can be a daunting task with several brands vying for homeowner attention. Two leading names in the impact window industry are PGT and Andersen, each with its own strengths and considerations.  This comprehensive analysis highlights the key aspects of PGT vs. Andersen impact windows, equipping homeowners with the knowledge to make an informed decision.

A. PGT: The Impact Window Specialists

Founded in 1981, PGT Industries (formerly PGT Window & Door) has established itself as a leading manufacturer of impact-resistant windows and doors.  Headquartered in Venice, Florida, PGT boasts a rich history of innovation in the impact window sector, pioneering new design and manufacturing techniques to create windows that are both highly durable and aesthetically pleasing.  Their primary focus on impact windows allows them to concentrate their resources on developing superior levels of impact resistance and a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges faced by homeowners in hurricane-prone areas.

B. Andersen: A Broader Window Expertise

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Andersen Corporation, established in 1903, is a household name in the window and door industry.  Based in Bayport, Minnesota, Andersen offers a vast selection of window styles, encompassing everything from traditional double-hung windows to contemporary casement styles.  While impact windows represent a significant segment of their product line, Andersen also caters to a broader market seeking windows for various applications and climates.  This broader focus allows them to cater to a wider range of architectural styles and homeowner preferences.

Comparison Table: PGT vs. Andersen Impact Windows

Company FocusPrimarily impact windowsBroader window selection (including impact)
Design StylesFocused on functionality (double-hung, casement)Wider variety (double-hung, casement, picture, specialty shapes)
FinishesPrimarily neutral and classic colorsWider range of color options
Frame MaterialsHeavy-duty aluminumAluminum or vinyl
Glazing MaterialsLaminated impact-resistant glassLaminated impact-resistant glass
Warranty CoverageFocuses on structural integrity and impact resistanceMay encompass broader aspects (performance, hardware)
Customer Service ReputationEstablished brand with responsive serviceEstablished brand with responsive service (experiences may vary)

PGT vs. Andersen Product Offerings

The core functionality of impact windows – their ability to withstand extreme weather events – forms the foundation for this comparison.  However, other factors like design aesthetics, material options, and after-sales support also play a crucial role in the decision-making process.

A. Impact Resistance: The Core Strength

  • Missile Impact Ratings:  Both PGT and Andersen windows undergo rigorous testing to achieve Miami-Dade County approval, a benchmark for hurricane protection.   PGT windows typically achieve high missile impact ratings, often exceeding the requirements for specific hurricane zones.  Andersen impact windows also offer strong protection, with ratings that meet or exceed industry standards.
  • Wind Pressure Ratings:  Wind pressure resistance is another crucial factor. PGT windows are known for their exceptional wind pressure ratings, designed to withstand the strong winds associated with hurricanes.  Andersen impact windows similarly showcase impressive wind pressure resistance capabilities, ensuring optimal protection during storms.
  • Certifications and Testing Standards:  Both PGT and Andersen windows adhere to stringent testing standards established by organizations like the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the National Accreditation Testing Laboratory (NATL).  These certifications provide homeowners with assurance that the windows have undergone rigorous evaluation and meet specific performance criteria.

B. Design and Aesthetics: Complementing Your Home’s Style

Design Styles: 

PGT offers a focused selection of impact window styles, primarily catering to functionality and ease of operation during storm preparation.  Their designs prioritize strength and durability, often featuring features like heavy-duty sashes and locking mechanisms.

Andersen, on the other hand, provides a wider variety of design options, encompassing traditional double-hung and casement styles, along with more contemporary picture windows and specialty shapes.  This wider selection allows for greater design flexibility and customization to complement various architectural styles.


Both brands offer a range of finish options to enhance the visual appeal of the windows.  PGT primarily focuses on neutral and classic colors that blend seamlessly with diverse architectural styles.  Andersen provides a broader range of color options, catering to both traditional and modern aesthetics.

C. Material Options: Durability and Energy Efficiency

  • Frame Materials: PGT windows typically utilize heavy-duty aluminum frames, known for their strength and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.  Andersen offers a choice between vinyl and aluminum frames for their impact windows.  Vinyl frames offer superior energy efficiency, while aluminum frames provide optimal structural strength.
  • Glazing Materials:  Both PGT and Andersen utilize laminated impact-resistant glass for their windows.  This type of glass features a special inner layer that holds the glass together even when struck by debris, minimizing the risk of shattering and entry points.

D. Warranty and After-Sales Service

  • Warranty Coverage: Both PGT and Andersen offer comprehensive warranties on their impact windows. Warranty lengths and specific terms can vary depending on the product line, so it’s essential to carefully review the warranty details provided by each manufacturer.  Generally, PGT warranties tend to focus on the structural integrity and impact resistance of the windows, while Andersen warranties might encompass broader aspects like window performance and hardware functionality.
  • Customer Service Reputation:  Both PGT and Andersen are established brands with a reputation for responsive customer service.  However, homeowner experiences can vary depending on location and specific dealerships.  Consulting online reviews and seeking recommendations from local contractors can provide valuable insights into the customer service experience offered by each brand in your region.

Choosing the Right Impact Windows

With a clearer understanding of the strengths and considerations of PGT and Andersen impact windows, homeowners can make an informed decision that aligns with their specific needs and priorities.  Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Budget:  PGT windows might be a more cost-effective option if pure impact resistance is the primary concern.  However, Andersen windows might offer a better value proposition if design aesthetics and broader warranty coverage are important factors.
  • Architectural Style:  For homes with a contemporary or minimalist aesthetic, the wider design variety offered by Andersen might be more suitable.  For traditional or hurricane-prone coastal homes, the robust functionality of PGT windows might be a better fit.
  • Desired Level of Impact Resistance:  If your home is located in a high-risk hurricane zone, PGT windows with their exceptional wind pressure and missile impact ratings might be the preferred choice.  However, if your area experiences less severe storms, Andersen windows can still provide adequate protection.
  • Importance of Aesthetics:  For homeowners who prioritize a specific design aesthetic and the ability to seamlessly integrate the windows with their existing architecture, Andersen’s wider design selection might be more appealing.

The Verdict

Ultimately, the “perfect” impact window depends on the individual homeowner’s needs and priorities.  Both PGT and Andersen are reputable brands offering high-quality impact windows.  By carefully considering factors like budget, architectural style, desired level of impact resistance, and the importance of aesthetics, homeowners can choose the brand that best suits their specific requirements. 

It’s also advisable to consult with local window installation professionals to gain insights into the performance of these brands in your specific geographic location and receive recommendations based on your home’s unique characteristics.  With careful research and informed decision-making, homeowners can invest in impact windows that provide peace of mind, enhance their home’s curb appeal, and offer lasting protection against the elements.