Review of Andersen Windows and Doors' "Big Door Architectural Collection" (https://www.andersenwindows.com/windows-and-doors/doors/big-doors).
We bought two Andersen "Big Doors" at a price of $24, 000 in June 2021. The doors finally arrived at the end of November. They are now installed and span most of the wall of our living room. They come with very narrow stiles, and we ordered ours with brushed-nickel hardware and maple wood finish. If you want a modern, minimalist look it's hard beat these doors!
Alas, they are not good doors. The most serious issue is that they leak. When it rains the water runs across the sill and underneath the doors to an inside channel, where we use a sponge to keep the water from reaching our new hardwood floors. The doors are actually designed this way. They sit on rollers that are raised from the floor, and water can flow to the inside. Andersen uses an aluminum threshold, called a "nose", to essentially cover up the water. The water supposedly runs off through weep holes, although on ours it stays for days at a time.
What do you do if water rises above the edge of the inside channel? Andersen's solution is a threshold with a 1.5" high edge or "lip" that literally functions as a dam. The lip of the nose protrudes about an inch above the bottom of the doors, so if water ever reached that level, the wood frame would get soaked and ruined. The rail is also a serious trip hazard because it sits right across the opening where you walk.
Needless to say, if water can run to the inside, the door is also not airtight. We live in Boston, and we can feel the draft of cold air coming through the bottom of the doors whenever there's a wind is against the doors. That's not quite as upsetting as the water, but it is also not exactly what you expect from a door at this price point.
Build quality is also surprisingly poor. Our doors came with a poly finish (which we paid extra for), but after two months it is already beginning to peel around the glass (we think from condensation water). We have asked Andersen to fix it under their "best in business" warranty (supposedly including 20 years on the finish), but our request has been ignored despite repeated tries.
This gets to the most frustrating part of the Andersen experience: it is almost impossible to communicate directly with Andersen. From deciding specs to handling installation issues, you can only deal with Andersen indirectly through the dealer, which in our case is National Lumber. Our point person in NL was nice enough, but he had no experience with these doors (very few do as we have discovered), and the technical support we needed from Andersen was never there. A local Andersen sales rep shared an installation video (it's actually a recorded webinar), but you can't talk to any Andersen person with technical knowledge. Attempts to contact them by us or by our contractor were resolutely ignored.
Long after the doors were installed a rep from Andersen showed up, but he essentially just confirmed that the doors are indeed leaky ("I didn't design them"), and he refused to answer any direct questions, including the one about fixing the peeling finish under warranty.
Andersen is marketing their Big Door Architectural Series as a high-end product, with prices to boot, but their service is decidedly bottom-end. The design of the doors, while aesthetically pleasing, is problematic. But the lack of support is infuriating. Perhaps Andersen's makes decent budget doors and windows that big-box outlets like Home Depot and Lowes can readily service; but Andersen is entirely unprepared to operate in the upscale market. We made a bad choice.
[Taglines: Andersen Windows and Doors complaint; Multiglide; Leaking and drafty doors; lack of Andersen service; tripping hazard; water problem; ignoring customer pleas for help; no service; will not honor warranty].