Tag Archives: vinyl windows

The Benefits of Visiting Our Showroom

The majority of our potential clients will initiate their contact with us by sending an email or calling us on the phone, and requesting a free in-home consultation. While we in no way discourage this, I would humbly suggest that the better route to take would be to first stop by our Showroom. We are open from 8:30 to 5:30 Monday through Friday, and from 10:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, which should accommodate almost any schedule.

The reason I see it most beneficial to visit our Showroom before making an in-home consultation appointment is, by visiting, you will have the opportunity to meet with multiple members of our staff, from design, to pricing, to production. Even potentially the installers who will be working on your job, the bookkeeper who can answer any questions related to financing, and the marketing team who will gift you with a promotional item or two! We might be having an employee’s birthday party and invite you in for a slice of ice cream cake. You will have an inside view into our company culture instead of one stranger appearing on your doorstep.

Sometimes a walk-in client will be greeted by one of our designers, begin a discussion about their project, and come to a technical question that that individual is not an expert on. We can easily grab the nearby expert, and answer your question for you right there. Have a question about how long your project will take to start? Ask our production department, who know their schedules better than anyone. You can even meet the owner and shake his hand. I think you are beginning to get my point.

Additionally, we have thousands of product samples here that will inspire you. You will have a much better direction of which samples you would like brought out to your home during the in-home consultation. You can even borrow some to take home with you!

I would sincerely suggest visiting us here, developing a rapport with a design consultant, and then making an appointment for him/her to meet with you at your home to proceed further. By visiting us you will have a much clearer picture of whether or not our company is a good fit for you. Call 596-777-6633 to make an appointment to come visit, or walk-ins are always welcome!

Wood Windows vs. Vinyl Windows: Pros and Cons

Wood windows, Fiberglass windows and Vinyl windows all serve the same basic functions of keeping the elements out, letting air in (when opened), and security.  The main difference is what they look like and what they cost. All three types are available in cheaper quality, less expensive versions, as well as higher quality, more expensive versions.

In general though, wood windows look better, have more options, but cost more.  In my home I chose to go with the Pella windows with built in blinds. With the built in blinds, I didn’t need to buy any window treatments, and I have the added benefit of being able to see the wood frames and large wood moldings that we used to frame them out on the inside. The windows, when stained, look like furniture. Another benefit of wood windows is that you can paint or stain each one to suit the individual room decor.

Daughter  & Marketing Manager +Kayla Kopke ‘s Room.  I used Pella Designer Series in designing my home.

Pella “Designer Series” windows have the most options and accessories compared to other manufacturers.  If you don’t want or need the accessories, other wood manufacturers can be considered, such as Andersen, Marvin, Weathershield, etc.

If the client seeks to minimize their expense and maximize the energy efficiency, vinyl is the way to go. Vinyl windows are available in many different prices, from very low, to mid high. It would be rare under normal circumstances for a vinyl window to cost more than a wood window of similar size and style.

There are basically 6 things to look for when shopping for windows:

1) The main frame – construction details – size – thickness – beefyness – does it look cheap, or does it look like good quality?

2) The glass system – it could be double glass, or triple glass, Low-E with Argon, laminated, tempered, etc.  Check U- values, R-values, Solar Heat Gain values.  The spacer used to separate the glass panels is very important – “Superspacer” is the best, but “Intercept” is the most widely used because of cost savings in manufacturing.

3) Locks, hardware, weatherstripping, screens, accessories – (all things that are attached to the windows) – aluminum screening is better than fiberglass – triple weatherstripping is better than double – recessed locks look better, some screen clips are cheap and will break off easy – you can usually tell the better quality components by visually inspecting the windows.  Some hidden items are balance systems on double hungs, weep holes, foam filled insulation, inner reinforcements, etc.

4) The warranty – be aware that most warranties if read closely are merely a list of what is not included – it is rare to get an unlimited warranty. They are a selling tool and really just a piece of paper.

5) The reputation of the manufacturer is more impotant than the warranty papers – ask yourself, if the company you hire to do the installation goes out of business, (a common occurance), what is the manufacturer going to do for you if you have a product problem?  The best manufacturers of the best quality products have the best reputation for service after the fact. On the other hand, the lowest priced products are going to come with little or no service down the road. Ask around, and it won’t be hard to find people who have an opinion about their good or bad experience with windows.

6) The reputation of the installation company – the basic truth is that you will be asking somebody to install the product of your choice – most companies specialize at installing certain brands. Hiring a company that has a business office is much less risky than hiring someone who works out of their home (an independent). Hiring an independent is often looked at as a “better deal” because the price is lower, but the extra risk is not worth the savings. We are asked to fix someone else’s “botched” job quite often. Often times the independent is not insured, licensed, or qualified to do the work properly, and they are usually impossible to contact for service issues.

Choosing the Right Glass for Your New Windows

Today’s rising energy costs make choosing the right window a crucial decision.

When replacing windows you must first consider that 80% of the window is the glass, therefore the most important part of your window. There are so many different types of glass available today that it can be very confusing for consumers.

There is clear glass, insulated glass, Low-E glass, tinted glass, double-pane glass, triple-pane glass, laminated glass, tempered glass, the list goes on and on. So which is the best for your particular needs?

Just about all replacement windows now will have a minimum of clear insulated glass, which is 2 panes of glass spaced anywhere from 1/2″ to 1″ apart, and then filled with argon gas. The argon gas between the glass is an inert gas (that is significantly thicker than oxygen) which acts as an insulator by slowing the heat from passing through the glass. Some companies are using krypton gas instead of argon in the window because it is thicker and heavier. However, the cost difference between the two is significantly greater for the krypton gas. The energy savings, however, are not as significant. So in my opinion, your money is better spent upgrading the glass itself than upgrading the gas between the panes.

Low-E glass is nothing new; it has been around for decades. Ford Motor Co. originally started using Low-E glass in their cars to keep the dashboards from cracking, and interiors from fading from sunlight. Over the years, it has made its way into the replacement window market. The original purpose of Low-E in residential windows was to filter out the UV rays from the sun, keeping your carpet, drapes, and upholstery from fading. Since then, it has also been marketed as an energy saving feature. However, not all versions of Low-E glass perform the same as others. Low-E stands for Low Emissivity, NOT Low Energy, as some consumers are lead to believe. There is hard coat Low-E, soft coat Low-E, double Low-E, Low-E squared, not to mention that different companies use different chemicals in their Low-E coatings such as: tin nitrate, silver oxide, or combinations of different chemicals.

So how do you choose which one is right for you? And since they all look the same, how do you know what you’re really getting?

The government has now made it mandatory for all replacement windows to have a label that tells the consumer what the particular window’s U-Factor is. The U-Factor is the speed at which heat is lost or gained through the glass. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the glass is. For a replacement window, you must have a 0.35 U-Factor or below to be Energy Star approved. In order to qualify for federal tax credits, the U-Factor must be 0.30 or below. There are now some windows that have a U-Factor as low as 0.20 and others that are as high as 0.45. Usually the more energy efficient the window is, the more expensive it is to manufacture, therefore having a bigger price tag for the consumer. However, additional costs to upgrade to a high performance window are usually recouped within about 3 years just in increased energy savings!

The bottom line is: you have to consider what your intentions are with your home. If you’re planning to live in the home for several years, it may be well worth the extra money to upgrade to a high performance window. If you’re planning to sell the home in the near future, you may want to elect to go with a less efficient product to keep the cost down.

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