Window & Doors Facts, that will save you time & money!
Your windows and doors are the most visible parts of your home. New windows and doors can provide a beautiful "make-over" to your home, increase it's value, and improve its "curb appeal". But more importantly, new windows and doors provide you these important benefits:
Fact 1: Today's modern new windows make your life much easier. Modern day mechanical components mean windows don't stick or squeak. New materials like vinyl/thermal frames make window maintenance (like scraping, painting, caulking) a thing of the past. Our windows tilt-in for easy, inside cleaning of the outside glass. No more worrying about climbing up dangerous ladders.
Fact 2: Today's modern windows are much safer than in years past. Superior locks are screwed down into the frame, making these locks some of the strongest ever manufactured. Innovative ideas like built-in night latches allow the window to be opened for ventilation yet still remain locked for greater security.
Fact 3: Today's windows are much more cost effective. New insulated glass designs, glass coatings, and improved frame construction cut energy costs dramatically. Your home is more comfortable while actually costing you less to heat and cool.
Fact 4: They look great! Today's windows come in a variety of shapes, styles and colors – bay windows, large bow windows, sliding windows, traditional double hung windows (up and down movement), casement crank-out windows. All of these improve the looks, design and style of any home. You'll be proud to show-off your new windows and never be embarrassed about them again.
Fact 5: How To Get The Best Window At The Best Price - We all want to avoid over-priced, high-pressure retailers like the plague, but does that mean it's OK to choose your contractor based on the low price only? NO! This can be a big mistake!
Here's why: We've all heard the old adage you get what you pay for. Well, on a low estimate you must ask yourself, "what is being left out or what short-cut is being taken?"
Some contractors may try to "cut corners" to save a little money. Like just about everything else, windows can vary greatly in quality. Do not be content with a “Big Box” or “$189” replacement window. Often, these are "builder grade" quality - a standard lower than what you should settle for. Here’s what you should look for:
We recommend you only consider purchasing an insulated window. This means that there are two or three panes of glass instead of just one. These windows save you the most money on heating and cooling bills and dramatically reduce noise pollution. A good contractor will install a window with 7/8” to 1" Insulating Glass. Anything more or less and the window will not insulate your home properly from the bitter cold or extreme heat. It's not uncommon to see some contractors marketing windows with 3/8" and 5/8" glass. These windows can not adequately insulate your home and are not a good value.
Many so called "window specialists" actually only sell one brand and type of window, usually a vinyl replacement. While vinyl replacement windows are the number one windows for the replacement market, they do not fill every need. Contractors with a limited line of windows will go to great lengths to fit their "round peg into the square hole". A good contractor will offer a full line of vinyl, wood and aluminum windows as well a complete line of storm windows. This is the only way to use the very best product for your individual needs.
Some contractors try to save money by selling windows with inferior glass. This inexpensive glass is rolled over steel bars as it's manufactured. This causes a slight wavy distortion in the glass and creates small pores, pits, and other imperfections. To avoid these problems, choose a window made from floated glass. During manufacture, the glass is floated on a bed of liquid tin, creating a much smoother, clearer finish. In addition, we recommend having a special coating applied to the glass called Low E, short for Low Emission. This clear coating reflects unwanted summer heat without affecting visibility (no tinting). This can dramatically decrease your cooling costs. Low-E will also prevent fading of carpeting, fabrics, and drapes.
Many cheaper insulated windows have a metal spacer separating the two panes of glass. Do NOT buy these windows! These windows are prone to "seal failure" and allow unwanted cold to "jump from pane to pane" - and into your home. Choose a window with a special "Warm-Edge" spacer. This spacer, made from special alloys and mastic compounds, provides maximum comfort and prevents seal failure. We also recommend that the space between the two panes of glass be filled with a super-efficient gas called Argon. This helps the windows make your home even more comfortable by further keeping out the heat and cold.
Some contractors will try to save a few pennies by installing standard sized windows and trying to make them fit into your window openings. These windows, purchased from a building supply or lumberyard are not a good value. Since the window size is fixed the home has to be altered. This can result in "funny looking" windows with filler on the sides or tops. The best way to ensure a precise fit and airtight installation is to measure the window openings and then custom make the window to those dimensions. You may think this sounds expensive. In actuality, it doesn't cost much more to have a custom made window than to have a standard sized one. Plus, you're assured of a perfect fit.
You can buy the best windows in the world, but they will not perform if they are installed improperly. Windows need to be installed plumb (straight up and down) and square. The area around the window and the old weight boxes need to be filled with insulation, so cold air doesn't blow around your new windows. AND Insulation is only part of the job, the other part in sealant. Some contractors will use cheap latex caulking. The best way to seal is with construction grade Silicone on the exterior work and paintable Butyl for the interior work. It's OK if your contractor re-uses the interior moldings, it is the best way to match the style of you home, but requires extra time and care.
Some contractors shop around for windows and sell whatever brand has the best price this week. Look for a contractor with a long track record with a reliable manufacturer. Bennett has a 30 year partnership with the three leading window manufacturers. We are the exclusive dealer for Harvey Max-Vue, the areas largest KasKel dealer and offer Silverline by Anderson.
Finally, a good contractor will finish off the job with the "little extras". The exterior trim around your windows should be finished-off with custom capping, leaving it clean and neat. And of course, your home should be left spic and span. Unfortunately, many contractors leave a job looking like a tropical monsoon just blew through!