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Windows - Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an architect?
In most instances, no, not at all. Unless your window replacement involves knocking down walls, removing load-bearing structures, or completely redesigning how your home is constructed, window replacement does not require an architect. Any reputable and experienced window replacement company will know what to do and how to do it.
How can I locate a window replacement professional?
There are numerous ways. Most consumers utilize the internet and search engines such as Google to find Professionals in your area. Also, television, radio, friends, neighbors, and even trucks working in your neighborhood are great ways to locate Professionals.
How do I evaluate my candidates?
With the information available today, there are numerous tools available to make sure your Professional is the right one for your home. Social media, reviews, Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau listing are just some of the tools you can use. Also, well established company will most likely have a good reputation, be well known, have an established website, and some form of online and digital presence. Furthermore, make sure your Professional can give references, credentials, work photos, proof of insurance, and readily explain their product and services in a comprehensive manner.
How much do replacement windows cost? What should I expect to pay?
That answers depends. Replacement windows come in all sorts of designs and price ranges. It can easy to believe that replacement windows are inherently inexpensive. What’s in a window that can make it cost money? There are ads everywhere showing how “inexpensive” they are. The first thing you have to be careful of is PRICE. Make sure you are GETTING WHAT YOU PAID FOR. Remember, a window has perform like your wall. It has to keep the outside environment out, keep the home’s environment in, provide a breeze if you decide to open it, look nice on your home, be easy to clean, and last a long time.So to be direct, when looking at replacement window you have to look at QUALITY, DESIGN, FUNCTION, WARRANTY, INSTALLATION and HOW IT WILL BE INSTALLED. Finally, you have to consider WHO is installing it. Once you have all that, then look at the price and determine if the value is there. Windows can range from $150.00 each for a basic window that might last a couple years to $1000.00 each for a high-end model that will last a life time. Like most things these days, it’s all in what you want, what you need, and what you can afford. Be sincere when shopping, windows are an important component to the home’s look, energy performance, and durability.
Does a LIFE TIME WARRANTY really last a LIFETIME?
That depends on the company and the product. LIFETIME can be defined in several different ways. Make sure to read the fine print, ask question, and make sure the company and product you select will actually be able to honor that warranty 5, 10, 20 and 30 years down the road.
How long will it take my windows to be installed?
Window size, location, accessibility, and installation type all play a factor in how long it takes to replace a window. Also experience, having the correct tools, and having installers proficient at working with numerous different scenarios of removing old windows can affect the time frame also.
What size is considered a Standard Size window?
There is no standard when it comes to windows. While one can visit the big box stores and see the shelves stacked with various different sizes, it should be realized that those sizes are what’s purchased most in the new construction aspect of remodeling. When it comes to a true removal and replacement in an older home, no standard prevails. The average home in the United States hovers around 37 years old. If you look around your neighborhood, you’ll most likely see that no one home is made like another. Thus, no one window size is the same as another. A majority of windows come in a multitude of sizes. Make sure your professional can give a window to FIT YOUR HOME EXACTLY and NOT A WINDOW THAT YOUR HOME HAS TO BE MODIFIED TO FIT!
How often should residential windows be replaced?
One word answer this question. QUALITY. The QUALITY of the window and the QUALITY of the installation. If you can hire a true professional with a truly great product, your windows might only need to be replaced one time. This is referred to as a “ONE AND DONE.” However, if you choose the wrong Professional or product, there’s no telling how many times. A true quality window product made today is engineered to last at least 30+ years up to and beyond the LIFETIME of the home. The products, testing, and engineering used today in the higher quality replacement window designs all are very complicated and thorough allowing for this time of long term performance.
What does “cladding” mean?
Cladding is also called COIL. It’s an aluminum sheet of metal that has a vinyl or powdered paint coat to it. This aluminum sheet is bended in a machine called a “break”. This COIL or CLADDING is used to dress the exterior of the window in multiple colors to accent the window. COIL/CLADDING is VERY popular today as it protects the wood around the window from rot, and eliminates the need to ever paint again. Higher quality CLADDINGS/COIL can last a lifetime.
How do I know what type of Glass is right for a window?
Your Professional should be able to help you with this. There are numerous glass types that function to serve different needs. A true Professional will be able to show you and demonstrate to you how one or more particular glass types are made and function and how those characteristics can achieve the desired look, energy savings, and any other performance factor you may want.
What are grilles?
Grilles, or Grids, are the same thing. They are the metal spacing designs that give the glass a partitioned look. Grilles/Grids can come in numerous colors, styles, and locations on any window. A true Professional will be able to show you all the different styles and options available. However, remember, Grilles/Grids are AN OPTION. If you don’t want them or like them, you don’t have to have them in your window.
What do U-values and R-values really mean?
U-Value and R-Value are the same thing. They are just measured differently to get the same result. R-Value and U-Value tell the consumer the energy performance of the window and IT’S ABILITY TO INSULATE. It’s the windows ability to slow the rate of HEAT or COOLING LOSS. The higher the R-Value the better the performance. The LOWER the U-Value, the better the performance. Most quality energy efficient windows will have U-Values in the .27 Value range or lower (.i.e. .26, .25, etc.).
What does Low E stand for?
Low-E stands for “Low Emittance”. “Emittance” is the energy radiated by the surface of body.
Low-E is a type of glass surface that emits or radiates low energy making it energy efficient.
Low-E Glass is an OPTION that one can add to a window to make it more energy efficient. There are different types of Low-E and a true Professional should be able to tell you, and in some instances, show you the different types that can work to save you the most energy.