Have a question? We have the answers!
The following are some of the more common, and some not so common questions we have encountered in the 23 years in this business. Hopefully, they will assist you.
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Q: Can I install custom made windows myself?
A: Yes, but the better question might be “Should you install custom made windows yourself?” Technically, a window does work better if it is installed square relative to “gravity,” however your house may not be! A professional installer will have all the necessary equipment to do the job right, to find the most proper compromise between gravity and appearance.
Q: Are there different installation methods?
A: According to major window manufacturers there are two proper installation types:
1. “New Construction” Building a new house,adding an extra window, or an addition, change a size and/or shape of your windows, or unwilling to sacrifice glass space.
2. “Retro” – where an existing window frame remains intact, and a new window frame is ordered with a flush fin, covering and sealing off an existing frame. Be sure to always ask for “Manufacturer’s suggested installation procedures”.
Q: Do I have to replace my windows with the same style window that’s already in my house or is there an alternative?
A: Just because you have one style of window in your home now doesn’t mean you have to replace it with the same style. With the wide variety of window styles, shapes, sizes, and colors available today, it is easy to reflect your own personal taste.
Q: What kind of warranty should we look for when buying windows?
– Does the warranty cover things like screen hardware and of course, glass?
– Does the warranty cover labor?
– If I decide to sell my house, is the warranty transferable?
-What does my installation warranty cover, and for how long?
After that, check if both the manufacturing and the installation companies are financially strong. If a corporation is not financially sound, it may not honor your warranty claim, or even worse, it may not be around in five years when you need to make a claim.
Q: What is an “air infiltration rate” and how important is it?
A: Properly insulated windows are a must, for if outside air can sneak into your home through the window cracks, energy efficiency and comfort are reduced. The air infiltration rate is a measurement of the air that can pass through a window. The lower the air infiltration rate numbers, the lower the amount of air passing through the window and thus, less heat loss.
Q: Is all window glass the same?
A: Definitely not. Glass is available in a variety of types and colors including clear, solar bronze, sun glass and obscure glass. Low-Emmissivity (Low-E) is also available in windows. The type of glass, thickness, number of panes, as well as the manner, in which the panes are connected, all effect the performance of the window.
Q: I’ve been hearing a lot about Low-E glass. What is it? And is all Low-E glass the same?
A: Low-E glass increases the energy efficiency of windows by reducing the transfer of heat or cold through the glass. Low-E glass is divided into two categories, hard coat and soft coat. The performance of hard coat Low-E glass is slightly better than regular insulated glass. But soft coat Low-E glass (Low-E2) has a higher thermal performance and, provides the best insulating value.
Q: How can I reduce furniture and carpet fading?
A: Soft coat Low-E glass blocks 84% of the harmful ultra violet rays that can cause furniture and carpet fading. By purchasing windows with this special glass, you reduce the risk of furniture and carpet fading in your home. Another benefit is the reduction in ultra violet radiation that promotes healthier plant growth.
Q: Is Argon gas safe?
A: Yes, Argon is a safe, odorless, colorless gas that is heavier than air. When used in conjunction with soft coat Low-E glass, Argon makes a unit insulate better. That’s because heat and cold do not pass through Argon as easy as air.
Q: What is a “ST” rating and how important is it?
A: “STC” stands for Sound Transmission Class. The higher the STC rating, the lesser sound (or noise) is being transmitted. By using insulated glass with higher “STC” rating you can greatly reduce the amount of noise pollution in your home.
Q: How do I go about choosing a contractor?
A: First, check out the company’s standings and credentials. A window contractor doing business in your area…
-General Contractor’s license (B type)
-Specialty Contractor’s license (C-17 type)
-Your city’s business license (if required)
-Workman’s Compensation Insurance
-General Liability Insurance
-Legitimate place of business
-Track record of satisfied customers
-Display of real size windows and doors, styles and options
-Detailed, customer friendly contract forms
-Post-installation service department
-Installation training and enhancement programs
Second, always ask for references. Talk to them, find out what they liked and disliked in their dealings with the company. Remember that you’re talking to those, who generally agreed to say nice things about the contractor. Take the time to go out and see as many job sites and completed projects as you deem necessary to build your own opinion. Pay attention to small details, i.e. caulking application, trim attachment, etc.
Q: What is an “R” factor and how important is it?
A: “R” stands for resistance. The higher the “R” factor, the greater the amount of insulation a window provides. The “R” factor rating of a window frame and glass is very important since it directly affects the cost of heating and cooling your home.
Q: Have there been any changes in window components and installation techniques?
A: Over the past few years there has been a rapid increase in the quality of components that are available to you for your every window need, yet for most of the industry, how the windows are installed has not changed. Unfortunately, many so-called “expert installers” learned their trade on the job over many years and have simply picked up the same bad habits practiced by the person who taught them. Be sure to interview the company personnel about their installation methods.