IS WINDOW QUALITY IMPORTANT?
In our geographic location, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area of North Carolina we experience hot, cold, wet or dry, sometimes in the same week! These environmental extremes wreck havoc on our homes exterior, especially if there is wood involved. Choosing the next window and method of installation should be considered carefully.
WHAT ARE THE METHODS FOR WINDOW REPLACEMENT?
Basically, there are 2 primary methods for replacing wood windows.
- “Full Frame replacement”, aka” complete replacement”
- And “Pocket replacement” aka” Partial replacement”
(See replacing DH’s “in the news” for more details)
If your current window is not made of wood, i.e. aluminum, vinyl or steel. A variety of techniques may apply.
WHO IS BEST FOR WINDOW INSTALLATION? A LOCAL CONTRACTOR OR A NATIONAL WINDOW COMPANY.
Look for a certified window contractor in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area. Some manufacturers offer certification, all about the same, Pella certification is a comprehensive program requiring its members to follow strict professional guidelines, with ongoing training and support that provides contractors the tools they need to succeed. A hands on approach is what you’ll find with Pella window contractors, able to deal with any other issues that may arise during installation, i.e. wood rot, structural damage.
We have been a Pella certified contractor in Raleigh and Triangle area for 25 years! We also sell and install all name brands. Being independent also allows me the ability to offer the best product for you, not for me. A large national company offers one brand of products, usually a pocket installation, done by sub-contractors, primary motivation is sales. Hire the crew, not the sales person!!!
WHAT IS THE BEST MATERIAL FOR WINDOW REPLACEMENT?
Your options include; Vinyl, Fiberglass, Aluminum, Composite, Wood and Wood Clad. The best ways to judge a material, is how much faith does the manufacturer place on their products, or how much warranty? A 20 year glass seal warranty or better. Plus at least 10 years of parts coverage is a must, also, does the factory have warranty personnel? You will need to have that type of support in the long term.
Also as important as warranty, is energy efficiency. Energy efficient windows will help you save money on energy costs, look for low numbers for U-value, below .30 minimum, .24 or better is outstanding. For solar heat gain, .30 or lower, sunny sides of home would benefit from lowest numbers. Vinyl and fiberglass windows offer the best numbers, due to low conductivity of heat or cold.
If you must have the look of real wood, consider wood clad, where the wood window has a exterior skin of vinyl or aluminum, vinyl cladding does not hold up as well as a extruded aluminum cladding, avoid roll form aluminum as it is thin. Some fiberglass windows have wood interiors; all can be stained or painted to match your existing conditions.
Composite type windows have poor warranties for all their claims of superiority, and are typically installed in a pocket type installation, a large investment for incomplete installation!! Aluminum and steel windows are durable but inefficient at energy saving, prone to early seal failure.
WINDOW SHOPPING ADVISE FROM A LONG TIME WINDOW CONTRACTOR!
Beware the high pressure sales people; they will sell you what’s best for them! But not YOU!!
Look for an independent window contractor that uses name brand products backed by factory service and parts. Avoid sub-contractors; they are motivated to get the job done quickly. Choose the most energy efficient window you can afford, you can make a difference!
Install it correctly; this is the most important choice you have to make!! See replacing double hung’s in the news and info section