Are Your Windows a Clear Choice?

Andersen100-Gliding-3Are Your Windows a Clear Choice?  I mean do you know the differences in the different windows and window manufactures?  Most people do not, they see a window for what it is.  It’s clear and protects the inside of the home from the elements.  Well, there is a lot more to a window than meets the eye.

andersen_replacement_doors_folding_la_skyline_sWindows have come along way from what they used to be.  The older windows consisted of wood frame & sashes with single pane glass with weights.   Overtime the windows aged by rotting if the painting wasn’t kept up.  The energy efficiency performance of the old windows are extremely low.  If that stuff didn’t bother you then try operating them after 40 years of being painted, a lot of them are painted shut.  Things changed, the industry noticed the importance in the efficiency of doors and windows.  I have seen testing on new windows where they shot a 2×4 through it, to see if meets certain new requirements.   There are many choices of windows and brands to choose from, which one should you choose?  I would say it depends on what you want in the window.  Do you want the best there is?  Is interior or exterior colors important to match?  Cost is usually a factor.  How efficient do you want it and so on.

The options vary on each brand of window, however there are some standards offered by all manufacturers.  For instance, they will ask you if you want a vinyl or wood window.  Vinyl is usually cheaper & you can have some of the benefits of the wood windows, such as Low E glass, double pane, with grills.  Low maintenance, longevity, & efficiency.  The wood windows are more sturdy, they don’t warp or sag like vinyl can.  You can get more color options & wood interior choices.  The efficiency, longevity, & resale value are there as well.  There are different types of glass that you can get, some offer a double pane Low E glass which is efficient & there are some that offer more panes such as a three pane.  Most people go with the double pane and don’t spring for the extra cost on the added glass panes.  There are some neat features that manufactures offer as well.  For example, blinds inside the glass or storm proofing such as Andersen Window’s StormWatch.  The wood windows and doors today are either wrapped in vinyl or metal so the wood doesn’t touch the elements.

Andersen%20Windows%203AndersenPella, & Marvin are the some of the biggest names in residential & commercial windows & doors.  Each manufacture has their own high & low-end products.  You should choose which brand you believe is going to make you happy over the long run.  However, we are an Andersen Certified Installer, which means we know how to install them properly & we give a two-year installation warranty on their windows & doors.  We tend to lean toward Andersen as the brand we use, but everyone has their own preference.  Each manufacture has their specific way they recommend to install their window.  However, there is a set pattern all of them follow.  Installing windows & doors correctly plays a major part in how the window or door functions.  Nowadays, installers & builders must meet these new requirements.  If they don’t meet the requirements of the window or door manufacture & the window fails.  The manufacture says, sorry the installer installed them incorrectly & the warranty is void.  That would make anyone mad.  You are buying the installation as much as you’re buying the window or door.  The correct installation means you have a manufactures warranty.

Your window & door checklist should go as follows:  What do I want or expect in the product; price, efficiency, colors, & etc.? Do I want vinyl or wood windows?  Choose a manufacturer who you feel is what you want.  Who is my installer; the cheapest or Certified by the manufacturer to make sure you get your warranty?

Install-Windows-2

Just because you are getting a new house or remodel doesn’t mean your windows or doors are going to be what you want.  Make sure you find out the details and choose accordingly.  Windows and doors are a really big part of efficiency, which means how much money is saved.  Like I stated before you are buying the installation as much as the window.  We are an Certified Andersen Window & Door Installer, we have been through their hands on training in Minnesota (granted it was in February, I had never saw trucks drive across a frozen 80 ft river before then).  We have insurance, a member of Springfield’s Home Builders Association, & are a member of Springfield’s Best.  Give us a call @ 417-887-7134.

Maintenance Free Home? Ideas for free.

Have you ever heard of a maintenance free home?  Most people would laugh at the thought.  Thinking you are selling ever sharp kitchen knifes or always clean dishes.  A maintenance free home is becoming closer to reality.  The products I’ve listed are longer lasting and more durable than products of back in the day.  You must tackle this challenge by getting a game plan together.  Step 1.  Think about what is your maintenance issues in the interior and on the exterior of  your home. Step 2. Make a list for interior and for exterior.

                                                                                                 corian-countertops

Interior maintenance issues usually include countertops, flooring, painting, and fixtures.  Countertops: Corian or solid surface countertops are a very popular choice.  They are fairly easy to fix scratches, many colors, and easy to clean.  Another popular choice is granite countertops.  They are easy to clean, nice colors, and it’s hard to scratch.  Of course, as with anything that is usually easier and less maintenance, it tends to be more expensive.    However, they typically last longer and bring better home sale values.

DSCN0151

Flooring:  Laminate flooring is very popular and requires less maintenance than carpets.  There are many color choices and they resist scratching very well.  Painting:  Sherwin Williams has some new latex paints that make cleaning splatters of food or whatever on walls easier and it hides previous dark colors with one coat.  Fixtures:  There are a multitude of fixtures out there that claim to be under warranty and cheap.  However, there’s a catch, you might be fixing that faucet once a year.  Sure it’s cheaper, but the hassle of fixing it is a pain.  Opt for brands like Kohler, Moen, and Delta and shop at plumbing supply stores for the better quality.  There are different models for Lowes and Home Depot stores.

Exterior maintenances issues, there are many, however I will address the three biggest issues:  Windows, Siding, and Roofing.  Windows:  Not all windows are created equal and each brand holds its own claims.  I am a big believer in Andersen windows and doors as a great product.  One, because we are a Certified Andersen window installer and I have seen the testing and the longevity of the windows.  Pella does make great windows as well as I’m sure Marvin does.  You want to pick a higher grade of window and one with Low E or better of glass for efficiency.  Siding:  Vinyl siding, Hardie siding, and prefinished metal siding.  Vinyl is easy to clean, however is more brittle with age and weed eaters usually like to bust the bottom row.  Hardie siding is becoming more common like brick.  It can be unfinished or prefinished for long durability.  Metal Siding durable, has several colors, and it lasts a very long time.

Roofing:  Architectural shingles are becoming the more popular choice in roofing.  They last longer than 3 tab shingles and look better.  Metal roofing can last a very long time when properly installed.  However, it is not typical on homes.  They are always coming out with new products for roofing.  They have some roofing materials that are composite and last longer than shingles.  There is a newer shingle that is supposed to be more energy efficient by reducing the heat from the roof.

If you are having issues with maintenance in your home or business, give us a call.  We can fix your maintenance issues and give ideas about which product is best suited for you.  If this article still leaves you lost about maintenance free products, do an online search for maintenance free home products.  If you do know what you want then give us a call at Friga Construction, “where visions become reality.”