Frequently Asked Questions About Graceland Windows, Doors, Design
How much will new replacement windows lower my energy bills?
My answer to this is simple – I don’t know. In fact, no one can confidently say unless there has been an energy audit and they know exactly what’s going on between the walls, under the roof, in the slab, with the doors, etc. The truth is a lot of people will say that your bill is going to drop 30%, even 40%, but I have a real difficult time making those promises.
You lose a lot of energy from your windows, so if the rest of the house is buttoned up well, then the savings should be noticeable, and in most cases pretty substantial.
What are the most common types of jobs GRACELAND does?
The bulk of our business is in replacing old, existing contractor grade windows and replacing them with new dual-pane energy-efficient windows. Depending on your budget and the overall aesthetic you hope to achieve, GRACELAND offers choices in High-Quality Vinyl, Thermally-Broken Aluminum, and Wood.
GRACELAND also specializes in Window Treatments + Coverings (Shades, Shutters, Blinds) and this accounts for about 50% of our business.
How are replacement windows generally priced?
Replacement windows are priced by the “united inch”, which is calculated by adding the width and height, so it all depends on the size of the window. A good rule of thumb is that a thermally-broken aluminum window will typically cost $50 per window more than a high-quality vinyl. Of course, there are ways to get costs down on all window selections…. and ways to get costs up. It all depends.
If you have questions, I encourage you to reach out and I will happily give you some pricing over the phone if you have some ballpark measurements.
Are all windows a standard size?
No, but there are some common sizes used. Once you’ve made the decision to use GRACELAND, each new window will be measured exactly and made to order based on the existing window opening. It should be noted that just because you have a certain window configuration now, does not mean we have to stay with it. Windows should be a one-time deal, and this is the time to get creative and to give your home the update you truly want.
Can GRACELAND make my window openings bigger in order to put in bigger windows?
Absolutely, but I would have to see the opening first-hand in order to assess the scope of work. We can do cutouts into most every exterior, including brick and stone.
Why is there fog between my window panes?
Moisture and condensation between panes of insulating glass can occur when the seal between the panes of glass fails. This typically occurs in older windows or doors where the seal has failed and allows moisture to leak in.
Why are my windows drafty?
With old windows, the glazing putty may have grown brittle and fallen away, leaving the glass rattling in place. Additionally, the house has probably settled over the years and the windows have moved with the home, leaving space between the frame or glass, and causing drafts.
What is Low-E, and why is it standard on all GRACELAND replacement windows?
In short, Low-E means low emissivity, or more precisely, low thermal emissivity. Low-E windows are standard because any material that reflects, absorbs, and emits radiant energy is going to save energy, therefore save money. The cost of the Low-E glass is nominal enough, and its efficiency is substantial enough, to make this option standard.
What is Argon gas, and why is it standard on GRACELAND replacement windows?
Argon is an inexpensive, non-toxic, odorless gas that is used on all of GRACELAND’S replacement windows to prevent frost from occurring at the bottom of a window. At the same time, Argon will increase sound proofing characteristics of the window, making your living space much quieter. Argon-filled windows are Energy Star rated and offer better insulation than natural windows because the gas is heavier than air.
What are U-Values and R-Values? Are they important?
Extremely important – U-Value represents the amount of heat that escapes through a wall, window, roof, or other surface. The lower the U-Value, the more energy efficient the given material is. R-Values are the direct opposite. These measure an object’s resistance to heat flow. The higher a material’s R-Value, the lower its U-Value, the less energy it will lose. R-Value in a window depends on the number of layers of glass, the type of gas between those layers, and whether one or more of those layers has been treated with a Low-E coating.
What happens to my old windows?
After GRACELAND installs your new replacement windows, we remove every bit of debris from your property and dispose of it properly. If you wish to keep your old windows, glass or storm windows, please notify us as soon as we arrive for your installation.
If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew before investing in windows?
I’d stay away from high pressure, commissioned salespeople, and urgent selling tactics. I will always encourage a customer to shop it around and get a feel for the people they’re doing business with. I’m a big believer that every big decision requires 24 hours to think about, and this is a big decision.
Also, I recommend noticing homes in the neighborhood and getting a feel for windows, design, and materials used. We learn a lot about what we “like” by the things that are in plain view.
10 Reasons to Replace Old Windows
- Curb Appeal – Older windows on your home may look outdated or unattractive. Changing out the windows with new replacement windows will help give your home the look you are aiming for and improve the curb appeal.
- Ease of Use – New windows are easier to clean because most are built with a tilt-in feature. This allows you to tilt the window in to quickly wash the exterior of the window instead of doing so from the outside of the home.
- Safety – Many older windows become very difficult to open and close over time. This can also lead to the windows not being able to remain open and falling shut.
- Noise Control – New windows provide better noise control from the outside commotion. If you live close to a main road or have noisy neighbors, new replacement windows could make for a world of difference!
- Energy Efficient – Replacement Windows will offer improved energy efficiency for your home. Older windows tend to have air leaks and let drafts into the home. The improved efficiency can help cut costs on heating and cooling bills!
- Value – New replacement windows will not only make your house look more appealing, but they are an investment that will add to the total value.
- Maintenance Free – Windows now come with great low maintenance features – including no painting!
- Comfort – A certain comfort can be brought to your home by replacing the windows. It can assist in providing a warmer environment, and you can also move furniture closer to windows to help expand your living area.
- Window Security – New windows can also aid in easing fears of break-ins and intruders. Double locks and interlocks double strength glass for high impact resistance.
- Enjoying the View – Your old windows may have become foggy, scratched or dirty over time. Installing new windows with new glass can help
Frequently Asked Questions About Replacement Products
It’s important to us that homeowners make an informed decision when choosing to remodel their homes. To that end, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions to in an effort to help educate customers about window, door and sunroom products.
How durable are vinyl windows? Are they strong?
Vinyl windows are very durable. There are tens of millions of vinyl windows installed in homes and commercial buildings, across the country and around the world. In the U.S., some vinyl windows have been installed as long as 25 years and are still working well. Many designs of today have superior wind load ratings to wood and metal windows.
Is the vinyl in your products just the same as everyone else?
No. Not all vinyl (PVC) window products are alike! Nor are all window and door vinyl extrusions/formulas equal, either. Chelsea’s advanced formula, proprietary compounds represent the best in vinyl products. Other ordinary PVC products may “skimp” on ingredients or use low-quality additives or formulations to deliver a low price vinyl. Unfortunately, this also tends to deliver a lower quality vinyl product that does not perform well over time.
At Chelsea, our TQM (total quality management) program and our SPC (statistical process control) program ensure every segment of the product and its manufacturing is right. Always insist on the quality of products made from Chelsea vinyl extrusions.
What kind of warranty does your vinyl product have?
NT Windows’ vinyl extrusions carry a lifetime limited warranty. We are so confident of the superior performance of NT Windows’ specially-formulated high-impact vinyl that all NT Windows extrusions come with a written lifetime limited warranty.
Can I paint my vinyl windows?
There are paints specifically made for use on vinyl. Consult your local paint supplier for the proper paint and surface preparation. It is important that you follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions.
Will vinyl windows melt in the hot sun?
No. Vinyl windows perform well in the desert climates of the Southwestern U.S. where daytime temperatures can reach 125°F (and above) and surfaces in direct sun can be heated above 165°F (the temperature at which vinyl begins to soften). It’s the multi-chambered design of vinyl products that ensures they’ll handle even those excessive levels of heat. Vinyl is an excellent insulator. It does not conduct heat readily like aluminum and the hollow chambers in a vinyl frame reduce conduction even further. So while the outside surface of a vinyl window or doorframe may get quite hot in direct sun, the interior walls will experience limited heat buildup.
Do vinyl products install and handle differently?
For the most part, installation of vinyl windows, doors and other products uses similar techniques to those for installing wood or metal products. There are some key differences that should be noted in the handling and storage of vinyl units. These and the proper installation steps are available from the window manufacturer.
What about vinyl windows in a fire?
Unlike many common building materials, vinyl will not support combustion. That means they can “burn” if they are completely enveloped in flames from other materials, but if the flame is removed, the vinyl will self-extinguish. In fact, PVC has a higher ignition temperature, lower flame spread and lower heat released in a fire than a similar sample of wood, and any smoke produced by burning PVC is of the same range as that of most organic materials.
What kind of maintenance do vinyl windows require?
Vinyl windows are virtually maintenance free, requiring no finishing upon installation and no periodic painting or sealing like wood or metal windows. They also can’t rot, rust, pit or corrode like wood or metal products and are unaffected by moisture, salt air, pollution and airborne chemicals. If they ever require cleaning, simply wiping with a damp cloth is sufficient to return them to their “Factory Fresh” condition.
Why are vinyl frames hollow? Why aren’t they solid?
Vinyl frames are designed with multiple chambers in the frame to provide thermal efficiency, rigidity and strength without excessive weight. A solid frame would be excessively heavy, difficult to work with, expensive, and would, actually, not perform as well as the multi-chambered designs in today’s window and door products.
What can I use if I really need to clean my vinyl windows?
Usually a few drops of a mild liquid cleaner in a bucket of water is sufficient to clean any dirt or grime that may have accumulated on the window. If you have more stubborn build-up, the following household cleaners work well, based on a study done by the SPI (Society of the Plastics Industry); Formula 409, Ajax Liquid Cleaner, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Lysol Cleaner, Soft Scrub, or vinegar and water. The following cleaners or types of cleaners should not be used on vinyl; Clorox, Pine Power, Ivory, Grease Relief, Tide Detergent, nail polish remover (acetone).
What is “virgin vinyl”? Do my products have it?
Virgin vinyl is the term applied to vinyl that is extruded for the first time. Regrind is the term given to vinyl that has been extruded, then the parts are ground up into small “pellets” and can be re-extruded. The implication is that “virgin vinyl” is purer or superior to reground vinyl. As a thermo plastic, PVC can be reprocessed, typically, around three times with little degradation to the compound. After that, additional processing “uses up” some of the lubricants and other additives that are used in the extrusion process. All of your frame, sashes and other major window and door parts are extruded from virgin vinyl.
What is uPVC? Do my products have it?
Yes. Your products are processed with uPVC. UPVC stands for unplasticized PVC. It is an old term brought over by European extruders. Older European PVC formulas contained plasticizers to aid in extrusion of the part. These plasticizers would often “migrate” out of a finished product over time leaving it brittle. This was a problem with older European PVC products. Years ago, newer technology formulas were developed that did not use (or require) plasticizers in rigid extrusions. In Europe, to differentiate products made with the newer formulas (and without plasticizers) they began calling them UPVC.
What is fusion welding?
Many of today’s vinyl window and door products feature fusion welded corner construction. Quite simply, it is the process of mitering the corners, heating them to above 200°F and bringing the heated corners into contact until they fuse together, forming an exceptionally strong joint and a permanently sealed corner that can’t leak air or water.
What is vinyl (PVC)?
It is one of thousands of plastics in use today. PVC’s technical name is poly vinyl chloride. It is unique among plastics in that it is composed of nearly 60% chloride that stems from rock salt (sodium chloride) and about 40% polymers stemming from natural gas and petrochemicals.
Are vinyl windows earth-friendly?
Yes. Vinyl windows and doors are a very smart choice. Less than one half of vinyl’s weight is dependent on natural resources. Vinyl windows require only one-third of the energy needed to manufacture aluminum windows. Vinyl windows help conserve energy and reduce home heating and cooling costs, and because vinyl windows and doors do not require painting or finishing, homeowners avoid vapor emissions, cleanup and disposal problems associated with frequent application of certain paints and stains.
FOR ANY OTHER QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR HOME OR ENERGY-EFFICIENCY, PLEASE EMAIL ME AT JACOB@GRACELANDWINDOWS.COM