How to Choose the Right Replacement Windows

replacement windows

When It’s Time for Replacement Windows

Residential window replacement is something that is on many home owners minds. However, knowing exactly when to replace the windows in your home can be a bit of a puzzle. On average, about 40% of a home’s heat is lost through the windows and doors, and this increases to 50% for homes with drafty single-pane windows. Because of this, many home owners are looking for replacement windows to create a more environmentally friendly home and to cut down on their utility costs.

There are a few sure signs that it is time to replace your windows. If the windows are damaged or warped, it is obvious to most home owners that replacements are needed. Though window repair is possible for minor problems, typically a replacement is going to be more cost effective in the long run. Some signs of window damage aren’t so obvious. Many vinyl windows or wood windows might look perfectly normal visually, however, if the windows are drafty or if they fog up significantly, it is probably time to replace them.

Another sign that it is time to replace your windows is simply if you want to reduce your energy bill. Just because the windows are still functioning fine, doesn’t mean they aren’t old and energy inefficient. Getting high utility bills each month just because you have drafty or inefficient windows is a pain. Today’s window market has significant advances that give home owners options to install replacement windows that will help to significantly reduce your power bill.

The last obvious reason to get new windows installed is if your home just survived a severe storm. This is most applicable to hurricane and tornado zones. In addition to the ultra high winds, the extra salt and humidity in the air can do a number to your windows and the exterior of your home. Integrity windows made with Ultrex fiberglass are a great option for homeowners who are replacing windows in a home that is in a hurricane or tornado prone area.

Steps to Choosing the Right Replacement Windows

The best time to replace windows is before you absolutely need it. Once you are ready to replace, the next step is choosing the right type of replacement windows for your home. Here are a few things to consider while choosing replacement windows:

What Purpose Will These Windows Serve? This is an important question to ask yourself as you shop around for windows. The most basic function of a window is to allow light into a home. Consider the area that the window will be in though. Does the window need to slide open and closed throughout the day to let air in? Or is it fixed in place and purely aesthetic? Is the windows primary purpose to give a view of a gorgeous landscape? These are all things you should consider when replacing your windows.

How will the sun hit this window? This is another important aspect of choosing the right windows. Is the window east facing and going to take the sun head on first thing in the morning? Or is it north facing? This is an important thing to consider for bedrooms, where a rising sun might not be welcome first thing in the morning, or maybe it is if that’s your thing. Also, for rooms with T.V. sets, having too much sun can create an unwanted glare on the screen. Be sure to choose glare reducing windows in situations that call for it.

What is the Interior and Exterior look? Consider both the interior and exterior look of your home when choosing windows. This is especially important for window frames, as there are more color and style options with the frames of windows. Remember that replacing windows is not just a practical benefit to your home, but it also offers a great finishing touch to the aesthetics of it. Being conscious of the look of the window and window frames will ensure that you get the great window replacement that you are happy with for years to come.

If you aren’t sure what type of window replacement is best for your home, give us a call. We would be happy to give you a consultation.

Saving Money with Sliding Doors

benefits of sliding doors

When it comes to home improvement, there are many things to consider. Balancing the aesthetics of a home with the cost of the upgrades and the color schemes and the new appliances . . . it can be a lot. However, there are many home upgrades that are kind of no brainers. For example, fixing drafty windows. Window replacement services are one of the most sought after home improvement items because a drafty window can increase the energy bill of a home by over 20%! How long do windows last? That depends. Wood windows will be different from others, but we will cover that in another article.

Today we want to talk about the benefits of sliding doors, another no brainer when it comes to home improvement.

The Benefits of Sliding Doors

While large French doors might look great in the front of the home, when it comes to the back yard or patio door, they aren’t really necessary. In fact, the best type of door to use in the back is usually a sliding door. Sliding doors come with a number of benefits including:

Increased Energy Efficiency: That’s right, just like getting your windows replaced, having a sliding door is going to save you quite a bit of money in the long run. Because of their design, a sliding door helps retain indoor air. Additionally, if you install a double pane glass door it will help minimize heat loss. This is especially true if you purchase doors which have argon gas between the two glass panes, as the gas acts as a great insulator. This keeps the cool air in during the summer and the hot air in during the winter.

Better Traffic Flow: One of the main benefits of sliding glass doors is the ease of traffic flow in and out of the house. This is especially important for big events when people will be moving in and out of the house such as a family get together, a neighborhood bbq, or any other type of gathering. Additionally, if you ever need to move large objects (such as a new couch) into the house, having a sliding door makes this much, much easier.

Added Security: This is perhaps one of the most overlooked benefits of sliding doors. By their nature, sliding doors are very difficult to open from the outside. There is no easy way to “pick” a sliding door lock, unlock traditional door knobs. This discourages people looking to break into the home and steal things.

Space Efficiency: In addition to being energy efficient, sliding doors are also very space efficient. Rather than needing to make space for the swing arc of a traditional door, sliding doors simply slide in and out of a slot. This makes it much easier to plan furniture and decorations throughout the house.

Increased Natural Lighting: Because of the large glass panes that come with having a sliding door, there is a great deal of natural sunlight that gets into the home. This means there isn’t as much of a need to run electrical lights (yay for more savings!) and it has the added bonus of being NATURAL light. Everyone loves natural light over artificial light. Natural light creates a much more inviting and welcoming atmosphere.

Increased Visibility of Backyard Area: In addition to allowing more light into the home, sliding doors also give a great visual field of the outside. This makes it easy to enjoy the beautiful landscape around your home, even in adverse weather. Additionally, if kids are playing outside, it is easier to keep an eye on them if you need to be doing other work inside the home.

Great Style: When people think of benefits of sliding doors, style rarely comes to mind. However sliding doors are very low maintenance and quiet compared to other door options and there are a large variety of different styles to choose from. Adding more panels and side lights are just a couple of ways to customize your sliding doors. This can help you create a beautiful look that is unique for your home, and keeps all of the added benefits on top of it.

9 Steps to Choosing the Right Window Replacement Company

window and door replacement services

Whether you want to improve your home’s appearance or lower energy bills, replacing your old windows can go a long way towards achieving both. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates you can save up to $501 per year by replacing single-pane windows with Energy Star approved windows, depending on where you live.

 

If you’re considering replacing the windows in your home, you’re going to need the right window and door replacement services to help you do it. The following are some good things to keep in mind during your search for the perfect contractor for the job.

 

1. Know What You Want

 

In order to work best with the contractor, you need to have a clear idea of what you want done. Determine which windows you’re going to replace. Define your priorities for buying new windows—are you mostly interested in energy efficiency? Or is enhancing your home’s appearance a big factor, too?

 

Do some research to find out what kinds of windows are out there, and which ones might best serve your purpose. How would wood windows compare with vinyl windows? Arm yourself with information. This knowledge will help you communicate with window and door replacement services more easily.

 

2. Ask the Contractor for Advice

 

Besides having your own clear idea of what you want, you should get as much information out of the contractor as possible. Ask them what they think will work best, based on your priorities. They have insider knowledge from working with windows all the time, so respect what they have to share. Even if you don’t take their advice on everything, getting their expert perspective is a key part in finding the best solution for your needs.

 

3. Don’t Settle for the Cheapest Contractor

 

When looking for the best services for you, be careful not to prioritize savings over quality. If your windows aren’t installed correctly, it could lead to significant problems down the road. To make matters worse, some windows come with installation warranties that are only effective if the windows are installed by an expert.

 

As if all that isn’t bad enough, there are lots of would-be contractors posing as professionals online, bidding on projects on sites like Craigslist for work that they aren’t qualified for.

 

To make sure you get the job done right, be sure and check for proper licensing and positive customer reviews for the window and door replacement services you’re considering.

 

4. Get a Detailed Bid

 

When you finally reach out to the contractor you’re considering, describe to them exactly what you want done, and try to get a bid that’s as detailed as possible. The bid should include the cost of materials as well as labor, and should include when the project will be started and finished.

 

5. Never Pay 100% Upfront

 

No matter how good a deal you’re getting, if the contractor asks for full payment upfront, you should probably take your business elsewhere. A good professional contractor should never ask for more than 20-30% of the price before the work is started.

 

6. Read the Fine Print

 

Before agreeing to a contract, make sure you’ve read and understand all the fine print. Ask as many questions as you feel you need to. After all, you’re the one paying for the work. The contractor should be more than happy to address any concerns you might have.

 

7. Ask About Workmanship Warranty

 

Just as you’ll want to buy windows that include a good warranty, you should make sure the contractor you hire offers a workmanship warranty. Ideally, this warranty will cover problems resulting from poor installation discovered anytime within two years after installation.

 

8. Look at Past Work

 

When you find window and door replacement services to work with, ask for pictures of projects they’ve already done that are similar to yours. Try to get a feel for the overall quality of work you’ll end up with by working with them.

 

9. Choose a Contractor That Specializes in Windows

 

When installing replacement windows and doors, you should usually avoid hiring a general handyman. If the contractor you’re considering spends most of their time remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, you can’t be sure they’ll be the best at window installation. You’ll feel much better knowing that the window replacement services you hired knows what they’re doing.

3 Tips For The Upkeep Of Vinyl Windows

upkeep of vinyl windows

You might not regularly pay attention to the look of your windows, but these often overlooked parts of your home can dramatically impact how your home looks. Worn out windows are not only bad for your home’s energy use, they can make your entire space look older and poorly maintained. Here are just a few tips on the upkeep of vinyl windows that you can use to keep your windows looking great for longer.

Keep Them Clean

Windows can be an easy place for dust to build up, especially if you keep them open during the warmer seasons. While dust and dirt are unlikely to actually cause damage, it can still build up and make your windows look more worn out than they actually are. Keep them clean to let as much light as possible into your home and keep your windows looking great.

Check For Drafts

Have you noticed a corner of your home gets particularly chilly during the winter or hot during the summer? It could be a sign that your windows aren’t doing a great job of keeping air inside your home. Look for any cracks in window frames that might be causing a draft in your home. Additionally, make sure all windows are closing properly after you’ve opened them; a stuck window can cause a draft if it doesn’t shut all the way. Drafts might not seem like a big deal, but they can end up being a significant drain on your energy bill, so it’s best to address them as soon as you find them.

Know When To Replace

Even with proper upkeep of vinyl windows, they’ll eventually need to be replaced. Don’t worry; it’s worth the investment for your home. When you sell your home, window replacement can recoup 73 to 77% of its original cost. If you’ve had some of your windows long enough that your contemporary style vinyl windows don’t match your old ones or if your window is heavily damaged, you’ll need to look into window replacement services near you.

Your windows are a major element of your home’s overall appearance, so taking good care of them is important. If you think it might be time to start looking into replacing vinyl windows, contact All American Door for more information on window replacement services.

Knock On Wood: When To Replace Your Doors

residential door replacement

When it comes to home maintenance, it’s obvious when certain components in your home need to be replaced. If your HVAC system breaks down, you notice fairly quickly; your home ends up being the wrong temperature or your unit makes more noise than usual. If your water heater breaks, you notice a cold shower right away. However, you might not always know when other parts of your home need to be replaced, like your front door. If you notice any of the following things, it might be a sign that you should be calling for residential door replacement services.

  1. Problems opening and closing: If your door sticks when trying to open or close it, you might want to consider replacing your door. This can be a sign that the door has warped in some way that’s causing problems. Similarly, if you can’t get your door to stay shut, you’ll want to replace it as soon as possible.
  2. Visible damage: Because they’re a major feature on the exterior of your home, residential doors can take a serious beating. If you start to notice that your door’s got a few dings and scratches in it, it might be worth replacing it rather than trying to fix all the visible damage.
  3. Heat loss: Doors can be a major contributor to heat loss in your home if not properly installed or fitted for your home. In the average home, 38% of heat loss is through windows and doors. If you’ve kept up with upkeep of vinyl windows in your home and don’t need to worry about replacing vinyl windows, check your door. It could be that you’re in need of residential door replacement instead.
  4. Style updates: Sometimes, your home just needs an upgrade. If your exterior has been looking a bit dull lately, try giving it an update with a new exterior door. If your older, traditional door has aged the look of your home, try a sliding door replacement for a more contemporary update.

Think it might be time to call residential door replacement services for your home? Contact All American Door for more information on window and door replacement services.

4 Surprising Reasons to Choose Vinyl Window Frames

benefits of vinyl window frames

You may think of windows as fairly simple contraptions: they let light in, they keep rain out, and in the summer, you’ll need a screen to keep bugs at bay. However, while windows may not vary much in function, when it comes to style, window differences abound.

 

Specifically, customers and homeowners enjoy a wide variety of options when selecting window frame material. Though traditionally made from wood, today’s window frames can be made from a plethora of materials, including vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum.

 

Among these options, vinyl stands out as a wildly popular and versatile choice. Read on to learn why so many Americans choose vinyl windows for their home.

 

Benefits of Vinyl Window Frames

 

1. Vinyl Windows are Affordable

 

Though any residential window replacement project comes with associated costs, vinyl window frames are more affordable than other types. In fact, the average cost of vinyl window replacement is $11,319; replacing wood windows costs slightly more with an average expense of $12,229. If you’re looking to save cash on your window replacement job, consider vinyl frames.

 

2. Vinyl Comes in A Variety of Styles and Colors

 

Due to their popularity, many suppliers offer a wide variety of looks to choose from in vinyl material. Both traditional and contemporary style vinyl windows are fairly easy to find. Manufacturers also offer many different finishes and colors, so that you can match your window frames with the overall architectural appeal of your home.

 

3. Vinyl Windows are Durable and Easy to Maintain

 

Wood windows need to be sanded, painted, and stained every few years, and because they are made of an organic material, wooden frames can be prone to mold and moisture damage. Vinyl frames, however, have no such complications. Simply wipe vinyl windows clean with a damp cloth every now and then, and your frames should last for many years without showing signs of wear.

 

4. Vinyl Frames are Energy-Efficient

 

Another one of the many benefits of vinyl window frames is that they can help keep your home warm and eco-friendly. Windows that are drafty can increase your energy bills by between 10 and 25%, but new insulating vinyl frames can keep your home’s energy waste under control. As a bonus, you’ll save money on your utility bills every month!

 

If you’re shopping for replacement window frames, consider switching to vinyl. From saving you money to saving you time spent on maintenance, vinyl is a clear choice for any efficiency-minded homeowner.

How to Care for Wood Windows in 4 Simple Steps

wood windows

Today, homeowners can choose from many different kinds of window frames to meet their own stylistic and practical preferences. Though vinyl windows, aluminum windows, and fiberglass windows are all popular modern choices, for traditional appeal, nothing beats wood windows.

Wooden window frames have been adorning homes for centuries, and when properly cared for, your own wood windows can last decades. Fail to care for your wood frames, however, and your home may experience the unpleasant surprise of windowsill rot or drafty windows.

Luckily, maintaining wood frames is quite simple. Use the following four steps to protect your home’s wood windows against wear and tear:

1. Dust and Wash the Window Frames

Every few months, take the time to wash your window frames. This step prevents dust and grime from accumulating and possibly damaging your windows over several years. Start by removing loose dust with a clean, dry cloth. Then, use soap, warm water, and a sponge or rag to scrub away any remaining dirt.

2. Inspect Frames for Damage

Cleaning gives homeowners the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at the condition of their windows. Look for gaps or damage to weather stripping and seals. Also check window frames for mildew and peeling paint.

3. Refinish If Needed

While mild grubbiness or scratches aren’t much to worry about, sometimes, wood windows need to be refinished to protect their longevity. If you noticed mildew or peeling paint during your damage inspection, it’s time for refinishing. Start by sanding away old paint or mold. Then, fill cracks using wood filler and a putty knife. After the filler dries overnight, paint your wood frames with latex, oil-based enamel, or wood stain.

4. If Damage Is Severe, Call Window Replacement Services

A window frame that is badly cracked or poorly insulated lets in drafts and moisture that can damage your home’s environment and structure. If your wood windows have extensive damage, you may need to hire residential window replacement professionals. Try to get a few different price quotes before choosing your company. According to Remodeling Magazine, the average cost of replacement vinyl windows for a whole house is $11,319, and wood window replacement is even more expensive at $12,229. To avoid future replacement costs, maintain windows well to maximize their lifespan.

Protect your window frames attractive and draft-resistant with regular cleaning and maintenance. If the damage is severe, you may need replacement windows. By following these tips, you can keep your home cozy for years to come.

In need of replacement windows and doors in the Orange County area? Contact us at All American Door today!

3 Clues that Your Sliding Glass Doors Need Replacement

sliding door replacement

Everyone loves a good sliding glass door. The large, clear pane lets in wonderful amounts of light, shows off great views of your backyard and makes moving between indoor and outdoor spaces a breeze. If you like to entertain, a sliding glass door can also allow guests to move more freely through your home and yard.

 

While the benefits of sliding doors are undeniable, unfortunately, these doors don’t last forever. Here are a few signs that your home is in need of sliding door replacement or repair:

 

You Can See Light or Feel a Draft

 

Make careful observations of the edges of your sliding door. If you can see visible cracks where light or air can enter, your slider is losing air. Lost air means lost heat, which could be increasing your energy bills. In fact, drafty windows that let air escape can increase your energy bills by 10 to 25%. Though replacement weatherstripping may help the door last another year, you’ll be needing a sliding door replacement in the foreseeable future.

 

The Door Is Difficult to Open

 

Though sliders make lovely large windows, they are also meant to be used as entryways. If you’ve stopped entering through your sliding glass door because it is difficult to open, take a close look at the track. Has the door become misaligned, or is the frame damaged? You can have a repair person take a look and try to fix the mechanism. However, if repairs don’t do the trick, consider a sliding door replacement. Having a door that cannot be opened can pose a serious risk during emergencies.

 

You’ve Noticed Condensation Between the Panes

 

While condensation on exterior glass is normal, moisture forming between the panes of your sliding door is cause for concern. Condensation indicates that the air seal has broken and your door is no longer well-insulated. Condensation can also mar the beauty of a clear window. Unfortunately, the only solution for a condensation problem is sliding door replacement.

 

In good condition, sliding glass doors can be one of the best features of a home. However, doors in disrepair can pose both aesthetic and safety problems. If you notice any of the issues above, consider hiring professionals to replace your sliding door.

 

For window and door replacement services in the Fullerton area, contact All American Door today! From vinyl windows to patio doors, our expert services can get your windows and doors back on track!

Myths About Window Replacement You Shouldn’t Believe

vinyl windows for a home

Between the internet, recommendations from employees at the hardware store, and advice from your uncle, it can be hard to know who to believe when it comes to home improvement and maintenance. With so many different perspectives, some misconceptions can begin to grow surrounding any type of project. Window replacement is no exception.

Before you start or avoid a window replacement project, make sure you have your facts straight first. Here are some common rumors and myths surrounding window replacement that aren’t supported with evidence.

Common Window Replacement Myths

Myth Number One: Windows Can’t Be Replaced in the Winter

Intuitively, this myth makes sense. Though it may seem that winter window replacement would lead to too much cold and precipitation entering a house, professionals know how to replace old panes in any season. In the winter, residential window replacement services remove and replace windows one at a time, working efficiently and covering openings during their work. Whether you’re looking for vinyl windows for a home, or commercial windows for an office, don’t hesitate to hire installers at any time of year.

Myth Number Two: Don’t Call Professionals- Anyone Can Replace Their Own Windows 

Ideally, windows should only be replaced by professionals. A variety of issues, like improper alignment, poor insulation, and even damage to the window frame can all arise when someone inexperienced attempts window installation on their own. Avoid losing money on damages or improper installation. Unless you’re an experienced home improver, hire the pros for a quick and well-done job.

Myth Number Three: All Windows Are the Same 

Another common window replacement myth is that the window’s glass or mechanism doesn’t matter, since there is little difference between styles. However, there are actually a variety of options that have unique benefits to each. For example, Energy-Star rated windows are better for insulating a home, and replacing old single-panes with new windows like these can save you up to $501 a year. Some windows also require less maintenance–vinyl windows for a home only need occasional cleaning, while wood frames need painting and sealing throughout their life. Do research before deciding which windows might be best for your home.

Myth Number Four: You Can’t Change Window Styles

Contrary to popular belief, any window frame can be fitted with a different style of window. Though you may have had wood windows in the past, finding vinyl windows for a home is an affordable choice that can boost your home’s energy efficiency. All windows also do not have to match, either– you can choose which style and price work best for each room and for your budget.

 

Clearly, there’s more to window installation than meets the eye. Before embarking on any window project, be sure you know the window facts from the fiction.

4 Window Maintenance Tips to Help You Extend the Life Of Your Home Windows

how long do windows last

You might have asked yourself the question, “how long do windows last?” That’s a common question to have as a homeowner. The answer often depends on the type of windows you have. For example, wood windows and vinyl windows for a home have different expectations for the length of their life. That being said, there are some common maintenance tips for any kind of window that can make them last longer.

Cleaning

One of the easiest things you can do to extend the life of your windows is to clean them. Thoroughly clean all parts of your windows, including the glass, casing, and surrounding walls to reduce dirt and dust build-up around the windows. If you don’t clean them, it can result in a window jamb.

Inspecting

You also want to make sure you inspect your windows on a regular basis. You want to complete this task every season. Check the condition of your window frame and sash. You can use a metal probe to look for signs of rot, indicating moisture infiltration. You also want to check for signs of moisture in double or triple-paned windows. If you see moisture, it means that the seal is probably brittle, warped, or even broken.

Sealing

Speaking of sealing, there are gaps around your window that allow air to come in, encouraging the loss of warm air inside your house. This greatly reduces energy efficiency in your home. Replace all your worn out seals with new ones to help reduce air and water leaks.

Repainting

Finally, repainting your windows is important for upkeep. Repaint the wood and metal frames every three to four years. This helps protect the frames from the elements, and it maintains their appearance.

So, if you ask yourself, how long do windows last, it’s important to know that you can extend the life of your windows with these maintenance tips. That being said, you will have to replace them eventually. The good news is that residential window replacement can recoup 73% to 77% of the original cost when you sell your home.