Replacement window detail example
Wood Windows: GOOD (not offered by Schantz Home Improvement due to our climate)
SOLID VINYL WINDOWS : BETTER
FIBERGLASS PULTRUSION WINDOWS: BEST
Windows and Doors FAQs
How do I choose between wood, vinyl, or metal windows?
How can I tell which brand of windows is the best?
What are various windows made of and what will work best for me?
Is there any difference in how windows are made?
Can I replace my old windows with different styles or types?
Aren't all window manufacturers essentially the same?
What about strength, protection and noise reduction?
Do vinyl windows require a lot of maintenance?
I have been reading about different test results on windows. How should this impact my buying decisions?
What is more important in saving energy, the frame or the glass?
What is the Energy Star Program?
Will vinyl windows be a good investment?
Aren't all window warranties practically the same?
- How do I choose between wood, vinyl, or metal windows?
Windows are made from wood, vinyl, metal, or a combination of all. There are all-wood windows, vinyl-clad wood windows, aluminum-clad wood, all-aluminum, all-vinyl, fiberglass, and steel. Each has positive qualities and drawbacks:
Wood: Widely considered the best because of its strength, insulating qualities, and because it can be painted or stained. However, it will expand or contract in wet and dry weather, sometimes causing a window to stick. The wood must be regularly painted to preserve it.
Vinyl-clad wood: Generally more expensive than all wood, it combines wood with a vinyl exterior that is highly resistant to weather damage. Inside, the wood is exposed for painting or staining. The exterior vinyl usually comes only in white or brown.
Aluminum-clad wood: Like vinyl-clad, it offers an aluminum exterior for weather protection and exposed wood inside. Aluminum will eventually corrode, and will do so quickly in a salt air environment.
All-aluminum: Inexpensive windows, generally. The exterior is often anodized to resist corrosion, but will corrode eventually. Automobile wax helps prevent this. These windows have no thermal insulating qualities.
Vinyl: Generally used as replacement windows because they are made by local firms to fit your existing window opening. Quality can vary dramatically.
Fiberglass: Strong and efficient, it readily withstands heat and cold, and can be painted.
Steel: More commonly found in older windows. No insulating values, and subject to rust. Must be painted regularly.
The big advantage of vinyl windows is that they are made specifically for your home, your window openings. This is generally not true of wood windows. Instead, they are made in a variety of stock sizes. For new construction, this is no problem; you choose the window style and size you want and the builder frames the rough window opening appropriately. But for replacement wood windows, you find the closest fit and then shim and trim to make them work.
- How can I tell which brand of windows is the best?
There is no central organization that ranks window manufacturers or window construction quality. But here are some key items to consider when buying:
Appearance: style, size, shape, frame materials.
Function: operating type, thermal qualities, sound resistance.
Energy performance: basic energy properties, heating and cooling qualities.
Price: cost of purchase and installation, annual maintenance.
There are also various agencies that keep tabs on how the glass in the window performs. One is the Insulating Glass Certification Council, which tests the durability of glass that manufacturers use. The IGCC rates durability by designating one of four categories: "CBA," "CB," "C," or unrated. The "CBA" rating is the highest. If a window dealer has unrated windows, you are not getting the best grade of insulated glass.
Another organization is the National Fenestration Council, which seeks to provide accurate information on measuring and comparing window energy performances. If a window has been through NFC screening, it will bear a label that rates the following:
U-factor, or how well the window keeps heat inside the home.
Solar heat gain, or the window's ability to resist warming from sunlight.
Visible light transmittance, or how much light passes through the glass.
- What are various windows made of and what will work best
Basically there are three types of materials used. Aluminum windows, with their easily scratched painted surfaces, conduct both heat and cold, so they're very poor insulators. Wood windows, which require constant painting and caulking, can absorb moisture, making them difficult to open and close. They can even rot. Solid vinyl windows, however, never need painting and won't show scratches, because the color goes throughout the material. This is why vinyl windows are quickly becoming the most popular choice for both new construction and replacement applications.
In addition, you should certainly consider custom-sized windows for the very simple reason that they'll fit better. Stock-sized windows require extensive carpentry work both inside and outside your house. That can be very costly and inconvenient. Custom-sized windows, on the other hand, are manufactured to fit your existing window opening. You get the style and options you want while maintaining your glass area.
- Is there any difference in how windows are made?
There are two basic types of construction: Mechanically fastened windows are screwed together at the corners, and welded windows, becoming more and more popular, that use a chemical or heat process for joining. Our mechanically fastened windows feature a unique overlap corner design for extra strength, while our welded versions utilize state-of-the-art heat welding equipment. Beware of windows with mitered corners screwed together or chemically welded corners, as they probably won't perform as well for you.
- Can I replace my old windows with different styles or types?
Certainly. You may want to consult an independent design specialist to find the type of window that best complements your home's natural design. No matter what style or combination of styles you choose, however, we can custom-manufacture it all for you.
- Aren't all window manufacturers essentially the same?
Not at all. Many companies buy their parts and glass from various outside sources. Our suppliers extrude most of their own parts from the raw vinyl (PVC) resin.
You should also know that although a lot of manufacturers claim their windows are American-made, many in fact may be imported from Canada and other foreign countries. We're proud to say that every vinyl window we offer is manufactured right here in the U.S.A.
- What about strength, protection and noise reduction?
You should look for a window that offers both superior strength and energy efficiency. And for exceptional energy efficiency, a full interlock at the meeting rail helps protect your home against the elements, or unwanted intrusions. In addition, our insulating glass unit traps dry air, creating an exceptional comfort barrier.
Moreover, homeowners with vinyl windows say there's a noticeable reduction in the amount of noise that enters their homes. A full interlock system at the point where upper and lower sashes meet helps stop air infiltration while providing an additional barrier against unwanted intrusions.
- Do vinyl windows require a lot of maintenance?
Because our frames and sashes are made of vinyl, you can say goodbye to painting and caulking. Vinyl windows won't stick, and you don't have to remove storm windows in order to clean them. In fact, you can do it all from inside your home. An occasional wipe with a damp cloth will keep your windows looking like new for years to come.
- I have been reading about different test results on windows.
How should this impact my buying decisions?
Be careful when looking at extremely specific results since many of them do not really indicate how well the window will work for you. Some apply to just certain parts of the window, like the frame and its R-value, and do not give an overall picture.
- What is more important in saving energy, the frame or the
Since 70% of a window is glass, real heating and cooling savings come from what is known as "improved glass performance," not a high R-value on the frame. Alside uses the latest technology, known as a high performance warm edge spacer system. This spacer system helps to improve the performance and the longevity of the insulated glass unit, and is standard on all Alside windows.
- What is the Energy Star? Program? The Energy Star progam was created by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers in the recognition of energy-efficient products. This program also promotes the environmental and economic benefits of these products through the Energy Star label and other program activities.
- Will vinyl windows be a good investment?
Yes, for a variety of reasons. First, you may realize savings on your heating and cooling bills. Second, they're virtually maintenance-free, which eliminates painting costs. And finally, the transferability of one of the strongest warranties in the business may easily add to the resale value of your home.
- Aren't all window warranties practically the same?
Not really. There are as many warranties as there are window manufacturers. Some brand name factory warranties cover just the sash and frame. The rest is left up to the local fabricator who may or may not cover it. Your warranty is only as good as the company behind it. Your unit is warranted from the extrusion and parts to the glass and construction by our Lifetime Limited Warranty*, with transferability provisions. It's one of the most comprehensive available, just what you'd expect from an industry leader.
Fiberglass pultrusion windows offer superior beauty & energy efficiency in Atlanta.