SIMPLE ANSWERS

Choosing Replacement Windows

Is there a big difference between custom windows and ready-made windows at a building supply store?

Custom WindowsFor the best fit, you should strongly consider custom-sized windows. Custom windows are precision-engineered to 1/8" increments and manufactured to fit your specific window opening. You will get the exact style and options you desire, ensure utmost energy efficiency, and an overall better appearance and installation. Stock-sized windows are adjusted to fit your existing window openings on site and may require extensive carpentry work both inside and outside your home. The appearance and thermal performance can be diminished by this retrofitting process.

What types of windows are available?

Window cross-sectionThe three types of windows most commonly offered are aluminum, wood or vinyl – with wood and vinyl the most popular choices. It’s important to note that aluminum windows have painted surfaces that may scratch easily and the metal construction makes for a poor insulator. Wood windows are effective insulators, but can absorb moisture and typically require painting, caulking and other annual upkeep to maintain appearance and performance.

Vinyl windows are the most popular choice because they expertly combine beauty, durability and low maintenance with high-performance thermal efficiency. The solid vinyl construction never needs to be painted, and the precision-fit mainframe and sash, along with several insulating components, achieve exceptional energy savings. Ultimate 2000 Windows are available in a wide range of styles and configurations to fit all architectural designs.

What should I look for in terms of glass performance?

Most Ultimate 2000 Windows are built with double-strength glass, which means that each pane is 3 mm thick instead of the industry standard of 2 mm. The glass is stronger, more protective and won’t crack or break as easily.

Windows are about 80% glass, so it’s important to select a glass package that will help shield your home from absorbing outside heat in the summer and losing indoor heat in the winter. For optimum energy savings consider Ultimate 2000 Windows with the ClimaTech® insulated glass package. ClimaTech combines Low-E glass with argon gas† and the Intercept® Warm-Edge Spacer System to achieve optimal energy efficiency. Because We offer a variety of ClimaTech glass packages, your window professional can help you choose the best one for your home and area of the country.

Are replacement windows a good investment?

Good investmentFrom day one, new windows begin making a return on your investment. You can expect a decrease in your annual fuel consumption for heating and cooling your home. Vinyl windows are virtually maintenance-free, which can also save substantial dollars spent on painting, caulking and maintenance. New windows will enhance the curb appeal of your home, which can help increase its resale value. In most cases, you can expect to recover more than half of the cost of your replacement windows when it’s time to sell. The national average of the cost recouped for vinyl replacement windows is 71.6% for midrange projects and 72.6% for upscale projects, according to Remodeling magazine’s “2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report.”

Will my replacement windows require a lot of maintenance?

Low maintenance Ultimate 2000 vinyl replacement windows are a pleasure to maintain. You can say goodbye to scraping, painting and caulking. The heavy-duty vinyl construction is virtually maintenance-free and there are no storm windows to struggle with. Most of our windows can be cleaned from inside the comfort of your home. Just wipe the vinyl surface with a damp cloth to keep your windows looking like new.

In terms of construction, what makes for a better grade, more durable vinyl window?

Durable constructionThe corners of the window frame and sashes should be fusion-welded (heat-welded) for a weathertight construction. Click here to view a construction cut-away of our Ultimate 2000 Window. Beware of windows with mitered corners screwed together or chemically welded corners, as they may decline in performance over time. You’ll also want to take a look at the vinyl extrusions in the window frame and sash. At a quick glance all vinyl windows may look similar, but there can be dramatic differences in the quality of the vinyl used. Some windows, built with lower-quality vinyl that has a dull blue or gray cast, can become brittle over time. Our windows are constructed with premium vinyl extrusions to ensure the frame and sashes provide long-lasting beauty and performance.

What other construction features should I be aware of?

Construction featuresWhen you compare one window to the next, you’ll see – and feel – the quality difference. Ultimate 2000 Windows begin with a computercontrolled construction of the mainframe and steel-reinforced sash to produce a solidly built window with superior strength. Most windows come standard with double-strength glass for an exceptionally strong barrier. Interlocking meeting rails and thickset multi-chambered extrusions further add to the structural integrity and insulation, while multi-layer weatherstripping, a compression bulb seal and drop-in glazing provide excellent thermal protection. You’ll also want to test the window’s moving parts. Our double- hung windows, for example, feature a full interlock at the meeting rails to seal the window tightly shut and a constant force balance system to ensure smooth and easy operation of the moving sash.

Do I need to keep each window the same type as my original window, or can I change the styles and configurations?

New windows can transform the appearance of your home, and with our extensive window selection you’ll have many options to choose from. Whether your tastes are contemporary, traditional or transitional, we can custom build to your specifications. Alside also offers a host of glass and grid options and elegant frame finishes to suit your design needs.

Do I need a professional?

ProfessionalHiring a professional is a smart decision on many levels. A trained eye and skillful hand will clearly show in the beautiful installation, indoor comfort and thermal efficiency of your home. A professional will also be able to make design suggestions to help in the decision process. You’ll want to make sure the contractor you hire is licensed, bonded and experienced. While you may be tempted to install the windows yourself, you may not be prepared for the difficult installation challenges or structural damage to your home that could occur, along with the risk of voiding the window warranty. A professional installer will also be up to date on codes relating to lead, energy, and more.

Should I be concerned with where the windows are manufactured?

Absolutely. A replacement window is only as good as the company that stands behind it. Our manufacturer has more than 60 years of manufacturing experience and success. We proudly own and operate six window plants in North America that expertly produce windows of superior beauty, quality and durability. Utilizing performance standards beyond AAMA, ASTM and NFRC requirements, our windows are rigorously tested for air, water, structural load, thermal performance, and forced entry resistance. Companywide, we are committed to ensuring that each window will provide years of excellent service and energy savings.

We also stand behind our products long after the installation is complete with a knowledgeable customer service team that’s ready to serve you. NFRCASTMAAMAShould any questions or concerns arise, just call the number on the sticker located on your window. This label also includes a factory order number for easy reference.

What about warranty coverage?

Ultimate 2000 Windows are backed with a Lifetime Limited Warranty that includes labor, seal failure, glass breakage, your installation and more – further assurance that you have made an excellent selection for your home from a respected manufacturer. See our warranty for complete details.

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