Why Buying Replacement Doors and Windows Based on Price Is Not Always the Best Idea

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

We understand that shopping to find the best deal seems sensible, but when you shop for replacement windows and doors based solely on price, you can put your considerable investment in your home at risk. Below you’ll find some of the reasons the cost of windows and doors is not always comparable and how Door Store and Windows goes above and beyond to ensure you get the best final product for your money.

Select Quality Products Built by Reliable Manufacturers

All door and window manufacturers are not created equal. Each has different manufacturing processes and quality management practices that contribute to the overall excellence of the product. To ensure your doors and windows don’t fail prematurely, make sure to research the manufacturers to determine which offers the best in demonstrated function, strength, and longevity. It also doesn’t hurt to find out how long they’ve been in business. A decades-old company is more likely to have time-tested production systems in place that make it more likely you’ll get a higher standard of door and window. And don’t forget to check the warranties—you don’t want to be left paying for a replacement for your replacement.  Here at Door Store and Windows, we only work with manufacturers that have the best and most predictable quality over time, not to mention industry-leading warranties that protect your investment long after our job is done.

Expert Project Consultation Is Key

Choosing replacement doors and windows might seem like a straight forward process, but if you don’t get it right it could mean more expense down the road. That’s where an expert replacement consultant is invaluable. They can help you determine exactly what product you need to meet your functionality and design requirements. Is your door in an overexposed entry way? You don’t want a wood door. Want your new windows to look like they have always been there? Beware standard sizes used in larger openings. This idea may lower your price, but will ultimately  detract from the overall beauty of  your home. When you work with Door Store and Windows, our project consultants carefully listen to your needs and provide you the best options for your project. We size and order products to perfectly fit your home for the highest level of functionality and aesthetic beauty. We also double—and triple—check everything before ordering to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want.

Don’t Skimp on Installation Supplies

 Using only the best installation supplies available will help your windows and doors perform at their best for a long time. Though there are cheaper options on the market, caulks with multi-year warranties and high-quality spray foam can make all the difference. Anchoring screws, adhesives, and on and on—every aspect of installation matters. That’s why we use only the best in class in all our supplies. It’s worth the cost to ensure there are no weak points in your installation that could come back to haunt you down the road.

Expert Installation Makes the Difference

Replacing windows or doors in an existing home that has settled or experienced other wear and tear is not a project for unskilled workers. A poor install could mean leaks and other issues that lead to serious damage and repair costs. You want to work with installers and service technicians who are seasoned professionals with years in the business. That’s what you get at Door Store and Windows. Our installers are factory-trained and receive ongoing safety training from outside consultants. Every member of our team is drug-tested, bonded, insured, and has passed background and safe-driving tests. To back them up, we supply them with all the best equipment as well, including new trucks and quality tools kept in top notch condition. When your installers can work at the highest level, you receive the highest level of service and expertise in return.

Measuring A Replacement Window

A TDSW Installer measuring the window insert area.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Some examples are:

  • How invasive to my home is replacing my windows or doors?
  • What will I need to do before and after the installation?
  • Who hauls away the old windows?
  • Will I have to paint the walls or trim in my room after the installation?
  • How long will I have an open “hole” in my house?
  • How long will the installation take?
  • Do the installers clean up after themselves?

Depending on the answers, you may have more expense ahead of you.  Ultimately, knowledge is power.

We Are Here to Answer Any Questions

If you’d like to discuss adding replacement windows or doors to your home, our expert Sales Consultants can help. We’re happy to walk you through all the options to find the perfect fit for your style and budget. Give us a call today to set up a free in-home, no obligation consultation.

Six Things to Think about When Replacing Your Front Door

Once you’ve made the decision to update your entry with a new front door—what’s next? With so many door types, colors, and configurations available, the choices can be overwhelming. So let’s take a moment to run through some of the most important things to consider when determining the best fit and feel for your home.

1. Match Your Style—and Your Home’s Too

The shape and style of your new door is often determined by the architectural style of your home. For instance, sleek, crisp lines for modern designs or an arched, wood selection for a classic Tudor. However, some homeowners like to venture outside of these guidelines for something more unexpected. In those cases, we recommend a transitional style that’s a happy medium between the style of your home and your personal taste.

2. Make Safety & Security a Priority

A door is only as secure as its hardware. If you’re looking for an option that’s sure to give you peace of mind, we suggest a high-quality, multipoint locking system, where the hardware locks at different places in the door but can still be controlled by a single lock mechanism. We don’t generally recommend double-cylinder deadbolts as they may make it more difficult to get out of your home should there be a fire or other event that requires a fast exit.

There are lots of options to ensure your door is secure.

3. Determine Exposure to the Elements

How exposed your door is to the elements can have a big effect on what kind of material you choose. For example, you don’t want to put a wood door in an area that gets a lot of sun or rain. Instead, you might think of using steel, fiberglass or a clad product using multiple materials like aluminum clad wood or fiberglass clad wood. On the flipside, if your door is completely protected from the elements, the sky’s the limit—depending on your budget of course.

4. Think about Function as Well as Form

The kind of door you choose impacts the look of your entry as well as how it functions.  For instance, if the door will open to a small interior room, an inswing door may interfere with furniture placement. In that setup, an outswing door is likely a better option. If the entryway is located in the rear of the house, a sliding door is another alternative. Or maybe you need a way to move big items in and out of the house. If so, you might consider a double door system rather than a single door with sidelites. Whatever your setup, there’s a door configuration to match.

5. Choose Your Hardware Carefully

Hardware can be tricky.  If you have a very ornate door, you should consider a simpler style of hardware. On the other hand, a simple door with more ornate hardware might be more appropriate.  No matter what you choose, don’t skimp on quality.  Your door hardware is used multiple times a day so it needs to be able to withstand regular use. It’s a very important element to the door’s look and functionality—as well as your long-term happiness!

Your door color can make all the difference.

6. Find a Color that Works

Choosing the color of your door can be one of the most fun parts about the process. Whether you’re looking for a color that perfectly coordinates with your entry or for something that pops, the best option to find your color would be to buy a few pints of the paint you’re considering and paint the door you’re replacing. You can also get smaller samples and paint a piece of wood to place in front of the door to see how it looks with the house.

We’re Here to Help

We know—it’s a lot to think about. That’s where our expert Sales Consultants can help. We can walk you through all of your options to ensure you get the perfect entry door to match your style and needs. Give us a call today to set up a free in-home, no obligation consultation!

A Match Made in Clifton: Replacement Windows Restore Classic Look to Historic Home

As any owner of a historic home will tell you, renovation projects can be exciting but often come with a long list of challenges. Architectural styles can be difficult to match, as can paint and stain colors. Not to mention, there’s the exacting process of working within the strict guidelines of local historic preservation codes. The good news is there’s no need to navigate these challenges alone—the experts at Door Store and Windows can match nearly any window, color or style to ensure your replacements retain or restore your home’s historical character.

A great example of how Door Store and Windows has helped with a historic window replacement comes from our client Stephanie, whose home in Clifton was built in 1925. Before she purchased the house, the previous owners had replaced several of the original grid windows with ill-fitting and unattractive aluminum windows that did not match the home’s architecture.

Before: The Aluminum Windows in the Front Room (Left) and Kitchen (Right)

“Nothing really looked or felt right,” Stephanie said. “The aluminum windows didn’t reflect the charm I knew the house had when it was first built. I really wanted to restore the house as best as possible to its former beauty and level of craftsmanship.”

In her quest to restore the home’s look, Stephanie also had several windows that were original to the home restored by an expert. She was very happy with the results, but realized now she needed matching storm windows for better energy efficiency and protection from the elements. It was yet another detail that had to comply with the stringent specifications required by Clifton’s historical district guidelines.

“I knew it was a big project that would require a lot of specialized expertise and a huge attention to detail,” Stephanie said. “That’s why I turned to Door Store and Windows.”

After a consultation with one of Door Store and Windows’ window and door replacement specialists, Stephanie selected a non-standard window style that matched her 95-year-old windows, down to the grids. The specialist was also able to review Door Store and Windows’ comprehensive catalog of stain colors to find one identical to that of the original trim. They even sourced hardware to match. To finish the job, low-profile storm windows were installed over the new replacement windows as well as the restored windows. The final result exceeded all expectations.

After: The New Windows with Matching Trim

“After everything was finished, I could not believe it,” Stephanie said. “Everything blended so well, inside and out. You’d never know the new windows hadn’t been there since the house was built. It’s amazing. One of the reasons I first fell in love with the home was the beautiful woodwork throughout the place, especially around the windows. I definitely had worries that the new window installation would possibly destroy some of that woodwork. I’m so glad to say that wasn’t the case. Door Store and Windows were able to seamlessly meld everything together. I couldn’t be happier.”

If you have questions about historic replacement windows, stop by our showroom to checkout all of the unique designs we have available or CONTACT US to set up a consultation.

Five Reasons to Change Your Entry Door

As we always say, your front door is often the first impression your guests have of your house—and sometimes of you too. But beyond first impressions, there are many reasons to consider a change to your entry door. Here are five we think are the most important…

Safety First

If you have concerns about the security your door offers, there are lots of options for enhancing the strength and safety of your entry, like choosing wood/clad or metal doors and adding advanced locking systems. Installing a new entryway can also address issues like rot, cracking and warping, which can provide access points for those looking to find an easy way in.

Match Your Style

Whether you’ve recently done a remodel or have just never been happy with the look of your entryway, making a change can go a long way to amp up the style meter. Using cues from your home’s architecture and interior design, choosing a matching door and entry concept can wholly transform a space, not to mention boost your curb appeal!

Energy Efficiency Is Key

One of the most important aspects of an entryway is to make sure it’s energy efficient. After all, if it’s not well sealed and insulated it’s effectively just a big hole in your wall. That can mean added dollar signs to your electric bill, not to mention possible water leakage and unwanted visitors like bugs and even mice. Different door materials like fiberglass, steel and wood provide different levels of efficiency, so it’s critical to find the right balance between how it looks and how performs.

Enhance Your Natural Light

Consider the amount of light you want in your entry hall. Maybe you like it bright; perhaps you prefer things a bit dimmer. Either way, your entry can provide lots of natural light or very little, depending on your choice of door lights, sidelites and even a transom.

Maintenance Matters

It can be easy to forget that your entryway needs maintenance too. It’s such an integral part of your home, it’s sometimes overlooked. That being said, cleaning your door is always required, no matter the material it’s made of. But maybe you have a door with a stain or varnish finish that’s harder to maintain. If so, moving to a painted or metal door might be worth considering.

If you have questions about choosing the right entry door or you’d like to speak to one of our door design specialists, give us a call. We’ll make sure you find the right fit for your home and lifestyle!

Order Your New Doors and Windows Sooner Rather Than Later

Were your windows noticeably drafty last winter?

When you looked at last January’s heating bill, did you think you paid enough to heat the outdoors?

While in the thick of summer it can be difficult to think about colder temperatures, now is time to fix these problems and order your new doors and windows.

Why so soon?

This past year, our industry has been experiencing ever increasing lead times. In fact, production times for both doors and windows have doubled and some have tripled as of late.

Here at Door Store and Windows, it is our goal to be totally transparent.  The lumber and workforce shortages and other manufacturing and raw material delays coupled with record home improvement sales have caused our lead times to change from weeks to months.

Here’s Why:

In 2020, despite the ongoing pandemic and business shutdowns, demand for new construction and remodeling increased substantially. Consumers spent $17 billion dollars in the door and window industry alone. As people sheltered in their homes, they discovered the need to either change their living situations, or repair or renovate what they already owned.

This demand has continued into 2021, and the supply chain is still struggling to keep up. Meanwhile manufacturing is still compromised by low inventories and raw material shortages.

For our business specifically, since our products are built to order, factory shutdowns and production adjustments greatly affected our lead times. When these industries reopened, they were already behind on fulfilling orders from before the shutdown, and now the wait has been extended.

Here’s our advice:

  • Expect extended lead times. It’s happening industry wide.
  • Door products seem to be experiencing shorter lead times.
  • Prices for product and labor have increased significantly. We have multiple price increases from the same vendor in the same year. This was rare in the past.
  • Don’t wait to order. Commit and get in line.
  • Only do business with legitimate companies with a history of longevity and obvious financial strength. Door Store and Windows is starting its 25th year of business on October 1.

Here’s our promise to you:

Our situation isn’t singular. Supply chain delays are affecting all industries across the globe. We know this greatly affects our customers and we are working hard to keep all lines of communication open with our clients and suppliers and to overcome delays when and where we are able.

At the sale, we will make a good faith effort to identify your project completion date based upon that day’s information. As we approach the estimated product delivery date, our operations team will call you to schedule a tentative installation date.

We will call, text or email – your preference – to keep you up to date on the status of the windows or doors you ordered. We will not promise what we can’t deliver. But we will give you an honest appraisal of current production trends and work hard to meet your expectations.

Here’s the Good News:

As the world reopens, and industries return to normal, we know that manufacturers are trying their best to ramp up production to catch up. We will work with you to find the best quality products for your needs that fit your timeframe. We are also updating our timeframes regularly to reflect any changes to lead times and other factors.

As always, we appreciate your business and, most of all, your patience during this time. It is our promise to deliver the best product possible and ensure your complete satisfaction.

Top Window Cleaning Tips from a Professional

You’ve invested and replaced your windows, now make the most of them! The old method of glass cleaner and newspaper is “out the window,” but we’ve got pro tips on keeping your views crystal clear. We sat down with local window cleaning expert Jim Lester of Sunshine Window Company. Jim and his team have serviced thousands of homes in the Kentuckiana area since their start in 1979. Here are his top window cleaning tips for homeowners:

Don’t Use Blue Window Cleaner | Do Use Gentle Dish Soap

That bright blue window cleaner in your cupboard is indeed one of the oldest cleaners on the market, but contrary to popular belief, Jim says it’s one of the worst things to put on your windows. Why? Because it leaves behind a waxy, streaky, and hard-to-remove film. Each time you clean your windows, that film builds up and spreads the dirt and dust, making your view even hazier.

Stay away from harsh chemicals like ammonia: they’re unnecessary, and they can be dangerous to work with. Instead, clean your windows with a solution of warm water and gentle dish soap (like Dawn). About one bucket of warm water to an ounce of dish soap will create a cleaner far more effective – and far more affordable – than the pre-packaged alternatives.

Don’t Use Paper Towels | Do Use the Right Tools

Paper towels are wasteful, streaky, and ineffective. Sunshine uses a tool called a strip washer, which is a soft cleaning sponge on a pole. Once you gently scrub the window with the sponge, remove the bulk of the solution with a high-quality squeegee. Finally, a microfiber or Turkish towel will give you a crystal-clear and streak-free finish.

Have you been cleaning your screens with the garden hose? Sunshine Window Company recommends cleaning your screens the same way you clean your panes! A gentle scrub with a strip washer and a rinse with the hose is much more effective than the hose alone.

Don’t Risk Your Safety | Do Know Your Windows

Cleaning windows can be dangerous! If you’re cleaning windows yourself, be aware of the risks for injury.

  1. Always have someone stabilize your ladder to mitigate your risk of a fall. Even professionals use the buddy system when working on high windows.
  2. Windows can be heavy. Many new thermal pane windows have latches allowing the sash of the window to tilt for convenient cleaning. While this can make things easier, these windows can also be extremely heavy and unwieldy. Improper tilting of sashes can cause damage to your window.  If you have large, heavy windows, Door Store and Windows recommends you engage a professional to wash them.

Don’t Wash Too Often | Do Wash at The Right Time

Every house is different, and certain things can dirty windows faster, like construction, pollution, or pollen. Some of Jim’s regular customers have their windows cleaned yearly, and some twice per year, but any more than that is excessive, Jim says.

There’s no hard and fast rule for when to wash windows. Of course, if you wait until the dead of winter, your cleaning solution may freeze during the washing process. In the middle of summer, high humidity may make it difficult to dry clean windows. Some experts suggest waiting for a cloudy day, as the sun’s heat can cause your solution to evaporate, but Jim says Sunshine simply uses a bit more water on sunny days. In this area, many people wait until autumn, so pollen doesn’t settle on their freshly washed windows.

Don’t Wait to Book | Do Plan Ahead

During a professional window cleaning, experts recommend getting the inside and outside of the windows washed, so they can see what’s been done and do the most thorough job. At Sunshine, this includes washing the windowsills and screens. Trained professionals can thoroughly clean a full house of windows within just a couple of hours!

Springtime is Sunshine Window Company’s busiest time of year, as people prepare to host Derby, wedding, and graduation celebrations. If you’re going to book a professional cleaning appointment, make sure to book far in advance. During the spring, Jim is often booked 6-8 weeks out!

Window cleaning is an important part of enjoying your windows to their fullest, that’s why Door Store and Windows customers get a voucher for Sunshine Window Company with the purchase of eight windows. If you’ve been thinking about replacing your windows, there’s no better time. Contact us to get started today!

Customer Satisfaction, 12 Years Later!

New doors and windows can be a big investment of time and money, but is that investment actually worthwhile? Recently we checked in with a Door Store and Windows customer who purchased twenty new Marvin windows for her home back in 2007. When we asked how the look and function of the windows compared to when they were first installed over a decade ago, she replied “I really can’t tell a difference.”

The Porter Family in front of their 12-year-old Marvin windows

When the Porters moved into their 90-year-old Louisville home in 2004, they knew that window replacements were on the horizon. They wanted windows that looked original to the home, but provided modern safety, energy efficiency, sound proofing, and temperature control. After looking into several local vendors, they decided to trust TDSW as an authorized installing retailer of Marvin windows.

After 12 years, these windows still look as good as new!

Once the Porters decided to move forward with Door Store and Windows, owner Ann Gregory visited Angela Porter in her home to look at the existing windows and discuss options. Angela recalls that this left a great impression on her as she had a young child at the time and visiting the Idea Showroom would have been difficult.

The Porters selected these Marvin windows because they were energy efficient, easy to clean, matched the style of the home.

The Marvin windows that the Porters selected had a historical feel and resembled the original windows in their home, with wood and framing color options that they could not find anywhere else. According to Angela, the installation process was quick and smooth. The windows offered immediate gratification and checked every box: beauty, safety, efficiency, and noise abatement. A bonus, she added, was the convenience of cleaning the easily removable windows.

The Porters also appreciated that Door Store and Windows is a local, family-owned company. In 2008, their home was damaged by a fallen tree, and while insurance covered the repairs, Angela recalls that TDSW representatives were quick to repair the broken windows to look exactly as they had before. If she had to do it all over again, she wouldn’t have changed a thing. “It isn’t inexpensive,” Angela said, “but it is worth it.” Door Store and Windows stands behind their products. Once the initial investment is made, our doors and windows will last, and if any problem comes up, we’ll will be there to fix it.

Let us help you love your windows. Call Door Store and Windows today!

Maintenance Checklist

The changing of the seasons usually brings a change in the condition of your windows and doors. It’s always a good idea to inspect your windows and doors two or three times each year to see how they have fared against Mother Nature.

Damaged or inoperable windows can reduce energy efficiency and create safety problems in the event an emergency evacuation is necessary. Doors absorb constant abuse and should be regularly checked for loose or damaged hardware, deteriorating seals and finish or other damage.

We’ve created Maintenance Checklists for windows and doors to make this task easier. Also, click here to visit our Operation, Care and Maintenance page to find links to manufacturer’s care instructions for cleaning and maintenance for a specific product.

Window Maintenance Checklist:

window-maintenance-checklist

Door Maintenance Checklist:

door-maintenance-checklist