Interested in Dark Windows for Your House? Here’s What to Consider.

Watch practically any home renovation show and you’ll see there’s been a resurgence in the dramatic look of dark windows. If you’re thinking of adding black or darker hued windows to your home, here are a few things to think about…

Are Dark Windows a Trend?

The fact is dark windows have been around for centuries. However, there’s no doubt the look has recently gained in popularity. We asked Ann Gregory at the Door Store and Windows for her thoughts. She said, “I personally believe all colors are a trend. Just consider your own home’s interior and exterior. It’s very common to change colors often. When it comes to darker windows though, bronze and black are very classic colors that will never go out of style.”

Dramatic Effect

Anytime you contrast a dark color with a lighter one, it makes an impact. If you’re looking for a less dramatic design choice, Gregory says “you can soften the contrast by only having dark sashes and making the frames a lighter color, balancing the darker and lighter looks.”

Inside the home, contrasts can be created with lighter walls that highlight the interior windows. Often there is no need for window treatments with such a dramatic difference in color. On the outside, darker windows against a lighter exterior draw attention to the house, positively impacting the curb appeal. In short, homeowners need to consider all the design choices of a home to ensure dark windows are a cohesive positive addition rather than an intrusive element.

Will They Fade?

Unlike white windows that do not fade as they age, exterior dark windows will inevitably show their age. It is important to invest in windows with higher quality components and a longer life span. Windows made from extruded aluminum cladding (versus thinner roll-form aluminum) retain their dark finishes longer. They may have a larger upfront cost but benefit from better protection against fading.

Two other things to think about when considering fading are the elevation and directions your window face. Exterior windows facing west or south fade more quickly than those facing east and north due to the sun’s direct UV rays. Also, windows in full sunlight will fade faster than those in shade. When it comes to elevation, higher windows often get more sunlight, unless they have a shade element nearby. More direct light means more susceptibility to fading.

Warranties

In general, dark windows do not cost more than white windows. Virtually all types of windows can be purchased in dark colors. Still, you want to make sure your investment will last. That’s where warranties come into play. The better the construction of a window, the longer the warranty. Windows made from extruded aluminum can have warranties of up to 30 years. It’s also important to note that some manufacturers only cover manufacturing defects, which doesn’t include fading, so carefully vetting the warranty is critical. As they say, you often get what you pay for and peace of mind in knowing your investment is protected can be well worth the added cost.

No matter what color you choose, any upgrade to your windows is a valuable asset to your home. That’s why working with a window specialist—rather than someone who does roofing or siding for example—is always a good idea. If you’d like to learn more about investing in your home’s curb appeal, the experts at Door Store and Windows can help you find the design solution that’s right for you.

Which Window Glass Is Best for Your Home? Hint: There’s Not Just One Type to Choose from.

When it comes to windows, most people focus on the window architecture and the basic aesthetic of the frame. But one of the most important elements for the function and efficiency of the window is the glass itself. There are a lot of options for glass whether it be the insulation, the strength and the surface coatings, all of which will maximize your investment.

Here are the different types of glass for windows:

  1. Standard Float
  2. Tempered
  3. Laminated
  4. Decorative
  5. Coated or Low-E
  6. Insulated

Considering you might need several types of window glass in your home, let’s consider the types and how they function.

1. Standard Float Glass

This is window glass in its basic form, made from glass that has been melted down and formed into a glass panel. It is fragile, weak and without any sort of coatings. It is this glass that is used to create the different types of glass for windows. It is the building block for all the different types window glass.

Tempered glass is considered “safety glassI’ and is manufactured to be up to four times stronger than standard glass.

2. Tempered Glass

Once float glass is made (see above), it can undergo another process to make it stronger called “tempering”. This results in a much stronger version of window glass. It can be broken but not be cut. When it is broken, the pieces are smaller and not as dangerous as when weak glass breaks. Also known as safety glass, it is optimal in any area where someone might accidentally fall into it or near it.  Tempered glass is commonly used in doors and big windows near a busy area.

Tip: Tempered glass is most commonly used in the large panes of glass – picture windows and door lites, for instance. Be careful! It is easily scratched by razor blades removing adhesive.

When a laminated glass pane is broken, the plastic holds all of the pieces together.

3. Laminated Glass

Even stronger than tempered glass is laminated glass, which is considered the ultimate safety glass. Laminated glass is created by placing a thin sheet of plastic between two panes of glass.  If broken, it will not shatter and disperse everywhere; it stays within the confines of the plastic. Also, this glass is ideal as a sound buffer with its layers of protection. Examples of laminated glass are car windshields, hurricane windows and windows in office buildings or high-rises.

4. Decorative Glass

Decorative glass encompasses any glass that is not perfectly clear and see-thru. Also known as obscured or textured glass, this glass allows natural light to come through the pane while also creating privacy. This glass can be etched, tinted, frosted or textured to create a decorative element. Decorative glass can be used anywhere in the home, but is most prevalent in bathrooms or doors, even in glass panels around the house.

5. Low Emissivity Glass

Low emissivity glass (or low-E) is created with a thin coating on the glass designed to block UV rays from the sun. This glass blocks infrared heat from the sun while still allowing light to pass through. They also reflect the interior temperature back into the house, resulting in a more temperate house, with heat being kept inside the home in the winter and cooler in the summer. By blocking the UV rays, everything from your skin to your furnishings will be protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

This coating is so thin that it is barely visible to the naked eye, and a window’s visibility is not impacted by it. This glass is an ideal candidate for large areas facing the sun.

6. Insulated Glass

The best way to maximize efficiency of your windows is to have insulated glass, which is used in double-pane and triple-pane windows. In between the panes of glass is a space separator; in this space gas such as argon or krypton is added to provide additional insulation between the panes.

Low-e glass can be used in these types of windows to add another layer of protection.

Double-paned glass offers protection from heat, cold, water, condensation and all forms of weather. Adding another pane increases that level of protection. A triple-pane glass window is thicker, which means that casements and the window structure will have to be expanded. The additional materials involved in a triple-pane window make this a more expensive option.

Tip: Let a knowledgeable window/door sales consultant help you determine if double- or triple-pane glass is right for your geographic location and/or the location of the sun on your house. You can mix double-pane and triple-pane in the same house!

Different climates, sun exposure and client needs are all important elements in determining the correct window glass for your space. One type of glass does not fit all your needs. Choosing the right type is important and since different types of glass will be needed all over your home, it is necessary to speak with a window dealer.

If you’d like to learn more which glass to choose for your home, contact us today. We’d love to help!

Shutter Maintenance Tips from a Local Expert

As a follow-up to our prior blog about choosing the right shutters for your home, it is important to discuss the maintenance and possible repair of your existing shutters. Even if your shutters look damaged, many times they can be repaired rather than replaced. In addition, regular maintenance of your existing shutters will ensure a long lifetime for this very important decorative aspect of your home.

We spoke to Phil Patterson, owner of Phillip Patterson Painting Inc., about his shutters expertise: repairing versus replacing your shutters, the best ways to maintain your shutters, and mistakes to avoid. He gave us some great advice and guidelines about all things shutters!

 

To Repair or Replace—That Is the Question.

How do you determine if you need to replace your shutters or if can you repair them instead? Patterson gave us this step-by-step checklist:

  • If there are small cracks and/or holes that we can easily fill with caulk or putty, then that’s our first level of repair.
  • If there are areas of rot that are a bit bigger than described above, then we dig out the bad rot and seal and fill with Bondo.
  • If some of the slats are loose or falling out, we put them back in and pull the sides together to tighten all the slats and secure the back of the shutters with metal brackets.
  • If we find the bottom end of the shutter completely rotted, we sometimes can cut it out and replace it with a new piece of wood. However, that can be a bit time consuming and may not be worth the time and effort.
  • You can replace just the metal hardware without replacing the whole shutter. The metal hardware includes hinges, straps and holdbacks. Also, if the metal is still in good condition and there is no corrosion, the finish can be stripped and repainted.

Patterson encourages the homeowner to be realistic, saying that “before we spend TOO much time and money on a bad shutter, we have to decide what’s better for the customer: Repair or Replace.”

Maintenance of Existing Shutters

How important is regular maintenance? What does regular maintenance entail? Patterson says that “the paint is the life of the shutter. If the paint job has failed to the point that the film begins to crack and peel, then the water is getting in. That’s when wood rot begins. The other important thing you can do for a wood shutter to extend the longevity is to install metal caps at the top edge of every shutter. The top edges when exposed to the sun and weather will crack open letting water in.  If you can keep that from happening, you’ll double or triple the life of the shutter.”

It is highly recommended to keep your shutters clean of dirt, debris, insects, birds and even bats. You can accomplish this by brushing them on both sides with a soft bristled brush on a regular basis.

Mistakes to Be Avoided

Here are some common mistakes that shutter owners make that can be avoided.

  1. Not painting them frequently Shutters should be painted at least twice as often as the house they’re hanging on.
  2. Not having metal caps on all the top edges.
  3. Not supporting the outside bottom corner of the shutter with the s-hook Many times, the wider shutters without that support will sag hard, causing the slats to fall out.

In general, the best thing you can do is to keep up the basic maintenance on your shutters with a current paint job using good paint and consistent cleaning practices. Paying attention to the state of your wood shutters and keeping them in good shape is the key to a long lifetime. Many times, fully replacing a shutter is not necessary; repair by a professional is often more than enough to keep them functional and nice.

If you’d like to learn more about shutters, shutter selection or the installation process, contact us today. We’d love to help you add a bit of extra curb appeal to your home!

Choosing the Right Shutters for Your Home

For hundreds of years, shutters have provided a functional cover for windows in homes all over the world. Initially intended for privacy and protection from the elements, shutters now are mostly purely decorative, a nice detail that adds a finishing touch to a house and ramps up the curb appeal!

Choosing shutters for your windows requires some thought and planning to ensure you get the right type for your window. Of course, having them installed correctly is also critical. Here are some elements to consider when choosing new shutters…  

1. Fit

When choosing your shutters, fit is of utmost importance. The shutters need to be proportional to the structure of the windows. In other words, the shutter should be the same shape and proportions as the windows. For this reason, it’s important to choose shutters that complement the shape of your windows.

2. Alignment

Once the fit is established, it is important to align the horizontal and vertical elements with the structure of your window. Shutter rails need to align with the rails on the window sashes. The symmetry of the windows should directly match the symmetry of the shutters.

3. Architecture

Choose a shutter style that complements the architectural style of your house and even your neighboring homes. If you are replacing the shutters completely, experts recommend getting as close to the home’s original shutter style as possible.

There are five basic silhouettes: louvered, raised panel, flat panel, board and batten, and Bahama and Bermuda. These shutter types cover most all variations of windows.

4. Installation

When installing shutters, the location of the shutter is key. Shutters should never be attached to the house next to the window. Shutters need to have hinges. They should be mounted on top of the window casing on the hinge. Mounting the shutter on the hinge gives the shutter appearance depth and shadow lines, which is the aesthetic norm. Without shadows, the shutters appear fake and flat.

If you’d like to learn more about shutters, shutter selection or the installation process, contact us today. We’d love to help you add a bit of extra curb appeal to your home!

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.

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.

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!

Arcadia Custom: New Product

Door Store and Windows is now the exclusive Arcadia Custom Windows and Doors dealer in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Arcadia Custom produces luxury high-performance Thermal Steel and “Steel Look” Aluminum windows and doors.

Why Do My New Windows Have Condensation?

Windows in areas like the kitchen and bath are more likely to have condensation. However, even if you find condensation in other areas, it doesn’t always indicate a problem.