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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!

Storm Door Purchasing Guide

At Door Store and Windows, we often have customers inquire about purchasing storm or screen doors. When it comes to storm doors, our first question is “why?”

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.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Replacing Windows in Stages

Many customers ask us if it’s necessary to replace all of their windows at one time, and the answer is: “Absolutely not”! There are many reasons to replace windows in stages rather than all at once.

Historic Districts and Landmarks

Renovating a historic home is one of the most fun and exciting projects you can undertake as a homeowner. Whether you’re modernizing an older home or staying true to the original design, remodeling historic homes can be a huge undertaking. We recently helped our client Stephanie with the windows in her historic Clifton renovation.

Image of window and couch set up.

Our coworker, Karen, was able to get a Marvin window for her Crescent Hill house that perfectly matched the original window.

In Louisville, portions of your project may be subject to review by the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission. There are seven local historic preservation districts in Louisville (Butchertown, Cherokee Triangle, Clifton, Limerick, Old Louisville, Parkland, and West Main Street), as well as individual landmarks.

This charming Clifton bungalow is one of countless historic district homes the Door Store and Windows has helped to restore.

To learn more about the process, we talked with Becky Gorman, who works for Planning and Design Services and is staff to the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission. She says that the best place to start with any exterior changes to a home in a historic preservation district is with a call to the Landmarks Planning and Design Department at (502) 574- 6230. Simply explain that you have questions about windows or doors and ask to speak to a Landmarks staff member, who will walk you through what you need to do to get started, the process of getting approved, and the design guidelines for your area.

This sweet Highlands home required craftsman-style windows in a range of sizes, as you can see!

You can also do preliminary research online. On the Historic Preservation and Urban Design website you can find design guidelines for each district and the review process for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA).  A COA is the permit needed for exterior changes, and to obtain one, you’ll need to submit a Landmarks application. Your Landmarks application will be reviewed by a case manager, who will help guide you through the process of making any exterior changes to your home. For Stephanie, it included the recommendation that a contractor could repair her original street-facing windows.

Dark, tall, and elegant windows set this stately Highland Avenue home apart. Historical accuracy does NOT mean dull!

The Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission Design Guidelines prefer that historic elements (like original windows) are maintained rather than replaced unless there’s a serious issue that can’t be fixed. For Stephanie, this meant repairing the windows facing the street, which she was just as happy to get fixed. “I love the fact that these windows are original,” she says. “They have that charming old wavy glass.”

With the front-facing windows in the process of being repaired, Stephanie contacted Door Store and Windows to address the windows on the side and rear of her home. “I knew that Door Store and Windows had a reputation for being able to match existing windows and that Marvin was great at historical replacements.”

We worked with the owner of this brick Belknap cottage to select deep red divided light windows throughout.

Our Window and Door Replacement Specialist Mark was able to assist Stephanie in selecting a window style that matched her original windows, including selecting a wood stain that matched her interior trim. Ultimately, Stephanie was not only able to get Marvin windows that perfectly matched the originals, she was also able to get sleek, low-profile storm windows to protect the 95-year-old windows on the front of her house.

This magnificent Cherokee home required dozens of uniquely shaped and historically accurate windows.

The most important thing to remember when renovating a home in a historic district is that for exterior renovations, like doors and windows, there are special steps you must take to complete your project. If you’re considering beginning renovations on your historic district home, visit the website of the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission.

If you have questions about historic replacement windows or doors, contact Door Store and Windows to learn more, or stop by our showroom to see all of our unique designs.

Do My Windows Need to Be Replaced?

There is no hard and fast rule dictating when windows need to be replaced. Similarly, there’s no standard “shelf-life” for windows. That said, there are some warning signs that your windows might need to be replaced.

Noise Abatement

New windows and doors aren’t just about aesthetics. Sometimes we’ll get a customer with a very specific need and we never shy away from a challenge! For example, this customer presented a unique problem: noise abatement.

The Problem

Rick and Kay built their house in Eastern Jefferson County in 1999. A few years ago, Interstate 265 expanded, and the noise from the new highway became impossible to ignore. All day long, but especially at night while they were trying to sleep, the sound of cars and trucks disturbed the family’s peaceful home. “I’m a light sleeper,” Rick said, “and I could hear every truck that went by in the house, all night long, every day. I said ‘we need to do something about this,’ and I contacted Eric at the Door Store. Kay and I met with him and I said ‘we need to have some sound deadening.’”

The Solutions: New Windows and Doors

The problem didn’t have a simple answer, so he started researching. Eric knew that updating the original vinyl windows to a Marvin wood-clad window would be a huge improvement, but simply switching the windows and doors wasn’t going to solve the problem completely.

Noise reduction glazing on glass windows and doors helps reduce sound drastically. Eric researched all the options of glazing profiles to find the right solution for the family. Together, Rick and Eric determined which glass and glazing options were most cost-effective.

“The result was really astonishing,” Eric said.

A close-up of the new windows.

A close-up of the new windows show the quality.

“Whisper Quiet”

One of the project’s primary goals was improving the family’s sleep, so the team focused on the bedrooms. We installed the same windows and glazing along with an additional storm window. Marvin builds their storm window right in, appearing as part of the window as opposed to an a separate piece. This combination made the couple’s bedroom “whisper quiet,” which resulted in an increased STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating by about 7 points.

With the windows finalized, we tackled the kitchen door to the back patio. We installed a 20-gage steel door with triple-glazed glass and added foam insulation all around the frame, so that all the air pockets were filled.

New Marvin Windows

Glazing was added to the family’s windows.

The Result

The resulting noise abatement and the decreased energy bills impressed our customer. The new doors and windows brought down the family’s energy usage significantly, a great byproduct of fixing their initial problem.

Rick also commented on the service he received from our team. He appreciated that our installation team is made up of Door Store and Windows employees, and that they are not an outsourced vendor. Our team’s attention to detail and respect for the home was evident.

See Eric and Rick talking about the project below, and visit our social channels to see more.

We’re pleased to be able to offer a noise abatement solution to our customer. We wish them many more happy, peaceful, and quiet years together. Are you curious about our window installation process? Learn more here. 

Palladian Window Installation – Part Two

Palladian Window Installation – Part Two!

Read part one of the Palladian window install blog here!

In our last post, we shared the initial stages of our largest window replacement to-date: a 10 ft by 17 ft, two-story Palladian window. One of the most important aspects of the installation was ensuring that the homeowner was without a window for as brief a time as possible. To guarantee a swift, safe, and secure installation, TDSW spent significant time in preparation. From start to finish, this Palladian window replacement took the TDSW crew three days.

Day 1

For the comfort and safety of the customer, it was vital that no part of the window remain open overnight. To ensure that the installation process could be completed in one day, the TDSW team spent the first day of the install in preparation, setting up and troubleshooting the installation process. Due to the size of the window, we built scaffolding so that the removal and install could happen quickly and safely on the second day. Once the prep work was complete, we were ready for the actual installation.

On day one we built scaffolding and did prep work to ensure that the window could be removed safely and easily on day two.

Day 2

On the second day, a team of six worked for approximately six hours carefully removing the old window and installing each piece of the new product. The glass in the old window was un-tempered and fragile, and this combined with the poor condition of the surrounding wood made the removal much more time-consuming than the installation. Once the old window was removed, the team installed the new product from the bottom up. By the end of the day, the window was fully installed and ready for finishing touches.

The old window had to be removed one pane at a time.

Day 3

On the final day, the team trimmed the new window and cleaned up the space. Casing was added to the interior, completing the look, while brick mold with an aluminum clad finish was added to the exterior. Finally, the team broke down the scaffolding and cleaned up any debris from installation.

The customer was delighted with the finished product!

Check out the time-lapse video of this project!

Door Store and Windows is proud to have the opportunity to replace the windows in your home, from the smallest to the largest statement windows. No matter the project, replacement, custom or new construction, TDSW is here to help. Give us a call today!

Door Store and Windows Rises to Any Challenge

Palladian Window Replacement – Part One

With over twenty years of experience and a talented team of experts, Door Store and Windows (TDSW) is uniquely equipped to tackle even the most challenging installation projects. Recently, a client came to us after consulting with three other window replacement companies who were unable to complete their project. They asked us to replace their 25-year old, two-story Palladian window, and we were confident in our ability to make the client’s vision a reality.

Our largest replacement to-date: a two-story Palladian window.

To begin the process our Sales and Design Consultant, Karen, met with the client at their home to assess the window and evaluate the project needs. The window was severely rotted, and at 10 feet by 17 feet, it was the largest that we had ever replaced. During the visit, Karen took extensive measurements and then began the process of developing preliminary window drawings. Given its majestic size, Karen, Jim, and Craig of the TDSW team worked with the Marvin architectural team to engineer a custom replacement window built with structure and stability in mind.

The old window was severely rotted.

The homeowner wanted to preserve key design elements and the feel of the original window. We communicated with the client regularly during the design process, discussing options and architectural details to ensure the final product was a strong, durable window suited precisely to their tastes. Once the client was satisfied with the design, the Marvin team fabricated the window. A window of this size is too large to be transported in one piece, so it was designed to be installed in five sections at the job site.

The new window was designed to be installed in sections.

It’s not only custom designs and complex replacements that warrant this kind of thoughtful attention to detail. As a local business, we pride ourselves in treating each customer as a neighbor, being communicative, helpful, and willing to go above and beyond to solve any door or window design problem that you may have. Consistent customer service, no matter how large or small the project, is one of the many reasons why Door Store and Windows is your most trusted exterior design source.

Curious about the installation of the two-story Palladian window? Click here to read the rest of the story!

At Door Store and Windows, our goal is to provide peace of mind and customer satisfaction throughout the entire replacement process. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at (502) 822-5424.