Posts Tagged ‘replacement


5 reasons the window market is mostly vinyl

From the start, I should be clear that I am not saying you should use vinyl windows.  Nor am I saying you should not.  It depends on your needs, wants and the application.  These top 5 reasons are only an observation of what is in our market.

And then I am also not saying that vinyl makes up all of it.  We, as well as others that will go unnamed, sell a good bit of clad windows and still a small amount of wood (meaning the window is made out of wood but not clad as pictured below).  Each have their own merits, some of which I’ll mention below.


All-Temp‘s Vinyl Picture Window


Andersen Doublehung Window


20 years ago, maybe even 10, most of the windows that were sold around here were wood.  Why did that change?  Was there something wrong with wood?  Is vinyl always better?  So without further ado, here are the top 5 reasons (in no particular order) why more than not of the new windows sold in this market are vinyl windows.

1. Vinyl windows are readily available in custom sizes.  Often wood window units have  longer lead times on customs.  I cant say this in all cases but for the most part this is true.  This is a huge factor, especially in replacement windows where expediency is important.

special sizes

2. Vinyl windows have made big improvements in appearances.  It wasn’t always this way. Vinyl windows used to look like… well, vinyl windows.  Now, the appearance is more like that of a traditional wood window.  A little beefier frame and the look of real brick mould surrounding it.  So if you like the look of wood, why not stick with it.  See reason #3.

3. They don’t rot and there’s very little maintenance.  I say little because I don’t like telling people any thing is no maintenance.  Sure, you never have to paint but anything gets dirt on it if it’s outside long enough.  Wood rots, you have to paint it.  In this case, vinyl wins.

4. Vinyl windows are easy to install.  Again, I would rather shy away from generalizations but in general, this is true.  Partly because a lot of the ones sold are ‘single hung’, that’s a window where the top sash is fixed and the bottom sash slides up and down.  For a proper installation, the window has to be square (measure the windows in your home corner to corner and see how many give you the same measurements both directions).


This pic from ‘this old house‘ shows an installer ensuring his window is square.

5. OK fine.  I suppose it doesn’t hurt but the price of vinyl windows is usually less than that of wood.  That does not make it a better or worse window, it just is what it is.  And often this is a driving factor.

See, there’s more to a window than first meets the eye.  Some homeowners may think of it as nothing more than what you look through to see into the yard and check on the kids or pets.  Or those things I cover up by hanging curtains around them to dress up my home’s interior.

The point is, take the time and choose the windows that are right for you.  If these reasons resound with you, our vinyl may be the way to go.  If you’re a little more quality conscious, let us show you some clad options.  Either way, come see us, call us (256-852-7411) or visit our website by clicking here.


what kind of window?

Dining Room Features A-Series Double-Hung Windows and Frenchwood Patio Doors With Prairie Pattern Grilles

HomeAdvisor’s cost guide states that on average, people spend $5,308 on replacing windows.  What can we make of that?  It’s hard to say.  Options, applications, installers and qualities all vary so greatly that it’s hard to get anything out of that kind of number.

So how do you come up with a budget for your home?  If you put much stock in the ads promoting new windows for $189 each, you may be in for a surprise.  On the other hand, there’s no reason for most of us to think its going to be closer to $1000 a window either.

The answer is likely somewhere in the middle and you will ALWAYS (especially in the world of windows) get what you pay for.  So lets make a list what may be important to you?

Low maintenance?  Question your salesman carefully here.  Just because something is vinyl or clad does not mean it is no or low maintenance.  I have aluminum clad windows on my home and they get all chalky, drives me nuts. This is definitely not low maintenance.  I should say that not all aluminum clad windows are created equal, remember you get what you pay for.

The All-temp vinyl window is fairly maintenance free for a great price.

Light?  You can usually get a cheaper window if your current window frame is intact.  They call it an insert window.  Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with an insert window.  But you should know your going to be letting a good bit less light in your home because you’re adding more frame to the window (meaning less glass).

Aesthetics?  Well this is a personal choice but it is important.  As your salesman is filling your head with all kinds of R-values, U-values, warranties and what-not, be sure to stand back and look at the window.  Oh, it may not be a new car or a supermodel, but there are differences in the way they look.  So be sure you like it.

Step-by-Step Window Replacement

There are many options available for how you group windows, lite patterns and more. Use your imagination.

Energy Efficiency?  Ah now here we go.  Do I upgrade to argon filled or Low-E glass?  Which material provides the best insulation?  How much space should be between the glass?  I cant answer categorically.  There was a time when wood was best for insulation, period.  However, technology has made strides that I didn’t think possible and frankly, am still not smart enough to understand completely.

The Andersen 400 Woodwright achieves incredible energy efficiency with very little wood.

Noise?  Remember that $189 window unit.  Not to cast stones but you’d better hope your neighbor doesn’t like mowing his lawn early in the morning.  Because you’re going to hear it.  You may have never thought of this but there really is a big difference in windows when it comes to sound insulation, so ask about it.

Where you buy them?  Now this is EXTREMELY important.  Never never never go anywhere to buy windows but Wilson Lumber.  Yes, yes I know this goes without saying.

I could go on and on but the bottom line is to decide what will work best for you.  And what’s important to someone else may not be to you.  Any of this confusing?  Just come see us at 4818 Meridian St or visit us on the web.


5 Steps to a New Iron Entryway

I think that replacing your front door with an iron entryway could sound a bit intimidating.  I’ve had plenty of people ask me if they could do it, as if they’re asking for permission.  And I can tell you that even though it’s not a traditional material that doors are made out of, any door can be replaced with an iron door.  Here’s how:

New awesome iron door

Step 1: Walk outside to your front yard, turn around and look at your door and think, ‘hm, I think an iron door would be better’.  Any questions there?  I didn’t think so, moving on to step 2.

Step 2: Give us a call (or I suppose you could come see us).  Why would you go anywhere else with something this important?  Seriously, the reason it’s important to start here is so that we can get the right information to move on to the next step.  I should add here, we have a few guys here that have sold a bunch of these and know just what to look out for.

Step 3: We come to your house and measure.  Here is the thing with iron doors; there are certainly things that can go wrong with them.  Iron doors can come in special sizes (most we sell are made to order), with special styles, patterns and so forth.  And it’s our goal to make sure that if anything goes wrong, its our fault and not yours.  Now this very rarely happens but with something this big, it’s just best if we do the measuring.

Step 4: Pick out a door and order it.  OK, so this is sort of two steps but 5 sounds so much better than 6.  Anyway, I already mentioned that they are made to order.  But don’t worry if you’re afraid of too many choices, its easier than you think.  And if you do have a particular pattern in mind, we can probably make it happen.

Step 5:  We come and install it.  The time it takes to get these doors in is a matter of a few weeks, not days.  But as they say, you cant rush perfection, right?  Again, I say, it’s important that we do the work here.  This is not like installing any other doors.  Our highly trained staff that has already installed many of them, who is also the same staff that measures for them, are the right people for the job.

McClelland Before

From This…

McClel After

To this!


The pics above aren’t great photos (we do doors, not photography:)) but it is an actual before and after we did recently.  And that’s it.  All we ask is that you give us a shot.  Call us at 256-852-7411 and press 1 for sales, or see us on the web.  Thanks for reading.


You have options when replacing doors

Door replacement is a funny animal.  One reason is because when people say “door”, they may mean a number of things and in many cases, they don’t know what they mean.  What do you mean when you say it?  You’re probably thinking, “well you dummy, its the thing that opens and you walk through it”.

DSA Pinehurst with Speakeasy

I agree with that, sort of.  Do you mean its the actual panel that swings (actually called a door slab)?  Or do you mean it to include the hinges and frame?  And if that’s the case, do you mean it to include the trim around the door as well?

So many options.  What kind of slab?  What color hinges?  Which way does it swing?  What style of trim?

Well, it’s really not terribly complicated… IF you do it everyday.

Now as for what you have to do, consider this option.  Did you know that you can replace just the door slab?  If the frame of the door is in good shape, there’s really no need to replace it.  And consequently, no need to spend extra money.  And the job becomes much easier.  The same goes for exterior and interior doors.  Oh, Did I mention that we have a lot of door slabs to choose from?

slabs1    slabs2

Here is the deal.  Simply pop the pins out of the hinges of the door slab you’d like to replace and bring it to us.

hinge1     hinge2

We can get all the measurements we need from that.  Now it may be best for you if you make an appointment to do this and then we can get your new door ready quickly, that way you only have to make one trip.  Otherwise, it is perfectly OK to bring it, let us measure, and then you can put it back in the frame while we get the new slab ready.

We’ll cut the new door slab to fit right into your current frame, all you’ll need to do is paint it and put the knob back on.  Simple, easy and economical.

All of this is why you shouldn’t trust your door replacements to just anyone.  Now I’m not willing to say that we are perfect but we have been at this a while.  We’d be honored to have your business.  To find out what you’re best option might be, give us a call at 256-852-7411 or see our website for more information.


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