Tips for Shopping for Windows & Doors

There are a vast number of window and door products on the market. Ranging from inexpensive vinyl windows to custom made wood windows. The following are a few items to compare and consider when shopping for the right windows and doors for your home:

  • Materials used to construct the window.Did the manufacturer use nails or staples? What material is the frame made of; wood, vinyl, Fiberglass? Make sure the window you choose is of sound construction and will stand the test of time.
  • It’s all in the details.Is the window square? Does every corner and angle line up properly? Are nail heads or staples visible? Check closely and make sure you are getting the level of quality you want.
  • Who’s going to install your new windows or doors?Does the retailer offer professional installation services? Will you go through a third party contractor? Are you going to do it yourself? Make sure your installer is reputable, experienced and insured.
  • The warranty.Be sure the manufacturer you choose is willing to stand behind their product. Have they been in business for a while…will they be around when your warranty expires? Who is going to service your windows if repairs are needed in the future?

The following are industry standards you can compare when shopping for windows or doors:

  • NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) rates windows in four areas of energy performance. Make sure you see their label (or ask about it). You are looking for a low U-factor, low solar heat gain coefficient, low air leakage and high visible light transmittance.
  • Energy Star is only given to products that reduce energy use. Check for their backing to make sure you are getting an energy efficient product for the region you live in.
  • Design Pressure (DP) Performance rating will tell you how much pressure a window or door is designed to withstand when closed and locked. A higher DP rating is better, so look for one at least DP30