Foggy Windows: Why are my new windows fogging up?

This blog post reviews why you might see fog on your brand new windows.

Has this ever happened to you?    You step into the kitchen to get a hot cup of coffee and notice that the entire window is fogged up.

Like this.fogged up window

You freak out.   Didn’t that window guy tell you that a fogged up window is a sign of seal failure?   Didn’t he say that his windows had this amazing warranty so they were guaranteed not to fog up?   You just spent all this money on new windows and now this?

You’re mad.  You panic.

Deep breath.

This is normal. Your new windows are still awesome.


Here is the thing.   There are two kinds of condensation that can be on windows: Exterior Condensation.  The kind you can drag your finger through and leave a drippy mess. Interior Condensation.   The kind that is in between the panes of glass.    You can’t touch it.

What causes condensation on your windows?

  1. Exterior condensation is typically found when temperatures outside are very hot and humid, and the temperature inside is very cool and dry.  Like August in MN.  Like today.
  2. Interior condensation is typically found when your window seal has failed – so all the gas has escaped and any wind and water that wants to gather and get trapped in between the window panes is welcome to.

So as you can see, exterior condensation is really nothing to worry about.   If it is indoors you can reduce humidity.  If it is outdoors you can be happy that it is summer because we all know that in Minnesota, summer is fleeting.

Steve The Window Guy


However, if you interior condensation and are afraid that your windows have failed, call us.   We’ll send Steve the Window Guy out to your home to take a look, diagnose the problem, and give you a quote on some new energy efficient windows.



Author:  Melissa Brager








Hiring a Contractor: 9 Questions to Ask Before you Hire a Contractor

This blog will help you hire an experience contractor, and feel confident in your decision.

Hiring a contractor is one of the most important decisions in any home improvement project, and often the decision that scares homeowners the most.

Whether you’re looking for large remodel, or an exterior improvement of replacing your windows, siding, doors or roof, hiring an experienced and reliable contractor is critical to the success of the project.

If you don’t know where to start in finding a contractor, this guide is for you.   After reading it you’ll be able to:

  • Know what questions to ask a potential contractor
  • Weed out unqualified contractors
  • Feel confident in your final decision

Ready?  You're going to love this!

9 questions to ask before you hire a contractor

1. Is he a licensed contractor in MN?  You want a contractor who is properly trained and who can pull a building permit for your job.   You want to feel confident that the job will pass inspection.

2. Can he show you a copy of his liability and workers compensation insurance?  You need to know that in the absolute worst case scenario that he has the insurance to cover any damages or injury.

3. Does he know who will be doing the work? You want him to vouch for the quality of the guys doing the work.  It means he knows them and trusts them to represent his business.

4. Has his company been operating under the same name and ownership for at least 5 years? You want a company with integrity and business strength.  Longevity is one way to measure that.

5. Does the company have a positive reputation in the Twin Cities? You should check the BBB and Angie’s List for reviews and ratings of their work.   If there are complaints, always read the company response or resolution as well.

6. Will he show you what he is going to be installing? You are thinking about spending your hard earned money.  You deserve to see exactly what is going to be installed in your home.   Your contractor should show you more than a picture in a brochure.

7. Does he listen to you so he can understand what is important to you? Your contractor is your partner in home improvement.   Is he listening so he can give you what you want or is he just telling you what to do?

8. How long will you have to wait until the install? You should know approximately how long it will be until the project is completed.   If you have an event or a deadline you are working with, tell him!

9. Do you like him? If you don’t like him, don’t hire him.   (That is an easy one!)

Steve The Window Guy

Steve the Window Guy would love the opportunity to earn your business.   Call him today at 612-866-2888  for a free in-home consultation. He'd be happy to answer all of your questions!



Author:  Melissa Brager


Innergy: Introducing Innergy in all UniShield Replacement Windows

This blog introduces Innergy rigid thermal reinforcement for Unishield replacement windows.

Innergy technology has arrived!   The UniShield vinyl replacement windows, offered exclusively by Universal Windows Direct Dealers across the country now offer Innergy as the latest must have upgrade.   What is it?  It is an advanced fiberglass reinforced resin insert that is specially designed to slide into window and door chambers to provide greater insulation AND greater support to your window frames.

Why is Innergy better?innergy product photo

  1. Thermal Break and Energy Performance:  Think of Innergy as a secret weapon against wasted energy.   By providing a strong thermal break in your frames it makes sure that you stay as comfortable in your home as you deserve to be.   Not only that, but it provides another layer of protection against indoor condensation that can build up.
  2. Strength.   The Innergy composite provides strength and structural reinforcement in your window or door frames. It also provides a superior impact performance – keeping your home safer in extreme weather situations.
  3.  Innergy is green.   Inside and out.  As a soy based resin component it is an environmentally safe green product.  It is plant based, made of renewable products and fully made without the use of styrene or peroxides.

Simply put, better construction equals a better window.  Isn't that what you want?

universal windows direct mnContact Steve the Window Guy from Universal Windows Direct for your free, no obligation estimate of UniShield replacement windows with Innergy.   He can come out to your home, talk to you about your project, and provide a free -  hands on demonstration of what Innergy looks like.  We are confident that after you see this amazing technology for yourself, you won't consider buying replacement windows without it!

Author:  Melissa Brager

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Hiring a Window Contractor: Why going with your gut is a good idea

Hiring a replacement window contractor can be tricky.  Go with your gut.   In my “former life” as an HR professional we had to always make decisions with facts.  Facts.  Facts.  Facts.   Hiring decisions were based on skills and work experiences..  We were literally told to ignore our gut.   Guess what?  When you are the homeowner and you are considering making an investment into your home GO WITH YOUR GUT!!

He seems friendly, right?

Like it or not, any home improvement project, from just a window replacement or door replacement or new vinyl siding to a full on room remodeling project means your home is exposed.   Your life is disrupted (if only for a day) and your home undergoes change.  You don’t want to trust that to just anyone.  You certainly don’t want to trust it to just the “guy with the lowest price”.    What DO you want?

  1. The best product.   The product that looks and feels like “your house”
  2. The best warranty.   You don’t want to buy the cheapest stuff and then go through this all again in a few years, do you?
  3. The contractor with a good reputation.  You checked him out, right?   He isn’t the guy the BBB has listed with an “F” rating, or the guy with unresolved complaints against him in the double digits, right?
  4. The contractor who is punctual, clean, put together, and well… likeable.   If he is in your home to give you a quote and you ALREADY don’t like him  (because he is rude, or talks down to you or talks over your head, or who you catch in a lie, etc)  why would you invite him back?
  5. The contractor who listens to you.   It’s all any of us want, really.  To be listened to.   Ask questions..  Tell him your concerns.  Give him a chance to answer everything and put any concerns you have to rest.   Sometimes the sign of the best contractor isn’t the one who necessarily tells you what you want to hear, but the one who  responds to you the most honestly

So next time you or someone you know is ready to talk to a window, siding, or door contractor they can trust, contact us.   Experience what a non pushy, honest, and trustworthy home improvement contractor can be like!

Author:  Melissa Brager, Universal Windows Direct

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Replacement Windows: Twin Cities Home Show Window Company

Your mind is spinning.

You spent hours in the Metrodome over the weekend talking to vendor after vendor after vendor about every project on your wish list.       You looked at so many pictures that your window replacement project suddenly turned into a bathroom remodel, a new deck, and some custom roll-outs for your kitchen.  You bought salsa mix, a new pillow and some new sheets.   You gathered business cards and company literature like crazy and once your bag was full you decided you were done.    As you walked up the 79 steps (or so) to get out of the Dome you started wishing you had also bought a hot tub or a sauna to soothe your aching muscles.

But the instant you stepped outside and that biting cold hit your face you were back in reality.   Windows.   All that dreaming was fun but the fact remains that you still have that super drafty window in the living room by your favorite chair.  And don't forget that window in your bedroom that is not only completely fogged up but actually has frost in between the panes of glass right now.  You wish you would have set appointments to get it priced out.   Back to reality.

So here you are sorting through information and looking up companies online.   We thank Remember us?  Thanks for stopping!you for stopping in our booth and we thank you again for looking us up online today.  Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities, is a family run business offering the exclusive UniShield line of windows and doors.

  1. We offer a foam filled main frame for extra insulation
  2. Super spacer is standard in the glass package for longevity in window performance.
  3. Options are available for every home and budget - including white, tan, and brown windows with maintenance free wood grain interiors.

So if you are a homeowner looking for replacement windows in the Twin Cities, contact us today and get started with a free quote.  In as little as 6 weeks you can be enjoying your new, energy efficient windows.

Considering a new patio door and/or entry door?  No problem!     Quotes are always free, and you'll quickly see that the price does reflect when you buy direct.

Thanks for checking us out and we'll talk to you soon!

Author:  Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities

Tips for Visiting a Home Show

Factory Direct Pricing on Windows




Twin Cities Replacement Windows


Universal Windows is your Twin Cities Replacement Windows headquarters. Our local, family-owned business has been serving Twin Cities residents with high quality vinyl replacements windows for years. We are conveniently located in Richfield and we service the entire Twin Cities Metro area.   We have replaced windows from Northfield to East Bethel; from Woodbury to South Haven; and nearly everywhere in between.

Our exclusive UniShield window is manufactured by  a factory in Ohio, making this a USA made product. When you order windows with us they are custom made for your home and ordered directly from the factory.   This allows us to offer factory direct pricing on all Twin Cities  Replacement Window jobs because we don’t have any middle men adding their markups.

We know there are a lot of different window companies in the Twin Cities.  There are enough to completely overwhelm you and make you re-think your decision to replace your windows.  Don’t let that happen! You can sacrifice quality by going to a big box store and rolling the dice with your installer, your can pay way too much by going with a big name product sold through multiple middle men, or you can sacrifice nothing by choosing a high quality vinyl window sold by a family owned company working directly with the factory.   Quality, price and service, what more could you ask for?

We offer free in-home consultations for all Twin Cities customers and we will even email you our quote if you like so that you can make a decision on your own terms. We are A+ rated by the BBB and we can offer you testimonials from a large group of satisfied Twin Cities Replacement window customers. Odds are we have already installed replacement windows in your Twin Cities neighborhood at some point and we would love for you to be next!

Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct

Townhome Window Replacement: Universal Windows Direct replaces windows in townhomes.

Customer spotlight:   Jerry  and Linda.

We met Jerry and Linda at one of our outdoor events this summer.   They are  a couple living in a town home development.    A town home development with windows in dire need of being replaced.   After seeing a quick demo of our UniShield window they really liked the quality they saw and they wanted to get an estimate on replacing their windows.   But….  Being in a town home they were worried about your windows conforming to the rules.

No problem.

We have worked with multiple town home communities throughout the Twin Cities to replace windows, patio doors and entry doors.   We have met with town home boards to pitch our product and we have met with groups of homeowners to help them gain consensus.

What we have found is that the outside appearance of the windows is generally the determining  factor in buying decisions.    The town home community wants the look to remain consistent.  I get it.  If everyone has dark brown windows, the guy who replaces his with white stands out like a sore thumb.  Similarly, if everyone has their white windows wrapped in white, but suddenly someone wraps theirs in dark green, the conformity of town home living is gone.

Our UniShield replacement windows and doors are 100% pure virgin vinyl with  a smooth, streamlined exterior.   Standard colors are white, tan and dark brown.  Available upgrades include  exterior paint colors including black, bronze and dark green, which tend to be very popular colors at town homes.

So what should you do first?  Check with your town home association  about the rules they have.   You might get lucky and be in the same situation as Jerry and Linda.  They learned that as long as they replaced their windows with WHITE  2 lite sliders, and then wrapped them in maintenance free smooth aluminum in a coordinating tan they could replace whatever they wanted.  The appointment started with matching exterior wrap colors, and once we knew we could meet the requirements, we continued the discussion, and ended up replacing all of the windows in their town home.  The neighbors liked how they looked so much, we ended up doing work for a few of them, too.

What is the moral of the story of Jerry and Linda?    Don’t be afraid of calling us if you live in a town home.   There may be  a few extra hoops to jump through, but we are more than happy to do that.  It is all in the name of new windows!  Contact us today to get started!

Melissa Brager

Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities

Window Wrap Up

Replace just a few windows at a time!

Aren't all windows factory direct?


Vinyl Window Replacement: Replace just a few windows at a time!

Do I have to do all my windows at once?  Nope!  Honestly,  hardly any one does anymore so we don’t even think it’s weird!

Let me tell you the story of a customer….  Let’s call her Alice .  Alice  and her boyfriend bought a great little house in South Minneapolis that had the oldest windows ever in it.   We are talking single pane windows,  ropes and pulleys, missing screens, some painted shut, etc.  You get the picture.   She desperately wanted to replace every window In the house before the harsh winter set in.    She just didn’t think she could swing it.

You know how it is, right?   You buy a new house and you feel like all the money you had left after closing went to Target in the first few weeks of living there and before you know it you are happy in you brand new house and you feel the poorest you have ever felt in your whole life.     That was Alice. replace windows in your old home

Still, she was hopeful.   She called us and scheduled a free, no obligation estimate.    Steve stopped out to her home and they discussed  the cost for the entire project.   Then they broke up the windows into a few different projects for her to think about as well.  She considered the entire front of the house for curb appeal, or the entire 2nd level of the house  for energy savings, but she ultimately chose to replace the windows of the rooms she will spend the most time in all winter; her bedroom and the living / dining room.   Smart.

Bottom line, it is normal to replace your windows in stages.   It happens every day and no one thinks it is weird.   It is actually smart.   Of course, with our financing programs you can probably afford more than you think.   Give us a call and let our sales reps stop out and talk to you about what you want, and work with you to create a plan.  Then enjoy a draft free winter!

Melissa Brager

Universal Windows Direct

Recent Blog Posts:

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Window install: How to prepare for your window install

Getting your windows replaced can be really exciting.   My favorite phone calls to make are the “your windows are here!  Let’s schedule your install date!”  phone calls.  Often, the next question is “How do I prepare?”

Top 5 ways to prepare for your new window installation:

1)        Clear a path for the installers to get to the  windows.   I am not calling you a hoarder.  But most of us have piles.  And once in a while those piles end up in the basement or in the corner of the bedroom.  Right under that drafty window.    If that happens to be the place at your house,   just move the piles somewhere else so the guys can have easy access to the window without worrying about disrupting your things.

2)     Take down any blinds, curtains or window treatments.  The goal is to have a clean working space for the installers.   If they have to stop and take down your window treatments,  it is an unnecessary delay and  an additional charge will be assessed to you.

3)      Do you have a home alarm system wired to any of your windows or doors that we will be working on?   You will need to call your alarm company before the install to have those wires disconnected  (and then re-installed after the windows are in).

4)     Clear the walls and shelves around the work area.  This includes pictures on the wall, as well as trinkets or collectibles on shelves near the window.    It is just better to be safe than sorry.

If you care about your items, protect them.   That may sound harsh, but it is also common sense, right?

5)     Dogs and Cats.    Oh the stories we have.   Window installation is loud.  There are tools, there are strange voices, there are strange men in and out of the house.    Dogs and cats can get skittish.  They can bite.  They can try and escape.  Sometimes they do escape.   And they RUN.   So kennel them up during the install and don’t worry.

Sound easy enough?

Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct

Check out these other great blogs:

Factory Direct Pricing

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Factory Direct Windows: Aren't All Windows Factory Direct?

Window replacement can be a tricky business.  We work a lot of different events and home improvement shows to show our product and talk to homeowners.   I am always surprised when someone walks up to me and says “Universal Windows Direct…. What does that mean?”.  “Well,  it is the name of our company.   We are part of a national group of dealers that offer an exclusive product.  We buy directly from the factory and pass the savings on to you.”   Then the next question comes.  “Doesn’t everybody buy direct?”

Actually, no.   I mean, every window is purchased from some place, but each time it moves from the factory and touches someone else’s hands, the price goes up.   When you buy windows you are involving yourself in one of a few different scenarios.

1)          You are buying from a contractor who is buying from a supply house who bought them from the factory.   The factory just made a bunch of windows and if the supply yard or big box store happened to have them in the size you needed the contractor bought them and resold them to you.   And the price reflects his markup as well as the supply yard markup.   You can see the price getting higher, can’t you?  (Cha-ching!)

2)     You are buying from a big box store because they have a great sale going on.  I bet.   It is no secret that retail markups to consumers are extraordinary.  Constant sales and deep discounts only prove this to you.   Not only that, but even a brand name at a box store can be a lower end version of that brand.   It’s like buying brand name women’s clothing at a low end retail outlet.   The tag might be the same (or close) but you the quality just isn’t there.

3)     Or, you could buy your window from a brand representative who does work directly with the factory.  Every.  Single.  Day.   That’s how it works at Universal Windows Direct.  Not only do we have an exclusive product that no one else in the Twin Cities offers, but over 90% of our business is selling that product.   The volume of work we do, combined with the volume of our group  of dealers throughout the country allows to keep the  costs way down.   The price reflects when you buy direct. Seriously.

So how do you know?   Ask where your new window is right now.   If it is somewhere stacked up with all the other windows just waiting for you to choose it  (like the last Christmas tree on Christmas Eve)  it isn’t factory direct.   It’s warehouse direct.

Factory Direct Pricing on WindowsThe price reflects when you buy direct!

When you buy windows from Universal Windows Direct our sales representative discusses the styles, colors and options that you want in your home.   Once the decision is made, we have a trained installer come to your home to get an exact measurement of the size of your replacement window, and then the window order is sent to the factory to be built for you.    It literally has your name put on the window the second it comes off the line.   Here is a window recently made for the Peterson family.   Personally, I think that is very cool.   Higher quality, exactly what you want, the perfect size for the opening in your home.   At a lower price.   What more do you want? Get started today.

Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct, MN

Other Articles you might find interesting:

Why all windows are the same, and different

Why your windows may be fogging up

Why customers love Universal Windows Direct

Severe Weather: Universal Windows Direct MN can help after Severe Weather Strikes

Did you do it?

Yesterday when the severe weather sirens went off did you look at the sky? Or did you quickly try and remember what day and time it was? I did it. I heard the siren, I turned my head to the window, then back to the person I was talking to as I realized it was not 1:00 on a Wednesday. My very next thought was.. “It really IS spring!!”.

I don’t like severe weather.   Tornadoes scare me. 

I’m not one of those contractors that gets the glimmer in her eye when she sees a storm might roll in. You won’t find me devilishly rubbing my hands together in anticipation of serious damage in a neighborhood. I’m too soft hearted for that. I don’t want anyone’s home ripped apart or destroyed and I certainly don’t want anyone getting hurt or forced to move. It happened to me once and it was too stressful. I didn't like it one bit.

But I digress.


National Severe Weather Awareness week is an important right of passage into spring storm season. Cities check their sirens, school children practice their “duck and cover” and evacuation routes and families talk about what would happen if they were home when they heard the sirens or experienced bad weather. The best way to stay safe is to have a plan. Know where to go. Stock the freezer with popsicles so in the middle of the night when you hear the sirens and grab sleeping kids out of their beds to rush to the basement at least you can offer them an icy treat. Life is less scary with a Popsicle. (right, Mom?)


When the storm has passed and you realize your home has seen some damage you don’t need to dread the onslaught of hungry contractors knocking on your door every 5 minutes. Just call Universal Windows Direct. We’ll stop out and give you our factory direct price on replacing your windows, siding, front doors or sliding glass patio doors. We can price the job with or without installation. Take that price to your insurance company or to your contractor and call us when you’re ready. We know you’ll love our prices and our non pressure sales after a storm. We also know you’ll love the solid construction and energy efficiency of our UniShield Windows, the construction of our doors that repel moisture from getting in to your home, and the hail resistant properties of our insulated backed siding products.

Here is to a safe and storm free spring!   (eat a Popsicle anyway!)

Melissa Brager, Universal Windows Direct

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Spring has Sprung!


Home and Garden Show: Tips for Visiting Companies at the Home & Garden Show

Are you ready?   The Minneapolis Home & Garden Show starts today and extends through the weekend.    This amazing show fills up the Minneapolis Convention Center with hundreds of companies poised to show you their best.     It really is a massive sight and it can be easy to become overwhelmed...  especially if you have a specific project in mind, like replacing your windows, siding, or doors.Minneapolis Home & Garden Show

Visiting The Home & Garden Show is a fantastic way to talk with company representatives, see their products and determine who you want to get estimates from and work with.  But with so many different companies available how do you choose?  Fear not, dear reader, we have tips for you!

  1. Evaluate their booth and display.   Think about that booth being your home during the project.    It is dusty, disorganized and cluttered?  Or is it clean, approachable and bright?   How has that company chosen to give you their first impression?
  2. Is the booth staffed with knowledgeable and friendly staff?   Are they able to talk to you about the company and their products or does it seem they are just warm bodies working their hours?
  3. When the booth staff is knowledgeable do they spend their time with you educating you on their product and the value they can provide or are they too busy pointing out flaws in the competition?   If it seems that the only way they think they can earn your business is by lying about the competition is that really the type of company you want to work with?  Consider how important professionalism and integrity is to you. 
  4. Avoid signing up for "FREE" prizes or giveaways.   While there is a chance you could win the stated prize,  you know for sure you will win solicitation phone calls and emails from those companies for months or even years.  Unless you change your phone number.    Choose carefully who you provide your contact information to!
  5. Do you LIKE what you see?  What better opportunity to view examples of work, or to touch and feel the various products side by side.  When shopping for windows, for example, you might think they all look alike...  but when you start opening and closing them and viewing the details in construction, you'll notice in a hurry what cheap feels like.    Don't you deserve quality?

Enjoy the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show and when you're there..  stop by and say hi to Universal Windows Direct.   We are located in Booth #3537...  not far from the kitchen stage at aisle 3700.    See you there!

Melissa Brager, Universal Windows Direct

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Why are my windows fogging up?: 5 Ways to reduce indoor condensation on your windows

We all know that condensation between the panes of glass on our windows is a bad sign.    We also all know that brand new windows will reduce drafts, making out home more energy efficient and keeping us more comfortable.

So then why do we sometimes see more condensation on the inside of our windows after they've been replaced?

Easy.   They are working.

Energy efficient windows might fog up if your humidity is high.

Before when you had those old drafty windows the normal moisture in your home  (from showering, cooking, breathing, etc)  could escape right outside.   Your new, custom sized energy efficient windows are just keeping everything inside.  They are blocking air movement between the inside and outside of your home.  This is good.   They are also lowering your heating and cooling costs,  and keeping you more comfortable in your home.

More importantly, as the temperatures outside get colder and the humidity inside your home increases, you might notice more condensation building up on your windows.    Obviously we can't control the outside temperatures but we can control the humidity levels in our homes.   So if you have some indoor condensation or you want to make sure you don't get any, keep reading.

5 Tips for Reducing Indoor Humidity

  1. Turn off your indoor humidifier.
  2. Ventilate your home regularly.  Open it up for a few minutes each day.
  3. Run your exhaust fans more often, and for longer.
  4. Add a basement dehumidifier.
  5. Make sure your clothes dryers are adequately vented.


For more information on causes and solutions of indoor window condensation download our free eBook.


Remember, if you're seeing condensation build up between the panes of glass that means your window has failed and it's time to start thinking about a replacement windows. When this happens contact Universal Windows Direct for a free, no obligation estimate.   We offer windows styles and options for every home and our factory direct pricing will save you money.

Melissa Brager, Universal Windows Direct, MN Operations

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Tempered Glass: Why do I need my windows tempered?

Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that is 4-5 times stronger than regular glass.   Because of how its made (through a process of extreme heating and rapid cooling) it is a much harder and more brittle type of glass.    When tempered glass breaks, it shatters into little pebbles without any dangerous sharp edges.  Check it out, its quite cool.

Tempered glass is for your safetyTempered glass turns into tiny pebbles when broken.

Your car windows are tempered, for example.

The State of MN building code actually requires tempered glass in several locations of your house and your window replacement will not pass inspection if certain windows do not have tempered glass in them.   It's all in the name of protecting you and your family from potential hazards.

This is why it surprises me a little bit when homeowners and/or contractors are confused about why they need tempered glass.   So here we are on the Friday morning blog and I'm going to lay it all out there.   Me.  The office girl.  The advocate for tempered glass.

Ask yourself these questions about a window you are putting in.   If the answer is YES, then tempered - or safety glass is required.

  1. Is the window less than 18 inches from the floor?
  2. Is it a patio door?   (UniShield Patio Doors come standard with tempered glass)
  3. Is it a large window more than 9 square feet?
  4. Is the window in a bathroom and close to the bathtub?
  5. Is the window within 3 feet of a door?
  6. Is the actual top of the window within 3 feet of the floor?

Tempered windows are your safety net.  They are like a little bit of insurance, or peace of mind that if someone falls,  if the furniture gets pushed hard into the glass,  if a lamp falls off the table,  if you slip getting out of the tub, that at least the glass won't shatter and cause additional harm.

If you are thinking about replacing some windows and are looking for an in home consultation on which windows may need to be tempered, contact us today.

Have a great weekend!







Windows at the Fair?: Top Questions asked about Windows at the Dakota County Fair

How many replacement windows and siding companies are at the Fair?  If you are anything like me you're freaking out about the fact that its mid-August.    County Fairs mean that summer is coming to a close.   As much fun as we have looking at the animals, watching the demo derbies, eating the fried food and looking at all the cool stuff in the exhibitor buildings we can't deny that school is around the corner, and winter isn't far behind.

As a window girl the County Fairs mean that I basically leave home for a week.  I pack fruit, healthy snacks and sandwiches so I am less tempted by all the Fair Food.  (If you've ever met me, you know this doesn't work very well.)  I bring a book for the hours where no one is around, and I look forward to meeting my neighbors.    I also do my best to tell interested fair -goers about our awesome UniShield windows and doors and answer their questions the best I can.

After 5 days and 55 hours at the Fair,  I have compiled this list of Top Questions asked at the Universal Windows Direct Booth at the Dakota County Fair.

Q: Is that a wood window?      A:   No, the UniShield window is a vinyl replacement window.    We are excited to offer three different wood grain finishes that give you the look of wood to match your cabinets, floors or woodwork, but in a 100% maintenance free vinyl finish.

Q:  Are these replacement windows or new construction?   A: Both.   The majority of the windows we sell are replacement windows, but we do also do  also sell to remodelers and we can order any window you need with a nailing fin.

Q: What if I want to install the window myself?   A: We do sell windows directly to individuals and contractors.   However, installing windows isn't for amateurs.   If you're not totally comfortable installing a window please allow us to install it for you.

Q: What is your warranty?  A:   Universal Windows Direct offers the double lifetime warranty on windows.   This means that your new windows will be covered for as long as you are in your house, and 30 years to the next homeowner.   This is a non-prorated warranty.   We stand behind the quality of our windows!

Q: Do you make awning windows? A: Yes.   We can build any style window you need.  Double hungs, sliders, casements, awnings, hoppers, garden windows, bays and bows.

Q: Where are the cows?   A:  The did leave for a night for a barn cleaning, but no worries...  the next afternoon we had a huge cow trailer parade and they were all returned, safe and sound.

Universal Windows Direct at the Dakota County FairThe cows are back!

Q: My window is  really weird size.   Can you do custom sizes?   A: Yes!  All of our windows are custom ordered to fit your rough opening.   So bring us your weirdest size window and we'll replace it.

To everyone who stopped by our booth at the fair, thank you.   I appreciated the chance to tell you about our great windows. If it was a particularly slow time of the day, I appreciate the visit.   If you have any additional questions, or are interested in a free quote, contact us today.






Windows Fogged Up: The Number One Reason Why Windows Fog up.

Are your window fogged up? Instead of peering through clear glass to enjoy the view outside are you stuck looking at dirty, drippy, fogging glass? Do you hate driving up to your house and being greeted by fogged windows? Have you ever wondered why this happens?

Metal spacers will cause your window to fail Windows fog up when your glass package has failed. At some point the seal that was holding that glass package together popped, causing all the insulating gas to escape. Without that barrier, and with an opening, wind and condensation have been getting in and causing the mess. Not only that, but without the Argon gas, the window is no longer energy efficient at all.


Glass packages with metal and aluminum spacers in them will fail. It doesn’t matter if

Metal Spacers cause windows to fog up

your house is 3 years old or if you just had the “best” windows put in 10 years ago. Look closely at the bottom of your glass. See that silver metal? It’s your cause of failure.

Independent tests done by the NFRC test exactly how long each type of window spacer is expected to last. Windows that use metal or aluminum spacers are proven to fail in as little as 3 years and in some cases have lasted as long as 27 years.

When you are shopping for replacement windows focus on finding a quality product at a great price.  Quality starts with the spacer system. Choose a windows with a warm edge super spacer. The super spacer is a flexible material that can actually move with your glass package, allowing it to last 70-100 years longer than any other spacer on the market

I was in a home recently describing the different spacer systems to a homeowner.

You’ve worked too hard for your money. Home improvement decisions need to pay for themselves over time and need to add to the value of your home. Don’t waste your money on a replacement window with a metal spacer that will need to be replaced again in the next 10 years. Choose the highest quality spacer on the market. Choose the super spacer.

Universal Windows Direct, MN offers homeowners across the Twin Cities the highest quality replacement window at a factory direct price. Our exclusive UniShield window comes standard with the warm edge super spacer and a warranty that backs it up. Contact us today for a few quote.

Replacement Windows: How replacment windows are the same and different

Isn't a windows just a window?   Let's clear this up once and for all.   Yes and No.    Every window you see is both the same and different.   As you're evaluating windows for your home, focus on what is different.  Focus on the construction and the quality of the window See below.

UniShield windows from Universal Windows DirectNot all windows are created equal.

Windows all have the following things in common!

  • They all open and close, letting the fresh air into the house.  (unless they are painted shut or the weights are shot so they can't stay open on their own)
  • They all have glass in them allowing you to see outside.  (unless the glass is broken and the window has been taped shut)
  • They keep the bugs out.  (unless the screen is damaged)
  • They let the light in.   (and sometimes the UV rays too, which is why your sofa is faded).
  • They sit in frames in your house.  (Sometimes they sit crookedly in the frames because the wood is rotting)

I think that is it.    Now here are what windows have that make them different

  1. Windows are built with materials ranging from wood to fiberglass to aluminum to vinyl
  2. Windows may have one, two , or three panes of glass.
  3. The glass package may be spaced using metal, aluminum, or structural foam.
  4. The glass package may be insulated with nothing at all, argon gas or krypton gas.
  5. The "fill rate" of the insulating gas varies by manufacturer.  Yes, argon gas is nice but would you rather have a window with 50% or 98% fill rate of gas?  (hint:  this is not a trick question)
  6. The window sash and frame may be glued or screwed together or it could be fused together for ultimate strength.
  7. Window glass may be clear or glazed with multiple coats of Low E, which is basically sunscreen for the glass; protecting your living space from the harmful UV rays.
  8. We all have a window that sits behind furniture.   Some windows require two hands and a little strength to open and close.  Some require just a finger.  Construction matters.
  9. Warranty is essentially how long the manufacturer expects the window to last.   Some windows that look exactly the same will fail after 3 years.   Some will not fail after 5o years.   Which would you rather have?  (again, not a trick question)
  10. Finally, we have price.  You can get a poorly made cheap window for anywhere from $189 to $900.   Or you can get an excellent high quality window that will last for anywhere from $500-$1000.   Don't be fooled by price.   Choose a high quality window at a factory direct price and you'll be glad you did.

If you've been dreaming about replacing windows in your home and you've been overwhelmed by the options on the market, we understand.    Contact us today for a personal consultation in your home and a free quote.