Vinyl Windows, Siding and other great investments for your Home.


You’ve just bought the worst house in the best neighborhood. Now it’s time to spruce the place up a bit. But deciding how to split up your budget could make a lasting impact.




Kitchen remodel

Kitchen & Bath.

Remodeling your Kitchen or bath is sure fire way to WOW guests and also give you a pretty nice return. Kitchen and Bath remodels are usually the most expensive when comes to construction with an average recouped cost of 66.75%. So what are the best investments when redoing your Kitchen or Bathroom? Keep the finishes traditional with all-wood cabinets and stone countertops. Save square footage by skipping the whirlpool tub and going for a walk-in shower. If you recently purchased an old home with a lot of charm but only one bathroom, it is a smart investment to add more Bathrooms rather than remodel your current one.


Windows

Home maintenance.

The major thing that homeowners often overlook is the structural things like windows, roofing, and a front door. Although choosing the right windows might not be as glamorous as choosing colors of granite countertops, it will improve the livability of the home as well as increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell. Investing in Home maintenance like windows or doors will give you the largest cost recouped in the metro with an average of 73%. It is important to remember that not all windows are created equal. Universal Direct windows are custom made for each home, while other window providers have one size fits all windows, Universal Windows Direct windows look like they were original to the home. An effective replacement window will keep the inner pane of glass warmer to the touch during winter and cooler to the touch during the summer. Our exclusive UniShield® system has been proven to be more effective than comparable products on the market today, which in turn, means more energy savings for the homeowner.


Siding

Curb appeal.

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions count. If the exterior of your home is lackluster, it doesn’t matter how nice the inside is, most buyers won’t get past the front door. That’s why siding has a recouped cost of 74.9%. Make smart decisions when it comes to siding, Vinyl siding looks great and is guaranteed to be maintenance free. Our exclusive UniShield Vinyl Siding offers endearing looks and enduring performance, making your vision for your home a reality. All of our vinyl siding delivers the warmth and quality appearance of wood without the costly, time-consuming maintenance and repairs. Superior panel thickness and an advanced lock design provide superior rigidity and exceptional holding power, keeping panels straight and tight in the most extreme of conditions. UniShield siding has been tested extensively and rated to withstand virtually anything that Mother Nature may throw at, including Gale-force winds, hail, as well as snow and ice during the winter.


Home Additions

Extra space.

A common problem for homeowners is running out of space. If you are living in a booming housing market, it might be to be too expensive to stay in your desired neighborhood while increasing your square footage. Make your current home, your dream home by investing in additions like extras bedrooms or bathrooms. Every 1,000 square feet added to a home boosts the sale price by more than 30 percent, according to the 2005 study for the National Association of Realtors. A new trend for home additions is hobby rooms. Whether it's an exercise room or room devoted solely to your antique stamp collection, it will increase the value of your home. The average cost recouped for home additions 53.4% But don't go square footage crazy, you don't want to price yourself out of your current neighborhood.

Call today Steve for a free in-home estimate
(612) 866-2888


Replace Windows: Should You Replace Windows This Winter?

Is this winter the right time to replace your windows?  Take this quiz and find out!

 

It doesn't matter if you have a few windows to replace or if you know you need to replace all of them.  Finding the right time to do it is tricky.   At Universal Windows Direct, our installers work year-round making Minnesota homes warmer and more comfortable.   Replacing windows will not only keep you and your family more comfortable but it will increase the value of your home.     Winter savings make now a great time to move forward on the project.  

Download our free eBook to lean what questions to ask a contractor before you hire him.

   

Ready for that quote?   Call us today and we'll schedule you for a day, night, or weekend that is convenient for you!   612-866-2888.

 

 

Author:  Melissa Brager

Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities

 

 

 

 

Replacement Windows: Now or Later?

 

Replacement Windows: To replace Now or later? That is the question.

People like you ask us all the time… do I need to replace my windows now or should I wait until later?  How do I know if now the right time is?  I don’t want to regret my decision; but I have a lot of projects going on right now.   Should I do my ___________________ (insert project here) first, or replace my windows first?

If you listen to any window salesman talk he will say NOW NOW NOW!    Every radio commercial you hear and every advertisement you see might make it look like you absolutely need to drop everything and get your windows replaced immediately.  

Guess what?   You don’t.  There are situations with every homeowner in every home where you can wait to replace them.    Maybe your windows are old, but still seem to be working just fine.   Maybe the seal has failed but the window is in a back bedroom that sits empty.   Maybe starting with the windows in your main living space would make you more comfortable.   Maybe you really WANT new windows to make a space look fresh but realistically you know they aren’t dire and you can save money by waiting. Here is the thing.   Maybe you’re right.  

Download our FREE infographic on “Replacement Windows:  Now or later?“  and see for yourself. 

When you’re ready, contact us.  We’ll give you a free, no obligation quote,  talk to you about interest free financing AND even introduce our Guaranteed Price Program.

Author: Melissa Brager

 

Related Article:

9 Questions to ask before you hire a contractor

 

 

 

Be Confident Hiring A Contractor

 

Replacing windows, siding, doors, and roofing is a scary idea for a lot of people.   It can be scary if you've never done it before and you don't know where to start.  It can even more scary if you have done it before... but had a bad experience.   Guess what?  It doesn't have to be.  Knowing the right questions to ask when you're hiring a contractor is a great first step in a successful home improvement.  Not only that, but feeling confident in your decision and knowing that your contractor is professional will give you the peace of mind you need. 

 

Steve the Window Guy, with Universal Windows Direct MN, can help.   Download this free eBook today and get started.   You'll be glad you did!   We would love the opportunity to earn your business.  Call us at 612-866-2888 to schedule a free, no obligation estimate.  Or, contact us via email and we'll call you to schedule.   Happy home improvements!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Melissa Brager

Universal Windows Direct, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replacement Window Cost: What does it cost to replace a window?

What does a window cost?  

You know you need to replace some windows but you really feel you need to get an idea of what windows cost before you let a sales guy into your home.   You do a quick web search, you call a few places, and find you aren’t really getting a straight answer.   Frustrating!     What does a window cost?   It seems like it should be a straight answer.  But it isn’t.   You wouldn’t call a car dealership and ask what a car costs would you?   The last time you wanted a house did you call a Realtor and ask what a house costs?   No – because with those purchases you’ve made them before and you understand that quality, options, brand, and features all make a difference in the bottom line price.

Guess what?  Windows are the same way.  {gallery}double hung{/gallery}

Sure, you can buy a window for $189 but you can also  buy a window for $1500 or more.   That is a wide range and not particularly helpful.  So when you call and ask us what a window costs we can't tell you.   We aren’t trying to be rude.   We need to understand what you’re shopping for so we can be helpful.   The answer to each of the questions below will impact the price of the window. 

 

How big is the window?

What style is the window?

Are you looking at vinyl, fiberglass, wood, aluminum clad, a composite or a mix?

Do you want the window unfinished, primed, stained, painted, an upgraded vinyl color?

Do you want double pane or triple pane glass?

Do you care about energy efficiency?  You can have air, argon or krypton in the panes of glass

How many coats of Low E do you want?

Which spacer do you want in the glass package?

Does the window need to be tempered glass or egress size to meet code?

Do want the glass obscured?

Do you want to upgrade your screen to a full screen or a smaller weave?

Do you want grids or etched glass?

What is the condition of the existing window frame?   Does the sill need to be rebuilt?

Are we doing the install or are you?

Is the install a pocket / retrofit / replacement or is it a full frame install?

Is nailing fin required?

Will new stops, sills and jamb need to be built?  If yes, are we looking at pine or oak?  Will you paint or stain when we’re done?

How does the interior casing look?  Can we re-use it?

 

You don't have to know all of these answers right now.   The purpose of an in-home estimate is to help you and your window buying partner understand what these options mean, and decide what you're really buying so we can give you a price.  

Every window replacement job is going to be different, and different factors and decisions will play into the cost.  If you know you need to replace windows in your home and you want to get an idea on what it will cost you, an in-home estimate is the only way.   Let a window consultant come into your home and help you and your window buying partner decide what you want in your home.  In -home estimates should be free, and should not come with an obligation to buy.

Contact Steve the Window Guy today and get started with that quote.  

 

Author:  Melissa Brager

 

Want more info?  Check out these blogs:

 

Choosing a glass package

Choosing window colors and options

 

 

 

 

 

Window Guys can be awesome. A story from Universal Windows Direct.

      Getting a quote for replacement windows doesn't have to be awful.    I took a call from a new customer yesterday and we spoke for about 5 minutes or so.   Although she was calling to schedule the measure for her new windows, she spent most of the time raving to me about how great our salesman Zach was in the house.    

 

  Here are some highlights.

 ·        He was on time.

·        He was a great listener.

·        He was genuinely easy to have in the house.

·        He was very knowledgeable about the product.

·        He answered all their questions.

·        He was a delight.

 

She went on to tell me that even though they cancelled the other appointments for window quotes they still had a guy show up the very next night.  Wrinkled.  In a baseball cap.   Pushy about giving them a quote even though they already bought.   Driving a luxury vehicle.  

I’m not surprised at all.   Zach is the best.   His behavior and the way he presents himself in a home is not an accident.   We know that replacement window salesman are a rather smarmy bunch.   We made the decision very early on that we would go into the home prepared.  And clean.   In un-wrinkled clothing free of pet hair and stains.   Our shirts and/or our jackets would carry our logo.   And always, we’d carry a smile AND a sample into the home.  

 

Does that seem like common sense?  

It is.  

So why doesn’t everyone do it that way?

Who knows.

 

If you are sipping your coffee, looking out into the snowy windy outdoors and knowing that your winter will be cozier if you replace a few of those windows, call us.  

We'll send Zach out and you'll be delighted too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replacement Windows Save Lives

You already know that new windows can increase the curb appeal of your home, save  you money on energy costs, and reduce drafts…  I mean, doesn’t EVERY window guy tell you that?  (Yes. They do.)  Look at any window ad and that is the main story.   BUT… what they don’t tell you is that replacement windows can also save lives.  

Here is how. 

 

Most cities require a building permit for replacing windows in your home.   So after they are installed an inspector needs to come out and inspect them.  While he is there, he will walk through your house and make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are installed, placed correctly and in working condition.  

What this means to you is that you could have perfectly installed and insualted windows but FAIL your building inspection if you don’t have batteries in your smoke detectors.    Why, you ask?   Because your city officials really want you to stay safe.   They want you and your home to be there for a long, long time.   Go ahead, be cynical and say it is just because they want to keep collecting your taxes.   Who cares?  As long as you are alive life is good.   And my point is proven.   Replacement windows save lives. 

Want to read that actual?  MN Building Code on that topic?  Click here.  

Are you reading this and thinking that now you have just one more thing to worry about when you replace your windows? Don’t worry.  Steve the Window Guy will give you all the information you need to make sure your home is protected and all the smoke detectors and fire alarms are in working condition.   Not only that, but he will give you windows that will increase the curb appeal of your home, save you money on energy costs and reduce drafts.  Call him. 

 

 Author:  Melissa Brager

 

Recent Articles:

Choosing a glass package

Choosing colors and grid patterns

Choosing a window style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Window Replacement: Choosing a Glass Package

 

Imagine sitting at the table with your spouse and the window salesman when you get the question...  "Do you want double pane or triple pane glass?"   ACK!!   I don't know!  Panic!  What do I want?  What do I need?  HELP!

If you're going to replace your windows you want to choose the window that is right for you and glass package is a big part of that.  The decisions you need to make about glass package are both panes of glass and type of insulating gas.   But how are you supposed to know what is right?   This blog will give you a few things to think about as you make that decision.   

UniShield Glass Options

Decision #1:  Is double pane enough or would triple pane be better?  Here are some things to think about.   Is your home exposed to lots of wind?  Do you live by a busy road?  Are you near a school with lots of bus traffic?  Do you have airport noise?    If so, the triple pane upgrade is a great option because it can really reduce outside noise.  Are you just sick of being cold and you want the most energy efficient window possible?  With an extra pane of glass and a second insulating chamber the triple pane window will give you a higher energy rating than a double pane.   Not only that,  but the overall glass width is typically wider with  triple pane so it provides lots of room in the glass to fill with insulating argon or krypton gas.  All of that said,  in reality, the majority of windows we sell are double pane glass.  

 Decision #2:  "Do you want Argon or Krypton?"   Both are odorless, non-toxic gasses used in window construction.  They are the gasses that hang out between the outer and inner panes of glass to insulate the unit and slow down the outside air temps from getting inside.   Argon gas is the most common insulating gas.  Krypton gas is more dense, more energy efficient and more expensive.   You can get argon or krypton gas in either the double pane or the triple pane.

So what is the different, really?   Just cost?    Nope.  Should we dive deep into numbers for a second?  Energy Star rated windows for MN require that the U-Value is .26 or below.   For a double hung window, double pane windows with argon are .26 and triple pane with Krypton are at a .17.  (The lower the number the better).    So there is absolutely a difference in the glass package you choose.    As you make your decision you need to know if the energy efficiency and overall glass package performance is the most important to you, or if budget is.    Krypton gas in a triple pane is far and away the nicest window we have, and it is also the most expensive.  

Finally,  your return on investment is another part of your decision.  How long will you live in your house?  Is the plan to move in 3-5 years or are you making improvements to your forever house?    Upgrades to windows are an investment that will absolutely pay for themselves in energy savings and comfort.  Butif you are moving in a few years will you get enough of that investment back?  Maybe not.   Will the upgrades be awesome selling features?  For sure.   Will they be enough of a selling feature to command a higher asking price?  Not necessarily.  

Glass package is just one of the many options you have when choosing your replacement windows.    

We are a shop at home company specializing in replacing windows, siding, roofs and front entry doors.   As we sit with you and learn about what you want to change on your home we can provide the best product and color options to you.  You can expect lots of questions from us as we try to understand what you're looking for.  For that reason,  it is best if both homeowners are there.   We commit to giving you a detailed, same day estimate.  

 

Author:  Melissa Brager 

 

Good Stuff?   Check out some of our other recent blog posts!

1. 

2.

3.

 

Steve the Window Guy for Universal Windows Direct is owned and operated in Bloomington, MN by Steve and Melissa Brager.   Steve and his team are experts at working with people just like you to create a plan for updating and enhancing your home exterior to create beauty, warmth and the curb appeal you dreamed about;  at a price within your budget.    We are part of a national dealer network that has catapulted the company to the 16th remodeler in the Nation*.  Locally we have an A+ rating with the BBB with zero complaints and have won the Angie's Super Service Award 5 consecutive years.  Steve has been recognized by Universal Windows Direct as National Dealer of The Year three different times for his hard work and dedication.    Updating your home can be easy.  Contact us today!

*Source: 2017 Qualified Remodeler Top 500 list

 

 

 

 

 

Window Replacement: Choosing a Window Style

Choosing replacement window colors and grid patterns

Read this blog for a quick overview to choosing a style on your replacement window purchase with Universal Windows Direct, MN.

What style of window do you want to choose?

Do you want to replace your windows with the exact same style?  You know, sliders where you had sliders, casements where you had casements, etc?  Do you think you have to do it that way?  Guess what?  You don’t!.   When your windows are being replaced, the first step is to remove the old window which leaves you with a window frame.   You can put any window you want back into that frame. Ooh, the possibilities!!

Do you hate your casement windows?  Pop a slider in there!  Do you want to change the look of your house?   Go to all Double Hung Windows!   Are you dreaming of a Bay Window in the front of your house?  Go for it!  Do you want to replace those weird windows in that one room that you never open with a picture window?  Go for it!

Disclaimer…   Of course, you do need your bedroom windows to meet fire code so if you have a casement in your bedroom that one may need to stay.  Building Code requires a certain opening size in your bedroom windows for escape if needed.  Depending on the size, a slider could meet that size requirement but often if a casement is in there, a casement needs to stay.  If you think you want to switch out the style in your bedrooms, Steve the Window Guy can help you figure out your options. 

Steve The Window Guy

No matter what you want, it s important for you to have thought about what style of windows you want so was you gather your quotes you are truly comparing apples to apples when you look at their totals.

Ready to get started?  Call Steve the Window Guy at  Universal Windows Direct, MN today schedule a free, no obligation in-home estimate.   We will talk to you about the available options, and will help you design the perfect windows for your home.   Quote are free, and you are never obligated to move forward with the job.   To get started, Contact Us today at  612-866-2888.

Related Articles:

Choosing a glass package in replacement windows

Choosing replacement window colors and grid patterns

Questions to ask before you hire a window guy

Nobody wants to call a Window Guy: Why Universal Windows Direct is different.

Steve the Window Guy isn't your normal window guy.

 

Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN! Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!

I know what you’re thinking.  

“Hmmmpf.   I need new windows.  But I will do anything possible to avoid having a window guy come into my home to give a quote.   Those guys give me the creeps.”

You’re right, actually.  “Window guys” ,  in fact contractors in general,  don’t have the reputation for being stand up guys.   They don’t typically exude cleanliness, professionalism or service.   It is a rough reputation that the good guys work to overcome every single day.

You can have a good experience with a window guy.

Selling windows (siding, doors and roofing) is a wild life.   It takes me away from my family most evenings and many weekends.   My time is important to me.  I love my family.  I wouldn’t risk being away from them only to waste your time and your family time.  

When you invite me into your home, my goal is simple.  I want you to be as excited about my company and products as I am.   I will Share stories with you about my company and why it means so much to me.   I do this because I know you need to feel comfortable with Twin CIties Homeowners replace windows, siding and roofing with Steve the WIndow Guythe company before anything else happens.   

Next, I’ll show you our products and why I have dedicated my life to stand behind them.  I didn’t make the decision lightly and I don’t expect you to either.   

Did you know that most guys won’t even bring a sample into your home?  

After that comes the fun part.  We discuss your project.  What is your dream scenario?   Is it all the windows or just a few?     Do you have a patio door that is worthless?  Have you been secretly hoping you could afford the front door?  Are you wishing the siding could be next?  How is that roof holding up?    Are we talking need or want?  Are we driven by curb appeal, energy savings or are we strictly working with a budget?   Do you like to do all cash or is financing appealing to you?   What colors are we talking about?  What options?    As you can see there is a lot of information that needs to be covered, and that is why I like both homeowners, or both decision makers to be available at the appointment. 

Did you know that lots of sales people s don’t even ask what you’re thinking about?

With the information you have given me, I will price out your project.  And I will ask for your business.  After all, this is how I make my living.  I’m not going to spend the evening talking to you without asking for your business.    But guess what?  I’m also not going to bully you into doing business with me.   We’re going to be friends by the time we leave. You’re going to want me doing the work. 

You’ve heard the horror stories of the 4 hour sales pitch. 

My job is to help you make your decision.  Not to convince you to accept mine.     To get started today with a free, no obligation estimate on windows, siding, doors or roofing, contact us today or call us at (612)866-2888

 

 Author:  Steve Brager

 

 

 

UniShield Max: Universal Windows Direct, MN Now Offers UniShield Max Windows

UniShield Max is the latest product development in the exclusive UniShield line of windows sold by Universal Windows Direct dealers across the nation.

UniShield Max is here!

UniShield Max is the latest product development in the exclusive UniShield line of windows sold by Universal Windows Direct dealers across the nation.   In Minnesota, look no further than Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities servicing the entire Minneapolis and St. Paul Metro Area.

The UniShield Max  is an enhanced replacement window that adds construction stability, strength and insulation into the actual frames and sashes.    Combine it with our double pane or triple pane glass packages with argon or krypton fill and you will find yourself with one of the best windows you can buy.

innergy product photoInnergy comes standard with UniShield Max.  Innergy 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. It eliminates the use of  metal or aluminum as a part of the window construction; increasing the window's performance by 700 times over windows with aluminum in them.

Heat Stopper TechnologyHeat Stopper technology is another standard feature in the UniShield Max.   This technology eliminates hollow chambers in the window frame and sashes by filling them.  While  some air circulation in the window frame is needed;  when the entire chamber is empty too much air circulates and the entire outside of the frame and sash can get extremely cold.  Heat stopper can keep more of that cold outside, and the additional structure it provides gives more strength to the window sashes; ensuring that your brand new windows will look brand new for years and years to come.

UniShield Max is simply a combination of the innergy feature, the heat stopper technology, our super spacer, and our energy efficient glass packages.  It truly delivers a strong, long lasting window that is perfect for the Minnesota climate.

So  who is the ideal customer for the UniShield Max?   We believe that every homeowner who likes the no maintenance side of vinyl, and who wants to put an insulated, energy efficient window into their home is going to love the UniShield Max.  Does that sound like you?  Call Steve the Window Guy at today for your free, no obligation estimate!

Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN! Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!

Author:  Melissa Brager

Related Articles:

Heat Stopper Technology

Innergy

Energy Efficient Window Contractor

 

Draft Stoppers: Universal Windows Direct suggests using a draft stopper on drafty windows and doors in MN

You don't have to replace your drafty windows before winter. Just get a draft stopper!

door draft stopperSkip replacing your windows and doors this fall.   If they are too drafty to keep you comfortable, you can just use a draft stopper!

Sure Universal Windows Direct would love to earn your business – like every window company out there, but we understand that this fall might not be the best time for you to make that purchase.     And it would be silly to assume that just because your home is drafty that the only solution is replacing your windows and doors.   Why not just get your hands on a few draft stoppers and stop those drafts?

What is a draft stopper, you ask?   It is a cloth shape that is small and narrow - designed to be the width of your door.   You jam it up against the bottom of the door to literally stop the draft.    I think they are fun because I think decorating is fun. And a draft stopper is a practical way of stopping the breeze from disturbing you while at the same time making the room cuter.     Click here for  a tutorial from eHow on how to make your own.

It seems like you could make a few to fit in to all the different cold weather holidays.   Move from a ghost or a witch for Halloween to a pilgrim for Thanksgiving and then a

Santa Door Stopper from Kaboodle.com Santa Door Stopper from Kaboodle.com

snowman for the rest of winter.  Or just choose fabrics that are holiday-ish.  OR.. Like most people, just make one with fabric that matches the décor of your house.  Actually, the amount of patterns and tutorials about draft stoppers that you can find on the internet will surprise you.

Draft stoppers aren’t just for doors.   Go ahead and use one on your windows, too!  Check out this cute options:  draft stopper window 2

Not crafty?  No access to a sewing machine?   Head out to a local craft show and look for one.   Prefer online shopping?  www.etsy.com   you can get anything there.  See?  lots of options!

All joking aside, why are you putting it off?  Don’t get scared off by horror stories of ridiculously inflated window prices. Our exclusive UniShield windows and Doors are some of  the nicest on the market and our factory direct pricing will surprise you.   We don’t do high pressure sales.   Steve The Window Guy is an expert with working with

Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!
Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!

 

homeowners to break jobs up into multiple pieces that fit nicely into any budget. Not only that, but we offer GE Financing programs to qualified buyers that include both a 12 months same as cash option as well as several options for low monthly payments without a penalty for prepayment ever.

So contact us today to get a free, no obligation estimate.  You'll be glad you did!

Author:  Melissa Brager

Recent Articles:

Fall Home Improvement Projects

Roofing and Siding Replacement

Why you should care about your window warranty

 

 

 

Warranty on Windows: Why Warranty Matters on Replacement Windows

This article is a light hearted look at why warranty matters when buying replacement windows

war·ran·ty [n. wawr-uhn-tee]

"a written guarantee given to the purchaser of a new appliance, automobile, or other item by the manufacturer or dealer, usually specifying that the manufacturer will make any repairs or replace defective parts free of charge for a stated period of time.

Warranty.

Not too subtely subtitled “how long the manufacturer expects their product to last”

True story.  I have this friend who starts every day by having 2 pieces of toast. With peanut butter (and coffee, of course). One morning her whole morning was disrupted when she realized that her beloved toaster was no longer working.

So.. off to the store she went. She thought buying a toaster would be easy (aren’t they all the same?) but she quickly realized that there are lots of different options. What would she be toasting? 2 slices, 4 slices, or bagels? What color did she want? White, red, stainless steel? Did she want a reheat button? Confusing!! Should she spend more for a popular name brand? Should she just choose an American made product? Does warranty even matter?

Guess what?? She would be having the EXACT SAME decision process if she was buying windows. Everyone starts out thinking every window is the same. Then they start learning about glass package and construction and operation and options and ratings and pretty soon they get overwhelmed. Sometimes they throw up their hands and spend twice as much on a popular name brand. Sometimes they choose an American made product, and replacement windowsometimes (SOMETIMES) they look at warranty.

 

Here is the thing. Warranty matters. Every single time on every single product you ever buy. It doesn’t matter how long you shop or how hard the buying decision is for you  -  even how much you spend. Warranty matters. I believe that the bigger the investment, the more the decision should be based on the warranty.

So no surprise that I also believe that when you are looking to make an investment in your home that the warranty of the product should be high on the list of things you look at. Why would you choose to spend more money on a product that you know you will need to replace in 15 or 20 years.

Given the choice  which would you choose? 1) All the options you want, reasonable price, 30 year non pro-rated warranty. 2) All the options you want, up to twice as expensive, 15 year prorated warranty.

Don’t waste your money on a product with a poor warranty.   Get all the options you want, spend an amount of money you are comfortable with and always check the warranty!

Call Steve the Window Guy from Universal Windows Direct and have him show you our exclusive line of windows and doors. He can work with you to determine the options, color and styles that work best with your house. Give him a chance to show you how our warranty is one of the best in the business, and how our factory direct pricing model can save you hundreds of dollars on your next project.

Author: Melissa Brager Related Articles:

 

Triple Pane Glass: Should I Replace my Windows with Triple Pane Glass?

Triple pane glass, simply stated, is a window glass package with three sheets of glass in it, rather than two. You might hear it called triple glazing.

Replacement windows and triple pane glass are on my mind.  I hear people talk about triple pane glass all the time.  What's the big deal?  Is it worth it?

Triple pane glass, simply stated, is a window glass package with three sheets of glass in it, Triple Pane Glassrather than two.   You might hear it called triple glazing.   It just means that in addition to the outer pane of glass and the inner pane, there is a third sheet of glass nestled in between.   There are three main advantages to triple pane glass.

  1. With the third sheet of glass a second chamber is created inside the glass unit to fill with insulating gas, making the performance of the window stronger and the product itself more energy efficient.   Our newest glass package has even wider chambers, with over an inch of insulating space!
  2. A combination of the glass windows with triple panes and the higher insulation value provides a greater sound barrier.  This is especially important if you live near a noisy road, or an airport.    I’ll be honest.  My bedroom window faces  the neighbor with the dog that barks non stop.  If I ever replaced that window, I would seriously consider triple pane!
  3. Status.  There is no question that a triple pane window will be stronger, heavier, and more efficient that a typical double pane window.  Knowing that it is a “better” window in that regard provides any owner of a triple pane window with some status.   If you are someone who likes having the best in your home; consider triple pane.

Does that help? If you know you need replacement windows but are still not sure if triple pane glass is right for you, call Steve the Window Guy from Universal Windows Direct, MN.  We can come out and show you window samples, double and triple pane glass samples and then  have a discussion with you about your all the available options and what makes sense to put in your home.   Contact us today at 612-866-2888.

Author:  Melissa Brager

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Window Screens with Better Bug Protection: Universal Windows Direct MN Offers Screen Upgrades

Window screens  prevent mosquitoes from getting in to your home.

Nobody likes mosquitoes.   Even though people in Minnesota sort of joke about them being the "state bird" no one is really proud of that.   This past weekend my brothers and sisters and I spent a day at our parents house doing projects outside and every bugsingle time a mosquito was spotted it was disgust.  Discussed.   Whatever.   Nobody likes mosquitoes.   We were  all slightly horrified that they were buzzing around us on what felt like the first warm day we've had.

I wonder how many people consider screen options as they head down the path of window replacement.  It is easy to focus on quality of window, window ratings, window options and price .... so the screen just gets lumped in as part of the overall project.   I think most people focus on how that new window will perform when it is closed.   Will it keep your home warm enough?  Cool enough?   Will it keep you safe?  Will it drown out the outdoor noise?  Few people consider the performance of the screen on that window when its open.

Screens are just there, right?  Day and night.  365 days a year.  Screens just do their job.  Clinging to your windows like superheroes protecting your home from outdoor junk like sticks and rocks and all sorts of bugs.   But they actually do more than that.

Window screens also allow air flow into the home and depending on the weave, can even offer you a clearer view of the outdoors.    Our patio door screens even offer an pet screen that increases performance of the screen if you have a dog or an energetic cat going after it.

At Universal Windows Direct, MN we offer several different screen options for your replacement windows - including one that offers advanced protection from bugs.   In addition to our proven and reliable standard screen, we offer the following replacement window screen upgrades:

BetterVue Window Screen

  • 10% Better airflow into your home.
  • 10% Clearer view to outside
  • 10% Better protection from bugs

UltraVue Window Screen

  • 25%  Better airflow into your home
  • 25%  Clearer view to outside

Check out this picture that illustrates the differences in the view with the upgraded screen options.   Amazing, right?

So, bring on the mosquitoes because our upgrade screen options can handle it.    Mention you saw this blog post and receive a FREE upgrade to the BetterVue Screen with increased insect protection for the month of June.    Quotes are always free and we have samples of the screen we can show you in your home!

"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."   Dalai Lamai XIV

Thanks for reading!

Author:  Melissa Brager, Operations Manager

Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities

PS:  After re-reading this post I am noticing all the assumptions out theree.   Nobody likes mosquitoes.  Nobody thinks about screens.   Nobody wants bugs in their house.    My apologies if I'm wrong!

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Window and Door Replacement Problems: Why expecting problems can make your project better

Window and Door Replacement Jobs can have problems.   Knowing what to expect can make your job go more smoothly even if a problem is experienced.

A very VERY long time ago I worked at an amusement park.   While I was there  I spent a few summers interviewing  teenagers for jobs  - which was really just a big “realistic job preview” song and dance.  It was a total “no surprises” kind of work statement and it went like this:

“You are working outside.  Your uniform is shorts.   When it is cold out you will need a sweatshirt.  When it is hot out you will sweat.  When it rains all day you will be very wet.  If there is a storm, we stay open. If the storm is very very bad, we will evacuate.   This is part of the job.  Some days you will talk to hundreds of people.  Some days you might only talk to 5 people.    You will hear the exact same question repeatedly all day long.   This is what you can expect"

Then I asked if they still wanted the job and if they said yes we hired them.  We figured that if they knew everything that could go wrong at the beginning and were still interested that all would be fine.  For the most part, it was.   Some kids were surprised at how much they didn't like working in the rain, for example, but they weren't surprised that they had to work in the rain.   They were prepared.

As a business owner, I think of that situation now. I understand it would be sales  sabotage if our salesman sat face to face with a homeowner and listed out everything that could go wrong as they sign the contract and collect the initial investment.   But at the same time,  it sure would be nice if we could prepare homeowners and say something like this:

"90% of the time jobs go very smoothly, however  we do expect to have some problems some of the time. Our windows are made by real people in a real factory.   They are USA made and they keep people working, and towns functioning. We are proud of this.   At the same time we know that mistakes happen.   To help you prepare, here is a list of problems that could affect your job.

  1. Sometimes windows get broken or screens get gouged on the truck
  2. Sometimes an entire job is loaded on the truck, but one window is forgotten.
  3. Sometimes a window breaks when coming off the line and has  to be remade
  4. Sometimes the weather gets nasty and installation needs to be delayed.
  5. Sometimes an issue with an order isn’t discovered until it gets to the job site.
  6. Sometimes an order gets measured wrong.
  7. Sometimes an order gets placed wrong.   Or Lost.
  8. Sometimes an order gets made wrong.
  9. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding on how the install will work.
  10. Sometimes our installer might get sick, or have a personal emergency, or have truck or trailer problems.   He is a person too, this is unavoidable."

I wonder how people would react if we did this.   Would preparing them for the potential of issues make a difference?   Would they shrug their shoulders in acceptance?  Would they expect more issues and then be even more thrilled when their job was smooth?  It's an interesting thought to consider, but I don't think we'll start doing it anytime soon.

This is the only thing we know for sure.   No matter what may happen some of the time, we know that  ALL OF THE TIME you want a contractor who will acknowledge the problem, empathize with your frustration and then fix it as fast as possible.   We can never control the uncontrollable but we can always control our reaction, and our ability to resolve.   We want your home improvement to be a home improvement.  We want you to love it when it’s done so you tell all your  friends.

If you are ready to start your window, siding, or door replacement project that will most likely go very smoothly  (but could potentially have a surprise hiccup) call us today.  Quotes are always free.   (612) 866-2888.

Author:  Melissa Brager, Operations Manager,  Universal Windows Direct, MN

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Windows: Interior Color options for Replacement Windows in the Twin Cities

Universal Windows Direct proudly offers 6 different interior window options for replacement windows in the Twin Cities.   So if you are looking to replace your windows you can choose the colors that will be best for you in your home.

White vinyl windows can make a home look fresh and new.  Some people love them.  Most new construction, in fact, starts with white windows.   But some homeowners fear white windows.  They fear that.  stark WHITE that screams out “HI!  I AM A WHITE VINYL REPLACEMENT WINDOW!!”    That fear that the windows will “scream” actually is a reason some homeowners give as to why they don’t want to replace their windows.   We get it.

Your replacement windows don’t have to be WHITE.   They can be tan if that will soften it up.  They can be dark chocolate brown (mmm, like a truffle) if that matches the style of your home.   They can even come in wood grains to match the older style of the home, the

Twin Cities replacement window color optionsTan, brown or a wood grain?

existing wood windows, or the surrounding trim work, cabinetry or wood floors.  Would a light honey oak match well?  Would a medium oak color be better?  How about a deeper cherry?  Perhaps a vintage pecan is a better match...  No problem!  We offer all of those colors.

Do all your windows have to be the same color?   Nope!   So if you have thought about  white replacement windows in the basement to brighten things up down there but you would prefer a  wood grain window on the main level; we can do that.     Because all of our windows are custom made for your home we can choose the style and options of window that will work best for you, in your budget, in your home.

Call us today to get started with a free consultation.   We will bring a window into your home in the color you are thinking of, and bring color samples of other options as well.   We can’t wait to work with you to replace those old windows and improve the look of your home.  Join homeowners across the Twin Cities who have improved the look and the value of their home with replacement windows.  612-866-2888

Author:  Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct, MN

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