Twin Cities Replacement Window Contractors: Universal Windows Direct

Twin Cities replacement window contractors seem to be everywhere.... how are you supposed to keep them all straight?   It probably seems that every time you open up a coupon packet, turn on the TV or visit a local home improvement show you are surrounded by ads for windows.  So how are you supposed to choose?  How is one company actually different than another company?  How are you expected to choose one when they all say the same thing?   You know what I say?  Go with your Gut.

Universal Windows Direct has been serving the replacement window needs of Twin Cities residents for year. We provide high quality, energy efficient replacement windows at competitive prices.

What makes Universal Windows Direct different from other Twin Cities replacement window contractors?

  1. We have replaced hundreds and hundreds of windows for customers all over the Twin Cities – probably even for some of your neighbors!
  2. We are a family owned business, ensuring that your family receives the best service possible.
  3. We offer colors, styles, and price points for every home and every budget.  We won’t convince you to buy more than you need just so we can make a bigger profit.
  4. We have sold energy efficient windows for under $200 to our contractor clients.
  5. We maintain an A rating with the BBB and enough positive reviews on Angie’s List to win a Super Service Award in 2011.
  6. We sell a better quality replacement window than the ones some of our competitors are charging double for.
  7. No high pressure salespeople. Really.   We don't like to be pressured by people, so why would we pressure you?

If these reasons aren’t enough for you, then call some other Twin Cities replacement window contractors. After a meeting with them you will understand the Universal Window Direct Difference.  Quotes are always free and we would love to meet you and have a chance to earn your business.

Melissa Brager

Operations Manager

Busy Busy... What has Universal Windows Direct been up to?

It's been a month, dear reader.    Sadly we have allowed ourselves to get behind in our blogging but do not worry, we did not forget about you!    We are back at it and ready to get caught up.     Business has been good, our personal lives have been good, we've just been running like crazy. 

We have successfully finished our summer show and event season.    Gone are the days of hanging in the tent, hoping for good weather overnight, and searching out our next great meal from a food truck.   I think that Taco Cielo from the Dakota County Fair was my favorite this year!   Mmmmmm!!!

Our fall and spring home show season gets underway soon and we have all of our dates finalized.   Sometimes I feel like we're a rock bank booking our next great tour.   We always have free or discounted tickets for shows so definitely check our website or call us if you're interested in enjoying a home show and vising your favorite window company!

Speaking of home shows, we are moving forward with some awesome new displays for our larger products.   They will debut in 2012!

New product options!   Our UniShield siding has come out with new colors to provide you with even more options for customizing your home and creating the look you've dreamed of.     Our UniShield fiberglass entry doors have just release new styles that include 3/4 glass on the front.   A nice way to get the look on the front of your home "just right". 

We are growing!   We have brought on another installer and are currently looking to grow our sales department.   If you know anyone looking to get some sales experience, send them our way. 

All work and no play?  No way!!   We have a vacation scheduled in December and are looking forward to our annual sales meeting in January.    Not only that, but with fall TV underway, we are glad to "see"  all of our old friends.    Hey, there is nothing wrong with some quality couch time, right?

Beyond all of that, we are happily selling high quality, energy efficient windows, siding, and doors at factory direct prices to homeowners all across the Twin Cities.    To learn more about our products or to schedule a free, no obligation estimate, contact us today.

UWD MN at a Summer Events: A behind the scenes look at UWD working outdoor events

Raise your hand if you've been to a Fair or Outdoor Festival this year.    Raise both hands if you've been to more than one.   Now smile because you feel silly with both your arms in the air.

 Summer in MN is the best thing on Earth.  Every weekend you can find a summer festival in a local city,   Celebrations center around everything from raspberries to potatoes to stock cars to just the city itself.   No matter what they are celebrating you are almost guaranteed to find yummy food, activities for kids, a midway, a live band, a car show and a business fair.

Show and event marketing is a huge part of our marketing plan at Universal Windows Direct MN.    Throughout the summer (June - August) we spend the majority of our weekends working in a booth to promote our business, and our awesome line of UniShield windows and doors.  Needless to say, we have it down to a science.

We can go from everything in the truck to "open for business" in about 20 minutes.

We have the perfect size cooler that ensures we drink a gallon of water a day.  

We have perfected the "show food" shopping trip to keep us eating and snacking right in the midst of full on fair food temptation.

 

We have made events into networki ng and social events.  Building relationships and enjoying the connections with familiar faces and other local business owners.  Some days would get very long without our friends.

We have a section in our closets dedicated to UWD wear - which ensures that no matter how many days the event is, and no matter what the weather has in store for us...  we will be branded.  In layers.

Last but not least, we know that working these summer shows are different than working home improvement expos.  We know you didn't head out to the fair with a window replacement project in mind.   So we show you our windows, we give stickers to your kids, we answer your questions and if you don't want to schedule a free estimate, we'll give you a brochure to take home.   We know that when you're ready, you'll call us.

Thanks to every single person this summer who stopped by our tent to talk with us. Days can get long and we can get a little crazy.

Thanks to previous customers who made a point to visit.  Thanks to all the show sponsors who make us feel appreciated and welcome, and thanks to that girl at Pride with the pink and purple pigtails who bounced in to give us a smile because we looked lonely.   It isn't easy to work those events, but it's worth it.   We love our company and we  love offering such a great product at a factory direct price.

If you're looking to get a free quote on replacement windows, sliding glass patio doors, front entry doors or vinyl siding, contact us today.   We'd be happy to stop out.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just another day in the office: Behind the scenes with Universal Windows Direct

Hi!  Welcome back to our blog.   I know I promised a more personal glimpse into the business, so here I go.

I started work today at 8:30 and this was my morning:

  • General administrative paperwork
  • Finishing up the blog on vinyl siding
  • Receiving the latest window and door shipment   (everything we expected arrived, except the brochures for the upcoming show, of course)
  • A meeting with a potential new credit card processing company.

On the way to the meeting we got a call from a lady who was referred by a customer of ours we installed a year ago.  I love that!   She was hoping someone had time to meet her at 1:00 today and luckily Steve was open.   He spent the afternoon with her talking about windows and ultimately selling them to her.   Of course, on the way he stopped to drop off some materials for the installers and on the way back he visited the install site again to check on progress and make sure the customer was thrilled.

Meanwhile, I ate my lunch (leftover spaghetti!) and planned out menus for the next week. You see, we have a big home show coming up this weekend and nothing - I mean NOTHING - makes you want to plan a menu more than the thought of being trapped in the convention center eating grease for 3 days.   Not only that, but I have learned that a person who works quite a bit from her home office gets much lazier about meals than a person who leaves to work in a cube.   If I don't have a plan, nothing happens.   But I digress.

I ran to the bank to make our deposits from yesterday, dropped off a cable box at the cable company, completed the grocery shopping ($35 in coupon savings!) and then ran to meet a remodeler at our warehouse to pick up the windows he ordered.

Since I was so close I went into the office to check on the status of a few orders and to check emails.   I didn't get the email I was hoping for.  Apparently L&L Exhibition Management, the promoters for the home remodeling show this weekend,  are running a TV ad to promote the show that features Steve at the beginning of it!     A friend of ours called to say she saw it today while watching "The View".   I'm dying to see it and so I called the company asking if they could email me a copy of the commercial.  Stay tuned.  If I get it I'm posting it!

Here it is, 4:00pm on this beautiful day I'm finally back at home and ditching the office in favor of the sunshine and the fresh air.   This is my favorite part of the day because I get to blog a little and do a little work on our web marketing campaign.  When I'm done out here I'll  get a little workout in and hopefully get started prepping for my garage sale.   That is, unless I get tempted with a nice long walk outside.

If you want to be part of our day - in the form of an in-home consultation for windows, siding, or doors, contact me.  I'll send Steve out and you guys will have a ball!

The price reflects when you buy direct.  Universal Windows Direct, MN offers you the highest quality home improvement products at factory direct prices.

Vinyl Siding: What Should I Look for When Buying Vinyl Siding?

Buying vinyl siding doesn't have to be difficult, but most people have no idea where to start.  Bottom line,  you need to choose a vinyl siding that is strong, rigid, durable, and energy efficient, that is also beautiful.

Think about it!  When you drive up to a house the first thing you notice is its appearance.   A vinyl siding with solid construction will affect how it looks.  It immediately boosts your curb appeal and increases the value of your home.

As you shop for vinyl siding, consider the following:

Strong vinyl siding is constructed to perform well over time.

Look for a siding that has been impact tested and has a panel thickness of at least .44.   Choose siding with an insulated backing to  offer you even more  impact resistance and overall strength.  Finally,  look for features like a staggered or  rolled nailing hems that will increase the quality of the install by making sure the connection of the siding panels to your home is tight.

You want your siding to be very rigid.

When the install is completed you want to gaze proudly at the strong straight lines down the side of your  house.    Your siding should never look wavy, sag, or have any gaps in it.

The  TriBeam suspension system offered in the UniShield siding is one of the most rigidly constructed panels available  and will make sure your siding will continue to look beautiful for years to come!

How durable is the siding?

Weather is the enemy of poorly constructed siding.   A thin siding with no insulation will be quick to dent and chip in a hail storm.     A siding that hasn’t conformed to industry fading standards will fade quickly under the heat of the sun.  Siding panels in the shorter 12’ lengths increase the total seams on your house – giving wind a chance to pull away those panels  and giving water  and insects an open invitation to invade.

Finally, look at the warranty.   A  5 year warranty is okay.   A 30 year warranty is better.   A warranty against hail damage and fading is the best.     Always ask about the warranty and ask to see it before making your buying decision.

Perm Ratings matter.

Did you know that the average household creates moisture and humidity through normal activities like showering, and cooking?      Perm ratings measure how well that moisture can escape the house.   Choose a house wrap and vinyl siding product with a perm rating of at least a 5.

Always pick Energy Efficiency.

 

It's just smart.  Look for a siding with a full insulation backer to increase the overall energy efficiency of your home.  Your siding covers your entire home.  You want it to be at least as energy efficient as your windows, right?

 

To learn more about UniShield Siding from Universal Windows Direct, contact us today for a free, in home consultation.   Remember, the price reflects when you buy direct!