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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Home Improvements: Why a Home Improvement Can Be Small

Small effort can mean big results.   As I sit with my newborn I think like this all the time.    I think, "If I only have 45 minutes during this next nap, what can I get done that I’ll feel good about?”  or “I’m exhausted but I have chores.   What is the smallest thing I can do to feel progress?”  or my favorite “Hooray, I took meat out of the freezer! Dinner is practically done!”    Silly maybe, but I’m guessing I am not alone there.

Making home improvements can actually be like this too. Too often people think that to make a home improvement they have to commit weeks and weeks to meetings and discussions and shopping and details.   I think people worry about the thousands of dollars it will cost to replace every single window in their house or to do everything they dream about all at once.   It really doesn’t have to be like that.  We have lots of customers that talk to us about their dreams and then we work together to figure out what part of that dream they can accomplish first.   Maybe it’s just the windows in the living room, maybe it’s the windows in the front of the house, or maybe it’s the whole first level.   My point is that it doesn’t need to be a huge overwhelming process.   It can short.   It can be focused.  And it can be inside your budget.

Not ready to replace your windows?  No problem.  There are a number of small home improvements you can make that will take very small effort or expense, but can make a big change in how a space looks and feels.   So get ready, I’ve put together my favorite ideas!

Top 5 ways to quickly brighten up a space

  1. Buy a large flowering basket or plant a large pot of colorful annuals to put in front of your house for instant curb appeal.
  2. Replace the hardware on kitchen cabinets.
  3. Choose a bright lampshade to brighten up a dull space.
  4. Switch up the linens you use in the bathroom.   A few bright hand towels and new rug will make small space seem new again!
  5. Keep a centerpiece on the kitchen table, the dining room table, or any surface that you see a lot.   Fresh flowers, bowls of fresh fruit, or even a stack of books can make boring spaces seem completely different.

No matter what small change you make to your living space, just make sure you love it.    When you want to talk about replacing a few windows or doors, give us a call. We’d love to work with you!

Melissa Brager

Why customers love UniShield Windows

How are windows different?

 

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.

Window Terminology: Window Terms Starting with "S"

Safety Glass

A strengthened or reinforced glass that is less subject to breakage or splintering.  Also called tempered glass.

Sash

The portion of a window that you open and close.

Screen

Woven mesh of metal, plastic, or fiberglass stretched over a window opening to permit air to pass through, but not insects.  Screens come standard with UniShield windows.

Sealant

A compressible plastic material used to seal any opening or junction of two parts, such as between the glass and a vinyl sash, commonly made of silicone, butyl tape, or polysulfide.

Sill

The ledge on the front of the interior of the window

Single-Hung Window

A window consisting of two sashes of glass but only the bottom sash opens.  The top sash always stays stationary and cannot be opened for air flow

Sliding Glass Door

A door fitted with one or more panels that move on rollers horizontally on a track and/or in grooves.  Also called a patio door.

Sliding Window / Slider window

A window fitted with one or more sashes opening by sliding horizontally.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

The fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window or skylight, both directly transmitted, and absorbed and subsequently released inward. The solar heat gain coefficient has replaced the shading coefficient as the standard indicator of a window's shading ability. It is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower a window's solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits, and the greater its shading ability. SHGC can be expressed in terms of the glass alone or can refer to the entire window assembly.

Super Spacer

Glass spacing system made of a structural foam that keeps the edge of the glass warmer.   The foam does not transmit heat or cold through the window, and it is flexible enough to move with the entire glass package allowing the seal to hold significantly longer than metal or aluminum spacers.

 

For more information on window terminology, and to get your free quote on replacement windows from Universal Windows Direct, MN contact us today