Vinyl Window Options: Available options for your replacement windows

Replacement Window Options always make people stop and think..  "Is it worth it?"

For example, window frames are often hollow.

The exclusive UniShield window, offered by Universal Windows Direct has a foam filled main frame option.   It seems like a no brainer… why wouldn’t you insulate everything you can possibly insulate knowing that winter is awful?    Especially when the foam filled frame upgrade is less than $20 per window?

We run into people all the time who tell us that foam filled frames are not needed.   Some will even go so far as to tell us that air is a better insulator.  OR that they “don’t believe in insulation”.   That’s just crazy talk.

Top 5 reasons to choose Foam Filled Frames on your replacement windows

1)        Air is not an insulator at all.    I checked.  (Google – "is air an insulator?")

2)     Insulation exists.   (It isn’t the Easter Bunny.   You don’t need to decide if you “believe in it or not”. )

3)       Insulating attics is one of the top home improvements every single year.

4)     Homes have insulation in the walls.   When a builder is building a house for you he just insulates the walls.   It isn’t a debate on whether or not the house would be warmer with just air.    It’s because it wouldn’t be.

5)     We wear winter coats each year to insulate our bodies from the COLD AIR!   I know this list is getting silly now.   But that is the point.   It’s just straight up silly to think air is a better insulator in your window frames than actual insulation.    It isn’t.    Get the upgrade and be glad you did.

You don't need to take my word for it.   Here is a little snip from the Energy.Gov website on Vinyl Frame Windows.

" Vinyl window frames are usually made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers to keep sunlight from breaking down the material. Vinyl window frames do not require painting and have good moisture resistance. The hollow cavities of vinyl frames can be filled with insulation, which makes them thermally superior to standard vinyl and wood frames?"

If you're interested in getting a free quote for those windows or doors  (with or without insulation in the frames) call us today at 612-866-2888.

Author:  Melissa Brager

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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

Replacement Windows in Twin Cities

Universal Windows Direct is one Twin Cities replacement window dealer among a number of local companies, but not all Twin Cities window dealers are created equal. We have been serving the replacement window needs of Twin Cities residents for years and we are proud to say our windows are manufactured right here in the USA.   Our clients appreciate our commitment to providing a high level of customer service and our track record of success.

We are proud to say that this dedication to taking care of our customers has

We are a member of the BBB!

paid off! We maintain an A rating with the BBB,  we have won won the Super Service award from Angie’s List, and we were voted the Favorite Window Company by readers of the Sun

Current newspaper.

Our installers regularly receive rave reviews from customers who have had great install experiences and beautiful finished products.  We understand that having your windows or doors replaced means your home can be an inconvenience.  We understand that in the winter it can be COLD.  We even understand that you probably love your house and it isn’t fun to see it ripped it apart.    Our job isn’t just to replace your windows, our job is to make sure your house is taken care of and you are comfortable during the process.    Our installers regularly receive positive and rave reviews from our customers!

Let’s be honest…replacing all the windows in your home is a big financial decision for most people. If you are going to spend the money to upgrade your home you should look for a Twin Cities window dealer with the track record to back up their work.

You can be our next satisfied customer.   Call us today to get started at 612.866.2888.

Melissa Brager,

Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities


Twin Cities Replacement Window Company

Universal Windows Direct is a Twin Cities replacement window company that offers window replacement services to customers who need to take advantage of our installation services, as well as those who don’t.

replacement windows installed for youLet our installers do the work for you

If you’re like most people, you have no idea how to install a window.  You just know that the old one needs to come out and the new one should go in.

And it should be straight, and insulated and it should be easy to open and close.    If you’ve ever watched HGTV you probably can imagine that lots of things could go wrong in the install and you want nothing to do with that!   Isn’t it so much nicer to work with a window replacement company that has professional and experienced installers who can do all that for you?  Then you can just take a day off of work and curl up with a good book while the guys do all the hard work for you.   Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Wholesale Replacement Windows in the Twin Cities

Universal Windows Direct also sells windows to contractors throughout the Twin Cities.    Our repeat customers include small contractors who may install a window or two as a repair or a one room home remodel, to large remodeling firms who build full additions to homes.    These wholesale customers enjoy the same energy efficient replacement windows Universal Windows Direct is known for, at deep contractor discounts.  After their custom orders are received at our facility, they are picked up and installed by the contractor himself, or his crews rather than our install teams.

Our wholesale clients like that they can install a quality replacement window to their clients in the Twin Cities, while receiving the personal service and attention that working with Universal Windows Direct offers.

Which kind of customer are you?   Call us today to get started at 612.866.2888.

Melissa Brager,

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct, MN


12-12-12: Top 12 Options for your Replacement Windows

12-12-12…  such a fun day for numbers!   It reminds me of 11-11-11….  The day we decided NOT to get married because it was a Friday.. which made our anniversary 11-12-11.  So you see why I like the number 12.  But I digress.

In honor of the coolest day ever, I thought I'd highlight our favorite window upgrades.

Top 12 Upgrades for Replacement Windows with Universal Windows Direct

  1. Foam filled main frames - let's get insulated!
  2. Triple Pane glass - increase the energy efficiency - block out the noise
  3. Painted exterior options in multiple colors - even black!
  4. Wood grain interiors - to match existing woodwork in your home
  5. Screen options - new upgraded screens give you a clearer view
  6. Obscure glass - the opposite of a clearer view. Perfect for that bathroom where you want the light to come in but no one to see you
  7. Tempered glass - for safety's sake
  8. Grids and diamond patterns - jazz up the look!
  9. Nailing fin - we can do new construction windows too
  10. Floral view - make a window a feature in the room
  11. Tan or brown - hey.  not everyone likes white
  12. Krypton gas - to really boost up your energy efficiency!

If you are curious to learn more about any of these options...  or just want to visit with one of our awesome window salesmen, give us a call and we'd be happy to set something up.


Melissa Brager

Universal Windows Direct

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?


Love UniShield Windows: Reasons our customers love their UniShield Replacement Windows

Happy Valentine's Day!

You'll LOVE UniShield Windows by Universal Windows Direct!

Whether you love the holiday or you dread it, it happens.      You don't need to break the bank by buying overpriced flowers or purchasing a token gift.   You don't even need to choose the best of the picked over Valentine's Day Cards for your sweetie.    All you need to do is spread the love.   Be kind; and share the good that surrounds you.

So I think we'll do just that.   At Universal Windows Direct, MN we have been surrounded for years by customers that started out hating their windows.  They desperately wanted and needed a change.   And once they made their purchase of UniShield Replacement Windows, they were thrilled.    You might even say they were in love.    See what they had to say!

Reasons Customer Love UniShield Replacement Windows:

  1. "We loved the direct sales approach with honesty and product knowledge.   The estimate given on site was appreciated and the install crew was nothing but professional."
  2. "What other contractor actually cleans up after himself?"
  3. "After receiving other estimates,   Universal Windows Direct offered the best product and the best price by far!  No hidden fees, no extra charges.  It was amazing how quick they were able to install windows in the whole house!"
  4. "I'm so happy with the final product.   My new windows look amazing!"
  5. "We  are extremely happy with our new windows!  Quality of the workmanship exceeded our own expectations.  JOB WELL DONE!   We love our new look!"
  6. "I could immediately tell the difference.   My home is already warmer!"

What will your reason be?  Contact us today to get your free, no obligation estimate and before you know it, you'll LOVE your new windows too!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Melissa Brager, Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities






Replacement Windows: 5 Reasons Why Choosing Replacement Windows is Like Choosing a Wedding Dress

Curious, aren't you?

Here is the thing. I am behind on my blogging because I have been caught up in the excitement of planning our wedding!!   We are celebrating with 200 people we love and are planning the whole big party in 5 weeks. Crazy, maybe, but fun.

As I get ready for my final dress fitting it comes to me.   Choosing replacement windows and choosing a wedding dress actually have quite a bit in common.

Buying windows is like buying a dress

  1. Choose your perfect look.   Are you thinking traditional, modern, or purely functional?    Do you want to stick with white or something more interesting like a color?  What options do you have to choose from?
  2. Know your deadline and order in advance!   Wedding dresses can take up to 6 months to come in but you can get your custom vinyl replacement windows installed in as little as 6 weeks.   Family coming to town?  Hosting for the holidays?  No problem.  Call today to get started!
  3. Order the right size!   Doesn't it make more sense to order the exact size you need so you don't have to force fit the product, or worse, pay for the labor of unnecessary alterations later?  Our UniShield windows are all custom sizes for your convenience!  Not only that, but with a custom fit they are guaranteed to reduce drafts and keep your family  more comfortable in your home!
  4. Think about how you want to complete your final look.   With your dress you think about shoes, jewelry and veils.  With your windows you consider trimwork, painting or staining, and new custom window treatments.   It's really the same.
  5. Show it off!!   Once everything is decided and paid for and complete don't you want to show it to everyone you know?   Take pictures!!  Post them on Facebook!

See?   Replacement windows and wedding dresses actually have more in common than you think!   While we can't help you choose your wedding dress, we can certainly help you make a replacement window decision.   Quotes are always free and we'd love to visit with you.   Contact us today!


MN Storm Damage: How Universal Windows Direct will fix your home after a storm

Ah, Minnesota in the spring time.  Daffodils, street sweepers, warmer temps and ……severe weather.  We get it all... severe thunderstorms, hail, high winds, and sadly, tornadoes.  We know there are lots of companies in the Twin Cities area that are storm chasers.  Their business relies heavily on repairing homes after the big storms sweep through and leave entire neighborhoods devastated.

We think storm chasing is a little bit creepy.   We envision these contractors glued to the weather channel, gleefully rubbing their hands together and giggling with delight as the latest tornado warning is posted.  They fire up their trucks and show up in your yard just as you’re looking at the damage and feeling overwhelmed.  In the heat of the moment you will pay anything to have your house put back together again and they know it.

Universal Windows Direct, MN isn’t like that.

We understand how stressful it can be to have your house torn apart.   We are that company who says “Hey, a terrible thing has happened here.   I’ve been there and I can help you fix it”.

When you are ready to fix your house – to replace the damaged windows, siding, front doors or patio doors, then call us.   We work 7 days a week, night and day.   We will answer all your questions, we will show you our exclusive UniShield products, and will never leave without giving you a price.

We believe you can  put your home back together again with high performing, energy efficient products at  factory direct prices.  We will work with you to give you and your family whatever you need to get your home put together again.

The price reflects when you buy direct.  Quotes are always free and no job is too small!


Window Replacement: Choosing Colors and Grid Patterns

Window color and grid patterns are just a few of the decisions you have to make when choosing a replacement window for your home.    When you invite us out for a consultation we will help you choose from a variety of options.   Generally, you should have an idea of if you want to keep the same sort of look as you have in your home now or if you are interested in changing it.   Replacing windows in your home makes an impact and choosing a different color and adding, changing or removing grids can increase that impact tremendously!

This window is a 3 lite bay in cherry wood grain with the oak framed stained to match,  with wood grain prairie grids.   

Replacement Window Colors

When choosing new windows,  the way they look is almost as important as the way they perform.  Obviously as you choose your windows you want them to be super energy efficient.. But that is on the inside.  The fact of the matter is that the outside of the window is what you’ll look at all the time and what you’ll see when you pull up to your house.  So what do you like?  Are you drawn to a brand new white window because it looks like a fresh and new house?   Do you prefer a tan vinyl to soften it up a bit or a dark brown to match the style of your home?  Better yet, does a wood grain interior option give you the extra warmth in a room you crave?   With four different interior wood grains to choose from we are confident we can help you choose one that go well with your living space. Let's not forget,  the joy of vinyl - even a wood grain vinyl - is that it is maintenance free and will look wonderful for years. 

Replacement Window Grid Options

Similarly, window grids can change the appearance of your windows.   You can put grids on just the top sash, the top and bottom sash, or choose no grids at all.  For a more modern look some people like just 2 vertical bars in their window with no horizontal.   If you’ve had the traditional colonial style grids in your house you might want to switch to a prairie view.  You may even want to remove the grids entirely and enjoy a clear view out to the back yard,  or highlight a special room in your house with an etched floral view.   Check out our website for a more complete listing of color and grid patterns available to you.


For a more in-depth guide on window options along with some insider tips and tricks on buying download our FREE eBook here.  


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.  Curb Appeal Matters When Selling Your Home

2.  What to do if you think you have storm damage on your home

3.  Windows, Siding and Roofing are investments into your home


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