Windows 101

Shopping for new construction or replacement windows and doors can be stressful. There are so many terms to define and questions to be asked that it can become overwhelming. To help you through the process, below is a printable Windows 101 guide. It is a list of questions to ask window manufacturers as you are performing your research and asking for quotes. Have more questions? Not a problem! You can request an estimate and we’ll gladly answer your questions.
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What to Ask When Shopping for Windows LAS Everyone Else Why it Matters The LAS Difference
What type of window is being installed in your house? LAS Allside, Vista, Simontec, Alliance, Pella, CrestMark, Marvin, Anderson, Magnolia, Wintech, Silverline, Hurd When designing a window, a manufacturer has to assess what factors of a window’s performance to allocate the most funds to. Nationwide, manufacturers must split their cost to try and appease all regions of the country. This results in a window that is a “jack of all trades” type instead of an “expert” in what matters to a specific climate. LAS distributes funds to focus on exactly what our hot, humid, wet climate needs. Therefore, we spend the most money on things that are most important in our region, resulting in a window that performs best for our climate.
What version of a window are you buying? Best Good, Better, Best The good, better, best method is an age old marketing tactic where customers are baited with the performance of the best and the pricing of the good. LAS only manufacturers one line of non-impact windows (WGII) and one line of impact windows (WGIII). We believe quality trumps all, so we only manufacture a line of windows which we would be comfortable with in our own homes. LAS windows set the standard for “Best” windows for the Gulf South Region.
How is your widow sized? LAS Allside, Vista, Simontec, Alliance, Pella, CrestMark, Marvin, Anderson, Magnolia, Wintech, Silverline, Hurd Most manufacturers have a standard size catalog for their windows which minimize available increments in order to reduce turn-around and manufacturing costs. The window you get may not be ideally sized for your opening, but instead is simply the closest available size. This can effect the performance of the window greatly. Custom size windows may be available at a premium. LAS does not pre-manufacture windows. We measure every single opening and custom manufacture each and every window so that it is perfectly sized for that opening to the eighth inch.
Who will be installing your window? LAS Employees Subcontractors Performance of a window is entirely dependent on proper installation. A faulty installation can do serious damage to your home due to windows leaking. In addition, manufacturers do not cover their windows if problem are a result of faulty installation. Also, who is insuring the workers? Subcontractors do not usually carry insurance. LAS installers are required to complete the Installation Masters ™ program and follow best practices set forth by LAS. We have been doing this a long time (i.e. Over 15,000 homes in the last 25 years) and we know how to install properly. LAS carries Workers Compensation and General Liability on installers.
What is the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of the window? .17 - .22 (Depending on the type of window) ??? It all depends on which manufacturers product you are buying (Remember #1-3) In our climate, this is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR to consider. This factor influences how fast the suns heat is transferred through your windows into your home effecting cooling costs. (The lower the value, the better) LAS focuses heavily on this factor so that our window will out perform all others in our region.
What is the DP rating of the window? Up to 85 ??? It all depends on which manufacturers product you are buying (Remember #1-3) The DP rating of a window establishes the window’s ability to hold up to negative and positive pressures on a window. It is very important in our coastal region because of the frequency of storms and hurricanes. For example, the requirements locally are much higher than requirements in the Midwest. Also, keep in mind, a DP rating can be completely negated by faulty installation. There is not very much regulation to ensure that your windows meet the requirements set forth by the building code. LAS invests heavily in installation costs, testing, and research/development to ensure that we
What is your window’s frame made out of? PVC-Vinyl Wood, Aluminum, Fiberglass, Steel The material of which your window is constructed, influences it’s performance and ability to last greatly. There is no comparison, vinyl far outperforms the alternatives in our climate. Other options such as wood and wood clad windows may be pleasing aesthetically, but they simply do not hold up in our hot and wet climate. It is not uncommon to see LAS installers replacing wood or inexpensive vinyl windows that are only a few years old.
Who do you call when your window needs service? LAS The company who sold it? Manufacturer? Subcontractor who installed it? Most competitors have 3 entities involved in the "sale to installation" chain. The company that sells the window buys from a separate manufacturer, and hires or recommends an independent subcontractor to install it. If issues arise, it is common for a confusing, blame game to ensue; which the customer will usually lose. The seller will tell you to contact the subcontractor, the contractor will tell you it’s a manufacturing problem, and the manufacturer will tell you it’s an installation problem. If you have questions or issues regarding your windows. LAS is the only entity involved in the “sale to installation chain”. We sell, manufacture, install, and warranty the window. No matter what, LAS’ Service Department can service any problems that arise.
What kind of Caulking System is used during installation? OSI Quad Max It depends on who is installing your window. Caulking is one of the most important steps in the window installation process. There are many types of caulk and it is affected by heat, humidity and moisture. Good caulk is expensive and can be a large part of installation costs. Many companies will cut corners by using a cheaper caulk. If a window is not sealed properly it will leak and can cause serious damage to your home. LAS installers are OSI certified and we only use the OSI Quad Max Caulking System™. Quad Max siding & window sealant is designed for sealing around interior/exterior windows, doors and siding. It bonds to a wide variety of materials without need for a primer