Frequently Asked Questions for Local Window Contractors

Do you have questions about an upcoming window installation project or windows in general? You’re not alone. Below, we’ve answered several commonly asked questions about windows and window installation, as well as how to find and work with an industry professional.

Q: How will replacing my windows improve the comfort of my home?
A: New windows will make your home quieter and more secure. Depending on the windows you choose, you may also notice a marked difference in the temperature of your home. Double-paned windows are insulated to keep out heat during summer and retain heat during winter.

Q: Will replacing my old windows save me money?
A: Old windows and windows that are improperly installed are the biggest cause of energy loss in the home. New windows will save you money over the life of the window by cutting your heating and cooling costs. Some homeowners report savings of up to 30 percent on their utility bills after installing new windows. New windows can also increase the life of your furnishings and carpeting by protecting them from sunlight.

Q: If I decide to sell my home, will new windows increase the value?
A: Yes. New windows are one of the best home improvements you can make in terms of the return on your investment. Realtors report that Bay Area homes with new, energy-efficient, maintenance-free windows can see a return of up to 114% in resale value.

Q: What window materials do I have to choose from?
A: Your choices for new windows are wood, vinyl, steel, aluminum, fiberglass and composite. You’ll see the sash and the frame (the visible outer parts of the window installation units) from the inside and outside of your home, so it’s important to choose a material that gives you the look you want. It’s also important to select a material that has the attributes you’re looking for. For example, metal window frames can conduct heat and cold, so they may not be as energy-efficient as wood or vinyl windows. Additionally, some window frame materials can be painted to match your home’s exterior or interior, so that may be an important consideration.

Wood windows can be painted and stained. The downside to wood windows is that they must be regularly maintained. However, most wood windows are made from rot-resistant woods. When maintained correctly, they can last as long as metal windows.

Vinyl windows are inexpensive, energy-efficient and durable. They can’t be painted, but they come in a variety of colors and are virtually maintenance-free.

Steel windows are rarely used in residential buildings, as they aren’t as energy-efficient as other types of windows and they must be painted so they don’t rust.

Aluminum windows are strong and durable. They also allow for greater flexibility in window design. However, they aren’t as energy-efficient as other types of windows.

Fiberglass windows are durable, efficient and strong. The frames can be painted to match any home. Because of their quality and durability, fiberglass windows are some of the more expensive windows on the market.

Composite windows have sashes and frames made from more than one type of material. This allows the manufacturer to customize the windows to fit the exact needs of the consumer. They can be made from recycled wood and plastic that can be painted.

Q: How do I know which kind of windows are the best choice for me?
A: Your local window contractor can help you decide which type of window is the best fit for your budget, home and aesthetic preferences.

Q: How much do new windows cost?
A: The cost of new windows greatly varies based on the type of windows you select, the manufacturer and the number of windows you have installed. It also depends on whether you’re having replacement windows installed (windows that are custom ordered to fit in place of your existing windows) or whether you’re having new window frames and jambs installed as well. Your window contractor can provide an estimate based on your specific requirements.

Q: How long will it take to install my new windows?
A: That depends on the size and scope of your job. A simple window installation may take an hour, while installing new windows throughout an entire home may take several days or a week. Your window contractor should be able to give you an estimated time frame for your specific project.

Q: Can I install new windows myself?
A: Like with many home improvement projects, you can replace your windows yourself. However, for most window replacement jobs, it’s better to hire a skilled professional. Window installers know the best materials and installation techniques for the job. And because they have so much experience removing old windows and installing new ones, they can do the job faster and much more effectively.

Q: Can I get new windows from a home improvement store?
A: Most home improvement stores sell new windows, and many advertise low prices, but you may be sacrificing selection and quality. Most of these stores have a smaller selection, so you may not get the windows that best suit your home and your needs. And if they sell discount windows or off-brand products that are less expensive, you run a greater risk that the manufacturer will go out of business, leaving any warranties null and void. Another factor to consider is that most home improvement warehouses don’t provide installation and rely on subcontractors instead, which means you can be caught between the retailer, the manufacturer and the installer if there are any problems with your windows.

Q: What happens if someone gets hurt while working on my property?
A: When you hire a legitimate window contractor with the correct license, liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, you won’t have to worry. Under workers’ compensation insurance, every employee of the company is covered in the case of accident or injury. You will not be held responsible for damages. Make sure you ask your contractor to show you a copy of their active workers’ compensation policy.

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified window company?
A: Diamond Certified ends the guessing game by helping you choose a window contractor with confidence by offering a list of top rated local companies that have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only window companies rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise® earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most local window companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with in-depth and ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified window company.