Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Window Contractors Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Alco Siding & Windows, Inc. (2013)

Only the best window companies in Napa County have earned the Diamond Certified award by scoring Highest in Quality in the most accurate and rigorous ratings process anywhere. You'll never be fooled by fake reviews, since all research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed. Most companies can't pass this test. That's why you'll feel confident when you choose a Diamond Certified window company listed below.

Only the best window companies in Napa County have earned the Diamond Certified award by scoring Highest in Quality in the most accurate and rigorous ratings process anywhere. You'll never be fooled by fake reviews, since all research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed. Most companies can't pass this test. That's why you'll feel confident when you choose a Diamond Certified window company listed below. Simply click on the name of a Diamond Certified company below to read ratings results, informational articles and verbatim customer survey responses.

Thousands of customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program cuts out mediocre and poorly performing companies. If you want quality, you'll have confidence in choosing Diamond Certified companies. And you're backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

INDUSTRY INFORMATION - Napa County – Windows

American Window and Door Institute (AWDI) (www.awdi.com)
California Association of Window Manufacturers
Energy Star (www.energystar.gov)
Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC) (www.efficientwindows.org)
National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) (www.nfrc.org)
Stained Glass Association of America (http://stainedglass.org)
Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) (www.wdma.com)

Know What You Want
Determine Your Expectations for Your New Windows

Start the process by asking yourself some questions to get a clear scope of your project. You’ll want to know the type of windows you prefer and what you’re looking for in a contractor, too. Most homeowners find that before they interview local window contractors in Napa County, it helps to write down ideas and questions so they can present a clearer case to the contractors they interview. To get started, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified window company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  2. What is my goal for getting my windows replaced?
  3. What is a realistic budget for my window replacement?
  4. What type new windows do I want?
  5. Is there a specific design aesthetic or look I want?
  6. Do I plan to live in this home long-term, or is it a rental property or house I plan to sell in the near future?
  7. What characteristics do I most want in a Napa County window contractor? (This could include communication skills, timeliness, certain experience, honesty, specific warranties or guarantees, and follow-up service.)
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What To Ask In Person
Questions to Ask When Meeting with Window Contractors in Person
  • How much time will the job take, from ordering the new windows to installation?
  • Will I be able to stay in my home during the installation?
  • Will my new windows reduce my electric bills?
  • Have you completed any projects near my home so I can see how the windows look from the street?
  • Do you have a list of recent customer references?
  • How do you finish the windows after installation? If I want my window frames painted or stained, will you do that or do I have to hire another contractor?
  • How would I handle service issues after the work is complete? Are you responsible for warranty coverage if there's ever a problem with my new windows?
  • Are there any steps I can take to make this process faster and easier?

 

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  • What To Ask References
    Benefit From Previous Customers' Experiences with Local Window Contractors in Napa County, Including the Smaller Cities of Angwin, Pope Valley, Rutherford, Deer Park and Oakville

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified window contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that few other companies can pass. If you want quality from a window company in Napa County and the greater Bay Area, you’ll be confident choosing a Diamond Certified company. Free reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified window contractor within reach, you’ll have to research some local window companies on your own. In that case, it’s wise to call some references provided by the best window companies you can find. Remember, though, those references are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified process. That’s because companies usually give selected references to potential customers, instead of giving names randomly selected from their entire customer base. So there’s no way to tell if you’re getting a fair sampling of customer reactions and references. If you do call references on your own, ask for a list of each company’s most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of customers they know were satisfied.

    Talking to references can give you an insider’s view on how the Napa County window contractors have performed on previous jobs. So call several references and ask them specific questions about the contractor. Here are some sample questions to help you:

    1. Were you satisfied with the window installation and the service from _(Napa County window company name)_?
    2. If you need new windows in the future, would you use this window contractor again?
    3. What was the type and scope of job they did for you (window repair, window replacement, whole house window installation, vinyl window installation, etc.)?
    4. Did the contractor keep you up-to-date on the status of the project?
    5. Did the Napa County window contractor you hired complete the work on time?
    6. Were there unexpected costs? If so, what were they?
    7. If you live in a smaller town such as Oakville, Pope Valley, Rutherford, Angwin or Deer Park, did they charge extra to travel to your home?
    8. Did the window installers show up on time?
    9. Were they respectful of you and your property?
    10. Did they clean up after finishing the new window installation?
    11. Have you or would you recommend them to friends and family?
    12. Can I visit your home to see the completed work?
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  • Review Your Options
    Find and Hire Good Window Replacement Companies in Napa County, Including the Major Cities of Napa, Yountville, American Canyon and St. Helena

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of window contractor impacts every aspect of your job, from the choice of materials and ease of the installation to how long your new windows last. So it's important to consider the following questions before deciding on the best window contractor in Napa County for you.

    1. Can the Napa window contractors meet your needs in terms of scheduling, products and installation preferences?
    2. Are the window company representatives knowledgeable about the products they offer? Can they explain which products best suit your needs and why (i.e. aluminum windows, wood windows, insulated windows, vinyl windows, energy efficient windows, composite windows, etc.)?
    3. Is the window installation company sensitive to your budget? Did they offer various products and services to better fit your resources? (Most contractors will give you bids for Good, Better and Best options that include a choice of product, design, prices, brand names and services.)
    4. Do the window contractors in Napa offer warranties that cover product failures or installation errors?
    5. Will they put all guarantees in writing?

    Additionally, note your own expectations, and remember that some may not be congruous with the project. For example, it may not be realistic to expect a quiet worksite, consistent schedule or immediate results when getting new windows installed. You're most likely to be satisfied when you talk with the contractor before the job begins to discuss realities and expectations from both of your points of view.

     

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  • How To Work With
    How to Get the Best Local Window Installers in Napa County to Bid on Your Job

    In this buyer’s market, you might be surprised to find you’re not the only one who is interviewing and selecting potential candidates. Napa County window companies, including those in the larger cities of St. Helena, Yountville, American Canyon, Napa and Calistoga and even some in the smaller towns, can also be selective about which jobs they accept. Bids take time and expense to prepare, and many contractors have lost money and faced difficult dealings with unreasonable homeowners. That can make them choosy about with whom they do business. So it’s reasonable that some local window contractors show a lack of interest or don’t respond to all job requests.

    There are some ways you can encourage good window contractors to bid on your job.

    • Shop among local window contractors in Napa County. Most like to stay in the Napa area, as it allows them to provide better service in a timely fashion. It also shows that you’re serious about quality products and lasting installations, as some fly-by-night contractors from out of the area travel long distances and install cheap products that honest local contractors may not be able to compete with price-wise.
    • Be honest about the fact that you’re accepting other bids and interviewing other window contractors, but assure them you’re gathering three bids, not dozens.
    • Look for good value, not just the lowest price. The first question that contractors often hear is about price, so it’s important to show them you understand the importance of quality and overall value.

    Get the Most Out of Your Deal with Napa Window Companies
    Congratulations! You’ve finally found the perfect window contractor that meets all your requirements. Now is the time to ask for a written contract that confirms the price, quality and schedule for the whole job. The Napa County window installers should also be willing to provide you with a written timeline that covers the job start date, major milestones and intended completion date along with areas of specific concern.

    The contract you sign with a Napa County window company should protect you and your property as well as your contractor’s interests. For this reason, never sign a blank or incomplete estimate. Read and understand the entire contract before you sign it. You should also be able to write in special requests or verbal agreements you and your representative have made.

    For example, project start and end dates are important, but some factors, such as weather, you nor your installer can control may interrupt and hold up the job. That’s why it’s a smart idea to add a no-later-than clause to your contract. This stipulates the date by which all work must be completed. Even if inclement weather or problems with the products delay installation, this clause will give you assurance that your job will be finished on time. If a quick turnaround is important to you, you may want to consider adding a bonus for early completion to your contract as well.

    Confirm any warrantees at this time, as some window installers in Napa County only guarantee certain brands or installation techniques. Also verify that manufacturer warrantees apply to the windows you’re having installed.

    Don’t forget about related issues that may not be covered by standard contracts. For example, no matter how careful your window installer is, crushed plants, damaged shrubs and rutted lawns are often unexpected hazards that come with hiring a contractor. But some proactive planning can protect your property. Ask the job supervisor to accompany you on a pre-work inspection of the condition of your property. List and/or photograph landscaping and the exterior of your home before the work begins, and ask your contractor about reasonable expectations for protecting your home and yard during the installation process. When you’ve reached an agreement, you and the contractor should sign and date the document. After the work is done, do a final inspection together to confirm your expectations were met.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Window Company

    It’s the window company’s responsibility install quality windows using the best possible techniques. But you also can play a big part in the success of the work. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Napa County window contractor.

    • Before you hire a window contractor in Napa County, restate your expectations and goals. Most problems with local window contractors occur because of a breakdown in communication. So reiterate your understanding of the agreement to the window company representative. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Be clear and upfront with your window contractor. Explain what you want from your windows, the long-term results you’re expecting and specific ways they can keep you happy.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Ask your window installer if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates. If he promises to call with updates, set a standard for how often you expect to hear from him to avoid disappointment or miscommunication.
    • Be sure your service representative has your phone number and can reach you at all times. The work can move along more smoothly if your window company can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your contractor calls you, answer and return calls promptly to keep the window installation on schedule.
    • Pay for the new windows and installation work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Window installation contractors in Napa County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may also go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Check the Written Invoice Against the Completed Window Installation

Good window contractors in Napa County will give you a written invoice that usually includes:

  • The window contractor's name and physical address.
  • The total window installation cost, including the amount charged for labor.
  • A list of all work performed.
  • An itemized record of all new windowsor window replacement parts.
  • Any applicable guarantees or warrantees provided by the window manufacturers or the window installers.

Ask your window company representative to walk through the job with you so that you can compare the written invoice to the work that was actually done. He or she should give you instructions for operating your new windows and maintaining them for years to come. If you have questions about the work or the installation, this is the time to ask.

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Written Warranties
Ask Your Napa County Window Installers for Written Warranties

Before your window contractors leave the jobsite, confirm any warranties. Not all window companies in Napa County back up their work. But if the shop you've chosen does, they should give you a written warranty that specifies:

  • The window contractor's name, license number and physical address.
  • Warranty terms, limitations and exclusions, including whether the contractor will replace or repair your windows or give you a refund if there is a warranty claim.
  • Your responsibility if you require warranty work or replacement windows (i.e., if you have to pay for labor when filing a claim for windowwarranty work or pay a prorated amount).
  • Terms of and limitations on the new window warranty.
  • If the new window warranty coverage is transferrable to the new owner if you sell your home.
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Top 10 Requests
Popular Types of Window Installations and Window Services in Napa County

New and replacement windows and window services listed below are available from Napa County window contractors.

New Windows
New windows are usually installed in new construction and remodels. They differ from replacement windows because they have a nailing fin along the outer frame and are nailed in from the outside of the home before siding or exterior trim is installed.

Window Repairs in Napa County
Window installers in Napa County are often asked to repair old windows and windows that have been broken. Some contractors specialize in repairing and restoring old windows to maintain historic homes. Other window contractors repair window frames and provide routine maintenance for modern windows to help them last longer and perform better.

Replacement Windows
When existing windows deteriorate, replacement windows are often the solution to upgrade efficiency, security and appearance. Napa County window contractors usually install replacement windows in existing window spaces, using the existing trim and cladding. Drop-in replacement windows are designed for minimal disruption of the existing structure and are often the least expensive option.

Vinyl Windows
Vinyl windows are a favorite of Napa County homeowners in Napa, Calistoga, St. Helena, American Canyon and other cities because they are inexpensive, durable, energy efficient and nearly maintenance-free.

Double-hung Windows
Perhaps the most popular type of window, double-hung windows consist of upper and lower window sashes that slide vertically in side window jambs. They have a maximum opening of one-half the total window area, so they let in maximum airflow and light. Double hung windows are often available as energy efficient windows, so despite their large surface area, they are generally very efficient.

Storm Windows
Storm windows are extra glass or safety glass panels added to existing windows to increase efficiency and protect against storm winds and rain. Storm windows can be permanently fixed or temporary windows mounted externally or internally to existing windows.

Bay Windows / Bow Windows
Bay windows (also known as bow windows) are popular requests in Napa County because they project outward from the main walls of a home. This creates a larger living space or the illusion of a larger room depending on the type of bay window installed. Bay windows and bow windows also add architectural interest and increase the amount of natural light that enters a room.

Aluminum Windows
Known as strong, durable and easy-to-configure, aluminum windows are often used to showcase beautiful views. They are also a less-expensive option in homes and light commercial buildings. Aluminum windows are not traditionally the most efficient, but more recent aluminum windows are more energy efficient than previous designs.

Energy Efficient Windows (Energy Star Windows)
Energy efficient windows are often designated with an Energy Star label. These windows are known to drastically reduce energy bills. Most energy efficient windows are insulated and protect against heat loss and gain, maintaining indoor air temperature.

Casement Windows
Casement windows are those that are attached to the window frame by hinges located on the side of the windows. (Windows that are hinged at the top are called awning windows, while windows attached at the bottom are hopper windows.) Casement windows may contain leaded glass and often open inward.

Popular Window Brands Installed in the Napa Area
Many homeowners and window installers in Napa County have favorite window brands. The most-requested window brands are listed below.

Pella Windows
For more than 85 years, Pella Windows has been making and installing windows. Home window styles available from Pella include casement, awning, double-hung, single-hung, sliding, bay/bow windows and specially-shaped windows that add architectural detail to your home.

CertainTeed Windows
All standard and custom home windows are available in Napa County from CertainTeed Windows. CertainTeed was one of the first window manufacturers to offer vinyl windows. They also offer energy efficient, Low-E glazed windows.

Loewen Windows
Loewen Windows exclusively manufactures wooden windows, including awning windows, casement and double-hung windows, picture windows, access windows, transoms and custom windows. Loewen wooden windows are made from Douglas Fir and Mahogany woods.

Andersen Windows
Andersen Windows is one of the most trusted brands of new windows. Andersen dealers in Napa County offer replacement windows in a full range of materials and styles.

Marvin Windows
From energy efficient windows to fully customized windows, Marvin Windows is one of the most recognized window manufacturers. Marvin Authorized Installing Retailers in Napa County sell and install all types of Marvin Windows.

Champion Windows
Champion Windows is popular for home replacement windows that are custom-made and professionally-installed. They also have Energy Star windows and other energy efficient replacement windows.

Milgard Windows
Vinyl windows, fiberglass windows, aluminum windows and sound control windows for homes and light commercial buildings (such as hospitals and schools) are all available in Napa County from Milgard.

Simonton Windows
Some window contractors in Napa County install new windows and replacement windows manufactured by Simonton Windows. These include awning windows, double-hung windows, garden windows, casement windows, radius windows, single hung windows and single slider windows.

PGT Windows
PGT Windows are custom impact-resistant windows meant to increase the style, safety and security of your home. Available windows include new construction and replacement windows with aluminum and vinyl frames. PPG also manufactures hurricane windows.

Kolbe Windows
New construction windows, replacement windows, historic home windows, custom windows and commercial windows are all available in Napa County from Kolbe Windows and Doors.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms for New Home Windows and Window Contractor Services

Below are terms and descriptions that will help you navigate your way through your replacement window installation from beginning to end.

aluminum windows
Glazed window with aluminum sash and mullions. Aluminum windows are known for strength, value and flexibility in installation configurations to maximize views.

Also known as: aluminum storm windows, aluminum window frames, aluminum replacement windows, aluminum clad windows, aluminum window replacement, aluminum window repair, residential aluminum windows, aluminum frame windows

awning windows
Awning windows have a hinged upper sash that swings outward for ventilation.

Also known as: ventilation windows, awning window replacement, awning replacement windows

bay windows
Bay windows are a unit of three windows, usually made up of a large center fixed window unit and two flanking windows positioned at 30-, 45- or 90-degree angles that project out from the wall. Bay windows may increase the size of a room or may give the appearance of a larger room depending on the construction. Some bay windows have built-in seating and are used as window seats.

Also known as: bow windows, angle bay windows, window seat windows, bay bow windows, bow bay windows, replacement bay windows

casement windows
Windows that are side-hinged or pivoted are known as casement windows. Casement windows have a single sash that cranks outward, to the right or left.

Also known as: crank out windows, casement replacement windows, vinyl casement windows, casement window repair, wood casement windows, steel casement windows, aluminum casement windows, double-hung casement windows, French casement windows, metal casement windows

dormer windows
Dormer windows protrude from the roof of a house. Dormer windows usually include one or more window panes.

Also known as: gable fronted dormer windows, hipped roof dormer windows, flat roof dormer windows, shed dormer windows, wall dormer window, link dormer window, window dormers

double-hung windows
Windows that have two operable sashes which slide vertically in the frame to open and close are known as double-hung windows.

Also known as: sash windows

double glazing windows
Any window made with two thicknesses of glass that are separated by airspace. Double-glazed windows increase energy efficiency and insulate against heat transfer and sound transmission.

Also known as: dual glazing windows, double glazed windows, insulated glazing, insulated glazing windows, double glazing sash windows, double glazed sash windows, energy efficient windows, conservatory windows, Energy Star windows, insulated glass, double-pane windows

dual-action windows
Windows with sashes that open for ventilation and swing open from the top or the side to allow cleaning of the outside glass.

Also known as: sliding windows, swinging windows

Energy Star windows
Energy Star is a government program that established a set of guidelines for energy efficiency. Windows that are Energy Star Qualified meet efficiency requirements and can save seven to 15 percent on home energy bills compared to non-Energy Star windows. Most Energy Star windows are insulated windows or double-paned or triple-paned windows that keep temperature-controlled air in the home and heat or cold out.

Also known as: energy efficient windows, insulated windows, energy efficient vinyl windows, energy efficient window replacements, energy efficient glass windows, energy efficient home windows, energy efficient wood windows

fixed windows
Non-venting or non-operable windows made of fixed glass are referred to as fixed windows. Fixed windows are also known as picture windows and can be reglazed and replaced on-site.

Also known as: picture windows, fixed casement windows, fixed picture windows, fixed vinyl windows

hopper windows
Windows with a top sash that swings inward. Hopper widows are often used in basements and other areas where ventilation is wanted but large windows are not required.

Also known as: casement windows, ventilation windows, basement hopper windows, hopper style windows, vinyl hopper windows

insulating glass
Insulated glass is usually a combination of two or more panes of glass with a sealed air space between the panes that is filled with a harmless gas. This space may be filled with an inert gas, which increases the insulation properties. Most major window companies offer insulated windows as part of their standard catalog.

Also known as: insulated windows, energy efficient windows, Energy Star windows,  insulated glazing, insulated glass, IG, double insulated glass, insulating glass, insulated replacement glass, insulated window glass, insulated glass windows, low-e insulated glass, insulated glass units, window glass insulation

jalousie windows
Windows with a series of overlapping, horizontal louvers that move together are called jalousie windows. Window louver panels open to maximize airflow through the openings.

Also known as: venetian blind windows, shutter windows, blind windows, aluminum jalousie windows, jalousie windows replacement

mullions
Window mullions are a vertical structural element that divides window panes and separates side-by-side windows.

Also known as: window divider, window column, aluminum mullions, aluminum window mullions, mullion replacement, replacement mullions, removable mullions, wooden mullions, wood window mullions

picture windows
Non-venting and non-operable windows are generally referred to as picture windows. Also know as fixed windows, picture windows only consist of window frames and glass. Most picture windows are double-paned or insulated to be more energy efficient since they have such a large surface area.

Also known as: fixed windows, non-opening windows, plate glass windows, picture replacement windows, vinyl picture windows

R-value
Thermal resistance to the transfer of heat through windows. Windows with higher
R-value have greater insulating properties.

replacement windows
Replacement windows are custom ordered to fit inside the jambs and sill of your existing windows. Replacement windows are usually less expensive to install than installing new windows that require new frames, jambs and window sills.

Also known as: window replacements, vinyl replacement windows, wood replacement windows, aluminum replacement windows, window pane replacements

single glazing
A single pane of glass installed in a window sash. Single-glazed windows are not as energy-efficient as double-glazed windows.

Also known as: conservatory windows, sun room windows,

single-hung windows
Single-hung windows look similar to double-hung windows, except the top sash is fixed and stationary, so only the bottom section opens.

storm windows
Mounted outside or inside the main glass, storm windows are often found in cold climates or as a retrofit of existing windows. Storm windows increase the efficiency of glass windows and can be mounted temporarily or permanently.

Also known as: replacement storm windows, aluminum storm windows, interior storm windows, home storm windows, vinyl storm windows, triple track storm windows, custom storm windows, combination storm windows, exterior storm windows

vinyl windows
Windows made with vinyl, a plastic material, cladding and window units. Vinyl windows are popular because they are relatively inexpensive and maintenance-free.

Also known as: replacement windows, vinyl home windows, vinyl casement windows, maintenance-free windows, vinyl bay windows,

window casing
Also known as window trim, window casing is exposed molding of various widths, thickness and shapes that covers the framework of window and door units.

Also known as: window trim, interior window casing, flexible window casing, decorative window casing, exterior window casing, window interior casing, window molding

window cladding
Cladding is material applied to the outside faces of windows to provide a durable, low-maintenance exterior surface. Cladding often provides protection from the elements and adds an aesthetic touch. It may also be referred to as window capping, which is a specialized field offered by few window contractors.

Also known as: cladded windows, clad windows, vinyl-clad windows

window sash
Window sashes are single frame assemblies of stiles and rails (explain stiles and rails) that hold the glass.

Also known as: window frames, window sashes, window sash repair, double-hung window sash, wood sash windows, antique window sash, window sash replacement

wood windows
Wood windows are those with wooden frames. They are a natural option, so they require more maintenance than vinyl windows, and they must be protected from moisture to avoid warping and rot.

Also known as: wooden windows, wood replacement windows, wood clad windows, custom wood windows, wood casement windows, wood double-hung windows, wood storm windows, aluminum-clad wood windows, exterior wood windows, wood window replacements, historic windows, historic wood windows

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions for Local Window Contractors

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 who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only window companies rated Highest in Quality 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 window installation purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified window company for your new windows.

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 as well. Double-paned windows are insulated to keep out the heat of the summer, and maintain heat during the 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, costing you money every day. New windows will save you money over the life of the window by cutting 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 keeping out harmful rays of the sun, so you’ll save money by not having to replace expensive furnishings.

Q: If I decide to sell my home, will new windows and doors 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 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 the material that gives you the look you want. It’s also important to select the 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. And while they cannot be painted, 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 the window 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 widows 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. Some composite windows have a wood interior that can be painted with more efficient material such as vinyl or aluminum that better resists weather. New composite windows can be made from recycled wood and plastic that can be painted but resist rot.

Q: How do I know which kind of windows are the best choice for me?
A: Your local window contractor will help you decide which manufacturer, style and material of windows is the best fit for your budget, home and aesthetic preferences. It’s wise to make a list of what you’re looking for in new windows so that your window installer can help you decide which windows best fit your needs.

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 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 on your specific project.

Q: Can I put in 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. 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 than can most homeowners.

Q: What about getting my new windows from a home improvement store?
A: Most home improvement stores sell new windows, and many advertise low prices. But you may sacrifice selection and quality by getting your new windows from a home improvement store. Most 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 or they rely on subcontractors. That means you can be caught between the retailer, the manufacturer and the installer if there are any problems with your windows.

Q: I’ve heard it’s important to hire a local window contractor that is an authorized installer. What does that mean and why should I look for a certified window installer?
A: Most major window manufacturers certify window contractors whom they have trained to install their specific products. These authorized installers also sell new windows and replacement windows. You’re likely to get a better installation, and some manufacturers even offer extended warranties on products their installers put in. And if something goes wrong later, you can avoid added hassle by hiring the same contractor for the purchase and installation of new windows one company will be responsible for the work.

Q: What happens if someone gets hurt while working on a job 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.

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