Everlast Window and Door does certainly install Ply Gem windows in homes in the area. In fact, they are a certified installer of Ply Gem windows, as well as Windsor Windows, Cascade and or course Milgard. Each manufacturer’s products have their own pluses and minuses. Some are for the price conscious, while others focus on a ‘premium’ product, intended for more affluent markets and higher end homes.
The history of vinyl window frames
A generation ago, several windows manufacturers jumped on the trend towards vinyl window frames. Before that, wood and metal (on the form of aluminum mostly) were the only options available. Plastic, in the form of vinyl, seemed like a huge opportunity for a new wave of product functionality, manufacturing techniques and profitability. The first vinyl framed windows rolled out to installers everywhere, and the future looked bright. But as the first few months ran into a couple of years, it was clear there was a problem. The frames quickly proved to be weak and vulnerable to heat and cold. This first generation of vinyl framed windows turned into a disaster for the manufacturers, causing them to do a very quick recall and all manner of compensation to affected customers. They had to replace this first wave of windows in many cases, leaving them to dig deep into their pockets, as well as quickly develop a better solution in the new vinyl market. Stronger vinyl frames were eventually created, and another attempt to enter this new market was made. This time, the material was much stronger, and there was an emphasis was on strength and flexibility. No one wanted another debacle that nearly put one or two manufacturers out of business.
What are you trying to achieve with your new windows?
Some homeowners like to do tons of research, and are also wanting to choose their own windows brand. Most, however, prefer to work directly with a windows installation company. The advantage with the latter is, you get the immediate experience of a company that is focused on the latest developments in products, technology, and indeed issues, relating to their specialized industry. Even if your heart is set on a single manufacturer, it might be good to check out what else is happening in the market. Perhaps there is a new, superior product available from a different manufacturer that you can take advantage of.
Are you interested in ultraviolet light protection in your window product?
In the Pacific Northwest, we tend not to worry about the dangers of ultraviolet light, but Puget Sound residents have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the country. Perhaps it’s because we think there is no risk, due to the almost daily could cover we get. The reality is, there is always ultraviolet rays reaching our skin when we are outside, even at night, hard as that sounds to believe. There isn’t very much UV light in the middle of the night, but there is a tiny bit. Well, all that said, ultraviolet light does damage many things. Drapes, carpet, people, pets and furniture. If your house has big windows, gets a lot of light (perhaps it is facing the south?) and you have property inside your house that could be affected by UV light, be sure to talk to your windows installation company about UV protection. It’s built into the actual panes of glass, as well as the gas they insert into the sealed gap between the panes. You can reduce the amount of ultraviolet light that gets through the glass by about 97%, and that is when it is shining directly through. At an angle, even less uv light gets through.
Sound insulation and privacy with your new windows
Have you noticed how the traffic has gotten steadily worse in Puget Sound over the past decade? With all the inflow of high tech workers, the two rush hours of the day have gotten longer and longer. Added to that, the latest generation of navigation systems allows drivers to avail of all sorts of back streets. Crowd sourced apps like Waze use driver experience of current traffic conditions to steer other drivers over alternate routes. If your home happens to be on one of these ‘alternate’ routes or shortcuts, you can look forward to only seeing more traffic running past your house during the week. Traffic means noise, and that means you might consider a little bit of extra sound insulation. Double- or triple-glazing can reduce considerably the level of street noise entering your home. If that is a consideration, be sure to mention to your windows installer that you want a product that specifically helps with the reduction of noise.
Where I live now, and as I type this at 4pm in the afternoon, I can see the afternoon rush hour traffic out my window, to my right hand side. And the drivers can see me, if my table lamp or room lights are on. As they crawl forward, I often catch the stare of drivers on their way home from work. If I had a choice I would like a glass that didn’t let so much light out. Some days I feel like I’m in a cage, but I don’t want to pull the blinds and block the precious daylight I already have.
Tinted glass can significantly block outgoing light, but without simply darkening the glass so that it looks like the house is empty. If privacy management is of interest to you, be sure to mention it to your windows installer.
More next week!