Thank you for considering Artisan Windows and Doors for your remodeling project. We put our customers first and aim to make your experience with us a satisfying one. The purpose of this letter is to answer commonly asked questions and help educate you on window and door replacement projects. We hope that this information will help you make the best buying decision.
Why do people replace their windows and doors?
Most people replace their windows and doors to save energy. There are also many other benefits to replacing your windows or doors, such as lowered maintenance, increased strength and security, lower sound transmission, improved aesthetics, greater functionality, and increased resale value of the home.
Replacement windows and doors are much more energy efficient because they utilize double pane or triple pane insulated glass units (IGUs). This insulated glass uses an argon gas fill between the panes for drastically increased insulation value. They also utilize a very high grade Low-E (Low Emissivity) glass for the exterior pane of the IGU. This Low-E glass reflects most of the infrared heat gain and ultraviolet light by utilizing reflective additives like silver. The insulated solar reflective glass coupled with the insulated vinyl frame will also drastically lower the amount of outside noise that reaches the interior of your home. Our windows also feature insulated maintenance-free vinyl frames. These frames are lifetime warrantied and have a thickness of 3 ¼ inches. That makes them much stronger than the existing windows in your home.
Replacement windows and doors are much stronger and more secure because Florida Building Code requires that all windows and doors are tested and approved for hurricane wind resistance. Additionally, replacing your existing windows with hurricane impact glass or security laminated glass will add even more security to your home. Laminated glass not only keeps hurricane debris from letting wind compromise the home, but makes it very difficult for anyone to break a window or door to invade your home.
When you have your windows or doors replaced, there is a great opportunity to change how a particular window or door opens. For example you can change sliding glass doors to French doors. Another example would be changing two single hung windows to a large double sliding window. This can increase the functionality of your living space as well as achieve a more elegant appearance. Replacement windows are a great way to add curb appeal to your home as well as make it much easier to maintain.
The return on investment for replacing your windows and doors is also very good. It not only makes it much easier to sell a home, but in many cases, will offer a potential increase in resale value over what was spent to replace the windows or doors. Real estate investors will often put in new windows and doors in every single home that they make an investment in. The return on investment that window and door replacement will provide is similar to that of bathroom or kitchen remodeling.
Who installs our windows and doors?
Artisan Windows and Doors is a family owned and operated business. The owners David (father) and Jeremiah (son) started as window and door installers themselves. They pride themselves in using high quality products and paying very good attention to detail during installation. David has been installing windows and doors for over 30 years and has trained every installer personally. David is the license holder and has a statewide Glass and Glazing License (#SCC13115674). Jeremiah's primary roles are sales, ordering, and measuring, but he helps with installation when he can. We also have $2,000,000 of general liability insurance coverage for your protection.
We have five installers, all of whom are family or very nearly family. Our installers are:
Dan - Brother/Uncle
Jon - Family friend
Mike - Brother/Uncle
Maggie - Niece/Cousin
Travis - Nephew/Cousin.
What should I expect during installation?
When installing, our crews usually install one window or door at a time. We place a drop cloth on the inside and a tarp on the outside of each opening in order to minimize clean up and protect your property. When we remove the existing window or door, we sacrifice it in order to preserve the condition of the surrounding sheetrock and stucco. This means we avoid damage to any sheetrock or stucco so that there will be no need for touch up paint or repair work on any of those openings after we have the new window or door installed. If we need to do any repair or painting to an opening from damage that we caused we are solely responsible to repair it at no extra charge. Our goal is to make it look like the products that we installed were always there. Next, we set our new window in the opening from the exterior. The new window requires shims and screws to get them plumb, level and square. We use large ¼ thick concrete fasteners that go through our windows jamb all the way into the concrete block. The screw type, strength, quantity and placement have to be installed according to engineering on file with the building department for the specific product. After all of our screws have been installed we then caulk the inside of the window with high grade siliconized painters caulk. After the caulking dries we then spray in expandable foam insulation from the outside into any space that may be between the window frame and the concrete block, this expandable foam not only insulates but adds considerable hurricane wind resistance to the window by gluing the entire window frame into the opening. The foam also creates a secondary waterproof seal should the exterior silicon that we apply ever be compromised. After insulating the window we then add our additional exterior window trim and apply our final bead of high grade exterior silicon. The exterior silicon is guaranteed for 50 years by the manufacturer and is formulated to stick effectively to the stucco and vinyl window.
After the exterior trim and caulking is done, we clean up our tarps and drop cloths and vacuum any other related debris. Our goal is to leave the premises cleaner than it was when we arrived. We will need to leave the installation screws exposed for the county inspector to see. After the inspector comes out and the inspection has passed we will be out a final time to triple check over the whole job and cover over any exposed screws. Screws in hinged entry doors will be covered over with lightweight spackle or putty. Screws in sliding doors and windows will be covered over with vinyl covers that come with the product.
What kind of warranty do we offer?
At Artisan Windows and Doors, we guarantee our installation for as long as you own the home. Our installation includes the sealing, set and anchoring of the windows or doors as well as the quality of work. Window and door manufacturers have their own specific warranties depending on the product used. We only use products with warranties that cover the glass seal, window frame, operating balance system and the hardware. In the event of a warranty claim, the manufacturer will provide free replacement of almost any defective parts for at least 20 years.
Will I need a building permit to change out my windows?
Window and Door Replacement does require a permit in order to verify that your new windows meet the new energy requirements, and were installed correctly. We will take care of all the permit paperwork and application processing to pull the permit. The building permit is usually covered in our $200 permit allowance; which covers the cost of the permit plus the time required to pull it. All windows will come with energy rating tags. Please do not remove the tags from windows until after inspection has been passed.
What Brands of Windows and Doors do we offer and install?
We have many different manufacturers but we use primarily Simonton, PGT, Novatech, Alside, and MSI. Most of our price quotes apply to either of those five manufactures and we have full confidence in all of them. All of the manufactures we carry have lifetime warranties which means they are warrantied for at least 20 years. The one exception is the Simonton MaxView patio door which has a 15 year warranty. If a part or system fails during this 20 period the manufacturer will send a free replacement part.
Our pre-hung fiberglass doors are made by Millwork Sales (MSI) using Plastpro components. Our doors are hung on stainless steel hinges and composite jambs. This means that they are both rot and termite proof, and should be the last door you will ever need to install. Most of our doors come with RSL door glass which includes many different decorative options and a 20 year warranty. ODL door glass is also available. All doors come standard with lifetime vinyl brick mold trim on the exterior and new casing on the interior, as well as a new handle and deadbolt.
Our sliding patio doors come from Novatech, Simonton, and PGT.
How much does it cost to replace a window or door?
Pricing depends on the size and installation circumstance of the product involved. All of our windows are custom made and price ranges from $600 to $1,800 per window depending on the size and type of window involved. Most PGT, Simonton, and Alside vinyl Replacement Windows range in price between $600 and $900 installed. The most common size is a 3 foot wide by 5 foot tall single hung window which goes for $700-800 installed with tax, that applies to either PGT, Alside, or Simonton. Hurricane Impact windows usually range from $1000 to $1800, with a 3x5 costing around $1600.
A six panel fiberglass entry door, without any glass, starts at $1500. The most common sliding glass door is 6 foot wide by 6 foot 8 inches tall, and it is sold for $2000-2600 from Novatech.
The wholesale price of a window from most of our manufacturers are within about $50 of each other, and the quality of each product is usually pretty comparable. Most replacement window manufacturers warranty their product for at least 25 years and they all typically purchase glass from the same three manufacturers. The aspects that set some manufacturers apart from others are longer warranties, small details and features like color options, stronger parts, and superior energy efficiency. Simonton, PGT, and Alside all have very good products and industry-leading warranties. This is why we prefer to use them over many of the other manufacturers we can provide.
How much will new windows save me on my utility bills?
Customers generally tell us that they save between 25% and 35% on their electric bill every month after having all of their windows and doors replaced. The windows and doors will eventually pay for themselves in this way and provide energy savings for years afterwards.
Will my windows come with new screens?
Yes, half screens with fiberglass mesh are included on all single hung windows and we don’t save any money by leaving them off. Full screens are also included on all double hung windows. The screen frames are aluminum with 1814 fiberglass mesh. PGT windows use standard screen frames that have a fixed location on the window, where Simonton and Alside use extruded screens that can slide up and down in their track.
How do the new windows go up and down or side to side?
Our hung windows use a coiled stainless steel lifting system. These coil balances work like a tape measure and requires no adjustments or maintenance. They are much stronger and more durable than block and tackle or spiral balances found on most other windows, especially new construction metal windows. Simonton and Alside windows use brass tandem wheels, each window section has 4 of these brass wheels. PGT uses 4 larger stainless steel wheels with nylon tires, these wheels will handle the weight of large hurricane impact windows. If these coil balances or wheels ever wear out or fail, the manufacturer will replace them free of charge.
Will I ever get moisture inside of my glass blocking my view?
It’s not very likely. Insulated glass units will fail eventually no matter how they are built but our windows use premium sealants and glass spacers that are designed to last a lifetime of at least 20 years. If you do get moisture between the panes the glass unit is covered by the manufacturer's lifetime warranty. Seal failure is considered a manufacturing defect and would warrant a free replacement unit from the manufacturer.
Do these windows have locks on them from the factory?
Yes, all of the windows have steel caming style locks that are held on to the window by screws that tap into the reinforcement in the window sash frame. This makes the locks very secure because they screw into more than just vinyl so the window cannot easily be pried open from the exterior.
What is argon and can it really escape from inside the sealed airspace?
Argon is a non-toxic gas that is much more dense than air, which in turn provides higher insulation value. It is often used to fill the gas space in between the panes of glass to enhance energy efficiency and reduce sound transmission. Argon in the gas space does not increase the chance of fogging inside the airspace or failure of the insulated glass seal. If your windows were not argon filled they would be filled with some other gas that could leak out and be replaced by moist air in the case of a seal failure. Since the argon does not move inside the airspace as much as everyday air like you and I breathe (which is what most metal windows and new construction windows have inside the gas space) there is not as much heat and cold transfer taking place through convection. The U-value of the window is improved approximately 10% when argon is added.
Will my new windows help prevent fading of furniture, carpet and wood floors?
Absolutely, UV(ultraviolet) rays cause fading of furniture, carpet, wood floors and even break down low quality plastics like blinds. Second generation Low E glass reduces the UV by ~84%. The newest third generation Low E (PPG solarban 70, Cardinal 366, Guardian ClimaGuard 55/27) reduce UV rays by ~95%.
Can I get Obscured glass in my bathroom?
Yes, Pattern 62 standard obscure glass is available at an add-on cost of approximately $30 on a typical size bathroom window. A prettier, but somewhat less obscured “Rain” glass is available in some of our windows at an additional cost as well.
If I add tinted glass, will it make my home even more energy efficient?
Not anymore. The Low E coating used on the glass in today’s is so energy efficient because it reflects the infrared heat. Adding tinted glass to the Low E glass panels can actually work against you, energy-wise, because glass with a tint to it absorbs and re-radiates heat, reducing energy efficiency somewhat. It's similar to wearing a dark shirt on a hot summer day as opposed to a light shirt. Tinted glass may provide a little additional privacy during the daytime while it’s brighter outdoors than it is indoors. Tinted glass may also reduce some of the glare on lakefront homes, but gray tinted glass gives a truer color rendition than bronze tinted glass. Tinted glass will add a cost of about $2.00 per square foot.
Do any of my windows need to have tempered glass for safety?
All bathroom windows have to be safety tempered but most windows are exempt. If a window is close enough to a door or has glass close enough to the inside floor of the home they also need to be tempered. Tempering adds $8.00 per sqft on rectangular windows and $33.00 per sqft on special shaped windows.
Are horizontal sliding windows available and are they as difficult to operate as my old metal ones?
They are available in 2 panel or 3 panel styles and often provide more openable space and better fire escape from bedrooms than vertically operating windows. They also provide much more glass space and light than vertically operating windows. Premium sliding windows are far superior to the old aluminum sliding windows. Advanced roller systems and the vinyl frame itself make for easier and more durable operation. Sliders do not tilt-to-clean like vertical operating windows, but the sashes in some of our sliding windows can be removed from inside the home for ease of cleaning.
What is the energy rating of your windows?
The U-value of most vinyl windows is usually about .33 with regular air inside the airspace. Using argon typically improves the U-value by about 10% to around .30. The lower the number, the better, our windows have a U-value of .28. The solar heat gain coefficient or “SHGC”, which measures how many thermal energy units (BTU’s) penetrate the window in direct sunlight, is generally about .27 with a second generation Low E glass like solarban 60 or Cardinal 270. Using the new third generation Solarban 70, Cardinal 366 or Guardian Climaguard 55/27 will lower this number even further. Third generation glass will generally improve that number to .21, an amazingly low number compared to previous standards. Again, the lower the number, the better.
Why do we use Simonton products?
Simonton products are warranted for 20 years from the date the windows or doors are manufactured and the warranty can be transferred to a second owner. They are another large national manufacturer and uphold an industry leading standard of quality and innovation. They have many different vinyl window lines to choose from and their MaxView patio door is one of the most innovative designs available. We can typically fulfill any window or sliding door need with this manufacturer. They have very good product designs with long production runs. Simonton has been around for over 70 years and has been building vinyl windows since about 1980 many manufacturers model their windows based on their industry leading designs. They are very detail oriented in all aspects of their business and will be around for many years to come. Many professional tradesmen place their trust in Simonton and prefer their products.
Why do we use PGT products?
PGT products are warranted for 25 years from the date the windows or doors are manufactured. This Florida manufacturer produces one of the most comprehensive and innovative hurricane impact window and door lines available. Hurricane Impact windows have laminated glass that will not break out of the window if the glass is hit by flying debris. Due to excellent engineering and lots of metal reinforcement in the window frame they achieve higher design pressures (strength) at larger sizes than most manufacturers. Design Pressure (DP) is a rating that identifies the load induced by wind that a product is rated to withstand in its end-use application. We often use this manufacturer when we do hurricane impact products. They also make some of the strongest non-impact products available. PGT worked with the state to establish many of the building codes and standards around windows and doors for the state of Florida.
Why do we use Alside products?
Alside products are warrantied for as long as you own the home and the warranty can be transferred to a second owner. When transferred, the warranty period becomes 25 years from the date of installation. Alside is a large national manufacturer that has been around for more than 65 years, and will be around for more to come. They have a very large vinyl window and door product line and feature some of the most innovative designs available. They offer one of the only blinds between the glass sliding doors that we can get that has Florida product approval. We can typically fulfill any window or sliding door need with this manufacturer and can be confident that the product is going to work well for many years to come. The Alside mezzo window and 6400 series sliding door feature one of the narrowest frames on the market allowing for more glass. Furthermore, Alside has remarkable customer service and will take care of any warranty issues quickly and efficiently.
Why do we use Novatech products?
Novatech products are warrantied for 20 years from the date the product is delivered to our warehouse. The company is known for its high quality products and innovative designs. Their patio doors are designed with minimalist frames and large glass surfaces to provide unobstructed views of the outdoors. The 301 and 650 have a high degree of protection against water infiltration and the PVC construction make them easy to clean and operate. They come in a variety of configurations which means we can fulfill almost any design plan. The company has been around for over 40 years and has excellent customer service.