About Hiring a Window & Door Service Provider

Are you beginning to resent your windows and doors for not protecting you better against nature’s elements? Do you crave a quiet room in your home where you can close the door and leave the world behind? Or are you just plain uninspired by the windows you look through and the doors you walk through? Whether you’re looking for better insulation, soundproofing or a new style for your windows and doors, there are some things you’ll need to know before you cross the threshold into the realm of home improvements.

Before you take any action, find out what restrictions or regulations your building management has for new and/or improved windows and doors. Then, take some time to figure out exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re simply discontent with the style of your windows or doors, you’ll most likely want new ones. If that’s the case, you should sit down with some home magazines to select styles that appeal to you. Next you’ll need to learn about various manufacturers and whether or not you’re looking for a custom design or a standard manufactured model.

A Matter of Form and Function

Believe it or not, purchasing windows and doors can be similar to purchasing a car. Once you’ve selected a style, the next step is to decide what amenities to include in the package. If you’ve dreamt of ways to prevent your child’s piano practice from permeating the whole house or if you’re ready to hurl your shoes out your window at the blaring horns on the street, you’re most likely looking for special doors or windows equipped with soundproofing. There are numerous grades of soundproofing, and the cost depends upon the extent of silence you’d like and the type of window or door you’re looking for, as well as the complexity of the installation. Keep in mind that as with cars, the more amenities and specifications, the higher the cost. Most vendors will charge a fixed fee for the window or door, with the greatest cost variable being the installation and amenities.

Is Money Flying Out Your Windows?

Windows and doors, on average, are responsible for approximately 40 percent of your heating bill. If you’d like to make sure that you get the most for your money, it would be wise to consider insulating the new addition to your home, particularly if your curtains have been fluttering in a breeze that mysteriously penetrates your closed windows or door. If you’re one of these unlucky people, your home’s heating bill is most likely inflated by poor insulation.

Insulating an outside entrance door is relatively simple. Before holding your current door responsible for the unwanted breeze, make sure that the problem is not concentrated in the weatherstripping, doorframe or threshold. Nature’s elements may be sneaking in around the door, not through it. If everything is secure, you may want to purchase a heavy mass door or a door that has insulation built into its core.

When looking for a quality door, keep in mind that there is no significant difference between a seven-ply and a five-ply door. There are either two or three layers of ply on each side of a door, with the outermost ply being the veneer and the innermost ply being the core. When all is said and done, the total thickness of ply is the same for seven- or five-ply doors. The most important distinguishing factors in a door are the quality of ply used and the framing and joining.

If you’re looking for internal doors to connect one room to another, your major concerns will be style and soundproofing. Depending on your needs and preferences, there are many interior doors to choose from—pocket doors, louver doors, French doors, etc. The complexity of the installation and whether you choose a custom-designed door or a manufactured door will determine the price.

Window Insulation Basics

If you’re interested in insulating your windows, you have numerous options. One simple way is to replace single-pane windows with double-pane windows. The dead-air space between the panes provides additional insulation. To maximize the use of dead-air space, you can choose to inject it with either argon or krypton—both are gases that are denser than air, with krypton being denser and more expensive. Argon is the more economical and popular choice for this type of insulation.

You may also choose to use low emittance (Low-E) glass, a virtually clear coating that prevents much of your furnace- or boiler-generated heat from escaping through the glass, while allowing solar heat to enter. Low-E glass works year round, reflecting sunlight in the summer and absorbing it in the winter. Another common term in the window insulation world is U/R Value. This number indicates the quality of insulation. The lower the U value, the better insulated the window or door.

Repairing and Replacing

If your antique door looks like your dog tried to dig an escape route through it or your landmark windows have seen better years and need to be replaced, you’ll need a specialized repair or reproduction job. Don’t worry—the right professional is just a few pages away.

Before calling a professional, however, you should know what type of window or door you’re working with. Do you have operable or non-operable windows? Are they single hung (upper portion is fixed) or double hung (both portions open and close)? Is it a steel casement window (unit is hinged at the side, opening vertically) or a landmark building window with its own special configuration?

All of these factors will affect the cost, so be sure to get an estimate for the cost of the window or door, as well as for the installation and labor.

Once you’ve updated, renovated, or added the ultimate window and door treatments for your home, you’ll enjoy rooms that are cozier in the winter and brighter in the summer. Windows are your portals to the sights and sounds of New York, and the professionals in this guide are ready and able to keep the sights in view while keeping the weather and sounds at bay.

Noisy Neighborhood? Consider these Window and Door Soundproofing Methods
  • Interior Windows—made to fit inside the frames of your existing windows, inside the living area, these create a large airspace between the two windows and dramatically reduce noise from the outside.
  • Window Plugs—removable sections of matting material or matting-over-board that can be placed snugly over a window to cut noise and light: put them up at night and take them down in the morning. For large windows, plugs can be custom made with handles for easy insert and removal.
  • Acoustical Curtains—usually made of polyester with a heavy plastic lining, these curtains are installed on two sets of rods to create a dead airspace between the first set of curtains and the second, which blocks sound. Weighing in at about 18 pounds a panel, these heavy curtains require sturdy rods and expert installation.
  • Acoustical Doors—To lessen the noise inside your home, consider replacing ordinary, hollow doors with acoustical doors that reduce escaping noise by about 50 percent. These doors are made of soundproofing layers and special sealing components.
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