Window, Door And Hardware FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions

Window, Door And Hardware FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should residential windows be replaced?

A: Homeowners with windows over 25 years old should consider replacing them, both to gain the best energy efficiencies and to protect the ‘envelope’ of the house. A home is an ideal candidate for a window replacement if its windows are sealed or painted shut, experiences ice buildup or a frosty glaze during the winter, allows too much sound transmission, gets fogged with condensation or has drafts that come through the windows.

Q: What does ‘cladding’ mean?

A: Some windows have wood frames that are covered on the exterior and/or interior with a layer called ‘cladding’ — consisting of vinyl, fiberglass or aluminum. This cladding provides additional protection for the window frame by strengthening its resistance to outside weather or heavy inside usage. Our aluminum-clad windows and doors feature thicker extruded aluminum offering greater strength and resistance to dents and chaulking from sun exposure, over the roll form aluminum used in other brands.

Q: How do I know what type of glazing is right for a window?

A: Different climates and styles of homes require different glazing options in order to maximize energy efficiency. Some glazing options can also help reduce outdoor noises from entering the home. Options range from the single-glazed glass with minimal insulating value (commonly found in historic homes), up through dual-sealed, triple-insulated glass with multiple Low E surfaces with an argon gas-filled insulated airspaces for maximum efficiency. However, the premiere glazing choice for superior energy efficiency is Zo-e-shield, the World’s Best Energy Glass. The proprietary glazing system features the Real Warm Edge Flexible Spacer, EasyCare glass coating, multiple layers of Low E coating and argon gas-filled airspaces. The Zo-e-shield glazing system is available on many of the company’s windows and doors in a number of configurations – from Zo-e-shield 5 through Zo-e-shield 8 – to fit an array of applications. Weather Shield is proud to feature the ENERGY STAR label on a wide range of windows and doors featuring an array of glazing options designed to provide superior comfort in climates across the country.

Q: What are grilles?

A: Grilles consist of muntin bars that form a decorative pattern on a window or door by dividing the glass into smaller panes.

Q: What are the advantages of airspace and perimeter grilles?

A: Airspace grilles feature the muntin bars sealed in the insulating airspace between two panes of glass and make the windows easier to clean. Perimeter grilles have an easy snap-in design that allows you to easily remove them for cleaning and to quickly change the look of the windows. Custom grilles can be designed to fit a number of architectural styles and are also available as removable perimeter grilles for easy installation and removal.

Q: What do U-values and R-values really mean?

A: When choosing any window or door, look for information that lists the product’s U-Value and R-Value. U-Values represent the amount of heat that escapes through a wall, window, roof or other surface. The lower the U-Value, the more energy efficient a material is. R-Values are the direct opposite and they measure an object’s resistance to heat flow. The higher a material’s R-Value, the lower its U-Value, and the less energy it will lose. An R-Value depends on the number of layers of glass in a window, what type of gas is between those layers, and whether one or more of the layers of glazing have been treated with a Low E coating.

Q: What does Low E stand for?

A: The term “Low E” means low emissivity. Emissivity is a property that’s unique to materials, such as glass, which light can freely pass through. Low E is a coating of non-visible, microscopic layers of silver sandwiched between layers of anti-reflective metal oxide coatings. Added to the surface of window and door glass, Low E provides greater energy efficiency, increased comfort and protection from damaging UV rays. By filtering out the part of the light spectrum that transmits heat, Low E reduces a window’s U-Value and increases its R-Value.

Q: What is an impact-resistant glass window?

A: These are windows with impact glass consisting of a strong laminated interlayer bonded between two panes of annealed, heat-strengthened, or tempered glass. When struck by a forceful object such as a tree branch or the stray golf ball, the glass resists shattering. When combined with an exceptionally strong window frame, in the rare event an object impacts the glass and causes the pane to shatter, it remains held within the frame. This type of window provides greater security and protection by greatly reducing the risk of flying glass or debris from entering the home during high windstorms.

Q: What is the difference between Simulated and True Divided Lite?

A: True Divided Lite (TDL) windows have individual panes of glass held together by muntin bars for a look similar to homes built during colonial times. While they look very much like the windows of yesterday, today’s technology makes TDL windows extremely energy efficient with insulated glass or insulated Low E glazing. An optional narrow spacer bar is available for the insulating airspace between glass panes and grille bars. This design offers modern energy efficiency while replicating the look of TDL construction where each lite is completely separated by a muntin bar.

Q: Who should have impact-resistant glass in their home?

A: Impact-resistant glass is ideal for homeowners living in coastal areas prone to strong windstorms and hurricanes, or for those who live on a golf course or other area where vigorous sports activities take place. Some homeowners choose impact-resistant glass for the sound reduction and security benefits it provides.

Q: Will impact-resistant glass prevent intruders from breaking into my home?

A: No glass can completely prevent intruders from entering your home. Any glass, when struck repeatedly with forceful blows, will eventually shatter. However, the majority of impact-resistant glass stays in the frame when broken, causing a forced entry to be much more time consuming, cumbersome and difficult.

Q: If I need to cut down my door, how much can I take off (top, bottom and sides)?

A: We build our doors to order and suggest ordering a door at the exact size that's needed. If time is of the essence and you must alter a door in local inventory, you can cut a maximum of ½" from the top and 1½" from the bottom or 1" on doors with UltraBlock® technology. Any more and you run the risk of impacting the structural integrity of the door. We do not suggest trimming the door in width other than for a bevel or minor prep work. For Fire-Rated doors, please contact customer service since this varies by the type of door.

Q: Where can I get advice on what type of stain or paint to use when finishing my door?

A: Every location is different (different weather, different exposure for a particular door) and every door is different (design, wood species, potential upgrades), it always makes sense to check with a local finishing expert. They will know the best products to use for the region. Fortunately, there are many good options available.

Q: Where can I go to see a particular glass (texture or decorative) in-person?

A: We offer numerous standard glass options with the ability to make any custom glass design a homeowner can dream of. And while it’s difficult for a retailer to have all options on display, we carry full-size doors and a variety of smaller glass samples to represent many of the options.

Q: What material is the most durable and weather resistant?

A: Wood in general is a great insulator and can withstand just about anything Mother Nature sends its way as long as it is has protection. Protection in the form of a great finish and a building overhang. For tough exposures, we offer a variety of products that can withstand more than your typical door — made from wood that have been evaluated and found to be especially weather-resistant: Douglas fir, Sapele Mahogany and Nootka Cypress.

Q: Are SAHR doors ENERGY STAR rated?

A: Not at this time. However, many of our doors carry u-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) ratings to meet or exceed many project or municipality requirements.

Q: How thick are the veneers on SAHR doors?

A: Most door veneers are 1/16” thick, much thicker than many inferior, imported doors on the market. This thickness allows for multiple refinishes over the life of the door. Some wood species come standard with thicker veneers.

Q: How do I find out if you offer an interior version of a specific exterior door?

A: We can make doors in any design, size and wood species. Therefore we can make any interior door to match an exterior door. And truly, any exterior door can be used in an interior application.

Q: What is the warranty on your doors?

A: Warranties can differ based on door type. Contact us for more specific info.

Q: Does SAHR install?

A: Yes! We have installation crews at all three locations for professionally installing our residential windows and doors. They are trained, licensed, insured and never leave a mess behind for the homeowner!

Q: Can I have my doors or windows pre-stained or painted?

A: Yes! Our doors and windows can be pre-finished from the manufacturer or we have an on-site finishing expert who can finish it before it’s installed.

Q: Can I get my door pre-hung?

A: Yes. We can arrange pre-hanging of your door.

Q: Where do I find hardware?

A: SAHR supplies hardware for all of our doors. We partner with numerous quality driven brands for both the commercial and residential markets. Chat with one of our sales team to find the right fit for your door and style.

Q: Where can I find what sizes a specific door is available in?

A: We can build any door in any size. Simply indicate the specific size needed when placing your order.

Q: What does "VG" stand for in VG flat panel?

A: Vertical grain.

Q: What are SG and IG?

A: These acronyms describe glass in a door. IG (insulated glazing, also known as double-paned glass) describes a glass unit made up of more than one piece of glass around a central airspace. This method of construction has proven to provide superior energy efficient characteristics vs. a single piece of glass. SG (single-glazed, also known as single-paned glass) indicates a single piece of glass for that unit, a common request for interior doors.

Q: Does SAHR carry bathroom partitions or lockers?

A: Yes! We have a long history of supplying and designing locker systems and bathroom/shower partitions for any commercial or school or hospital setting.