You Have Questions…
We’re Here To Answer Them.
What Makes Renewal by Andersen Alaska Different Than the Competition?
That’s a great question and one that deserves a straightforward and honest answer… not some ridiculous platitude like we’re the best, or we’ve been around forever.
There are, in my humble opinion, three key elements that make us different that our completion.
First, we simple refuse to compromise on our quality. The reality is that a large portion of a window or door installation occurs where you cant’s see it. This is especially true if there are any framing issues. In this industry, it’s just too easy to hide shoddy work and to cut corners to pad profits.
That’s why we created our own set of standards, protocols and procedures. Any deviation from these is grounds for immediate dismissal. Just how serious are we about our quality… we’ve been known to rip out entire sets of windows and start over.
Second, we put everything in writing. From our Contractor Standards Guide, to our warranty, down to our estimate… everything is in writing. That way, you know EXACTLY what you are paying for. There is no ambiguity, low balling, games, gimmicks or gotchas.
Third, Most other companies give you very limited color and trim options and you have to settle for what they offer. Not with RBA Alaska. We are the ONLY window and door installation company that has its own in-house finishing shop. Couple that with our master carpenters and we are the only window and door Installation Company in Alaska that can match your new windows or doors to your existing home with custom trim and finishes.
You Keep Talking About Quality Of Installation… Can You Elaborate?
Certainly. Here is a hard truth: even the best products in the world will fail if they are not installed properly. Use an inch and half screw when you should be using two inches and your door might rip right out of the frame. Use cheap caulking around your windows and the expansion and contraction caused by our severe weather extremes will crack and split that caulking allowing drafts and moisture into your home.
The installation process is the most important part of any window replacement. If the window isn’t installed correctly, you may not even be able to use it and for sure it will not be as energy efficient as you wanted it to be.
We train our installers to meticulously focus on the process and to make sure that every window is installed correctly, the first time. We use highly trained and skilled craftsman, not cheap inexperienced “day-laborers.” Which, by the way, is one of the favorite tactics of other remodelers to cut their expenses so they can pad their profits.
New windows installations only do your home and wallet good if they are installed correctly. Chances are your old windows have some energy inefficiencies. If the new windows are just as inefficient, then what did you really gain? You should have just saved your money.
In the end, it is all about the frame and the installation process that the contractor uses. The frame needs to be sturdy, structurally sound, plum, level and square. And your new window needs to fit in it like it was meant to be used in that frame. If there is even one point of weakness, your energy savings won’t be realized and you will literarily and figuratively be “throwing your money out the window.”
Why Do Installers / Contractors Lie About or Low Ball Their Estimates?
Simply stated: they want your money. That means they will do almost anything to make sure they have the best chance of doing so. That includes trying to lowball their estimates. They try to mold themselves into your budget.
That means that even if you can afford more, they will try to offer you the lowest prices knowing that with a window installation, where 80% of the installation is what you can’t see, that they can “cut corners” to pad profits later.
“Rip and Stick” Is a Viable Solution, Lots Of Other Window Installation Pros Do It, Right?
Sometimes “professionals” is a loose term to use when it comes to window installations. There have been cases of windows falling out of their anchoring when a child simply leans on the window.
Definitely not a professional job.
In many cases, you’d be better off remaining with the original window than having some fly-by-night “professional” or what we like to call “chuck-in-a-truck,” rip out the old window, stick in a new one, seal it up with a whole lot of shims and caulking and collect his money. The window won’t perform the way it’s supposed to and you will definitely not get your money’s worth from the window itself.
Don’t get me wrong, there are cases where the frames are good enough to allow for a quick switch installation of windows. However, the thing you should remember is that the majority of the frame of a window is inside the housing and no one can tell at a glance what condition they are in.
It is the real professional that takes this bit of information into account in his quote. Many of the others will simple hit you with a low ball bid, then come back later and re-quote an exorbitant fee for replacement of the frame itself. Of course, by this time you are stuck between a rock and a hard place because all you have at this point is a giant hole in the wall where your window used to be…these “chucks-in-a-truck” know this and will use it to their full advantage. This is just another one of the ways that other remodelers in and around Alaska will cut corners to pad profits.
Why Are The Windows from the Local Home Center a Poor Fit for My Home?
In today’s day and age of grandiose marketing and advertising, many homeowners find themselves tempted to take shortcuts by installing “off the shelf” windows that they can purchase “cheaply” from those “Big Box” home improvement retailers. And what about that “cheaper” contractor… well, guess where they’re probably buying their windows from?
In either case, they are both very BAD IDEAS: In Alaska, You need custom built windows!
Simply put, windows purchased off the shelf come in “standard sizes.” The reason is simple, it’s a matter of profitability and limited shelf space. It is much easier and much more profitable for a “big box” retailer to stock a limited range of “standard” sizes that they can sell quickly.
The problem is your home’s windows are probably not a standard size. You’ve heard us talk about this before. In short, your going to have a very difficult time trying to fit “off the shelf” windows ( a square peg) into your homes existing frame (a round hole). Bottom Line: you can’t change the windows dimensions, so you’re going to end up having to cut into your home’s walls and existing window frame.
But no matter how closely you measure and how precise you try to be, one inescapable fact remains… off the shelf windows are not built to your exact measurements, only custom windows are. Which means, inevitably, those off the shelf windows are going to leave gaps.
And if you think small gaps don’t matter think again. According to the E.P.A. and Energy Star, having a gap even as little as an 1/8th of an inch around a standard 36 inch window is the same as having a 2 and a half inch hole in your wall. It’s simple physics. For every one cubic foot of air (that you paid to condition) that leaves your home, one cubic foot of outside air must enter. This puts you into the constant, never ending cycle, of paying to condition your air needlessly.
If you are determined to save a few dollars by buying “off the shelf” windows just keep one thing in mind… how quickly do you think those “initial” savings will disappear when your home’s energy bills skyrocket because your windows don’t fit properly.
In recent years, some manufacturers started making custom windows for product lines that used to only have standard sizes. Overnight the stores that sold “off the shelf” products began telling customers that they could do custom sizes now. One problem… who is measuring them? Do they know the product line restictions? Do they know the codes? Do they know which installation method will be used so they order correctly? Based on our experience… they probably don’t. Not for lack of caring, but because they simply do not know how.
Don’t get stuck with windows that simply don’t fit and don’t work in your home. Trust me, the pennies you think you are saving today are going to cost you a fortune in time, energy and aggravation in the future. Make the smart investment… Schedule a free in-home consultation with us today.