Frequently Asked Questions

Replacement Windows

When should windows be replaced? (i.e. if it isn’t broken, is it worth fixing?)

Here are some common telltale signs that it may be time to think about replacing old windows:

  • You can feel a slight draft, or the room is noticeably colder near windows in the winter
  • The interior pane feels like the weather outside; that is, it feels warm to the touch during summer, and cold during winter
  • Visibly damaged trim – look closely for cracks, rotting, age/wear gaps

These can all be clues that your windows are not performing as well as they could, and that you’re throwing money, in the form of energy bills, literally out the window. Considering that many modern window designs are predicted to last well over 20 years, the long haul savings of window replacement can be massive.

When you consider the money that you could be saving on energy costs, along with recently introduced federal tax credits for energy efficient homes and local incentive programs (such as Puget Sound Energy rebates), we think there are a lot of reasons that replacing now makes more financial sense than ever.

Which replacement window brands do you carry?

At Lake Washington Windows, we highly recommend Milgard Window products. Over the years, we’ve found firsthand that Milgard’s stellar reputation for quality design, durability, and exceptional customer service is well-deserved.

We also proudly carry top-quality products from trusted window brands such as Jeld-Wen Windows, Cascade Windows, Simonton Windows, and Ply Gem Windows.

Which window type offers the best energy efficiency?

In reality, this depends on the specific window model, and is subject to some debate. That said, Fiberglass and Vinyl are comparable insulators under normal conditions. However, in general, fiberglass windows have the efficiency edge over vinyl winows for two main reasons. First, fiberglass has an extremely low thermal expansion coefficient, which means that it will expand and contract less than vinyl windows on very hot and cold days, maintaining a consistent seal in all weather conditions.

Secondly, fiberglass is much stronger than vinyl and other window materials. Thus, it will likely stay in good shape for longer, and is less likely to develop cracks or sustain wear damage over the years, which can negatively impact thermal performance.

If you’re looking for the the most environmentally friendly, or “greenest” window choice, you might also be interested to know that fiberglass windows are typically manufactured using highly sustainable process and materials (primarily sand!).

What is “Low-E” coating?

Low-E (or low-emissivity) coated glass is offered standard or as an option on many modern window models, and can dramatically improve the energy efficiency of your windows. This is because the coating is designed to pass visible light, but reflects the IR and UV spectrums (to a greater degree than non-coated windows). In the summer, this means that your house stays cooler because less solar heat is transfered into your home. In winter, room heat is actually reflected inwards, resulting in lower heating bills.

What are some common and approved methods of installing windows?
  • What to Expect: Blog Frame Window Replacement with Milgard
  • What to Expect: Full Frame Windows Replacement with Milgard
  • What to Expect: Milgard-Z-bar Window Replacement
I’m not sure what this type of window is called, can you help me identify it?

No problem! You can probably find it in our guide to common window types. If not, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or ask a question online.

How long does a window replacement job take?

Installation time will of course vary depending on the house size and window type. Not counting prep work (such as free consultation, measurement, and custom ordering window materials), a typical whole house of windows takes between 2-5 days to replace. Click here for a more detailed explanation of our service process.

What should I expect from a window installation?
  • What to Expect: When Milgard Replaces Your Windows
Are there standard window sizes? Will custom size windows cost extra?

No. As far as replacement windows go, there is no industry chart of standard sizes. Ordering custom sized window frames to fit your existing cutouts is “the norm” rather than the exception. As such, most manufacturers allow you to order custom-size windows at no additional cost.

While you might see some “standard sizes” listed on manufacturer websites or stocked at the hardware store, these are really geared toward new homes or less experienced do-it-yourself homeowners trying to find a “drop-in” solution.

What are some general service issues that arise with windows and doors and how do you address them?
  • How To: Maintain Your Sliding Window
  • How To: Adjust Sliding Window Rollers for Smooth Operation
  • How To: Balancer Replacement
  • Locating Your Milgard Sales Order Number
Can you replace windows during the winter season? Is it a good idea?

Absolutely! We replace windows in all seasons, including winter.Winter window replacement is really not that different from replacement in summer or any other season, for that matter.

In some regards, replacing old windows in wintertime can actually make more sense than any other time of year. If you’re like most homeowners, you have probably found that heating costs and energy bills tend to skyrocket at the end of fall and throughout the winter months (which seem to linger a bit longer in Seattle). If you’re already thinking about upgrading your home windows, there’s really no reason to endure drafty, inefficient windows all winter long when you can replace them now and cut energy costs at a time of year when they tend to be most expensive.

Replacement Doors

What brands of replacement doors to you carry/install?

We offer a wide selection of entry doors and patio doors from respected manufacturers such as Milgard, Therma-Tru Doors, Simpson Doors and Codel Entry Systems.

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We look forward to hearing from you!