Windows are not cheap. But investing in a good window system throughout your house is worth the initial investment and here is why. You will never change your windows. You just won’t. Unless you are replacing old rotting ones or adding new windows in a remodeled portion of your house, windows go in once and that’s that. You don’t want to pick shitty windows just to save money now. Do it right the first time. With the more stringent Title 24 codes, getting our windows to meet the new guidelines proved to be a time-eating and costly challenge for us.
We are going with Kolbe. Though because this is a place where I need to be honest, I recently read about a class action lawsuit which was filed in 2014 concerning Kolbe systems leaking, rotting and having mold issues… So darn it, we will have to do some reconnaissance, research and revisit this whole thing again… Ghaaaa… But for now, since we are still in the pricing stage, Kolbe windows and doors are our top choice until proven otherwise. They provide the thin profile, modern look, the proper hardware, and the (now possibly perceived) quality we are looking for with their warranty program. I realize I must take my own advice. There is no use putting in shitty windows that are going to cause us headaches a few years in, especially with the constant salt air we live in. In Kolbe’s defense, it has been recorded that they won the lawsuit… But I’m still going to do more research and possibly look at some houses in the area with the same window system we are looking at.
Anyway, we have LOTS of windows in the new house design. So many in fact that I had to remove a few floor to ceiling units and a skylight just to make our Title 24 calculations work. Obviously not my favorite compromise, but such is life. We are also working with the direct dealer through my husband’s business. Windows are usually sold through a third party. Therefore, they get marked up twice. Sometimes three times before they get to the jobsite. Not with Kolbe. They sell direct from the actual window manufacturer to one certified dealer which equals only one mark up. So do your homework and get cozy with your contractor. I’m married to mine so we are real cozy. HA! Make sure he/she is talking to your architect/designer about the specific look you are ultimately getting and exactly what you are paying for.
- How do your windows operate? Awning, Casement, etc. It’s worth examining the hardware of all of your operable windows and glass doors.
- Look into using stock sizes. Windows are typically made to order, per project, but there are standard sizes. If your architect/designer can keep as many of them as stock sizes it may save you production time and money down the line.
- Timing. When ordering windows and doors, sign off as early in the building process as possible. The lead time on window systems is considerable. Sometimes up to 10 weeks! You don’t want to be waiting for those units to arrive and stalling the building process.
- Kolbe also does door systems as do many other window manufacturers, but I think there is nothing wrong with mixing and matching brands to get the seamless final look you want.
- Keep in mind that windows do require maintenance. Monthly cleaning of large expanses of glass and regular checking on hardware is necessary.
They say the “eyes are the windows to your soul.” Well, I think that windows are the eyes to your home’s soul. Natural light wherever you can get it will make interior spaces light up with warmth and nothing beats streams of natural glow. Don’t forget that!
Happy Window Shopping! And in my case, happy frickin’ repricing with an alternate backup system in case we decide to go another route. I really hate going back to the drawing board…