In just about any industry, especially in the home improvement product industry, there are high-quality products and there are lower quality products. With most products, the saying “You get what you pay for” holds true, and this is especially true when it comes to replacement windows and doors.
Michal Bohm, replacement window industry veteran and owner of BM Windows in San Diego, has a lot to say on this topic. He has made the decision to not sell certain brands of replacement windows at his company that he believes are of poor quality, even though some of his customers are asking for them by name. He says, “Our company only sells windows that we are confident will perform well for many years for our customers. All of our products are made from respected manufacturers and come with a lifetime guarantee, so our customers can be confident in their purchase. This means that sometimes we lose out on customers shopping only by price because we can’t compete with the companies selling builder-grade windows and doors, but we’re OK with that. We can’t in good conscience offer windows to our customers that we wouldn’t honestly recommend.”
Bohm continues, “Selling better quality windows also means that our team needs to be better educated about our products since they have to be able to explain to potential customers why they are better than some of the cheaper products on the market and why paying a little extra for a better product is worth the money. For example, we highly recommend replacement windows made by Anlin, which is a manufacturer a lot of people in San Diego have never heard of. However, they are one of the best vinyl window manufacturers out there and really stand behind their products.”
Michal Kuron, owner of Custom Exchange, a replacement window company in the Bay Area agrees that homeowners should not just look for the least expensive replacement window products on the market. He says, “Quality is key when it comes to the type of performance you will get out of your replacement windows and doors. If energy efficiency is the reason why you’re replacing your home’s windows, and it is for many people, then don’t compromise on windows that are only mildly more efficient than the windows you currently have in your home. Educate yourself on window products, so you don’t just have to rely on what a replacement window salesperson tells you.”
To Kuron’s point, if you aren’t well versed in replacement window products, and the average San Diego homeowner is not, it can be difficult to tell which products are of higher quality and which are of lower quality. They all pretty much look the same at first glance, and the performance numbers can be confusing. That’s why it’s important to know what the various numbers means when it comes to energy efficiency.
A helpful resource on the subject is this great e-book: Investing in Your Home: Replacement Windows and Doors. You should pay special attention to the section of the book titled “How to Choose the Best Windows for Energy Efficiency,” as it goes into great detail about the various factors related to energy efficiency in windows (and there are several), but uses language than anyone can understand. Homeowners in warmer climates like San Diego should pay the most attention to the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) numbers on replacement windows and compare the numbers from product to product.
A good San Diego replacement window company can also help through the process and take some of the guess work out of choosing the right replacement windows for your San Diego home. If you need a referral, use our “Find Local Pros” tool and we can refer you to a trusted company in our network.