The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but windows are the eyes to the outside world. Right now, with the pandemic and the dreary winter-to-spring transition weather, many of us are stuck at home like dogs in the window, eagerly hoping to see a familiar face outside. And we’re noticing things.
Last spring, I noticed that every time I went to open my 40+-year-old windows, I nearly got pinned beneath the weight of the finicky, heavy, wooden frames. Even though health experts were encouraging fresh air and open windows, I was hesitant to fight with my worn-out windows and stuck with stale air. I decided to call National Window & Door in Christiansburg to see what my options might be. Repair? Replacement?
This was not my first time calling National Window & Door. They replaced all 14 of the windows on my former house in 2007. In an age where many companies are replacing showrooms with websites and in-person consultations with phone calls, National Window & Door remains committed to the face-to-face experience. From consultations to home visits and showroom demonstrations — it is all free.
Certified installer Matt Boland explains that whether his customers just need one window replaced or a dozen, it is the same pricing. “More often than not, when we do a few windows, the customer is so pleased with the process that they call us back to do the rest,” he says. With 30 years of industry experience, the quality is excellent.
“We are fortunate with the crew we have in place,” Boland explains. “They’ve been with us so long that they know the drill. We can install windows of all shapes and sizes, any time of year.”
He’s right about that. I had reservations about getting my new windows installed in late December. With the pandemic, it took longer than expected for them to be manufactured, and the crew assured me they would work quickly and efficiently to prevent excess cold air from coming in while windows were being replaced. The whole process took under an hour, and they left everything nice and neat. The exterior window wrapping is gorgeous, and the curb appeal of my home has dramatically improved.
Though some customers prefer classic wooden windows, vinyl windows are really wonderful for the price and quality. They are energy efficient, not nearly as heavy, and much easier to clean. I opted for the vinyl sliding windows in cherry to match my wood trim, and the color is identical.
National Window & Door often partners with Budget Blinds of New River Valley and Salem to work with customers in the planning stages of their homes. “We can work off a blueprint if needed,” says Tia Brown, co-owner and chief marketing officer at Budget Blinds. “Window treatments can drastically make or break the look and feel of a room or home. It can be hard for customers to see past outdated drapes and find potential, but that’s where we come in.” Budget Blinds is a one-stop shop, taking the customer every step along the way from design, to measure, to install. If you have any trouble, they have a terrific warranty. You won’t be stuck calling 800 numbers and writing one-way emails to manufacturing companies. They have close relationships and discount packages with dozens of window treatments companies. “With so many vendors, we are often able to get better bulk pricing than big box stores, and we are constantly checking to make sure we’re getting the best discounts available,” Brown says.
Brown herself purchased a new home last March, just one week after the entire country shut down due to the pandemic. Fortunately, she had the foresight to turn her new space into a veritable “show house,” using all the latest window treatment options and design elements in her home so that customers could still have that vendor event experience.
Even if customers don’t want blinds or drapes, Brown encourages window films. “Films don’t just give you privacy, they also protect your furniture and floors from fading – all while still allowing you a great view outside.”
Window World, based in Salem, installs lots of windows in the New River Valley. Each window is engineered with heavy-duty construction, insulated glass and a vinyl finish that never needs painting. The company was founded in 1995, with the regional showroom locally-owned and operated since 2008. They have the Energy Star® and Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Check out the blog for a plethora of useful home design and renovation tips and information. https://www.windowworldroanoke.com/blog
Faux wood blinds are always in demand, and motorized window treatments are gaining popularity as well, according to Brown. “We can install a motor in what you already have, working with Alexa, Google Home or any Smart Home hub to deliver control at the touch of a button. You can program blinds or shutters to tilt a certain way depending on the time of day, and we can install solar panels to charge the shades.”
Replacement windows are an investment worthy of consideration for every homeowner. Improvements have made great strides with additional energy efficiency, advanced glass technology, sealing mechanics, minimal maintenance, easy cleaning methods, improved locks and security and stunning styles and aesthetics. Windows are as relevant to structural integrity and personal comfort as a good roof or dry basement.
NRV freelance writer Emily K. Alberts is looking forward to opening her brand-new windows this Spring!
Advantages of Replacement Windows
? Increased home value
? Enhanced security and safety
? Sound reduction
? Curb appeal
? Low maintenance
? Additional thermal performance
? Low-e (low thermal emissivity)
? UV protection from interior fading
? Lots of choices
Text by Emily K. Alberts