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What to Look for When Buying New Patio Doors

Happy family on cozy patio area with sliding doors.Patio doors may not be front and center when it comes to your home’s exterior, but that doesn’t mean they don’t play a vital role in its beauty and functionality. Outdated, dingy, and poorly operating patio doors can be more than just nuisances and eyesores. They can be a barrier to accessing and fully enjoying your backyard, deck, or patio. Thankfully, an experienced company can replace patio doors quickly—usually in just a few hours—and with minimal disruption to your home. With installation being relatively straightforward, the key to a successful remodel is choosing the right kind of patio doors for your home. Here are four things to consider when buying new ones.    

Style

Let’s start with the most basic question: what type of patio doors should you go with? Just because your current doors are one style, it doesn’t mean you can’t switch things up with their replacements.

Sliding

The most common style of patio door is sliding, and for two big reasons. First, since the doors don’t sweep outward or inward, they do not require a lot of floor space to operate. Second, with their large glass doors, they let in plenty of light and offer great views.

French

French doors are close behind sliding doors in terms of popularity. These hinged options offer classic styling and plenty of hardware options. French doors also have a lower threshold than sliding doors, which require a track for the panels to operate.

Folding

If you really want to make your outdoor living area an extension of your home, folding patio doors are the way to go. These doors stack against each other as they retract and can open up an entire wall of the room, proving maximum access and unobstructed views.  

Glass Options

There’s no shortage of glass options when it comes to patio doors. Some of the most popular are impact glass, tinted glass, and glass with low-E coatings that filter out UV rays, the type of light that causes color fading in sun-exposed fabrics and flooring. You can also opt for energy-efficient glass packages that have gas fills between the panes, increasing thermal performance.   

Frame Material

Just about every patio door frame is made from one of four materials: wood, metal, fiberglass, and vinyl.

Vinyl

Among frame materials, vinyl is the most popular, especially with sliding doors. Vinyl is durable, easy to clean, energy efficient, and stands up well to temperature extremes.

Wood

Wood patio doors are beautiful and come in a variety of types and finishes. They do require more maintenance than other options, but with proper care should last as long as any other material.

Metal

Steel and aluminum doors are exceptionally durable and often more affordable than some other options, but they may not be as energy efficient as vinyl, wood, or fiberglass models. 

Fiberglass

Like fiberglass windows, fiberglass doors are growing in popularity. They offer the best strength-to-weight ratio of the four, combining exceptional durability in a lightweight package. And because of their strength, the frames can be a little less bulky than other types of patio doors. But they are more expensive than vinyl or metal.   

Convenience and Decorative Options

The right finishing touches can take your patio doors to the next level. In addition to hardware options such as handles and reinforced locking mechanisms, you’ll also be able to choose from a variety of grid options and even built-in blinds that are sandwiched between the glass panes. And of course, you’ll be able to choose from many different colors and finishes.

Your Source for Premium Patio Doors

Deciding which patio doors are right for your home will depend on your budget, your aesthetic preferences, and your needs. If sorting through all the possibilities is a little daunting, you don’t have to go it alone. The Window Depot offers and installs premium patio doors from top manufacturers Simonton and PGT. One of our representatives will be happy to visit your home in the Tampa Bay area to review options and answer all your questions. Reach out to us today. You can also visit our Palm Harbor showroom to chat and view samples of our patio doors firsthand.   

Common Causes of a Drafty Window

Common Causes of a Drafty WindowOn windy days, do you hear your windows rattling? How about the curtains? Do they sway when a breeze kicks up? Drafty windows can do more than make your home grumble and sigh. They can force your HVAC unit to work harder to keep indoor temperatures comfortable, which in turn can lead to higher utility bills. In fact, the Department of Energy (DOE) recently estimated that drafty windows can cost up to $330 a year in additional heating or cooling costs. That’s enough to send a chill up any homeowner’s spine. But what causes windows to become drafty? And what can be done about it? Here are three common causes of drafty windows.    

Seal Failures

Upon installation, windows are caulked along all seams and edges, and the spaces between the jambs and framing members are filled with insulation. Unfortunately, caulking doesn’t last forever and insulation degrades over time. When this happens (and it will happen eventually) it creates gaps that allow air to pass through. How long your seals last will depend on several factors, including how often you open and close the window (wear and tear), and what kind of climate you live in. Temperature extremes cause windows to contract and expand, which stresses the seals.

Improper Installation

If your new windows are drafty, it’s almost certainly the result of improper installation. As explained above, windows must be properly caulked and insulated if they are to prevent air leakage. The window jamb must also be perfectly aligned within the frame to ensure an airtight fit once the caulking and insulation have been added. This is a precise, multi-step process, and it’s not unheard of for even professional installers to improperly position the frame ever-so-slightly.  

Deteriorated Hardware

Even the simplest window is still a complex piece of machinery, with plenty of parts that must work in conjunction with each other to provide optimal weather protection. It doesn’t take a complete component failure to cause a window to become drafty. Worn-out gaskets, subtle frame warpage, and thinning glazing can allow air infiltration even if the window is still fully functional.       

How to Tell if Your Windows Are Leaking Air

We’ve already mentioned a few of the more obvious indications that your windows are allowing air to infiltrate your home. But more often than not, drafts are subtle, elusive, and hard to detect. A professional energy auditor can conduct a pressurization test using extremely sensitive equipment to find even the smallest leak. There are also a few things you can do on your own that will give you a better idea of the state of your windows. The following techniques work best on windy days:

  • Close all windows and doors
  • If you have a fireplace flue, shut it
  • Turn off any fans in the house
  • Light an incense stick and hold it close to the edges of the window or
  • Wet your palm and do the same

If your windows are leaking air, the smoke rising from the incense stick will waver. You should also be able to feel a cool sensation across your damp palm. 

What to Do if Your Windows Are Drafty

For a quick and temporary fix, there are several steps you can take to improve your windows’ ability to keep out drafts. V-seal weather stripping can be added along the sashes. Shrink-and-seal films can be added over the window’s inner frame. Even a few daps of carefully applied nail polish can be applied to cracks.

Most of these techniques eliminate the ability to open and close the window, so they are not intended to be a final fix. The surest way to eliminate drafts is to have the old windows replaced with new, energy-efficient ones. At The Window Depot, we are the Tampa Bay area’s premium exterior contractor and offer a variety of impact and non-impact windows from such leading manufacturers as PGT, Simonton, and CWS. If you’re ready to upgrade your home, reach out to us today and schedule a no-obligation consultation. You can also visit our expansive showroom in Palm Harbor to see full-scale mockups of our windows first-hand.

Five Benefits of Vinyl Windows

Five Benefits of Vinyl WindowsVinyl replacement windows have come a long way in the decades since they were first introduced. Once considered cheap and unattractive, early vinyl windows were susceptible to temperature extremes and couldn’t match their wooden counterparts in terms of beauty. That’s not the case anymore. Today’s vinyl replacement windows have been upgraded in every way, from new additives that increase vinyl’s resistance to cracking and color fading, to advanced manufacturing techniques that have vastly improved overall quality. Thanks to these advancements, vinyl is now the most popular window material, not only in Florida, but also the rest of the country.

Of course, every window material offers something that makes it an appealing choice for manufacturers and homeowners alike, whether it’s wood, metal, fiberglass, or vinyl. The key to deciding which is right for your home will depend on your priorities, preferences, and budget. Here are five benefits of vinyl windows.      

Durability

Moisture and insect damage are the two major factors that contribute to the degradation of windows, and unlike wood and metal options, vinyl is impervious to both. Vinyl will never rot or swell. That means they’ll continue to function properly for decades. You won’t have to worry about sticking sashes making opening and closing a struggle or impossibility. And termites have no interest in vinyl. What’s more, unlike metal, vinyl will not oxidize or pit over time. Vinyl windows are also impact resistant. And while vinyl does expand and contract in temperature extremes, unless your home routinely reaches temperatures above 165 degrees Fahrenheit, there’s no danger of warpage.

Affordability

When comparing the cost of various window materials, it’s important to remember that each type falls within a range. There are low-cost and premium options in every category, with plenty of overlap. For example, the most expensive vinyl windows will cost more than the least expensive wood windows, but the quality will correspond to the craftsmanship. In other words, you’ll get what you paid for. With that in mind, vinyl is one of the most economical window materials on the market. On average, it’s more affordable than wood, composite, fiberglass, and most aluminum collections. 

Ease of Maintenance

Vinyl windows require very little care to keep them looking great year after year. As previously mentioned, they will never succumb to rot or insect damage, so there will never be a need to make spot repairs. And since the color is infused throughout the frames, there’s not a coating of paint that can chip or crack. In fact, a quick wipe down with a damp cloth should be all that’s required to clean the frames. And here’s a bonus: many double-hung models have sashes that pivot inward to provide easy access to the outside glass. That’s an invaluable plus, especially on upper-story windows.   

Energy Efficient

Unlike metal, vinyl is a poor thermal conductor. And that’s a good thing! It prevents the outside and inside temperature of the frame from quickly equalizing. This, in turn, helps keep the inside of your home warmer or cooler than the ambient outdoor temperature. The thermal performance of vinyl windows can also be further enhanced with options such as insulation-filled frames, warm-edge spacer systems, and triple-pane glass with argon or krypton gas fills. Low-E glass coatings are also a good idea since they block damaging UV rays responsible for color fading in sun-exposed fabrics such as drapes, curtains, and upholstery.

Faster Installation

Vinyl is lightweight and easy to work with. That makes installation generally easier than other window options such as wood and aluminum. When necessary, minor adjustments can be made to ensure a proper fit. With heavier windows, this may require more time and effort. It also increases the chances of something being damaged in the process, either on the new window or the opening it’s being fitted into. Vinyl windows are a little more forgiving when it comes to minor alterations.

If the time has come to replace your windows, the company to turn to in the Tampa Bay area is The Window Depot. We offer a wide selection of premium vinyl windows from PGT, Simonton, and CWS, including high-efficiency and impact-resistant options that will stand strong against the summer heat and extreme storms common in our semi-tropical climate. Contact us today to learn or more. You can also drop by our Palm Harbor showroom or schedule an in-home consultation.

What Causes Condensation Between Window Panes?

What Causes Condensation Between Window Panes?Window condensation is a fairly common occurrence, and one every homeowner has observed at some point. It can range from barely noticeable to covering the entire pane. This can certainly be an annoyance, is it a cause for concern? That depends on where the condensation is. Droplets that form on the inside or outside surface of a window are a result of humidity levels and glass temperature. This type of condensation is harmless. There’s not much that can be done to prevent outside window fogging unless you want to make the temperature inside your home the same as the temperature outside your home. For most people, that’s an extreme solution to a very minor issue. Condensation on the inside of a window is the result of high humidity levels. In colder climates, this is more noticeable in the winter. In southern states, it’s more common in the summer when HVAC units are running 24/7. Investing in a dehumidifier, occasionally opening the windows to release moist air, and upgrading weatherstripping can help reduce inside window condensation. Although condensation on the inside or outside of window glass is nothing to worry about, that’s not the case with condensation inside the windows.

Why Windows Fail

First a caveat. It’s obviously not possible to have between-the-panes condensation with a single-pane window. Everything discussed here applies to double- or triple-pane models. So, what causes condensation inside the glass? It’s a one-two punch of seal failure followed eventually by desiccant saturation. Let’s examine each in a little more detail.

Seal Failure

All double- and triple-pane windows have seals to protect against moisture incursion. In fact, most premium windows have two sets of seals. The inside seal is between the glass panes and the outside seal is between the frame and the sash. These seals are usually made with a flexible caulk that is pliable when first installed. This means they can flex when the window frames expand or contract due to normal daily heating variations, thus preventing gaps from forming. As window seals age, however, they begin to stiffen, which inevitably leads to seal failure. Despite its rather ominous sound, seal failure is not something that greatly affects window performance. At least, not at first. The amount of moisture infiltration is small, and modern windows have a backup component to compensate: desiccant. 

Desiccant Saturation

Window desiccant is an absorbent material installed between the glass. Its purpose is to draw excess moisture from the atmosphere between the panes (in energy-efficient windows, that’s either argon or krypton gas used as fill) and “lock” it away. Desiccant can be in the form of clay, silica gel, or aluminosilicate depending on the type of window, with clay being the least expensive and aluminosilicate the most. Window desiccants can soak up a lot of moisture and usually last for years. But they are not a permanent solution and will become saturated at some point. When this happens, they can no longer prevent condensation from forming inside the glass.

When you take into account both the seals and desiccant, by the time you notice condensation the window’s primary and secondary moisture defense systems have failed. And if the inside seals are broken, chances are the outside seals between the frame and the sash are as well. This can allow moisture inside your house, either in the form of vapor (humidity) or leaks.

How to Eliminate Condensation Between Window Panes

In some cases, between-the-panes condensation can be fixed with a window restoration. This involves removing the glass and recaulking the seals. This process is mostly used on historic windows that are of significant architectural value. For most homeowners, the better option is usually to upgrade the windows entirely with new models that are more energy efficient and easier to operate while requiring minimal maintenance.

At The Window Depot, we are the company to turn to for all your window replacement needs. We proudly offer options from PGT, Simonton, and Custom Window Systems (CWS). If you are a homeowner in the Tampa Bay, Sarasota, or Venice area, we’ll be happy to provide a complimentary consultation to review all of the windows we offer and install. You can also visit our showroom in Palm Harbor to see examples of our models.

Sliding Vs. French Patio Doors: Which Is Right for Your Home?

Sliding Vs. French Patio DoorsPatio doors are intended to be the gateways to fun and relaxation, providing access to your yard or an outdoor living area. If they’ve seen better days, however, and no longer operate as intended, they can be an annoyance at best and a hazard at worst. Replacing your old patio doors will not only improve your home’s functionality, but also its energy efficiency, security, and beauty. But unlike front entry doors, which are always hinged, patio doors come in several varieties, including sliding, garden, and folding. Which kind is right for your home will depend on several factors.

Terminology

Since patio door types are referred to in many different ways, any discussion must begin with a quick review of terminology. Hinged patio doors are called a few different names depending on their style. Those with large, undivided glass panes are usually called garden doors, and like all hinged doors, they can swing inward or outward. French doors have panes divided by grids, giving them a more traditional look.

Sliding doors, also called gliding doors, are divided into several types. The most common are traditional sliding doors with one large glass pane per panel. French sliding doors have panes with grids. Telescopic sliding doors have three or more doors that run on parallel tracks, allowing them all to be retracted against the wall.

Folding doors are also called accordion doors. They fold against one another, and like telescopic doors, can be retracted to a wall. Bi-folds have two panels, tri-folds three, etc.

Cost

Pricing for doors will vary depending on material, glass, and hardware choices, but in general, hinged French doors are between 10% and 20% more expensive than basic sliding doors. They also require more expertise to install since they must be properly hung and balanced. The cost for folding doors is comparable to sliding doors, but larger doors with more panels will cost more.

Energy  Efficiency

All types of patio doors are available with features such as tinting, insulation-filled frames, and double-panes for enhanced thermal performance. Because of their configuration, sliding doors are less prone to air infiltration than hinged French doors, making them more energy-efficient, but it’s unlikely you’ll notice any significant difference in your monthly utility bill between the two options.

Sliding Vs. French Patio DoorsTransition Type

When selecting a patio door, it’s important to consider what it’s providing access to. If your lawn comes right up to your house, a sliding door or French doors that open inward will be the better option, since it won’t sweep out over the grass. If you have a tiled patio, outward opening French doors are also an option. If your patio doors open to a fully enclosed space such as a screened-in porch or sunroom, folding doors offer the opportunity to open up the entire wall, creating a nearly seamless transition from the rest of your house into your outdoor living area.

Security

Sliding, hinged, and folding doors are all available with impact-resistant glass as well as multi-point, tamper-resistant locking systems. The weakest point with French doors is where they meet. Sliding patio doors avoid this potential vulnerability, but anti-lift devices such as lockable inside drop bolts can be unsightly.

Space Considerations

One of the biggest pluses with sliding doors is that they require very little space to operate. This is an important for cramped quarters. French doors require room to sweep in or out. Folding doors require enough space along the wall to allow the panels to stack against one another. One consideration often overlooked is raised thresholds, which are also called rebates. French and sliding doors have them. Folding doors have no-threshold options that eliminate a possible tripping hazard, but they are not as energy efficient as those with thresholds. For this reason, they’re recommended for interior use such as a house-to-sunroom transition.

Views

When it comes to unobstructed views, folding and telescoping doors are the way to go. These doors allow you to open up the entire wall for maximum exposure. The flip side of this coin is that when folding doors are closed, there’s more framing than with sliding doors, so they allow in less light. Because of their grids, traditional French doors have the most restrictive views, but “restrictive” is a relative term considering the amount of glass all patio doors feature.

If you’re ready for new patio doors, the company to turn to in the Tampa Bay area is The Window Depot. We offer and install a wide variety of sliding, French, and folding doors in a plethora of styles. Reach out to us today to learn more or drop by our Palm Harbor showroom to see samples of the doors we carry.

What Makes a Door Energy Efficient?

What Makes a Door Energy Efficient?Exterior doors lead a double life. When they’re open, they provide access to your home or backyard. When they’re closed, they provide a formidable barrier against would-be intruders and the elements. If you’re in the market for a new door, it’s fairly easy to see if it meets your standards for security. The locking hardware is right there for you to inspect. But how do you know if the door you’re considering is up to snuff when it comes to its thermal performance? It’s not quite so obvious. If you’re wondering what makes a door energy efficient, here are a few things to keep in mind before you purchase a new one.

Frame Material

When it comes to door frame materials, you want to choose something that is a poor conductor of heat. Fiberglass front doors and vinyl patio doors are two of the best options in terms of energy efficiency. Both of these materials resist thermal conduction quite effectively. Since steel is good at transferring heat, this frame material is a notch below the others. But most modern steel doors have insulation-filled inner chambers to boost their energy efficiency. Wood doors are the least energy efficient.

Style

Doors come in a variety of styles, from sleek and minimalistic to elaborate and eye-catching, but the single biggest determining factor for energy efficiency is the amount of glass that’s featured in its design. Doors with larger window panels tend to be less energy efficient than windowless doors, especially if the glass is a single pane (see below). With their large windows, patio doors are less energy efficient than entry doors, but modern designs incorporate several features to minimize heat transfer, including insulation filled frames. Hinged patio doors are less energy efficient than sliding models.

Glass Type

Just like windows, the glass in exterior doors is available in standard and high-performance packages. To maximize thermal performance, the glass must have two or three panes. The most energy efficient door glass also has argon or krypton gas between the panes to further reduce heat flow. Premium patio doors are available with these options as well, but to make them as energy efficient as possible, window treatments such as curtains or blinds are a must. They may block your view, but they’ll also block solar heat, which will keep your home cooler during warmer months.

Internal Insulation

The core of a door is either solid or a honeycomb of inner chambers. While solid-core doors are touted for their security, they are not as energy efficient as doors with insulation filled core. Polyurethane foam is most often used to create a thermal barrier that prevents heat transfer. Obviously, the more insulation the better the performance, which is another reason why doors with a small amount of glass or no glass at all are more energy efficient. Insulation-filled cores are smaller in window-dominated models. And as mentioned above, patio door frames can also be augmented with insulation.

Installation

The most energy-efficient doors will not provide the thermal performance they’re rated for if they’re not properly installed. Even doors that open easily and seem plumb, level, and square can be misaligned just enough to create gaps for air to get through. It may seem counter-intuitive, but improper installation is more common on pre-hung doors, which are packaged with their frames. That’s because the frames must be properly sealed and caulked to prevent airflow, and if this isn’t done with precision, it could allow air and moisture to seep into your home. Another common problem is weatherstripping that’s damaged during installation.

The Company to Turn to for Energy Efficient Doors

If the time has come to replace your exterior doors, the company to turn to is The Window Depot. We offer homeowners throughout the Tampa Bay area a wide variety of premium products made by industry leaders such as Provia, Therma-Tru, Plastpro, and PGT. In addition to our front and patio doors being energy efficient, they’re also durable, easy to care for, and of course beautiful. Reach out to us today and schedule a no-obligation consultation to learn more. Or if you’d prefer to browse our selections firsthand, drop by our expansive showroom in Palm Harbor. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect exterior door for your home.

What Is the Best Material for Windows?

What Is the Best Material for Windows?Replacement windows are a big undertaking, so it’s perfectly natural for Florida homeowners to want a product that will last as long as possible. Nowadays, there’s no shortage of options – wood, metal, fiberglass, and vinyl windows are four of the most popular, but which ones will stand the test of time? And just as importantly, which ones will require the least amount of upkeep? After all, most homeowners would rather not spend a significant number of hours on maintenance just to extend the life of their windows for a year or two.

Vinyl vs. Wood Windows

First, it’s important to remember that the life expectancy of your new windows will not only depend on what they’re made from, but also the type of weather conditions they’re subjected to. Since Florida has hot, humid summers, mild winters, and frequently turbulent weather, including tropical storms and hurricanes, windows here have to withstand a lot. In our semi-tropical climate, vinyl windows are the best choice for homeowners who want to get the most longevity out of their investment. Unlike wood, vinyl is impervious to moisture and insect damage, so you will never need to worry about it swelling, warping, rotting, or becoming a meal for hungry termites. What’s more, the color in vinyl windows is either baked on or infused throughout the frame, so you’ll never need to repaint or re-stain them. Homeowners can expect 40 or 50 years of dependable performance from high-end vinyl windows. How does that compare to wood-framed windows? With proper maintenance that includes periodic resealing and re-staining, you should expect these types of windows to last about 30 years.

Vinyl vs. Metal Windows

How do vinyl windows do when compared to metal windows? If they’re standard metal windows, very well indeed. Although aluminum doesn’t rot or rust, it is thermally conductive, so heat can easily transfer between the outside and inside of the frame. This makes metal windows less energy efficient than their vinyl counterparts. Aluminum windows are also more vulnerable to dings and dents, which can break the seal between the frame and the pane, further reducing thermal performance. Because of this, the life expectancy of standard metal windows is between 15 and 20 years.

High-performance aluminum windows are a different story. Manufacturers like PGT offer premium aluminum windows that meet or exceed the International Building Code for air infiltration, water resistance, deglazing, forced-entry, and structural integrity. Extruded aluminum frames are more impact resistant than their standard aluminum counterparts. In fact, PGT aluminum windows boast both a Miami-Dated Notice of Acceptance and a Florida Product Approval rating, making them a good alternative to vinyl for homes with more modern stylings. They’re also a popular choice for light commercial properties.

Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

Fiberglass windows have become increasingly popular in recent decades. The durability of fiberglass is comparable to vinyl, so you can expect to get the same number of serviceable years from both. The big difference is cost. Fiberglass windows are more expensive than vinyl, and many brands offer fewer options than you would get from a reputable vinyl window manufacturer. There are also fewer color options with fiberglass. Lastly, fiberglass windows are mechanically fastened to window openings, which makes them more vulnerable to leaks if the sealant isn’t applied with precision. If you opt for fiberglass windows, make sure the company you choose for the installation has the experience to do the job right.

At The Window Depot, we are the home improvement experts in the Tampa Bay area. If you need replacement windows, we offer vinyl and aluminum windows from top manufacturers Simonton and PGT. All of the products we offer will provide decades of beauty and dependable performance. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services, including financing options for qualified customers. You can also drop by our showroom in Palm Harbor to view our windows firsthand.

What Should I Look for When Buying an Impact Window?

What Should I Look for When Buying an Impact Window? Every year, as hurricane season approaches, Florida homeowners begin their long list of tasks to prep their homes and families for the oncoming storms. Gathering sandbags? Check. Purchasing flashlights and extra batteries? Check. Duct taping the windows? There’s got to be a better way. That’s where impact windows come in. Impact windows—also sometimes referred to by homeowners as storm windows or hurricane windows—can better protect your home and give you one less thing to worry about come storm season.

So, what features should you look out for in a top-notch impact window? And where should you go to purchase them? We’ve got answers. Read on.

Impact-Resistant Glass

The most important feature of an impact window is its glass. There are a number of different types of impact glass out there, including:

  • Laminated glass, which includes a strong, clear interlayer to prevent glass from breaking away from the frame
  • Laminated insulating glass, which has two panes of glass for strength and one extra for added insulation
  • Annealed glass, which will break into large shards if broken
  • Heat-strengthened glass, which tolerates rapid temperature swings without breaking
  • Tempered glass, which is resistant to temperature swings and blunt impacts

The best impact windows have some combination of the above impact-resistant glass treatments. Make sure to talk to your window contractor about what’s best for your home’s unique needs.

Heavy-Duty Frames

Next up on the key features of superb impact windows: heavy-duty frames. Hurricane-force winds can travel up to hundreds of miles an hour, so you need to be able to trust that your windows are secure in your home and that their glass is secure in the frames. Opt for super-sturdy materials such as aluminum or vinyl, both of which are widely lauded for their durability and strength. Make sure to look for key features of heavy-duty frames, such as a constant force balance system, integrated corner keys for added sash strength, and embedded tilt latches for added security.

Strong Testing

The only way to guarantee that impact windows are truly impact resistant? Testing them against simulated storm conditions, including impact testing, cyclic testing, and static water testing. Look for strong test results from the impact windows you’re considering.

The impact windows we offer at The Window Depot, for example, have undergone all three of the aforementioned tests with excellent results. In fact, their laminated glass is designed to withstand repeated impact from a 9-pound 2’ x 4’ traveling at 34 miles per hour. And even if the glass is damaged, the interlayer will hold the glass together, continuing to keep unwanted debris outside. Additionally, our impact windows exceed Florida building code standards for impact resistance—an essential consideration for your home’s new impact windows.

Trust The Window Depot

At The Window Depot, we’re proud to offer top-tier impact windows from trusted manufacturers Simonton and PGT. In fact, we’re one of the largest Simonton and PGT dealers in the state and Authorized Direct PGT dealer, so you can trust that we know our stuff when it comes to impact windows for your Florida residence. To learn more about the impact windows we offer, contact us today or visit our showroom in Palm Harbor, FL, to see them for yourself!

Should I Replace All My Windows at Once?

Should I Replace All My Windows at Once?

Are a few of your home’s windows sticking in their frames, making them difficult and frustrating to open? Perhaps you’re tired of their style, and you’d like to opt for something new to change up their functionality and your home’s curb appeal. Maybe the neighbor hit a stray baseball, cracking the glass of one of your windows.

Any of these scenarios sound familiar? If so, you’ve likely got a window replacement project in mind. Which means you’re probably asking yourself the question: Should I replace all my windows at once? Or is it okay just to replace one or two at a time?

What to Consider

There are a number of key considerations in answering this question—some that are more obvious than others. Firstly, take into account the reason you’re replacing windows. If the glass broke and all of your windows are relatively new, it of course makes sense to simply replace the broken window. But if you want to replace more than one window because they’re starting to wear out, that could mean that the others aren’t far behind, and replacing them all at once could prevent you from having to hire multiple contractors over time for window replacement.

Secondly, remember that signs you need new windows aren’t always obvious. It might be tempting to replace a few at a time, but remember that drafts near your windows, unwanted noise from outside, and condensation buildup between panes are all signs that your windows are wearing out or have lost their gas fills.

Need Help Deciding?

There’s a lot to think about when considering a window replacement project for your home. Fortunately, there’s help: Call The Window Depot. We’d be happy to talk you through the window replacement process and help you decide whether you should replace all your windows at once or in turn. Get in touch with us today!

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Want to join a team of specialized and highly trained window experts? If so, then apply to The Window Depot today! We are looking for qualified, hardworking individuals to join our renowned company. Come work with our team, which has more than 60 years of combined experience in home construction.

Career Opportunities