5 Signs You Should Replace Your Windows
The number one warning sign to replace your windows are drafts and/or leaks. Leaking windows are usually easy to spot when it rains, but in Arizona we don’t get rain year round! However, there are other ways to tell if your windows aren’t air tight.
For one, if you can feel a breeze, even when your windows are closed, it is definitely time for a replacement! While it is true that even a high quality window allows a slight amount of air infiltration, you should never actually notice it or be able to feel it.
Do you find yourself reaching for a sweater or blanket while you’re relaxing at home? If so, your comfort is being affected by your old windows! Windows wear out over time and begin to let more air in. Wood and vinyl windows, especially in the desert, can become warped from exposure to moisture and harsh heat which can create gaps or even make the window too tight to function properly.
Fiberglass windows are designed to withstand extreme cold and heat so that they will never warp or contract, thus minimizing the stress on seals, caulks and joints. Fiberglass Windows have a higher efficiency because of the tight seals that are resistant to air leakage and water penetration.
Another example of air infiltration can be found when the corners of the sash and frame become loose; this creates gaps that allow air to penetrate your window. This situation occurs frequently because wood and vinyl frames both expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate.
Your first instinct might be to apply weather stripping. This is understandable but keep in mind, noticeable drafts often indicate an air leak caused by more than missing or damaged weather stripping. Replacing your weather stripping is only a temporary fix. This is because, sealants expand and contract, which will eventually lead to gaps again!
One more sign that your windows aren’t airtight would be the presence of a high volume of dust in your home. When air gaps occur dust flies in, compromising the air we breathe and often irritating allergies. If you’ve been paying attention you already know the best solution for dusty drafts is replacing your windows entirely.
2. They’re Stuck:
If you’re having issues with opening and closing your windows, now is the time to replace them. This is particularly true when it comes to older single or double-hung windows. Some common issues you may find are warping, twisting, balance or even rotting wood! When your window won’t stay open or slams shut, it means the balance has failed. If you value the use of your fingers, it’s time to think about replacing those windows.
The window industry has many new innovations in material, structure, styles and energy efficiency. Wood, metal, and vinyl windows are prone to operating failures. For example, metal, vinyl and wood windows that haven’t been painted properly, or have been exposed to extreme weather conditions, can rot or rust. When the frame fails or the integrity of the window is compromised, moisture may seep through, even when the seal appears to be tight. Moisture is often hiding in the dark damp walls breeding mold and mildew and causing wood to rot.
The solution is simple, Fiberglass windows. Fiberglass framed windows are the most reliable and durable window for extreme climates, such as ours. The lower expansion and contraction rates of fiberglass means less glass seal failure as well as less frame failure. Fiberglass features the lowest energy consumption in production when compared to other common window frame materials, plus it provides the longest life expectancy. Experts recognize Fiberglass as the most environmentally friendly window system, because of these features.
Energy efficient home improvements can benefit you in a number of ways! There are often Tax Credits available for upgrading to new fiberglass windows and/or new fiberglass doors.
By increasing the energy efficiency of your home you can significantly lower the cost of your monthly utility bills. When using your air conditioning in the summer, you’re basically throwing money out your old windows and doors if you haven’t upgraded! You probably remember your parents telling you to close the door when the heat is on in the winter, because they didn’t want to, “heat the whole neighborhood.”! Well, just closing your windows and doors isn’t enough if you haven’t replaced them with energy efficient fiberglass windows and doors!
The return on investment is ranked high for window replacement, among home improvement projects, according to Re-modeler Magazine. Windows are the eyes of the home, the first things we notice when we walk into a room are the view, the lighting and the temperature.
The most energy efficient window on the market today is Fiberglass, because they’re able to withstand extreme temperatures without compromising the structural integrity. When properly placed, windows and doors can open up your home, expanding your living space and offering a higher functioning home.
Does your home’s appearance only appeal to you or does it pass the universal litmus test for beauty? Personal style choices are important when choosing a home-improvement project but it is equally important to consider if, in a few years time, the new look will be outdated or if it has a broader appeal.
Fiberglass windows and doors are virtually maintenance free and will retain their beauty, standing the test of time. Fiberglass offers the warmth and charm of real wood windows combined with the strength and durability to last a lifetime. Now available in a variety of different styles, replacing your old windows and doors with Plum Fiberglass products is a natural choice. Not only are our Fiberglass windows and doors aesthetically beautiful, but replacing your windows offers a high return on your investment!
Quality that stands the test of time
Many people have asked me, “Why Window replacement?” and “Why fiberglass windows?” After all, I am often spotted at construction sites wearing high heels and a skirt, with a set of plans in my arms. As a representative of Plum Windows, I don’t fit the stereotypical image of a construction worker and to that, I say “Good! Aesthetics and attention to detail should never be compromised, only enhanced with quality materials, strength and structural integrity.”
As a lover of architectural ingenuity, I studied Classical Archaeology at the University of Arizona, receiving my bachelor’s in 1992. My studies continued to parallel my career as I searched for the perfect window. I researched ancient techniques and current innovations, visited and appreciated the architectural ingenuity of the Greco-Roman builders. Often I thought, why don’t we build things that last? How is it the red paint in Pompeii is still so fiery red? We try to duplicate, even naming a vivid red paint, Pompeii Red, but somehow miss the mark Why? The answer, inferior materials.
Designed to protect the valuable gilded statue of Athena the Parthenon is the perfect example of blending functionality with beautiful high-quality materials creating fortitude, sustainability while incorporating the natural elements. It is a measurement that in our fast-paced disposable society, choosing high-quality materials matter, making your home timeless, ageless, while keeping your most precious treasure, your family, safe and secure.
The ancient philosophy of respecting mother earth led to conscious decisions to build with integrity, with little waste and less garbage in landfills. Respect for nature evoked a transitional living, the perfect fusion of the beauty and function of mother earth with the man-made inside elements. Consideration was given to the position of the sun, the seasons and the stars making ancient builders forerunners in energy efficiency. Buildings were situated to maximize the winter sun, retain the warmth and in the summer months keep cool. Today, we have the added luxury of low emissivity glass with argon. Energy efficiency starts with low e glass as it improves solar and thermal performance, by reducing heat transfer and reflecting interior heat back into your home. This is where the ancient innovations meet modern ingenuity, optimizing energy efficiency, saving you money on energy costs while keeping you cozy and safe.
As I tallied all of the musts haves in a window(beauty, strength, security, usefulness, sustainability, green technology, energy efficiency, and cost effectiveness) Fiberglass Infinity Replacement Windows by Marvin emerged as the natural leader in all areas. Fiberglass is made from silica sand, an abundant natural resource. It has a low expansion rate which means it will not twist, warp or compromise its structural integrity. Since it retains its shape in extreme temperatures and conditions it reduces the risk seal failure and air leakage. Additionally, fiberglass has a 38% longer life expectancy than vinyl. A sustainable, long lasting, outperforming, energy efficient window that maintains its shape in the extreme desert temperatures and leaves a smaller negative footprint on the earth appealed to me. I’m convinced Infinity Windows are Parthenon worthy!
So when people say, “Why fiberglass windows?” My response is that my love of, architectural beauty, energy efficiency, dedication to preserving the earth, commitment to the safety of my family, and cost effectiveness fueled my desire to provide the best window. Future archaeology students will muse that the fiberglass window frames are still square and Plum(b)!
Desiree Williams – President – Plum Windows & Doors, Inc.
Plum: What’s in a name?
Plum; a purple fruit, a color, but also, something more. Here in Arizona Plum is a fiberglass window and door company. But why name a company Plum? This was the question on the top of mind when I joined the Plum Team, yet for some reason, I never asked. I figured, like many companies with unique names such as Geico, Pepsi, or Kmart, the name was probably an acronym or had some obscure meaning. After working at Plum and observing the culture of the company for a couple of weeks, the reason for the name became apparent, to me.
In building and construction, there is a simple tool called a plumb. A Plumb is used to ensure that a vertical line is achieved. When building a doorway, for example, a builder would use a plumb to make sure it is vertically straight. But there is more than just the simple idea that it means something is straight. In this industry to say something is plumb is to say that is it precise or perfect. The door or wall is plumb, meaning it is perfect and therefore the rest of the building can be built off its perfection.
Commitment to Excellence!
So, what does this mean? Well, to me it means there is a commitment to excellence in the work we do. You cannot name a company, which specializes in window and door replacements, a name that is synonymous with perfection if the work you do is not at that same level. I am pleased to be able to say; Plum lives up to its name, and we are very well known for our impeccable installations. In fact, our installation team is often the most reviewed part of our company and consistently receives the most compliments.
Plum Windows and Doors strives for that same perfection in everything we do, from the way we interact with our employees to how we engage with our community. Our team members receive one on one training and clear expectations of their duties. Our leaders have an open-door policy, ideas and suggestions for improvement are encouraged and implemented where applicable. We cultivate a team atmosphere which allows us to avoid the complications of ego or pride when working toward our goals. With so many passionate people working so diligently, frustration and friction aren’t unheard of, but I’ve never seen anyone treated without respect and dignity.
People Love Us More!
It is worth noting that Plum does have another meaning, an acronym which was coined by our team members. This meaning has, in fact, become our tagline and even carried over into our jingle; People Love Us More at Plum Windows and Doors!
Plum Windows and Doors recently won the award for Pima County Small Business of the Year for 2016. We were also a finalist for the Better Business Bureau Torch Awards and are nominated again for 2017. These awards tell me that this is a company who wants to do and be better. Not just better than their competition, but better than themselves. Mediocre is simply not an option; we set the bar high by expecting the best from our team members and in leading by example.
Our team’s efforts do not go unrewarded, of course. In the spirit of collaboration and to encourage our team to put their absolute best foot forward, we recently switched over to a profit sharing bonus structure. Instead of personal rewards for appointments and sales, the whole company participates in profit sharing; the better the company does, the better bonus everyone receives. Making the bonus structure about teamwork has helped us to boost morale and maintain the cooperative nature of our team at Plum.
So, what’s in a name? In short, everything!
When you think Plum, think Perfect and when you think perfect, think Plum Windows and Doors.
Adam Ward – Director of Marketing at Plum Windows & Doors, Inc. – [email protected]
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Home Improvement Tips, Tricks and Updates
- 5 Resolutions Plum an help you keep!
- Replace your doors and windows
- Creative Uses for French Casement Windows
- Keep your Home Safe with Multi-point Locks
Plum Windows and Doors has been selected as a Finalist for the 2016 BBB Torch Awards!
At the annual Torch Awards the Better Business Bureau recognizes businesses who demonstrate the highest standards of business practices.
Businesses can be nominated by members of the community. The Nominees then submit an entry packet for each category in order to be considered for an award. Nominees include applicable letters and essays explaining why they deserve an award.
The Torch Awards Judges grade the entries of all the nominees, selecting the finalists for all three awards. The three Award categories are Ethics, Good Neighbor, and the Customer Excellence.
Plum Windows and Doors has been selected as a finalist for both the Ethics Award and the Good Neighbor Award! The Ethics category is awarded to businesses that demonstrate outstanding Business Ethics! The Good Neighbor Award focuses on companies that have contributed significantly to the local community. Scroll down for a full list of the finalists.
Each finalist selected has the opportunity to record a video interview with the BBB, highlighting their strengths. These video interviews will be viewed by the Torch Awards judges before deciding on the winners.
Plum Windows and Doors is a BBB Accredited local business. We’re proud to be serving Arizona residents since 1988! We hope to see you at the Torch Awards Ceremony on May 5th 2016!
Plum Helps Build Homes with Habitat for Humanity
“Habitat for Humanity Tucson brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.”, this is part of Habitat for Humanity Tucson’s Mission statement and having had the chance to work with them for years, we agree!
Habitat Tucson constructed 15 new homes, provided complete rehabilitation, and A Brush with Kindness services to 39 families in Southern Arizona in 2014. Together, new home construction and Habitat’s growing Home Repair program served nearly 200 people!
We’re proud and thankful to continue donating and volunteering with such an amazing organization as Habitat for Humanity!
At Plum, commitment to community and community involvement is extremely important to us. We strive to assist local organizations like Habitat For Humanity. Some other organizations we support are The Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Chiluvbug Small Dog Rescue, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, The Community Food Bank and many more.
Did you know that Habitat for Humanity Tucson also has a HabiStore? You can purchase furniture, appliances and building materials while helping a great cause!
When you SHOP, DONATE and VOLUNTEER you pay it forward to support the Habitat mission. Proceeds from sales go directly to the purchase of land and construction materials to build homes and hope in Southern Arizona.
Learn more about Habitat for Humanity here.
Here are 5 New Year’s Resolutions that you should definitely make and how Plum can help you to keep them!
Resolution #1: Be More Environmentally Conscious!
At Plum Windows and Doors we specialize in fiberglass window frames and doors. Fiberglass Windows and Doors have the lowest overall environmental impact. The energy efficiency as well as the long life of fiberglass windows and doors significantly reduces the need for purchased energy, which means that their impacts on resource depletion and embodied energy are also limited. We’re proud to be a Green Build certified company!
Resolution #2: Support Your Community!
Did you know when you spend $100 at a locally owned business like Plum Windows and Doors, statistically about $68 of that money stays in the local community? However, when buying from non local businesses you send more than 50% of the money out of the community!
Plus by supporting Plum Windows & Doors, you’re supporting local charities such as Habitat For Humanity, The Humane Society and The local Food Bank. Plum frequently makes donations and volunteers with these and many other charitable organizations in our community!
Resolution #3: Be Frugal and Save More Money!
Did you know that by upgrading your windows, doors and even skylights you can save as much as 50% off of your monthly energy bills? How high was your electric bill last summer? If it was like mine, it was in the hundreds! Now imagine cutting that bill in half, how much money would you save in a year? As they say, “The more money you save, the more money you make!” Don’t forget to ask about our Flex Pay Options!
Resolution #4: Be More Creative!
Plum Windows and Doors is a custom company so you can use your creative side to decide on windows and doors that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are Energy Efficient and Secure!
Resolution #5: Relax More!
With Plum Windows and Doors, tamper resistant locks and multi-point locking systems, you can really relax knowing you’re safe in your home. Plus what better way to relax than by curling up with a good book in front of a beautiful bay window?
Get your Free Quote Now!
Looking for Answers to Replace your Doors and Windows?
Choosing a replacement window or door can be a complicated and daunting task. With so many products available, how do you know what products are right for your home? What local companies provide service, professional installation and trust?
At Plum, we are happy to answer all of your questions, but we want to go one step better. We’ll show you the proof behind those answers; the reasons why Plum is one of the best values in replacement windows, doors and skylights. Our products meet the most stringent performance standards, but we know they must still meet an even higher standard: yours.
Five Point Proof
- Energy Efficient
How do you know if a window is energy efficient?
Several organizations exist that perform independent testing on windows and doors to determine energy efficiency, consider the following key performance factors when shopping replacement windows.
- Design Pressure (DP) is a measurement of how much force a window can withstand and remain weathertight. Plum products are designed to a minimum of DP 30 which means they can handle the pressure of 132 MPH winds and are watertight when exposed to 8″ of rain per hour driven by 42 MPH winds. Casement products are tested to an even higher DP 40 rating.
- Plum Windows and Doors meet ENERGY STAR guidelines in all regions and have a low .30 U-value with Low E II glass, which measures the amount of heat transfer through the window (lower is better).
- Plum windows come standard with high-performance Low E II, Argon-filled glass. A simple way to maximize your home’s energy efficiency. Low E II glass helps your home retain interior heat in the winter and reject exterior heat in the summer. Plum also offers LoE³-366 glass to further reduce solar heat gain in high sun exposure areas.
- Superior Material
What is the best performing window material?
Plum chooses Ultrex® fiberglass because it is superior to other window materials in virtually every category. Whether you are comparing material strength, stability, durability or thermal efficiency; Plum’s Ultrex Fiberglass is one of the best performers in every category.
- Plum windows are made entirely of Ultrex®, a durable, pultruded fiberglass material.
- Fiberglass is 8x stronger than vinyl, 3.5x stronger than wood/vinyl composites and 3x stronger than wood.
- Fiberglass has a very low thermal expansion rate, which keeps the window stable and weathertight. Vinyl expands at over 7x the rate of Ultrex.
- Fiberglass is virtually maintenance free and resists warping, fading and chalking.
- Made from partially recycled materials. Plum fiberglass products are environmentally friendly and require 39% less energy to produce than vinyl.
- Appearance and Design
Do all windows basically look and function the same?
- Plum windows and doors are designed to replicate the look of traditional wood windows and doors while providing modern features and low maintenance performance.
- Unlike other composite windows, Plum is designed to replicate the details and appearance of a traditional wood window.
- Because of the strength of Ultrex® fiberglass, Plum products have a narrower frame profile allowing for more glass area than vinyl replacement windows.
- Plum Double Hung, Casement and Glider products all include easy cleaning operation as a standard feature.
- Plum windows come in a variety of interior and exterior colors and can be painted, if desired.
- Professional Installation
The installation of new windows is just as important as the quality of the window itself. Even with a quality product, improper installation could result in building code violations, air infiltration, and more importantly, water infiltration that could damage the structure of your home.
- Plum offers friendly and knowledgeable installers. Each Plum installation team is led by a Certified Installer.
- AAMA Certified Installation
- All windows will be installed within the strict guidelines of the Certified Installer training and certification program.
- During installation, your home will be visited by one of our inspectors. Every inspector is trained and certified as a Certified Installer. Their job is to inspect the quality of the installation, the safety of the job site and to assure the customer’s property is treated with respect.
- Quality home inspection upon job completion.
- Plum Products come with a lifetime Guarantee, transferable to the next homeowner.
- Total Value
Be inspired: French Casement Window
Our “Aha” moment, a wine cellar and a French Casement Window. How we changed our dining room into a magical space by repurposing a beautiful window into a door.
We had a passion for wine and wished for a wine cellar. Unfortunately, our home does not have the room for such a decadent feature. Simply put, we thought a wine cellar was just a dream
After months of wishful thinking and and near resignation to purchase a small wine refrigerator, we had an “Aha” moment. We would convert the space under our stairs into a small wine cellar that could easily hold 100+ bottles.
Immediately, we started to research cooling systems and wine rack systems. After several months of research we knew how we would chill our wine to a perfect 58*. The only thing we could not figure out was the door. We needed a maximum door height of 54 inches and 60 inches wide.
We decided to think outside the box and stopped staring at images of beautiful wine cellar doors on line. On a whim we stopped by a local window and door company, Plum Windows and Doors and were fortunate to speak with the owner. He loved our idea and immediately had the perfect solution, a fiberglass window! More specifically, a french inswing casement window. Although I was a bit skeptical at first with a french casement window for a door, the owner showed me several projects with this concept.
Once I saw the beautiful photos I was sold. A french casement window offers sweeping wide view with no center post to contend with. Additionally, concealed pocket hinges and clear glass made for the seamless look we wanted.
French casement windows have many options: wood, vinyl or fiberglass. Once again we started researching the best option and the benefits of fiberglass vs. vinyl. The durability of fiberglass and its ability to withstand extreme temperatures with out expansion or contraction made it a natural choice. Plus we were able to stain it to match out wood cabinetry in out dining room.
We love the look of our new cellar and are very proud of our creativity, functionality and above all our commitment to beauty. In our home, windows are more that a means of providing light and ventilation. Our french casement window displays our favorite wines. Despite the buzz surrounding the stress of remodeling, this was one project that was stress free especially with a little help from our local window company.
Always think outside the box and seek feedback from a variety of resources when remodeling. You may be surprised at your creativity and your awareness to combine function and aesthetics. Sometimes, believe it or not a window can be a door!
How do Multi Point Locks help you keep your home safe?
Recently, as I was searching the web for ways to keep my home safe while out of town, I was surprised by the simplicity of the most commonly found tip. The most common home security tip is to effectively lock your doors and windows. How do you lock your door better? Get rid of outdated deadbolts and ineffective chain locks by replacing your door with one that has a multi point locking system.
Every 15 seconds a home is broken into and 34% of criminals force their way through the front door. One of the most common ways they get in through a front door is by kicking it open. With technology changing constantly, why rely on an old deadbolt, or one that you purchased at your local hardware store to keep your family safe? New technology and innovations in locks will make criminals think twice about invading your home. Replacing your door’s deadbolts with a multi point lock is a must!
Since most thieves are able to simply kick the door in to gain access; the front door security needs to be addressed. Most entry doors just have a deadbolt, leaving your home and family vulnerable. The majority of doors fail because the door jamb splits near the lock’s strike plate. When choosing a new front door or any door to your home, consider a fiberglass door with a multi point lock for added durability, strength and peace of mind.
A multi point locking system allows you to lock three dead bolts, all at one time. There are locks at the top, the middle and the bottom, improving the security of the door. Statistically, it increases the resistance to forced entry 30%-40%. Those are great odds for keeping your home safe.
How secure is your home?
Take this nifty quiz we found that may help you determine how safe your home really is.
Learn more about how Fiberglass doors and Multi Point Locks can help you!
Book your FREE Design Consultation to learn more about how we can help you to improve the security and energy efficiency of your home.