Frequently Asked Questions

How Can We Give An Accurate Quote Without Coming To Your Home?

The short answer is: when it comes to pricing a window, the exact size does not significantly impact the cost. Super precise measurements are not necessary for accurate quotes!

(Of course, we’ll come to take exact measurements before we order your windows to get you a precise fit. It’s just not needed to give you a 100% accurate quote).

Here’s a more complete answer on why we can quote windows without coming to your home:

In window manufacturing, EVERY window is custom made for every opening. There is no such thing as a “standard-sized window.” So what this means is that, no matter what size a window is, every window has to have the same number of steps in setting up the jig. Every custom-made window requires the same number of welds, the same number of components, etc. These things do not change just because one window is 22″ x 30″ and another window is 36″ x 50″.

As far as the materials needed to make a window of 5 sq. ft. or 12 sq. ft., believe it or not, there just isn’t that much cost difference in the glass or vinyl. The cost differential is small enough that if we get it wrong in the quote, it’s really nothing that our owner Dan Hatcher is going to lose sleep over (and to be clear, we don’t increase your cost – we stick to our quote!). There is a point where it does make a bit more difference and that’s when you get into windows over 17 sq. ft. That’s why we ask you for the size of your largest window and how many are that size or close to that size. BUT… even at that, if we get that wrong, it won’t bankrupt us. We stand by our word.

All of that to say this… Replacement windows are not that complicated and the tolerances for giving a quote that both of us can live with doesn’t require a visit to your home just to give you an accurate quote. By doing business this way, we can cut our expenses WAY down and, in turn, pass that on to our customers.

What Makes Replacement Windows Energy Efficient?

Modern types of windows are specially designed and made to keep rain, wind, sleet, and snow out while keeping warm air inside the house during winter. But they also keep heat outside during really hot days while still letting light in and providing a nice view of the outside world.

A lot of things are included in the production of energy efficient windows. Some of the most important things are: the overall design of the product, the materials, and the process used to manufacture the windows. All these things play an important role in making a replacement window that will help people save thousands of dollars on both their electric and gas bills over the entire lifespan of the product.

The most energy efficient replacement windows are made from materials that keep the amount of heat transfer to a minimum. This reduction of heat transfer enables the windows to keep heat inside during winter and keep it outside during summer. A double-glazed glass pack that has a PPG Intercept spacer or a foam Super Spacer in between its two pieces of glass can keep the transfer of heat to a minimum. The glass used on modern energy efficient replacement windows is treated with a low emissivity coating, which reflects heat back in the form of infrared light while still allowing visible light to pass through. Energy efficient window frames and sashes are also manufactured using material that’s intended to limit the amount of heat transfer. Vinyl is considered one of the best materials when it comes to providing high levels of energy efficiency.

In addition to keeping heat transfer to minimal levels, modern replacement windows are also designed to seal out air and water infiltration. For example, energy efficient double hung windows are made with sashes that close snugly into pocket headers and sills. The sashes of the windows are also designed to interlock with each other at the meeting rail. Vinyl sashes usually come with rubber seals and weather strips that further improve the windows’ sealing ability.

Before, aluminum, vinyl, and wood windows were designed with frames that were mechanically connected through nails or screws. These types of joints were known to weaken and create gaps that allow air and water in. Today’s windows have the vinyl in their frame and sash fused using heat which welds the seams together. This type of frame and sash design withstands bend and flex movements from the house which means that it won’t loosen up over time and can remain effective in being a barrier against the natural elements.

Both the design and production of replacement windows have come a long way over a short period of time. With the cost of keeping a home at a comfortable temperature continually rising, energy efficient replacement windows are the smart choice.

Austin homeowners love their energy efficient Zen windows. Give us a call – we’d be happy to install windows that save you money.

What Are The Benefits That You Can Get From Home Replacement Windows?

You can get a lot of benefits from having your old windows replaced. Let’s take a look at what those benefits are:

Energy Efficiency

Most replacement windows available in the market today not only look great but they’re also designed to be much more energy efficient than older windows. These windows will fit perfectly onto your home and will seal tightly. This will help make sure that you won’t have drafts in your house during winter and will help keep chilled air inside the house during the hot days of summer. The results are very practical: lower energy bills.

Improved Value

Having new glass panes on your home will not only help it be more energy efficient but they will also help a lot in improving the overall value of your home. Home improvements are mainly intended to raise the value of homes and new energy efficient panes of glass will help do just that. Plus, they will give your home a fresh and nicer look.

Lesser Noise

Since new glass panes are usually insulated and are sealed to keep the elements out, they have the extra benefit of sealing out noise. It makes for a quieter, more pleasant home environment.

Better Glass

Replacement windows available in the market nowadays are insulated with Low-E glass, which is a special coating that reflects infrared light. This coating is what gives the windows the ability to keep a house warmer during winter and cooler during summer. It also has various levels of UV protection. The highest levels of UV protection would be best to use on the south and west sides of your home.

Better Security

Having new windows will not only improve your home’s look but it will also give it better security features. A lot of glass types that are used on windows nowadays have improved locking mechanisms. Most of them are also impact-resistant glass. This helps them provide a safer and more secure feeling for homeowners. You can greatly benefit from the panes that pass the tough forced-entry tests.

If you think it’s time to get brand new replacement windows for your home, give us a call. We provide window quotes without a sales pitch. We’ll get you a quote fast – often within 5 minutes.

Should I invest $200, $600 Or $1500 On A New Window?

Let’s start things by stating the obvious. We all love a good deal. However, when you look for a good deal in the home improvement industry, you need to know the famous saying: “Buy cheap. Buy twice.”

New replacement windows that range from $200 to $400 will likely leave you with something that’s called a rental window. A “rental window” is basically a band-aid that you place on your home that you’ll need to replace again after a relatively short period of time. There are a lot of reasons for this and they can range from the window being a poor-quality product or lacking window installation or warranty issues.

Let’s now proceed to some good news – you also don’t have to overpay. A new replacement window that costs $1500 is practically the same as one that only costs $600. How is this possible? The answer is fairly simple. In the home improvement industry, there are a large number of replacement window companies that just exist to make money fast. In their quest to do so, they try their best to sell as many replacement windows as possible and in the fastest way possible to people who aren’t familiar with the products that they offer.

In this type of business model, window companies capitalize on un-savvy replacement window shoppers and they make a lot of money fast and are gone within a snap of a finger. The windows that they sell may actually be good and their installation may also be good, but they may not be a company that has been in business for a long time with this kind of care for their customers.

Next, let’s drop down to the window that only costs $600 – the same product, the same installation, and a much better warranty, because the company is in it for the long haul. When you stumble upon this type of company, you’ll know that they are not there to make the quick buck. Instead, they are there to establish a lifelong relationship with their clients. This type of company will still be up and running in 20 years when you pick up the phone and call them either for a service call or more home improvements.

So, what’s the reason behind the huge diversity in price? Most of the window companies out there are just doing what they do to earn money but there are some companies who put more focus on relationships plus a small profit. You will notice that the good companies build their businesses slowly but surely through word of mouth and a flawless reputation based on honesty, integrity, and quality service. These types of window companies have clients that know and are certain that they can call on them at any given time and that they know that when they do, the phone is going to ring, someone is going to pick it up, and the problem that they have will be solved within 24 hours.

In summary, the window that only costs $600 and the one that costs $1500 are exactly the same thing. It’s ironic that the one that costs much less provides the better value because it involves dealing with a reputable window company that has been in business for decades and does things ethically. Knowing this will give consumers not just the benefit of saving money but also the peace of mind that they need for the future of their largest investment, their home.

What’s A Good Warranty On New Windows?

The first thing to find out is this: “How long will the warranty ACTUALLY cover my windows?” Most of the companies out there will tell you, “a lifetime” but this is a very ambiguous answer. When you look more closely at the warranty, the fine print can be a problem.

Here is a specific checklist of questions to ask about any warranty:

  • Is the warranty of the windows backed up by the window company you got them from or is it backed up by the window manufacturer?
  • Does the term “lifetime” refer to the lifetime of the window, the span of time you’re going to spend living in your home, or the lifetime of your house? Does the warranty cover both the window and the installation process or just the window?
  • If warranty issues arise, is your window warranty pro-rated?
  • Are you going to be charged if a warranty issue arises?
  • If you decide to sell your house, is the warranty transferrable to the buyer? If yes, is doing so going to cost you money?
  • If the glass of the window accidentally breaks, is this still covered by the warranty?
  • If the window screen tears apart, will the warranty cover the replacement of that screen?
  • Does the window company have a full-time service technician on standby in case you encounter a warranty issue? If yes, is the company’s service department open 24/7 in case an emergency happens?

These are just some of the questions that you need to ask a window company when they tell you that they offer a lifetime warranty. If you want to make sure that the warranty the company offers is really as good as they claim it to be, ask for references. When we say references, we’re referring to how well the company performed when they were asked to cover a warranty issue and not how well they did when they installed windows.

Here are questions to ask about their response to service and warranty issues:

  • How long does it take them to file a service call?
  • How long does it take them to complete the service call?
  • Was the technician on call when the client filed the service call?
  • Was the client charged anything for the service?

The answers to these questions should be as follows:

  • The technician was on call the moment the service call was filed.
  • The technician went to my house on that same day and didn’t charge me any money whatsoever.
  • It’s part of the company’s policy to do the same thing in the future.

If these are the answers, then you can be assured that you found a company that offers a really good window warranty. If the company doesn’t respond immediately to service calls regardless of the size of the problem at hand or if they charge money to fix their clients’ windows, then “buyer beware!”

The bottom line of making sure that you get a good warranty you can trust – you want to invest money on replacement windows for one time only. You don’t want to ever spend any more money after you pay for your replacement windows. This is why it’s important to take the time to ask for the complete details of the warranty that the window company provides rather than just accepting the answer “We offer a lifetime warranty.”

Why Do Other Home Improvement Companies Require A Down Payment?

There are always a few bad apples in any industry, so there can be some cases of a “company” getting your check and cashing it in and never actually doing the work you asked from them. Some also use delay tactics, figuring they already have money from you, there’s no need to rush.

But most Austin window replacement companies are not there to commit fraud or deliver terrible service. They ask for a deposit to commit you to the project. This can cause problems, though. Once they have taken a significant amount of money from you, the incentive to be 100% accountable to you goes down, and the commitment to completely satisfy you also lessens.

We don’t take deposits at Zen Windows Austin because we want to hold ourselves 100% accountable for your satisfaction with your replacement windows. We work hard, because we know we’re not getting paid until we deliver the promised results.

This is an important issue, because some window contractors will play games during installation, and once you’ve given them a big deposit, it can be hard to combat these tactics.

Here are some important questions that you need to ask about the installation process:

  • If my windows need to be wood bucked, am I going to be charged extra for this?
  • Will you charge for damages such as casing, sills, etc.?
  • Are you going to move my furniture before you start with the installation process or am I going to be responsible for doing this?
  • Are you going to remove or replace my air conditioning units?
  • Are you going to provide me with new capping, casing or caulk?
  • Are you going to use silicone when caulking?
  • Are you going to remove or install my awnings?
  • Are you going to insulate the walls situated around the windows and seal around the corners?
  • If you find rotted pieces of wood while removing my old windows, are you going to replace them?
  • If I need to have a new header, am I going to be charged for that?

Asking these questions can prevent you from being charged too much money for your project or ending up with poorly installed windows.

Lastly, you also should ask whether or not the installers are going to pick up and haul away all the debris that is going to be produced during the installation process. Plus, you should also ask the company if they are going to vacuum your home and wash your windows.

With Zen Windows, you get a huge advantage upfront because you don’t have to give us any down payment. This means that you don’t have to pay us any money until your project is done 100% correctly and you’re happy with it. This is our way of staying accountable to you for the results.

How Can New Replacement Windows Help You Sell Your Home?

Having a new set of windows installed can really make a huge difference when selling your home. Being in the window business for more than 20 years, Zen Windows knows the proven benefits of window replacement.

Statistics have shown that people, on average, move once every five years. When homeowners decide to move out, they need to make critical decisions about what kinds of improvements they need to make on their house before they put it up for sale in the market. Getting new replacement windows installed is one of the best improvements that a homeowner can do to his house before he sells it.

Curb Appeal

Brand new windows can attract buyers by catching their eye. Vinyl replacement windows can greatly improve the exterior look of your home and as a result, give it the ability to attract potential buyers to your place.

Energy Savings

Most people who look for homes to buy nowadays already know how expensive both heating and cooling costs have become. This is why they opt to choose homes that have new windows because they know that they offer a true financial benefit by lowering energy costs. Energy efficient windows can serve as a strong point of negotiation when you sell your home.

Security

Modern replacement windows are not only designed to look good and to be energy efficient. They are also made to provide added security to your home. Having new windows installed provides your house with a “family friendly” advantage.

Simplify

People who look for homes to buy are greatly relieved when the owners have taken initiative in replacing their windows. This gives them relief because it takes the decision, timing, and budgeting out of their hands – it’s all been handled for them.

Exclusivity

A new set of replacement windows can easily set your home apart from the other houses for sale in your area. With the long list of homes that are for sale in the market today, new windows clearly add a high leverage advantage.

With all the advantages mentioned above, it’s easy to understand the reason why a lot of homeowners decide to have new replacement windows installed before they put their home up for sale. This decision is a huge win, every time.

You can depend on the expertise and excellent service that Zen Windows Austin offers. We can say with full confidence that we have taken the fear out of buying new windows with the way we do things. Give us a call today at (512) 595-0102.

How Important Is The Window Installer For Your Project?

A lot of Austin homeowners who decide to have replacement windows installed on their homes never ask about the qualifications of the installer. This is a mistake. By focusing only on the window itself, or the price, you’re leaving out the quality of the installation.

You can start by asking your window company if their installers are subcontractors or actual employees of their company. The answer you get from this will give you a good idea as to how the company operates. A window company’s loyal installers should ideally be assigned to work on window install jobs only. They should never be used as jacks of all trades by having them take on whatever type of project that comes along the way.

Next, you can check for the installers’ qualifications by asking the window company if they have passed the AAMI certification program. A window company that has AAMI-certified installers who have years of experience and are actual employees of their firm, paired with high quality products, would be the ideal choice to go for.

Let’s consider the other side of the spectrum. A lot of window companies today choose to hire subcontractors for the job. Subcontractors are basically installers who work for different companies at the same time. Window companies decide when they’re going to use the subcontractors and usually negotiate labor pricing to compensate for slow times during the year. In addition, subcontractors are assigned to handle different types of jobs aside from installs. This means they may be installing windows today and could be asked to install a new bathroom the next day and onto a different task the day after that.

Subcontractors are generally not loyal to any single company and are usually not AAMI-certified. This means that it wouldn’t make any sense to spend hours doing research to look for the best windows in the market if you’re going to hand them over to the wrong people for the installation job.

AAMI-certified window installers who work for the window company are tasked to ensure that the windows get installed properly. Moreover, they are trained to perform all the necessary adjustments to the client’s home such as checking for termite infestation and water damage, replacing rotted wood and insulating the walls before installing the new replacement windows. AAMI-certified installers are also going to properly caulk both the interior and exterior of the windows and will custom cap the exterior to give the home a complete finish. This kind of installer takes pride in the quality of the work that they do not only because they represent a company, but also because they are employed by the company itself.

Please don’t think that this is a knock-on all subcontractors. There are a lot of good ones out there. However, when you want to have home improvements done, it would be best for you to reduce the risk of a bad installation as much as you can. Having an AAMI-certified window installer for the job is the best way to do this. With this type of installer, you can be assured that your windows are going to be installed perfectly and that issues that are going to arise in the future will be serviced properly

Why Should You Choose Vinyl Replacement Windows?

For countless years, windows were manufactured using wood. This was because wood provided a nice appearance and was readily available to craftsmen. However, as time passed by, people realized that exposure to different natural elements, namely wind, rain, snow, sunlight, etc., would eventually take its toll on wood windows and that they would need to be replaced when that happens.

In the early 1900s, this window construction method was slowly replaced with ones that made use of steel. The material doesn’t corrode over time and has the capacity to withstand the harmful effects of the elements. However, steel replacement windows transfer both heat and cold, which means that homes that had them would be warmer during the summer and much colder during winter. In addition, steel windows were very difficult to install because they are heavy. To get rid of the difficulty of installing steel replacement windows while still keeping the maintenance-benefits that they provided, aluminum windows came into being. With aluminum as the material, a new generation of replacement windows started to be produced because of its lesser weight and cost.

However, even though aluminum replacement windows had the ability to withstand the harmful effects of the elements, weighed lesser, and were less costly to make, they didn’t help in making homes more energy efficient. These realizations lead to the use of vinyl as the new superstar material for the production of replacement windows.

Unlike wood, steel, and aluminum, vinyl replacement windows are made with framing materials that can significantly increase energy efficiency. Plus, they don’t require painting or sealing. Vinyl also can withstand the elements more effectively as compared to wood and metal. It does not corrode, flake, or peel and its color will maintain its integrity.

Among all the materials used in the production of replacement windows, vinyl is the least expensive. Even though it’s the cheapest in terms of cost, it certainly is not when it comes to energy efficiency, durability, and style. Vinyl replacement windows are commonly made with double-paned or triple-glazed glass for better energy efficiency.

With vinyl replacement windows, you can save a lot of money on your purchase plus you get to enjoy all the benefits that come along with them.

Do Replacement Windows Really Pay For Themselves?

There are a lot of reasons why having new replacement windows installed on your home is a good idea: improving the overall value of your home; making your home more attractive to potential buyers if you have plans on selling it; enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your home’s exterior; getting the ability to keep your windows clean; and having a maintenance-free environment. For many people, that makes getting replacement windows sound like more of a luxury than a necessity.

Replacement windows, however, believe it or not, are actually more of a necessity than a luxury. This is easier to understand when you factor in the energy efficient savings that windows can provide.

Let’s have a look at a typical vinyl replacement window that has a simple glass package of LowE and argon. If this replacement window is installed properly, it can help cut down energy bills by at least 25%. To make this explanation simpler, let’s say that your energy bills average at $100 per month. If you get to save 25% on your monthly bill, you will be able to save at least $300 from your energy bills every year (without considering inflation). If we don’t take inflation into account, you can save $3000 on your energy bills within a 10-year period if you get replacement windows. This shows that getting new windows not just helps you improve the look of your home but also helps you save a lot of money in the long run. This simple explanation proves that replacement windows indeed pay for themselves within a span of 3 to 5 years.

The choice is up to you. You can choose to stick with your old and poor performing windows and pay your utility company $3000 or more in 10 years or, you can get new replacement windows and have the chance to enjoy all the benefits that they can offer.

Now, let’s proceed to the fun part. Did you know that your energy efficient windows are going to become lifetime employees of your home? They are going to work for your home by helping you save money in different ways. What’s even greater news is that they won’t cost you any additional money. They are going to be dedicated workers by shielding, protecting, and sealing your home and family by covering up the biggest openings of the exterior of your home. The moment you pay the window company, you’ve already paid your windows’ salary in full.

Are Your Windows Giving You The Cold Shoulder?

When homeowners think of their home’s windows, the most common question they ask themselves is, “How do I know if it’s already time to replace my windows?”

A lot of people nowadays are slowly realizing the importance of having new windows for their homes because of fuel increases as well as the tax incentives that are provided by the government. Here are a couple of things that will help you determine whether or not you already need to get new replacement windows. Let’s also go over some tips that will help you find the best replacement windows that will help improve the beauty and overall value of your home.

First off, you need to consider if your windows are giving you the cold shoulder. You can check this by placing your hand on the glass pane of your window during a cold day. Feel if the glass is warm like your home or if it’s cold like the weather outside. If the glass feels cold, then this is a good indicator that the windows that you have at home may no longer be functioning at their best.

Next, touch the frame of the window. Try to check if the frame has the same temperature as your home or if it’s cold like the temperature outside. If the frame feels cold, this means that it’s not functioning properly and a considerable amount of heat is escaping outside your house. This is so because energy efficient and well-functioning windows reflect heat from your furnace back inside your home.

Another good thing to do to check if your windows still work properly would be to light a matchstick and move it around your window. See whether the flame from the matchstick flickers or blows out. If that happens, your window is allowing air to pass through. This means that your house is experiencing a great deal of heating and cooling loss. Having the best quality replacement windows from Zen Windows will help you save a lot of money by having the energy efficiency that your house needs to cut down heating and air conditioning costs.

The look of the glass on your window is another good indicator that you need to get new windows. If the glass looks fogged up, it’s because of a seal failure and cold air infiltration is very imminent.

Lastly, open and close your windows by only using one finger on each hand. A good window is easily operable and provides both proper ventilation and security for you and your family. Inoperable windows can be a huge hindrance for different reasons such as endangering an exit during a fire and causing poor air quality inside your home because of exposure to allergens, mold, and mildew.

The best replacement windows not only make your house look good but they also enhance its value. Give Zen Windows a call today and let’s discuss the best replacement windows for your home

What Are The Replacement Windows And Doors Benefits With The 6 Months Same As Cash Program?

Take advantage of our Zen Windows “6 Months Same as Cash’ financing program and you can start saving immediately with your purchase of new replacement windows and doors this year. Available to all of our customers, this program allows you to enjoy new energy efficient windows now without interrupting your current cash flow.

The benefits of jumping on this program are endless – a warmer, less drafty house, energy savings, and security just to name a few. Once your new Zen replacement windows are installed, you will see immediate savings in your heating and cooling bills. The money saved with these better insulated windows can be used to pay for the windows themselves when those payments become due.

Also, enjoy the amazing tax credits available this year for replacement windows and doors. Of course, all Zen products are compliant with these government standards.

Call Zen Windows at (512) 966-9595 today to get this replacement window financing program working for you. I look forward to discussing your options soon.