Your Step-by-Step Guide for Replacing Your Windows
Our goal is to provide you with all of the information you need to make the best possible decision when it comes to buying windows, even if that means you DON’T purchase windows from us! We set up this page as a step-by-step guide to walk you through the steps you need to take in order to get the result you want—high-quality window installation at a great price.
On each of the tabs we also link to more in depth articles about our windows, the difference between vinyl windows and other materials, and much more. Basically, we try to answer every question you could possibly have about buying windows.
For those of you who prefer to talk through your questions rather than research them on your your own, feel free to call us anytime. We’re here 7 days a week to answer ANY questions you may have about the window buying process, our company, and more. We’re very straight shooters, and oftentimes that may mean we miss out on a sale but being HONEST with our customers is more important than “hard closing” every single potential sale. 😉
Here’s an overview of each of the steps you need to take to get your windows replaced:
Step 1: Determine How Many Windows You Need
The first step in any window project is determining how many windows you need. You also want to note the TYPE of windows you need. But don’t worry… We give you images you can reference as you walk around your house taking your notes. CLICK HERE to see all the types of windows we install and get step-by-step instructions for making your notes.
Step 2: Pick Your Material, Color, and Grid Style
Once you know how many of each type of window you need, now you need to determine what material to use, what color you want on the inside and outside of your windows, and a grid style. At Zen Windows, we offer a wide variety of options for you to pick from. So whether you’re after a standard white vinyl window or a woodgrain finish, we’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to pick our your materials, colors, and grid styles.
Step 3: Picking a Window Installer
Once you get to this point you know how many windows you need and you have a good idea of what colors / grids you want (don’t worry, if you need some help picking from the many options available we are here to help). Now, it’s time to actually pick the best company to install your windows. What you are looking for is someone who can install good-quality windows at a fair price. CLICK HERE and read about how we differ from other local window replacement companies as well as the things you need to look out for when shopping around.
Step 4: Get Quotes
Notice we say “quotes”… plural. Yes, we encourage you to put us up against some of the leading “big brands.” We’re very confident that we can compete on not only price but service and warranty as well. After working with thousands of clients across the country we hear the same thing over and over again – it’s refreshing to NOT be pressured into buying windows. So go ahead, get a couple of quotes and see how we do compared to the other companies. CLICK HERE when you’re ready to get a quote from us.
Determine What Type of Windows You Need
The first step in the window buying process is simple, you need to determine what type of windows you need AND what quantity you need. Below, you will find all the different window styles we carry. Use the images as a reference as you make your notes.
What we recommend is simply walking around your house with a notepad and jotting down how many windows you have + a count of each type of window. Also, you will want to note if you have any oversized windows (windows that measure larger than 17 sq. ft. – 101 unified inches, e.g. 41″ X 60″ = 101″).
The reason we ask that you note any oversized windows is those windows cost us slightly more in terms of materials. Windows under this size are pretty much the same cost in terms of glass and vinyl. We keep things simple with this “standard vs. oversized” pricing model.
Here’s an example of what your notes might look like once you get done walking around your home…
- Double Hung Windows – 11 (1 Oversized)
- Casement Windows – 2
- Picture Windows – 3 (1 Oversized)
- Slider Windows – 2
- Total # of Windows = 18
Notice that in the list above we know how many windows we need, what type of windows they are, and that there are two windows that would be considered oversized.
Once you get this list you’re ready to proceed to the next step.
Here’s the window types for you reference (you can click on any of the window names to read more about that type of window):
Pick Your Colors, Woodgrains, & Grids
So, you’ve got your list of windows—awesome! Now, it’s time to pick out colors, woodgrains, and grids.
If you have trouble picking out what style you want, give us a call. We can tell you what’s most popular and help guide you through the process. Honestly, MOST windows are simply “white inside, white outside” meaning they are your standard white, vinyl windows both inside and out. You really CAN’T go wrong with this timeless look. However, feel free to pick from any of the colors below. You’ll want to determine your inside color AND your outside color.
Here’s your options and note that we DO offer custom colors too!
All vinyl replacement windows are available in White (standard) and Beige colors. Select window models are available in brown.
Choose from a variety of decorative grid patterns for your vinyl replacement windows to enhance the architecture of your home. Our decorative grids are sealed between the panes of glass in the insulating glass units. Select from the following options.
Once you get to this point you know how many windows you need and you have a good idea of what colors / grids you want (don’t worry, if you need some help picking from the many options available we are here to help). Now comes the part everyone struggles with… picking out the BEST St. Louis window replacement company for the installation.
But you’re not just selecting a company—you are selecting a company AND their line of windows, so you need to “grade” the companies on these criterias:
- Type of Company (Big Brand Vs. Local)
- Reputation (Online reviews, BBB membership, etc.)
- Quality of Windows (Check third party quality and energy efficiency ratings)
- Price of Windows
After you grade each company on the above criteria, you should have a short list comprised of 2-3 companies to get a window installation quote from. CLICK HERE once you ready to get a quote.
We’ve written in depth about each of the four criterias above. Keep reading below, and if you have any questions visit our FAQ page or call us 7 days a week! Our #1 mission is to make each and every person’s window buying experience as pain free as possible!
Types of Window Replacement Companies
You really have two different types of companies to pick from: “Big Brand” vs. “Local”
“Big Brand” Window Companies
The big brand companies are your Andersens, Pellas, and so forth. These companies may be household names, but to become a household name it takes MILLIONS of marketing dollars to be spent. What’s important to note about the big brand companies is the fact that they carry a VERY large amount of overhead. Think of it like this…
If a company has to employ multiple people to run all over town in $50,000 work trucks to give “hard sell” price quotes, how do you think that affects their bids? Or what about the TV commercials, mass direct mail campaigns, billboards, and so forth? Obviously this means they have to make up for all that money they are spending, leading to HIGHER prices.
Now here’s the part most of these companies don’t want you to know – Their salesmen are TRAINED to sell hard and to sell you on the “benefits of working with a big, reputable company” compared to the little guys. They’ll stress that they offer the highest-quality vinyl windows while often times this just isn’t true.
Basically, they try to convince homeowners using a professional salesmen that if they DON’T pay these inflated prices they just won’t get a high quality window, and that’s flat out not true.
“Local” Window Companies
On the opposite end of the spectrum you have your locally owned and operated window companies. These companies tend to compete more on price and service. Where the big brands compete in branding and mass market appeal, the smaller, more agile local companies compete on service, relationships, and often times price.
See a local company has much less overhead, allowing the owner to set prices for THE SAME quality windows at a much lower price. Often times, you will get to work directly with the owner as well, which a lot of homeowners view as a major benefit compared to working with just a “salesman” or “project manager”.
Where Does Zen Windows Fit?
Honestly, Zen Windows fits right in the middle, offering the client the best of both worlds. We are a national brand, which gives us large scale knowledge of the industry, relationships with manufacturers, and more. BUT, we are locally owned and operated meaning you will speak directly with the owner.
We also have a very unique process. We DON’T send a high-priced salesmen to your home—there’s just no need to. We can SAVE that cost, that overhead, and pass it on to you, the buyer, as savings. You can read more about what it’s like to work with us HERE.
THIS RESULTS IN YOU GETTING PREMIUM-QUALITY WINDOW INSTALLATION BY A LOCAL COMPANY AT A PRICE THAT’S CHEAPER THAN THE BIG BRANDS.
What you want to do is look at every possible review source for each company you are considering. Maybe it’s us, Window World, and Andersen, perfect. Do read the reviews for each of the three companies on:
And just compare them. What do past customers have to say? Do they not even have reviews?
If a company is not actively acquiring reviews on these sources there is a good chance they simply don’t have a lot of customer who were ecstatic to have worked with them!
This may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. In today’s digital age the consumer is empowered to speak their mind online in seconds.
If a company consistently “WOWS” their customers with great service, quality, and prices that wow factor will translate into online reviews, period.
So go ahead, compare us to the other 2-3 companies and see how we stack up!
Quality of Windows
A number of homeowners today install new replacement windows not only to improve the appearance of their homes, but also to take advantage of the energy saving capabilities that these modern types of windows are able to provide. Unlike their older counterparts, they are more effective in keeping rain, wind, sleet, and snow out of your home during winter while at the same time maintaining the warm temperature inside that keeps your indoors comfortable during the cold season.
During summer, they prevent the cool air from escaping out of your house keeping your indoors cool and airy. This ability of modern windows not only keeps your home comfortable regardless of the time of the year; they can also significantly lower your cooling and heating costs by at least 25%. These major qualities are truly what defines energy efficient replacement windows today.
Essentially, the most energy efficient windows are those that have the ability to keep heat transfer to a minimum, which makes the material used for the window frame a major consideration. This reduction of heat transfer is responsible in keeping the heat within the home during winter and letting it out during summer. The double glazed glass pack that has a PPG Intercept spacer or a foam Super Spacer in between the glass panels can further reduce the heat transfer to a minimum.
In addition, the glass technology used in modern replacement windows has greatly improved through the years. For instance, there’s the low emissivity coating that is able to reflect heat back in the form of infrared light without compromising the amount of natural light that gets into the room. As for the materials used in the construction of the frames and sashes, vinyl ranks high in terms of energy efficiency.
The design of the windows is equally given the attention to make replacement windows even more efficient especially in sealing out air and preventing water infiltration. Those that have sashes that directly close snugly into pocket headers and sills perform better. In addition, the sashes particularly on vinyl windows come with rubber seals and weather strips further improving the units’ sealing ability.
In the past, the frames of the windows were mechanically connected through nails or screws. This method does not only weaken up over time, it also creates gaps that allow air and water to get in. To address this issue, vinyl windows today have their sashes and frames welded together providing stronger and better ability to withstand bend and flex movements without loosening up while at the same time provide protection against natural elements.
To put it simply, the production of modern replacement windows has come a long way resulting to the creation of units that do not only last far longer but also perform way better than their older versions. Today more than ever, the decision as to whether to get new windows or not has become a no brainer for most homeowners. In St. Louis, getting new windows is a decision made simpler by Zen Windows. Call us today and get your quote within 5 minutes and have your windows installed as soon as possible.
Price of Windows
Everybody loves a good price. People will buy goods or services if they get a good deal. However, in the home improvement industry, you have to be wary of products that are sold very cheaply. In most cases, you always get what you paid for. As the saying goes, “Buy cheap and you’ll end up buying twice.”
When you shop for new replacement windows, you will discover that they can vary in price ranging from $200 to as much as and even more than $1500. If you choose windows that cost from $200 to $400, you may think that you have found a good deal and will be able to save money, but not long after, you will find yourself looking for new windows again. This is because this type of windows doesn’t last for a long time either because of the sub-standard quality of the unit and installation or poor window warranty. Largely because they will only serve you for a short time, these windows are often referred to as rental windows.
Meanwhile, there are windows that cost $600. They are often sold by companies who are in the business for the long haul. These windows more often than not boast of excellent quality, which is further complemented with excellent installation services.
On the other hand, there are windows that are priced at $1500 each. They actually have the same quality as those windows that only cost $600. How is this possible? You see, just as windows are not created equal, so are window companies. There are companies out there who want to make money fast at the expense of customers who don’t know better. Needless to say, gullible customers become easy targets. Don’t get this wrong. The windows are often of good quality and the installation just as great. But the thing is, you can have the same quality for a lot less.
So, what does the huge diversity in price tell you? It should tell you to choose your window company really well. Find those who care more about your needs than the money they can potentially earn. Look for companies who have been in the industry for years. Chances are that they are reputable companies who have long established their reputation based on integrity, honesty, and quality products and services.
You will have the assurance that in case of problems with your units, a good company will offer you the kind of support that you can rely on at any given time and will respond to your call right away. They will deal with the problem within 24 hours.
When you think about it, when you choose the windows that cost $600, you will not only get quality products and services at a reasonable price, you will also get more value in your investment knowing that the company you’re dealing will give you the peace of mind that your investments are well protected.
Still Need More Info?
A window replacement project can be overwhelming especially when you have never tried it before. Homeowners who have taken this route in the past will tell you that it is not exactly a walk in the park. There are so many factors to consider and decisions to make. For one thing, there are many types and kinds of windows to choose from. You have to weigh their pros and cons to be able to make the most out of the benefits they can offer your home.
In addition, you have to choose which among the materials available to use on your windows to ensure high energy performance, strength, and longevity. While the internet can be useful, you will also be bombarded with an overload of information that oftentimes it can be difficult to determine which information is truly helpful and reliable. Needless to say, the whole experience can be overwhelming.
Here’s some information that will help you sort things out and enable you to make an informed decision later on when it comes to your replacement windows.
Click on any of the titles below to find out more:
What Are Single Hung Replacement Windows?
What Are Double Hung Replacement Windows?
Double Hung Vs Single Hung
Is Vinyl Your Best Or Worst Choice for Replacement Windows?
What Is Air Infiltration?
What Makes A Good Window “Good”?