FAQ Window and Door

Window & Door FAQ

 How do I know it’s time to replace my windows and doors?

There are many components of a window or door that could be failing and indicate that it is time to replace the unit. We find the number 1 reason is a seal break causing foggy glass. This foggy look is caused by moisture coming in from a faulty install, poor product and/or flashing. Rotted sills, jambs, and framing are another reason to do a window/door remodel. Often times, the unit itself (window sash or door jamb) could have been a fairly okay product, but the frame, jambs, and other components are made from failing aluminum, vinyl or wood and causing significant damage. This could cause the unit to be inoperable or very difficult to open. We’re able to help you pick the best design and function for your needs.

What does being an Installation Masters USA certified installer mean?

Our team are current Installation Masters USA certified installers. This certification is an intense 2-day training for top-notch, industry leading installation of any brand, material, function, and home surround ensuring an absolute weather-tight installation. Ensures best practices and installation techniques based on established industry standards.

What does being a Therma Tru Door, Harvey Window & Door, and Andersen Window & Door certified installer mean?

Although we have the overarching certification of Installation Masters USA, we want to offer our homeowners the best by also being certified installers of Therma Tru, Harvey & Andersen. These brands are leaders in the industry and support their installers and homeowners with top-notch customer service and warrantees.

Do you install any other window & door products?

We have our 3 preferred partners of Therma Tru, Harvey, and Andersen and are certified through their professional programs. We strive to be the best so we partner with the rest. Their materials and ROI are hands down the best in the industry.

How long is the warranty?

The warrantees vary depending on the brand and product selections. All products have material warrantees and additional labor warrantees when choosing to hire a certified installer like Professional Building Services. Therma Tru Doors have a Tru-Guard Composite Frame warranty, Tru-Defense System Warranty, and PrismaGuard Factory Finish Warranty on all pre-finished doors. Harvey and Andersen have a 20 year limited warranty.

 What brand door should I go with for my project?

During the design and quoting process, the Project Consultant will discuss many different options with you. The answers to these questions will largely guide us in determining which brand will be the best match for you. Harvey offers great vinyl windows and doors. Andersen offers vinyl

 What are modern window & door hardware selections?

There are many things to consider when choosing your window & door hardware. Some styles and colors lend themselves to a more historical look, while others are more rustic or modern. A popular choice is Oil Rubbed Bronze. Likely, our award-winning window and door project consultants spend a lot of time and attention to detail throughout the design process to find the right match for your needs and taste.

What are grids (or grilles) and are they an outdated look?

Grids are those lines that appear in window sashes, doors with glass, or door sidelights. There are many options, such as Grids-Between-Glass (GBG) or Simulated Divided Lites (SDL). Most people simplify the grid pattern for a more modern look, whether it is lessening the amount of squares entirely or only doing grids on the top window sash. It is becoming more popular to get rid of grids entirely, as it helps with visibility and opens up the look of the house. We have several computer software systems to help homeowners visualize different grid patten designs and colors.

Are removable grids on windows and doors outdated?

Yes. We find a lot of our customers want new windows and doors because their existing removable grids have been broken and/or have popped out and cannot pop back in. They are more of a hassle than GBG or SDL.

 What is Grids-Between-Glass (GBG)?

Grids-Between-Glass is a very popular option for windows, doors, and door sidelites right now.  The grids (lines) are in between the two window panes so they are not vulnerable to being broken, popped out, or scratched. They allow the window or door unit to have a little extra character, but make it especially easy to clean windows and doors. They can have a flat or contoured look.

 What is Simulated Divided Lite (SDL)?

Simulated Divided Lite is a popular look for windows and doors on historical homes. Most homeowners will select SDL features on doors that have sidelights and/or have ¼ or ½ lite glass. The SDL option on doors is also nice in case the current or future homeowners decide to paint the door a different color.

 What is caming?

Caming is a type of metal that is in the glass of doors and door sidelights. This metal comes in a variety of colors and is integrated with many decorative glass options.

How long will it take for my windows and doors to come in?

It truly depends on your selections (there’s about 20). We always work with homeowners to find the perfect window or door to fit their needs, and that process can take about a month depending on how quickly those selections are made. During the quoting process, we do provide rough ETAs to help homeowners fit their project timeframe. From then, we schedule a hard measure, write up a formal Window & Door Order Form with diagrams, measurements, and all specs, and need a homeowner sign off on that. Then, once the unit is ordered, it can be anywhere from 1 month to 10 months (pending holidays).

What is the window & door construction process?

  • Project Consultation: Customer meeting to determine requirements. Initial style, trim and colors chosen.
  • Design proposal review
  • Finalization of style, trim, and colors
  • Paperwork complete
  • Pre-construction meeting & hard measure with Project Manager and homeowners to discuss safety construction measures put in place.
  • If applicable (re-frame projects & Massachusetts projects), permit applied for and issued
  • Window and door ETA tracked and homeowners kept in the loop of progress on our homeowner portal Builder Trend
  • If applicable (multi-window/door project), dumpster delivered
  • Windows & doors delivered
  • Prepare interior and exterior of rooms effected by window/door installation
  • Window & exterior trim installed
  • Interior trim installed
  • Post-construction meeting
  • If applicable (projects with permits), final inspection and sign off

How long does it take to install a window and door?

It really depends on a couple of different factors.

  • 1 Day- If it is a 1 window/door that involves no framing and no crown molding
  • 2 Days- If it is 1 window/door that involves reframing or is a curved or bay window unit
  • 1 week—If it is an entire house of windows & doors
  • 1 ½ weeks—If it is an entire house of windows & doors with crown molding

 How much do windows and doors costs?

Window and door materials can vary greatly—from vinyl, to wood, to composite, to fiberglass. The cost is largely dependent on job specifics (and about 30 questions your Project Consultant will ask you), please call for details.

 Why is it more for a stain grade window/door install than a paint grade install?

The materials are more expensive. The interior trim used for a stain grade installation is “prettier” wood. The interior trim used for a paint grade installation is primed and therefore does not have to have nice rings in the wood.

 Will I be able to stay at home while work is being done?

Yes, we have never had to have someone temporarily move out for a window or door project. For full house window or door projects, we discuss the “game plan” of which units will be done first, so you will have time to prepare that room and move your workstations accordingly.

 Can you reframe a window or door to accommodate a large or smaller opening?

Absolutely! We do it all the time, especially while we are doing siding projects. We recommend mapping out the ideal size with painters tape to see if it will be a good size and height. When expanding a unit size, we recommend speaking with an electrician to ensure all electrical is safely routed in a new place.

 What is a transom?

A skinny, rectangle shaped window that does not open. These are typically ontop of a door unit or window unit and can be preordered to be mulled together to the unit below. They can have special glass designs, caming, grids between glass, and SDLs.

 What is Low E Glass?

This is a feature of glass that help reflect heat and improve windows’ thermal performance, lowering heating and cooling costs while allowing natural light. We recommend Low E to all of our homeowners. Some states and regions make Low E glass a required feature per building code regulations—but not all.

 What is Tempered Glass?

Tempered glass is more durable than regular glass. The tempering process puts the outer surface of the glass into compression and the inner surface of the glass into tension. When broken, tempered glass would be broken into granular chunks instead of jagged shards, which would prevent possible injury. There are some regions that require tempered glass in certain areas—the most popular being in windows that are in/near a shower/tub, along a stairwells, and a window sill within 24 inches of an interior floor.

Window FAQ

What is a window sash?

The window sash is the part of the window you can see, the glass.

What is a Replacement Window?

A replacement window is when only the window sash gets replaced and not the frame the window sash sits in. This is an option that homeowners with historical homes select so that they are able to keep their historical interior trim intact.

What is a mullion?

A mullion is a connecting frame piece that attaches two or more window units. The best mullion is a factory applied mullion; however, mullions can be created on site with existing new construction windows. 

What is a New Construction Window?

A new construction window is when the window sash and the window frame within your walls also gets replaced. This is the absolute best option for all of our homeowners. Homeowners who do not do new construction windows risk the rotted frame causing siding, drywall, or window sash damage. A new construction window also ensures a plumb and square installation with true and full window flashing, caulking, and other sealants within the entire window frame.

What is a Double Hung Window?

Double hung windows operate up and down.

What is an Awning Window?

An awning window has a hinge at the top and cranks outward.

What is a Hopper Window?

A hopper window has a hinge at the bottom and cranks outward.

What is a Casement Window?

A casement window has a hinge on one side of the window and cranks outward. A double casement is two casements mulled together that crank outward from the center.

What is a Gliding Window?

A gliding window opens horizontally, similar to a gliding or sliding door.

What is a Fixed/ Picture Frame Window?

A fixed or picture frame window is a window that does not open.

What is a Bay Window?

A bay window is window that has a projection and a roof build on top. A bay window is a 3-piece mulled window, typically consisting of a casement window, picture frame window, and another casement window. These are great options for window seats.

What is a Bow Window?

A bow window is window that has a projection and a roof build on top. A bow window is a 4-piece or more mulled window, typically consisting of a casement window, picture frame window, picture frame window and another casement window. Instead of 3 angle composition, a bow window has an arch structure like an archer’s bow.

What is a Tilt-Wash feature? Do all windows you offer have this feature?

Tilt-Wash features are available for double hung windows and involve pressing a latch to tilt the window sash for easy cleaning. This is a fantastic feature for second floor windows and is available in all double hung windows we offer.


Door FAQ

What makes fiberglass a great material for entry doors?

Fiberglass doors are particularly great in New England as they hold up to the elements very well. Therma Tru fiberglass doors resist rot, warping, and dents as well as withstand extreme weather. Due to their exceptionally high-quality and durable make up, Therma Tru doors have year-round reliable performance and minimal maintenance. The various designs will catch the eye of any homeowner’s needs.

Do I need to have a storm door with a fiberglass door?

No. You do not need a storm door to protect a fiberglass or steel door from the elements. In fact, most homeowners opt to not install a storm door over their new door as it hinders the impact of the wonderful curb appeal of your new door selections. Even if your pets like to look out the storm door, most homeowners will opt for full lite sidelights to still provide some opportunity.

Can I have a storm door with a fiberglass door?

Yes. We recommend Andersen storm doors (6, 8, or 10 Series) for your storm door needs. The various door and hardware colors, locks, glass size and ventilation options. 

Should I get an unfinished door or one with paint/stain factory finish? Can I paint it after if a new buyer doesn’t like the pre-finish?

It is entirely up to the homeowner which material works best for you. However, the Prisma Guard factory applied paint and stain options are stunning and the best possible application you will ever get. You can get any paint or stain sample to ensure that your paint or stain selection is the right choice for you. It is a true low-maintenance solution to have the door painted in the factory and will look the cleanest with no drips. For a new homebuyer who may not like your selection, the factory painted/stained door can be painted over. However, our design process is very detailed to make sure you are in love with your selections.

What are standard door measurements in the USA?

It really depends on where you are located. The most common are 32 x 80, 34 x 80 or 36 x 80. However, we have seen many 7 ft doors, which limit the brand and product line options slightly. We’ve actually reframed many 36 x 80 doors that have a transom on top to fit a 7 ft door for a grander entrance. Standard sidelight measurement is 12 x 80 with a door transom standard height of 12 inches.

What is a fire-rated door and do I need one?

A fire door is one with a fire-resistance rating. These are needed to meet code for doors going from the garage into the main house. Therma Tru has a variety of door styles to compliment other exterior doors on the home and are available with a 20 minute+ fire rating.

What brands do you install for doors?

Which brand we pair you with depends on your selections and needs. For exterior entry doors or French entry doors, we recommend Therma Tru Fiberglass Doors.  For vinyl sliding doors, we recommend Harvey. For wood sliding doors, we recommend Andersen. For curved top doors or folding doors, we recommend Andersen.

What brands do you install for garage doors?

We find that HAAS & CHI are the best in the industry in product and warranty. They offer our homeowners a variety of design options & we have a blast using the design software to find the perfect fit for your house!

Should we do a patio slider door or patio French doors?

It depends on how much space you’re working with. French doors are beautiful and great in theory, but often times it’s easy to forget that they take up space when they swing outward. You should consider the size and layout of the furniture you will use on your deck or 3 season room before making the decision. Both sliders and French doors can fail if not installed properly. Due to our accreditations, we are evenly confident that they would operate well even with heavy use.

Can I get blinds in my door and sidelights?

Yes. There are a variety of colors and options with certain model numbers. If this is a feature you’re interested in, it is important to let your Project Consultant know so that we can find the best model number for you. This is a feature you have to include in your door order and cannot add to the door after it is has been ordered.

What is a door slab?

The operational part of your door that opens and closes.

 What is a door jamb?

It is an individual section of the door frame which sit on either side of the door, forming the vertical portion of the door frame. This part is where the door hinges are connected and can often be an overlooked detail. For example, the door slab could be composite, but the jamb could be wood, vinyl or aluminum and vulnerable to the elements.

What is a door sill plate/pan?

It adds an extra layer of protections to help keep moisture away from the subfloor. Similar to the door jamb situation, the door slab could be composite, but there could be no sill pan or a sill pan that is wood, aluminum, or vinyl and the door would be more vulnerable to water damage as a result.


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