We’re able to help you select windows, doors, and siding for both practical and aesthetic reasons because our 35 years in business gives us the knowledge to do so.

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Maintenance, insulating value, appearance, fit, ease of cleaning, and durability are only a few of the many important considerations.

Answered below are many of the most commonly asked questions about replacement windows to help you choose the one that’s best for you. Click each section to expand and read.

Why should I buy custom replacement windows?

Because custom windows fit perfectly. Stock windows, like those used by builders or sold in lumber yards, are available only in certain sizes. Since many window openings are not the same ‘standard’ sizes as stock windows, you’ll be left with several inches of open space around the entire window. Carpenters generally fill this space with gypsum board or molding. This not only reduces your viewing area and detracts from your home’s beauty, but leaves you with extra wall space to patch, paint, and decorate. Soft-Lite’s® windows are designed, engineered, and manufactured to fit your home’s size, style, and appearance without reducing your viewing area.

Can I install custom-made windows myself?

Yes, but the better question might be, “Should I install custom-made windows myself?” Professional installers have all the necessary equipment and installation techniques based on established industry standards to do the job right, such as bending exterior trim coil to increase visual appeal. Measuring the size of the window is extremely important as well. If your measurements are off by as little as .25″, a custom-made window may not fit. We strongly recommend that you let a professional do the job for you.

What's the difference between vinyl, wood, and aluminum windows?

Today, the majority of replacement windows are vinyl. Wood or aluminum cannot match the performance of a vinyl window. Vinyl windows never need painting and won’t show scratches unlike aluminum or wood windows. Vinyl is also a better insulator. It doesn’t conduct heat or cold like aluminum-a major source of lost heating/cooling energy.  It also doesn’t swell and shrink like wood when temperatures change, so vinyl maintains its shape, saves you heating/cooling dollars, and stays warmer to the touch.

I've heard window corners can separate and leak air. What's the best way to put windows together?

Windows (and doors) are the #1 source of a home’s energy loss, and a lot of heated or cooled air can be lost through the frame and sashes. Most wood windows are put together with staples; most vinyl and aluminum windows are screwed together and then caulked. The day they leave the factory, most windows are perfect. But construction methods can make a big difference five years, even twenty-five years after your windows are manufactured.

Look for windows in which frame and sash corners are fabricated using world-class robotic equipment to assemble and weld them together. This equipment assures windows’ fabrication is free of workmanship errors and results in consistent finished windows that feature industry-leading tolerances.

What is a welded window?

Welding is the latest technology in window construction. It utilizes intense heat and specialized equipment to bond the corners of all four sides of the window’s sash and frame into a single unit. To ensure “perfection”, Element ™ window sashes are welded simultaneously. Computer-controlled equipment quickly determines tolerances of ±1/32”. If they are not perfect, they are rejected.

My old windows used putty to hold the glass in place. Is there a better way?

Obsolete putty-glazed windows were typically used in wood windows years ago to help hide the little metal “glazing points” that hold single-pane glass in place. Because putty degrades over time and blocks or holds water, it is no longer used by any reputable window manufacturer. Instead, interior high-track PSA closed-cell neoprene bedding tape holds today’s best insulating glass units in place. The insulating glass “sandwich” is further protected by carefully-placed rubber setting blocks that cushion the perimeter of the glass edges and also allow water to weep around the glass and outside the sash through the snap-on trim part called the glazing bead. This glazing system is proven to be a top performer and is warrantied for a lifetime.

What are Stealth Locks, ILTIS™ hardware and Dura-Latch™ limit locks?

Elements™ Stealth lock system is a cam-action lock with an invisible cam keeper that compresses weather gaskets together for a tight seal. Our stealth locks are forced-entry resistant and Certified by AAMA. ILTIS™ hardware is a concealed tilt mechanism. This eliminates unsightly “boxy” tilt lock styles and gives the lock rail and sash a clean look.Dura-Latch™ limit locks are stops in the sash, which permit windows to be opened partially while retaining security. They can be an added safety advantage in homes with small children. Our Dura-Latch™ passes AAMA forced entry resistance test.

What is AAMA and why is it important?

The American Architectural Manufacturer’s Association is an institution that certifies products after they are confirmed by third-party testing labs to meet industry standards. Much like vehicles bear industry standards like MPG and horsepower, windows bear industry standards defined by AAMA. Among the most important of these measurements are air infiltration, water leakage, and structural wind-load. Look for AAMA-Certified Products and ask your window supplier to furnish these results so you can compare one window against another legitimately. The AAMA Gold Label Certification Program is AAMA’s highest standard. AAMA also certifies window installers.

What is a U-factor? Can it help me choose a better window?

The U-factor measures how well a product prevents heat from escaping. The U-factor tells you how much heat would escape through the entire window unit in winter, and how much air-conditioning would leak out in the summer. The lower the U-factor the greater a window’s resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating value. The methods for measuring U-factor ratings were developed by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Trade Commission.