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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Vinyl Replacement Windows to Replace Steel Casement Bow Windows

Vinyl Replacement Windows to Replace Steel Casement Bow Windows

Start to finish window installation in Dallas Texas for a new updated look on a 50's era home.

This is a 50's era steel casement with putty glazed single pane glass.Alside Vinyl Casement Replacement Window

These are interesting.  When I get one it's always a little complicated.  Sheetrock work needed inside where the sides change.  Brick mason needed to straighten out the bottoms.  In this case, everything had to come up an inch and a half as the openings were 74 and casements max out at 72 inches tall.

 Here are some before, during and after shots.  the cans and trash were in the wall when we opened it up.  Old builders did strange stuff sometimes.

This steel casement window was typical of the 50's

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hail Damaged Aluminum Windows in Texas - How the Insurance Company will Evaluate the Window Damage.

Replace Glass or Windows?

Hail damage to the windows, should you get glass replacement or full window replacement and what does insurance pay for?

Also tips if you're next to see hail damage to the windows on your home.

Also, how to maximize the insurance payment towards new replacement windows.

Eighty percent of Wylie homes have damage from the April hailstorms.  Entire streets are boarded up and subdivisions ruined.  Because I'm a window guy, I'm going to share what I know and what I think you should know about the damage to your windows.

It's going to cost between $250 and $550 to actually replace or repair a window with really bad hail damage.  From what I can see insurance offers up about half of what they should, and advises you to get quotes and file a supplemental claim for additional costs.

I think this is done to slow down process and actually get off cheaper.  If you take the money and get upgraded windows you never notice in many cases.  When they offer you $28 or $32 to replace the cracked vinyl stripping around the insulated glass, they don't mention that often that stop is not replaceable because the glass has settled down on top of it and it can't be removed without breaking the glass.

Some "repairs" I've seen involved cutting it close with a utility knife and glueing a new piece over the glass trying to leave that old piece of the vinyl.  It's a pretty cheesy way to "fix" something.  The alternative can break the glass.  This is why even moderate damage to the vinyl stops needs to pay about $300 per window.  That's about $150 per glass lite.  Some folks may be cheaper.  I am not.  I don't think you should settle for less as this is about half of what you need to replace the window entirely with something that has a lifetime warranty, Low E Glass and Argon as well as other great upgrades.

Glass replacement is common.  A glass company is who does the job if it's glass only.  I refer the work to associates whom I trust.  The big ones and the circles are tricky to get right.

To contrast that.  If the frame is damaged, the $300 is really ineffective.  Also, it's like putting new tires on your worn out 1972 Ford Pinto.  You have new tires....   your car still sucks.    This does nothing for the energy ratings of the window, the seal of the weatherstripping or the squareness issues that may have arisen over time that cause leakage.

An average home has the equivalent of a two foot by two foot hole in the side of their house from leakage in a house full of builders grade type windows.

This isn't sales pitch though.  You knew that the old windows sucked.  I'm just reminding you while you research what will happen with builders grade aluminum windows that don't meet Energy Code anymore, homeowners insurance claims associated with hail damage, general contractors and how they deal with window vendors, installers or installation contractors.

Older aluminum builders grade windows can't usually be duplicated exactly either.  The ones in these Paul Taylor homes in Wylie are from HR windows which was bought out by Atrium.  They are always a little different overall ten years later specifically so they don't match.  The new windows will be mismatched unless you throw a fit with the adjuster and insist they replace them all so they match.  Good luck with that, let me know how it goes.

To replace old builders grade aluminum or vinyl double paned windows in a retrofit application will always run at least $450 per window and often $500 or $550 and up with really tall windows or windows with archtops or half circles over them.

Sorry John and Mary, that is indeed three windows in one opening.  Even on the cheap we're looking at $1600 bucks right there in that bedroom.  Really great ones $2200.  What are the insurance adjusters going to say?   $600 to $800 tops.

I was at a house today and the insurance offered $242 per window.  I charge $150 in labor.  It will be a really terrible window, and bad sealant if I spend $92 on both of them.

Also a twin window with a half circle is actually three windows not one.  Don't think you're getting off that easy.  It never goes like that.

Now to what I do.  I pull out the builders grade metal window and put in a lifetime warranty window with high performance heat reflective glass and so on that is roughly FOUR times more energy efficient than the old ones.....   that God apparently beat out of your house with a hail storm.

The cost on those is about $550 and up to about $800 on really big ones or archtop windows that are eight or seven feet tall or tempered.  As a point of reference, windows range in cost from $450 to $2000 each installed depending on the vendor.  My site has more about the cost of windows as it relates to replacement windows.

This is really about you not getting shorted on hail damage and the insurance settlement.  The supplimentals are where the contractor often finds a premium, and when he says he's going to cover your deductable....  that money comes from somewhere.  Guess where.

Long story ....   long.   However much the insurance is offering is probably not enough and you should look closely at the adjusters printout.  If you need window input specifically you can send me an email with pictures or other details and I'll tell you if it all looks correct.

If it's not I can help you find the best course of action even if it's not window replacement.  The truth is I think if I help you out now....   you'll remember later and tell someone.  I'll get my rewards later, for now let's get the house fixed.

Also....    Windows take a couple of weeks to produce as opposed to glass which can be done in a few days.  If the window frames are trashed, get new ones on order asap as it's not something that's sitting on a rack at the Home Depot waiting on you to show up and buy it.

No one is bringing you windows faster than two weeks and good ones are four to six weeks in some cases.  Waiting is not a great plan as then hundreds of windows are in line in front of you as well.

Windows are one area of the storm damage where faster can be better for sure.

Photo credits on two (aerial shot and windshield shots):



Tips for after the hail damage to your homes windows when it's time to do the board up after the glass is smashed out.

Okay this may be controversial.....   Use plywood and screw it to the frame.  Ruin that frame real good securing the house so they have to replace the frame and the glass instead of just glass.

Let's just stop that variable from the get go.  Then use foam  or tape or both to seal the edges so you and your family aren't sitting in front of a window that leaks like it's open with wind blowing around it.  Do that from the inside and keep it on the frame and the wood.  Don't make a huge mess on the brick.  That's just dumb.

Or you could do what would be cheaper for the insurance company and use cardboard and tape....   not.    Hey.  Get comfortable, this fix isn't going to be fast.  You may as well get it really boarded up well and as airtight as possible.  Screwing up the frames will also make it a little different on the insurance pay out.    Keep in mind that if you screw to the trim around the window, that needs to be replaced or painted or both as well.

Questions?   Send me a note.  I'll do my best.  Or post them here.  Share this with your friends if it seems helpful at all.  I do so appreciate your reading so much.  As I often say.... That's 15 minutes you're never getting back!






Thursday, November 12, 2015

My SEO Secrets in a Picture

SEO for Dallas Windows

Is it advertising or investing in your business?

SEO is tough.  I own Dallas Windows .com  This is how I stay on page one of the engines with current pages and coding.  

My images and pinterest presence help also as do all my map work on Google.  Then there's the Google Glass.  That probably helped a bit too.  This is how you check your site though.  Ultimately you also have w3.org    The criteria there is way over my head though.

Well this is everything I know...  It seems to be just enough to get the job done.  If you have a website this should mean something to you as well.

These are all chrome add ons.  Try out a few and see if you're not able to make some critical improvements on your site and its rankings.

The list of the cute icons goes like this from left to right......   many I use all the time, some not so much.   They will slow down a box a bit though.

Seo for Chrome

Google Page Rank

SEO Analysis Tool

SEO Quake

Meta SEO Inspector

Web Developer

Alexa Traffic Rank


Woorank SEO and Website Review

SEO Doctor

SEO Site Tools

Hootsuite (timed social posting assistance)

Google Hangouts  (unrelated)

SEO Extension

Circlescope   (google profile related)

Domain Authority

Page Analytics

Buffer   (another timed social posting assistant)

Check My Links

Share This  (Good tool for other peoples sites, use buffer or hootsuite for your site pages)

Other tools I recommend include author and publisher tags from a Google Plus Profile, a solid Maps Presence, analytics tags, alt tags on all pictures, H1 and following tags appropriately named and placed regardless of design, and of course the really easy one to stay on top of....  a blog and solid social media interaction..   (like that can happen with all that spare time you have, right?)  I really think that one is last in importance though.  You fix the site and then worry about your twitter page.

Hootsuite and Buffer are how you get your pages and posts spaced out through the softwares auto scheduling.  It means you can post for two hours and have the work done for the week.  This prevents wasted time on facebook that you try to call work.

Geotags on the pages and all the pictures is important too.  Also, I used to hate it when my pictures got stolen, then I noticed that Google can tell where they came from, they know.  They give me the credit for the hundreds of stolen pictures I have on the internet.  It did help rankings.

Minimizing script and css files is good as well but that's a code thing.   These others are pretty much just tedious basic lines of code and options in web templates.

Good luck and let me know if you have questions or I can help you somehow!

Dave Traynor

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Everything You Need to Know About Window Shutters

Everything You Need to Know About Window Shutters
By Mary Sauer

*We're very proud to have our first guest blogger from Modernize.com share with us insights on shutters.  Thank you Mary for sharing great input and thoughts on Window Shutters and how they apply to our replacement window needs in North Texas.*

Typically, window shutters, often called plantation shutters, are constructed from a group of slats which are placed parallel to each other along the length of the window. These slats can be adjusted, to allow natural light into the home in whatever amount the homeowner prefers. Shutters can be used inside of the home, but are also frequently seen outdoors. They serve the purpose of not only adding decoration to the home, but shielding the home from unwanted light, maintaining privacy, and protecting windows from inclement weather.

At first glance, finding the right shutters for your home may seem like as simple enough process, but there are actually many things to consider before making a purchase. Homeowners should consider the affordability, durability, thermal benefits, and maintenance needs of each type of shutter before making their final decision. At Modernize, we aim to inform our readers so they can choose a window covering they will love in their home. Continue reading to learn more about the many shutter options available on the market today.

Via Modernize

The Benefits of Shutters

One questions homeowners often is ask is why they should spend the money on shutters, if blinds or drapes will work just as well to block light from the home at a much lower cost. Shutters are among the more expensive options for window coverings. Vinyl shutters will cost an average of $80 to $200 for each window and natural wood shutters can cost anywhere from $90 to $600 dollars for each window.

It is important remember that cost is not the only thing to take into consideration. In general, shutters offer added benefits which make their cost worthwhile. When closed, shutters offer almost complete thermal protection by blocking sunlight from entering the home through the windows. Additionally, blinds and drapes are unable to project windows from inclement weather since they are only used indoors, while shutters add extra protection to the home. Lastly, shutters become a permanent part of the home, adding style and value to the home.

Should I Buy Wood or Vinyl Shutters?

Wood has largely been the most common choice for several years, but more recently vinyl has gained popularity due to some of the unique benefits this material offers. Each option has their own unique benefits and setbacks, and choosing between them really comes down to each individual's preference and the unique needs of their home.

Natural wood shutters are the strongest, most durable option but they do have their setbacks. Because wood is more susceptible to water damage, wood shutters may become warped if exposed to moisture for long periods of time. Vinyl shutters are not as strong, and they’re more susceptible to breaking. However, vinyl is the most affordable choice for shutters and they require very little maintenance over the life of the shutter.

Via Modernize

About Special Shape Shutters

Another thing to consider before making your purchase is if you will require any specialty shaped shutters for your windows. Shutters can be bought in a wide variety shapes, and some manufacturers will create the shutters custom to each homeowner’s needs. Arched, or circle top shutters, are similar to typical shutters except with a curved top on both sides. Additionally, octagonal or full circle shutters can be created for specially shaped or picture windows.

Before making your purchase, carefully inventory the windows in your home. Decide what you want your shutters to provide and choose your shutter based on their cost, durability, and the thermal protection they offer the home. With enough information, you are sure to choose window coverings you will love for many years to come.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Easy Five Minute Fix for the Bottom of Your Homes Exterior Door

What can I do today to help the door on my house work better?

Knowing about adjustability in door thresholds.

I've been a window and door installation contractor for almost thirty years.  To this day I'd say only half the installers even give this fact any thought or share it with new customers.  Folks who have never purchased a door in their lives would have no reason to know this interesting fact.

Many, and in fact most modern door thresholds from the 80's forward are adjustable and can be made tighter or looser depending on the need on the home.  They raise and lower with an adjustment screw and most doors have at least 5 along the top.  Moving those thresholds up will make a better, tighter seal.

Here's an example picture...

The gold screw in the center of the oak strip is an adjustment screw.  It will move the oak strip up when loosened and will move it down when tightened.  It' is usually a #3 Phillips as seen here but the plastic threshold top with caps over it has flat head adjusters.  It was typical on cheaper door models.

I've never seen a plastic adjustable threshold and had the customer know it was adjustable.  This is often also the case with the Oak ones like you see here....   Very few folks know you can make it tighter or looser as needed.

In the winter it is certainly preferable to make the door tighter and get a better seal.  Also tighter seals will prevent some door slamming often associated with children and other wild animals that move through doors too quickly.  When the threshold is tight the door won't really slam.  They have to slow down and push it shut.  I like that when I'm napping.  I hate slamming doors.

This is by far one of the best 5 minute fixes on the house before it gets cold.

If you see someone with a towel by the door or some kind of door cozy U shaped stuffed animal hugging a friend or neighbor's door, you may want to share this awesome tip as well.

Older style thresholds and their adjustment.

The old metal style are tougher but when needed can be shimmed up on one side or another with shims from the local lumber store.  Then reseal the door to the floor with a clear sealant after making sure the door is sealing well.  Doors usually settle on one side or another and while this fixes the bottom, it really doesn't help the sagging or twisting that happens as a home settles over time.

These tips help with the seal at the bottom of the door, but can't fix bigger issues with the door and how it aligns with the jambs and weatherstripping on the jambs.

A sad reality is that houses settle, the wood succombs to the weight of the roof and upper components and moves down.  Sometimes as little as a quarter inch of movement can really throw out a doors fit.

The real fix for that issue is more like removing interior and exterior trim, cutting all the nails and actually moving the frame to a better location.

If this goes terribly south, you can always go to the lumber store and buy a replacement door.  Not a great one like I usually install, but one to do the job.  For reference sake, you may want to read my blog post from last year on door installation best practices.

Actual exterior door installation instructions can be found from this earlier post:

How to install an Exterior Pre- Hung Door


Friday, June 26, 2015

Heat Conduction Through Your Windows

Do Replacement Windows help with heat?

Can Vinyl Windows instead of Aluminum Windows make a difference.

I have to admit I was really excited on this one.  The front of the home had a big triple unit, two sidelites and a transome with one upstairs.  Easy day.  Except my driver didn't get the two sidelites.  

Okay new plan, hang the ones we have and just get those two in the morning.  We told the customer two days and although it could have been one, it was hot, and Chris was sick.

Here's where it gets fun.  The customer had a laser pointer with a temperature display on it.  It was awesome.  You'll never believe what I found so I've provided all the pictures to give it some context.

I did the triple first.  Here's the before shot #throughglass for a time frame.

An hour or so later the old ones were out and I had some new ones starting to go into place.  This is actually three windows mulled together.

This set came in at .27 U Value with a .19 Solar Heat Gain Coefficient.  That's pretty awesome.  The numbers are actually a little better on SHGC when you have grids as they block the sun and lower that number.

So we're making progress.  I noticed once I set the two bottom ones you could almost feel the heat above them immediately.  I tried to catch in on film.  You have to decide if I did or not.

But the process continues.  I set the half circle and started the process of squaring them all up together.  The mullions make it so they have to straight and next to each other, but the new ones being square is more important than being straight with the house.  It's a long story but sort of irrelevant for this story....

I got them in and it was time to seal.  I went out to get caulking guns and glass cleaner.  When I came back, my customer had produced a cool laser light thermometer.  I've seen the air conditioning guy use these before.  They tell you if the air at the vent is coming out cold.  Interestingly enough, it will also tell you an amazing fact about heat reflective glass in modern vinyl replacement windows.

That fact is:  They totally rock.

I got the bead of sealant around the window by around 1:20.  The room was still pretty warm from being wide open just a few minutes earlier.  The sun was heading down in the West right into the front yard we were working on.  As I stood on the ladder caulking the second floor window I could feel the heat being reflected alright....  right into my face...  making me very miserable.

So back to the thermal thingy.  Sill temperature inside on the center of the sill at around 5:30 was 77 to 78 degrees after the house had re-equalized.  I thought that was great. It was working.  This was about the same temperature as the house itself.

Here's where it gets super amazing and brings up an ever interesting subject - Conduction and Convection Heat.   I know you're excited!  Here's the picture that creates the discussion.

Even after the house had reclimatized, this was the center sill temperature inside the sidelight.  This window is aluminum builders grade type double paned clear windows.

There are literally millions of them in North Texas alone.  This was the standard from the 70's into 2008 when aluminum was no longer Energy Star Rated.  Almost 40 years of homes have this window.

There were some that read lower and some were up to 111.  I'll put them below.

Did you know that it being 95 degrees outside in direct sunlight puts 110 degrees on your window sill?  Can you imagine what that does to your air conditioning and the poor machine trying to crank out that nice cold 60 degree air at the vent?

Here's the best explanation I could find on the types of heat transference.

Author and original source:  http://www.edinformatics.com/math_science/how_is_heat_transferred.htm

How is heat transferred?

Heat can travel from one place to another in three ways: Conduction, Convection and Radiation. Both conduction and convection require matter to transfer heat.
If there is a temperature difference between two systems heat will always find a way to transfer from the higher to lower system.


Conduction is the transfer of heat between substances that are in direct contact with each other. The better the conductor, the more rapidly heat will be transferred. Metal is a good conduction of heat. Conduction occurs when a substance is heated, particles will gain more energy, and vibrate more. These molecules then bump into nearby particles and transfer some of their energy to them. This then continues and passes the energy from the hot end down to the colder end of the substance.


Thermal energy is transferred from hot places to cold places by convection. Convection occurs when warmer areas of a liquid or gas rise to cooler areas in the liquid or gas. Cooler liquid or gas then takes the place of the warmer areas which have risen higher. This results in a continous circulation pattern. Water boiling in a pan is a good example of these convection currents. Another good example of convection is in the atmosphere. The earth's surface is warmed by the sun, the warm air rises and cool air moves in.


Radiation is a method of heat transfer that does not rely upon any contact between the heat source and the heated object as is the case with conduction and convection. Heat can be transmitted though empty space by thermal radiation often called infrared radiation. This is a type electromagnetic radiation . No mass is exchanged and no medium is required in the process of radiation. Examples of radiation is the heat from the sun, or heat released from the filament of a light bulb.

While all that is indeed a mouthful, It means the sill is hotter than the temperature outside because my windows is in the sun and not in the shade.  


We can all go home now.  

No I'm kidding.  

It means the metal conducts the heat and gets hotter than 95.  Probably well into 115 or 120 after the sun beats on it for 5 hours.  That the air (and the wooden sill) are convecting heat from the window frame, and the glass. And the entire thing, like the sun on the other side of it, is radiating heat inside towards my precious ice cold air conditioning.

The end of the day just before I took the thermal shots.  This shows the new triple that had 77 and the sidelite by the door that showed 107 to 111.   Thirty degree difference!  One day, half a day really.
The second floor one was a real hot beast to stand there on an extension ladder and caulk.  Hottest 15 minutes you'll ever experience.  No need for a tanning booth afterwards either.

On this you notice the numbers are at .27 and .20 instead of the .19 on the window under it.  This is a good one to know.  Brochures have approximations and are close but often not accurate.  Also if they test out a 2-0 by 3-0 but you build a 4-0 by 6-0 with that window.....    it won't be the same.

This one is different because the grids are larger, allowing more direct sunlight and therefor having MORE of a SOLAR HEAT GAIN Coefficient.  Cool huh?

Hey send me an email if you'd like!  


Check out the outreach:  www.DallasWindows.com/twitter