GOT A QUESTION? GINA HAS THE ANSWER!
Gina has worked with hundreds of contractors and thousands of homeowners. If you have any question whatsoever about windows and doors, Gina will either know the answer on the spot or she'll find it for you in a flash. Call her at 510-353-1600 or email her at GRivera@baycitywindows.net
- I'd like to save money on my home energy bill (on both heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer). What energy-saving features should I think about when I look for new windows?
One of the best ways to ensure you have energy-efficient windows is to look for the “ENERGY STAR®” label. Windows, doors, and skylights that are ENERGY STAR®-qualified will help lower your heating and cooling bills by up to 15%.
- What are the differences between wood, vinyl and aluminum windows? Does it really matter?
I’ll summarize the differences so you can decide exactly what’s best for you:
Vinyl is usually the least expensive frame option, though prices can vary quite a bit depending on the thickness of the vinyl and how the window is assembled.
Vinyl frames require very little maintenance and are very energy-efficient, especially when foam is added inside the frame. Forget about vinyl's unfortunate association with cheesy 1960s synthetic materials: That association is as outdated as bell-bottom pants, love beads and vinyl LPs! Of course, vinyl is not for every product and use, but for today's windows, it's an excellent option.
Compared to vinyl, aluminum frames are poor insulators and are prone to condensation problems. However, an aluminum frame with a thermal break (insulating strips that separate the inside and outside of the frame) will perform satisfactorily in warm climates. However, these frames cost about the same as higher quality vinyl frames.
Although aluminum frames in most cases are no longer the best option from an insulation and energy-saving standpoint, many condominium complexes and homeowners' associations nevertheless require aluminum frames to preserve the original architectural character of a subdivision or neighborhood. That's perfectly fine: There are many great aluminum frame products available. They're just not always the top option for energy efficiency.
Wooden frames are good insulators, but unless the wood is clad with vinyl or aluminum on its exterior, the frame must be painted to protect it from the weather. Unfinished wooden windows are also 15-40% more expensive than vinyl. Cladding will add to the cost, but it will also save on the cost of future maintenance. Also, keep in mind that wood windows will be more vulnerable to insect damage and wear over time.
- Do I have to replace my window frames to install new windows?
In many cases you will not have to replace your window frames when you have new windows installed – a new replacement window installed without removing your old frame is called a "retrofit window." On the other hand, a new replacement window installed after removing your old frame is called a "new construction window."
There are many architectural, permitting and budget issues to consider when deciding between retrofit and new construction windows. Both methods have their advantages and both methods are common; however, just based on cost, installing retrofit windows will almost always be less expensive than installing new construction windows. Please contact our sales team for assistance in deciding the best approach for you and your home.
- Why are some windows filled with gas?
The sealed air gap between the two glass panes slows the transfer of heat. Filling that air space with an inert gas improves the window’s performance by further slowing the rate at which heat is transferred from one pane to the other. Argon gas is an odorless, invisible, nontoxic gas with a thermal conductivity of 30% less than air. (In fact, these properties are so useful that the U.S. National Archives uses argon gas to protect the original Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution!)
In summary, argon gas is completely safe, and it improves the energy efficiency of your window replacements.
- Why should I choose Bay City Windows over another window and door reseller?
Replacing your windows and doors is a serious investment in your home’s value and beauty, so it’s important to know that you’re dealing with an established business with a great reputation. At Bay City Windows, we have 30 years in the business and have always been family-owned. We are committed to your complete satisfaction in the following ways:
- We only use our own professionally trained employees, because that helps us ensure the very highest standards of quality. We never use subcontractors. When you use us for professional window installation, you know we are personally accountable for everything we do. We will happily provide references in your area.
- Bay City Windows is fully licensed by the state of California. We are fully insured and bonded, ensuring your protection and peace of mind. (Even if you choose not to work with us, please be certain that whoever works on your home is fully licensed and bonded.
- We have been on the Better Business Bureau’s Honor Roll for years. To be specific, that means we have never had a complaint filed against us with the BBB. That’s one of our proudest accomplishments, because it means we’ve satisfied every customer who trusted us to handle their home window replacement.
- Nearly half of our business is based on referrals, another indicator that our customers walk away from every installation of new replacement windows satisfied. We also offer a $100 referral appreciation award every time a customer’s referral does business with us.
- We don’t use pricing games, gimmicks or tricks. We’ve always prided ourselves on honest, straightforward business principles based on our great products and values. We provide simple, clearly understandable pricing. The total includes everything: taxes, tempered safety glass, screens, installation, grids, hauling away old windows and all debris, and additional security locks on patio doors. With Bay City Windows, you know always know exactly what you are paying for. There are never any unexpected charges.
- What is “Low-E” glass?
Low-E glass is coated with microscopically thin layers of transparent silver between a layer of antireflective metal oxide coating. This prevents energy transfer through the double-paned glass unit.
Low-E glass also allows visible light to enter while blocking both infrared light and more than 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet light. As a result, there is less heat loss in the winter and less heat gain in the summer.
In other words, throughout the seasons, rain or shine, your home will maintain a more consistent average temperature and be more comfortable year-round. In fact, Low-E coatings improve the insulating value of a window almost as much as adding an additional pane of glass.
Low-E glass also protects carpets, window treatments, furniture, stained wood, wall paint and fabrics from the fading effects of the sun. Finally, by combining Low-E coatings with a low-conductance gas such as argon, you can boost your energy efficiency by nearly 100% over clear glass. The cost for Low-E coating and low-conductance gas filling is only about 5% of the window’s total cost, making it an exceptional value.
- Does Bay City Windows deliver windows to job sites?
Absolutely. We’re more than happy to deliver windows directly to any job site. Simply call us to arrange for delivery.
- What is the best time of year to have new windows installed?
Fortunately, the Bay Area climate allows us to do home improvement projects just about any time of year. There is definitely a busy season (approximately June through November) as homeowners seek to complete their home improvement projects before the winter. That said, although there are some predictable lulls during the holiday season, we are always fully engaged throughout the year, so there isn’t really a slow season.
Of course, national manufacturers are much busier in the summer months because homeowners in other regions of the country like New England and the Upper Midwest really cannot install windows during the colder half of the year. They order almost all their windows in the summer. Due to that, it might take an extra week or two to receive the windows from the manufacturers and schedule installations in the peak summer months, but it will almost never take longer than that.
- What are the advantages of installing windows in the summertime?
As noted above, summertime is definitely busier than other times of the year, but for our clients, that really only translates into a wait of maybe an extra week or two than in the winter. On the other hand, the chances of a rain delay are far lower in the summer.
- What are the advantages of installing windows in the wintertime?
In winter, there is less congestion at the factories, so windows will typically arrive at our warehouse a little bit sooner than in the summer. The difference is not great — generally about four weeks instead of five to six weeks — but it might make a difference for some customers.
There is a greater chance of a rain delay during a wintertime installation of home windows, but in reality, we’ve found such delays to be very infrequent. Our professional installation teams work year-round and are extremely careful about cleanliness, so winter weather is generally never a problem.
- How long does the typical installation take?
Thanks to our highly skilled and knowledgeable in-house installation team, about 80% of our installations of windows and doors are completed in a single day. Of the remainder, about 15% are completed in just two days. Larger or more complicated projects might take a few days longer, but they account for very few of our projects.
- How intrusive/inconvenient is the installation process?
Our installers work very carefully to minimize the inconvenience of your window replacement installation. Our well-trained teams are obsessive about cleanliness and courtesy, in keeping with our established customer service tradition.
Many of our clients choose to leave their homes for part of the day while we work — a level of trust that we honor, appreciate and take incredibly seriously. That fact and our great referral rate — almost half of our business comes from referrals — confirm for us that our great staff continues to uphold our very high expectations every single day and on every single job.
- What special services do you offer to contractors and design professionals?
At Bay City Windows, we value our strong relationships with both contractors and design professionals. The exclusive benefits we offer include:
- Fast turnaround on vinyl windows
- Competitive pricing on all major brands
- Free jobsite delivery (or, if more convenient, free loading at our warehouse)
- Personal oversight by Gina Rivera