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Frequently Asked Questions

General

  • What is your warranty policy?

    For all of our products, we provide a complete one-year installation warranty, guaranteeing the quality of our work. In the case of a manufacturer’s defect, we will help you file the warranty paperwork, and see the process through to the finish.

  • I have a problem with a recent purchase that I would like to talk to you about. How do I contact you?

    Visit our contact page for details and to contact us directly.

  • If I ordered the wrong product or size, can I return it?

    Most of our products and glass are ordered to your specifications, so unfortunately, returns are not possible. In some instances of stocked items, we will take them back with a stocking charge. However, if you order an item that we fabricated in our shop and the item is too big, we can usually rework it for a small fee.

  • Why don’t you list prices on your website?

    We don’t publish specific prices because the vast majority of products that we carry are made-to-order specially for you! The manufacturers we work with offer a plethora of choices, so that we can get you exactly what you need. See our windows, doors, glass, and screen pages for general price ranges. Our knowledgeable staff are non-commissioned, and are happy to speak with you about your options, and to make recommendations based on your priorities. Getting in touch with us is easier than ever — stop in at any of our locations, call us, or e-mail us.

  • Will you install a product I purchased elsewhere?

    In most instances, we have to politely decline. This is for two reasons:

    1. We partner with companies who produce quality goods and stand behind their products, just as we stand behind our labor. This doesn’t mean that we think all other products are rubbish, just that we can’t vouch for their quality and do not want to install items which may not stand the test of time.
    2. As skilled as our installation crew is, there are rare instances in which mistakes occur during installation, damaging the product. Normally, when this happens, we replace the product. However, it may not be possible for us to replace a product supplied from elsewhere.
    Exceptions do exist, so we are happy to discuss your individual circumstance.

  • Why do you require a deposit?

    For almost every product that we carry, there are countless options and customizations available to you. This means that there is a higher chance you will find exactly what you are looking for – however it also makes it infeasible for us to keep all products in stock at all times. A 50% down payment helps ensure that orders are picked up, and most importantly, keeps our prices low!

  • I found a product that I want, but it’s from a company not listed on your website. Can you get it for me?

    Absolutely ask us about this. The companies that we list on our website are those that we use most often due to value, quality, consistency, and availability. However, we also work with many other trustworthy manufacturers, who can supply us with hard-to-find or specialized products. If you tell us your project idea, we’ll do the legwork to find you a solution.

Windows

  • What is “Low E” and how does it work?

    “Low E” is short for “low emissivity” and is a thin metallic coating that helps improve the thermal efficiency of windows. There are two main types of Low E coating: hard coat and soft coat.

    Hard coat Low E, also known as pyrolytic coating, is sprayed on during the float glass process and is easier to manufacture and handle than soft coat Low E. Hard coat has average performance compared to other products available, but offers high passive solar heat gain (which is desirable in our climate to keep your home warm in winter).

    Soft coat Low E, or sputter coating, is produced in a vacuum chamber by applying multiple layers of silver between layers of metal oxide. Soft coat Low E provides the highest performance, with a virtually invisible coating.

    Low E primarily targets ways that heat can escape your house in winter, and invade during summer by reflecting radiant heat back toward its source (i.e. the sun in the summer and the warm interior of your home in the winter). This translates to added comfort and energy savings (Cardinal Glass claims that your energy bills can be reduced by 30% by switching to Low E glass).

    In a 68° F room, the glass in a single pane window will be 30° F when the outside temperature is 20° F.  The inside pane of glass in an insulated glass unit featuring Cardinal LoĒ³-366 will be 61° in the same situation!

    As technology improves, glass manufacturers are producing specific Low E coatings to help you take advantage of local climates. For instance, the south and southwest United States want to minimize solar heat gain, to reduce the amount of energy spent on cooling, while here in the Pacific Northwest, we want to select glass that has a high insulating value (or a low U-Value), while allowing as much passive solar heat gain as possible during the winter. Stop by one of our locations to consult with us to determine the right Low E coating for your project.

  • What are jamb extensions?

    Originally indicating the vertical members of the frame, the term “jamb” has come to mean the frame in which a window or door sits.  Jamb depth varies between window manufacturers — vinyl windows typically are 2 5/8” to 3 3/8” thick while wood windows range from 3 1/2” to 4 9/16”.  In turn, jamb extensions refer to wood or another material that adds width to the jamb so that the window fills the entire opening depth from the exterior to interior sheathings (often plywood or oriented strand board on the outside and drywall on the inside).  In this way, casing or trim material simply needs to be added to the vertical wall surfaces after the windows are installed.  Without jamb extensions, a skilled trim carpenter or drywall installer is required to fill the unrequited space with wood, drywall, or another material before the window can be trimmed, so having jamb extensions applied by the window manufacturer can save labor expenses on the jobsite.

  • What is a “DP” rating? Is it like a “PG” rating?

    A “DP” or “design pressure” rating is a numerical value given to a building component that represents its ability to withstand a given amount of wind load.  DP ratings represent three performance elements — structural load, water resistance, and air infiltration resistance.  A higher DP value indicates a window or door that can withstand more wind, water, and/or structural load than a window with a lower DP.

    In practicality, a window or door with a structural DP rating of 50 has passed a structural test pressure of 75 pounds per square foot (equal to a 200 mph wind).  A product with a 50 DP rating for water performance has passed testing under conditions of 8” of rain driven at 50 mph, while a 50 DP rating for air performance has withstood air infiltration at 25 mph.

    Misrepresentation or partial disclosure of DP testing within the window and door industries has led to a “watering down” of the DP rating.  An advertised DP rating had to meet two out of three components of the testing.  While some manufacturers advertised the lowest DP rating passed by a product in the interest of full disclosure (thereby demonstrating the high-grade quality of their product), many other manufacturers used the highest value attained in two out the three tests (allowing their product to appear higher in quality).

    As a result, to be able to accurately compare one brand’s product to another, the “Performance Grade” or “PG” rating system is being implemented.  PG Ratings will be given to products that meet all elements of the testing (the air infiltration, water, and structural loading components) while DP will merely refer to the structural loading aspect.  Stop into any of our locations to consult regarding which windows or doors meet the ratings needed for your project.

  • Why is moisture forming on or in my window?

    It depends on where the condensation is forming: Inside your window – When condensation forms between panes of glass in an insulated glass unit, the seals have most likely failed and the glass might need to be replaced. We can help you determine if replacement can be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, and are happy to stop by and give you a free quote for replacing your window. On the window exterior  – Exterior condensation results from dew, and since the window glass is usually slightly cooler than other materials around it, dew forms on that surface first.  In fact, exterior moisture can demonstrate that your windows are working properly and retaining heat inside your house. On the window interior – This often means that your windows are preventing air leakage. For the best explanation on why interior condensation forms and how to minimize it, check out this video by Anderson: Interior condensation may also indicate that your house has excessive humidity. Window glass is usually cooler than the rest of your room, so when warm air laden with moisture comes in contact with the glass, the moisture condenses on the glass. Signs of excessive humidity can include a damp feeling in the air, mold or mildew on surfaces, a “musty” odor, sweaty pipes, blisters in interior or exterior paint, or warped wooden surfaces. How to prevent interior condensation – Many daily activities (such as showering, cooking, laundry and breathing) put moisture in the air, but humidity can be controlled. Simple things, like running exhaust fans during showering and cooking, cut down on moisture in the air. You can also reduce interior window condensation by leaving window coverings (like blinds) open to allow air flow, or occasionally leaving doors to closed-off rooms open for a while.

  • Even accounting for the difference between western and eastern windows manufacturers, many windows have odd sizes. Why is that?

    The “rough opening” is the framed opening in your wall for the window to fit in. Rough openings are usually sized 1/2” larger than the height and width of the window’s frame size to allow room to shim the window in case the opening is not perfectly square. However, some manufacturers recommend a rough opening size different from this rule of thumb — consult with any member of our sales staff to verify the proper rough opening for the window you are planning on using.

  • Why do standard window sizes vary by manufacturer?

    On the west coast, architects have a common practice of using “nominal” sizing for windows where the rough opening (the framed wall opening for the window fit into) is a standard size, such as 5’ wide by 4’ tall. Following World War II, there was a major building boom in west coast states and high aluminum supply (used for the production of bombers and fighter planes during the war). These two factors led to the installation of standard size, easily-produced aluminum windows in our area.

    However, in the east and Midwest, window manufacturers historically produced windows with a different sizing scheme; their window sizes were based on standard “daylight” or visible glass sizes, not the window’s rough opening. Architects and builders everywhere but the west built their rough opening to accommodate the window manufacturers’ specifications.

    As window and door sales become less regionalized, interference between the two sizing systems has developed. In our area, many architects will still design houses with nominally sized windows and doors. This works well with the sizing flexibility of aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass windows.

    However, if you choose to use a wood window from a Midwest manufacturer such as Andersen (Bayport, MN),Marvin (Warroad, MN), Integrity (Grand Forks, ND), or JELD-WEN Premium Wood (Hawkins, WI), the manufacturer’s rough opening may be a different size than the rough opening framed in your house.

    Changing over existing production processes to accommodate “standard” sizing is a difficult endeavor for manufacturers of wood windows, however many of the top companies are introducing new nominally sized windows that allow you to choose custom sizes. These can be costlier, and if you decide to use wood windows and doors, we can provide you with a list of rough opening sizes so that your contractor can accurately frame your window and/or door openings.

  • Can I have my windows replaced to take advantage of new energy-efficient technologies while maintaining my home’s historic appearance?

    Absolutely!  Many of the windows we sell keep the appearance of historic windows and have features such as:

    • insulated glass units (some filled with inert noble gasses, such as argon),
    • Low E coatings,
    • tight-fitting components, and
    • improved weather-stripping to seal out the weather.
    Simulated divided lites (SDLs) use applications to the exterior and interior of insulated glass units to give the appearance of divided sash windows.  Cottage style sashes (where the top sash of a double hung window is smaller than the bottom sash) match the look of many Victorian era homes, and exquisite arched top windows compliment the  Victorian homes dotting our towns and countryside.  Stop by one of our showrooms, or request an appointment for a member of our sales staff to come to your home and discuss possibilities!

  • What does it mean to have a “clad” wood window?

    A wood window’s “cladding” is the material applied to the exterior of the window frame to improve its ability to resist corrosion and rot, and to provide a low maintenance exterior. Aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass are all used as cladding, and each offers pros and cons that we are happy to discuss with you. As an alternative to cladding, JELD-WEN offers pine wood windows and doors treated with their unique AuraLast process. AuraLast penetrates the interior of the wood and provides superior resistance to decay, water saturation, and termites. It also acts as a wood conditioner, so stain applies much more evenly.

  • How often do you recommend that I clean my windows?

    Cleaning the glass of windows and doors is occasionally necessary for clarity and exceptional performance. When cleaning, avoid using abrasive materials that might scratch the glass. See your manufacturer’s website for specific details on cleaning methods.

  • How do I care for my new windows?

    We recommend that you follow the care and maintenance recommendations of your window manufacturer:

Doors

  • What is a multipoint lock?

    A multipoint lock latches into the doorframe at several points to provide added security. Commonly, a multipoint lock has strikes on the top, middle, and bottom of a door leaf, with the top strike either latching to the side jamb, a passive door panel, or the top jamb, and the bottom strike latching to the side jamb, the sill, or a passive door panel. Multipoint locks increase the security of a door, give greater structural integrity to the panel, and decrease the likelihood of warping. Trim packages (the visible parts of the lock) are available in a wide variety of designs and finishes.

  • What does it mean to have a prehung door?

    Doors used to be “hung” in a jamb built by a carpenter on site. Today however, most doors come from the millworks already hung in a jamb (aka “prehung”). The manufacturer will assemble the door jambs, slab(s), and threshold into one unit that can be easily installed. Often, brickmould (an exterior trim) is also installed to the exterior of the jamb. Jambs are available in a variety of wood types, as well as composite materials, making them impervious to rot and termites. Sills come in a variety of finishes, including mill (a silver-colored aluminum), bronze, and gold anodized.

  • What is a fire rated door?

    Fire rated doors are constructed to withstand fire for a certain amount of time. Usually rated at 20, 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes, they must carry a label from a certified testing and inspection agency to qualify as a fire door.

  • What can I do if I don’t find a door that I like from any of the products you stock?

    No problem! Wood door manufacturers like Simpson, Rogue Valley, and Andersen Architectural have custom shops that can produce almost any door you can imagine.  Our staff is happy to help you design the door of your dreams. We’ll then send the plans to the manufacturer, who will make prints for your approval before final production.

  • How do I determine my door “handing”?

    The handing of a door refers to the way it swings in its jamb.  Exterior doors that swing into a house are called inswing doors, while those that swing out are known as outswing. For both inswing and outswing doors, the hinges can be installed on either the right or the left. Believe it or not, a handing standard has not been established within the door community, so a “RHIS” or “right hand inswing” may be hung with opposite handings (hinges on opposite sides) from two different millworks. Drawing a simple diagram is a great way to communicate the handing you need, eliminating costly mistakes that add cost and lead-time to a project.

  • How do I care for and maintain my new door?

  • What are the components of a door?

    Regardless of whether your door is steel, fiberglass, or clad, the components are the same.

    • Rails – horizontal members of doors
    • Stiles – vertical members of doors (individual stiles and rails can have unique names specific to their location and function)
    • Panels – broad inset pieces between stiles and rails. Depending on the tooling used to produce them, panels can be flat, raised, or carved/decorative.  Glass can also be substituted in some places in lieu of panels.
    • Sticking – small pieces of molding used on the door, particularly around glass and panels. Often, the profile of this sticking is “Ogee” (in the shape of an “S”), but flat sticking, used in Shaker-style doors, has become quite popular.
    • Core – Many solid wood doors have finger-jointed cores with a thin veneer applied over the top. The finger-jointed nature of the core gives the door added strength as well as a greater resistance to warping as opposed to solid wood doors.  Some wood door manufacturers even incorporate a composite material in the bottom rail to prevent moisture “wicking” up the door stiles.

Skylights

  • How do I care for and maintain my new skylight?

    We recommend that you follow the care and maintenance recommendations of your manufacturer:

  • What is the difference between skylights that are “deck-mounted” and those that are “curb-mounted”?

    Curb-mounted skylights sit on top of a framed opening in the roof. Framing materials are fastened directly to the roof sheathing, then flashed (thin pieces of impervious material installed to prevent water entry around openings), before a curb-mounted skylight is fastened to the top of the curb. Deck-mounted skylights fasten directly to the roof sheathing, negating the necessity for a framed curb. Curb-mounted skylights are typically a more economic option for a new house, while deck-mounted skylights save money on existing houses by reducing installation labor. Additionally, deck-mounted skylights have a lower profile and may be more aesthetically appealing. Both curb-mounted and deck-mounted skylights are available in a variety of glazings and claddings (claddings hold the skylight lense to its frame) and can be fixed, manually venting, or electrically venting models.

  • I want a skylight, but am concerned about it leaking.

    Manufactured skylights get a bad reputation by being associated with a common pool of items referred to as “skylights”. Sometimes, people build their own skylights. Some manufacturers also used to screw the corners of their skylight frame together, creating openings for moisture to penetrate. We only supply and install quality manufactured skylights that feature welded corners, approved flashing systems and frames with built-in condensation gutters to prevent leaking.  We are experienced at properly installing quality systems, so that your skylight will bring you decades of natural light. Beginning in 2010, Velux introduced a No Leak Skylight with a 10-year installation warranty to demonstrate their confidence in their product.

  • Can I install a skylight on a flat roof?

    Skylights are generally designed to be installed on roofs with a 2:12 pitch or greater, while sun tunnels should have a 15-degree pitch (or per manufacturers recommendations). With careful consideration, we can engineer skylights for flat roofs. Sloped curbs are usually required to provide adequate draining.  We are happy to send one of our staff to you to help you determine the best skylight option for your project.

  • What can I do to prevent my skylight from trapping too much heat?

    If your skylight is trapping too much heat in your house during the summer, chances are that it may also let out significant heat in the winter. Today’s skylights have advanced technologies (such as Low E coated insulated glass units filled with argon gas) that help prevent heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Additionally, you can order skylights with tinted glass to reduce solar heat gain. Velux produces skylights with revolutionary SageGlass that can tint to varying shades to compensate for the amount of light desired. Another option is to install covers that are controlled by either a pole or wired to operate using a wall plate or remote control. Most skylights can accommodate a cover.  Options include cellular shades or venetian blinds inside, or awnings on the exterior.

Showers

  • Can I get a shower enclosure that will fit my bathroom and/or my vision?

    Absolutely! We install shower enclosures custom-made to fit many different shower configurations, including enclosures with a radius. However, we cannot install glass into every situation. Stop by any of our locations to discuss your ideas with us.

  • What is EasyClean 10? Is it like ShowerGuard?

    We are happy to offer and recommend both EasyClean 10 and ShowerGuard through Agalite. These products leave your shower enclosure clean longer and make cleaning easier. EasyClean10 is a liquid that is applied to glass at the manufacturer. It chemically bonds with the glass as it cures, providing a durable layer of protection to keep the glass cleaner and making it easier to clean. It cannot be added after your shower enclosure is installed. Care should be taken when cleaning glass treated with EasyClean10 as abrasives and harsh chemicals can damage the coating. EasyClean10 recommends using EasyClean10 Aftercare for cleaning.  However, Windex, Glass Plus, and other non-industrial cleaning products can be used without voiding the warranty. ShowerGuard is a process at the manufacturer that makes the surface of the glass exceptionally and permanently smooth due to ion-beam technology. Because ShowerGuard is not a coating, periodic maintenance simply consists of wiping the surface down with a soft cloth or wet sponge and any of the common household cleaners.

  • Can you install a shower door to a glass block wall?

    Yes, the glass blocks can be drilled and hinges can be mounted to them.  However, special precautions must be taken and we may not be able to install doors to all glass block walls.

  • Can you install a heavy glass shower system into a fiberglass shower?

    Not typically. Fiberglass enclosures usually don’t have thick enough walls to support the weight of ⅜” and ½” shower glass.  If proper backing has been fit behind the fiberglass, the shower may be able to support the weight and our sales staff are happy to help you determine the status of your shower. We can alternatively use light glass in your shower.

Glass

  • What is an insulated glass unit (IGU)?

    An insulated glass unit consists of two or more (usually no more than three) panes of glass held apart at a fixed distance by metal or composite spacers. Once the glass is connected to the spacer bar, butyl, or a similar sealant, is injected around the spacer bar for a seal. Most often, when moisture develops between two panes of glass, it is because this seal has failed. Desiccant (small absorbent pebbles) are inserted in and around the spacer bar to absorb moisture in the air trapped between the glass layers. Almost any type of glass and coating can be used to manufacture insulated glass units, and art or leaded glass can be incorporated.  Often, insulated glass units are filled with inert gasses such as argon or krypton, which resist heat transfer to a greater degree than non-gas-filled insulated glass units.

  • What is the difference between seamed, ground, and polished edges?

    When you order flat glass like mirrors, tabletops, and shelves, you can specify the type of edgework you would like done on the glass.  If you were to opt for no edgework, it would leave you with very sharp edges, so it is only recommended if all raw edges will be completely concealed in a frame. Seamed edges are produced by a light sanding. The finish is non-uniform and almost appears wavy.  In thinner pieces of glass like 1/8” (or double strength), this non-uniformity may not be noticeable, but on pieces of 1/4” or 3/8” glass, the disparity is highly visible, particularly on shelves and mirrors. Ground edges have a consistent finish with a satin appearance, reducing the reflectivity through the edge of the glass or mirror. On a 1/4” mirror, ground edges help make the edge’s appearance almost imperceptible. Polished edges are produced by buffing the edge of the glass with a fine abrasive material and polishing oil. The result is a beautifully translucent finish. Flat polished edges are excellent options for the thicker glass used in shelves and frameless shower enclosures.

  • What kinds of glass edgework do you offer?

    We can provide you with a wide variety of edgework options including bevels, full mitres, half mitres, prism edges, O.G. edges, and waterfalls.

  • How do I know if I have tempered or laminated glass?

    In situations where tempered or laminated glass are called for by code, manufacturers are required to label those lites (panes) of glass with a “bug” or logo.  These bugs are printed in a light white hue and found along the perimeter, usually at a corner. In instances where safety glass is not required, you may request that the bug be left off the glass.  For example, tempered glass is often used in cabinet shelves for its strength, but the bug would not be desired, as the etching can distract from items on display. In such instances, the only way to tell whether your glass is tempered or annealed is to break it! You can tell if you have laminated glass by viewing it on edge. Laminated glass has a visible interlayer. It also sounds different from annealed or tempered glass when knocked on (but it may require an ear attuned to the difference).

  • Can you drill holes in glass? Can you drill holes in glass that I bring in?

    We can drill a variety of hole sizes in annealed and laminated glass, and can also fabricate square holes to accommodate outlets and cut inside corners.  We are happy to drill holes in your glass, but cannot guarantee breakage will not occur, since we do not have control over the glass quality. We will not replace glass if it breaks while we are drilling holes or doing any other fabrication. Because it cannot be modified, tempered glass needs to have holes drilled in it before going through the tempering process.

  • What are Plexiglass and Lexan, and are they economical alternatives to glass?

    Plexiglass and Lexan are brand names for the plastics commonly known as acrylic and polycarbonate. Acrylic is less expensive and easier to fabricate, but can shatter if impacted with enough force. While acrylic is 17% stronger than glass, polycarbonate is nearly indestructible and often used for bullet-resistant enclosures. It is one-third the weight of acrylic and one-sixth the weight of glass. Its main drawback is a higher price point. As compared to glass, both acrylic and polycarbonate are much more susceptible to scratches. Scratches can be buffed with a soft-abrasive polishing compound such as CRL’s Plastic Cleaner & Polisher (available for purchase at Lyndale Glass) to reduce their appearance, but they cannot be entirely removed. Abrasion–resistant polycarbonate is available but is much more expensive than standard polycarbonate. Both acrylic and polycarbonate are available in clear, tints, and many opaque colors. We stock the most commonly used colors – typically clear, tints, and whites. Polycarbonate is not an economical alternative to glass, but it has clear advantages where the situation dictates.  Acrylic may be an alternative to glass; while material costs are generally higher, installation expenses can be lower.

  • I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the glass industry specific jargon. Translations please!

    Annealed Glass — the default glass used by glaziers and window manufacturers when extra safety is not necessary. Laminated Glass — glass produced by bonding two or more pieces of glass with tough polyvinyl butyral interlayers to create one sheet of laminated glass. When laminated glass is broken, the interlayer(s) hold the glass together to provide increased safety and security. Tempered Glass — glass that has gone through a special process to give it superior strength and thermal resistance. Tempered glass is used in situations where safety is a high priority, as it breaks into many small pieces (they look like crushed ice) rather than jagged shards. Tempered glass cannot be cut following the tempering process. Fenestration — from the Latin word “fenestra”, meaning window, fenestration and its derivatives are used to describe items related to the window industry. IGU or IG Unit — industry abbreviation for Insulated Glass Unit. Lite — pane of glass used in a window.