Richmond Window Corporation Review
Richmond Window Corporation is one of Richmond’s oldest replacement window companies. After selling vinyl windows for many years they have entered into an agreement to sell only the Renewal by Andersen replacement windows. Unfortunately, they have resorted to misleading their customers in regard to vinyl windows in an attempt to sell what many consider a very over priced replacement window. To set the story straight, Skyline would like to point out a number of false advertisements found on the RichmondWindow.com website.
“Our warranty is one of the best in the industry.” | Found Here
Renewal by Andersen comes with their 20-2-10 Limited Warranty, 20 years limited warranty of glass, 2 years limited warranty on the installation, and 10 years limited warranty on the Fibrex material found in the sashes and frame. This is a short and very limited warranty in comparison to what many other manufacturers offer. Always ask to see the warranty in writing. One point of concern is that the Renewal by Anderson warranty expressly states “normal wear and tear” is not covered under the limited warranty. That being said, Richmond Window Corporation brings out a good point when they say on their current homepage that tt is important to deal with a company that has been around for many years and will stand behind their product. There are far to many companies that last only a few years, leaving the customer in quite a predicament if they need help.
“Always compare whole window performance” | Found Here
Ironically, Renewal Anderson performance ratings for the whole window are not easy to find. In fact the only performance ratings given are for “center of glass” ratings. Most of their glass packages offer a u-factor of .25 which is pretty impressive if it were representative of the whole window. Truth is, it is not. The only source reliable source we could find was hidden on their website in a .pdf, found here. This states that for the various window options at very best the Renewal window gets a .29 u-factor, others have a .30 or .31. Meaning not all of their windows qualify for the energy efficient windows tax credit. The real warning here to consumers is to like Richmond Window Corporation says, “always compare whole window performance” and not just the center of glass performance quickly given when someone asks for the window’s u-factor.
“Our Fibrex material is 2x stronger than Vinyl” | Found Here
Richmond Window Corporation and Renewal by Andersen are always ripping on vinyl. But their windows are a composite made from vinyl and the leftovers from their all wood windows (source). They would argue that their product is very different because of the process it undergoes, and they would be right. The process used in making a material has a huge influence on the strength and overall quality of the material. Same is true of vinyl. We agree that their Fibrex material is likely stronger than some vinyl, but we have proof that it is not nearly as strong as our vinyl.
Most windows are given what is called a Design Pressure rating. A window’s design pressure rating measures the maximum amount of pounds per square inch that a window can sustain before becoming damaged or permanently warped. Therefore Design Pressure serves as a good reflection of the overall strength of the window. By comparison Renewal by Andersen’s double hung replacement window holds a DP 35 rating. Which matches Skyline’s low end vinyl window DP rating which is also 35, but falls short of our mid-grade 500 Series by Okna window at a DP 50 Rating and our high-end Okna 800 Series window with a DP of 60.
To sum things up, do your research, ask questions and when it comes to salesmen, especially those working on commission, be sure to verify the facts. Because if you don’t, you might find yourself paying $1,000 or more for a Renewal by Andersen window that does not have the 3rd party ratings to beat windows half their price
We often warn our customers to be on the lookout for shady contractors, and one of the biggest red flags to watch for is a company or contractor that requires a large down payment. As the saying goes, to whoever holds the money has the power. Once a company has your money the burden falls on the consumer to make sure the job is done right or take legal action to try to remedy the situation.
Perhaps you are like most people who think, that cannot happen to me. The salesman seems so honest and nice, and maybe they even represent a name you are familiar with such as Clear Choice.
Clear Choice owner, Mark Johnson, has been labeled as a fugitive from the law by the Chesterfield County Police for construction fraud.
After receiving large down payments from homeowners, Clear Choice neither preformed any work or returned concerned calls.
Let this serve as a warning to consumers. If a company is healthy and acting in good intentions they should have no trouble being paid once they have done their promised work. This is why Skyline only charges a $5 down payment on our replacement window jobs.
While Clear Choice may currently be the most notorious replacement window company, they are in no way alone. We often get reports from homeowners asking if we can finish the job that contractors belonging to another company have started and botched. Others say they have paid their large down payment but have yet to hear for sure when anything will be done, only that they are on the schedule.
Don’t trust just any company! Do your research and make sure you are making a smart investment when you consider a company to replace your old windows.
We are always trying to figure out easy ways of explaining how new replacement windows can save you money. For our spring homeshow we featured a small infographic that shows some relative statistics on replacement windows including some of the factors many home owners might not think about such as a window’s air leakage numbers. But enough talking, we hope you enjoy this graphical guide to energy efficient replacement windows.
Vinyl is a great material for replacement windows. It is relatively inexpensive, maintenance-free, and energy efficient. Most vinyl windows are great, but not all vinyl windows are the same.
For the sake of clarity, let me explain what I mean by good and bad vinyl windows.
Good Vinyl Windows
- Energy Efficient
- Will last a life-time
Bad Vinyl windows
- Even more Inexpensive
- Less Energy Efficient
- Not Strong
- Will last 2-15 Years
If you want to know if the vinyl window you are considering fits into the good or bad vinyl category there are 3 ways to do tell.
Install the Window & Take the Risk
You can assume that you can trust your salesman, cause salesmen never lie. Install the window and enjoy your beautiful new windows. If they go bad within the next 5 years. Then it is a bad vinyl window, and now you know. Unfortunately, we have had to replace replacement windows that have been in just 3 years or less. This is not a good option, on to the next.
Find Other People Who Have Had the Window for A Long Time
You can ask to talk to other people who have had the window installed for 15+ years. Some companies have not been around for even 5+ years so that might be hard for them to gather for you. It is also possible that they may carry a great window that has only been on the market for a few years, also a real possibility. So that leaves us with just one final way to tell if you have a good quality vinyl window.
Check the Window’s Design Pressure Rating
Design Pressure measures the structural stress a window can take including it’s resistance to water and air leaks under pressure. Many districts require windows of a certain Design Pressure Rating, so most window’s have their Design Pressure published. The easiest way to tell the difference between a good quality vinyl window and a bad vinyl window is to look at their DP Ratings. A low DP Rating will reflect poor vinyl, that is weak and therefore prone to warping, cracking, and bloating. A high DP rating reflects good vinyl that is strong and will withstand whatever the elements throw at it.
Vinyl Windows vs Wood Windows
Are vinyl windows really the best option out there? We’ve talked to many home owners who did not want to consider anything besides wood window, because wood windows last longer, right? Today that is not necessarily. Unfortunately as the demand for wood has risen over the years, wood producers have had to use less dense, quick-growing woods, primarily pine wood.
Back in the day, only the inner core of pine trees were used because it was much denser than the rest of the tree and far stronger than younger trees. This wood was often refered to as Heart of Pine wood, and it is no longer available on the market due to fewer 50+ year old pine trees available for open harvesting.
That leaves quick-growing pine as the primary source for all modern wood replacement windows. This form of pine is much softer than its predecessor, and when coupled with modern techniques such as finger jointing to save wood, it makes wood windows highly susceptible to wood rot.
Vinyl on the other hand was made popular because it is a maintanence free product that is impervious to rot and insect damage.
Good Vinyl Windows vs Poor Vinyl Windows
So that settles it, vinyl windows are better than wood windows, right? Not necessarily. See vinyl is similair to most plastics in that it gets its characteristics primairly through the process in which it is made. At Skyline we often tell people it is like plastic, you can make it as thin and soft as a milk carton, or as hard and resilient as a football helmet, it depends on its process. Some vinyl windows are made with very thin, sparse vinyl. This is done in order to make the window cheaper, and unfortunately can have some negative side effects such as cracking, warping, or swelling of the window frame. Other vinyl is made much more dense and thicker to give a window more structural stability and to keep it from cracking, warping, or swelling.
Many window companies will advertise virgin vinyl, meaning it has not been recycled. Frankly, in our 26 years as a company, we have never found a window good or poor quality that was made with anything but virgin vinyl.
The best test? The test of time. Unfortunately we have had to cheap vinyl windows installed by other companies less than 5 years ago. The best way to make sure a vinyl replacement windows will last is to ask to see one that has been installed for a while. At Skyline, we have customers from over 20 years ago, that will still vouch for the quality of our vinyl windows.
Replacement Windows Virginia
A good replacement window is a good replacement window right? Yes, quality materials and craftsmanship is the same no matter where you live, but when it comes to replacement windows some windows are better suited for certain climates.
For example, if you live in the sunny state of Florida, you are going to want to find a replacement window.
However, if you find yourself living in cold weather a window with a high SHGC is important since any free heat provided by the sun should fully utilized to keep your heating bill down.that blocks a lot of the sun’s radiant rays. In replacement window terms, that is measured by a windows Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) rating. This rating measures how much radiant heat a window allows in. So in Florida or another location that receives a lot of heat from the sun a low SHGC rating is important.
So what kind of replacement windows are best for Virginia and other central eastern states? Again there is not an exact number that you should look for, it depends on your home. In general, most experts, such as those at Lawrence Berkley’s EfficientWindows.org, advice getting a SHGC between .30 and .40. This number lets you have a moderate amount of heat in the winter, but not too much in order to keep your window cooling costs low.
However, wherever you live there are certain ratings that are always better such as U-Factor and Air Leakage ratings.
Compare Replacement Window Companies
The Richmond Home and Garden Show is this weekend! It starts Friday the 1st at 12pm and runs through Sunday the 3rd at 5pm. If you are thinking about buying replacement windows, there is no better opportunity to compare a replacement window company with their top competitors. Present will be at least 17 different companies that install replacement windows, including well-known replacement window companies such as Window World, Champion Windows, and Richmond Window Corp.
Why is a great opportunity? Even our most thorough customers hardly ever get more than 8 estimates. Most are more in the 2-4 estimate range. At the Richmond Home and Garden Show anyone interested in replacement windows can look into the products of all 17 window companies in a short period of time. Talk about efficient window shopping!
At Skyline, we believe we have the best products and prices on the market, so love it when potential buyers can compare us to what other options are out there. So if you are interested in replacement windows. Come out to the Richmond Home and Garden Show and check out Skyline Windows and put us to the test by comparing us to all the other replacement window companies.
Below is a map of the Richmond Home and Garden show which will be at the Richmond International Raceway.
Below is a list of 17 replacement window companies that will be present at the home show:
Blue Ridge Exteriors
Classic Construction Exteriors
Direct Buy of Richmond
Elite Window Solutions
James River Exteriors
Lonestar Siding and Windows
Richmond Window Corp
Sears Home Services
Universal Window Direct
Window World of Richmond
What is the Best Inexpensive Replacement Window
At Skyline the Vinyl Design window appeals to us not only because of its low price tag, but also its energy efficiency performance and overall construction quality. While it is able to compete with replacement windows available through Window World, Sea Thru Windows, and Fairway Windows. These windows outperform each company’s energy ratings in areas most relevant to Richmond, VA.
Window World Replacement Windows
Visually the Window World Replacement Window and the Vinyl Design may have a lot of similarities, but when you start looking at the energy efficiency numbers the difference is clear. The best Window World replacement window has a U-Factor of .30 in a double pane window. When compared to the Vinyl Design window, Vinyl Design easily wins with a U-factor of .28.
Sea Thru Windows Replacement Windows
The Sea Thru replacement window also holds a U-factor of .30. Sea Thru windows also claims that their lower Solar Heat Gain at .27 is better than a more moderate Solar Heat Gain such as Vinyl Designs .30. This can be true, but is not always. EfficientWindows.org a leading authoritative source on energy efficient windows claims that for Virginia you want a solar heat gain of less than .40 and if over heating is a concern consider as low as a .30 or possible less. But after that it is a trade off. The lower the Solar Heat Gain the more heating your home will need as you lose free radiant heat from the sun. In most circumstances, a Solar Heat Gain between .30 and .40 is ideal for Richmond, VA and surrounding areas.
Fairway Windows Replacement Windows
The Vinyl Design Window also beats out the Fairway Window in terms of energy efficiency.
Skyline has been around since 1987. We are proud to be a debt-free company and employee owned, which means our installers have a vested interest in the long term success and quality of our replacement window installations.
If you are thinking about getting new replacement windows and are concerned about getting the most value on a tight budget then give Skyline a call and let our years of experience in replacement window products and installation take care of you.
Skyline is proud to announce a new addition to the lengthy list of available brands:
Replacement Windows by Vinyl Design
Vinyl Design has entered into the Skyline family for an inexpensive option in replacement windows.
Replacement Windows on a Budget
The Vinyl Design window is a great option for home owners who are feeling the need for replacement windows but are concerned about keeping the window cost within a tight budget. The price of the Vinyl Design window will be able to compare price with other well known cheap windows available through companies such as Window World, Sea Thru Windows, and Fairway Windows.
- Perimeter Foam Wrap
- Multi-Chambered Cavities in Frame
- Tilt-in Top and Bottom Sashes
- Double Strength Glass Standard
- Dedicated Pocketed Head with Double Seal
- SOlid Composite Meeting Rail Reinforcement
- Full Mid-Rail Interlocks with Double Seal
- Traditional Slope Sill with Double Seal
- SuperSpacer System between Glass Panes
- Sash Balance Covers
- Sash Limited-Locks
- Lifetime Glass Breakage Warranty
- Ensures Positive and Insulated Fit in Opening
- Prevents Jamb Rotation or Warping
- Provides for Easy Cleaning
- Ensures a Strong Glass Barrier to Outside Elements
- Provides a Tremendous Seal Due to a Deep Pocket or Receptor for the Upper Sash
- Prevents Bowing or Torqueing of Sash Rail
- Prevents Air Leakage and Provides Security
- Provides for Natural Water Drainage and Prevents Air Infiltration with Compression Seal
- All Foam Spacer Eliminates Any Metal Conduction of Heat or Cold; Best Warm Edge Technology
- Provides for lean Interior Looks
- Allows a Secure Venting System
- Peace of Mind
We believe we have the best deals in Richmond, but do not take our word for it. ReplacementWindowHelp.com is a free, 3rd party, resource that you can use to find out what your ideal window looks like.