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Frequently asked questions for energy efficient homes

How do I know if I need new windows?
The easiest way to tell is just by looking at them, if your windows have mold around the frames or moisture fogging up inside the glass they have likely failed. If your home was built before 1991 you most likely have aluminum windows which are terribly inefficient. High energy bills and cold, drafty rooms are obvious indicators, but there may be more subtle signs as well. A window that doesn't close or lock easily may have a compromised frame which can lead to structural damage and dry rot where you can't see.

I have double pane windows already, why would I need to change them?
Double pane or "Therma-Pane" windows are not necessarily any more efficient than a single pane window. What makes glass options available today so much more insulating than the double-pane of years past is the coatings that they apply to the glass surfaces and the gases they put in between the panes. Low Emissivity treatments are coatings applied to the glass by applying a micro-thin layer of zinc and silver oxides that reflect heat and insulate much in the same way as an emergency blanket. Gases like argon and krypton are denser than air, and when pumped in between the panes of glass, they insulate by slowing down the loss of heat from conduction.

Is triple pane even necessary in Washington?
There are many common misconceptions out there regarding triple-pane windows. Most commonly you'll discover it isn't cold enough in our climate to require triple-pane windows which makes them a bit "over-kill." However, needs vary from home to home and customer to customer. Some homes, for a variety of reasons, just tend to be energy hogs and require all the help they can get. Some individuals tend to get cold more easily than others too.
Another popular myth is that triple-pane is outrageously expensive. However when you compare a quality long-lasting, investment-grade double pane to its triple pane counterpart, the cost is fairly negligible. A triple pane glass unit does requires a reinforced, engineered frame to support the added weight, but we think in many cases a quality durable frame is good idea regardless of whether you want to choose a double pane or triple pane option. Our team of skilled specialists will work with you one on one to determine what fits best for your needs and overall plans for your home and budget.

Do you guys REALLY offer wood windows?
We hear this question a lot, and for good reason. Many window companies claim to offer window options in wood, however when they come out they really only want to encourage you to choose a vinyl option. Or maybe they only offer vinyl windows with faux woodgrains. While there are disadvantages of traditional solid wood windows in this environment, the technology has improved to allow you to keep the classic style of your home while updating its energy-efficiency with a weathersafe option that will hold up in the harsh and pounding rains our homes are exposed to in Western Washington.
*Read more about our wood-framed windows

Is it sunny enough for solar panels to work in the Northwest?
Yes. The technology has greatly improved to allow solar to be an economically feasible option even with our grey and gloomy skies. New generation photovoltaic systems are able to produce power from the UV rays that are present even on rainy and overcast days. While they are most effective in sunny weather, they can still produce a substantial amount of energy during the not-so-sunny months of Western Washington. When we design a system for your home we will consider your location and usage needs to produce some amount of electricity in the colder, darker months and an excess in the summer months. Through net-metering, the excess electricity produced during those brighter, longer days of summer will be credited back to you for those darker, shorter days of winter and fall to maximize your progress towards energy-indepence.

Can I get my roof replaced in the wintertime? Yes, we can replace your roof year-round, and for most applications in all types of weather. While sunny and clear days are ideal, they can be few and far between in Western Washington. We are able to work year round and install most composition and metal roofs in any kind of weather.
Most flat roofs do require dry weather for the products to install correctly and if we are replacing the plywood, it is best to do it when the conditions are dry. If for some reason we do get caught by surprise, all of our work trucks are equipped with 1000 square foot tarps to protect your roof while we wait for weather to clear up.

Isn’t fiber-cement siding bad for people and the environment?
Absolutely not! In fact it is very much the opposite. Many people have mistakenly compared fiber-cement siding to asbestos siding. Asbestos siding is made from fine strands of minerals that are noxious to the human body and the environment. Fiber-cement on the other hand is made from a mix of cellulose (wood pulp), silica (sand), cement and water. James Hardie, the industry leader in the manufacture of fiber-cement siding uses sustainably-grown lumber and locally sourced sand to further lessen its impact on the environment. We also take time during the installation to make sure that we prevent kicking dust into the air. We use special saws that chip to make the cuts instead of traditional sawing which can create dust.
"We go above and beyond!"