Home Remodeling FAQ - Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca | Comfort Windows
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Frequently Asked Home Remodeling Questions

General

Yes, all estimates from Comfort Windows are entirely free of charge. In most situations a product representative will be available to visit your home within 2 days, and sometimes even on the same day if requested. Our product representatives will work around your schedule and are available days, evenings and weekends.

The average appointment time is 45-90 minutes depending on your product(s) of interest and the scope of the project(s). During your appointment we will take measurements, explain all of the choices for your project and answer any and all of your questions.

Some customers prefer to first have a visual, hands on experience with the product and then have a sales representative come out to their home, while others prefer to receive a estimate first. It's really just a matter of personal preference.

Yes, all projects can be installed throughout the winter months. In fact this is a great way to have your project completed quickly as it avoids the busy season rush.

No, you do not need to be present, although it can be helpful to be home for the first day/hours of an installation. If you are not present our installation professionals will typically need a way to get inside your home, those details can be worked out depending on your project type and circumstances as the installation date approaches.

Yes. The greatest compliment we can receive from you is a recommendation of our company to your family, friends or neighbors. You can give your referral's name to your Comfort salesman during your appointment or mention them when speaking with your local Comfort showroom.

Our installation, warranty, service and reputation set us apart from others in the home improvement industry.

Even the best quality product is rendered useless through a poor installation, that's why for over 35 years we have only used our Comfort employed, factory trained, installation experts. This industry unique approach allows Comfort to maintain quality control from start to finish and is a key reason we are a 4-time Better Business Bureau Torch Award winner; an award given for superior customer satisfaction.

We have also won a number of other awards over the years including the Angie's List Super Service award, the EPA's Century Club award and we are listed as the 32nd ranked home remodeler in the U.S. (and #1 in Upstate NY) according to Qualified Remodeler magazines annual Top 500 list. We are also very proud of our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, a rating we have held since the rating systems inception.

Lastly, Comfort Windows is a LOCAL window manufacturer, whereas most window companies manufacture their windows outside of NYS or have someone else manufacture their windows for them, generally outside of NYS. This is important for two reasons, 1- working with Comfort means you are supporting the local economy, and 2- the northeast faces specific climate challenges that other parts of the country do not face and a window manufactured in Florida, for example, is unlikely to address those challenges.

Yes, Comfort Windows is an EPA lead-safe certified contractor. Our certification number is NAT-23708-1. For more information about lead-safe procedures and why you should always employ a contractor that is certified please visit the EPA lead-safe webpage.

Finance

Yes. We take the security of your personal information very seriously. Our finance application encrypts all of your information before it is transmitted from your computer to our finance team.

You will always be consulted before a credit report is pulled. After you submit the credit application our finance team will contact you to determine the best method to proceed. In most cases only one lender is involved in your inquiry. However, if that is not successful you will be contacted with other options and we will work together to determine the best way to proceed.

Windows

Yes, we manufacture Comfort Windows in our factory located in Liverpool, New York. Our diverse workforce is made up of experienced window manufacturing professionals from all around Central New York many of whom have been with our company for over 20 years! 95% of our window components/materials are supplied by New York state companies and 100% are from the United States!

Comfort warrants that the sealed glass component of insulated glass shall be free of defects resulting in material obstruction of vision or film formation caused by dust or moisture on the internal surface of the sealed unit. Imperfections such as small scratches or reflected distortions from tempering, Low-E coatings or heat strengthening processes, are to be expected and are not covered. Small imperfections in the glass or vinyl framing that can not be detected at a distance of 10 feet from the window are not considered a defect.

Drafty Windows — Windows can seem drafty for a variety of reasons:

  • Cracked caulk
  • Improper window locking
  • Interlocks that are not lined up to seal properly
  • Damaged or missing weather stripping
  • Poor insulation within the interior walls

These types of problems are easy to remedy; however, windows may seem "drafty" for another reason: a process in physics known as "Convection."

Convection — Convection occurs when air gives up its heat to the colder glass and sinks to the floor. This movement sucks new, warmer air toward the glass that is simultaneously cooled, creating air movement. What you are actually experiencing is the process of warm air forcing colder air to move due to differing density properties. Heated air circulates through the home. When it reaches window glass it effectively pushes the existing air off the glass. This movement can be perceived as a “draft.”

Try this easy experiment as an example of how convection works:
Fill a glass with ice and water. Let it stand for about ten minutes. When you return, without touching the glass, place your hands around it. You will feel cold air on your hands as warm air pushes it away from the glass surface.

Convection is actually proof that your new Comfort Windows are energy efficient and working at peak performance.

Tips to Reduce Convection:

  • Leave your blinds or window treatments open ¼ of an inch so that heated air can reach the glass
  • Make sure that your heat registers are not obstructed by couches or other furnishings

A Comfort customer has the option to choose either of these:

  • A Rough Opening installation is where the entire window, main frame and sashes are removed back to the original wall studs. No trace of the original window will remain. The opening is then reconstructed with the new window installed, and includes a new wood extension jamb, new interior perimeter stops, new interior ranch or colonial style wood trim, a new interior sill or stool if required, new exterior stops and exterior wood casing with a sill, and the complete new wood exterior is then wrapped with new formed aluminum trim, caulked and sealed, maintenance free!
  • A Retrofit installation is the industry standard and is typically where the operating sash vents of an existing window are removed, but the existing window main frame remains intact. The new custom sized window, along with its new main frame and sashes, is then installed into the existing main frame. There is virtually no disturbance to any existing trim or wall area. Most of the time, a wood stop will be applied on the interior perimeter of the new window and the existing exterior trim is wrapped with formed aluminum trim, caulked and sealed, maintenance free! Note: Glass sizes of the new window will be slightly smaller than the original window.

Temporary condensation is a normal function with "Super Glass" windows. When the exterior temperature drops late at night or in the early morning during the humid summer months, dew will form on the exterior of the insulated glass unit just like dew forms on grass, siding or the hoods of cars. Because the exterior pane is so separated from the interior pane of the warm edge glass spacer, its reaction will be the same. The moisture can be even worse if there are plants or shrubs in front of the window, since they give off lots of moisture to add to it all. What’s frustrating is that it may only happen on certain windows. The direction it faces, the elevation of the window and whether or not they are shaded are all factors that can individually affect window condensation. Moisture goes away quickly as the morning sun makes things warmer. Exterior moisture rarely forms in the colder, less humid winter months.

A single pane glass window will be much less likely to ever show exterior condensation because it stays directly warmer from the interior temperature of the building. A triple pane glass window is at least 75% more efficient against heat loss than the original single pane glass, but condensation can still result due to the physical conditions of its surroundings.

The extra measures that Comfort Windows takes to insulate our windows are unsurpassed. They are built to stop heat loss, which is a primary concern in our harsh northern climate.

September through December interior and exterior condensations become the nemeses of homeowners when they start to heat their homes. In the fall and early winter, humidity levels are still high inside the house. When outside temperatures drop drastically, they cause the exterior glass to get cold, sometimes causing condensation on the bottom of the interior glass. This usually goes away when temperatures stay low during the heart of winter.

If interior condensation continues during winter, it usually means there is a higher than acceptable level of moisture present inside the home, suggesting that ventilation and humidity levels need to be adjusted. Curtains and blinds over the window also stop the interior heat from getting to the glass, which in turn makes it colder. Condensation on the glass when blinds or curtains are first opened in the morning should be expected.

It should be noted that no window manufacturers warrant against any type of condensation, interior or exterior, and it is specified in their written warranties.

We understand that cost is an important factor in any purchase. At Comfort Windows we custom build and install our windows specifically for your home, so prices vary. Factors that influence the cost of your window include: window type, window size, type of glass, interior and exterior finish options and more. That being said we have a variety of options to fit any price point and also offer an 'Apples to Apples Price Match Guarantee'.

We would be happy to walk you through these options as well as provide pricing during your free in-home estimate.

We never use subcontractors.

Yes, they do... however they protect your home by covering their shoes and use tarps to cover rugs and floors. Outside installation involves no disturbance of your inside trim around the window. The window is pulled into your existing wood stops, secured, caulked and capped off with the appropriate color aluminum.

Each crew installs on average 8-12 windows per day with installation type, window style and other factors influencing the speed of installation.

Suggested Cleaning of Comfort Vinyl Window Glass Systems: A simple application of Windex or any standard glass cleaner will work well. A (2) part generic vinegar & water mixture will also clean the glass.

Suggested Cleaning of Comfort Vinyl Window System Sash Frames and Main Frames: The exterior surface of the window sash frames and main frame of the comfort Vinyl Window System will be exposed to airborne dirt depending on atmospheric conditions which may be prevalent in the area. Rainfall may be adequate to remove surface dirt. In areas not accessible to rain, the vinyl window sash frames and main frame can be washed periodically.

If you desire to do a more thorough cleaning, or where dirt collection conditions occur, follow these simple instructions: For hard-to-remove dirt such as soot and grime, wipe the vinyl sash frame and main frame with a solution consisting of the following ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup powdered detergent (Tide, Fab or the equivalent)
  • 2/3 cups household cleaner (Soilax, Spic & Span or the equivalent)
  • 1 Gallon water

If mildew is a problem, in the area, prepare the solution above but substitute 1 quart liquid laundry bleach for 1 quart water.

CAUTION: WHEN USING ANY OF THE ABOVE CHEMICAL CLEANING AGENTS, FOLLOW THE PRODUCT MANUFACTURER’S PRECAUTIONARY SAFETY RECOMMENTATIONS ON CONTAINER LABEL. PROTECT AGAINST CONTACT OF THE SOLUTION WITH EYES OR SKIN. GREATER CONCENTRATION MAY CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE VINYL WINDOW SASH FRAMES AND MAIN FRAME.

This cleaning information is suggested in an effort to be of assistance; however, Manufacturer can assume no responsibility for results obtained which are dependent on the solution chemicals as prepared and method of application.

Yes, Comfort Windows is an EPA lead-safe certified contractor. Our certification number is NAT-23708-1. For more information about lead-safe procedures and why you should always employ a contractor that is certified please visit the EPA lead-safe webpage.



Doors

We understand that cost is important to your decision however because each door is custom made measurements must first be taken to gauge the door size that will fit your home. In addition, there are a number of options available to you that may affect price including door style, color, material and more.

We would be happy to walk you through these options as well as provide pricing during your free in-home estimate.

Doors generally are built in one of several standard sizes, but if you have a non-standard size we can more than likely accommodate your needs.



Siding

We understand that cost is an important factor in most decisions however there are many variables to installing siding properly that are unknown until a Comfort representative can see your home. In addition there are a number of style options available to you that may affect price. We would be happy to walk you through these options as well as provide pricing during your free in-home estimate.

Your install will largely depend on the size of your home and the scope of the project. A typical whole house siding installation will take approximately 10-14 days. This amount of time is necessary for a proper installation that will keep your warranty intact.

No, you do not need to be present, although it can be helpful to be present for the first day/hours of installation. In the event you are not present we ask that you please leave access to an electrical outlet for the installation crew.

In most areas a permit is not required for siding installation. In the unusual circumstance that a permit is needed Comfort will handle that process.

Never.

Please remove anything hanging on the exterior walls on the inside of your home including the garage. Please make sure there is an unobstructed path around your home so the install crew can easily access your homes exterior.

Absolutely. Comfort can install siding on your home virtually any day of the year.

The material is stored on site approximately one day before install begins. We will be happy to accommodate most reasonable requests regarding placement of the material.

Yes, the installation crew will leave a small amount of siding with you in the event that your siding gets damaged or a service is necessary. Please store this in a safe place as it is the best way to ensure color match.

We recommend these vinyl siding maintenance practices.



Enclosures

We understand that cost is important to your decision however there are many variables to building a sunroom that are unknown until a Comfort representative can see your home. In addition there are a number of options available to you that may affect price. We would be happy to walk you through these options as well as provide pricing during your free in-home estimate.

Yes. Obtaining a permit is for the homeowner’s protection and safety. It is also against building code to build a sunroom without a permit. In addition, when obtaining a permit all work is looked at by a local inspector to insure any electrical work etc. is safe. Comfort will take care of the permit process for all sunroom installations.

The average sunroom takes between one and two weeks to build, depending on the size of the room.



Weatherization

Most houses that are uncomfortable are improperly insulated and/or air sealed and could also have issues with the furnace and ductwork.

Your fiberglass insulation appears to be dirty because it has been filtering the dust out of the air as it passes through the fiberglass. To stop the air movement proper air sealing should be done.

Depending on your existing insulation values and the air sealing in your walls and attic we would recommend starting at the top in the attic and working your way down to the walls.

An energy audit usually takes 2-3 hours depending on the size of your house.

During an energy audit our technician will test your heating system and hot water heater for safety, check for any gas or propane leaks in/outside the house, in most cases a blower door which will check the building air leakage, a full assessment of the existing insulation/air sealing in a your home and at the end we will give a detailed estimate of the cost of the recommendations to make your home more energy efficient.

The incentives available are:

  • High Efficiency Measure incentive (HEMI)- which is a 10% rebate on eligible measures
  • Assisted Home Performance- which is a grant for up to 50% for those who meet the median income guidelines and meet the improvement eligibility requirements
  • On-Bill financing- which your payment is attached to your national grid bill for payment on the loan. See Energy Finance Solutions for further details
  • Energy Star financing- which payment is made to the lending source. See Energy Finance Solutions for more details

The ice dams are caused by abnormal heat loss and lack of air sealing. A permanent fix includes proper insulation, air sealing and ventilation. Click here for more answers and solutions to your ice damming problems.

Air-sealing is the process of sealing small holes or penetrations that allow for air to enter or exit the house. This is usually done using a caulk or foam. Penetrations can include wire holes, plumbing holes, chimney chases and tops of interior and exterior walls in the attics.The average home has so many of these small holes that it is equivalent to leaving a window open year round.



Bathroom Remodeling

Recommended Acrylic Cleaners: Use only cleaning products whose labels state that they are SAFE FOR ACRYLIC. Always test products on a small area of skirt before applying to complete bath area.

  • SCRUB FREE
  • FANTASTIK
  • FORMULA 409
  • BATHROOM DUCK
  • SCRUB FREE W/ OXY LEMON SCENT
  • ZEP SHOWER TUB & TILE
  • GREENWORKS NATURAL ALL PURPOSE CLEANER
  • KABOOM SHOWER TUB & TILE CLEANER
  • SEVENTH GENERATION SHOWER CLEANER - NATURAL CITRUS

DO NOT USE the following on your ACRYLIC Bath System: The use of the following chemicals will cause a dull surface or chemical cracks. The use of these products will VOID YOUR WARRANTY.

  • DOW SCRUBBING BUBBLES
  • ABRASIVE CLEANERS
  • AJAX
  • COMET
  • TILEX
  • SOFT SCRUB
  • MR. CLEAN
  • NAIL POLISH REMOVER
  • SCOURING PADS
  • AMMONIA
  • TOUGH ACT
  • POWDER OR CRYSTAL DRAIN CLEANERS
  • GREENWORKS BATHROOM CLEANER
  • SCRUB FREE W/ BLEACH
  • SEVENTH GENERATION BATHROOM CLEANER - REGULAR
  • MAGIC ERASER

Bathroom remodels vary greatly depending on the scope of the specific project, but the average project can be completed in one day.

Your tub is connected to the walls surrounding it; to remove it you need to tear out the walls of your bathroom, putting it out of use for several days and requiring the repair of floors, walls, paint, plumbing, etc. This is the reason that over 20 years ago, the bathtub liner and the one-piece wall was invented — with this method, you can use your new tub or shower right away. However, Comfort will gladly remove your existing tub and install an entirely new replacement tub if that is your preference.

It’s true that refinishing will make a tub look beautiful. Unfortunately, such finishes are fragile and require special care. Most refinishes have to be redone within two to five years. You may want to ask someone who has used refinishing what they thought of the process.

Acrylic has been used extensively in bathtubs and spas throughout North America for 20+ years and much longer in Europe. Acrylic, unlike porcelain or enamel surfaces, can be made to look brand new even after years of use with the application of a simple buffing compound. Also, because the material is colored all the way through, minor scratches won’t show and deeper ones can be buffed out.

Putting a liner into the old tub is the same as fitting one paper cup into another. Since each job is custom-made, it guarantees an exact match for your existing bathtub.

YES! Our unique, one-piece seamless wall is installed right over existing tiling. If necessary we repair any bad spots in your wall first to a solid, secure base for your new wall.

The grout between the tiles dries out over time and if not redone, water will penetrate and damage the wall behind, this also explains the need for a specialty board that must be installed prior to installation. If you like the look of tile, Comfort can mold a seamless acrylic wall into a tile pattern with no grout to clean.

Comfort can mold our seamless bath walls and tub liners in marble patterns, as well as any other design we offer.

We provide a limited lifetime product warranty on tubs, showers and walls that lasts as long as you own your home.

A permit is required whenever a plumber is needed. Comfort will gladly handle the permit process if it is necessary for your project.



Basement Remodeling

Typically the Comfort Basement system can be installed in about two weeks with no drywall dust. The best best way to gage the time frame of your particular basement project is to have a FREE In-Home design consultation. Call Comfort today and set one up.

With our modern wall system you can relax and take comfort in knowing that mold and mildew are not growing behind your walls. Engineered for breathability, moisture is not trapped within and behind the walls. Without food and water, mold can’t grow. This is truly a system designed with the basement in mind.

Not at all...the Comfort Basement Remodeling System is professionally installed by a trained team of experienced construction specialists. They work fast with extreme precision. The expert experience backing Team Comfort allows them to work efficiently and make very little disturbance to the rest of your living space during the construction process.

When you see what’s behind Comfort’s exclusive Dual-Density Acousti-Soft Wall, you’ll see the unique Basement Remodeling System that Comfort proudly offers. It’s low-maintenance, easy to clean, and if you ever need to get behind the walls for any reason, the panels are easily removed and replaced without complicated construction, and messy drywalling, spackling and sanding. They just pop back into place.

We understand that cost is important to your decision however there are many variables to remodeling a basement that are unknown until a Comfort representative can see your home. In addition, there are a number of options available to you that may affect price. We would be happy to walk you through these options as well as provide pricing during your free in-home estimate.

Comfort Basement Remodeling offers an exclusive system designed to allow your basement walls to breath. Basements are typically high in moisture and over time become moldy, mildew filled caves. To combat that Comfort’s system is designed specifically to address that issue.

Comfort also has a fairly quick installation process (about two weeks) and we do not sub-contract are installations, all installations our performed by our Comfort-employed and trained installation experts.

There is no definitive answer to this; however, most any person looking to purchase a home will appreciate the value of a finished space. Please refer to the National Association of Realtors for cost versus value reports.

Yes. Obtaining a permit is for the homeowner’s protection and safety. It is also against building code to finish a basement or complete a remodeling project without a permit. In addition, when obtaining a permit all work is looked at by a local inspector to insure all electrical, plumbing, etc. work is safe. Comfort will handle the permit process for all basement remodels.

Every basement should have at least one egress window. In addition any sleeping space is NYS code-mandated to have an egress window; it is required as a second form of escape in the event that the stairs are blocked or unusable in an emergency. The window must have an openable area of 5.7 sq. ft. (net clear openable height of 24 inches and net clear openable width of 20 inches and sill height no more that 44 inches from the floor).



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