Windows are an essential part of every home and when they cease to function well they diminish a home’s value and detract from the quality of life you experience in your home. We ask a lot of our windows. We want them to flood our rooms with gorgeous sunlight without letting the house get hot. We want them to open easily to bring in fresh air and provide ventilation when the weather is nice enough. We expect them to keep water out and keep out the harsh conditions of the great outdoors including rain, wind, cold and noise. On top of that, we want our windows to accentuate our homes’ appearance. We want their frames to be thin with stylish colors and in keeping with our aesthetic preferences whether that be with maximized glass expanse for framing a great view or with grid patterns of our choosing for a fitting architectural statement. Replacing a home’s windows is exciting because it gives you the opportunity to make changes according to your preferences and priorities that only make sense if the windows are in sorry condition and in need of replacement. Due to the expense it’s very rare for someone to change out windows that are in serviceable condition but lacking in appeal.
The technical performance of windows has increased significantly over the last two decades. Changes in energy code and in glass coating technology have driven innovation in the industry toward products that are vastly more efficient than what homes were typically built with just fifteen years ago. The range of products available from modest vinyl windows to the most extravagant custom wood is vast, and the information that goes into deciding from so many options can be dizzying.
At Accolade Exteriors, we think it’s important to carry a mix of products that covers this full range so that we can find the right solution for the variety of homes and homeowners we encounter. We don’t believe that budget should necessarily dictate the product selected or that people should spend up to their limit. We do find that we can usually achieve the criteria of most buyers with more than one product alternative so that clients can choose between higher and lower cost options.
We lean heavily on the product portfolios from Milgard and Jeld-Wen to do this. Both companies are well established players in the fenestration industry, each going back further than 50 years. They make excellent products that they back with warranty protection that provides assurance to homeowners. We turn to Milgard for many projects because the aesthetic of the product line aligns well with the contemporary sensibilities prevalent among those who call Austin home. Milgard’s Styleline vinyl is a very well constructed, no-frills vinyl product with super clean lines and an unfussy appearance. Milgard’s Thermal Break Aluminum and Ultra fiberglass also resonate for buyers who like a retro/modern to transitional aesthetic. Jeld-Wen’s products allow us to address Austin’s older, traditional and luxury homes with wood products that are highly customizable and bring the sensibility and tactile quality of fine furniture.
Patio doors are a direct offshoot of the window market. Every window product line has at least one patio door option, so choosing a the right patio door can be a simple extension of the window selection process, but isn’t always.
In general, patio doors see a lot more use and human interaction than windows do. We are in and out of our homes to our patio areas often multiple times a day, whereas, particularly in Central Texas, our windows spend very little time open in any given year. For people in the market for both patio doors and windows at the same time, this is sometimes a key consideration. Not infrequently, we encourage people to economize on their windows by selecting a vinyl product that checks all the necessary style and function boxes while “buying up” a category or two when selecting patio doors. This ensures that the product they interface with frequently has a substantial feel and quality to it that the a door product that matches their window series might lack.
Whatever your situation is when it comes to a patio door upgrade, we can help you select from sliders and swing doors and choose hardware that suits your taste. We will look at your traffic flow and furniture arrangement to ensure that the way your patio door operates fits with how you live. We can even help you settle on a moving glass wall system with multi-sliding or folding door panels that let you open the indoors to the outdoors for a connected living space during the best times of the year in Austin.
Your home’s siding is its skin. It’s a key element that your home needs for protection from weather and pests that would like to come in, but it’s also a heavy lifter when it comes to conveying your sense of style to the world that surrounds you. Color, texture, material and condition are all signals your siding sends that factor heavily into the curb appeal your home possesses. The great thing about siding is that because it contributes so much to your home’s aesthetics, replacing it with something different can have an enormous impact.
Because James Hardie fiber cement is so dominant in the Texas siding market, we don’t believe that vinyl has much role or place on homes in Austin. You do see it on Austin homes here and there, and frankly, it looks out of place. Consequently, we don’t install other products, other than real cedar that we sometimes utilize as an accent material.
Fiber cement from James Hardie does a terrific job of looking like the wood products it’s designed to substitute for while providing performance and longevity that wood is hard-pressed to deliver without an incredible commitment to upkeep and even then may degenerate significantly. The wide offering of profiles and textures from James Hardie allows us to re-side homes with architecturally-appropriate patterns. And with Hardie’s recent introduction of the Aspyre specialty collection to the Texas market, we are now able to create high-end looks for both historical and ultra-modern homes in Austin’s most-desired neighborhoods.