FAQs

frequently asked questions

Replacing your windows or doors is most likely a brand new experience for you. We've provided answers to some common questions and explained how our process works.

Quote
We structured our business very differently from other window and door companies. We do not have commissioned sales people. Most companies that do in home estimates do so by using commissioned sales people. By doing our quotes through our website, we do not pass that cost on to you. We are currently 26% less than the average window company in the DC metro area. A large part of this is because of our business model.
Our business model has the added benefits of quick, easy pricing without having to sit through an often, high pressure sales pitch. Even if our approach is not the best model for you, it is an easy way to get a quote.
For the windows we use 10" size stratifications for pricing so there is a large margin for error. Just measure the width and height, round both off to the nearest inch. Measure inside the window frame as if you were going to use the measurements to purchase blinds.
For patio doors just measure the opening in the wall - width and height.
Entry doors (without sidelites) and storm doors - measure the slab, the part that swings. Entry doors with sidelites, measure the opening in the wall.
Don't worry - we are not going to use your measurements for anything but the quote. If you decide to proceed with the products, we come out to take exact measurements.
In addition to the products the quote includes installation, capping and removal disposal of the old units. Capping is wrapping your exterior wood with vinyl coated aluminum so the exterior is maintenance free. The quote is inclusive of taxes.
The quote will show the cost for each product and we include the energy rating (NFRC numbers) and the warranty.
What may be additional is if your home was built prior to 1978 and the openings have lead paint. EPA requires that homes built before 1978 be tested for lead paint prior to window or door replacement. There is no charge for the test. We are certified by EPA to perform the tests and also do the installation if lead is found. If lead paint is found we must follow "Lead Safe Practices" during the installation. If lead paint is found, it add $50 to each opening that contains lead paint to cover the cost of the material and time needed to follow the "Lead Safe Practices".
If you would like to proceed with the work we need to arrange a visit. We will take exact measurements for the products, perform the lead test if required and complete the paperwork. From the time the contract is signed till installation is four to six weeks.
The terms of the contract are a third deposit and balance due at completion.
Installation
Our full time employees. We never use subcontractors. Our employees have had extensive training including EPA Lead-Safe practices certification. From a customer's perspective this works because if there are any issues - there is one party responsible. You don't get caught between finger pointing between the seller and the subcontractor. Also this reduces miscommunication about what the job includes and how it will be completed.
American Home Center, Inc. uses the replacement method, also referred to frame and sash. If you have wood windows,your existing wood frame stays, we remove your sashes and install a new window into your frame. Included in the installation is wrapping your exterior frame with vinyl coated aluminum so the exterior of the opening is maintenance free. This method has the added benefit of not disturbing your interior trim so no additonal carpentary is required.
For patio doors and entry doors the existing frames are removed and new trim installed as needed.
Products
All of the products we carry are EnergyStar products so you are sure of getting energy efficienet windows - but what are the advantages and disadvantages of the choices.

Vinyl

Vinyl offers superior energy efficiency, lifetime warranties and are a half the cost of fiberglass and a third the cost of wood. Not only does the vinyl window have the best energy efficiency ratings they also have the lowest air infiltration. This means less drafts. Grids are available inbetween the glass or affixed to the outside of the glass on the interior and exterior of the home.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass windows from a distance mimics painted wood. Their finish is more matted without the sheen of a vinyl window. Fiberglass windows are also easier to paint if you decide you want to change the color later. Grids are only available inbetween the glass.

Wood

Wood windows offer interiors that can be stained or painted to match any decor. Wood also adds warmth and charm to any room. Grids are available inbetween the glass, removable roomside wood grids or affixed grids to the outside of the glass on the interior and exterior of home.
We offer Provia doors which are one of the highest quality doors available. The entry doors and atrium doors are available in steel or fiberglass. Like our windows, all the door are EnergyStar products and come with a Lifetime Limited Warranty, but what are the advantages of the various materials and the differences amoung the lines.

Legacy Steel

Legacy Steel doors are the least expensive option and are available in a smooth, painted finish with 16 colors to choose from. These 20 gauge steel won’t crack or warp and are the strongest, most durable doors available on the market. Although generally low maintenance, if scratched through the galvanization, these doors can rust if not properly primed and painted. Dents and dings can be pulled and puttied with an auto-body repair kit. Steel entry doors offer the best solution for property owners concerned with building or home security.

Fiberglass

The fiberglass doors offer a little better energy efficiency than the steel. In addition, fiberglass does not feel as cold or as hot to the touch as steel. Fiberglass entry doors do not shrink, warp, split, crack or delaminate. They’re ideal for harsh or humid climates. Fiberglass entry doors offer the lowest maintenance, resisting denting and scratching, and can be cleaned with mild soap and water. These doors can be re-finished, but must be done by a professional.
Provia offers two fibeglass lines.

Heritage Fiberglass

Heritage Fiberglass are available in a smooth or oak wood grain finish. The smooth doors are only a little more expensive than the steel doors. The smooth finish is available in 16 painted colors while the woodgrain is available in the painted colors or choose from 7 different stains. Going from smooth to woodgrain adds between 15-20% to the cost of the door. Heritage doors are available in custom heights but only available in standard widths.

Signet Fiberglass

Signet Fiberglass doors offer both smooth and wood grain finish. Signet offers 16 paints, 14 stains and 5 glazes. There is also the choice of wood grain textures in oak, cherry, mahogany and fir. Signet doors are available in custom width and heights. P
Sliding, French or Atrium doors. The choice is based on both form and function. All three come with options of inbetween the glass grids or blinds.

Sliding Doors

Sliding glass doors are the least expensive option and are the best solution for spaces without room for a swinging door to operate. Sliding glass doors also have the most glass for an unobstructed view.

Atrium Door

Atrium doors are two panels. One is fixed and one swings into the home to open. They have the French door look with the added bonus of a sliding screen.

French Doors

Both sides open and can be made to swing in or out. French doors give you the maximum opening space but do not come with screens.
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