Installing windows, doors and garage doors is one of the vital parts of a contractor’s work. As “The Construction Life” tries not to miss out on anything that matters to the contractors, how can they miss an episode with a window and door expert!
Joe Fernandes, Owner of JR Management Group, has been working in the industry for more than two decades. Joe started out when he was 19. From a grunt to lead hand supervisor, from a tool shop worker to a business owner, Fernandes has built his way up from the scratch. Thought it was scary and he didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out well for him, as he believes in quality and high-end work. Joe explains how he loves to work on garage doors, windows, and home renovations as compared to commercial work.
Surviving the Industry
Joe explains that though it’s a good business, one needs to do hard work because of the competition. There are tons of guys doing this work (most of them doing crappy work), so you have to sell yourself more than the product/service you are providing. You have to make your place by providing amazing service and high-quality installation. Make sure to provide before-sale, after-sale, and years-after-sale services to stay in the game!
Vinyl vs Fiberglass
Joe is not a big fan of fiberglass when it comes to windows because it is fragile. He doesn’t like the end result, and he says you can’t weld fiberglass you will have some kind of joining mechanism, which will become the weak link in the frame, and might make a line visible through the joints of the window.
Vinyl’s price is neither too high nor too low… it’s what almost everyone can get and if you are using good machinery and equipment, its installation is cheaper.
Fiberglass vs Steel
Fiberglass doors, however, are solid panels they are good. Especially for the front door can take a lot of abuse it can be kicked; it is good for extreme temperatures (heat won’t roast inside of the doors).
Steel, on the other hand, is not a good insulator. Steel doors are good for the back door and exit fire doors.
Joe’s Preference for Windows
Joe likes hybrid windows, with aluminum on the outside, vinyl on the inside, vinyl that attaches to aluminum, and then you have your wood extension built onto that, that gives you a thermal break.
Though it is a commercial design but is successful in high-end homes.
Is it just the Installation?
When asked about drip edges, Joe tells how it is not just the installation that matters when it comes to dripping. It usually goes back to the building envelope, if you’re installing it to a house that’s leaking from the roof and it comes in behind the window, the windows are not going to stop the water. The foam of the window is not 100% waterproof. It soaks some of it, but the layering matters the most. It should be installed, foamed, and shimmed.
When asked about what’s the appropriate space to have between your jacks and your king studs your seal and your window, Joe replied half an inch all the way around framing, and on the outside quarter an inch. Because if it’s too thick, it’s not going to stick and if it is too thin there’s nothing there for expansion and contraction.
Joe told for bigger windows you will have to use screws all the way around even on the bottom pins on the sides of the window to keep it from flexing away. You can’t put a screw through the vital part of the frame on the outside, but on the inside with a wood extension, you can do it. Outer edge screws can make a leak in the window.
When asked Joe about particular caulking he likes to see on the windows, he replied Tremco. However, there are several good brands out there and the choice depends on what customer needs and site conditions, an experienced tradesperson will assess things from the estimating stage.
Experience with Builders vs Homeowners!
Joe takes sizes of windows and doors. He goes in, takes all the measurements. If it’s a full renovation or even if it’s a new build he tries to get control of the whole project from the window point of view so he can order the ideal size. He gives builders the sizes and tells them that they can either order the windows from him or from anybody else they want but these are the sizes he needs. So, when he goes back to work, he has everything ready to do his work.
Homeowners are all about prices. Joe says that he has never worked cheap. People don’t use windows thus they don’t care about it, but they don’t realize that it is a long-term investment and if they don’t use good quality products they will have to repair/replace them again in the near future.
When it comes to good quality windows, keep $1000 per opening in mind. Vinyl is 30 to 40 percent more expensive than the normal window but it is worth it. Joe takes clients to the factory, so they can decide what they want to choose. Joe believes that presenting the client with too many options can confuse them. As an expert, and based on the client’s budget, he presents them with the best option and leaves the decision onto them.
All about Garage Doors!
Every person has a different preference when it comes to garage doors. Joe discusses how Liftmasters garage door openers are getting famous, because of their enabled app, remote access to the door, and camera.
Joe also talked about how you can increase the life of your garage door with proper maintenance. And they don’t require high-end maintenance, what you have to do is lubricate your door springs twice a year to make it last by around 25 years. Make sure that it doesn’t leave a film on it so it doesn’t attract dirt. If you don’t maintain your garage door it will start making sounds after 5 years.
Joe usually uses galvanized steel/metal doors for the garage doors. The doors are fire-rated. He does not use aluminum as it is soft and it is for glass doors. He also goes for injected foam doors; it is for the insulation of the garage door.
Black garage doors are now in trend, but they have to be powder-coated (which is expensive, so, the black color doesn’t fade.
Joe says he educates clients when he finds faults/rotting. When a person is willing to spend thousands of dollars on the windows, they should be aware of the extra charges. Joe says he only charges for the tools/cost, and 1-hour charges (need to drive to the store and buy those things) and nothing else. He tries to be reasonable with the clients so they don’t get a big hit for the rotting, the damages caused by poor install or product failure.
Joe explains how a warranty usually works. They offer a 2-year warranty for installation. Joe explains to the homeowners about the lifetime warranty on windows. He says you should read the fine print. The lifetime warranty is usually on the vinyl frame and not for the glass. for 10 years, because the gas dissipates in 10 years.
Other Takeaways from the episode!
Is Triple-Pane Worth it?
Yes, it is. Triple-pane is worth it for sound abatement.
Doors vs Windows!
When it comes to doors vs windows, people are willing to spend more money on the doors than windows. Doors are easier to sell, people look at the door first.
C.H.I, Wayne Dalton, Upwardor!
Most Common Windows
Double-hung and sliding windows are common.
The best type of windows for insulation?
When you are working around Stucco, do your windows first!
According to Joe, some of them are
- Envelope is ignored
- Window can get Damage
- Moisture Buildup
Right Time to Install Door and Windows
When the project is close to ending! Whether it be a renovation or a newly built house!
Contractors are going for cheap products, just as the cheap foam is being imported by contractors. It’s better to use Canadian brands because they are familiar with the climate, and provide high-quality products.
Final thoughts by Joe
He wants the construction industry and Government to take this work seriously. There should be proper training, license, certifications for window/door installations. As the work is easy, everybody wants to do it, and not everyone is capable of doing it right!