As a replacement window company, what we typically do is replace the glazing units in the existing windows and patio doors in a home. With this method, a home’s windows and doors remain the same size and in the same location. We install the new unit within the existing frame, which saves homeowners money and also makes the project one that can usually be completed in a single day.
Sometimes, however, when our San Diego replacement window company goes to the homes of prospective customers for consultations, we get special requests. We’ve had homeowners ask if we can do things like put in a window where there isn’t currently one, put in a patio door where there is currently just a window, or even increase the size of a window.
While we would love to accommodate every request our customers have, and we can usually take care of all of our customers’ needs, our San Diego replacement window company does have some limitations on what we can do due to the type of license we hold.
CSLB License Classifications
Our window company holds what’s called a C-17 Glazing Contractor license from the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), the licensing agency in California for the construction trades. As a Glazing Contractor, our company can do anything related to installing, repairing, assembling, or fabricating glazing units like windows and patio doors. The CSLB also allows specialty contractors (like Glazing Contractors) to perform work that is “…incidental and supplemental to the work for which a specialty contractor is licensed if that work is essential to accomplish the work in which the contractor is classified” (16 CCR § 831). This provision allows us to complete certain special requests that require specialty trades other than just glazing.
This means that in some situations our replacement window company is able to do things like increase the size of a window or add a patio door. However, if the installation of a new window or patio door requires any major construction or doing things like moving plumbing or electrical lines, homeowners will need to bring in another specialty contractor or a general contractor to complete the work that is outside our scope as a Glazing Contractor.
If you have a special request that our San Diego replacement window company isn’t able to accommodate, we would be happy to refer you to a qualified local company that can help you complete your project.
The Difference Between Replacement Windows and New Construction Windows
It is also important to understand the difference between replacement windows and new construction windows when you’re talking about things like adding a new window or patio door where there currently isn’t one.
Replacement windows allow you to simply remove the glazing unit and install a new, more energy-efficient one in its place while keeping the existing perimeter frame where it is. Using this popular method means you can have new windows installed without disrupting the stucco, siding, or brick around the windows. This is also known as retrofit installation, and it is the most cost-effective and least disruptive way to get new, energy-efficient windows in your San Diego home. However, you cannot use retrofit windows in situations where you want to enlarge a window or patio door, or install a new one altogether.
When you want to install a new window or door where there currently isn’t one, it will be necessary to use new construction windows. Installing new construction windows in an existing home involves cutting a hole in the exterior wall that is larger than the window or door itself so the new windows can be nailed into the studs. This means that after the new window or door is installed, patch work will need to be done to your exterior wall and possibly to the interior drywall as well.
This, of course, is very doable—homeowners do it all the time—but you should be aware that installing new construction windows in an existing home can be costly, simply due to the amount of labor that is involved. However, many San Diego homeowners who live in homes devoid of adequate natural light find the cost of adding new windows and doors more than worth it!
Enlarging your windows, adding windows, or adding patio doors can be a great investment in your home, but make sure you are informed of all of your options before you do it so you can make the best decision possible. Contact us at BM Windows to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our knowledgeable and helpful team members. They can help you decide on the best windows and doors for your San Diego home based on your needs and your budget.