Frequently Asked Questions

What product lines does Old Mission Windows offer?

Old Mission Windows offers Kolbe & Kolbe and Weather Shield wood windows and doors, as well as Kolbe & Kolbe, Solaris, Weather Shield & Jeld-Wen vinyl windows & doors. Exterior doors are available from Kolbe & Kolbe, Weather Shield, Peach Tree and Therma Tru. We also supply interior doors and custom interior trim. Our goal is to be a one stop provider for all windows and doors, as well as custom woodwork.

What is the difference between wood and vinyl windows?

In today's market the performance and reliability of wood and vinyl windows is almost identical. Each has its own benefits and features. Wood windows have long been the window of choice, due to their natural beauty and the endless possibilities. However, vinyl windows have progressed to the point where almost anything you can do in wood you can now do in vinyl.

If I chose a vinyl window what colors are available?

It is a common misconception that vinyl windows are only available in white & beige. This is not true, Solaris windows are available in 52 standard colors with a lifetime warranty against any fading, cracking, or peeling.

What about maintenance, what should I expect?

Well, every window regardless of design or construction will need some maintenance over the course of its life. However, today's windows whether wood or vinyl, generally only need annual cleanings and minor adjustments. The exception to this rule is a true wood window. You see most wood windows today have maintenance free aluminum clad exterior, which eliminates the need for painting or significant upkeep. A true wood window that is wood on the exterior does require more maintenance and upkeep.

Where can I purchase Kolbe and Kolbe windows and doors?

In Northern Lower Michigan Old Mission Windows is the sole provider for all Kolbe & Kolbe products. We have also coordinated window and door purchases across the country and worldwide. You can visit our 5000 sq. ft. showroom located at 395 Hughes Dr. in Traverse City, MI or contact us directly toll-free at 1-800-493-2951, or locally at 231-947-2120.

How do I get pricing on windows and doors for my new home?

The best way to get pricing is to meet with one of our sales representatives. Windows and doors can be the single most important decision a homeowner makes in determining the final character of their new home. It is important that your window supplier understands your needs, desires and expectations. To price a project without knowing these is a recipe for disappointment. Call us today toll-free at 1-800-493-2951, or locally at 231-947-2120.

What sets Kolbe and Kolbe apart from other Quality windows?

Kolbe & Kolbe prides itself in the quality of the product they produce. Unlike many window manufacturers Kolbe & Kolbe is actually a Millworks Company, which allows them to be more creative and innovative. If you have a dream or a desire Kolbe & Kolbe has the flexibility to make it reality.

What separates Old Mission Windows from other window distributors?

Old Mission Windows is committed to exceeding our customer's expectations. We understand that each project will eventually be someone's home and that is something each and every homeowner takes pride in. It is our mission to make every home special.

What type of warranty does Kolbe and Kolbe provide?

Kolbe & Kolbe provides the same or similar warranty as all high-end window manufacturers. To review warranties go to

Does Old Mission Windows provide any additional warranties?

Yes, Old Mission Windows includes an 18-month labor warranty with every window purchase. Generally speaking the vast majority of service or labor required when purchasing new windows comes in the first 18 months. Any operational adjustments or service that arises in the first 18 months is covered by our additional warranty.

How big a role should energy savings, performance play in the selection process?

That is a tough question. In most cases that is determined by the desired application. Example: a home that is being built on a waterfront lot in Northern Michigan has much different requirements than a home being built in Arizona. In today's market most quality windows have almost identical energy performance, it more times than not becomes a decision on what type of window to use i.e. casement v/s double hung.

How do I know if a particular window is right for my home?

Well, the Federal Government has developed a program called Energy Star, which rates windows based on energy performance. The program has designated three climate regions in the United States being Northern, Central, and Southern. Each one of these regions has specific climatic conditions that dictate the type of window used. You can ask any one of Old Mission Windows staff and they can provide you with the individual Energy Star rating for a particular window.

What would you determine as the most important issue when dealing with energy performance?

Today's windows are tested in almost every conceivable condition and in most cases quality windows perform almost identically. You will hear the term R and U values used in almost every window discussion; however, most quality windows are so close in performance as far as R and U values are concerned, it has almost become a mute point. So for that reason I would say that D.P. rating (Design Pressure) is the single most important factor. D.P. rating measures a windows ability to withstand air and water infiltration under pressure. The higher the D.P. rating the better the window.

What is the difference between a Casement and a Double Hung window?

Aesthetics and operation are drastically different, as is energy performance. A casement window has a cranking mechanism that opens the sash to a perpendicular position when fully opened. Generally speaking casements are more energy efficient and perform better in high wind applications. Double-hung windows on the other hand operate in a horizontal fashion sliding up and down in the frame. Due to their design double-hungs do not perform as well as casements when it comes to energy performance.

What if I want the look of a Double Hung, but need the performance of a Casement?

In this case you have two options. First option is to select a Double Hung that offers a High performance upgrade. Kolbe & Kolbe provides this as an option on all its Double Hung windows. Second option is to design a casement that in aesthetics looks like a Double Hung. This is common practice for those of us in Northern Michigan where Double Hungs are the more traditional window of choice. Believe it or not most unsuspecting homeowners cannot tell the difference between the two until they go to open the window.

Does Old Mission Windows install windows?

Yes, we can install windows for the Do-It-Your-Selfer who only needs one window, all the way up to the commercial contractor who needs 100 windows.

How can I prevent fading of my carpet and furniture?

There are only certain wavelengths of ultra violet rays that cause fading in carpet and furniture. Kolbe and Kolbe as well as Solaris windows have a LoE coating applied to two surfaces of the glass as a standard, which blocks 84% of these U.V. rays. This level of protection will prevent fading with all high quality carpet and furniture. Kolbe and Kolbe offers options for glass that will block 99% of U.V. rays, but generally speaking this is not necessary.

What is LoE and do I need it?

LoE is the standard term for Low Emissive glass. LoE glass coatings have low emissive and high reflectivity of infrared radiation. In winter nighttime conditions the LoE coatings reflect heat coming from the interior of the house back toward the interior to reduce heat loss. In sunny summertime conditions LoE coatings reflect Ultra Violet and heat from the exterior back toward the exterior to reduce solar heat gain. Hence, less costly heating bills in the winter and cheaper cooling bills in the summer. Do you need it? Yes. LoE is standard for almost every window manufacturer in today’s market. To go without LoE usually will not provide any cost savings.

Will an after market solar film or tinting void my warranty

Yes. After market tinting or solar films applied to the glass, can cause enormous heat gains inside the insulated glass. This in turn creates what is commonly referred to as a seal failure. Every major manufacturer of windows clearly states in their warranty that such products will void the warranty.

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