At Cornerstone, installation is our lifeblood. We started as an installation company over 40 years ago. For years we installed windows, doors & siding for the biggest companies in Kansas City. Many of these companies are our competitors today. By seeing this side of the business for so many different companies for so many years, we got a great education. Not only was it very clear which products were good and which manufacturers stood behind their warranties, but it also was quite amazing to us that different companies would ask us to compromise our installation in order to save money on the job. We were asked many times not to insulate around windows, not to put a parting stop on, not to put the recommended insulation and home wrap on when installing siding, not to put an insulation cap on a siding job, asked to use the cheapest caulk available, and so on…ALL in an effort to save money so the company would “win” the job by having the cheapest price.
Lifetime Guarantee on Home Installations
When we started offering product as Cornerstone Home Improvement in 1997, we KNEW what was important. We KNEW which manufactures, qualities, and features we wanted to offer based on our years of experience. And we KNEW how to properly install. We also KNEW what we didn’t want—and that was services. Companies that offer inferior products and mediocre installations often find themselves with so many service and complaint calls that they can’t afford to stay in business. Our goal is, and has always been, to offer a complete package that will require little to no future services. What many people don’t realize is that even if purchasing the most energy efficient window, door, or siding on the market, if installed incorrectly, they might as well have put the least efficient product on their home. We pride ourselves in offering the most energy efficient products we can (for different budgets) with the BEST installation possible. Brad (co-owner of Cornerstone) is AAMA certified for window and door installations and is VSI certified for siding installations. Each of our crews has been trained to install to these industry standards. Most of our crew members have installed for us for over 10 years, some for over 20. That is why we are one of the very few companies that will actually guarantee our installation with a written lifetime warranty.
Window Installation in Kansas City
Window installation is more that taking out your old window, slapping in a new window, and caulking. Many companies do just this. Some companies don’t put a wooden stop on the outside of the window. We ALWAYS do. Some just set the window in the opening and caulk the outside and then wrap over so you can’t see that the only thing holding the window in is caulk. And believe us, WE KNOW. We can’t tell you how many windows we’ve replaced over the years due to poor and improper installation. Some companies don’t insulate around their windows, either. We ALWAYS do. In fact, we order each window with foam wrap from the factory. (The only exception is the few manufacturers who don’t offer this as an option.) This way we are ASSURED that each window is insulated entirely around the frame for an air tight fit. And, if necessary, we insulate additionally in other areas. Under the sill is a place where companies routinely scrimp on insulating that we know will cause future service calls, so we don’t skip it. We also routinely replace any rotted wood around each window, as necessary, to ensure the window stays securely installed for years to come. We install the windows to AAMA replacement standards and screw the windows in as needed. We shim the windows, when needed, and we blind caulk behind the trim so that the window is sealed off inside AND out. We don’t compromise on the quality of the products required for installation either. As an example, we don’t use the cheap caulk that most companies use from the lumberyard. We use high quality (often upwards of $7.00 a tube) professional caulk. All of this, so that we can continue our business for years to come and so that we can continue to receive an industry record number of referrals and repeat customers!
Door Installation in Kansas City
Door installation has just as many critical steps as does a correct window installation. The only difference is a door is usually much more expensive than a typical window. Keep in mind, the front door is the place most people’s eyes go to when they pass your home. Therefore, you want to make sure that the door makes a statement that is in harmony with you and your home and with what impact you want your home’s outward appearance to have. In addition, a door is usually opened and closed MANY more times that the typical window. Therefore, just as with windows, it is imperative that you don’t waste your money by having your door installed by someone who isn’t going to provide an expert installation. Door installation usually requires advanced skill levels and shouldn’t be something you experiment with. There are so many areas that a poorly installed door can leak air and water just due to the way a door operates. In fact, most of the time when we replace a door, it is due to the existing door not closing properly, being able to see daylight around the door, and the door letting costly air conditioned air (or allowing heated air in the winter) out. In order to not have a repeat of this, it is vital that a door be installed following the manufacturers and AAMA guidelines. In addition, if you are installing a door where you have existing vinyl, metal, or James Hardy siding, be aware that it isn’t as easy as it would seem to trim these products out correctly. This is one area that over the years we get continual requests to come out and ‘fix’ a door install due to an inexperienced installation crew of another company not knowing what to do. Knowing when, where, and how to shim the door; how to make the door plumb and level; how much space is required around the door in the rough opening; how to handle the sub sill and the threshold to create a tight fit; where and how to properly caulk the door; how to make adjustments for pinched weather-stripping or sweeps; how and where to properly insulate; how to make sure the hinges and hardware are working to maximum capacity; how to trim the door inside and out—ALL of this added together makes the difference between a good tight installation and one that will cause you grief for years to come. Cornerstone is confident that we know what we are doing when installing your door. Put us to the test! Our installation is guaranteed for life!
Siding Installation in Kansas City
Siding Installation performed by knowledgeable, trained, and experienced industry craftsmen is also CRITICAL to the success of a vinyl siding job. There are MANY extremely poor siding jobs out there. Gapping seams; waving panels; cut short trim and panels; thin product with greater potential of hail damage AND warping; siding installed improperly over existing siding; siding installed without the proper water barrier and/or without the proper insulation underneath; faded siding; etc. …all have given vinyl siding a bad name.
Our commitment is to provide the thickest, strongest, longest and most fade-resistant vinyl siding panel on the market with all of the proper installation accessories AND expert installation. This means doing ALL of the little things each and every time that add up to a great install. Prepping the home correctly; replacing rotted wood and removing unnecessary trim boards; caulking all openings; nailing loose boards; installing a BREATHABLE reliable house wrap (we use Tyvek;) installing a minimum of ½” insulation for a backer (whether attached to the panel or to the wall itself;) nailing each panel by hand to allow for expansion and contraction; caulking the correct places and caulking CORRECTLY with a high quality product; installing a foundation cap at the bottom of the panel to cover and protect the bottom exposed insulation; using the correct blocks, boxes, vents, and mounts for each specific application; wrapping the fascia correctly with the seams positioned the correct way in gables and other areas; positioning the siding seams the correct way to minimize their existence and to eliminate seeing them while looking down the side of the home; capping window and door trim with brick mold replication and mitered corners (while knowing how to position the seams and when and when NOT to seal up an area;) installing the correct amount (at the correct distance) of vented soffit and opening up additional openings when required—ALL of this and MORE is what sets one installation above another. It is amazing how much one installation can vary from another. We’ve seen horrendous caulking jobs, terrible cuts, wavy sides of homes, walls where water is collecting behind the siding panels and getting into the home, and countless other examples where a homeowner THOUGHT they were getting a good job but later found out how true the adage is “you get what you pay for.” We are often asked to forego the weather/water barrier (Tyvek), to offer a thinner panel, and to reduce the thickness of the insulation on a home so that a prospective customer can competitively compare our proposal with another they’ve received. We just won’t do it. We understand the importance of doing it correctly and the ramifications of not. We understand that vinyl siding is designed to allow the material underneath it to breathe and acts only as a ‘supplemental rain screen’ by reducing the amount of water that reaches the underlying weather-resistant barrier. We understand how not doing all of the little things correctly can greatly affect the performance and appearance of a siding job. Over the years, we’ve taken off many other companies’ bad siding installations to install our product professionally. Our 40-year plus reputation is just too valuable to cut corners.
LEAD SAFE INSTALLATIONS
Once again, Cornerstone is in your corner! If you own a home built prior to 1978 contractors and renovation firms who perform activities that disturb painted surfaces in your home are legally required to be trained to use lead-safe work practices and are required to be EPA-certified based on the EPA’s Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Program Rule. These mandatory rules (Missouri follows the EPA guidelines and Kansas follows their own more stringent state guidelines) are aimed at protecting against lead-based paint hazards associated with renovation, repair and painting activities. As there are MAJOR fines involved in not following these laws, rest assured that we’ve got you covered. Fortunately our crews are trained and certified and have much experience in providing lead safe installations. A copy of the rule is available on EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/ lead/pubs/renovation.