Windows

Type of Windows


Single Hung Window

Pros:

  • They have one less moving part so there is one less thing to go wrong.
  • Recommended for larger size windows, because the upper sash is fixed it won’t allow

Cons:

  • If installed on the second level of a home it will be challenging to clean the exterior part of the window.

Double Hung Window

Pros:

  • They make cleaning the exterior of the window from inside the home very simple.

Cons:

  • On large windows overtime the weight of the upper sash will weaken the counter-balance system of the window and can make locking the window cumbersome.

Slider Window

Pros:

  • Sliders can accommodate large openings and even take the place of 2 or 3 windows allowing you to only purchase one window.

Cons:

  • All thought sliders have gotten better. Of all the windows listed sliders generally have the lowest performance rating.

Casement Window

Pros:

  • Casement windows allow for the most ventilation of any window. They also have the best performance rating of any operational window and generally have the best site lines.

Cons:

  • Are more susceptible to damage from high winds if left open. We also recommend not installing in high traffic areas on the exterior of your home such as decks and patios to avoid damage from people walking into them.

Awning Window

Pros:

  • Awning windows boast the same qualities as casements because they are constructed in the same way, with the exception of the way its hinged. The one advantage is that it allows for ventilation during rain events without taking in water.

Cons:

  • Awning window are flawed in the same way as casements described above. They also have more moving part like casements which does increase the chance for some type of failure.

Hopper Window

Pros:

  • Hopper windows are the same as Awnings just reverse operation.

Cons:

  • Hoppers have the same flaws as Awning and Casements but they are even more problematic if left open during inclement weather as they will funnel that weather in to your home.

Picture Window

Pros:

  • Picture windows offer the highest efficiency of all windows. Like Sliders they can be used in place of multiple windows to keep cost down. They also have the best site lines.

Cons:

  • Don’t have anyway to create ventilation.

Special Shapes Window

Pros:

  • Can come in a wide variety of shapes and enhance the facade of home dramatically. They are basically picture windows that are made into many shapes. They do allow for uniquely adding natural light to a space.

Cons:

  • Specialty shape windows do not offer any ventilation. They can also be labor intensive to install on a remodel or new-construction projects.

Garden Window

Pros:

  • Garden windows are mini green houses that you can extend from your home. Their multiple options for ventilation and allow for lots of natural light. 

Cons:

  • Any window that protrudes from a wall should consider exterior traffic flow for the same reasons as casement type windows. Garden windows are also the most likely to have a failure because of all the different sections.

Bay Window

Pros:

  • Bay window are a combination of three windows that project from the home. You can add almost any type of window to configure the functionality of a bay. They are a great way to enhance the interior and exterior look of your home.

Cons:

  • Because they are a combination of windows the cons can very. Bays often require structural work to support their load.

Bow Window

Pros:

  • Bow window are more than three window that are protrude from the home. Like bay windows they can be configured with different style windows. 

Cons:

  • Bow windows have the same cons as Bay windows.

Egress Window

Egress windows allow for a person to evacuate an area in the case of an emergency. There are certain requirements that have to be met before a window can be considered egress compliant. 

Window Materials


Wood

Pros:

  • Have sturdy ridged frames that don’t have issues with deflection. Deflection is how much a window will bend or give under high wind loads. Wood has also been used longer than any other material so you know what to expect.

Cons:

  • Wood windows can be susceptible to wood rot and termite damage. Of all the window materials that will be listed here wood windows will require the most amount of maintenance and up keep. If wood is not maintained on a good cycle it call also start to swell from high humidity causing the window to stick.

Vinyl

Pros:

  • Offer a Very high performance ratings and have a proven track record. Vinyl windows are very low maintenance and have a lot of options and features that other windows don’t have. 

Cons:

  • There is a lot of misinformation about vinyl windows. The bad is that not all vinyl windows are made equal. Like most products there are good versions and really bad ones. If you get a cheap vinyl window they are highly susceptible to deflection and the bigger the window the more deflection you could expect. 

Fiber Glass & Composite

Pros:

  • Are incredibly strong and very thermally stable. The fact that the windows are thermally stable means that because they don’t expand and contract as much as wood or vinyl the risk of caulking failure is minimized. Its believed that the life expectancy is 33% greater than that of vinyl and wood windows, but they haven’t been on the market long enough to prove it. 

Cons:

  • Fiberglass windows don’t have color through out the substrate of the window, so if they get scratched by something the fiber glass will show through. The cost of fiber glass windows will also typically be 30% to 50% higher than other window materials.

Aluminum

Pros:

  • Are incredibly strong and light weight. The fact that they are made of metal allows for them to be made into unique shapes. They can also be finished in a way that other materials are not able to be done giving them a superior finish. 

Cons:

  • Solid aluminum windows are not recommended for our region because of their thermal conduciveness which can lead to heat loss and condensation on the interior of your home. 

 

Once you have selected the type of windows that will best meet your needs. There are a number of options and features that can be added to a window specifically or throughout your whole project. Options and features are specific to individual manufactures. The list you will see listed directly below will illustrate what is available.

 

Glass Options

Low-e Argon

Standard on every window that we sell unless requested other wise. This is the energy efficiency stuff!

Tinted Glass

Lowers the amount of visible light that can pass through the glass. It can also accent the exterior if using a color such as bronze.

Obscure Glass

There are many options in this category to achieve obscureness. Typically its done in bathrooms of homes to allow for natural light with some privacy. It can also be done as just half a window, if the window has sashes.

Beveled or Etched

The windows are typically done of front entry door or the center window of bay as a way to accent a certain window.

Grids or Muttins

There are multiple selections that can be made to design your grids.

  1. The configurations of your grids such as a traditional pattern or prairie configuration.
  2. The profile and thickness of the grids them self.
  3. The color options of the grids such as a two tone option of having the interior with a stain and the exterior as solid color.
  4. The placement or location of the grids such as external removable grids or GBG (Grids between the glass).

Window Features

Blinds

Some manufactures offer BBG. (Blinds Between the Glass). This can be a nice feature, but it should be understood that there’s not a way to add argon with the BBG option, which is a major factor of the efficiency rating of the window. 

Locks

Most manufactures will only place one lock on a window that as standard, but there is the option to add additional locks for added security.

Screens

Screens have more several different options. A lot of double hung, single hung, and sliders are coming standard with only half screens, it is now an upgrade to have a full screen over the whole window. Screen it self has options and the way that the frame is constructed also could be an option that may be considered.

Window Installations

The two sub categories of window installations that have different decisions that need to be made to receive an accurate quote:


Exterior Trim Options

Full Frame Replacement:

  • Replace Trim to Match Existing Trim
  • Picture Frame with Flat Lineals
  • Picture Frame with Brick Mold
  • Custom Trim Options

Pocket Insert:

  • Replace Stops with like Material
  • Replace Stops with Restoration Millwork
  • Wrap Trim with PVC Coated Aluminum

Exterior Material Options

Full Frame Replacement:

  • Pine
  • Cedar
  • L.P. Smart Trim
  • James Hardie
  • Restoration Millwork
  • Boral

Pocket Insert:

  • Restoration Millwork
  • Trim Coil

Exterior Finish Options for Trim

Full Frame Replacement:

  • Factory Applied Pre-Finish
  • Paint
  • Prime

Pocket Insert:

  • Pre-Finished PVC Coated Aluminum
  • Paint

Interior Trim Options

Full Frame Replacement:

  • Casing Profile
  • Casing Size
  • Stool and/or Apron
  • Custom Profile

Pocket Insert:

  • Re-use Existing

Interior Material Options

Full Frame Replacement:

  • Oak
  • Poplar
  • Select Pine
  • Other

Pocket Insert:

  • Re-use Existing

Interior Finish Options for Trim

Full Frame Replacement:

  • Paint
  • Stain
  • Other

Pocket Insert:

  • Re-use Existing

Other Considerations

Alarm Systems: We don’t attach or reattach any alarm systems. They should be disconnected prior to our arrival on scheduled install dates.

Blinds, Curtains, and Window Treatments: There is no guarantee that the new windows will accommodate the previous blinds or window treatments. It is expected that all of these will be taken down before scheduled start date. We are willing to take down and reinstall upon completion of the windows for a fee, but make no guarantee that they will fit as they did before.

Wood Rot: Chances are that if your original windows were installed more than ten years ago, that the redundancies we install with today were not done correctly or at all back then. Its not uncommon to find some wood rot on window project. Acumen protocol is to take pictures as soon as its discovered and notify the home owner and discuss the best course of action. This is not included in the original estimate and will be billed as time and material. 

 

Full Frame Window Replacement vs Insert Window Replacement

Acumen Renovations is headed quartered in Kansas City, Kansas, where some of the largest variance in temperature swings occur in the world. Temperatures can range from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 121 degrees Fahrenheit. There are numerous freeze/thaw cycles in any given year.

How your window is installed can have a dramatic impact, on the overall efficiency of the window. Some of the best advances in adhesives and caulkings have only happened in recent days. There are multiple methods to ‘properly’ install a window. Mesler follows the procedures outlined by OSI.

OSI’s credentials and warranty are applied when their best practices are followed. The warranty and installation best practices only apply to new construction or full frame replacements.

Both installation practices have their place, but certain criteria need to be taken into consideration when choosing the installation practice that best fits your needs. To make an informed decision, the following is an eplanation of how both  window replacements are installed, and the pros and cons of each installation type.

Full Frame Replacement

A full frame replacement requires installing the window to a rough opening, with a nail fin. A rough opening is the exposed area between studs where the new window(s) is to be installed.

Diapering

After the rough opening is covered with house wrap, the installation specialist cuts the wrap diagnally from corner to corner in an ‘X’ shape.  The wrap is then fastened to the studs, and the excess wrap is cut off as close to the drywall as possible.

Sill Shim

The next step is to install a sill shim.

A sill shim acts as one of the many lines of defenses against rain or other water sources. It creates a water dam, or diverter, to prevent water from coming into the house. 

Sill Pans

A Sill Pan is the barrier between your window and the studs. It acts as rot protection for the wood underneath.

The sill pan goes over the sill shim. This is developed using one of two methods: cusom fabricating a shim of metal, or creating one out of window tape.  To comply with OSI standards, Mesler uses the window tape method. One of the most commonly used methods today is as follows:

A simple sill shim can be crafted using a piece of vinyl utility strip, cutting the  window tape bow ties for the lower exterior corners, and applying the window tape over the sill shim.

Back Caulking

Back caulking is one of the single most important steps. It is often done incorrectly, or overlooked altogether.

Quad Max, an OSI product, has an elasticity rating of 50%, and very high adhesion –creating a superior gasket.

To create the window gasket a ¼” bead of caulking should be applied completely around the sides and top of the outside wall and nail flange. The caulking is beaded across the bottom, but there should be two openings on each side (approximately 1”) to allow for drainage in the event water makes it to the sill.

Fasteners

At this point the window in ready to be set to the wall. Once the window has been leveled it is installed with the appropriate fasteners. Fasteners used depend on the type of window, manufacture specifications, and nailing patterns. Typically a galvanized nail or scews applied every 3”- 6.”

Applying Window Tape

After the window is set, window tape is applied to the sides and top of the window, giving it an additional layer of protection. It’s important to note that the bottom portion of the window has already been taped. Taping it again would prevent water from escaping should it find its way in. The side are taped first, then the top strip of tape is applied. This creates a seam that allows water to flow over the top rather than catching behind.

Installing Trim

A common scenario using James Hardie or LP Diamond Kote is referred to as a ‘picture frame trim out. ‘ Typically, most window manufactures would like for you to leave a 3/16” to ¼” gap between the trim and window for expansion and contraction purposes. More importantly you need to have a void large enough to accept the appropriate amount of caulking to avoid thinning out the UV and mold inhibitors. It’s important to ensure that there is enough caulking in contact with all sides to avoid caulking failure due to freeze/thaw cycles that cause expansion and contraction. This is another area where untrained or under-qualified installers make errors that void the warranty of the window and the OSI process.

The final exterior step is properly applying the z-bar flashing over the trim. Z-bar flashing is a piece of metal that attaches to the wall and serves as a water diverter and rot protection. Caulking should never take the place of flashing. A slit is cut in the house wrap and window tape approximately 2” up, in which the back side of the flashing fastens to the wall behind the house wrap. The open seems are then retaped with house wrap tape.

Insert (Pocket) Window Replacement

There are a few options such as jamb liners and sash replacements. This article will outline the processes used to install standard vinyl inserts specifically.

The first step in replacing a wood window with an insert is removing the exterior stops. Standard protocol for removing the exterior stops is to cut the stop with a flush cut saw and/or a fine saw. The stops are cut flush to the exterior brick molding so new stops can be installed. Removing stops also allows the inner sashes and pieces to come out with little effort. There may be some type of jamb liner or middle stop that has to come out.

It’s important to have two people to set the window in the jamb opening –one on the inside to check the reveal of the window to the existing trim, and one on the outside to ensure proper gaping and to insert shims. The window should be setting tentatively in the jamb opening, level and plumb. The window will then be set at four points with screws. At each of these points the window should be shimmed to prevent over tightening. After the screws are set low expanding insulating foam is applied.

As the foam is setting up the sill expander should be installed on the bottom of the

window. The sill expander extends the bottom of the new window, to the old window sill. At this point the only thing left to do is apply new stops. Mesler makes new stops out of restoration millwork, a brand of PVC cellulose trim. Technically the window is completely installed, but there are multiple options for finishing the exterior of the window.


Full Frame

Pros:

  • Besides the warranty you will know the window has been installed 100% to best practice guidelines so you won’t have issues of wind infiltration and thermal bridging that you might get otherwise.
  • You will get to retain the full view of your window.

Cons:

  • You will have to do some interior work that will add to the cost and duration of the job.

Insert

Pros:

  • Usually don’t have to replace the interior trim so the change out is minimally invasive and can be done quickly.
  • The cost per window replacement vs full frame is less expensive.

Cons:

  • You would be reusing the old frame of the window which could be compromised in several ways. The first is that the original frame probably has some damage that should be repaired before a new replacement is put in. The second reason is the way that the original window was installed. Most people aren’t replacing windows that are five years old, there replacing windows that are twenty thirty years old, the standard at that time and are concerns for energy efficiency were not the same as now. If you put even a very good window, chances are that you would never meet the efficiency rating that the window was intended to have because of the old frame installation.
  • You lose a portion of your viewing area because you’re putting a new frame into an old frame.
  • NO OSI WARRANTY

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