Archive for the ‘ Windows ’ Category

Choosing between Single Hung and Double Hung Windows

This question is related to vinyl windows primarily. Wood windows are double hung by default. You can easily turn your wood windows into single hung windows. Read on to find out how.

Definitions first. Single hung windows have only the bottom part (sash) operable. The top part is fixed and cannot slide up and down.  A sash, is either the top or bottom part of a window, the part that holds the glass. The frame of a window will encase the sashes creating a complete window unit.

Choosing between single and double hung windows will be easy once the following questions are asked.

Why choose single hung windows?

  1. Less money. They cost less, possibly between 15% or more depending on manufacturer.
  2. Less maintenance. Should anything go wrong with an operable sash, there are less sashes to worry about. The screen that comes with the window is half size as only the sash that opens needs it – so less screen to get damaged.
  3. Less energy loss. There is less likelihood of air leaking on the sides of the sash.

Why choose double hung windows?

  1. Easier to clean. Top sashes being operable, can flip open inside so they could be easily wiped clean.
  2. More natural. Transitioning from wood to vinyl windows will not cause re-learning the way windows are open. If one is used to opening the top mostly, the window will comply.

When not to choose a single hung or disadvantages of single hung windows.

  1. Increased liability. If a window is installed close to the floor it may become a liability when children and pets are around. If the only bottom sash is can open, then a child can push against the screen of an open window and a pet can damage the screen easily.
  2. Cleaning. If a window is high off the ground and hard to reach from the outside with a ladder, cleaning a window may result in hiring a professional window cleaner. Nothing wrong with that unless cleaning costs matter. It is worth mentioning that some single hung windows do offer the possibility to open the top, fixed sash for cleaning rendering this concern mute. YKK windows offer this feature.
  3. Access. Under rare circumstances a window can become a point of access into the house. A large window, will help you bring that beloved chest into the house. If that is of interest make sure that only that room has a double hung window and have the rest of the house single hungs.
  4. Proximity. If a piece of furniture is placed in front of the window it might be impossible to open that window.

Elements of style can influence the choice a window. No one is going to argue with that, so I leave that with you.

Having said all these, it is worth mentioning that people tend to choose single hung windows.

If you are an investor and own rentals, single hung vinyl windows are a must.

Now, in answering the question of how a wood double hung window can be changed into a single hung hire a sloppy painter. Your guess is correct: thick, wet paint can turn a double hung window into a fixed one over night.

Maybe a next article should address sticky windows. Stay tuned.


Window Options

When considering a window, what are the basic options that need to be considered? Here are ten considerations in the list:

1) Material

A window can be made of some of these materials, sometimes combined:

  1. Wood
  2. Vinyl
  3. PVC
  4. Aluminum Clad

2) Shape

The standard shape is rectangular yet the list is longer:

  1. Rectangular
  2. Half round (true radius)
  3. Quarter round
  4. Circle
  5. Octagon
  6. Elliptical
  7. Trapezoid
  8. Oval and half oval
  9. Gothic, half Gothic
  10. Eyebrow and extended arch

3) Function

Function describes the use and method of operation:

  1. Single hung
  2. Double hung
  3. Awning
  4. Casement
  5. Stationary (fixed, picture)
  6. Slider
  7. Hopper
  8. Pivoted
  9. Bay (three segments)
  10. Bow (more than three segments)
  11. Garden

4) Glass

Glass usually addresses the type of insulation applied. Unless the need is specific, the glass is considered to be double glaze. Here are some terms and their meaning:

  1. IG (insulated glass)
  2. LOW-E SC (low-e, soft coat)
  3. LOW-E HC (low-e hard coat)
  4. 270-366
  5. Argon
  6. Tint

5) Grid type and pattern

Most people allow the window manufacturer to choose the grid pattern. This will result in proportionate divisions of light. There are more options though, where you can divide a sash differently and some patterns are named, such as the prairie pattern.

The grid type represents the position of the grid on the glass:

  1. GBG (grid between the glass)
  2. SDL (simulated divided light: interior, exterior, snap in)
  3. TDL (true divided light)
  4. CLEAR (usually refers to no grilles)

6) Color

Some windows, such as vinyl or clad windows, will force you to decide color at the time of purchase. Vinyl colors are limited to white, tan, almond. Aluminum clad windows can have a large spectrum of default colors and will go so far as to use a color pallet of your choosing.

7) Screen

Screens are most of the time optional. In general the screen in fiberglass with charcoal color and the screen frame matches the window colors: white, bronze or tan. In order to have a different color screen or material (such as gray aluminum screen) you must look for a local specialty provider. A window manufacturer usually will not be able to help beyond the normal expectation.

8.) Hardware

The hardware represents the type and design choice of the locking mechanism.

9) Trim

Trim details concern the exterior mouldings (such as brick mould or backband) as well as interior jamb extensions that accommodate the thickness of the wall. The trim material may be different from the materials used in the construction of the window.

10) Dimensions

It is not enough to think of the window as width and height. A window has call sizes, rough openings and frame sizes.

And finally, as not windows are created equal, it is good to choose a known and reputable manufacturer.

Building supply stores in Georgia

This is a list of building supply stores in the wider Atlanta area:

  1. TAPP Lumber
  2. Stock Building Supply
  3. Reeds Supply
  4. Lummus Supply
  5. Robert Bowden
  6. 84 Lumber
  7. Wheeler’s
  8. Hill’s ACE Hardware
  9. Cofer Adams

Windows Sold in Georgia

This is an (incomplete) list of windows sold in Georgia. To see window manufacturers in Georgia, see related post: Window Manufacturers in Georgia . I intend to revie all these windows in the future. If you want to be notified when that happens, go ahead and provide your email on the form on the side the blog.

  1. Magnolia (vinyl)
    420 Industrial Boulevard
    Baldwin, GA 30510
  2. Comfort View (vinyl)
    27 First Avenue
    Newnan, GA 30263
  3. Window Crafters (vinyl)
    2033 Tucker Industrial Road
    Tucker, GA 30084
  4. Weathershield (vinyl, aluminum clad)
    One Weather Shield Plaza
    Medford, WI 54451
  5. Georgia Windows (wood)
  6. Pencco (vinyl)
    5601 Roberts Drive
    Ashland, KY 41102
  7. Marvin Window and Door (wood, aluminum clad)
    P.O. Box 100
    Warroad, MN 56763
  8. Andersen (wood, clad)
    100 Fourth Avenue North
    Bayport, MN 55003-1096
  9. Pella
  10. Malta
  11. Silverlight (Andersen) (vinyl)
  12. YKK (vinyl)
  13. Precision Millworks  (all PVC)
  14. Peachtree Windows (vinyl)
  15. Ply Gem
  16. Velux
  17. Simonton
  18. Therma-TRU
  19. Wincore
  20. Windoor
  21. Custom Windows Systems