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Window Basics and Styles:   

Windows specialists for energy efficient wood and vinyl replacement windows products and installation. Free estimates, affordable for home owners, contractors, construction companies, residential or commercial.

Basic Window Styles

Excluding a replacement sash, ordering a new window will consist of the sash (one or more) mounted in a frame which is made of the side jambs, top jamb, sill and operating mechanisms. Here's a look at the most common operating styles and configurations:

See a handy color coded guide of features and value by "clicking" here.

Double-Hung Windows
Double Hung illustration

Double-Hung

Double-Hung Windows consist of two sashes that slide vertically along side jambs with the bottom sash closing down on the sill and the top sash closing up against the top jamb. These provide moderate ventilation and can be difficult to clean unless the sash tilts in. Slide-By Windows or Slider Windows function like double-hung windows turned sideways.

Casement Windows
Casement illustration

Casement

Casement Windows usually consist of one sash hinged to a side jamb, and they usually open outward from the sill by crank handle or slider bar. Casement windows provide good ventilation and are fairly easy to clean, but they are a bit pricier because of the operating hardware

Awning Windows
Awning illustration

Awning

Awning Windows consist of a sash hinged to the top jamb or the sill, which tilts out when it's opened using hardware similar to casement windows.

 

Transom

Transom Windows generally consist of short awning windows or fixed sashes mounted over normal sized casement or double-hung windows. They can be ordered as separate windows then set in the proper configuration during installation. Or they can be custom ordered as a single unit, combining short and tall windows into a single frame at the factory.

Transom Windows
Bay illustration

Bay

Bay Windows consist of one or more center sashes framed to bump out or protrude beyond a wall with angled or perpendicular side sashes running back to the wall.

 

Bow Windows
Bow illustration

Bow

Bow Windows are similar to bays, but the windows are framed to form a gradual arc instead of the sharp angles of a bay.

Multi-Wide Units result when you order two or more sashes in a single unit or frame. They're joined at the factory with mullions separating the sashes.

 

Window Finishes & Materials

Taking into account the various styles listed above, windows tend to look like they're all made of glass and wood, especially those with traditional trim styles. But nowadays what looks like "wood" could be aluminum, vinyl or a composite material.

The emphasis on low-maintenance exteriors has produced an explosion in window materials other than wood; materials that don't require sanding/painting but look like a fine wood window.

Wood Windows are made of solid wood or wood products. They can usually be ordered with standard brick mold trim, custom trim if you need to match existing trim, or no exterior trim at all. They can also be ordered with a coat of primer, finish, or no finish at all.  Painting is the main drawback for solid wood windows. Re-painting trim is usually required every 5-7 years.

Aluminum Cladding is a layer of aluminum applied to the exterior surfaces of a window (often wood core) to provide a durable, low-maintenance surface. However, there are less color options than with wood finishes. The more durable cladding consists of extruded aluminum as opposed to rolled aluminum. Also, thicker aluminum is more durable.

Aluminum Windows are made entirely of aluminum (except for the glazing), and they're available for specialized applications. But they lack the insulating values of windows made of other materials so they're not widely used.

Vinyl Cladding is another popular low-maintenance cladding, and it can also be applied over other materials, like wood or wood products. As with aluminum cladding, the thicker the vinyl the more durable it will be.

Composite Windows and Vinyl Windows are emerging now as non-wood, energy efficient and low-maintenance alternatives which don't warp or rot like wood windows can in extreme conditions.

Window Glazing Options

Glazing refers to the glass used in a window, and it impacts both the look and energy efficiency of a window.

Double-Glazing is pretty much the standard for windows sold today. They're made by combining two layers of glass with a space between them to form a single window pane. That greatly increases the window's insulating value, as does the use of Argon Gas or other inert gases in the space between the layers of glass. A Low-E Coating (low-emissivity) is another option for keeping heat in or out (depending on the season) and for reducing ultraviolet penetration which can fade carpets and fabrics.

Triple-Glazing adds a third layer of glass to the glazing mix to increase the insulating value of the window, but despite that advantage it's less common because of the weight it adds to the window.

Safety Glass or Tempered Glass is required by code in certain applications, like in windows above bath tubs.

Grilles are used to achieve the look of a divided lite window. They usually fit between a sash's rails and stiles, right over the interior surface of the glass, and they're generally removable. Grilles can also be glued to the glass's interior and exterior surfaces at the factory for a more realistic divided-lite appearance.

True Divided Lite Windows have two or more sections of glass mounted in a single sash and separated by muntins. It's a more traditional style that was actually the cheaper alternative in the days when large sheets of glass were far more expensive than small ones. But now, it's a more expensive option because of the millwork involved.

Combination Storm Windows usually consist of a fixed glass sash mounted over a fixed screen sash, with a second operable glass sash in its own track to let fresh air in. Storm windows add insulating value to older windows but are somewhat redundant when used with energy-efficient windows.

Window Energy Ratings

The U-Factor is the most useful way to rate a window's energy efficiency. It's a measure of an entire window's tendency to conduct heat, not just the glass but also the frame and sash components. The lower the U-Factor, the better insulating ability a unit has.

U-Factors are determined by the National Fenestration Rating Council, and the numbers should be indicated on an NFRC label on every window.

An efficient window may have a U-Factor of .35 or less. Less efficient units would have a higher U-Factor. So compare the numbers along with the other available options before buying.

Vinyl Windows: 

        1. Pricing:  Least expensive of all windows.  For those that are looking for the most economical windows, with no maintenance, vinyl windows may be for you.  Vinyl frames are incredibly strong and do not rust. 

        2. Efficiency:  Even though they are the most economical, vinyl windows are currently the most energy efficient windows, when combined with “super-spacer” technology, argon gas-filled and Low-E glass coatings.

        3. Maintenance:  None other than washing.

        4. Options:  Low-E coatings, argon gas filled, grids/no grids are all options.  Opening windows will likely have choices of handles and hardware and other convenience or safety features.  There is a wide variety of shapes and designs available.

        5. Shortcomings: Generally speaking, they come in white or an off-white/tan/beige color.  This is because those colors do not fade.  There is one line of composite/vinyl windows that can be painted, but generally speaking, vinyl windows are not painted ever.  The tradeoff is the color vs. maintenance.

        6. Lines we offer:  Alside, Weathervane, LbL and Milgard

Fiberglass Windows:

        1. Pricing:  Fiberglass is a mid-line price structure, but their price can vary greatly as compared to vinyl windows, depending on the manufacturer.  Fiberglass is very strong and durable, accounting for some of the higher prices. 

        2. Efficiency:  Fiberglass is less efficient than vinyl, generally speaking.  This is normally because current fiberglass windows are built with metal spacers with rubber gaskets in the windows, which are inherently less energy efficient than vinyl windows with super spacers.  However, the frame and glass is every bit as efficient as vinyl, and these windows are generally available with the argon gas and Low-E coatings.

        3. Maintenance:  Fiberglass windows are paintable.  That means that they are more flexible when it comes to color selections.  But it also means that there is an increased maintenance responsibility, similar to that of the frequency of painting a house.  The fiberglass itself does not rust and is resistant to deterioration.

        4. Options:  Low-E coatings, argon gas filled, grids/no grids are all options.  Opening windows will likely have choices of handles and hardware and other convenience or safety features.  There is a wide variety of shapes and designs available.

        5. Shortcomings: More expensive than vinyl windows and perhaps more maintenance. 

        6. Lines we offer:
           

Wood-Clad Windows

        1. Pricing:  Generally speaking, our windows are fiberglass underneath a wood veneer.  Therefore, they are more expensive than vinyl and more than plain fiberglass. 

        2. Efficiency:  The same comments apply to these windows as to fiberglass.

        3. Maintenance:  Wood-Clad windows are paintable and stainable.  That means that they are more flexible when it comes to color selections, or to matching existing interior woodwork.  But it also means that there is an increased maintenance responsibility, similar to that of the frequency of painting a house. 

        4. Options:  Low-E coatings, argon gas filled, grids/no grids are all options.  Opening windows will likely have choices of handles and hardware and other convenience or safety features.  There is a wide variety of shapes and designs available.

        5. Shortcomings: More expensive than vinyl or plain fiberglass windows and perhaps more maintenance. 

        6. Lines we offer:

All Wood Windows:

        1. Pricing:  Wooden windows are at the top of the pricing structure.  They are generally premium windows that go in upscale homes that require much woodwork. 

        2. Efficiency:  The windows themselves are as efficient as any other windows.  The real question is how well they will be installed to prevent air leakage.  Remember that real wood swells and contracts based on the weather.  This must be allowed for in the installation process.  

        3. Maintenance:  Wooden windows are paintable and stainable.  That means that they are more flexible when it comes to color selections, or to matching existing interior woodwork.  But it also means that there is an increased maintenance responsibility, similar to that of the frequency of painting a house. 

        4. Options:  Low-E coatings, argon gas filled, grids/no grids are all options.  Opening windows will likely have choices of handles and hardware and other convenience or safety features.  There is a wide variety of shapes and designs available.

        5. Shortcomings: The most expensive as compared with vinyl, plain fiberglass or wood-clad windows.  Definitely more maintenance.   Due to the swelling and contracting of the wood, they generally will warp somewhat over the years and become less functional over time.  However, if they are cared for properly, they can last a lifetime and add a truly distinctive look to your home.

        6. Line currently being evaluated: 
          Marvin

Source:  www.hometime.com

Glenn Sheppard Construction Services offers new construction or remodel for windows and door products for all of Western Oregon including Sandy, Gresham, Clackamas, Troutdale, Milwaukie, Oregon City, West Linn, Lake Oswego, Portland, Vancouver, Longview, Camas, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Salem, Lincoln City, Tillamook, Astoria, Seaside, The Dalles, Hood River, White Salmon, Bingen, and Stevenson.

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