Buying New Windows for your Home part 2
Now that you’ve figured out that the best all-around choice, from a frame material standpoint, for your new home windows is UI-
Vinyl Window Frame Construction
When you talk frame construction, there are three main things to consider: what is the function of each frame piece, water management concerns, and how the pieces of
Window Frame Function
Each piece of the frame has a specific function that is vital to the overall performance of the unit for a strength and support standpoint. These pieces also contribute to how the window manages water.
First, you have two side rails. If you’ve ever seen a residential wall being built, you’ve likely seen several vertical pieces of wood (2 X 4’s), at regularly spaced intervals. Like the 2 X 4’s, the side rails of the window frame provide support for the overall window unit.
Next, you have your header. Again, using our residential construction analogy, if there was a doorway in this wall, you wouldn’t just have a couple of 2 X 4’s over the top of the door. You’d see a much wider piece of wood (either 2 X 6 or 2 X 8) as part of the structure over
The final window frame piece, which has the most to do with water management, is the sill. Of course, the sill is designed to capture and move the water away from the inside of the home.
Now that we’ve established the “what’s,” let’s talk about the “how’s.”
Window Frame and Water Management
Last time, we determined that there are pretty vast differences in the cost of your new windows based on the frame and sash material that you choose for your project.
Maybe more so than any of the other material groups, the difference in the cost of replacement windows for your home varies wildly among vinyl window manufacturers and retailers. These costs may start around $350 to $400 per window on the low end and go all the way up $1500+ depending upon a number of factors.
As you can imagine, manufacturers make a number of decisions which affect their costs, and, ultimately, the price that gets charged in the marketplace. One of these decisions has to do with design.
As we mentioned earlier, a window frame should have a header, side rails
One of the ways that cheap vinyl replacement windows save cost (and unfortunately, even some“higher end” products do as well), is to replace the sill with a piece of
Window Frame Assembly
The final consideration from a vinyl window frame construction standpoint is how the frames pieces are connected together. There are two most common ways of doing so are mechanical fastening or fusion welding.
Almost exclusively the domain of the lowest cost replacement window products, mechanical fastening is literally screwing the pieces of vinyl together. Not only does this create instability, but also encourages air leakage which can negatively impact comfort and energy costs. Both metal and fiberglass/composite window frames use some version of this process.
Fusion welding is a process that uses heat to fuse two pieces of vinyl together providing a much stronger, virtually airtight seal for the corners of the frame (and, in our case, the sashes as well). This is
Vinyl Window Frame Insulation
If you ask homeowners what the most efficient door in their home is, you’ll likely get many different answers. If you really think about it, isn’t your freezer door the most efficient?
The temperature in your home
If you peeled apart that freezer door, you’d find an inch and a half of polyurethane insulation. It’s the same stuff that we use in our
On to the next step which affects the strength, security and thermal efficiency of your windows.