What Types of Windows Are Right for You?
by Hoffman Weber Construction, on July 08, 2020
We ask a lot of our home’s windows. They must keep us comfortable and safe indoors, frame a nice view of the outdoor, conserve energy, let fresh air in and moisture out, and be a breeze to clean-- all while looking good. It’s no wonder that selecting the right windows and getting them installed properly can be challenging and expensive.
Hoffman Weber partners with Andersen, Pella and Lindsay for windows and doors. We can help you make all the right choices, whether you are recovering from hail damage, planning an addition or upgrading all of your windows and doors to meet modern energy codes and improve comfort.
Full-Frame, Pocket or Sash-only Installation?
Because windows normally are installed before exterior siding and interior trim, they are harder and more expensive to retrofit than to install when homes are under construction. If you are considering replacing your windows, your first decision is whether you need complete new-construction (full-frame) windows, replacement windows, replacement sash and jamb liners, or some combination of these variations.
New Construction Windows
Adjacent siding must be cut back or removed to replace existing windows with new construction windows. This adds time and materials to the job, but it is warranted if the frames around the old windows are shot or were installed poorly in the first place. After windows are installed, elastomeric weatherproofing tape is installed over the new windows’ nailing fins or weather flanges. If the siding was cut back, trim is installed alongside the window and sealed with top quality, color-matched polyurethane caulk. Alternatively, new siding is installed and caulked. That’s not a great option if the home is faced with brick or stucco. Some installers simply remove the weather flanges from around new construction windows and install them without disturbing the siding. This approach relies entirely on caulk to keep weather out so we don’t recommend it.
Replacement (Pocket) Windows
These custom units are designed to fit inside the original jamb, so the exterior siding and interior surfaces are not affected. To compensate for the thickness of the new jamb and maintain the same glass area, the frame around the glass typically is narrower. Each opening must be carefully measured for size, squareness and level to ensure the new window fits tightly and operates smoothly as seasons change.
When window jambs and sills are sound but the windows themselves are bad, you may be able to simply replace the sash (the glass and surrounding wood frames) and the jamb liners that control the movement of double-hung windows.
When appropriate, replacement windows or replacement sash eliminate costs associated with restoring and refinishing surrounding surfaces indoors and out. But they should only be considered if the window jambs and sills are in good condition. North-facing windows that receive the brunt of harsh weather may deteriorate faster than other windows. Hoffman Weber Construction will check behind every jamb liner and probe sills for signs of rot or moisture. We also will inspect exterior flashing and surfaces to make sure the existing frames are properly weather-sealed.
Read: Painless Window Guide
Thorough Inspection is First Step
When hail strikes windows, it can dent exterior cladding and compromise insulated glazing unit seals that keep inert gas between the insulating panes. Aesthetic damage to the cladding is obvious, but the hidden seals damage is what affects actual performance. Damaged seals can lead to fogging and energy loss months after the server storm event. If you see any hail dents, contact Hoffman Weber for a Zero Pressure consultation and thorough inspection. You may be able to stretch your insurance settlement and have everything match by installing new construction windows where needed and replacement sash where the existing frames are sound.