Windows -- why vinyl?

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wrote:

mounted with spray foam (low expanding - the proper stuff for the job) to make them air tight, and the gap to be sealed on the outside with caulk was less than 1/2 inch. Significantly less. The inside jams were custom cut onsite by myself to EXACTLY fill the gap between the vinyl window and the original interior window trim. A very small amount of wood filler and a coat of paint and they look like they have been there since the house was built - both inside and out.
Mine are all ( the ones I replaced myself) double side sliders. Swing in for cleaning. Rehau product - about the best you could buy 13 years ago.
I did not do the 2 windows in the brick at the back of the house - bathroom and kitchen - the kitchen replaced with a fixed pane instead of a slider. The company I hired to do the job wanted to do inserts, and I said no way - do them the way I want them done - the kitchen window was a tricky job due to the way the cabinets had been fitted around the window. I went over the measurements and product specs with them - when they popped the old windows out and saw what I knew from removing the other windows, they were glad they DID do them that way. They said afterwards it was half the work it would have been to do them as inserts, and again, they just look like they have been there from the very beginning.
I also did all the upstairs windows in the neighbour's house - same construction as mine - same crappy original contract windows. Exactly the same windows put in my house - even the same size - exactly. The crew from the company I worked for at the time installed the patio door and the 3 windows in the brick downstairs. I was in charge of a total renovation of the house at that time while the neighbour - a university prof, was on sabatical in Sweden. We designed the kitchen by e-mail - removed all the carpet and wallpaper, put in hardwood floors and repainted the complete interior (dust alergies) - and they were totally ipressed when the came home about a week after we finished the job. When they put an addition on back in 2003 I acted as project manager and spec'd the window to use at the front to match the others. They put in a totally different window - which looked TOTALLY out of place - I told them to tear it out and install the spec window to match the other 3. You would now be hard pressed to realize, visually, that there is an addition on the house. The spacing between the extra window and the originals is off by a couple of inches - Everthing looks like it was built at the same time - and the windows look like they have been there all along. If you look real close, the window in the addition is about 3/8 inch farther out than the rest, but you really need to KNOW it to see it.
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Without tearing off the wooden moulding on the outside, I could not order custom sized ones. I had no idea what was under that. I could then see what was behind the bricks.
Greg
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On Thu, 10 May 2012 15:00:21 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

You misunderstood, unless I'm misunderstanding you. I said if you use a stock sized window and make it fit the hole instead of having proper sized windows made TO fit the hole, it will usually mean extra work both inside and outside.

to re-trim inside and out.

Exactly the same procedure for installing "total replacement" windows except you remove the entire jam instead of just the sash and stops.
ALL of my original interior trim went right back on, with no trim work on the outside either.

If you make a window fit the hole, instead of making a window the correct size to fit the hole, you are modifying something to make it fit.

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On May 14, 11:03pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I didn't catch that you meant make a "stock window fit a non-standard opening". That certainly would be more work, which is why I mentioned that any window order from Simonton through Norandex is custom made based on the RO the installer supplies when ordering. As far as I know, they don't sell any "stock" window sizes. You supply an exact RO measurment and they downsize it a bit to allow for shimming.
Had I removed the sashes on my double hungs, I would have had to do (or have done) a lot of outside trim work since removing the sashes would have screwed up the aluminum wrap. As it was, I removed the aluminum wrap to get the aluminum screen frames out but then reinstalled the aluminum up against the VRW.
For the casement over the sink, the entire window, frame and all, had to be removed, so that took a bit more work to trim out the slider that I replaced it with. I used various styles of vinyl trim and built out a good looking profile on the exterior.

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On Tue, 15 May 2012 13:01:14 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

The beaty od doing it "right" is the aluminum wrap becomes superfluous. Like not needed. Get rid of it and the whole window is replaced with vinyl

no building out is required. And no crappy aluminum capping.
Makes the job so much nicer, AND EASIER.

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wrote:

treated wood. I've seen a lot of Pellas that were JUNK in 15 years. Andersens too.
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wrote:

will not (unless it lasts that long in the landfill)
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John Albert wrote:

http://www.aamanet.org/upload/file/Locked_Online_Vinyl_Windows_Designed_for_Performance.pdf
The Proof Is In the Performance
The simple reason for this revolution is cost-effective performance, which is the primary reason for specifying vinyl windows for residential and light commercial projects. In addition to well-promoted consumer benefits of economy and ease of maintenance, that performance is well documented in several key areas of particular interest to architects and specifiers, which are listed below and described in further detail later in this article:
- Low Maintenance - Heat Build-Up Characteristics - Energy Efficiency - Long-Term Durability - Structural Strength - Green Building - Weatherability - Lead Content - Chemical Resistance - Dioxin Releases - Fire Resistance - Solid Waste and Recyclability - Impact Resistance - Design Flexibility - Dimensional Stability - Exterior Colors and - Thermal Expansion Interior Finishes
Low Maintenance
Perhaps the original benefit of vinyl windows that was heavily promoted to the homeowner, low maintenance has been a prime factor in the exploding market share that vinyl products have enjoyed including floors and wall coverings as well as windows and doors. With vinyl windows, color can be integral to vinyl frames through the addition of pigments to the vinyl formulation, not a surface coating, so there is never a need for touch-up due to scratches. Extremely durable, vinyl products resist rotting, chipping, peeling and corrosion, are not susceptible to insect or fungus attack, and can be easily cleaned with a solution of mild soap and warm water. In fact, vinyls ability to be cleaned easily and thoroughly makes it a popular material for use in hospitals and other health care environments.
The economic, durability and low maintenance attributes of vinyl windows and doors led Habitat for Humanity International to choose them for its volunteer-built homes for families in need. Due to ease of installation, vinyl windows are ideally suited to the varying skill levels of the thousands of workers involved in Habitat builds each year. Vinyl building products are a cornerstone of affordable housing.
Energy Efficiency
Vinyls popularity in the U.S. is largely due to energy efficiency. Because it is such an effective thermal insulator (having a low U-factor, also known as U-value), vinyl is well recognized as an excellent frame material for energyefficient windows. Currently, 43% of the windows listed in the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) Certified Products Directory are framed with vinyl.
Many utilities are offering incentives to builders who install energy-efficient windows in homes. Federal and state tax incentives also offer rebates or special deductions for the use of these products. Vinyl windows are commonly used to meet these requirements. The Department of Energys (DOE) Energy Star program sets forth climatedependent criteria for window performance which are easily met by vinyl products.
All energy-saving glazing options are of course available in vinyl windows: double or triple pane insulating glazing, with air or gas (argon or krypton) infills, or low emissivity (low-E) coatings. The latter are composed of an extremely thin layer of metal applied to glass to maximize beneficial solar heat gain and reflect heat back into the house. When applied to the outer pane (typically for use in hot climates), low-E coating minimizes heat gain and reflects heat back outdoors.
For example, the typical U-factor of vinyl window frames ranges from 0.3 to 0.5, with lower numbers meaning less heat flow and better thermal performance. The ultimate goal expressed in the U.S. Department of Energys 2020 R&D Roadmap is to develop windows that have zero annual energy cost. The industry already envisions super windows that will use spectrally selective and automated electrochromatic glazing to admit solar heat gain in winter to supplant heat loss and reflect heat back outside in summer. The multi-chambered vinyl product frames are designed to trap air, known to provide optimal insulating characteristics against heat transfer year-round.
In addition to saving on home heating and cooling bills, the manufacture of vinyl products takes relatively little energy. Production of all vinyl products worldwide accounts for less than 0.3% of all oil and gas consumption, with windows and doors accounting for a small fraction of that. Vinyl Institute figures show that the use of vinyl as a construction material actually saves more than 40 million barrels of oil per year compared to other building and construction alternatives. Vinyl products in general have low embodied energy, which is the amount of energy used to convert raw material into a final product. A lifecycle study by Franklin Associates has shown that the use of vinyl over alternatives in window frames saves the United States nearly two trillion BTUs of energy per year, enough to meet the yearly electrical needs of 20,000 single-family homes.
(etc etc)
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On 5/9/2012 6:21 PM, Home Guy wrote:

That means that 57% aren't... :)
...

The typical U-factor for a wood window frame is also in the above range. At the last I saw, the ASHRAE Handbook doesn't distinguish in U performance ratings between wood and vinyl frame materials; only between them and Al and Al w/ thermal break. With double pane or more and hi-e glass options, the ability of a wood or vinyl window's performance is primarily owing to the selection of which glass, the number of panes and similar design details.
It seems the above site is primarily the trade association for the vinyl manufacturers; surely they're tooting their horn.
It boils down to cost is the driving factor at a given performance; a wood window is more expensive. Then again, it looks like something a vinyl window tries to imitate but invariably come up short against.
--
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wrote:

What isn't made of vinyl or plastics these days? If vinyl windows are as crappy as vinyl siding, I want no part of them. And if you get them, be sure to never use the BBQ grill near them. Ever seen what happens when a grill or any flame is near vinyl siding. I have, the shit just melts.
My choice would be plain wood windows, with aluminum storm windows. But do they still sell aluminum storms? I'm looking for 3 small aluminum storms for my back porch. The big box stores dont have them. One guy told me I will have to get them custom made, but could not tell me where. Just the use of the word "custom" tells me they will be extremely expensive.
I think they're something like 20 x 30 inches. I have four matching much larger alum storm windows. I've been considering making my own storms for the porch by taking these larger ones apart and cutting them smaller, but it seems like a huge job. The frames look easy enough to rebuild, but the windows themselves look a lot more complicated. I almost think I could build wooden ones easier. The interior windows and the frames are fine, it's just the storms that are rotting, and one actually fell apart, so I had to cut strips of tin to keep it together.
As far as vinyl lasting 100 years, all I can say is dream on.... Plastics exposed to sunlight just fall apart over time.
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On Thu, 10 May 2012 02:09:23 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

Sounds like you're trying to set your house on fire.

Aluminum storm widows suck. Wood core, vinyl-clad, frames with double-pane windows (add low-E options as the budget allows) are far better. Forget storm windows altogether.

Not so much.
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wrote:

Don't know if any other responders mentioned this but others are right... vinyl replacements can look cheap and terrible or pretty darn normal and original. My guess is that it is based on cost.
At my own home I wanted the original 8 over 8 double hung so I used a system called "Bi-Glass" that I saw on This Old House. They use the original frames and sash but route them out and install double paned glass along with new side rails. They look like original (cause most of them are original) and still do a very respectable job of insulating.
Good luck -
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