On Fri, 17 Dec 2004 09:18:52 +0000 (UTC), someone wrote:
Oh the irony. Wood windows do not have any raised "wood grain", they
are sanded smooth. Wood siding is similar. Vinyl clapboards have
"wood grain", while my actual wood clapboards are smooth.....
Reply to NG only - this e.mail address goes to a kill file.
Depends on how it's finished--don't see much grain on a Steinway grand,
for example. :)
But, in general, I get your drift...and concur wrt vinyl--in areas w/
high UV exposure even expensive vinyl tends to break down. On a related
topic, some of the <very> expensive vinyl fences in town have sagged and
discolored so badly in only about 10 years they're being taken down.
But what's the sense in paying as much (or even more) than wood for a
product that doesn't do that much better? Painting a good quality wood
will keep it functional and look better besides (the vinyl products
<look> like vinyl--edges aren't crisp, slats are wide...)
I'm wondering where're you're located...in milder climates, a lot of
things last better than here in the arid southwest with strong sun, high
winds, temperature extremes...
Repainting is more frequent here than where I lived in TN/VA, too... :(
but at least it <can> be repainted :)
I'll hold my tongue as far as the fences go. I'm not a big fan of them,
wood or vinyl. But, I live where the extremes in the country are. The
Midwest up by Lake Erie, where temperatures can be -30 to +105. The
products in this area pretty much prove themselves or not, in short order.
Temperature extremes are even greater here, particularly daily swings
are much larger in arid climates than in more humid ones (humid air has
higher heat capacity, therefore doesn't gain/lose heat nearly as
rapidly). We don't get the below zero stuff as frequently as there, but
it has been -40 here in my lifetime and we'll normally get 110 or so at
least a couple of times each year and a lot of >100 (although this past
summer was surprisingly mild--I think we had only 10 or so +100 days all
The primary difference I see in comparing any building materials here
where I grew up and presently reside to the 30 years I spent elsewhere
(SE/mid-Atlantic, whatever you want to call it) is the UV. Elevation
and clear skies contribute to that as well. We'll see whether current
vinyl windows installed in these areas will last over time--well, I
probably won't, but the young sprouts will... :)
I'm not holding out much odds yet that any plastic product will make
even 30 years here. Many of the replacement products that work
routinely elsewhere just don't have the survivability here.
I'm like Dimitri, though...most of my complaint is they just <look> like
vinyl (at least everyone I've seen yet).
I'm looking at an addition to the house for sometime the next couple of
years...it's a frame two-story square farmhouse built 1914-15. Windows
are double hung w/ leaded glass upper lights. Nine narrow vertical
sections w/ overlapping triangles at the top and bottom which make a
2-1/2"-sq diamond pattern across the top and bottom ... anybody able to
do that w/ double glazing? So far, I've not found even a wood window
that is a close enough match although I haven't yet done a custom-made
request. I may learn how to do the leaded glass and end up building
them myself except I can't do double pane. (I have all the shop stuff
needed and am making new ones for the barn now--they weren't painted for
50 years so they <didn't> last).
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Something like the above pattern if the angles were 45-deg...that won't
look at all like anything unless you have a fixed font, of course...the
really neat thing about the current windows is that none of them have
been broken so they still have the original glass w/ the occasional
imperfections, etc....some of the lower panes have been broken because
the eave overhang is enough to keep them protected from really strong
I'm sure you're looking at custom glass for what you want. Someone
somewhere will do it, for a price. OTOH, if you could do your own glass. It
would be worth a few phone calls to glass shops, and inquire about you
supplying the glass, if they would make double pane units for you.
Good Luck on that one, sounds like an interesting project.
You don't need to do a double glazed window. You can use insulated glass,
instead. You will need to have these custom-made, of course. I used
insulated glass in my 1929 English and it looks much more authentic than
a double glazed window. It insulates sound better than a dual pane window,
although it is not as energy efficient. However, I am of the opinion that
energy efficient windows are a little silly anyway since they are after
all windows letting in light and (when open) air. They are never going to
insulate like a wall can and will always be a place where energy is lost.
The one drawback of insulated glass is that it is HEAVY. If your
double-hung windows work with weights like mine do then you will need
a bigger weight and sometimes a bigger weight just won't fit.
Well, sure they're going to be an energy leak as compared to a R11+
wall, but there's no sense in not doing something to improve their
efficiency. A small improvement in a large loss is often much more
cost-effective than a large improvement in a small loss. With
increasing energy costs this is only going to be more significant in the
These will be new installations so they'll go into standard modern
frames. The existing windows were retrofit into frames ditching the
window weights a number of years ago when Dad remodeled the house after
my grandmother passed away.
Windows, by their nature, are aesthetic. If it was about efficiency you
wouldn't have any at all. The dual pane windows are not as aesthetically
pleasing, IMO. At a minimum, check out insulated glass. I will make sure
all the windows in my house are insulated glass, even the ones that
are currently gas-filled dual glazed.
Ok, my cedar siding has a sloid body stain on it (and there is plenty of
painted cedar) so it's all the same color too. Only the raised grain is
there to see. I put it up rough-side-out, so the grain is more
pronounced, though it is all the same color. I've since seen some damned
nice vinyl, with very nice corner-boards too. I was impressed, if not
just a little depressed after spending a *fortune* on cedar that I'll
have to stain every couple of years.
Wood Windows? Not a chance! Mine are metal clad wood, but I'd go for
good vinyl clad windows any day.
We also ended up deciding not to get wood, once we finally got people to
stop pushing vinyl. (These weren't just low-end companies, either, they
were contractors whose ads touted high-end wood windows and restoration
work, yet they still tried to sell us vinyl.)
In the end we found a better match for the original millwork, with very
low maintenance and a paintable surface, and mullions inside and out,
going with fiberglass.
Luckily we're in a house where we're free to use modern materials. If
the historic preservationists wanted the house done up with all original
materials, they could have paid for it themselves, but they didn't, it's
ours and we're free to upgrade where we want
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
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