Window construction should be one of the top considerations when choosing replacement windows for your home. Solid, energy-efficient windows will save you money heating and cooling your home. In addition, replacement windows will add value to your home.
Q. In terms of window construction, what makes for a better grade, more durable vinyl window?
A. The corners of the window frame and sashes should be fusion-welded (heat-welded) for a weathertight construction. Beware of windows with mitered corners screwed together or chemically welded corners, as they may decline in performance over time. You’ll also want to take a look at the vinyl extrusions in the window frame and sash. At a quick glance all vinyl windows may look similar, but there can be dramatic differences in the quality of the vinyl used. Some windows, built with lower-quality vinyl that has a dull blue or gray cast, can become brittle over time. Clearwater Windows are constructed with premium vinyl extrusions to ensure the frame and sashes provide long-lasting beauty and performance.
Q. What other window construction features should I be aware of?
A. When you compare one window to the next, you’ll see – and feel – the quality difference. Clearwater Windows begin with a computer- controlled construction of the mainframe and steel-reinforced sash to produce a solidly built window with superior strength. Most windows come standard with double-strength glass for an exceptionally strong barrier. Interlocking meeting rails and thickset multi-chambered extrusions further add to the structural integrity and insulation, while multi-layer weather-stripping, a compression bulb seal and drop-in glazing provide excellent thermal protection. You’ll also want to test the window’s moving parts. Clearwater Double-Hung Windows, for example, feature a full interlock at the meeting rails to seal the window tightly shut and a constant force balance system to ensure smooth and easy operation of the moving sash.
Q. Do I need a professional?
A. Hiring a professional is a smart decision on many levels. A trained eye and skillful hand will clearly show in the beautiful installation, indoor comfort and thermal efﬁciency of your home. A professional will also be able to make design suggestions to help in the decision process. You’ll want to make sure the contractor you hire is licensed, bonded and experienced. While you may be tempted to install the windows yourself, you may not be prepared for the difﬁcult installation challenges or structural damage to your home that could occur, along with the risk of voiding the window warranty. A professional installer will also be up to date on codes relating to lead, energy, and more.