Replacing Glass in French Door

DHam007March 7, 2014

Hello, my wife and I are looking at replacing some old windows in our house, and we've done some searching and found an installer and brand we like at a fair price. Our question is related to our French Doors.

We have 4 sets of double french doors (with 48" total span) on the front of our house. Evidently, this is a pretty rare and expensive fix. It will cost us 2-3 times the cost of all the windows in the house to replace these doors. I want to make clear that I realize you have to pay a fair price if you want a good installer and a good product. This comes down to we just don't think we can afford to do the doors with the windows, and we're likely to do the windows first as they are probably a bigger source of energy savings.

As the doors themselves are all in good condition we were wondering if it was possible to replace just the glass with a higher efficiency glass (they are all single pane at the moment, and we'd like to go to double pane and as efficient as we can get). If it is possible, would this be likely to save any money over a whole door/jam set up? More importantly would it make the door appreciably more energy efficient? The door is currently a wood door, with no drafts around it as it has "seal" foam strips to prevent this. I realize it won't be as good as a new door, but if we could get significant benefit over the single pane at a reduced cost, then it would be something we'd consider. ALternatively, if this doesn't work, as a stop gap until we can afford the switch, do the insulating window dressings really make any difference? I'd appreciate any advice we can get on a way that we could approach this for the doors.


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If they are quality doors, it may be worth your while to do it. If you have true divided lites probably not as it is questionable as to whether the an insulated glass unit would fit in the rabbetted glazing pocket.
If these are one lite doors, have a reputable glass company come by and assess whether it can be done. Tempered glass as required in doors is expensive. New glazing stops would also be needed.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 11:18AM
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Hi Eastbay10,

Thanks for the information. If I'm understanding what you are saying, I doubt it would make sense for us, or even be possible. Our doors are presumably old, and I'm relatively sure they are multiple not single lite. That said, I'm no expert, so I'll get a reputable glass company to come over and give us a look.

I know it won't make any difference in my particular case as price will depend on what is done and on quality of materials and work (and rightfully so), but is there a ball park for what we'd expect if it were one lite? (I mean very rough, are we looking at $500/door? 2000/door? etc). I just want to make sure I have some idea of what we're dealing with.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 2:45PM
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I don't get involved in retail glass replacement so I can't help. There is probably someone else on the board that can give you some idea.
From what you said with the doors being old and multiple lites, it doesn't sound cost effective.
Another idea would be to reframe the openings and turn them into four foot wide windows. Those would be significantly less than new French doors or maybe leave one a door and turn the other two into windows. Just a thought without seeing it.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 5:34PM
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Is the current glass safety glass( tempered or laminated).
If doing new tempered low e argon double panes is to costly perhaps you can add storm panels neither glazed with tempered low e or acrylic, till you can get the doors replaced.
Andersen makes 4' French doors, that where I would start if replacing.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 7:20AM
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Just curious, but is your only consideration in replacing those doors (and windows) to save energy/money, or are there other reasons as well?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 10:47PM
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Energy almost entirely, though I suppose there may be some aesthetic value gain. No leaks or issues like that. Our windows are just so inefficient it isn't funny. The doors (I think) are somewhat less so, but the repayment period on the doors might be above what we're willing to commit to the house (and above our means at the moment). Why do you ask?

Also, thought I posted replies yesterday that don't appear. I'll look into Andersen doors, and we thought of the idea of windows, but really like the doors. THanks for the ideas.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:06AM
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The right windows and doors are going to save energy, no question about that, but partly depending on where you live, replacing doors and windows strictly for the energy savings may not be quite the great idea that it appears at first glance.

If saving money on your energy costs is your primary motivator, I would suggest that there are better ways to do so than replacig windows.

If you want to improve comfort, because the living room is freezing all winter and boiling all summer, while you are taxing your mechanicals all year around and they just can't keep up, then that could definitely be a valid reason for replacement. If the doors and windows are pretty much junk then obviously thats a no-brainer.

Heck if you have double-hungs and you want casements, that would be a good reason too. But once again, if it is ONLY for potential energy and/or money savings, I would recommend that you might consider a home energy audit before jumping into window and door replacement.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:59AM
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Hi Oberon,

Okay fair points. I suppose we could look at that, and I think I was including our level of comfort within the energy savings portion :). Our rooms are big rooms are quite cold when it's cold and our AC runs a lot when it's hot, we're in Louisiana. I don't know that the windows and doors are junk necessarily (again not an expert), but our windows are single panes with aluminum frames from the 1980s (I assume original to the house, but I can't say for sure).

You do make a good point though there might be easier ways to improve our efficiency. I don't think the house was really built with efficiency in mind, so there might be a lot of easy things I don't know about. For example we have closets on the outside walls that are saunas in the summer and frigid in the winter (well relatively as far as LA gets frigid...). I wonder if there's even insulation in the walls it's so bad. Short of pulling the sheetrock though, is there anyway to install (cost effectively) insulation in existing walls?

Anyhow, so many questions, and I apologize for my naivtee. I'm happy to get any insight I can get, and perhaps the energy audit is the most logical first step.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:35PM
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It just so happens that there is an home energy rater from Louisiana who happens to hang out in these forums.

She goes by the name ERLA (go figure)...

I might suggest that if you are interested you can title a post in the building a home forum with ERLA in the title and ask her to drop in here and participate in your thread.

She is good, trust me on that one.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 4:09PM
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lots of things have a bigger effect on comfort
and energy savings than window/door change outs.
here in La. window/door change outs have a long payback
and small energy savings (about 15%).

tell me more about your house.
single story or multi story
on slab or on piers
what sq ft is the living space
what size &type hvac system
where are ducts located
where is heating system located

what are interior walls..sheetrock or paneling

along with the dozen questions to answer..think about this.
back in the 1980's homes were not built tightly, and have a lot
of areas where air leaks into the house.
if you seal the air leaks, then it is less costly to heat/cool
and comfort is achieved. insulation slows temp transfer
but it doesn't stop air movement.
sealing leakage sites is your best bang for your buck.

sealing leaks in ductwork/returns is the next biggest
bang for your buck.
both require inexpensive materials, but lots of labor.

that the central runs a lot in the summer isn't a bad thing.
it is the oversized units that run 10 minutes on & off all day
that cost you money & comfort.

blower door testing the house to find leakage sites,
and testing duct work for leaks is not uncommon here in La.
do some googling of these testing methods & we'll talk more.

its been a LONG someone's attic all morning, &
then under their house sealing ducts & gaps in floors all
afternoon. achy, tired & not thinking well enough to explain
better just yet. but I will...just work on my questions &
do a little self education ...we will go from there.

btw in what area of La. are you located?

best of luck.

(Hey ya doing? I forget gw has a window
forum..but if you are here...everyone is in good hands!)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 11:37PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd I chopped liver....?

Just kidding.


You will find that we have very few inquiries as it pertains to people changing out their windows on the basis of efficiency only and given the fact that the two most significant contributors on the windows side (Me and HomeSealed) are both BPI (envelope and analyst) certified, we steer people in the right direction.

Just like you would argue that you need to know more about the home prior to making an assessment, I would also argue that the "company line" of only saving "X" on windows is also a bit outdated.

We see homes that show massive tightness improvements when we change out the window and the savings far exceed what you are referencing above.

Usually and to a larger extent because of the envelope tightness improvements, but, as you said, every home is different.

Glad to have your contribution.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 10:06AM
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I stand by my numbers as I have run them many times in my arch energy software used by people in my resnet field.
the numbers may change in other climates, but here in my state...the 15% savings is accuarate.

locally we have window companies promoting 40% savings..
which just isn't happening. I usually get called after the big bucks have been spent on windows...and by tightning the home,
reducing duct leakage and specific to that home upgrades
achieve 50% savings in existing homes.

kudos to you & your company for involving building envelope
& bpi training,,,here in La. your company would be the exception,,,
not the norm.

there is a La. based window company that installs good quality
windows for a very fair price..and I recommend them often...but
not at inflated savings or reduced payback of investment.

didn't intend to slight you..just Oberon & I go way way back...
glad to see that the two of you have this forum covered.
I'll have to visit more often to be more familiar with your postings.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 1:22PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


I am not saying that any guaranteed saving rate is acceptable and whatever company is doing that better watch their arse if they are doing that.

LA being a much more CDD vs. HDD dominated climate would support that idea that savings will be mitigated. It is cheaper to cool your home as compared to cool it from the outset.

It largely depends on window types and application as well. We have a bunch of steel casement, steel pan, single pane glass in the older sections. Between the terrible seal, thermal rating and hollow cavities behind the jambs, the saving can easily approach 30% on a smaller home with a good amount of glass.

I have done test in and test out on home where we just did windows and dropped +30% on the blower door number. We wound up tightening the home so much with the 2nd phase window project (full air sealing and insulation was first) that we had to have an ERV installed.

Thanks again for posting and I was just busting your chops about chopped liver.

If you hand around long will learn very quickly that I have a sense of humor and am usually joking.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 2:37PM
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So clearly, I have to research this blower test, but ERLA, I have to ask, can you direct me toward this reasonable LA based window company so I can get some idea of whether the quotes I've seen are reasonable? Price wise, they both seemed okay, but from what I read one company's windows are not good and the other's are (based on the expert opinions on this board, and I just can't tell the difference).

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 5:01PM
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Hiya ERLA, ltns!!

I hope that you are doing well!

LOL WoW!! I grew up eating "chopped liver" - otherwise known as either liverwurst or braunschweiger. Loved the stuff as a kid; haven't had it for awhile, but would probably still enjoy it I assume.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the back and forth between the two of you (and btw to both, you were discussing with one of the friendliest, most knowledgeable, and very best people that it has been my pleasure and privilege to have met online in all the years that I have been doing this...enjoy!!).

DHam, the purpose of my questions was simply to give you a few alternatives to consider before you spent a bundle of money.

I was not suggesting that replacing your windows would be a bad idea, just that you had all the details before you made the final decision.

I would strongly suggest however that you are getting some great advice from a couple of absolute top-of-the-line professionals, advice that you would be hard pressed to get for free out of here. For you as well, enjoy!

To ERLA and WoW, I would never suggest that air sealing wasn't an absolute necessity when dealing with energy performance and savings, but I would suggest that as important as air sealing is, don't discount the effects of the glazing when considering window performance.

In a heating dominated climate I would suggest that the greater the delta V the more important is the glass make-up, and in a cooling dominated climate I would suggest that stopping solar heat gain is a pretty significant factor in energy performance.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 9:55PM
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Hi Oberon,

I didn't take it in a bad way. I'm all ears for more economical ways to save the same amount of heating and cooling costs. If the sealing helps as much or more for smaller cost, great. If the cost is small enough we might be able to do both. I was once an engineering in construction (though not residential) and my dad was in code enforcement for a while, so I'm familiar at least vaguely with most of the terms, but very novice in their application. More than happy to listen to experts to get the best bang for the buck.

I think we did some easy things, like redoing our kitchen nook which was a bit "drafty". We realized this was because the nails that were supposed to anchor into the toe plate missed and we literally could look straight to the outside... That made that area significantly better. Then we installed some doors on the fireplace which was drafty. Since it's gas, my recollection is the code requires a spacer to keep the flue open a bit at all times... that's also a bit warmer now. However aside from rather obvious huge issues like that, I probably wouldn't know that we had an issue. I'm not sure how bad our current windows are our our bill is in comparison to other homes. Perhaps I should look at that I guess. Is there a standard for what is good for heating (gas) and cooling (electric) in my area that I could reference? That is can I say that my average bill is x, and compare to some standard y to see how well (or more likely how badly) we are doing? I assume there's also a standard that would come into play for the right amount of attic insulation, right? I looked a bit into energy audits briefly today. I saw an add for about $100 audit that was usually $400, supposedly. Is that a fair going price? I have no idea what a reasonable charge is for that service, and I'm cautious about believing the level of discount without further exploration.

I'll try to do some further research on some of the topics mentioned this weekend. THanks.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:15PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


I love liverwurst. Good stuff. My dad raised me on stuff like that, pigs feet, gefilte fish, etc.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 1:27PM
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DHam, no offense taken in any way. Good luck on the project!

WoW, I have never had either pigs feet or geflite fish...not sure what to make of either of them.

I prefer my fish raw and either wrapped in sticky rice and seaweed or else on top of sticky rice and seaweed, depending on my mood at the time!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 3:12PM
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Hi All,
Thanks for all the advice. We got a bit busy, and haven't actually moved on this yet. We did however have an energy audit done, and found some interesting things. As inefficient as we thought our house was (built in the early 1980s, aluminum frame windows, sheetrock etc.), the auditor was surprised that we were leaking as little as we were in the blower test. (Recollection is he said it was equivalent to a 12"x12" opening in total, which he actually said was okay). The biggest window/door issue was actually on our newest supposedly most energy efficient door, that just has a draft around it. He also said based upon our windows that we probably wouldn't see that much benefit from new windows, as most are in the shade and not drafty, even if they are single pane and aluminum frame. His "push" was to make the attic a conditioned space (which he does), but he wasn't really pushy. He gave us a list of options, and said the best bang for the buck would be to simply seal the holes for wire coming from the tops of the wall plate to the electric outlets, which I can do.

We're still considering the windows, and we've just gotten a second quote, which is a tad higher, simply because of an increase in costs of supplies. However, now we realize that a lot of it is an aesthetic and convenience thing for us, not necessarily a payback issue.

ERLA, is there a way I could get you to let me know who this reputable LA window installer is? I don't know what's "legal" to post on the website, or if I can give you my contact info for an email (assuming that's allowed).


    Bookmark   September 24, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Why would he recommend to condition the attic?

Can you post up a picture of the home?

If you are not using the attic as a conditioned space and your have available ventilation, putting foam on the underside of the roof is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.

Sealing all the top plates is recommended as it increasing the R-value of the insulation.

Spraying foam, and then the require intumescent paint, is a huge waste of money.

How much foam (depth) was he recommending?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2014 at 4:36PM
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Hi Wow,

I thought I'd posted a response previously, but it doesn't appear to show up.

I'll try to update from what I remember of the conditioned space estimate. My recollection is that the argument was that if we did that the ducts in the attic would no longer be leaking cold air into a hot attic, and the venting I believe was going to also be sealed. In fairness the guy said the best bang for the buck was simply sealing the top plate. I don't really remember much else as we were not at all interested in this method, as we wanted to have access to different points in the attic that would be hindered by this method before even getting to whether it made other sense or not (which I guess it doesn't).

So I guess now the question is whether we wish to update the windows or not. Previous forum comments have suggested staying away from Window world (though my parents have some and love them... I don't have the heart to tell them the general opinion of these on the forum).

We're looking at Wincore, and we were thinking of going with the 7700 series, but I see they have what I think is a new 8800 series. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with the wincore line, and could tell me if the 5400, 7700 and 8800 are decent windows. What are the differences between them that make them better or worse and are the 7700 or 8800 worth the extra money over the 5400 series. (I'm a novice, so basic terminology and translations to what that means would be appreciate :)). We are not looking to nickel and dime a good window or installer, but we want to get a feel for whether we benefit from upgrading from one grade to the next (again we're planning the 7700 at this point). We don't want junk, but we don't really need the Ferrari of windows either. Any advice on this would be appreciated.

Also thanks on the previous advice. We realize that we might simply likely these windows enough more than our old ones to justify the purchase even if it doesn't pay for itself quickly.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 11:56PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Sealing the top plates, penetrations (plumbing, can lights, mechanical chase, etc.) is an absolute must regardless.

Seal everything, make sure the ventilation isn't obstructed, seal up all the ductwork connections, and blow in cellulose to R-50.

The Wincore window is a decent product.

Air infiltration ratings are anything to write home about but the window is otherwise solid and a better choice than what your parents went with.

Windows will not pay for themselves on any sort of fuel savings ROI schedule. They will largely offset their cost in resale ROI.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2014 at 7:08AM
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Thanks for the feedback, WoW. So i guess sealing the top plates is a good first step, and sealing all the can lights and other light fixtures (we actually have an old fluorescent fixture that had about a fist size whole through the ceiling to the attic, that you couldn't see until you switched the light bulb. So a novice question here. What type of sealant? Something like a great stuff, or do they make product more suited to this particular task of sealing the top plates?

Another few questions about blowing the cellulose in. First, does this make more difficult to access the equipment and storage (so do i have to redo any of the plywood I've currently got up there?). Also, is this safe to use around pilot lights / can I build barriers to do this safely. I've got a gas water heater and gas furnace up there, and if cellulose is flammable, that could be an issue. I'd assume it's retardant like most insulation, but would rather ask the question.

Also, on the Wincore comment, I have a few follow ups. When you say that the infiltration ratings are not anything to write home about, does that mean they are kind of mid-range respectable or bad? Also, so I'm tracking isn't air infiltration a measure of how much Air Moves through them from inside to out? If so, isn't that kind of one of the most critical issues to make sure that they are as efficient as possible? I hope that's not sound accusatory, it's not supposed to. I'm really trying to learn just what I'm getting, and I don't know windows well, obviously. Also, in your opinion is there a lot of difference between the 5500, 7700 and 8800 lines? I'm sure that there are the ones I've read about in the specs, but I guess I'm trying to get more of a practical read. Is there a practical difference for a homeowner?


    Bookmark   September 26, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

You will likely use caulking or spray foam (froth packs are easier) to seal the top plates.

You need to build containments out of a fireproof material around the can lights.

You will need to build something to keep the insulation off and from around the HVAC and water heater.

Mid range to high on the air numbers if memory serves me correctly. Air infiltration is probably second to U-factor in looking at efficiency.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2014 at 9:04AM
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Hi WindowsOnWashington,

Thanks again for the info. One other thing that I was looking at today was that the new replacement windows seem to have much thicker frames than what I've got now. I've attached a photoshopped picture pulled from some gallery photos from the installer (left, white) and our existing, old windows in the actual picture (dark, right). So, it's big wall of 4 windows right next to each other. WHat I mean is that the vertical divisions seem much wider in the new windows than the old, which could obscure views.

If I'm doing this anywhere near accurately, it seems like the border between windows is about 2-3 as wide for the new windows. As these are going to look into our backyard, and we like the view, I'd prefer to avoid that.

So my questions are 1.) is my assertion accurate, or am I over thinking this? 2.) Assuming the frame is generally wider, is this avoidable with new/decent windows? 2.) If so, how?

I'm wondering what my options are. We're thinking we really like the idea of new windows now, but we don't want to ruin the view of our back yard with another foot of total view blocked or so. I realize there are tradeoffs to everything, but I'm wondering if there's a way to accomplish getting updated windows without this issue.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2014 at 12:52AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

That image is probably pretty accurate.

Specify for a full tear out and go with a new construction option (i.e. pull the exterior trim and set it to the rough opening).

If you are worried about the impact view, go with a different combination.

I would put a large picture in the middle with Double Hung flankers.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Thanks, that's kind of what I was thinking with the picture in the middle. How does that usually affect the cost? Is picture window more or less than two double hungs?

More importantly, why would you recommend the new construction vs. replacement? How does that affect cost? WHat's the benefit? Again, I'm not trying to penny pinch, but I'd like to know what the tradeoffs are.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2014 at 6:57PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Tough to say.

Picture will absolutely have to be tempered in that case.

New construction (i.e. nail flange) option is recommended here give the ease of that option with the 4" trim and the size of that window that you will be pulling out.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2014 at 10:10PM
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Okay, and okay.

Sorry for being slow, but I'm trying to understand why that would be easier (and I'm not saying it's not, I'm just curious and want to clarify). Does it look nicer in the end, or is simply an ease of install due to the sizes being smaller or something? Also would the new construction force us to change the inside finishes as well?

Also, I'm pretty sure the existing setup is actually 4 windows too, maybe 2, but I think 4 with shared internal frames if that's possible. Maybe it's not :). All do have the ability to open and close the lower portion individually.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2014 at 1:30PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

I am guessing the interior is a drywall return? If so, no. Finish would be the same.

New construction will also get you a slightly larger window size.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2014 at 2:03PM
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Windows on Washington,
Again, thanks for answering my endless stream of questions.

Drywall, with wooden trim around the bottom/sill. Does the larger window come from smaller frame or just because it sits differently in the rough out? Would the outside wooden boarder then sit back on top of the window instead of having the outside seal sit on top of the existing boarder (assuming that's what happens with replacments, but maybe not?)?

Another thought I had was what about end-vented sliders? This might give us the option of a picture window middle with even less in the way of the view than double hungs on the end. I'm curious to know if that's even possible, and if it is if there are any drawbacks to the sliders, particularly from a security stand point.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 12:20AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

New construction will mean that it will not sit inside the drywall return and will go to the rough opening.

Wood border would go on top of the nailing flange and butt up to the screen track.

Sliders are not as robust as double hungs but if someone wants in, they will get in.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 6:17PM
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Hi WoW,

Thanks. So, if I'm understanding a new construction would sit under the border, and require the border be removed, whereas a replacement window would sit on top (well "outside") part of the border, overlapping it? If that's accurate, what's the normal overlap. We really don't want to lose the border, which we kind of like.

Ends up the slider option is off the table anyway, as the opening is too big.

One other question, with replacement windows, whats the normal distance between the main pane of one window and another window. I ask because as I mentioned, we're concerned about the extra vertical blocking. Right now, our frames have only 2.5" between the pane of one window and the next. The installer we're likely going to choose said that it was "about 3 inches" from pane to pane, but looking at the example galleries of their work, it looks like it's got to be at least 4.5" maybe 5-6". This might be unavoidable,unless we go to a full picture window, but I'd like to do what I can to minimize it.

Would a picture window to double hung have less thickness on the shared vertical sides than a double hung to double hung if we went with a picture window flanked by double hungs on the ends? or would the frame/borders that were shared likely be the same thickness in field of view?

Another option to clear the view is do away with the grids, but we like them and they match the doors nearby.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2014 at 1:49PM
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One thing that I just can't get out of my head is the width of these window frames. Is there a good window out there with narrower frames? I might not get to the 2.5" that I have for the "vertical" frame splits in my existing big window, but I'd like to know if there's something narrower than the wincore 7700s. What about a sunrise or okna (can we even get that in Louisiana)? Or perhaps a different frame type (Fiberglass maybe)?

I realize some of these might be more $, but I don't want to ruin the big window with a big frame. AM I just over thinking this?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 2:30AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Fiberglass might be a bit narrower but I think you are probably over analyzing this at this point.

On an opening of that size, if you change the arrangement to an operator style that will give you a bit more glass (i.e. 3-Lite slider), you will have more glass than you have now.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 8:12AM
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I might be over thinking this, indeed. But I want to make sure I don't have buyers remorse of my own doing. The wincore line, which is what we are leaning toward doesn't have a 3-lite that will fit the opening. It's too big. We might do double hungs flanking a picture window or 3 double hungs.

We had a Marvin quote, which seemed fair we had the wood clad and the all ultrex. They were obviously more expensive, but didn't seem too much different.

We're also seeing someone about sunrise windows. They were supposed to come out today, but had something come up. They mentioned a "vclass" window they sell. How does that compare to a "normal" sunrise? From what I can read, sunrise is good except for the essentials. Is that right?

Anyone have efficiency numbers on a wincore double hung, with Low E double pane? Can't find anything on their website, and the company said they couldn't give that out, talk to a dealer.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2014 at 12:05PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Wincore is okay. Doesn't have great air infiltration numbers and runs on the bulky side of the spectrum in terms of total vinyl that you are looking at.

If you look at the Sunrise (nice window and clean lines) you will need to look at the Vanguard or the Restorations and be sure to specify reinforcement in the sashes as those are large windows and the Sunrise can be flimsy at those sizes without the reinforcement.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2014 at 1:08PM
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That's what I've heard about the air infiltration numbers, but the only actual numbers I could find were from an old thread on this page that said AI = .07, which I thought was "okay" bordering on "good" (though that is more of a guess, is it accurate? What is good vs okay vs. bad on AI?)

So for the Sunrise line they have essentials (bad), "normal" sunrise (mostly good, but might have issue with size of windows we need?), vanguard and restoration in that order, right? I hadn't heard of "v class" before. Is that what they call vanguard now?

My main impetus for calling sunrise was that the frames are supposed to be better, but also allow more glass. My biggest hangup on the Wincore's is the bulkiness of the frames. The installer is great by virtually every review I can find. I just can't get around how thick they are for just okay reviews from people on this board.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2014 at 2:08PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Sunrise will have a considerably narrower profile to the frame and you will notice it.

That air number on the Wincore isn't right by my recollection but the point is mostly moot because of the frame size.

Never heard of the "V" series but the Vanguard is a nice unit and avoid the Essentials.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2014 at 6:30PM
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I'm curious to see the sunrise and speak with their rep, but in the meantime, I found some numbers for wincore:

Seems like AI for 72" heights are pretty good, but 76" heights are about double that. Does that make sense?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2014 at 2:10AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Those unit sizes are huge and unrepresentative of typical unit sizes.

Typical tactic to artificially bring down the air infiltration numbers.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2014 at 9:07AM
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Okay, that's surprising to me. I would have guessed (obviously as a novice) that AI ratings would go up with a bigger window. It does look like a taller window had more leak here though.

Surprisingly, a lot of those windows are actually very close to the size of the windows we need. The bank of windows that has us so concerned for example with three windows would be almost exactly 48" by 72" for each individual window.

As a reference point, what would you see as "good" on an AI rating for the south? I'd assume the SGHC would be most critical for us, is that right or is AI tops, or one of the other measures?

I'm really kind of interested to see the sunrise product and rep, as it seems we can get better ratings and better aesthetics. I realize it will be a higher price point, but I'm hoping still within our budget.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2014 at 9:16AM
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Also, out of curiosity, what is the difference between "non reinforced," "EM / IM Reinforced" and "all Reinforced" and should that have appreciable influence on performance?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2014 at 9:23AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

AI is based on leakage per square foot.

Larger window = air being divided by driving down the average. Pretty normal if you are trying to bury that number.

At those unit sizes...I would like to the see the reinforcement.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2014 at 10:09AM
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SO, I've had a number of issues that have prevented me from pulling the trigger still on the windows. While visiting with family and friends over the holidays, I saw two additional companies that appeared to have narrower frames, and at least to the uneducated eye, didn't have major apparent issues. I'm of course wondering if there are apparent issues with them to experts that know the industry. Has anyone ever heard of "showcase" windows out of Texas or Doers windows out of Tampa? I'm wondering if they are decent or not so much. Looking at their ratings they seemed kind of okay, but i have no way of knowing about the construction because I don't have the expertise. Any info you guys have on these would be great.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2015 at 1:05PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Haven't heard of them.

Where in Texas are you located or are you even in Texas?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2015 at 3:25PM
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Still in Louisiana, but they were in a friend's house here in Louisiana, and there's a rep in town. It seems they are a smaller company:

Doers was at relatives in FL, not sure if they have a rep here. THey appear to have two former Champion guys and their more impact line and a "sashlite" out of CT.:
THough in the pictures the windows might be bulkier than I thought.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2015 at 4:03PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

What part of LA?

If you are predominantly cooling degree dominated climate, thermally broken aluminum or fiberglass will give you the thinnest margins on the sides.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2015 at 5:09PM
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