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Windows in the Cayman Islands

Posted by ccarpediem (My Page) on
Sat, May 31, 14 at 18:24

I'm beginning plans to build a house in the Cayman islands. For those not familiar, Cayman is basically south of Cuba and West of Jamaica. In my current house, 1k per month in electricity isn't crazy high so energy efficiency is obviously a priority. I'm curious of thoughts on windows in that regard.

I'm planning to have Bahamas shutters on most windows and others will be behind a 7 foot wide screen in porch (so obviously shaded). So between the Bahamas shutters and shade from the patio they won't have tons of direct sun on them.

Other windows will get direct light and on those I'll be getting the most efficient windows available and impact rated. For others that are behind Bahamas shutters and are shaded, I'm curious what ratings I should be looking at for efficiency. If double/triple pane windows with gas insulation will still offer good efficiency advantages on the shuttered/shaded windows I'll go all out on those as well, but at the same time I don't want to waste money on that if there isn't much benefit with windows with Bahamas shutters, etc.

Any thoughts? I've tried to attach an image to give the idea for those not familiar with these shutters

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Windows in the Cayman Islands

Start with an impact window first and what is available on that front.

Then look at the efficiency and air tightness standards.

RE: Windows in the Cayman Islands

Thanks for the feedback, but it surprised me. Then I realized my original description was missing a key component. Bahamas shutters come in many different materials, but the ones I get will be hurricane rated. At least my current accordion hurricane shutters warranty cover any house damage caused by a broken window behind their shutters.

Thus impact windows have been about my lowest concern as I'll have hurricane shutters on all of them (of one type or another) so their impact rating seemed less important and was much more interested in efficiency issues.

RE: Windows in the Cayman Islands

Okay. That changes the discussion a bit if you don't require impact rated windows.

If you are looking for efficiency at that point, regardless of the overhang, you are going to want to spec a Lower range SHGC. Obviously you are a dominant cooling degree day climate so we needn't worry about sacrificing passive solar...not needed.

In terms of materials, I would definitely be looking inorganic (i.e. plastic or fiberglass or composite).

Do you have an idea about what is available down there?

Will the shutters be automatic? Reason I ask is lets say you are out of town, who is putting the shutters down then?

RE: Windows in the Cayman Islands

I haven't checked all of the stores yet, but the largest lumber store carries mostly PGT windows. Because of the sometimes limited selection and local prices it is also common pretty common to fly to Miami load up a full shipping container with building materials to ship down.

I view that as a bit of a last option as I'd rather support local business, have local warranty, etc but it is an option if the local options just aren't what is best and I'm sure on some items I will be forced to go that way. Hopefully I'll limit that option more for final finishings than things like windows, but it is an option.

The Bahama shutters aren't automatic, but are very easy to put down and do offer a decent level of protection even in their default position. But if I'm away and a hurricane is on the way, we do have a group of friends who all help each other out in such cases.

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