One Customer Shows Us Her Decorating idea. Send Us Yours!

We see many great decorating and design examples as we are allowed into the homes of our customers and prospective customers. While this metro area probably leans more toward traditional styles with a Southern bent, Louisville is a city with an enormous variety of design styles. From Modern Contemporary to Victorian and the Eclectic styles that borrow from many styles, you don’t have to go far to find an interesting decorating or design example in Louisville.

We especially love showcasing any ideas that involve doors or windows whether they are fun, interesting, or just flat-out eye-candy. Mary Ann R., a Door Store and Windows customer, recently sent us a photo of her gorgeous winter-themed window box (click photo to see full image). She crafted the design herself from purchased and homegrown greenery and we’re very impressed! We installed her window box and windows nearly 3 years ago and Mary Ann continues to make them more beautiful with her personal touch. Thanks for this lovely photo, Mary Ann.

If you have a door or window design idea you want to share, email us photos along with a short description and we’ll publish them in this blog, our Facebook page, and our email newsletter (use the box at right to sign up to get it).

Windows 101: Lesson 3 – Window Replacement Options

Lesson 3:  Replacement Options

When replacing windows, there are three different replacement methods that may influence the type of windows you choose. How do you determine the method necessary for your home?

The three replacement methods include full tear- out, insert, and sash replacement.

Full Tear-Out  is necessary when your windows are damaged beyond repair.  Whether it be rot or storm damage, a full tear-out requires replacement of the window and the frame.

Insert windows are used when the frame is in good condition, so the window is all that needs to be replaced.  Although this method downsizes slightly the day light opening (glass size), generally, the interior trim and paint or wallpaper go untouched – a great application for historic homes.

Sash replacement is simply replacing the sash, or the part of the window that you open. This is rarely recommended because structures move and settle over time. As a result, the sash may be square, but the opening is no longer perfectly square. This makes it  hard to seal, causing poor energy efficiency.

If you want more information, please contact one of our sales consultants at The Door Store and Windows.

Windows 101: Lesson 2 – Window Materials

Lesson 2: Window Materials

Windows and doors are the biggest source of energy loss in your home. Accounting for up to half of your lost heating and cooling, new windows can save you up to 7%-15% on your monthly heating and cooling bills. When replacing your windows, the exterior material you choose will directly effect the energy efficiency of your home.

Several materials are used in windows construction. The most common materials include wood, clad wood, aluminum, fiberglass, and vinyl.

Vinyl windows are much improved from past offerings.  They are usually made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which has good insulating values.  Initially energy efficient, depending upon outside temperature extremes, the PVC will separate from the glass due to their different properties of expansion and contraction. They can also fade and crack over time, degrading significantly in as little as five years.

Aluminum windows are more durable, but rank lower on the energy efficiency scale than wood or clad wood. Metal is a poor insulator and conducts heat rapidly.  Cheaper aluminum windows often don’t have a long lasting exterior finishes.

Fiberglass windows have thermal efficiency greater than vinyl or aluminum. They are very durable and available in a wide variety of styles and sizes.  And their finish resists fading, chalking, and cracking.

 

 

 

Wood windows are long-lasting and energy efficient. You can paint or stain them any way you like.  Although beautiful and a natural insulator, the exterior of wood windows require regular, consistent maintenance.

Clad Wood windows offer the energy efficiency of wood with a low maintenance exterior. The frame is natural wood with an aluminum or vinyl cover, or cladding, that is snugly wrapped around the exterior of the wood. If you consider clad wood windows, the thickness of the aluminum cladding is important. Marvin Windows and Doors builds their windows with extruded aluminum that is the thickness of a quarter. Most manufacturers use roll form aluminum that is the thickness of a soda can.

Coming Soon: Lesson 3 – Window Replacement Options

Windows 101: Lesson 1 – Window Styles

Lesson 1: Window Styles

When it comes to buying replacement windows, it can be an overwhelming project to begin, especially if you haven’t been educated on your options. Rest assured, these few lessons will prepare any window rookie to make informed decisions about this important investment.

There are several different styles, features and functions of windows.

Double-Hung Windows have two sashes, one that you can raise and one that you can lower. You can also get double hung windows that tilt in for easy cleaning.

 

 

 

 

 

Casement Windows typically have a crank at the bottom of the window to open the sashes outward. Also available are push-out casements with a locking lever handle as pictured here.  Both have features for easy cleaning.

 

 

 

 

 

Awning windows are hinged at the top with hardware at the bottom, allowing for air flow even during a light rain.

 

 

 

 

 

Round-Top Windows have an arch at the top giving a unique and aesthetically pleasing look to your home.

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon – Lesson 2: Window Materials

Rare Window Spotted: Six Over Three Double Hung…One of a Kind!

While vacationing in North Carolina, Ann and Laurie ran across this interesting window.

It appears to be created from the sashes of two different windows. There was some ingenuity (or luck) involved to make the divided lites of the two sashes match up. Notice how the muntins line up in a 6 over 3 design. The bottom sash was installed up side down, we think inadvertently. How do we know? Look at the closed window. The bottom rail is buried behind the window sill. The thicker rail should be at the bottom.

As if this window wasn’t interesting enough, the storm window that was added for additional energy efficiency, we’re guessing, was too small for the window. Ann is pointing out in the last picture where the window sill was built up a couple inches to accommodate the opening.  Built in 1911, it is only fitting that this charming farmhouse would have windows with the same amount of character.

Just like Masons admire unique stone work and teachers are stopped by typos, we revel in the uniqueness of windows and doors. If you have an unusual window or door, post it on our Facebook page. We would love to see it!

Ever Wonder Why Homes Have Cupolas?

The short answer – for comfort!

Before central heating and air, home builders and architects used a variety of tricks to improve the comfort of homes. We found this neat blog article at This Old House which describes the uses of cupolas, shutters, deep soffits and eaves, and louvered exterior shutters. We especially liked the different ideas to create air flow. Click here to see.

Louvered exterior shutters are typically found in southern and tropical climates. Given the harsh heat we’ve experienced in Kentucky the last few summers, we are beginning to wonder if we need to promote them here.  What do you think?

Advice on Replacing Windows by Lou Manfredini

Fall isn’t just about football.  It’s the window replacement season, and it’s nearly upon us!

If you are looking for information or advice about window replacement, take a look at this blog post written by Lou Manfredini.  Click here.  If you are a fan of NBC’s Today Show, you’ll recognize Lou as their home improvement expert.

Of course, we’d be happy to answer your questions. But independent information is always a good thing!

Look How Tough Windows Can Really Be…

This video is worth a minute of your time. Check out Integrity Windows by Marvin (fiberglass)!

One tough cookie!

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