Home owners ask me if replacement windows will change the look of their house. Engineering variables will influence the answer to that question.
I find that the overwhelming majority of my customers want the most glass area possible when their windows are replaced. There are two design elements that need to be determined as the window is designed. It’ odd that two opposite criteria make for bulky window frames: low cost and merchandising.
Let’s start with low cost. engineers know that stiffness is a cube function of thickness. That’s why hollow bicycle frames can be as strong as solid metal ones. Vinyl is not as stiff as wood or aluminum, so the frame has to be well designed. If your objective is to design a window to be as cheap as possible, you will make the frame wide for strength, with the walls as thin as possible, thereby using as little vinyl as possible. This gives the window a lot of bulk, and leaves less room for glass, since we are replacing windows in an existing opening.
On the merchandising side, window engineers can also design for features that salesmen can point out to justify the high price of their windows. They will bring in a sample of a window with no reinforcement designed into the frame (called a kill piece in the trade) and show you why their window is so superior.
Lots of internal chambers and structures look substantial, and the salespeople rely on the basic assumption of “if some is good, more is better”.
This yields high sales numbers, and justifies the high price they want to charge.
In reality, it is much more difficult to make a strong and durable window without a bulky frame, and it takes more material to do it.
All windows are rated for their strength with a Design Pressure rating. If you ask about it, and the salesman knows the answer, you can find out how strong your window really is.
Your alternative is to deal with a company who did the research for you, and provides service.
At our company, the majority of customers that we see have been referred to us by other customers.
So, we search out windows that are durable enough to keep customers happy by never needing service.
If you have a problem, we will come and take care of it, but we haven’t had a call like that in years.
I learned the details of window construction when I was a manufacturers rep working out of the factory office. I got to guide plant tours for our installing dealers, so that they could understand the manufacturing process.
23 West All Saints Street, Frederick , Maryland 21701
Phone: 301 712-5228
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