Background – My Old Windows leaked
We moved into our home 5 years ago and were hit with a large power bill (partially due to our windows). This resulted in the replacement of all windows. Let me describe my window situation a bit better for you. My house was built in the 1950’s and had the old fashioned single pane steel framed windows.
My old windows had several problems first the metallic frame conducts heat very efficiently. This resulted in the heat pump either having to heat or cool a lot more than necessary. Second, modern windows are double or triple paned and filled with special gases. This provides better insulation and limits ultraviolet penetration. Finally my old windows were the kind where it looks like a coarse lattice with several dozen square panes making up each window. This really made the aesthetics sucky and limited the viewable area.
During the replacement process it was determined that some(3) of the spaces in the wall for windows would require two windows to properly fill (more frame and less viewable space). Unless a window is turned sideways (sliders) and inserted. This is apparently a common arrangement and window frames are designed precisely for this role.
The Problem – Windows Cost a Lot and Window Frames Reduce Precious View Space
There are several problems to solve with this article. First, how to maximize view space? Second, how to minimize cost?
The Solution – Horizontal Sliding EnergyStar Windows
In my particular case there were 12 windows that needed to be replaced but three of them would require double windows (two windows side by side making a frame like a plus sign). Each window was quoted at $450 for a total of 15 windows. However the kind salesman helped us to find a more economical route. Instead of doing the three double windows the installed a sideways window which allowed for appropriate proportions on the window for a single window to be installed. Since we were replacing all of the windows at once we had all of them replaced sideways to match each other.
The new quote remained $450 per window but the window count was 12 instead of 15. This saved $1,350 on the purchase price. Conviently the window now also has more view space on these three windows (instead of a verticle and a horizontal line across the middle creating 4 separate windows there is only a vertical center frame creating 2 windows). Honestly I feel we got the best of both worlds with this purchase lower money more window view.
Unfortunately, since we did this five years ago I may not have before pictures (I will look and update if I do find them). I also do not have measurements of view space differences. Fortunately for this article my parents are replacing some windows and I suggested to them (I won’t suggest something for you all that I wouldn’t suggest for my own family) that they look into sideways windows like mine for one of the windows they were replacing.
I went over for the meeting with the window people and explained what I was thinking might be good and he got out hisbook. Took some measurements and agreed that it could be done. He then got out the display book to show my parents pictures from similar installs. My parents decided to go with the sideways windows (because of the reduction in framing, and thus increased window space) and saved $300 in the process.
I have measured the surface area of the old windows and am awaiting the installation of the new windows to compare the change in the viewable area. Their old windows are the same kind of vinyl frame being installed as the window was replaced 3-4 years ago. This will be a much better comparison than comparing my steel frame windows to vinyl framing.
Conclusion – Sideways Windows (called sliders) can save you money
In two confirmed instances the sideways windows have saved money. I believe they also improve view space and will either update this post or do a followup post once the new windows are installed with measurements. The current windows are 27.5″ x26″ and there are 4 windows this size with a center window which is 54″ x 43.5″ for a total view area of (715*4 = 2860 + 2349) 5209 square inches. I expect this value to increase with the new windows by a small but significant amount.
Update – Window Installation
Apparently the windows are being installed today here are photos.
So far it’s looking good!