Kitchen Windows

When designing a kitchen what should you be looking for when choosing a new window(s) in the kitchen?
There are 6 different types of windows available but only 5 can open. The picture window is just that a cased opening with a secured thermo pane glass installed in the opening.

Awning; With this type of window the operating devices are located at the bottom of the window that makes it easy to operate. These windows are hinged at the top and swing outward. The problem is that the kitchen countertop is 36” tall than the window is about 24-36” tall. IE the top of the window is between 5’to 6’ off the floor so when you are looking out the window at the sink all your eyes are looking at the top of the window jamb, you must duck to look out the window.

Glider; With this type of window the operating devices are located half way up the window that makes this window hard to operate when you lean over the sink and faucet.

Casement; This is a great type of window the operating devices are located at the bottom of the window that makes it easy to operate, also if the wind is coming from the left and you want to bring the air in open the right window and it will hook the wind and bring it into the kitchen.

Double Hung; This is a good looking window but it has a draw back you must on unlock the window, the lock is half way up the center of the window opening it from the bottom is adequate again the sink and faucet is the way.

Hopper; A hopper window is a cool design of a window but it swings and tilts into the room in the swing mode the window can not open the faucet is in the way.

Transom; Having a transom window over the regular kitchen window is great unless you have a ceiling under 9’ again the bottom of the transom and the top of the regular is in your line of sight.

Building contractor(s) vs handyman(s)

Building contractor(s) verses handyman(s)

What’s the difference?
The Department of Labor and Industry requires licenses for residential building contractors, remodelers, roofers and manufactured home installers. The department requires certain standards of education and professional conduct be maintained to obtain and retain a license.

Licenses are required for all residential building contractors and residential remodelers who contract with a homeowner to construct or improve dwellings by offering more than one special skill. Owners working on their own property must also be licensed if they build or remodel for the sole purpose of speculation or resale.

Liability insurance with limits of at least $300,000 per occurrence, which must include at least $10,000 property damage coverage.
Minnesota workers’ compensation insurance certificate or a written explanation of why the applicant is exempt from workers’ compensation requirements. Applicants who have no employees and have no intention of hiring employees (other than spouse, parent or child) during the next year should attach a written statement with the license application explaining the specific reason they are exempt. If applicant is uncertain whether workers’ compensation insurance is required for your business, contact the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry at (651) 284-5005.

A handy man needs none of the above unless he and/or she does more than one of these items concrete, frame, side, sheetrock, trim, tile, hardwood flooring, carpeting, painting

If a handy man gets injured at your house he or his insurance company can sue the home owner. Always Protect Yourself.

Windows looking at them inside out.

I’ve installed many different types and brands of windows. I’ve also have been called in to look at windows after they have failed, Over the years I’ve seen great windows and cheap windows fail. I’ve seen good and great windows last a long time. Some of the time it’s the so called carpenters installing the windows, other times it’s the design of the building where the draftsman drew in the window in an improper location adding it to fail because of it location due to architectural design next to the window.

There are many ways to look at windows.

How does the window perform? Lets look at the exterior of the window jambs and sashes what are the exteriors made of;

If wood is the wood treated,
Wood wrapped in aluminum are the aluminum joints on the sash sealed or just overlapped,
Any type of metal wrap such as Aluminum Copper, Bronze, is there a thermo break in the jamb and in the sash,
Vinyl window have unique problem Vinyl expands in warmer temperatures making them hard to operate with darker color vinyl only magnifies the problem.

Does the window have a built in flashing at the top of the window allowing moisture coming off the siding, and diverting it over the face edge of the window.

In most cases when a metal window fails it because the bottom frame of the window has no downward taper to the outside or in time the frame cups allowing water runs to the window sash instead of off the jamb and dripping to the ground.

Does it keep the weather out? Wind rain and thermo transfer. First look at the 5 different types of windows the worst type is:
5# glider window there the window slides left or right these windows tend to leak the worst. 4# is a single/ double hung window these windows slide up and down.
3# are awning type windows they are hinged at the top and open only 1/3 from the bottom.
2# Casement windows are a pretty good window system they are hinged on the left or right and open wide.
1# Fixed window is the best for sealing but not operable.

A lot of windows fail because of bad weather stripping. The stripping must be continuous with no breaks or lose ends. Like on a casement sash the weather striping wraps the edge of the window very few window manufactures even joint the weather striping at the corners.

How do the windows act or interact with other architectural elements in the room or on the exterior view of the house. Most wood windows use pine jambs and sashes that when stained, stains darker than the window trim around the window the wallboard.
2 window manufactures uses fir instead of pine so when it stains it looks like the oak trim around the window. Making it look great. Some manufactures use vinyl on the inside if the vinyl is white it tends to have dust and dirt attracted and bonds to it, making it look dirty all the time.

Windows operating over its lifetime depends a lot on the homeowner. When you paint or varnish you must remove the windows from the frame then you can paint properly and get a better job.

If you have a glider or a double hung window that is sticking spray some graphite or silicone spray on the tracks.

Why is there frost inside my house

I had a client upset because when she removed a blanket that was lying against the door. The blanket was frozen to the door and when she pulled it away from the door it removed the paint on the door. What actually happened? The door is a solid core wood door with an R-value of 2.47. This means in the winter with the outside temp of -20°F and 65°F inside. The center of the door is 17.5°F and it’s hard to maintain the temp. of 65°F at the surface of the door even with air moving across it. 5/8″ from the inside surface of the door is the freeze point of the door.

Now lets put a blanket against the door. Next there is no air moving across the door and the blanket is like adding a blanket of insulation on the inside surface of the door.

The new freeze point is now located at 1 1/2″ into the blanket so when the blanket is now removed the moisture in the blanket has frozen to the door. With this under standing let’s look at your windows.

A window with Low E II will have an R-value of 3.5 – 3.75 Now let’s add drapes on the windows and people blame the window that it is bad.

When in fact there are 2 problems 1 no air movement across the surface of the window and the humidity in the house is to high for the exterior temp.