Sunday, December 6, 2009

Windows are here

There was a lot of action at the house this week. The plumber and the electricians both did more installation, and the roofer is almost finished. The concrete was poured in our garage. But the most exciting thing to me was that our windows finally arrived!

The windows are special in multiple ways. Windows are an area in the home that are often not well insulated, so we bought extremely well-insulated windows to prevent heat loss. The windows are triple-paned -- we originally planned on four panes, but those did not allow in enough light to get the proper amount of solar gain we needed, so we had to drop back to three.

The U-Value on the windows -- which measures how well a product prevents heat from escaping -- is extremely low (lower is better). This photo gives some of the values for one of the living room windows:

Also, the windows are casement style, meaning they open like doors, rather than up and down. This creates a tighter seal when they are closed and locked. Most of the downstairs windows are fixed and don't open at all, which is even better for preventing air leakage. Stuart opened one of the upstairs bedroom windows:

On the aesthetics side, we chose windows with a rectangular grille on the top part, which is a Craftsman-style look that is common in our neighborhood. We decided to have dark brown grilles that match the roof color:


You can't see the new garage floor because it's covered in paper, but here is Stuart trying out the newly poured steps from the mud room into the garage:

Evidence that the plumber was here:

The frames are up for the pocket doors, which are the kind that slide in and out of the wall. We'll have three pocket doors: one on the master bedroom closet, one on a smaller bedroom closet and one in the secondary upstairs bathroom to divide the toilet and shower area from the sink area:


  1. Since you created your airtight layer on the outside plywood layer are you going to forgo trying to create a airtight layer with drywall? I've been installing a continous layer of rock behind showers and bathtubs.

  2. Did you spec. tri-pane thru Serious? I thought they only did double suspended film. Also, I see you installed the windows with a nailing flange, did you achieve a thermal break using 1/2" or 1" foam under the nailing flange?

  3. I tend to leave the details up to the builders since they're the experts and I barely understand how to use a hammer. That said, I believe we're not attempting to create an airtight inner layer.

    As for windows, we're counting the single suspended film (standard on the 725 series) as a "pane," since it's just easier to say "triple-paned" than "two panes with a suspended film in the middle." And we're using 2" of foam under the nailing flange.