Creative Engineering: The Latest and Greatest in Windows

To replace or not to replace, that is the question; there is an entire school of thought that would have one believe that it is nobler not to, and more economical, lest you be hoodwinked by silver-tongued salespeople whose lone goal is to sell you unneeded replacement windows: not so.

Windows provide great character and distinction to a home. Like other components that make up a structure, all windows are vulnerable to the elements and will need care to maintain their best performance over time. Fluctuations in temperature, weather, dust and debris do not differentiate between historic and replacement windows; therefore a proper maintenance regimen will include:

  • Cleaning wooden windows with a lightly damp cloth so as not to cultivate rot, or vinyl and aluminum-framed windows with a mild detergent and soft brush; in each instance, paying attention to the casing and surrounding wall area to rid them of dust and dirt that can foul window components and cause jams.
  • Examining windows frames, sashes and seals for invasion of moisture as indicated by rot or condensation and repairing quickly to prevent further decline.
  • Checking weather stripping or seals and replacing when wearing out.
  • Inspecting for signs of sun damage such as warping or peeling paint. Good maintenance of wooden and metal windows alike includes painting every three to four years to maintain appearance and functionality.
  • Attending to gaps between the window casing and walls, due to movement and settling of a house, which can be filled with latex caulk.

Despite the opposing argument, replacing an older window with a modern one does not have to change the appearance of your home for the worse. Often, before and after pictures of window replacements evidence the worst of the worst examples which are more indicative of poor installation, craftsmanship and selection of inappropriate replacement windows than a reflection of the replacement windows themselves. When done appropriately, replacement of historical windows need not change the appearance of a structure at all but maintain its visual integrity, comfort and safety of its interior, as demonstrated by the work of professional craftsmen at Kolbe & Kolbe on the University of Minnesota’s Folwell Hall, built in 1907. The same quality and craftsmanship is offered to all homeowners by respectable replacement window companies whose business thrives on assisting consumers with making wise decisions about the variety of impact replacement windows available, providing expert teams to install them and millwork craftsmen to replace pieces essential to the original windows’ design.

Respectable replacement window companies are not staffed with sales representatives bent on stealing your money via unwarranted replacement windows. A huge amount of effort is invested in undermining the honesty of sales representatives by replacement window opponents who unabashedly use fear and negative stereotypes of salespeople as means to sell their own products and services; hardly the higher road of doing well by the consumer and enlightening them to “the truth.”

Many of the sales professionals you will meet in consideration of replacing windows in your home have amassed years of experience in the window and door marketplace before earning the position to advise consumers of appropriate choices of replacement windows, their installation and advantages.

When asked how up-to-date impact glass window systems benefit consumers better than older windows, ten-year market industry veteran and top-selling sales representative, Roldan “Ro” Romero, explained plainly that:

  • Up-to-date impact resistant glass windows’ framing is thicker, providing more stability and durability when resisting effects of the elements and everyday wear and tear.
  • Stainless steel impact resistant replacement window components and fasteners are built to withstand erosion, handle expansion and contraction more effectively, and endure high “wind loads,” or, continuous air pressure against the surface of the glass, even in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) of Dade, Broward and coastal Palm Beach Counties where wind speeds have historically measured between 156-185 miles per hour during hurricanes.
  • Modern polymer technology allows for the interlayer of resin between impact glass panels to be progressively lighter, more durable and cost efficient than previous designs; over time, decreasing the price for a more cost-effective product in a way similar to cellular phone technology where the first mobile phone, launched to the public in 1983, weighed two pounds and cost $3,995.

In consideration of these facts, and other benefits that impact glass replacement windows provide, it can be argued that, “the [naysayers of impact glass replacement windows] doth protest too much, methinks.” Now more than ever before, homeowners are in a position to replace their old windows with modern, high performance impact resistant window systems at ever-increasing cost efficiency while keeping the charm of their home’s original appearance intact. Why not take advantage of a good thing?

by Kate Donovan