Window repair improves energy efficiency

Looking to improve the energy efficiency of your windows?  Window replacement isn’t always the answer.  Some simple cost saving improvements can be made to your existing wood windows to improve their efficiency without replacing the whole window.

Weatherstripping

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There are two basic styles of weatherstripping that come in many shapes and colors, but serve two simple purposes.  A bulb type weatherstrip is used to provide the thermal seal between the sash and the window frame.  You would typically find this type of weatherstripping along the edge of the frame on a casement window where the sash meets the frame when closed.  A bulb is also used on the top and bottom edges of double hung windows where the sash meets the sill and head jamb.  The other general style of weatherstripping is called a leaf type seal.  You find these typically on the perimeter of a casement sash.  The misconception is this serves as a thermal barrier.  The leaf seal on a casement is referred to as the storm shield.  This is meant to prevent excess wind driven rain, inserts and debris from getting in around the sash.  It doesn’t provide any significant thermal value.

By replacing the bulb type on your windows, you can cut down on drafts around the sash.  Many windows were supplied with a hollow vinyl bulb that flattens out over time.  By simply replacing this with new, it will return the seal to its original performance.  For an even better seal, you can upgrade from the hollow bulb to a foam filled bulb that will take up more space in the gap and create a tighter seal between the jamb/sill and the sash.

 

Glass

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A common issue with aging windows is seal failure.  This is the breakdown of sealant around the perimeter of the glass unit allowing air and moisture to enter in between the panes of glass.  The common misconception here is that there is some sort of gas between the panes of glass.  This is not the case with most windows older than 10 years or so.  The addition of argon or krypton gas is relatively new and still and expensive upgrade.  Prior to that, there is simply dead airspace between the panes of glass creating the thermal barrier.  A couple things to keep in mind when having glass replaced.  Glass is not brand specific.  The IGU, or insulated glass unit is a separate, pre-sealed component of the window that can be removed and replaced with any type of glass unit provided it is the same size and thickness.  This is your opportunity to upgrade the existing glass to newer technology to increase the energy efficiency of your existing windows.  With the evolution of lowE coatings and cool edge spacer technology, you could increase the efficiency of your existing windows by 20-30% without replacing anything but the glass…which had failed and needed to be replaced anyway! Most new glass comes with a warranty too!

When considering upgrading your glass, keep these things in mind.  One, upgrading just one piece of glass on a bank of windows won’t do anything.  You need to replace all of the glass in a set of windows, and even a step further, all of the glass in the room to see any significant improvement.  Also, keep in mind, glass with a lowE coating will have a slight tint compared to basic clear glass.  Now its not “tinted”. By itself you wouldn’t call LowE glass tinted, but next to a window with clear glass on a sunny day, you will notice a difference.  Avoid this by upgrading glass in windows that are directly side by side.  Finally, for the best results, upgrading all of the glass on the south and west exposures of the house is the best way to see and feel an increase in energy efficiency.

If energy efficiency is your primary goal, but your budget isn’t ready for new windows, consider these cost effective window repair ideas to upgrade the windows you have for a fraction of the cost of all new.  There’s an old saying, “They just don’t make them like they used to.”  This is true in many respects.  New window companies push the energy efficiency of their windows.  What they don’t tell you is the technology is in the glass, not the rest of the window.  Its my humble opinion that a traditional wood window is far more attractive and warm feeling in a home than white plastic.  If you had the opportunity to put the same glass technology in your wood window that comes in the new vinyl one, what would you choose?

Visit us at www.fensterUSA.com to order your weatherstripping and sash upgrades today!

Window repair, not an emergency

Window repair is not an emergency folks!  It took 20 years for your windows to rot.  A couple more weeks won’t hurt anything.

The first thing about the window industry is; it’s not in a hurry.  So from a supply stand point, we wait sometimes 5-6 weeks just to get raw materials in.  Now we do a better job than most managing this, but special orders take extra time.  Also, during high volume times of the year, suppliers are busy too.  We all struggle to keep up.  What I will ask is, “Can anyone do it faster?”  Most major window companies take 8-12 weeks to get you a stock item.  We’re making this stuff from scratch and still getting it out usually in 6 weeks or less!

Time is certainly of the essence, but that depends on the time of year.  We understand, summer is over, the weather is turning, and so is your attention to your home to prepare it for winter.  What we need customers to understand is EVERYONE ELSE has the same idea!

What’s wrong with the rest of the year?  The summer is a great time of year for window repair.  Its dry, warm.  In the spring, flowers are blooming, its new, its fresh, why not make your windows feel the same?  It doesn’t snow everywhere in the winter.  Where’s our southern friends in January and February?

Why isn’t anyone in a hurry in the winter we wonder?  I think its more about top of mind.  Not many homeowners take time to inspect their windows regularly.  Usually its a painter pointing out window repair needs during a paint job.  We get it.  You’re suddenly made aware of this issue, you got the painter there, its one more problem to deal with between soccer and choir practice…whatever.  Its a hassle you need to have go away, right away.

The thing to consider is not the lead time, but the finished product.  When you open that box to begin your window repair, are you expecting something that looks like it got done in a hurry?  Of course not.  You still expect a quality product.  Fenster only does things one way; The Right Way.  The Right Way way takes time.  The Right Way way takes more time August through October because so many customers wait until this time to get it The Right Way.

We certainly appreciate all of the window repair business, anytime of year we can get it!  We thank you!  We ask for a little more patience this time of year to get your order done, what?  The Right Way.  Lead times in the fall can run 6-8 weeks.  There are 9 more months of the year folks!  If you want something in a week, call us January!

Learn more about the Fenster way of doing things at www.fensterUSA.com.  View our products and submit your order request today!

Malta Window Cladding

malta cladding stockMalta window cladding now available!  We are excited to announce we have received our first shipment of matching Malta window cladding for two popular vinyl clad Malta window models.  We now can offer after-market replacement cladded sash for Malta vinyl clad double hung windows and Malta vinyl clad casements shown below.

 

 

 

malta 200 clad casement 2malta 200 clad casementmalta 200 clad casement interior The vinyl clad casement shown here has a mitered corner, foam filled perimeter weatherstrip and an interior glass stop.  Fenster part number MT200-C.

 

 

 

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malta dh wet end view

 

The vinyl clad double hung shown here is a boot glazed window with a sharply mitered corner on the lower sash.  Most models had a torx screw as the lower tilt pin and a helicopter pin screwed in through the cladding on the upper.  This window was produced for many years from the mid 80’s through the mid 2000’s.  All looked the same, but with differences of note.  Earlier models were boot glazed with two different glass thicknesses.  The newer is a wet glazed sash with an interior glass stop.  The Fenster after-market unit will match the newer model with the interior glass stop, but WILL fit the older models since the sash profiles otherwise were not altered.  The Fenster part number for a complete cladded sash is MTDH250-C (upper or lower).

We are currently stocking WHITE Malta window cladding for both models.  Beige/sand can be special ordered with a minimum quantity of 10 sash.  Place and order request today at www.fensterUSA.com or email sales@fensterUSA.com

 

 

 

 

MW clad window

We now have a clad sash option in our Quiksash line of products to fit two models of MW clad window.  The Fenster Quiksash is a re-engineered version of the original brand’s sash altered to receive our proprietary aluminum cladding profiles.  All Quiksash models  including the MW clad window, are similar in design and appearance from the exterior, bringing consistency to the product.  However, all Quiksash models maintain design elements from the original profile guaranteeing a perfect fit and function in the existing window frame.  Utilizing current glass technology, your window’s energy efficiency can be significantly upgraded and still keep the original look without replacing the whole window.  A Fenster Quiksash can also be a cost effective solution for seal failure.

MW vinyl clad exterior corner  The Fenster Quiksash replaces this older model of vinyl clad MW.  Notice the thin plastic glazing bead against the glass as an obvious identifier.  It is also important to note, this is a VINYL clad window, not aluminum.

 

 

MW vinyl clad newer model The Fenster Quiksash also replaces a newer MW vinyl clad window that has welded corners and a distinct stepped profile to the face of the sash.  Click the photo to enlarge.  This newer model has a wood interior glass stop which the Fenster model closely resembles.

 

 

fenster quiksash MW vinyl clad ext cornerfenster quiksash MW vinyl clad int corner  The Fenster Quiksash takes elements from both WM clad window models and blends them.  The exterior side is a flat 2″ wide face with an interior wood stop.  The thickness remains 1.5″ matching both original models.  It is also important to note, the Quiksash is aluminum clad, not vinyl.  Although the exterior profile and material has be re-engineered, the shape and size of the frame has not, allowing the Quiksash model to easily retro-fit into the existing WM clad window frame.

Fenster Quiksash models come in 4 industry standard colors with custom colors available with an order of 10 or more.

Order your Fenster Quiksash WM clad window replica today at www.fensterUSA.com

Biltbest clad window

We now have a clad sash option in our Quiksash line of products to fit a Biltbest clad window.  The Fenster Quiksash is a re-engineered version of the original brand’s sash altered to receive our proprietary aluminum cladding profiles.  All Quiksash models  including the Biltbest clad sash, are similar in design and appearance from the exterior, bringing consistency to the product.  However, all Quiksash models maintain design elements from the original profile guaranteeing a perfect fit and function in the existing window frame.  Utilizing current glass technology, your window’s energy efficiency can be significantly upgraded and still keep the original look without replacing the whole window.  A Fenster Quiksash is also a cost-effective solution for hail damage.

fenster quiksash biltbest outside cornerfenster quiksash biltbest inside corner  Click the photo to enlarge.  Our cladding nearly snapped onto the original profile with little alteration the lay-person would ever notice.  The Quiksash model should install effortlessly into the original Biltbest clad window frame.

 

 

Fenster Quiksash models come in 4 industry standard colors, with custom colors available for orders of 10 or more.

Order your Fenster Quiksash Biltbest clad window replica today at www.fensterUSA.com

Rockwell clad window

We now have a clad sash option in our Quiksash line of products to fit a Rockwell clad window.  The Fenster Quiksash is a re-engineered version of the original brand’s sash altered to receive our proprietary aluminum cladding profiles.  All Quiksash models  including the Rockwell clad window, are similar in design and appearance from the exterior, bringing consistency to the product.  However, all Quiksash models maintain design elements from the original profile guaranteeing a perfect fit and function in the existing window frame.  Utilizing current glass technology, your window’s energy efficiency can be significantly upgraded and still keep the original look without replacing the whole window.  A Fenster Quiksash is also a cost effective solution for hail damage.

fenster quikash rockwell ext corner  As you can see, from the exterior the Quiksash model is virtually identical to the original Rockwell clad window.

 

 

 

fenster quiksash rockwell int corner  The noticeable difference from the interior is a perimeter glass stop.  Quiksash uses a wet glazing system eliminating the rubber glazing boot for better performance and lifespan.

 

 

 

Order your Fenster Quiksash Rockwell clad window replica today at www.fensterUSA.com

 

 

Caradco clad sash

We now have a clad sash option in our Quiksash line of products to fit the Caradco Heritage series window.  The Fenster Quiksash is a re-engineered version of the original brand’s sash altered to receive our proprietary aluminum cladding profiles.  All Quiksash models  including the Caradco clad sash, are similar in design and appearance from the exterior, bringing consistency to the product.  However, all Quiksash models maintain design elements from the original profile guaranteeing a perfect fit and function in the existing window frame.  Utilizing current glass technology, your window’s energy efficiency can be significantly upgraded and still keep the original look without replacing the whole window.  A Fenster Quiksash is also a cost effective solution for hail damage.

fenster quiksash caradco int corner               fenster quiksash caradco ext corner

As you can see, from the exterior, the Quiksash looks virtually the same as the original Caradco clad sash.  The only noticeable difference is the wood glass stop on the interior side.  This is due to the conversion to a wet glazed system to eliminate the rubber glazing boot.

The Fenster Quiksash-Caradco clad sash is available in 4 industry standard colors and custom colors available for orders of 10 sash or more.

Order your Caradco clad sash replica today at www.fensterusa.com

Caradco Windows–The Fenster way

This is why we do what we do….

Ryan, I received the seven sashes today that I ordered only a couple weeks ago. They are beautiful and look much better quality than the Caradco sashes they are replacing. Your attention to detail is second to NONE. In fact, they look so good, I may replace the others that haven’t rotted yet. I’m also replacing the glass units in these sashes with a quality low E glass unit. I couldn’t be happier and look forward to doing business with you again.

All the best, Bill G.

 

Fenster has replica Caradco Windows for painted wood casements, clad casements, clad and painted double hungs.  Order yours today at www.fensterUSA.com

Caradco Heritage

Wood window repair can be done.

Its funny how after 15 years in business and thousands of window sash made, that not a day goes by I hear another customer doubt the notion of window repair.  How is that possible?  Why is that a good idea?  I didn’t know you could do that?

Well folks, I’m hear to tell you it is very possible!

rockwell 2007 rockwell 2007 after No this isn’t putty.  It isn’t a patch job!  A replacement sash and trim kit brings this window back to new condition for a fraction of the cost of a whole new window AND it matches the rest of the windows on the house.

 

 

I’m guessing you had a window salesman tell you windows can’t be fixed?  I’ve heard that from home inspectors and even realtors.  This issue is about educating the public on their options.  New windows are not always your only, or even best option.  Window repair saves money.  Window repair is part of a huge renew-repair-restore movement in home improvement.  When done properly and professionally, can improve the existing window for less than a new one.

Let’s talk about window repair being done poorly.

100_0158Putty doesn’t work.  I’ll give you cheap and temporary as your only positives here.

 

 

 

100_1100Look at this guy.  Won’t bother to remove the vertical trim to properly repair the sill nosing.  Does this repair look original or even professional?

 

 

 

DSC00194Um, only doing half the sill doesn’t work either.  If one side went bad, what makes you think the other side won’t go bad too?  You end up constantly revisiting that same window by only doing the bare minimum every time.

 

 

joe pick-up sash repairThis one is my favorite.  The bottom of the sash was rotten so Mr. Joe pick-up’s idea was to just nail another board over the face of the sash!  Oh, BTW, this was a bedroom window.  Do you think you could open that in case of an emergency?

 

 

Our biggest hurdle as professionals is over coming the stigma of these types of “repairs”.  Your neighbor gets something like this done for as cheap as they can, but then realize after the fact, the cheap price solved nothing.  You in turn have the thought in your head, you certainly aren’t going to waste your money on window repair after seeing what your neighbor got.

Window repair works when done properly by skilled professionals.  More importantly with the proper materials and products.  Here’s where the sales pitch comes in.  Fenster Components is your destination for factory matched frame components, replica window sash from dozens of major brands, and many other components to rebuild your wood windows to their original beauty and function.  Visit our product home page today at: www.fensterUSA.com.

Window terms -Fenster FAQ

We walk the walk.  You need to talk the talk.  We take customer service to heart and love talking through your project with you over the phone.  The problem is, this is a very visual and tangible process we can’t effectively complete over the phone.  We can’t see what you need and you can’t communicate in our window terms what you need.  I’ve talked many times before about sending us pictures of your windows in prior posts.  This post should help you understand a little more about how to speak in window terms to help us understand what you need and what Fenster product best fits that need.

Brand:  The original manufacturer of your window.

Model:  Most brands of windows made several different models of windows with different features.

After-market:  This is what we do.  We make a replicated version of the original brand’s window sash.

Sash:  The operable part of the window.  Its what you open and close.

Casement:  The type of window that cranks open.

Double Hung:  The type of window that slides up and down.

Awning:  The type of window that swings open from the top.  Also called a hopper.

Slider:  The type of window that slides open horizontally.  Also called a glider.

Seal:  The seal in the glass causing the fog, NOT weatherstrip.  And not sill.  This is part of the frame.

Spacer bar:  This is the metal bar creating the space between the two panes of glass.

Weatherstrip:  Strip around the perimeter of the sash.

Bulb:  Soft, round vinyl weatherstrip that fits into a groove around the perimeter of the sash.

Leaf:  Rigid vinyl weatherstrip that fits into a groove around the perimeter of the sash.

Glazing bead:  A vinyl or metal strip against the perimeter of the glass.  Usually on the outside.

Glass stop:  A wood trim piece against the perimeter of the glass.  Can be on the inside or outside.

Boot glaze:  A rubber gasket around the perimeter of the glass holding it in the wood frame.  No bead or stop.

Wet glaze:  The glass unit is glued into the frame and has a glazing bead or glass stop.

Glazing channel:  The groove in the sash frame the glass fits into.

Cladding:  Metal or vinyl covering on the outside of the sash.

Primed:  The window industry term for a painted wood window.  No cladding on the outside.

Stile:  The vertical side of a sash frame.

Rail:  The horizontal side of a sash frame.

Joinery:  How the corners of the sash frame fit together.

Jambliner:  The plastic side tracks of a double hung window that the sashes slide up and down in.

Balance:  The spring mechanism in the jambliner that holds the sash up.

Terminal:  The bracket at the end of the balance that the sash tilt pin fits into.

Tilt-pin:  The pin or metal piece on the sash that fits into the terminal in the jambliner track.

Profile:  The shape of the wood sash frame.  From a millwork perspective, its how we identify the proper sash.

Operator:  Crank mechanism containing the gears and arms that open and close a casement sash.

Hinge:  The metal sill track, black bushing, arm, and sash mounting bracket are all part of a casement hinge.

Operator sash brackets:  One or two brackets mounted to the sash rail that the operator arms attach to.

 

Those are a few of the basics.  I’ll dig deeper in a future post on window terms.  For now, we look forward to helping you solve your window repair issues and hopefully you can get a better understanding of the window terms we understand and need,  to give you the best possible service.  Visit us at www.fensterUSA.com to read more about our company and products.