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Aug 2017

why do builders use single hung windows?

If you’ve built a house in the 1990’s or 2000’s there’s a good chance your builder used vinyl windows.  And almost without exception all those units are white single hungs.  A single hung is a window where the top sash is locked into place.  The lower sash moves up and down and tilts in.

On a double hung, both sashes tilt in and move up and down.  A double hung is also much simpler to repair if ever needed, particularly the top sash.

Why would a builder use a cheap new construction window?  What are the differences between a remodelers’ premium vinyl window?

Builders don’t need custom sized windows.  They are creating the opening, therefore their windows are literally off the shelf.

New construction windows are typically lower end products relatively and offer a 10 year warranty versus a warranty like Legacy’s on their Heritage series: non pro-rated true Lifetime product warranty.

In addition to high air infiltration numbers, many new construction single hungs have either no Low E or a limited version of it.  Many times the glass is single strength versus double.

There’s a simple reason builders get away with putting lower grade windows (and doors) in new homes:  most persons don’t know to ask and when they hear the description of what they are getting, it seems right.

An example.  Your windows are dual pane, insulated glass.  Sounds good right?  Wrong.  Glass needs Low E glazing (a microscopic layer of silver coated on the glass.  This coating makes the glass reflect it’s heat source.  In the winter when you’re heat is inside, it ‘s reflecting it back into the room.  In the summer when the heat is outside, it reflects the heat out.  Simple and effective.

A climate like Indiana’s should have triple pane glass or glass that qualifies as Energy Star North.  Legacy’s Heritage series offers the following thermal numbers:

U value:  .20

SHGC:     .26

If you’re building a home, speak with a remodeler or tell your builder you want to see what options are available on your windows.  Investing a little more now will save you a lot of money and trouble down the road.


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