Tag Archive for: Windows

Many people are unaware of all the window styles available to homeowners.  Read a description of each below as well as a Typical Application.

Window Styles

OutlineNameDescriptionTypical Applications
AwningWindows that are hinged at the top that swing out for ventilation.Bathrooms, Combine w/Large windows
single- or double-hung
Single/Double HungA window with two sashes where one or both sashes slide vertically.Bedrooms, Family Rooms, Kitchens, Dens
Horizontal Slider or Rolling window
Horizontal Slider or Rolling windowA window with two sashes where one or both sashes slide horizontally.Bedrooms, Family Rooms, Kitchens, Dens, Combinations
CasementA window or windows hinged on one side that open as far as 90 degrees to the building using a crank.Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Living Rooms, Combine w/Large windows
Direct-Set GeometricsThese are fixed windows. Since they have no moving parts, they can be tailored to meet just about any desired geometric shape.Entry Ways, Living Rooms, Combine w/Large windows
Circle Top
Circle TopAs the name describes, these windows typically have a flat bottom and a circular or arched top. These are typically used in combination with another window or door.Entry Ways, Living Rooms, Combine with doors or large windows


Examples of Combinations

Angled Bay
Angled BayA single large, fixed center window with 2 windows at 30, 45, or 90 degrees to the building. Side windows are typically vertical sliders or casement.
BowFour or more windows configured to form a radius. Typically made of either vertical sliders or casement windows.
Picture Combination
Picture CombinationA single large, fixed center window with 2 adjacent side windows. Side windows may be either horizontal or vertical sliders or casement.
2-WideTwo vertical slider windows installed side-by-side. This is a basic building block for a “wall of windows”.
3-Wide with transoms
3-Wide with transomsThree vertical slider windows installed side-by-side with awnings or fixed transoms across the tops.
2-Wide with transom
2-Wide with transomTwo casement windows installed side-by-side with an awning or fixed transom across the tops.
CathedralTwo casement windows with a half cloverleaf top circle
Three wide with awnings
Three wide with awningsThree fixed windows with awnings on the bottom.

By now you’ve heard about the Federal Tax Credit for 30%

off energy efficient improvements for up to $1500.  The question is do you know how to maximize it?

Here is a quick check list to help you make sure you do not miss out on the tax credit for windows and doors:

  • Does the window or door being installed qualify for the tax credit?
  • Can the installer order the materials before December 31st 2010?
  • Are there any other incentives from the manufacturer or dealer/installer?

1. Does the window or door qualify for the tax credit?

Be careful, In many cases you’ll find the answer is NO. Verify that the the U-factor and SHGC is less than or equal to .30. In other cases you’ll find the manufacturer has used easy and low-quality measures to increase the insulating value of the window or door in order to get it to a point of meeting the federal standards for U-value and SHGC. Such methods include filling air space with foam, adding extra layers of dark Low-E, and adding cheap weatherstripping.  An excellent question to ask the dealer or installer is “Did the product being installed meet the Tax Credit qualifications before the qualifications even existed?” Obtain a detailed scope of work for the products being used, and ask how you can receive verification from the manufacturer of their products compliance with the Tax Credit standards.

2.  Can the installer order the materials before December 31st 2010

We anticipate a unprecedented volume of window orders over the final 4 months of 2010.  This means many companies’ installation capacity will be overwhelmed and order will get overlooked.  Make sure you have verification that the windows or doors will be ordered before December 31st.

3.  Are there any other incentives from the manufacturer or dealer / installer?

Since many of the large manufacturers are trying to cash in on the rush of window and door orders, they are passing on additional incentives to the dealers, contractors, and installers.  Make sure you understand all the discounts that are available and when they expire.  As always, make sure any details discussed are in writing.

These 3 things should help you maximize your tax credit.  Feel free to contact us here with any specific questions.

Home Pg Windows Thumbnail This is an excellent question, and the short answer is, “Less than you think!”  The requirements for the  Federal Tax Credit for energy efficient home improvements are fairly stringent.  The standards are a U-  value <= .30 and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) <= .30. (U-value measures the rate of heat loss  through a window and SHGC measures how well a window blocks heat from sunlight).

Before June 1st of this year (2009), the Energy Star standard for U-value was .35 (meaning windows  manufacturers were given the Energy Star label if their windows had a u-value below .35.)  But since the  release of the Federal Tax Credit, the Energy Star program has reduced their standards to match the Federal Governments.  This means some manufacturers were hit with a double whammy, losing their Energy Star label and having products that don’t qualify for the tax credit.

Most manufacturers had few if any windows that met these standards prior to this year.  What that means is there was a lot of scrambling to get windows out on the market that qualify.  Unfortunately that means many manufactures have just added thicker or more coats of Low-E, which means a darker, shiner, and less attractive window for your home.

Some manufactures like Simonton and Andersen were ahead of the game and had already developed new Low-E coatings that meet or exceed both the Energy Star and Federal Tax Credit standards well before 2009.  With Simonton the products is Low-E 366, and with Andersen the product is Low-E Smart Sun.  Both increase the energy performance of the windows without decreasing the aesthetic appearance of the windows.

If you are considering a window replacement project contact us today!  We’ll be sure the windows you buy with meet all the necessary requirements to get you 30% back up to $1500.

The Federal Government recently announced a tax credit for energy efficient home improvements Homeowners will receive 30% of the cost of an approved project up to $1500. On the list of energy efficient improvements are replacement windows. However, the guidelines for acceptable windows are very stringent and it’s very important that homeowners know which windows will get them the tax credit and which will not.

The government is requiring that the windows being installed must have a SHGC of .30 or less, and a U-value of .30 or less. SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) determines the amount of heat gained from the sun through a window. U-Value is the measurement used to determine how well a material allows heat to pass through (it’s the inverse of R-value). The lower the U-value the better insulated a window is.

The confusing part is that not all Energy Star rated windows qualify. This can be tricky to homeowners who are not aware of the specific requirements. In the window industry right now, most double pane windows will not qualify for this tax credit and those that do tend to have extra layers of Low-E giving the glass a more shaded appearance. Most triple pane windows already qualify, but buyer beware. Not all triple pane windows are built to last. Most manufacturers are scrambling to develop new windows that will meet the federal guidelines.

The news these days speaks mostly of recession, the suffering economy, struggling industries and individual businesses.  Given the state of our country’s economy one would expect that the Home Improvement Industry will also suffer.  However, that may not be the case.

In New England and other parts of the country, new construction housing has all but come to a halt, and housing sales in general are down significantly from the first half of this decade.  In the past most families occupied a residence for an average of 5-7 years.  But in a difficult economy that number is rising.  Many homeowners are choosing to sit tight in the house they currently reside.  This is great news for the Home Improvement Industry.

This phenomenon should positively affect established and professional remodeling and replacement contractors in 2 significant ways.  The first way is that essential systems that tend to break down over time such as roofing, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, windows, and appliances, still need to be replaced.  In the past some homeowners may have passed the cost and duty of replacing these systems to the next owner.  But in many cases that is no longer an option.

The second way home improvement companies in New England may reap some benefits is the “don’t move improve” mentality.  Instead of upgrading to a newer larger home many people are opting to add on or remodel their existing home to suit their families needs.  These types of projects often include additions, finished basements and attics, low-maintenance siding upgrades, garages, and kitchen and bathroom remodels.

Homeowners still need to do their homework and consider carefully who they hire.

Although well established companies will survive this tough season, less professionally run businesses and “fly-by-night” contractors most likely will not.  If you are interviewing a contractor and they seem desperate to have your business and do not have a list of recent references to provide, consider this; There’s a high likelihood that contractor will not be around for the long run.  Do you want someone handling a project for you that will not be able to honor any warranty or service any issues that might arise it the future?  Furthermore, consider the low level of workmanship you will receive from someone who is barely making money, if any, on your project.  They will cut any corner possible.