Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I wish I didn't feel so strongly about windows...

Windows...........I have some big dam windows.  Most modern houses use aluminum windows for there clean simple lines and sleek modern edgy look. After much research my selections for my budget is limited. There are really NO options when most window's energy codes don't meet your areas standards.  For example: Milguard (which is a company I can afford)  makes an affordable aluminum window and interestingly enough is produced locally near Tacoma WA.  However, my energy efficiency codes for Jefferson County will not allow me to specify them.  They don't pass code even though they are produced in the state.........strange huh.

My options are:

1. High end residential commercial grade aluminum windows with triple pane glass and extra argon gas to meet energy standards.  ($$$ way out of budget.)

2. Fiberglass windows meet my energy codes and there price is average, however the frame size compared to a aluminum frame is double so the design profile is compromised. ($$ in budget.)

3. Vinyl windows also meet my codes and there prices are very reasonable, the same issues come up with frame size as fiberglass. ($ meets budget and would save money.)

Most of the time I shrug decisions like this off and find something that I can live with, but this one had me stumped.  Windows are a huge deal to me, I need something efficient both cost and heat loss/gain but  modern and simple.  Well, I decided to go the with number 3 route. I weighed the pros and cons and there was no way I could afford option 1 so if your going to have the same look and code requirements why pay more right? The windows are on there way and there is no going back.  Hope I made the right choice, you win some and loose some, it still has me bummed .

Someone out there needs to bridge the gap......come on window gods make more options!!


  1. What a pain in the butt! I know the building codes are hypothetically supposed to help us have better buildings, but honestly I feel like they're more of a hassle and inconvenience than anything else. The whole thing can be to obtuse at times.

  2. I feel your pain, I am also trying to decide on what kind of windows to get for my new house. It'a a much harder decision then one would think. These things have a way of working out where the very things we resist when building or remodeling can turn into the things we love the most. Not every time, but I have had that happen a lot. I hope the windows turn out to be okay.
    Building codes can be incredibly frustrating though!

  3. Personally, I prefer aluminum windows. They are lighter and more durable than wood, they won't rot. They won't rust like steel. And they're more economical than fiberglass, at least in my neighborhood. All my windows are aluminum framed.