Windows – The Basics

Feb 24, 2016

Window Woes?

[bs_lead]Windows by definition are simple: glass held in a sash that fits into a frame.[/bs_lead]

Second only to your roof system, the windows and doors of your home and their details are critical to providing a proper shield to the outside environment. If you’re interested in replacing your current windows, want to learn tips on how to maintain the ones you have now, or just really love windows, read on!


open window


The Good & the Bad

While windows can be one of the most attractive features of your home, they can also account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill in the winter by letting heat out. In the summer, air conditioners have to work harder to cool air that’s heated by sunny weather pouring through windows. Many people invest in some light-blocking curtains and/or blinds during summer months, in order to combat this.

Windows provide us with a connection to the outside world by allowing sunlight in, providing us with a view, allowing a small amount of heat in from the sun during winter, and affording us the opportunity for fresh air ventilation. New windows enhance the look of your home, make it less drafty (as well as quieter), and are generally easier to clean and maintain than older windows.

Windows - Photo by Joseph Rey Au

Types of Windows

[bs_lead]There are five basic window styles available, and each one provides its own unique look and function.[/bs_lead]

The architecture of a home, the window’s location, and the window’s function are the three main criteria when choosing the style and size of your windows.

[bs_well size=”sm”]

  • Double-hung windows are the most popular. Many of today’s versions have a tilt-in sash for easy cleaning.

  • Casement windows are hinged at the side and typically swing out.

  • Sliding windows function like a double-hung turned sideways.

  • Awning windows are hinged on the top and open out from the bottom.

  • Fixed glass windows are just that, fixed in place and do not open. Large fixed windows are often called picture windows.


window 2

Existing Window Openings

When working with existing window openings you basically have four options…

• Option One [bs_lead]Repair and maintain the existing windows.[/bs_lead]

As with all your routine home inspections and maintenance we advise individuals to sit down with their calendars and pick convenient dates in each of the four seasons to perform their inspections and routine maintenance. Does the window open and close properly? Does the interior trim or wall show signs of water infiltration? Is the paint on the exterior of the window and its trim in good condition? Are the caulk joints where the window meets the window trim in good shape and free of cracks and holes? What about where the window trim meets the exterior finish material of the home? We are consistently amazed at just how many problems could have been avoided with proper routine maintenance – mainly caulking and painting. Typically, if minor wood rot is present, some simple repairs and new caulking and painting will do the trick. If you have storm windows, you will more than likely want to reinstall after making the necessary repairs in order to maintain the same level of energy efficiency.

Option Two [bs_lead] Install a new sash kit in the existing window frame.[/bs_lead]

A sash kit for a standard double hung window comes with two new tracks (jamb liners), two new sashes and the hardware to install. A sash kit is a good option when one is looking to gain energy efficiency by replacing old single pane windows with today’s energy efficient double pane windows without disrupting the existing window frame, the existing interior trim or the existing exterior trim of the unit. If you had storm windows reinstallation is not necessary with this option.

Option Three [bs_lead]Install an insert window.[/bs_lead]

Similar to the sash kit but more complete the insert window is a complete window unit minus the interior and exterior trim made to fit within the confines of the existing frame. This unit will be sized so as to be placed in the existing opening without disturbing the existing interior and exterior trim. The unit is finished out with additional trim pieces to bridge the gap between old and new both on the interior and exterior.

Option Four [bs_lead]Install an entirely new window unit.[/bs_lead]

This is the most invasive, work-intensive method. The existing entire window unit including both interior and exterior window trim must be removed to make room for the new window unit. Once installed, new interior and exterior trim can be installed, caulked, and painted.

window blinds 1

Window Weather Tips

[bs_lead]If you’re having problems with your windows, but don’t want to replace them, these tips can help improve their performance.[/bs_lead]

Cold Weather [bs_lead]Tips for turning up the heat.[/bs_lead]

[bs_well size=”sm”]

  • After weatherizing, install insulating window shades on drafty windows. These should be tight-fitting. At night during these colder months, close curtains and shades to protect against cold drafts, and open them during the day to let in warm sunlight.

  • To reduce drafts, tape clear plastic film to the inside of window frames, or use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a window frame.

  • If necessary, repair and weatherize current storm windows.

  • Reduce heat loss through windows by installing exterior or interior storm windows. These windows should have weatherstripping at all movable (as well as interlocking or overlapping) joints, in addition to being made of strong materials.


Warm Weather

[bs_lead]How to keep it cool.[/bs_lead]

[bs_well size=”sm”]

  • Install window shades, blinds, and/or drapes to help limit the amount of heat entering the home during the day. Choose a light color, such as white – it reflects heat away from the area.

  • Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar heat gain.

  • Consider applying a reflective film over windows that face south, in order to reduce heat gain from the sun

  • During the day, close curtains on the windows facing south and west.

  • Install awnings on windows facing south and west.



Edgemoore Living Room


Window Wisdom…

[bs_lead]Windows help revitalize your house.[/bs_lead]

The size, shape, and location of your home will determine the size, shape, and location of your windows . Be mindful about the types of windows available, as well as how easy they’ll be to clean and maintain as the years progress. Whether you’re planning to keep your current windows or invest in some new ones, always do your research!

If you have questions about remodeling projects, or just want some further tips, feel free to give us a call. Did you know that we also offer handyman services? Because of BACK Construction’s reputation of being the highest quality remodeler in Lexington, Kentucky, many people think we only do large projects. We offer the same quality for small projects as with a large project, because we have the same skilled craftsmen on each and every one. In fact, BACK’s handyman service is an Angie’s List Super Service Award winner.

Contact us today, no matter what size project you have, and we will provide our quality workmanship to handle your project with care. Our team of skilled, professional craftsmen will make sure your project is done BACK better!

Sources: 1, 2

Enjoy Peace of Mind
 They removed some hardy board siding that had been exposed to lots of water and was rotten...Took old out, replaced with new, primed, caulked and painted all in one morning. Schon Holman was magnificent. He knew what he was doing, came dressed suiting the quality of work I expected, did a thorough, perfect job, left site immaculate and was professional in his conversation and demeanor. Would definitely use Schon and BACK again. 
 Today concludes my home updating experience with Back Construction. It is with gratitude and satisfaction I review Shohn and my kitchen transformation. There were many just in time process changes that needed Shohns' expertise and patient consideration. He approached them through an experienced eye and one by one sought a solution , never an excuse. This is a testimony to.his professionalism and attention to detail. Thanks Back Construction for choosing top quality staff. Thank you Shohn for taking care of me like you would your family. 
 Back Construction helped turn my rental property from the ugliest house on the street to one of the best-looking by designing and building a super-custom open gable porch roof to replace an outdated awning. The project was complicated by the need to work with multiple residents and me, the owner, but clear communication from start to finish made the process easier. They were conscientious about my budget without cutting corners on the quality, appearance, or service. 
 I was very pleased with Schon Holman who repaired a faucet incorrectly installed and repaired cabinet damaged by water. Back was quickly responsive to my request and adjusted original estimate when work was done. I would highly recommend Back. 
 Highly recommend Back Construction! They screened in part of our deck and built a pergola. The project went smooth from beginning to end. The sales manager and project manager were easy to work with and took everything into consideration. The work crew were very professional, on time and cleaned up daily. Our screened in porch has become our favorite part of the house! We will definitely be using Back Construction again. 
 I couldn't speak more fondly on my experience with Back Construction. We had the columns on our front porch repaired and we are extremely pleased with the workmanship. Schon Holman and Tom Gebhart were very professional.The Home was built in the 1800s and with the original columns still standing, the team took extra care in the repair and their preservation. They also were able to lift the porch and level out the roof which seemed like quite a task. Im very happy with the outcome. They even gave advice and information on the products they used for future reference. Thank you very much Back Construction. I will be recommending your work to others. 
Convenient Financing Options Available

Your home remodeling project doesn’t need to break the bank! We offer a variety of financing options to qualified homeowners, so you can start creating a better home today.

Learn More
Proudly Serving Our Kentucky Neighbors
BACK Construction

965 Contract St
Lexington, KY 40505
Get Directions