Which window should I look for?

Old 05-17-05, 11:19 AM
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Which window should I look for?

Hi, Guys:

This might be the repeated question but I do want some specific answer for it.

I try to replace windows in my bedrooms besides road because we can hear some noise (a little lound in the daytime). We try to use Double hung window with options like LoE, gas etc. We went to Homedepot and Lowe and got a lot of information. But the problem now is that we know too much to decide to which one to choose.

There are brands we got so far:
Certainteed, and Simington,pella, American craftsman.

Which one should we choose and should we buy directly from homedepot or low?

Is there any other special option we can pursue for noise attenuation?

Also, one sales people suggest we use construction window instead of replacement window? The difference, he says, construction window provides more seal than replacement window.

Thanks, guys!!
Old 05-17-05, 03:57 PM
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Vinyl windows are good because they will not rot, there is no wood to paint. However, you will likely need extension jambs and casing. I believe the certainteed windows you were looking at were probably vinyl.

Pella's windows have wood interiors, which will need stain and varnish, plus casing.

A new construction window may be the best way to go because they come with a nailing fin and it may be easier for you to resize the hole and install a new construction window. It's hard to say without seeing it though, because every job is different. If you can find a new construction window that is close to the same size as your rough opening, then that's probably going to be the best deal.

As far as noise, you will likely want to select a glass option that has argon filled IGU's. You might also think about triple pane glass, which is not only better performing, but also reduces noise.

If you plan on installing these windows yourself, then yes, you probably want to purchase them directly from a box store. If you plan on having a company install them, you might want to contact someone who can sell AND install. There's nothing worse than having to install something that someone else mis-measured, and try to make it fit, when it could have been ordered the right size to begin with. Not that I'm speaking from experience, mind you... lol
Old 05-18-05, 07:43 AM
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Thanks for your advice!!

Regarding triple panes, is it a valid option?

Also how about American craftman window, sb says it is not good in the long run. Is it true?

I still don't get it quite clearly: What is the main difference between construction window and replacement window? Is construction window always better than replacement window??

Thanks again!
Old 05-18-05, 06:13 PM
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Many vinyl window manufacturers will offer triple pane glass as one of their options. It may not be available with every window, but it is with some. The pella windows you are looking at are likely a thermopane plus a storm (3 pc) which is essentially the same or even better than a triple pane IGU.

Never heard of American craftsman. There are literally 1000's of window brands in the US.

Generally, the difference between a "new construction" window and a "replacement" window is that new construction windows always have a nailing fin. They also generally come in standard preset sizes which make them less expensive because they can be mass produced.

Replacement windows generally do not come with nailing fins (but some do), they are custom sized, (a few companies offer standard sizes), and generally they are meant to be installed inside the old jamb of your old window. (whereas with "new construction" windows, the entire old window jamb is removed so as to install the new window right into the rough opening.)

When you retrofit replacement windows, you usually don't have to replace the interior trim, or have to do many alterations to the exterior trim. This is often a cost saving option.

When you replace a window with a new construction window, the interior trim will need to be replaced, and the exterior nailing fin will need to be flashed, trimmed and covered.
Old 05-19-05, 07:52 AM
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You must be a professional as I can tell

Old 05-20-05, 09:33 AM
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Seems Pella is a good choice. I will get a quote. But a lot of people say Pella is a little expensive. Is it worth money considering its quality?

Old 05-20-05, 10:33 AM
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Well, that's a little bit like asking a wine connoisseur if the $50 wine is worth it, compared to the $20 wine.

Yes, Pella may be a little more expensive, but they are a quality window.
Old 05-21-05, 09:54 AM
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triple pane for sound attenuation

good morning,

A few, rather long, comments concerning sound attenuation in windows...

The triple pane versus dual pane debate for both energy efficiency and sound propagation is a long one, and one that I have occasionally participated in on this and on a few other websites.

You are absolutely correct actonwang about XSleeper being a total professional in this business. I have learned much from reading his posts in the past, and expect to do so into the future!

XSleeper, my info is going to vary a little bit from what is "common knowledge" about triple versus dual pane for sound attenuation...heck, you can find several "ask the expert" sites online that say that triple pane is superior to dual pane in that area...but, I am going to suggest that sound attenuation in windows isn't quite that simple, and I am going to drop a rather long post that hopefully addresses the issue a bit.

I know it is a bit off topic, but if anyone wants to read it, I hope it makes sense!

Although I am not recommending a particular window, or a particular company, I will offer a few comments on soundproofing, or how to make a quieter window.

Windows are rated as to their ability to deaden or attenuate sound based on something called an STC or Sound Transmission Class. Walls and other building components use the same system, but here we are considering windows.

STC is an average of an object's ability to attenuate sound across the entire sound frequency spectrum. STC does not provide specific frequency-deadening information which is really what is needed if you want to block a specific type of unwanted noise; for example traffic noise.

As humans we are born with the ability to hear from approximately 20 to 20,000 hertz. Hertz, or Hz, is how sound frequency is measured - like electricity is measured in volts, for example.
By the time we are teenagers, however, we have generally lost the ability to hear above about 13,000hz which as I remember is something mother always warned us about - going deaf - or was it stop or you'll go blind? I always get those confused.

Anyway, traffic noise (for an example) is generally low frequency, and unfortunately, low frequencies are much harder to attenuate (opposite of amplify) or block than are higher frequencies...consider how often you hear the base sounds from the neighborhood kid's car stereo and not the higher pitch tunes when he is coming down the street.

Loud neighbor's can be higher frequency or lower frequency depending on what sort of noises they are making. Loud voices are relatively easy to block. Noisy dogs are a bit more difficult. Lawn equipment or power tools become quite difficult. Loud music, refer back to the comment on the neighborhood kid driving down the street.

When considering windows, there are generally three options available for maximum possible sound attenuation.

First is laminated glass.
Second is a wider airspace between the lites.
Third is using two lites of different thickness in the IGU or Insulating Glass Unit.
Fourth would be a combination of all three.

Airport windows, for example, will generally have laminated glass on both sides of the IGU in an aluminum frame and with a "maximum" airspace between the lites. In an airport the primary concern is sound attenuation and energy efficiency is secondary. I mention this because the width of the airspace and the choice of window framing material affects both sound and energy efficiency.

Some folks will suggest triple pane glass for its sound deadening ability, and while triple pane is a slight improvement over standard double pane at lower frequencies due to the additional density of the extra lite, overall there is no difference in STC rating between triple and double pane provided that the overall airspace between the panes is constant between the two constructions. In other words, consider a triple pane with two 1/4" airspaces and a dual pane with a single 1/2" airspace...both using 1/8" glass...the STC will be identical if the IGU's are the same dimensions.

The Pella construction that XSleeper alluded to should have excellent sound properties because it is not a "true" triple pane window and the airspaces will be wider than those on a conventional triple pane.

Using one thicker (3/16") and one thinner (1/16") lite in an IG construction will also help deaden sound because each lite is "transparent" to a different frequency and each lite will then attenuate the frequency that the other lite "passed".

If you decide on installing a new window, then remember that, as always, the quality of the construction and especially the installation cannot be overstated! Based on the size of the unit, fixed (not an operator)is a definite advantage when attempting to stop noise from coming in your house.

A fixed, non-operable, window will often show significant improvement over an operating window which is one reason why the soundproof folks do so well. They install a fixed "storm" and make sure that the original window is also tight...it does work.

A few numbers for comparison (glass only, not a specific window construction):

A 1/4" monolithic lite has an STC of 31.
A 1/4" laminated lite has an STC of 35.
A 1/2" (overall width - airspace width is 1/4") IGU has an STC of 28, lower than a single sheet of 1/4" glass. Surprised? If anyone is curious, I can explain the principle behind that one.

Increase the airspace in the IGU to 3/8" from 1/4" and the STC increases to 31, or the same as a monolithic 1/4" lite!
One disclaimer, generally speaking, in the real world few monolithic windows are made using 1/4" glass.

Replace one of the 1/8" monolithic lites in the IGU mentioned above with a 1/4" laminate, and the STC jumps to 35, which happens to be the same as the monolithic laminate alone. If anyone is wondering, it is that pesky, narrow airspace of 1/4" that is the problem. Again, I can talk more in depth about that if anyone is interested.

In the same laminated glass / IGU make up, that I just mentioned, if we increase the airspace to 1/2", then we jump the STC to 39.

And, finally, if we want to get really serious, increase the airspace to 4" and use laminated glass on both sides of the airspace and we get an STC of 53, or airport-style sound deadening. Now before anyone gets overly excited, the cost of such a construction is rather significant!

Hope this made at least some sense!
Wonder if anyone made it this far?
Old 05-22-05, 12:24 PM
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I come corss this website:


Does it make sense?
Old 05-22-05, 12:31 PM
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Also, I am curious here: Why 1/2 double IGU has less STC than single sheet of glass. Here double IGU , do you mean double pane?

Are you saying double pane window is less than single pane in terms of sound proof?

I am confused.

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