Cardinal glass is one of the main glass unit manufacturers. They are quite interesting. They use a LEAN manufacturing system, which is worth a look into. I’ve been reading through “Out of the Crisis” which is a fundamental book in the LEAN management world. Most books on Toyota are good as well. A series of posts could be written on this alone. But typically companies that employ LEAN have exceptional reliability and quality.
From what I’ve been able to tell there are only a few glass unit manufacturers and the window companies make a vinyl/wood/fiberglass frame to insert the window units into. So, many will use their own names to market the same window units, or technologies that the window unit manufacturers use. There’s a good video showing Cardinal’s manufacturing on this webpage.
So in researching window replacement you want to find out who makes the glass. Then you can take a look at their frames in any store that has a display. You can quickly tell that they make the frame material in long lengths and cut to fit your window size. Then the corners are welded.
The best seals come from casement style windows. This is because the windows press into the seal. But this comes with an obvious trade off in reliability. The require somewhat complicated crank and hinge systems. these moving parts are the most likely spots to fail in a window with good glass units.
The solution is to go to a simpler system, like slider units. This requires you to give up some air sealing efficiency in trade for increased reliability. I feel this is a good trade off, as you only want to change out windows every 20 years if possible, due to the labour involved. Of course, there are also environmental gains in purchasing something that will last. If you have to toss out the unit in 5 – 10 years you’re not helping anyone.
To make the most of this reno I’m paying for it on a new credit card. The Amex Marriot Bonvoy card. After spending $3000 in the next six months you get enough points for 3-7 nights in a Marriot (or any of their chain) hotel. If you stay 4 nights you get the 5th free, which is another nice bonus. There is a $120 annual fee, which is easily covered by the free nights. You also get a free night every year which offsets the cost, if you choose to keep the card the second year.
There are 2 versions of this card, so it’s fairly easy to get a couple weeks of vacation hotels paid for with the sign up bonus. Here’s a referral link if you’d like to support the blog, while getting some extra points for yourself. Once you get the card you can refer a friend (or me) for more points. Later we’ll work on how to get your flight for free, and see if we can’t turn all the renos everyone is doing into a nice vacation for when the world returns to normal.
Edit: Fixed hyperlinks 🙂