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OTHER/NOT SURE
Select this option if you need multiple types or assistance in determining the best type for your project.

SKYLIGHTS
Allow natural light into top floor rooms such as attics that may not have walls for windows.

AWNING WINDOWS
Like casement windows, they crank out, but the sash opens upward instead of sideways.

STORM WINDOWS Protect older windows against energy inefficiency and are an economical option.

SLIDER/GLIDER
These windows feature a sliding track allowing the sashes to move left and right.

SINGLE HUNG WINDOWS Only the bottom sash opens. The top half of the window is stationary.

DOUBLE HUNG
Both sashes move up and down. Generally both sashes will pop in for easy cleaning.

BAY/BOW WINDOWS Generally protrude out from the exterior wall of a home, creating a wide view and wide window sill inside.

CASEMENT WINDOWS These windows crank out and allow maximum air flow in and out of a home.

BASEMENT EGRESS These maximize light in a basement and are also used for safety.

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Port Richmond Replacement Windows

Port Richmond replacement windows can be functional and attractive additions to the historic row houses of Port Richmond in the northeast part of PA. Port Richmond is populated by a large Polish American community, many of whom are descendants of the original immigrants who settled Port Richmond farms in the 19th and 20th centuries. Traditional Polish architecture influenced the neighborhood, most notably with the construction of St. Adalbert Church in the Polish Cathedral style.

Residents of Port Richmond live largely in row houses that line the streets of northeast Philadelphia, PA. These middle class dwellings instill a sense of community and closeness. The construction is uniform, and windows and other fixtures rarely stray from the original design. Though they are stylistically unchanging, Port Richmond replacement windows can improve function and special features.

Noise Reduction

Because row houses are built adjacent to one another, noise can become a nuisance with little more than drywall to buffer the sound. Single-pane and poorly-fitted windows can exacerbate the problem by admitting street noise as well. When selecting Port Richmond replacement windows, consider features that reduce noise.

Building materials, including Philadelphia window glass, are rated on how well they block sound on a scale called Sound Transmission Class (STC). Virtually all building materials admit some noise, but some block more sound than others. The lower the STC, the more noise the resident will suffer. At an STC rating of 25, normal speech can be heard distinctly through the wall or window. The best STC rating for a window is 38.

Old, cheap, single-pane window glass has an STC rating of 26 to 28. Most row houses in Port Richmond were built before 1940, and any window older than 20 years is likely single-pane. A basic double-glazed window has an STC rating of 28 to 33, and the rating can increase with added replacement features.

The greatest determinants of sound-blockage of Port Richmond replacement windows is the thickness of the glass and air-tightness of the seal. Most replacement windows today are double-glazed: two panes of glass separated by an air or gas fill. An argon or krypton gas fill is highly efficient at buffering extreme temperatures as well as sound, a necessity for the cold Pennsylvania winter. The two panes also create a more efficient sound barrier.

Some frame materials form a tighter seal than others, which can reduce noise and buffer extreme temperatures. Aluminum window frames do not seal tightly. Aluminum is also highly conductive, which makes them inefficient in the winter. Wood frames expand and contract with temperature changes, which can admit sound and cold air. Vinyl is the best choice for noise reduction when it comes to Port Richmond replacement windows because it forms a relatively airtight seal resistant to temperature fluctuations common in the Northeast.

Soundproof Pennsylvania replacements can be installed over the outside of the current windows to eliminate up to 95 percent of noise. These can be expensive and unattractive, but they provide impressive results. Another option for soundproof Port Richmond replacement windows is laminated glass, which is installed inside the current window. These additions do not alter the outside appearance, and they can eliminate up to 95 percent of sound. They are also costly, ranging from $500 to $1,400 per window, but they improve energy efficiency by reducing drafts.[1]

Retrofit vs New Construction

When choosing Port Richmond replacement windows, homeowners have two options. Residents can choose new windows and frames, which requires stripping the current window to its rough opening, or they can choose retrofit replacements. Each replacement option has pros and cons that should be given consideration before making a purchasing decision.

New construction replacement windows require significant remodeling. The window frame is removed entirely, which can lead to structural damage. Homes made of stucco are particularly problematic: the stucco must be removed from the perimeter of the window and then replaced. This can alter the look of the home as the new stucco will not likely match the original. At the very least, a thorough paint job will be in order.

The advantage of new construction is that the contractor can identify problems like rot and settling of the structure. These problems, if detected early, can be corrected to prevent catastrophic damage in the future. New construction also allows for customization of Port Richmond replacement windows in terms of size, shape and frame material.

Retrofit replacement is an easier job, which means lower cost and less potential for exterior damage. The Port Richmond replacement windows are retrofitted into the existing frames, and modern retrofitting techniques make these almost as secure and tightly-sealed as a newly-constructed replacement. Retrofitting reduces the potential for customization, but the uniformity of Port Richmond row houses renders design changes unnecessary and potentially out of place.

[1]http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/11/realestate/11Home.html Retrieved 2011-08-15

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