Author Topic: Preventing air leaking with sliding windows  (Read 770 times)

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Offline Xeta

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Preventing air leaking with sliding windows
« on: October 10, 2017, 12:32:21 AM »
Hello all,

I am having a small wood cabin built, and was planning on having sliding windows on it, primarily because of the windy climate here which prevents casement windows from staying open and also because sliders don't intrude on the living space. However, I have been told by several people that sliders do not seal as well as casement and so leak air and water and so on.

So my question is, is there a way to build sliding windows and somehow prevent such leakage? (The carpenter who is building the house will be making the windows as well, so the windows will also be made of wood as I understand it. In any case, I prefer not to have to install vinyl windows.)

Offline Don_P

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Re: Preventing air leaking with sliding windows
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 03:37:11 AM »
There are more choices than vinyl or homemade, neither of which is likely to seal well. A casement is usually the tightest window but well made horizontal sliders are not automatically prone to leakage. Shop around a bit.

On a recent job the clients insisted on reusing the old windows. I tightened them up using different seals from Resource Conservation Technology. In the end, as suspected, we could have bought better windows with the same money.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Preventing air leaking with sliding windows
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 05:40:00 AM »
We have a mix of casement and sliders in our home and cabin. Love them both. The house windows were mid to upper end, while the cabin windows were not quite so much, but not bottom line. Vinyl in a tan color. They match or color coordinate with our paint selection. The house used to have single hung aluminum builder specials from the 1980's. The new sliders are vastly superior to them. We immediately noticed the change inside the rooms.

And to be sure we're on the same page with the definitions; sliders move left right. The kind that "slide" up and down are either single hung or double hung.  Some of these are made to pivot out for easier cleaning from inside.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 08:35:18 AM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline akwoodchuck

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Re: Preventing air leaking with sliding windows
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 07:35:31 AM »
Vinyl sliders are my favorite kind of window....casements are ok but I hate how the screens are inside, and sliders are so easy to pop out for cleaning. Also from a safety standpoint- if you need egress from a room as fast as possible and your casement crank handle is missing or the arm is stuck- you're screwed.
"The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne."

Offline Dave Sparks

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Re: Preventing air leaking with sliding windows
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 10:33:06 AM »
Hey Don, why do you say vinyl will not seal well?  I have a mix of vinyl, fiberglass, and metal. The only ones that I have had seal problems with are the high end fiberglass.
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Offline Don_P

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Re: Preventing air leaking with sliding windows
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 02:16:30 PM »
And there the old adage "you get what you pay for" holds true. I do prefer stiffer materials with less thermal movement. In the end I don't think we have, or at least we don't use, a perfect material yet.

What I ran into when trying to rebuild the windows on the jobsite was the cost of the seals, tracks, etc added up quickly. It is fussy shop work which is fine but when hired out might not be the best bang for the buck. I very seriously doubt the work I did approaches in sealing what a factory unit does. Gotta admit though, that old heart pine is beautiful.

Way OT... those windows must have been purchased as loose sashes from some millwork supply house, likely brought in by rail in a crate. The jambs, sill, etc were site built. The sashes were machined for the old pocket sash weight ropes but were in a poor farmhouse, they had been set up single hung with prop sticks rather than any form of counterweight. I repaired the sashes and made new jambs. Soo, sort of what you are proposing was at one time the norm.


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