Readers often post a simple question on our Q&A page: “What brand of window should I buy?” For an editor, it’s an exasperating question, because it’s unanswerable. The answer depends on a host of factors, including the buyer’s geographical location, performance expectations, budget, and personal sense of aesthetics.
Rather than attempting to answer the question, I decided to interview fourteen designers and builders of high-performance homes. I asked them, “What brand of window did you specify on recent high-performance projects — and why?”
This article isn’t an introduction to high-performance windows. If you’re looking for that type of information, start with the following articles:
Background information on four window brands
It will be easier to understand some of the statements made below if readers have some basic background information on Intus Windows, SchÃ¼co Windows, Menck Windows, and Thermotech Fiberglass Windows.
Intus Windows are vinyl windows manufactured in Lithuania. Until recently, Intus windows were popular with American builders looking for high-performance triple-glazed windows at an affordable price. This year, Intus announced that it will no longer sell windows to builders of single-family homes in the U.S., so fans of Intus windows have been looking for a substitute manufacturer.
SchÃ¼co is a German manufacturer of window extrusions, window hardware, and window fabrication machinery. The company sells components to window fabricators all over the world. Since different fabricators use SchÃ¼co components in different ways, there is no such thing as a “SchÃ¼co window.” Anyone who is considering buying a “SchÃ¼co window” should learn the name of the window fabricator and find out the name of the company who will provide warranty service.
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