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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Breakfast Sunspace Replacement Windows

Thursday, January 4, 2024

One of our original Pella windows in the breakfast sunspace is damaged beyond repair. Replacement windows have been ordered. Yes, multiple windows are on order. We are waiting for them to arrive and to be installed by Pella Windows. 

The far right window in the set of four identical windows (only 3 are visible in the photo) is the damaged window. You can't see the damage in this photo because this photo was taken before the damage occurred. 

Photos taken over multiple years are in this blog post to illustrate the sunspace windows, the design of the windows, and the design of the sunspace.

Breakfast Sunspace 

Replacement Windows

A photo taken when the kitchen floor was replaced with new large ceramic tiles is a good photo to show the sunspace design. The sunspace is not one unit. Rather, the sunspace was designed by a Pella representative using standard windows available: 2 fixed roof windows, 4 windows with operable lower sections, and 2 trapezoid fixed windows on the ends of the space. 

The section of 4 windows was designed to maximize an unobstructed view by choosing windows with a large fixed section at the top and a smaller operable section at the bottom. The lower windows open to allow a cross breeze to flow through. The wooden frames are below eyesight of people seated at the table and chairs. 

Most conventional house builders do not fully consider a house site to maximize solar heat, to reduce cold drafts, or to maximize air flow from prevailing local winds. Many houses are built in subdivisions with little, if any, space to alter the direction a house faces. Local city building codes require cookie-cutter uniform boundary lines between houses and to the property lines. Since urban lots are often small, houses are built to fit the space, not built to maximize natural weather conditions. 

We did not have the restrictions for siting our house because we have two acres in the countryside. The house, particularly the sunspace, was carefully planned to maximize solar heat in the winter and to minimize solar heat in the summer. At the same time the view outside the kitchen sunspace was maximized with the selected windows.

The windows are wood with aluminum cladding exteriors to protect the windows from the elements. The windows are 36 years old and had a 20 year warranty. However, over time the top section of the window at one end slipped down a little allowing water damage. 

A problem is this particular window style is no longer a standard option with Pella Windows. Replacing it alone would require a custom made window. The second problem is the four windows are not single windows where one window can be replaced. The four windows are two sets of double windows. A Pella representative came to the house to offer solutions. 

The most economical solution that maintains a similar look is to replace the four windows with two sets of double wide windows that are double hung windows with the top and bottom sections the same size. The cost of replacing all four windows with available standard windows is between $500-$1000 LESS than replacing one set of windows with custom made windows in the same configuration as the existing ones. 

Stay tuned for a post after the new windows are installed. Estimated installation date of the four new windows is mid-February.