Tilt in to clean windows
Double hung windows, where the bottom sash slides up and the top sash slides down, have had an important improvement in recent years. They now feature sashes that tilt in, so you can clean the outside glass from inside your house. No more climbing ladders outside to have clean windows!
There are several variations to this feature, some of which you should know about before you decide which windows to purchase.
Older wood or metal windows don’t generally tilt to clean. Therefore, they usually have glass edges that line up top to bottom in a straight line.
A few replacement windows offer this look. It is more expensive to manufacture this type of double hung window, and your contractor will charge more for them.
Imagine the bottom sash of the window tilting in. There has to be a pivot point at the bottom, and a device on both sides at the top to release the sash so you can fold them down. There are slots in the sides of the window frame where the hinge and retaining clips ride, and a flat surface on the inside hiding and containing the slot.
If this surface and slot is the same size on the top and bottom, then there won’t be any clearance for the top sash to tilt in. So, the designers put a second surface with a slot behind it that is narrower than the first set to provide clearance for the top sash to tilt in. Now both the top and bottom sashes tilt in to clean. a good thing!
However, if the manufacturer uses the same vinyl sash part to build the top and bottom sashes, the glass on top will be narrower than the glass on the bottom, by the same distance as the setback as the sash tracks in the frame. usually around 3/8 of an inch on both sides. This is noticeable to anyone looking at them. it doesn’t bother some people, but bothers others very much. Think of a blue skirt worn with a blue sweater that is almost, but not quite the same color blue. It drives some people crazy. I don’t have an opinion on this, beyond the fact that I never want my customers to be surprised.
The reason that equal lite sashes, where the top and bottom glass line is a straight line, cost more is this: the factory has to have a different thickness sash material for the top sash than for the bottom sash. This means twice the inventory, and a whole different set of welding machines to process the different sizes. a significant expense.
So, find out if equal light sashes are important to you, or not, and see what the cost difference is.
Don’t be surprised when your windows are installed because you didn’t ask the right questions. Don’t buy the low-price window not knowing the reasons that it costs less.
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