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Our expert panel shares their window wisdom to achieve the perfect waterfront vista.
“An architect, a builder and a window supplier walked into a waterfront home…”
No, there’s no joke. There’s no punchline. But there is a helpful punch list of things to know and look for when you are designing or replacing this critical component for happy waterway living. Local architect Cathy Purple Cherry (owner, Purple Cherry Architects), builder Mark Sanders (vice president, Pyramid Builders) and retailer Greg Kunowsky (president/owner, Architectural Window Supply) provide the inside information.
Cathy Purple Cherry gets right to the nitty-gritty: “Believe it or not, the first thing we need to know is what is the wind velocity for the location,” she tells us. “When you have a harsh exposure it, more often or not, puts you into fixed (no opportunity for leaking) or casement style windows. High wind is not good for double hung windows.” There are also aesthetic and lifestyle considerations, she explains. Do the owners want fresh air? Do windows need to open? Also, deck railings need to be looked at from the inside in both a standing or seated position. She even takes the size of the owners into consideration. “The challenge is to create a great view for a five-foot-one wife and a six-foot tall husband.”
Builder Mark Sanders takes an understandably practical position. “It’s a combination of the wind and the water—both need to be considered.” They specialize in custom windows, aluminum clad, that are DP (Design Pressure) rated as well as adhering to Miami-Dade County codes developed following Hurricane Andrew for impact tolerance. “After 30 years windows can fail, water infiltration happens. Newer windows have a metal pan that drains out of the house. We do a lot of projects with sliding doors. Using integrated sills out of the system is a proactive way to capture water.”
Greg Kunowsky explains that good windows are an investment well worth the price. “You need to use heavy-gauge aluminum, thick extruded aluminum, with a Kynar paint finish that resists chalking and fading that salt won’t irritate.” Yes salt. Even on the Bay and its tributaries. “You still get some brackish water here.” Windows also need to be maintained and washed at least annually. Another important feature is installation of nail fin and flashing that is integral to the frame. “This means you don’t have any breech between the frame and the window. Very important.”
Clearly, knowledge is the key and windows can be complicated. The best professionals should assess a home owner’s needs and continually communicate. “The worse thing to hear from a client is ‘I did not know that was going to happen,’” Cherry reveals. That’s why she and our other panel members work so hard to avoid it.
Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 8, No. 4 2017