July 25th, 2018in cottage
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The windows on our main house are aluminum frame units made by Marlin and they’re visually stunning: the frames are simple but robust-looking and hardly impinge on the vast amounts of glass they hold.
That said, from a functional perspective, the open/close mechanisms and latches on the operable units are actually kind of crap, difficult to adjust, and difficult to operate. For the cottage I chose to use Milgard aluminum frame units instead since their latches work better and they’re easier for me to obtain since Dunn carries them.
For each of the two large windows I went with a picture-over-awning layout as modeled by most of the windows in the main house. I situated the break between the panes at desk height. The larger window (62” wide, 106” tall) needed two parallel awning windows on the bottom due to size constraints while the (relatively speaking) smaller one (42” wide, 91” tall) got away with just one.
The windows were delivered to our driveway by a nice burly dude who carried the (relatively speaking) smaller window from the truck with one hand, the window leaning up against his shoulder. I tried just tilting the window myself to ascertain its weight and figured it was at least a hundred pounds; the nice burly dude said he just carries these all day so he’s used to the weight. Damn.
Well, we very much weren’t. I removed the awning panes, leaving us with “just” the picture portion of each window. Peter and I were able to carry the (relatively speaking) smaller unit (still easily over a hundred pounds) to the cottage with just the two of us but it was a bit of a near-death experience. We made long faces at the contractors that happened to be working on our neighbors’ house and two of them had pity on us and helped us carry the larger (150lb+) window.
The installation itself wasn’t too bad: We got the windows tilted into place; then I fastened a little stick along the tops to keep each window from falling out while I adjusted it. I looped ratchet straps through the openings of the awnings up to the roof beam and cranked them up, adjusted the shims underneath, then lowered them back down. Once I was happy with their Y-offset and square-ness, I nailed off the outside (technically, screwed), and off we went.
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The 'smaller' window
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The larger window (crap picture)
There’s also a small clerestory window next to the larger one but that was an easy one to do by myself.

Lessons learned

  • Whoever installed all the giant windows on our main house is a super-hero. Thank you.
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