We Went To The World’s Leading Vinyl Window Company & Told Them To Make Their Best Window BETTER.
BY JOHN KOLBASKA, OWNER
Other companies sell very good windows, too. And they settle on providing that level of quality to all their customers.
We don’t operate that way at The Men With Tools. A few years ago, I decided that selling only “very good” windows wasn’t good enough for us—and, more importantly, wasn’t good enough for our customers.
I wanted to give our customers a best-in-class window option—one that smoked all other windows in Staten Island and New Jersey in terms of energy efficiency.
So I did something that’s a little “out there” for the typical window contractor. I invented my own window—one that’s 15X more airtight than the industry standard and also equipped with a 30% more energy efficient glass package than the industry average.
Here’s the story…
A few years ago, I approached Sunrise Windows, which is the leading vinyl-window manufacturer in the industry by every conceivable metric. I told them I wanted to create THE most energy efficient window Staten Island and New Jersey homeowners could get their hands on… without having to spend two arms and a leg.
To achieve optimal efficiency and value with my window, I had to play Dr. Frankenstein by combining different materials from different manufacturers.
Here was the process…
Step #1: Choosing The Frame & Insulation
I’ve installed Sunrise-brand windows for years. They’re fantastic vinyl replacement windows and have THE best Air Infiltration ratings and R-Value by a country mile. To get an idea of how well Sunrise windows insulate, consider this: their frames contain comfort foam insulation with an R-Value of 23 – The R-Value of the average wall? 15! This means Sunrise window actually resists heat loss better than most walls.
If I was going to create the most energy efficient and value-packed replacement window Staten Island and New Jersey had ever seen, a Sunrise frame was a no-brainer. So I met with Sunrise representatives and, in a nutshell, said, “I want you to take your best window—and make it BETTER.” I explained my plan to take their frame and infuse it with window glass that was custom-optimized for the Staten Island and New Jersey region.
Sunrise isn’t the kind of company to shy away from innovation, so they were all too happy to oblige.
Step #1: Complete.
Step #2: Choosing The Glass
As I’ve said before, triple pane is a waste of money in our neck of the woods. It costs 30-40% more than double pane, but the difference in energy savings is practically nil. Since we’re in a moderate climate, we just don’t get the type of heat or cold that requires what triple pane offers.
So I crunched some numbers and determined the precise point where a window in our climate provides maximum efficiency before it becomes overkill. I discovered achieving this optimal U-Factor was possible with a double-pane glass package. It had to be a really, really GREAT double-pane glass package. But double pane nonetheless.
This whittled my options down to one and only one company: Cardinal Glass Industries. Cardinal is like the Rolex or Rolls-Royce of the glass industry—NO ONE makes better products.
I researched and tested all of Cardinal’s glass packages to find the perfect fit for my window. I found a double-pane option that was EXACTLY what I was looking for. It was so efficient that it rivaled many triple-pane options from other companies—but without the hefty price tag.
Step #2: Complete.
Step #3: Testing “Frankenstein’s Monster”
I then had Sunrise manufacture my window using their awesome frames and Cardinal’s awesome double-pane glass package. Once that was complete, there was just one thing left to do: Test it.
I had the window put through all of the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) efficiency tests. The results were everything I hoped for—and then some…
⦁ The best U-Factor (0.22) and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (0.19) ratings in a double pane casement window
⦁ An Air Infiltration rating 15X better than industry standard
⦁ Twice the R-Value of big-name brands like Simonton, Andersen, and Pella
Step #3: Complete.
The Birth Of The ThermaLast Window
The mission was a resounding success. We had created a custom window perfectly optimized to provide PINNACLE energy efficiency in Staten Island and New Jersey… and we did it in a way that makes the window MUCH more affordable than triple pane. Because of the strong frame and leading efficiency, I decided I had no choice but to call it the ThermaLast Window. (“Frankenstein’s Window” didn’t have the same ring to it.)
The ThermaLast Window is what you want in your Staten Island or New Jersey home if you’re looking for maximum efficiency at the greatest value. That’s not hype; it’s the honest-to-goodness truth, which is why I chose to install them in my own home and many of my employees decided to do the same.
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