Tag Archives: single hung windows

Hanging Single Hung Windows to Slide Horizontally

Hanging Single-Hung Windows to Slide Horizontally

You order a 4’ x 4’ sliding window for your new post frame building or barndominium. Depending upon your geographical location, you will assume this window opens up-and-down (Eastern U.S.) or side-to-side (Western U.S.). Well, we all know what happens when we assume.

It is critical to clearly understand in what direction windows will be opening, at time of order.

Single-hung windows contain two large sections oriented vertically, one atop another, each containing a windowpane. Usually only the bottom window section moves. When it comes to installation, technically speaking you can place a single-hung window any way you want. Horizontal installation of a single-hung window, however, can lead to some serious problems, most notably a high degree of moisture penetration and resultant issues.

When installed horizontally, a single-hung window opens by sliding side to side. If you own a single-hung window and want to install a side-opening window in a space whose length is longer than its height, using your single-hung window for this purpose may seem like a good idea. You can install a single-hung window horizontally just as easily as you can install it vertically, but really you should avoid horizontal installation.

Biggest problem with installing any window improperly arises from the window’s orientation, including horizontal installation of single-hung windows. All manufacturers design windows to work in a specific direction when it comes to preventing water and moisture from entering your building through or around a window. When installing a single-hung window horizontally, it is incorrectly oriented. Due to this, this window can provide no protection from moisture. Copious amounts of water may leak into your building, and moss, mold and more may grow in moisture building up around your window.

Numerous other problems may arise from improperly installing a window. Notably, manufacturers usually automatically void product warranty if it’s installed incorrectly. So, if you install your single-hung window sideways and things go gunny bag, you can’t return or exchange your window because you violated warranty terms. Furthermore, when you install a single-hung window sideways, the window sill is incorrectly located, meaning, essentially, the window has no sill. This can lead to a buildup of dirt, pollen, debris and other filth and allergens around your window.

Things You Want to See On a Building Proposal

Things You Want to See on a Building Proposal/Contract

Maybe you (as a soon to be building owner, building contractor or provider) are satisfied with being overly vague when it comes to what you are buying or selling. From a contractor/provider standpoint, this gives you lots of leeway to add ‘extra dealer margin’ by providing minimal (or less than minimal) components to unsuspecting buyers.

Now, my employer happens to offer a “price match guarantee” for any comparable building package. If I had a dollar for every quote from a competitor where it was impossible to even determine what was being proposed to be provided, I would be sitting in a beach chair along an ocean, not writing this article!

Today I am going to address a few highlights, if you are pondering a building investment, you will want to pay close attention…provided getting best investment for your money is important.

Things like building dimensions (width, length, eave height and roof slope) as well as roof style (gable, single slope, monitor, gambrel, dual slope, etc.) might seem to be no brainers, however I find even some of these certainly important features to be overlooked!

While there does exist an actual ANSI (American National Standards Institute) definition of Eave Height – most builders and vendors are unawares or just plain choose not to use it. Somewhere your agreement should spell out what is proposed or provided so all have a clear understanding. (Please read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/eave_height/)

Will this building be fully enclosed, partially enclosed or merely a roof? It makes a difference in wind design, so should be clearly delineated.


This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but is to provide an idea as to how extensive it should be.

Thickness (gauge) of steel roofing and siding, as well as warranty AND substrate should be called out. Caution here as IRC (International Residential Code) Table R905.10.3(2) requires a minimum of AZ 50 for 55% aluminum-zinc-alloy-coated steel (Galvalume) or G-90 for Galvanized steel. These same requirements can be found in IBC (International Building Code) Table 1507.4.3(2). Lesser coatings can only be used for “U” buildings. Will there be wainscot, and if so will there be trim between it and upper wall panels?

How will roof steel condensation be controlled? Not addressing this now will cause challenges later. Integrated Condensation Control (Dripstop or Condenstop), Reflective Radiant Barrier (aka Bubble – and it is NOT insulation), Metal Building Insulation (vinyl faced fiberglass), Sheathing (OSB or plywood) with 30# or heavier felt or a synthetic ice and water shield? Tyvek or other similar housewraps (Weather Resistant Barriers) are not effective for condensation control.

How will any dead attic spaces be ventilated? Soffits, gable, ridge?

If other materials are to be used for roofing and/or siding, specifics as to thickness, quality and warranty should be clearly delineated.

Overhangs – open (no soffit) or enclosed (with soffit). Length of overhangs. Soffit material to be used (vinyl, steel, aluminum) as well as vented or non-vented.

Any overhead sectional or roll-up (coil) doors should be appropriately wind rated. Residential or commercial doors? Smooth faced, long panel or short panel? And glass, and if so, inserts? Specifics as to any manufacturer’s stated R values, thickness of steel, interior backers, track options (standard, low headroom, high lift or with run of roof), color, finish painted or primed only, vinyl weather seals, steel trims on jambs,  openers and operators should be called out.

Entry door width and heights, is door wood, steel, aluminum, vinyl covered, fiberglass? Jambs wood, steel, aluminum, vinyl covered wood? Doors and jambs finish painted or primed only? Crossbucks? Raised Panel? Glass? Wind rated? R value? Keyed lockset, dead bolts?

Windows with dimensions, type of frame material (aluminum, vinyl, composite, etc.), type (sliding, single hung, double hung, fixed, casement, etc.). Glazing (single, double or triple pane, tempered or non-tempered glass). Color of frame. Integrated J channels? Screens? Gas filled? U-factor and SHGC.

Wall framing (girts) external or bookshelf? External girts rarely meet Code deflection requirements and framing will have to be added to create an insulation cavity or apply interior finishes.

Trusses designed to support a ceiling load? If for sheetrock, a 10 psf (pounds per square foot) bottom chord dead load is required.

Future Building Owners – if it is not specifically called out for, do not assume you are getting it. Building providers and contractors – if you are providing a feature and do not call it out, you are doing a poor job of selling yourself.

Our next article will delve into “Code” design requirements – don’t miss out!

Double Hung Windows

True confession time….. (‘most everyone loves it when I fess up to something, don’t they?)….

Double Hung Pole Barn WindowI have never sold a double hung window to a client, installed one as a builder, or owned a building which had double hung windows.

Whew – I feel so much better having gotten this off my chest.

There are lots of choices to make, when it comes to deciding upon windows for a new post frame building. Often times it comes down to the two Bs (not B.S.) – benefit and budget.

The style of the window is going to play a large part in the Bs. Sliding windows and single-hung are going to be very similar in price per square foot of glass.

For a traditional style with many other benefits, consider double hung windows. Double hung windows are designed to open from the top or the bottom. The top sash slides down and the lower sash slides up. Single hung windows look similar, but only the lower sash opens. Due to more moving parts, double hung windows will cost more. For a fairly standard size, such as three foot wide by four foot tall, this cost difference is about $50 per window. The versatility of double hung windows provides for a wide range of ventilation options, but the benefits don’t stop there.

Most modern double hung windows are designed for ease of cleaning. Both the upper and lower sashes tilt in. This means that you can clean the outsides of upper story windows from the inside, eliminating the need to hassle with ladders, scaffolding, or long-handled tools.

My wife’s experience…she tells me she had double hung windows in the last house she lived in, and LOVED them.  She said she could clean the windows totally from the inside, and didn’t have to run outside, and drag a ladder around to clean the outsides. If the weather was cold, windy, same thing…cleaning from the inside went faster and with less hassle.  She also could reach the interiors of the window frames much easier.

Modern double hung windows are designed with double or even triple panes with an air pocket sandwiched between. This provides for energy efficiency without the trouble of putting on storm windows or plastic sheeting.

There are some valuable features to look for when choosing double hung windows. One of these is low E glass, which restricts ultraviolet rays. In warm climates, heat-absorbing glass may be desirable. Look for a specially designed balance system (such as the Silver Line® 3000 Series) which eliminates the weights and pulleys of older double hung windows. For just a few extra dollars double pane windows can be filled with inert argon gas instead of plain air. Better manufacturers offer a limited lifetime warranty on their windows, valid as long as the original purchaser owns the pole building.

For opening windows on the second floor of a pole barn, double hung certainly appears to be a choice worth considering.