Latest Articles in Decoded

  • Previous installments in this series noted the critical role sealants and flashing play in achieving proper integration of the window or door unit with a building’s drainage plane, or roof-to-ground weather resistant barrier (WRB). Here, we will take a closer look at the variables informing the proper selection and application of these key elements.  Looking at a common window... more »
  • Navigating the variables
    This is the second article in a mini-series on installation. The first describes the two most common wall types with respect to the configuration of their water resistive barrier—surface barrier and membrane/drainage systems—and introduced the two most common types of windows with regard to their mounting provisions (mounting flange and block frame). In this second installment, we... more »
  • The next and final edition of this three-part series will highlight more about the installation of the differing mounting configurations.  Last month, we began this column mini-series on installation by describing the two most common wall types with respect to the configuration of their water resistive barrier—surface barrier and membrane/drainage systems—and introduced the two... more »
  • Navigating the variables
    No matter how stringent the building code or the underlying performance standard, proper installation is the ultimate key to performance quality of fenestration products. This can be more complicated than it may seem at first glance, owing to the variety of product configurations and the types of exterior walls into which they are to be installed. Despite its importance, installation does not... more »
  • Standards development made simple
    Some 70 years ago, there were essentially only two window framing materials to choose from for residential buildings: wood or mill-finish aluminum, typically with single-pane glass. In 1947, what was then called the Aluminum Window Manufacturers Association issued the first industry standard for aluminum alloys, and for the structural strength of double-hung aluminum windows.  Thereafter,... more »
  • Side-hinged entry doors are special beasts in the fenestration menagerie in terms of both the functionality and the makeup of the final installed product.  In terms of functionality, side-hinged doors pose distinct functional differences and application realities, stemming primarily from accessibility requirements, water penetration and hardware durability, based largely on operating... more »
  • To keep up with evolving technology and industry concerns, new editions of the 15 different I-codes covered by the International Code Council are published every three years. The 2018 versions, which took effect Jan. 1, are the latest. Of these, the codes of greatest typical interest to fenestration manufacturers are the 2018 International Building Code, International Residential Code and... more »
  • A road map of the code development process
    What’s in the Code Groups? The I-codes, published every three years, are divided into groups A and B, which staggers the development process to minimize bottlenecks and facilitate participation. Group A (2018) codes typically of interest to the fenestration industry include: International Building Code (egress, fire safety and general provisions) International Fire Code International... more »
  • With an emphasis on net zero, where does fenestration go from here?
    About 50 years ago, there were essentially only two window framing materials to choose from for residential buildings: wood and mill-finish aluminum, typically with single-pane glass. My childhood home near Milwaukee was like a lot of other homes that were built following World War II. Despite my father’s best attempts to add “storm windows” (read: putty glazed, ¼-inch... more »
  • Top window installation mistakes
    Example of an installation mistake in a building under construction in which flashing is only at the head and jambs. (Image by Kaitlyn Rinka.) Installation is the determining factor of whether the performance designed into a window is realized in actual service. Even the best-designed and thoroughly tested product can fail if improperly installed.  Experience shows that there are avoidable... more »