Marvin Windows In


That is not a Marvin window. While we were taking a break from working on the cottage this afternoon Will spotted three huge birds. At first we thought they were hawks but I think they were buzzards, not something we see very often around here. I’m guessing on that ID – if you know better, please leave a comment as to what they are. They circled the valley a few times and then drifted down the valley towards the Connecticut River.

Last night and this morning Holly and I put in the two double-hung, open-able Marvin windows. These provide both ventilation and egress in our tiny cottage. One went in the bathroom and one in the master bedroom. I had avoided putting these windows in up until now because I was worried about breaking them as we worked around them. On the other hand I desperately wanted to put them in and see how they looked, to be able to vent the cottage, any excuse would do… The fact that the cottage, all sealed up with no ventilation this summer has been running at a very comfortable 68°F to 72°F rather limited my excuse for putting in the windows.

So… I found another excuse, they were in my way of doing other work! :) I also need them in now as we’re starting to do the granite window sills and interior parging around the windows. More reasons to get them in, have the breeze blow through, see out and enjoy the view as we work.

The windows went in very easily on to the cedar sills and frame we had set into the concrete block wall. The fact that we had already gotten the concrete and the sill work perfectly plumb and level made doing the windows that much easier. The windows are now on their cedar sills, perfectly level and straight. Gosh, darn it they are beautiful! I want to thank my dad who gave us a check for Christmas “to spend on the cottage.” That paid for the windows. Either one of the two cost more than all of our other huge windows put together since I had gotten the other windows as salvage from an office building and these Marvin windows are brand spanking new. At almost $400 each they represent one of the most expensive parts of the cottage. In fact, that makes these two windows come to almost 20% of the total cash we’ve spent so far building our new house. Eek! Now you understand why I’ve been so hesitant to install them sooner!

The Marvin windows are Low-e, Argon filled, double-pane, thermo-glass, aluminum clad on the exterior and all that good stuff. The sashes run beautifully smoothly up and down their tracks and can tilt inward for cleaning. I had debated going with a triple-paned windows instead of the double-paned but didn’t. We will have shutters to buffer the worst nights of winter, the windows are inset from the winds and I may make a removable winter storm window as well.

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All of our other windows so far are large, non-opening panes for solar gain. In our climate it makes sense to have sealed windows and controlled air flow because of the long cold winters. These new Marvin windows and the door will provide cross ventilation. We’ll also have a stack effect up a separate chimney flue and earth air tubes to bring in fresh air passively warmed by the geothermal energy in the winter – something I’ve already tested in our old farm house.

Up until now the cottage has been sealed up tight except when we’ve been going in and out yet it has stayed comfortable. I left the bedroom window open last night as there was no rain and the bathroom window opening was completely open since we had not yet installed that window in the west wall. As the temperature record below shows, the cottage was a little cooler than when it was closed up tight in the past. Interestingly it still had the same minimal dynamic range of temperatures night to day and it didn’t come anywhere near the low and high of the outdoor temperature. That’s really good news. The enormous thermal mass of the house is working as an energy sink that keeps the house cool during the day and warm at night in the summer. In the winter it will keep us warm along with a little wood burning for cooking.

Update 20140407: I’ve been very unhappy with these Marvin windows and would not buy them again. The double glass does not keep the cold out, we get frost on the inside, the frames conduct considerable cold inward causing condensation and they freeze shut in the winter. I build far better windows myself and will return to building my own.

Outdoors: 87°F/51°F Sunny
Farm House: 70°F/62°F
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/65°F Marvin Windows installed

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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3 Responses to Marvin Windows In

  1. Anonymous says:

    Turkey vultures

  2. Joan says:

    Turkey vultures; tons here in No. Calif…if you see the “fingers”-splayed feathering-at the ends of the wings and the wing tips also curve upward, then you’ve got flying “tv”s as we like to say…makes folks think you’re a bit “off” :-)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yep, have to agree that it looks like a turkey vulture. We have them here in Idaho. They circle to get higher up. Hardly ever see them until something dies. Here’s some pics of others: http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/Birds/Turkey%20Vulture/turkvul3.jpg

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