I’ve gotten a number a questions on what did I do for screens on my Klearwall windows.

Screens had my puzzle for a while.   I had some local window contractors come give me prices.  They were outrageous, something like $250 a window. They were over engineering a solution.   I’m a DIY guy with high tech and building skills.  One of the contractors suggest I go on line and I could get the screens at half the price.  I tried a couple of Screen sites the screen prices were ok but the shipping cost was crazy.   Looking at the windows I notices a “Framing Lip” all the way around the windows.  I went to Lowes and bought some 1/2″ U channel, and painted it brown to match my trim.  I installed it on the bottom sill.  I measured inside the Lip and went to the local “old time” hardware store and had them make a test screen.  WALA it fit.  I had springs put on the bottom and finger hooks on the top.  The bottom with the springs fits into the track and pushes the screen tight to the top.  With the one working model I went to a local window and screen store (one i used when I owned apartment buildings, tenants are very hard on screens) and had them make all the screens. It think the price ran per $30 to $35 per screen. Out of all the screens only one isn’t as tight as it could be, but it’s up stairs bedroom and we only use the it a few times a year.  That screen should be about 1/4″ taller.  

Porch Roof

A quite week.  The insulators had other work scheduled but got in a couple hours to clean up Monday, they are coming back Friday to finish the insulation installing. And do a prelim blower door test

Got through the Framing Township inspection.  Had a major error, a beam was 3′ out of place. That’s all fixed and when the insulation inspection is complete it’s drywall time.

I’ve been cleaning window seals in prep for the NJ Zero Energy Ready Homes program official blower door test.  We noticed a number of the exterior window seals were knocked out of their track. And I noticed there was lots of building debris on the seals.

Last week the roofers did the cooper roof.  See photos below:


Copper Roof (5) Copper Roof (3) Copper Roof (2)

Copper Roof (6)

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Most people have never seen windows like these.  European style, tipple pain, argon gas filled,  no thermal bridging,  R-8 for the opening windows. German Passive House certified.    KlearWall windows, the North American branch of Munster Joinery and are made in Ireland.    Here is a thermal image of the windows performance. Out side air temp 15 and inside temp 65.


How they work:   First the handle, when down the window is locked. Then, when at 90 degrees the top tilts in for ventilation.  Lets air in but keeps the rain out.  Also secure enough to leave open while your gone.

98 Windows (1)  98 Windows (3)

In the up position the window swings in.  Wide open.  The Europeans say they only do this for cleaning.   A friend in a passive house says the same thing. He says the tilt opening is more than enough ventilation.

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Note the latching mechanism.  The windows latch in 4 different location to ensure an air tight seal.

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Window Trim

The guys are finishing the windows by installing the trim package. They are using a new synthetic material Boral Truexterior that Rob says is better the AZEK for a number or reasons. It’s properties are very similar to wood but it doesn’t have wood’s negative properties.  And it’s paintable. When spring comes the trim will be painted a dark brown to match the windows.

91 Window Trim


More Windows

Still working on the windows.  Chris from Klearwalls came down from NYC to answer some questions we had on the windows and doors. He doubled checked the fine adjustments of all the windows.

He told me that in Ireland and I think the full UK,  that all house are getting an energy ratings.  Old, very old and new, and the rating is published when a house is listed for sale.  That really adds value to an energy efficient house.

The attached photos are the windows in each stage of insulation.  Installing windows so that they are air tight isn’t easy.  Lots of steps and lots of care to get it right is a challenge.  Note all the tape, there is a tape for each function. Inside tape, outside tape………..  And finally the trim is added.

Now with all the windows in, and some sealed it’s amazing how warm the house is. Remember, it already has R-6.6 with the sheathing.


91 Windows 911st Window (2) 91 Windows (1) 91 Windows (2) 91 Windows (3) 91 Windows (4)



They worked all week on the first floor windows, with great progress.  It’s nice being inside with the light.  The guys installing the window said Friday “nice windows”. They have never see a European style window before, let alone a window the meets the German Passive House standard.   One of the challenges with the windows is the big ones are heavy, and two they have to be sealed tighter the regular windows be cause of the tightness that house has to be to pass the Zero Energy Ready Homes standard. And third they have to be installed in the middle on the 10″ thick wall.


90 Windows (1) 90 Windows (2) 90 Windows (3) 90 Windows (4) 90 Windows (8) 90 Windows (9) 90 Windows (12) 90 Windows

Let there be Light

Today they started the windows installation buy cutting out the window holes. It was 9 degrees this morning (burrrrr) when they started. Also they worked on the first window installation, learning ho to install these European style windows, not an easy task.

Opening the window holes finally gave us a feeling of the amount of light we will get from all the windows.

And Dave my roofer started on the flashing.

Yesterday I was brush whacking trails around the 8 acers with a rented BobCat T300 track steer, But at the end of the day it blew a hydraulic line and was out of commission today.

88 Light (2)88 Light (3)

88 Light (4)88 Light

88 Light (1) 88 1st Window (1) 88 1st Window (2)