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If replacing the window is an option, then Pella Designer Series windows are available with triple-pane glass and removable miniblinds or shades inside a glass hinged panel. The blinds or shades don't get dirty and the extra glass panel makes the windows very energy-efficient. However, the frame size of the fixed window or large awning would have to be 59 inches or less to be ordered with a blind or shade. The maximun width on a casement would be 35 inches. Maximum height would be 73 inch frame size on either.
If your window treatment turns out to be expensive, compare the cost to replacing the windows themselves.
I agree wholeheartedly with the excellent answer provided by Christi at Callen Construction that your problem is probably caused by the different coefficient of thermal expansion of the materials involved. And yes a fiberglass window would be a good solution, but a wood window would also solve the problem.
To put some numbers to the expansion and contraction properties of window material, with 10 as the worst performance and 1 as the best, here's how they stack up: vinyl - 10, composite (like Andersen Renewal Fibrex) - 4.5, actual fiberglass (like Pella Impervia or Marvin Integrity) 1.4, wood 1.0.
Don't discount a clad wood window if you like the aesthetics- it will perform well if properly sized and installed.
If you mean that the walls are 2 x 4 and framed already below the screens and you just want to replace the screens with windows, then you have a few options depending on your budget.
The most expensive we've done involved replacing the screens with Pella Designer Series casements and picture windows with miniblinds inside the glass. A picture window with blinds can be made up to 59 inches wide, and a casement that will crank open has a maximum frame width of 35 inches. That customer was very pleased with the result, and he had budgeted extra for the premium windows. Figure $1200 to $1500 per opening for that option.
The least expensive we've done involved Pella Impervia fiberglass sliding windows and we installed a couple of 6 foot wide 2-panel units and a couple of 9 foot wide 3-panel units. They are strong, look like painted wood not vinyl, are energy-efficient and offer a lot of ventilation. Unlike the casement windows that crank out and are somtimes problematic with backyards or walkways nearby, sliders can be opened with no projection. Figure about half as much to do that.
Of course you can use single or double-hung windows but it would take 2 or 3 to fill the opening that a single slider can, and the slider will give you more visible glass and the same ventiliation. The customer that used the sliders lived across from the beach, and he actually removes the venting panel from each of his sliders for the summer and puts it back in for the winter. However he had a pretty wide overhang to keep out the summer rains.
As far as the A frame you can of course install triangular shaped windows to let light in and keep the cold out. Consider something with a stronger Low-E coating in the glass to keep out the sun's heat.
All of the above of course might require beefing up the framing below and between the windows to accept the extra weight over the screens.
Good luck with your project!
I agree with my colleagues that you should hire a professional to do this. Contact the manufacturer and see if they will install the glass, what the cost is, and how long the installation warranty is. If they won't or it's too expensive, find a local professional with a home improvement license.
You say it's a vertical wall but it's on a roof? If it's a window in a vertical wall find a window installer; if it's on the roof with flashing and shingles surrounding it find a roofer.
It may look easy, but trust me it's more complicated than it looks. Installing it may be simple but ensuring it doesn't leak for the next 20 years takes some experience.
If you're a DIY guy, find someone who will let you help but will oversee the job and WARRANTY the installation.
You can and you should replace your existing windows with new construction windows because that is the best method. A "replacement" window is really designed for an older home where the window sashes and jambliners are held in place by strips of wood called removable stops. When you remove the interior stop or cut out the exterior stop (to be replaced by a new piece of wood), you are able to remove the sashes and jambliner and slip in a "pocket" replacement window (vinyl, fiberglass or wood) and screw it in through the jamb.
The better option is to remove the entire window down to the studs and replace it with a new full-frame window. It is more labor-intensive and costs about $150 to $200 more per opening but there are some advantages: no loss in visible glass, the ability to insulate around the frame of the new window, and you get a better peek at the framing of the studs around the window. It also requires new interior trim, but that is also an advantage.
Having said the above, we've done a lot of work on older homes (1920's etc) with very ornate interior trim that we were reluctant to disturb and a pocket replacement window was the right way to go.
Looks like a seal failure to me, which may be covered under a manufacturer warranty for the glass but probably not the labor to install it. From the unused replacement grille holes in the interior frame it looks to me like an Andersen so I would start there and send pictures to them. Go to Andersen.com and find the warranty dept. If it's not Andersen try Pella but pretty sure it's not Pella. If the window is over 20 years old you're probably out of warranty anyway but at least you can get a price for the glass and the labor to install it by the manufacturer as a frame of reference.
It also looks to be a reglazable window, meaning the glass can be replaced without the removing the entire frame. If the manufacturer path doesn't come through I would call a glazier before a window replacement company to see if only the glass can be replaced.
Don't know the size of the window, but as a frame of reference the window in this picture which is a Pella aluminum clad with Sundefense glass, removable grilles and factory painted interior cost came to around $3000 installed.
Good luck with the project!
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