With the knowledge that is available today, it is possible to make wood windows that will last over 100 years without looking like the dismal windows that have suffered historically from neglect. However, the materials and methods that are involved in making a wood window is very complex, requiring an interdisciplinary approach to combine multiple suppliers into an end result that is almost as complex as an engineered machine.
The comparison of different window and door manufacturers can be analyzed with a few key questions:
What is the quality of wood?
Clear, vertical grain, stain grade wood not only looks better, but it outperforms the lower grades of lumber in durability and longevity. High quality wood will not warp as much, which increases the life of the finish. We also offer the specialty wood, Accoya, as an extremely high-performing wood that can last over 50 years without any finishing or maintenance.
How is the finish applied?
The finish process that is applied can significantly impact its performance. At Unison, we coat every wood component on all sides, providing a continuous seal even in areas that won’t be seen. This ensures a consistent moisture content within the wood, which reduces shrinking and swelling that can break down the finish.
What performance ratings has it met?
We constantly seek out methods to improve the performance of our windows and doors, and as a result we have been able to achieve the highest standards for our industry. Energy ratings in Canada are judged by what is called the “A, B, C ratings”. A is for air infiltration with a maximum of A3, B is for water leakage with a maximum of B7, and C is for wind load strength with a maximum of C5. We have been able to achieve ratings of A3, B7, C3 on a 42”x96” Outswing Tilt+Turn window, which is a rating that other manufacturers can’t compete with.
Will it match my vision?
Many major window and door suppliers use standard products to reduce costs; however, this imposes many limitations on styles, sizes, and profiles of their products. At Unison, we prefer to cater to high end design that requires a specific style. We don’t have a “standard product”, which allows us to make all our products to the exact requirements that are needed. We do have standard profiles for our wood components, but we are always willing to make modifications if necessary.
What hardware will be used?
We have made it one of our priorities to find the most durable and high-performing hardware to support our wood products. Sliding bi-fold units are mounted using Eclipse hardware, allowing large sections to glide aside with the push of a finger. Pivot openings are supported by Rixson hardware with the ability to smoothly turn units up to 200 sq.ft. Lift-and-slide sections are mounted with G.U hardware, and are available up to 80 sq.ft. panels, moving with a gentle push. Tilt+Turn windows use G.U hardware, concealing multiple locking points on all four sides of each operable sash. Multipoint locking hardware, by Hoppe provides a lifetime of smooth operation and security.
Our locking mechanisms are compatible with many different manufacturers such as Emtek and Rocky Mountain Handlesets, which can be integrated with your wood door design in a number of finish options.