Robert Lamoureux: Substitute home windows, attic fan

Question 1

Hello Robert,

I read your column in The Signal every week and appreciate all of your advice.

We have been in the market for replacement windows in our home for 25 years. I know you have commented on this topic in the past.

What advice can you give as we consider installers and window fabricators? There are so many manufacturers (Anderson, Pella, Milgard, and American Vision to name a few) that it is hard to know which are the best.

If you could give a recommendation on manufacturers and installers, it would be greatly appreciated. Anything you could offer would be very helpful.

– Eddie D.

Answer 1

Eddie,

I’m a Milgard fan myself, I’ve only had great success with them. Customer service is very good too.

As an installer, I would ask the supplier you are buying them from for a recommendation. If you need a supplier, please feel free to contact us again. Good luck.

– Robert

Hello Robert,

Thank you for your work in writing The Signal. I read it weekly and am always happy to learn something from it.

Your experience shows. It seems that you have done all kinds of construction over the years and I’m glad you are willing to spend your time helping people like me who read the article and who can be helped.

I live in Canyon Country, in an older house with a pretty big loft. There are louvers at each end of the attic, and with the heat seeming to be increasing annually, I want to consider options on how to keep the attic cooler which then hopefully will help keep the house cooler.

Should I install a vertebrate on the roof, or maybe there is a better solution than this? If you could advise us a little, we would certainly be in a better position for the coming summer. I look forward to your reply. I look forward to tackling this for a better chance of a more comfortable and hopefully less costly summer.

– Ilsa M.

Ilsa,

Thank you for your kind words, it is my pleasure to help.

It is a good idea that you think about this project now, before the real heatwave starts. We’re already on our way in that direction, and before you know it, contractors with repairs and installations related to cooling are well booked.

What I recommend are gable fans. The end louvers you are referring to are gables, and you can have gable fans installed instead of going through the roof. Every time you penetrate roofs you run the risk of the roof becoming exposed to a source of leakage. Yes, these installations can and most of the time are perfectly watertight. However, since there is always a risk, I usually choose a solution of equal quality that does not involve the risk if it is feasible.

A gable fan can be thermostatically controlled to turn on at any desired temperature. It runs automatically in summer. You will need a licensed and insured electrician to install the required 110V power supply for these. However, this is even more cost effective than the roofing work and annual maintenance that a roof installation would entail.

You’ll get the same headache-free results, and you’ll definitely save yourself from keeping your attic cooler in the summer. Good luck.

– Robert

Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor with separate licenses for electrical and plumbing companies. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily The Signal’s. The opinions expressed in this column are not intended to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert below [email protected]

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