Single Hung Vs. Double Hung ... What's The Difference?

If you’re looking to replace your windows this season, you’ll undoubtedly be faced with a number of styles and options.  Two popular choices are the single and double hung windows, but what’s the difference between the two?  Which one is considered the better choice for your home?


To answer these questions, we’ve broken down the benefits of each that we hope will help you decide which is the best option for you.




Structurally, a single hung window is comprised of one operable sash that moves up and down and will tilt out, and one fixed (the top sash). While this might sound like a disadvantage, it depends on the needs of your home’s architecture. In some cases, the fixed sash can offer the unique option of adding geometic shapes to the window. By contrast, both sashes are operable in a double hung window, meaning they move up and down and in the case of our windows, will tilt out as well.




Hands down, the double hung window wins the contest for easiest maintenance. With dual operating sashes that raise, lower and tilt, the double hung makes it easy to clean the windows from inside the home, which is particularly advantageous in the colder months.  Couple that to the option of Solar Clean glass, which is available for both styles, a self-cleaning technology that uses the suns rays to break down the adhesion of dirt, and maintenance is virtually effortless.


Energy Efficiency


The fixed sash of the single hung window means zero air infiltration, when properly installed, an advantage over the double hung. However, some of the highest quality windows have three layers of weather-stripping in the sash, which can drastically reduce the possibility of air infiltration.  Additionally, there are options such as Low E and Argon gas that reduce convection currents that occur on the glass in cold weather, by increasing the inside temperature of the insulated unit. Be sure to look into additional features that can remedy the energy efficiency issues.




Single hung windows are generally less expensive than double hung, when comparing base unit costs. Unless, of course, you opt for premium features that my impact the final price of the job.  Be sure to weigh the options when placing your order!  Both units are relatively easy to install, so labor costs shouldn’t be considered a premium between each type.



Customer Spotlight - Mr. & Mrs. Sullivan

The greatest compliment a company can receive is a referral.  Consumers aren’t quick to recommend a product to loved ones, unless it has met or exceeded their expectations.  It’s all a matter of reputation.  We know this.  And we were incredibly flattered when Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan contacted our office as a referral from Dr. Paul and Dorothy Sullivan, long time customers of ours who purchased windows back in 2001 and again in 2005.  Not only were they satisfied with the work to come back for more, but Dr. Sullivan was happy to send his brother to us as well! 

We are humbled by this gesture and welcome Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan to the JWS family.

Keri's Kalamities - All Washed Up

So here I sat the other night, cold pilsner in hand, cuddled up on the couch watching the NCAA tournament while a torrential downpour moved over my home. Ordinarily this would be a relaxing moment in my world. The kids were already tucked in bed, all was peaceful and quiet, aside from the cheering of the crowd on TV and the pelt of rain against the glass. I listened to the sound of it. Plop plop trickle trickle. Wait.  Trickle? As if…you've got to be kidding me.  Now?!

Bolting from my comfy chair, I strode across the room to the large window behind the TV. Rainwater leaked down inside my windows, onto the ledge, down the wall and onto the carpet. But that wasn’t even the worst of it. The taunting little rivulets of rain somehow just missed my electrical outlet.

Yeah, dad’s words echoed in my mind, mocking me, as I scrambled for towels. “Might need to replace those windows soon.” He’d said.

"But dad, my house is only 10 years old.  I'll just caulk it."

The window gods must have heard me.  Why else would they have chosen the worst possible weather conditions to 'hint' that something was wrong with the window?  It couldn't have been a sweet little rainshower and a tiny trickle in the middle of Dora the Explorer.  No.  It had to be a severe thunderstorm moving across the state, wreaking havoc in the thick of the Sweet 16 tournament.  Caulking it was an easy fix – a temporary solution that might buy me a couple of months.

I sopped up the mess with the towels and re-caulked the window. I’ll be replacing the them entirely with a solid, sealed energy efficient product. But being the scientist that I am, I like to learn a lil something from my experiences. So I asked my dad how I ended up suddenly scrambling to keep the rain out. I took some pictures of the outside as well as the inside of my window. Here is what he had to say:



Answer:   Looking closer at the photographs I'm pretty sure that the caulking is not the only problem with your windows.  Knowing the way some of the newer homes were built by track builders (large companies that develop entire subdivisions), I would say that the windows were mulled together without any form of mull gasket or sealant.  The same is the case with the nailing fin used to mount the window in the opening.  There are three other factors that I would anticipate as a potential problems:  1. The water appears to be leaking from the top of the window which suggest that the siding has water leaking in behind it from the fascia area above the window compounded by the lack of a good water-tight seal on the nailing fin and mull. This condition can actually cause water to leak inside the walls of the house.  2. The quality of the window is what I call builder grade (lower quality).  3.  The biggest factor:  "poor installation at all stages of mounting the window".

In addition to having to deal with a monster of a mess, my team lost the game.  Guess I should've listened to dad in the first place...



Stay Cool!

Doesn't it feel like summer lately? Regardless, you might be hesitant to turn on the air conditioning right now because, in spite of the nice weather, let's face it...this is Michigan.  We could be in the thick of snow next week!

Wouldn't it be nice if you could keep your home nice and cool during these erratic spells of weather without having to flip on the air?

You can.  By choosing energy efficient windows from JWS Technologies, your home will stay cool without the need to turn on the air conditioning, and still lock in warmth when old man winter strikes again.  The secret lies in LowE and argon gas that prevent heat from penetrating and warming your house as the temperature outside rises.  Our glass products contain 8-12 layers of LowE and are filled a minimum of 96% of argon (government requirements are that windows must be 75% filled).  Conversely, when a snow storm is in the forecast and it's time to kick on the furnace, your home will stay nice and toasty as heat remains locked inside.

Curious to know more about LowE and argon gas?

Contact our office and let our friendly sales staff answer all of your questions.  Call 1-888-JWS-ASAP (597-2727).  Now is the perfect time to buy.  By choosing energy efficient windows, you will qualify for great rebates from Consumers Energy of $30 per replacement window and $80 for glass openings!

Request a free estimate today!

In the Words of Our Customers...

We recently received a very kind letter from our wonderful customers, Margaret and Joel Shere.  Please allow me to take a moment and share their experience with JWS:

We used the services of JWS Windows and Doors in 2004 to replace some of  the original windows of the house built in 1963. We were so happy with the result that we returned again in December of 2011 to replace the remaining windows.. The windows are beautiful and have transformed the look of our home. They are also a very high quality product. They are easy to operate and clean, highly energy efficient, and come with a lifetime warranty that is transferable to a new owner.

We also very much have enjoyed working with John Whalen, the owner of JWS Windows and Doors who helped us to decide on the design and type of windows we wanted to install. He is highly professional, skilled, reliable  and trustworthy . He has provided creative design and construction solutions to fit our particular preferences.

The window installers also provided excellent workmanship, efficiency, and neatness. There was never any residue of work materials left behind for the customer to clean up.

There was never any pressure to make a decision or to "buy now."  There was only skilled and patient guidance which  gave us great confidence in this company.

We were extremely satisfied with JWS Windows, and highly recommend it.

Margaret  and Joel Shere

We take great pride in our work and enjoy hearing about our customers' experiences.  Please take a moment to tell us yours!  You can fill out the Customer Service Survey or feel free to send us a letter!  We love receiving pictures too!

Customer Spotlight - Mr. & Mrs. Shere


It is said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  In this era of technology and convenience, consumers don’t have to settle for poor quality and lack of service.  If a company isn’t meeting the customer’s expectations, there are plenty of options out there.  We at JWS Technologies don’t take this fact lightly.  It is our goal to make your first impression of our company the best it can possibly be.  We strive for top notch customer service.  So when our customers return to us, it is a testament to our success.   

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Shere.  In 2004 they purchased Sunrise double-hung windows.  Just recently, we visited their home after having been contacted for more work.  They expressed how much they love their windows, and that they would happily recommend our products and service to family and friends. 

We appreciate when our customers come back to us.  It demonstrates that we’ve made a good impression.  And that’s what we aim for.

Letter from Gary Delman, President of Sunrise Windows

Please take a moment to read this very humbling letter,

written by Sunrise President, Gary Delman.

(click image to enlarge)



Good business is not strictly between the customer and a company, but also the company and it's suppliers.  If tension exists between the two entities, the result is a dissatisfied customer.  And in our book, that’s just not acceptable.  Just as we strive to keep our customers happy, we put the same efforts into our vendors as well.  Because good working relationships mean expedited orders; facilitation of customer questions or concerns; increased confidence in the product and an overall positive experience for the customer.

We’ve worked with Sunrise Windows for decades.  In that time, many changes have taken place within the individual companies.  But one the one thing that remains consistent is our relationship with this wonderful partner.  We’re proud to carry Sunrise products.

Customer Spotlight - Noah Levi, D.D.S.

Patients of Dr. Levi have come to expect skilled dentistry when they visit his office in Southfield.  He dedicates his time to selecting the best products and staff in order to ensure the comfort of his patients.  And these expectations go beyond the office.  With the hustle and bustle of his busy practice, Dr. Levi has little time for repairs and complications outside of work.  So when he needed new windows for his home, he chose JWS Windows.  Comfort.  Security.  Craftsmanship.  A prescription for peace of mind.

He recently expressed his satisfaction with our quality workmanship.  JWS installed his windows 10 years ago, and he continues to sing our praises.  But don’t take our word for it.  Listen to what the good doc has to say:

Customer Spotlight - Marvin Dery

When making a large investment in your home like windows, there's a certain expectation you have that the cost associated with repairs or replacement is not immediately on the horizon.  You want your windows to have some durability for a few years, at least.  Sadly, many buyers know the frustrations that come with purchasing new windows and ultimately paying out of pocket for expensive repairs.  That's just bad business!

Getting the most out of a window investment depends on two important components:  high-quality products and expert installation.  To clarify, high quality does not have to mean top dollar.  It means finding a product constructed with materials worth it's price.  And expert installation only comes with experience.  So choosing the right company is vital.  With over 40 years in the business, JWS Technologies provides assurance that your installation is done right.

But don't take our word for it....

Meet Marvin Dery.  Recently, this customer came into our showroom, needing minor repairs to his window.  He shared his story with our staff.  Twenty years ago, JWS installed Great Lakes windows in this gentleman's home.  This is the first repair he's had to make to the windows since then.  His recommendation is a testament to our productline and craftsmanship.  Take a moment to listen to what he has to say about it.

(click picture below)


The Right Way to Caulk a Window

Caulking is nothing less than an art. Hello again this is John Whalen and in this article I wanted to explain about some of the right ways and the wrong ways to caulk a window.

I can remember when the only type of caulking was in 5 gallon buckets, back then we had to use a metal tub caulking gun and actually fill the gun with caulking.   I would remove the end of the gun by unscrewing it, depress the plunger arm and place in the caulking and pull up on the plunger to fill the tube with the thick sealant.  The guns held the equivalent of maybe four tubes that we use today, not to mention being about 8 times heavier.  I think the guns are still in use today?  But all in all, the tubes used today are more efficient and less messy.

Anyways enough reminiscing... those were the days.

The caulking products today are much easier to work with than those used back when I started, in 1969.  Some notable improvements are that they are much more workable and smoother.  The latex type is probably the easiest to work with.  Latex is water soluble and for many dry areas,  is a good choice.  On windows, I would recommend latex only for interior  appearance type sealing, not for exterior.   One reason is that latex is a light base caulking (even the silicone latex) and light base caulking does not provide good adhesion nor does it expand and/or contract as well... not to mention they don't keep air and water out over the loooong term.  If you were to caulk a window with a silicone based caulking, you could go back to that window in about a year and pull the caulking off in one piece, with your bare hands.  Perhaps you have had this experience.

At JWS, we use a multi-polymer formula sealant that I believe is the best on the market today.  This heavier based product is designed to adhere to many types of surfaces -- from vinyl to brick.  This advanced sealant is specifically designed for use on windows, doors and siding and has many applications for roofing.   It adheres to surfaces without priming and creates a water/air-proof bond, stays flexible in extreme heat and extreme cold for 10+ years and still counting.  This is a definite requirement when it comes to windows.  Some 20 years ago... before the multi-polymere series caulking was available, we used a professional grade Styrene Butylene sealant called SBR.  This was a mid-weight sealant that was very workable and designed for window exteriors.  The problem that we ran into using this series of sealant was that after 5 to 8 years, the sealant would fade in color and dry-out, causing cracking in the bond.  Even though 5-8 years was a superior lifespan for caulking then, we were not satisfied.  We revisited a lot of customers and re-caulked the SBR sealant... ouch.   We decided at that time that we  wanted to find something that was as close to "maintenance-free" as we could find.  Since switching to our current multi-polymere sealant, we have revisited jobs at the 5 - 10 year level and inspected all condition of the sealants (color, bond, flexibility) and I am happy to report that they remain in excellent condition.

So, we have solved a major problem that exist in window and door installation; the sealant.  While it may seem insignificant in the function and performance of a window or door, in reality, it is one of the most important elements in keeping your home more energy efficient.  Poor sealants are responsible for air infiltration, water infiltration, bug infestation, formation of oxides (rot), and even worse -- MOLD.  Many companies use a lesser quality caulking on their installs, leaving the customer to deal with its inadequacies.  You won't get that here.  At JWS, we've learned from the school of hard knocks that it's better to invest more upfront in the proper sealants, supplies and materials than to pay later with a mountain of service calls and unhappy customers.  We supply all of our installers with the best sealants,  products and materials used on your home and make it policy that they are used.  Just one of the many reasons why dealing with an installation-based company like JWS is better than dealing with a sales-based company.  They might have great marketing and hype to sell windows and doors, but lack experience in proper installation and superior product and material knowledge.  These are things we learned over 40+ years of seeking installation perfection effort.

We at JWS offer craftsmanship, generations of experience, understanding of proper installation, superior knowledge in durable materials, and products that meet our 48 point quality checks.  As part of the 48 point inspection we look for and do things like ... securely fasten all trim using trim-slots to insure water and air tight connections from the new window to the homes surface, flashing properly and making sure everything is even and square before caulking.  These few procedures alone adds many years to each window we install.  It's worth repeating this will ensure a water and air tight exterior on your new windows.  I personally have performed countless service calls from installations done by other companies and exterior trim installed incorrectly is the main reason for water and air leak problems.  Some problems I inspected were "Severe" to say the least and required wood replacement and total re-installation.

Don't be a victim of sales hype and poor installation... Let the installation experts install your new windows... There is a better way.

I hope this article was helpful in understanding a few of the many caulking's available in the market today.  Mostly though, I hope you can see more clearly "The Right Way to Caulk a Window".

Fiberglass Windows

Hello again this is John Whalen and in this article I wanted to explain a little about the fiberglass product and its use in window construction. Fiberglass windows have been on the market for several decades, though most people have only recently heard of them.  The process for making the lineals that the fiberglass windows use in their construction is called pultrusion.  This method is where fiber and resin are pulled through a heated die to make the frame parts of the window.  The material is strong, durable, has excellent insulating properties and can be painted either by the factory or the consumer.  Typically, these windows are available in double-hung, slider, picture window and casement series.  The construction method for these windows is generally gusset mechanically fastened screwed corners, with either a wrap around glazing or a snap in glazing for the glass.   With the current technologies used in fiberglass window construction, special shape geometric windows such as circle-top, eyebrow and quarter round windows are unavailable.  These windows are generally made from vinyl extrusions and mulled to the fiberglass windows.

Pros of the window are:

  • fiberglass is a very strong product and it can be used in some large applications
  • it is paint-able
  • has good BTU ratings
  • last for years

Cons of the window are:

  • the material is extremely heavy making installation more difficult
  • corner seams are mechanically fastened making them more likely to leak
  • fiberglass is difficult to drill through and requires a great deal of shimming
  • the pultrusions are hard and hollow making total insulating around the frame very difficult
  • attaching hardware such as locks and crank mechanisms are problematic because screws work loose as they don't thread into the fiberglass very well
  • surfaces are painted and may require maintenance in the future
  • geometric shapes are unavailable (they are generally made of vinyl)
  • it's a bit pricey

My thoughts...

For flexibility in color, fiberglass windows are a great choice and for large sized applications, they can solve problems.  While we do sell the product, from an installation perspective , it is very labor intensive; you'd better know exactly what you're doing, or you could come across some real problems!  From a construction viewpoint, the product is difficult to work with. In its construction, fiberglass windows require screw-blocks to attach hardware properly. All-in-all, the product needs more development to be an efficient choice.  However, for the consumers that prefer fiberglass, we do offer what I consider one of the best made to date.  Despite its strength and durability, I give this product a B or B- rating.