Armchair Builder

Homeowner Success Story

One of our readers contacted us yesterday to share a huge success story.  Did you happen to see our article last year covering melting vinyl siding?  In case you didn’t see the article or the video, the main point covered was that newer windows that are positioned just right can reflect the sun into intense beams of light capable of melting vinyl siding.  Here is the homeowner’s problem along with our suggestions that helped them solve it without costing them a dime.

Homeowner:  Sumit D. of Minnesota

Problem:  A new home was built last year on the adjacent lot next to Sumit’s home.  In the months following the home’s completion, Sumit noticed siding that appeared to be melting on the side of his house facing the new home.  The area affected was approximately 8 feet by 20 feet.  Could this be caused by the windows on the newly built home next door?  And if so, what is the best way to deal with the problem?

Armchair Builder Response:  This problem is caused by windows that have a slightly convex curve to them.  This curve can act like a magnifying glass when the sun and houses are positioned just right.  It appears that low-e (a.k.a. low emissivity) windows create this problem more than standard glass but standard glass has been known to cause the problem as well.   Here are the suggestions we gave to Sumit to correct the problem…

  1. Change the siding to a heat resistant kind…this would be expensive for Sumit and probably wouldn’t match the rest of his home’s siding.
  2. Provide screening between the neighbors windows and the siding…landscaping or trees that would catch the reflections and prevent them from hitting the siding.
  3. Have the neighbors change the glass in their windows to a non-reflecting kind.
  4. Have the neighbors install full length screens over the glass to prevent the reflections.  This is probably the least costly option but may not be desirable to the neighbors.

We suggested that the next door neighbor’s builder should be held accountable for the problem.  After all, they chose the windows, the house plan, and the orientation for the new home next door.  Also keep in mind, Sumit didn’t have this problem until the home was built next door.

Solution:  The neighbor’s builder replaced the windows that were causing the problem.  They also replaced the damaged siding that had melted from the window reflections.  And the best part about this…it didn’t cost Sumit any money.  Good times.

Sumit’s response to the outcome…  “I would like to thank you for your generous valuable inputs and helping homeowners with quality information through your experience.”  No problem Sumit…glad to help.

If you would like to learn more about this problem created by windows reflecting the sun, check out this article and  video.  Do you have a problem with your home?  If so, contact us.  Are you thinking of building a new home?  You may want to check out the builder resources we have now made available to the public.  Stop by our ESTORE to save money and time on your projects.

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