05 Windows & Exterior Doors


This list of selections serves as a supplement to the Construction Documents (CD’s). Some of the selections below may be difficult to find or omitted on the CD’s. Check the CD’s for consistency with this list. Clarify with your contractor which document takes precedence for any inconsistencies.


The construction drawings should have a “window schedule” which has a number assigned to each window on the floor plans. This table indicates the size and style of each window. Options such as grills, safety glazing and fall protection should also be indicated on the window schedule. While it can be tedious to review this information, it is well worth your time given the extra costs and delays that will occur if you must make changes after windows are ordered.


Common options for additional features are described below. Take time to review this information and communicate your selections to your architect and/or builder. Your selections should be identified on the window schedule and referenced in your contract.


If you are building a new home or addition, you will most likely want to purchase “new construction windows.” However, if you are replacing windows on your existing home, you should consider selecting “replacement windows.” Replacement windows are designed without a “nailing fin” so that the installer does not have to remove any exterior materials around the window opening.


Window Style

Verify style of each window shown on drawings, options include the following:

__ Double-hung          __ Casement, push out           __ Casement with crank

__ Awning                   __ Slider                                  __ Fixed                      

__ Glass block             __ Arch top                


Window Frame Material: 

__ vinyl                                               

__ wood core with exterior cladding

__ fiberglass (superior weatherization and insulation)        

__ aluminum storefront (commercial)





Window Manufacturer:

Popular manufacturers include the following:

__ Andersen                __Pella                                    __Jeld-Wen

__ Kolbe                      __ Marvin                   __Velux (skylights)

__ Other: ____________________________________


Interior Finish of Window (if not a vinyl window):

Painted wood, indicate color: _____________________________________

Stained wood, indicate stain: _____________________________________


Exterior Finish of Window

__Aluminum               __ Vinyl

Select color of exterior cladding:  __________________________


Window Hardware & Accessories

Verify hardware finish / color:  _______________________

Common options include white, black, bronze, satin nickel, brass, polished chrome

Location of locking mechanism for single hung window

            __ Check rail (mid height of window)                        __ bottom of the sash


Glass, Grill & Blind Options

Most new windows sold today have to panes of glass with a space between them. Confirm if the following common options are specified for your windows:

            __ Low-e (thin layer on glass that reduces heat loss)

            __ Argon gas fill between two panes (improves thermal performance)


The “Exterior Elevations” on your construction drawings should indicate which windows have grills. The grills may also be indicated on the Window Schedule. Verify the elevations and schedule are correct before the windows are ordered.


Indicate finish / color of muntins: ___________________________


Most modern windows have two panes of glass. Indicate location of inserts:

__  interior side of interior pane of glass                   __ between two panes of glass

Safety glazing is required in specific hazardous locations, listed in your building code. Your designer should identify which windows require safety glazing on the window schedule.


This list of selections serves as a supplement to the Construction Documents (CD’s). Some of the selections below may be difficult to find or omitted on the CD’s. Check the CD’s for consistency with this list. Clarify with your contractor which document takes precedence for any inconsistencies.


The construction drawings should include a “door schedule” which has a number assigned to each door on the floor plans. This table indicates the size, style and material of each door. Review this information with your designer and confirm the door schedule accurately reflects what you want.


The most common door height is 6’-8”. Taller doors are available, however, make sure your ceiling height can accommodate taller door heights. Most equipment and furniture will fit through a 36” wide door. Most front entry doors are 36” wide for this reason. Wheelchairs typically fit through a 36” wide door, therefore, it is logical to specify a 36” wide door at a first floor bedroom. Second floor bedrooms often feature 30” – 32” wide doors.


Door Profile:

Door Profile refers to the number of panels and glass “lites” in the door. Profile options include the following: single full size lite, single half lite, two lites, 1-8 panels with no lites, flush slab with no panels     . Arch shaped door tops represent yet another profile upgrade.


Door Material / Finish:

Optional materials for door composition include fiberglass, wood, steel, aluminum and vinyl. Interior and exterior finish options include Pre-finished, Primed (to be painted on site) and wood (to be stained and finished on site).


Door Types

  1. The front entry door is commonly a side-hinged swing door. A popular upgrade includes a 12” or 14” side light on each side. Other alternatives include a “bi-part” or double door, often 72” wide.
  2. Sliding Door. The typical width for this door is 72”. It is commonly located near the kitchen or dinette table. 60” versions are available but unpopular due to their narrow passage. 96” wide versions are becoming popular.
  3. Fire door between garage and house. Note that this door is typically 36” wide, fire rated, self closing and does not have a window.
  4. French Door. The appearance of a French Door is very attractive due to its wood frame and large glass panel. One drawback is it takes up valuable space on the interior which is the direction it swings.
  5. Single Track, Accordian Style or Bifold Glass Door. This style door allows for longer wall sections that can open up views and sounds of outdoors. Check out the cost of these doors before going too far as these doors can be significantly more expensive than a Sliding door or French door.
  6. Overhead Garage Door. These doors are available in many different profiles. If you intend to insulate the exterior walls of your garage, you should consider an insulated overhead door.


Exterior Door Hardware

Select Door Handle Style

                __ Lever                              __ Knob                               __ Handleset


Select Door Handle Locking

                __ Handle Privacy lock   __ Deadbolt lock              __ Other: ________________


Select Door Handle Material

                __ Bronze                           __ Brass                               __ Chrome

                __ Nickel                             __ Porcelain                       __ Glass

__ Acrylic                             __ Other: _______________________


Select Door Hinge Material

                __ Bronze                           __ Brass                               __ Chrome                        

__ Nickel                             __ Other: ________________________


Select Threshold Material:                                                                

Specify Low Profile Threshold, allows smoother, more accessible transition:

__ Yes                          __ No




It is common for rough carpenters to install windows and exterior doors. Installation of exterior windows and doors should typically occur near the end of rough framing.


Review Scope of Work with Installer prior to installation:

  1. Verify who is responsible for installing house wrap around window and exterior door jambs. There is a prescribed method for cutting, wrapping and securing the house wrap around these jambs. Your window and house wrap manufacturer typically provide instructions. This step is often skipped over or performed improperly.
  2. Verify who is responsible for installing the flashing around the jambs of windows and exterior doors. Flashing is often omitted by installers.
  3. Remind the window installer to install a bead of caulk at sides of window nailing flange if recommended by window manufacturer. This step is often omitted by installers.
  4. Confirm price, length of install time, and length of warranty for install.

Organization of Materials & Delivery Date

  1. Ensure each and every window & exterior door on schedules/drawings is safely located on site prior to date agreed to with installer. If some windows or doors are missing, return trips will be required by your installer.


Inspect For Correct Installation

  1. Ensure foam fills gaps at rough openings.
  2. Test for proper operation of each window and door.
  3. Check for scratches or defects on surfaces.
  4. Call manufacturer or distributor of windows & doors as soon as any defects are discovered.
  5. Ensure no leaking after rain.
  6. Verify window and door jamb (frame) is properly located with regard to exterior face of wall. Determine if extension jambs will be required on inside. Extension jambs may be added to the finish carpenters scope of work.


Temporary Measures and Protection of Existing Building

  1. Cover windows with temporary protective plastic to prevent buildup of dust/debris during subsequent construction phases.
  2. Consider installing temporary hardware at doors to avoid wear & tear on final door hardware. Final door hardware can be installed after most construction phases are completed.