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Posted by Mary in PA on 3/10/2010

We spent the better part of an afternoon looking at surplus windows for the shop. Since I had done plans and elevations for the shop, I had a good feel for the windows we wanted. Prior to setting out, I researched our target sizes at a big box store so we had that info as a reference to compare against the surplus pricing.

The first store appeared to have bulk selections of new white vinyl windows with the surplus store's name stuck on them. Most of the windows were for new construction with plenty of windows in each size. There was also a small section of replacement windows. In comparing their prices with a big box store, I didn't think the suspect quality was worth the few dollars in savings. Of course, I'm no window expert, so maybe the quality was okay... but to me they looked cheaply made. The second store had a random collection of windows of all sizes, shapes, colors and specs. Ninety percent were replacement windows and a few were new construction. There didn’t appear to be any organization to the way they were stored, and their published inventory list with window locations was useless. But the people in the store were pleasant and helpful and willingly helped load our truck, too.

It took a bit of looking, and some flexibility on the design, but we managed to get seven new-construction windows to meet our design requirements for $561. This may not be auction bargain pricing, but I think we had a decent savings. The two large windows are moderate quality, and the five smaller ones are better quality than I would have gotten if we bought new.

And to Michael and Jeff on this forum, thanks again for the input on new vs. replacement windows. We got lucky and found new-construction surplus windows. And aside from the easier installation, we thought the flanges on the windows offer some additional resistance to wind-driven rain.


South-East view: Two large windows for passive solar, awning shades them in summer; four small windows for daylighting shaded by roof overhang.
North: Lean-to shed shelters north side and adds storage. Square is future machine vent, not window.

Posted by Joe in Hermiston, OR on 3/10/2010

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      What program did you use to design the shop? It looks real good! Also, what are the dimensions of it? Thanks for the info, and good luck with your build.


Posted by Mary in PA on 3/10/2010

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Thanks Joe. I used Chief Architect, version 9.0. I posted about my use of C.A. on 7-19-2009 if you're interested in my experience with it. It has been a great help in planning and visualizing our project. The shop will be 50x30x14 with an unheated shed that runs 40' along the north wall.
Posted by Rich in Suffolk, VA on 3/11/2010

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Nice job on the windows. I've been following your forum posts as well. Windows are a large part of my current budget. Until now I've been worried about finding cheaper windows that will still look good, but your posts are encouraging.

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