October 2009

Willis Sinclair Homes

The Lowcountry’s Premier Custom Home Builder”

Personalized Full-Service Construction

Fixed Price and Cost Plus Contracts

24 Gabriel Road

Lodge, South Carolina 29082



843 846 2500

October 2009

Who are Henry, Jerry, Genie and Will?

They are the next generation of builders at Willis Sinclair. They also happen to be Willis’ children and Bill’s grandchildren.

Henry is Willis and Debby’s oldest child. He turned six years old this summer. Henry already has a tool bag and tools.

Jerry is stiff competition for his older brother. He turned four years old earlier this summer.

Henry and Jerry love to play outside on their 2½ acres. They have built brick forts to protect the homestead from ‘bad guys.’ They are getting more accurate with their sling shots. This summer, they got ball gloves. Ball gloves, hammers and slingshots – it does not get much better than that for a couple of boys.

Genie is two years old. She thinks she is as big as her older brothers. It is not clear yet if she will build web sites like her Aunt Jessy or drive nails like her Aunts Mandy and Abbey. She might even be a bookkeeper like Aunt Abbey. Only the future will tell. Right now, she is content with trying to keep her brothers in line.

The latest addition is Will. He joined the crew this past May. Will is a big guy – that is what his sister calls him: Big Guy. He is sitting up and quite alert. He does not have a tool belt yet.

[Of course, these observations are very objective. I just happen to have exceptional grandchildren. – Bill]

Willis Sinclair Homes

(843) 846-2500

From the desk

of Willis Ponds …

It is already the fourth quarter of 2009. Our industry is still down considerably, but we are seeing signs of improvement. It is certainly a good time to build. Tradesmen are eager to work. Suppliers are eager to sell. We are eager to please our clients with a new home. Call us.

This month we will introduce you to the world of residential windows. Windows are a very important part of a house and often the single largest purchase in a new home. It is important that you choose your windows carefully when you design and build your home.

Usually an architect selects windows, but most architects welcome input from their clients about window preferences. You need to know what is available so that you can know what to ask for. Choosing the right window can mean the difference between a home you like or a home you love.

You don’t have a choice about some things such as double glazing or tempered glass in some locations. You do, however, have many areas where you can pick and choose. We would be very happy to sit down with you and help you determine the best fit for you in your new home.

Willis Ponds

President, Willis Sinclair, Inc.


Windows ….

One of the most important and expensive components in your house is the windows. They provide protection from the elements and yet allow light to come into your house. They also allow you to enjoy the beautiful surroundings from the comfort of your home.

Types of windows

Typically, there are only a few different types of windows used on fine custom homes.

Double hung windows are probably the most common. They are windows built with two sashes or panels, one over the other. Either the lower panel may be raised or the top panel may be lowered to open the window.

Single hung windows are similar to double hung windows except the top sash is fixed in place. The lower section may be opened just as it can be on a double hung window.

Sliding windows are not too common. They are similar to double hung windows on their side. They slide open and closed much like a sliding patio door.

Casement windows are windows that are hinged on the side and open usually with a hand crank.

Awning windows are similar to casement windows except they are hinged from the top.

Fixed windows do not open. They are fixed in place.

Skylights are basically fixed windows installed in the roof. They have a boxed in area through the attic to the ceiling so light from outside can come into the room.

Arrangement of Windows

Bay Windows are windows that protrude from the plane of the house wall. The center window is parallel to the house wall and the side windows angle from the center window to the house wall.

Bow Windows are similar to bay windows except the protrusion is rounded instead of angular. Bow windows are made of more than three sections to simulate a smooth curve.

Transom Windows are located over the transom (hence the name) which is a solid beam that goes over doors and windows. Transoms may be fixed, hinged at the top or hinged at the bottom. Some transoms are rectangular and some are semi-circular.

Window attributes and ratings

Low-E is a microscopically thin metallic film that is deposited on the glass. The purpose is to reflect infrared (heat) energy. According to the Department of Energy, low-e windows can save 10% to 15% on your air conditioning power usage.

Impact rated windows are designed to withstand a hit from a 2 x 4 traveling at 50 feet per second (34 miles per hour). These windows are built with a strong polymer laminate in the glass. Visually, they are difficult to notice. Impact windows are much heavier that non-impact windows, however. Impact windows meet requirements for hurricane protection.

DP rating quantifies the pressure the window will withstand. “DP” stands for “dynamic pressure.” It is specified in pounds per square foot.



DP Rating1

Category 2

96 – 110 mph

DP 201

Category 3

111 – 130 mph

DP 301

Category 4

131 – 155 mph

DP 401

Category 5

156 mph & up

DP 501

Building codes determine minimum DP ratings for each area. For window DP ratings to be valid in an installation, the window must be properly installed, obviously. Be sure to choose a professional, responsible builder who knows how to properly install windows in a hurricane region.

Tempered glass is significantly stronger than non tempered glass. It also breaks into small oval shaped particles, thus minimizing dangers of cuts. Tempered glass is required in many locations of a home by the building codes. These locations include stairways, walkways, windows beside exit doors and bathroom windows. There areas are deemed dangerous and prone to breakage from bodily contact.

Frame types

Aluminum clad wood window frames include the low maintenance aspect of aluminum windows on the exterior side and the natural beauty of wood on the inside. They are common in premium windows.

Wood frames have good insulating properties and look very nice. They do require repainting on a regular basis.

Aluminum window frames conduct heat very well, so they can compromise the thermal barrier in a wall. There are some aluminum frames with a thermal break built in. Typically, aluminum framed windows are not used in premium homes.

Vinyl window frames are very efficient and easy to install. They have good insulating properties and are easy to operate. Vinyl, however does not always stand up well to the sun’s rays and will deteriorate more quickly than other materials.


Double glazing is simply two panes of glass with space between them. That space can contain air or sometimes an inert (does not react with anything) gas. Argon, a commonly used inert gas provides better insulating qualities than air, yet is relatively inexpensive. Sometimes krypton gas is used to provide even better insulating qualities. It is more expensive than argon, however.

Single glazing provides little insulation. It is not allowed on exterior walls. Single glazing is allowed on interior transoms, for example.

Triple glazing is a relatively new offering that provides even greater efficiency than double glazing. Because of its cost though it is not in common use yet.

Willis Sinclair Homes, where ‘Built Right’ is the only ‘good enough’ we understand.

Call 843 846 2500



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