Speaker Sheds Light on Door and Window Design

October 7th, 2019 by Tara Taffera

Builder Matt Risinger talked about doors and windows from the builder perspective.

Builder and YouTube personality Matt Risinger spoke about the future of door and window design and installation at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) Fall Conference held last week. Risinger, a builder for nearly 25 years, talked about design and installation from the builder perspective.

“What I was building in 1995 is pretty darn similar to what I am building today, with some local Texas builds,” he said. “They are similar from a building technology standpoint and a window standpoint as well.”

Since 2002, he has worked to provide predictive capability to optimize the building performance of new and existing buildings. He broke down the basics of a residential structure’s building envelope, which include a support layer, control layers and protection. Control layers handle issues like rain and ground water, air leakage, water vapor and thermal control.

Risinger gave an example of why these layers are so important, and how they differ from climate to climate.

“When I moved to Texas, we started building ‘mullets,’ which were salt boxes in the front, modern in the back,” said Risinger. “But the windows [on an early build] were sweating. Texas is a hot, humid climate.”

Risinger said he initially attributed this problem to a condensation issue, but luckily, he recruited his carpenter to come out and take a look.
“It needed to be flashed and caulked correctly,” he said. “We had to rip off the entire facade to fix it all.”

He said this is when he began to understand the true value of overhangs on homes.

“When you don’t have them, a lot of bad things can happen,” he said. “Ninety percent of all walls which have problems do not have any kind of overhang. Plus, drop size and wind speed matter.”

Risinger then addressed what is going on today in building and cited a crisis in installation.
“It’s not just about having great materials, it’s about workmanship,” he said. “As the manufacturer of a window, you’re going to get blamed for a window leak. Installation matters.”

Sloped sills are needed, and builders must deal with gaps. Openings must be flashed correctly, he said.

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