Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 3/25/02

A Book Review by Greg Ossi

Title: Windows & Skylights

William P. Spence

Published by: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.

387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 0-8069-8107-5
Price Softcover: $14.95 (Canada $20.95 )
144 color pages

This book focuses on selecting and installing the appropriate window or skylight to fulfill a desired purpose. It is part of the publisher's Building Basic Series, which it refers to as essential references on home building fundamentals.

This is not a woodworking book and it contains no instruction on building your own windows. However, it would serve as an excellent guide to properly installing any shop-made windows.

The book's cover boasts that it has an abundance of color photographs and features text written especially for the novice. After reading the book, I would completely agree. Having done some major remodeling to an older home, including installing new windows, this book is a step above the typical do-it-yourself type book.

First, the book effectively lays out all the considerations that go into selecting the appropriate window, including cost, energy efficiency, appearance and building codes. But it doesn't stop there. 'Windows & Skylights' continues by reviewing the need to locate the window properly. Other chapters cover the types of windows and skylights available, glazing and sun shielding.

Second, the book devotes separate, detailed chapters to installing windows in new construction and replacing windows in older construction. These chapters are complete with cut-away diagrams showing proper framing and flashing techniques. There is also a separate chapter devoted to the proper installation of a skylight, including proper orientation and sun-screening.

As I stated above, 'Windows & Skylights' is filled with color photographs that demonstrate the author's point which I found was a great aid to my understanding of what he was trying to explain. In addition to the photographs, the author includes many informative illustrations that also aid in the reader's understanding of the technical aspects of selecting and installing the proper window.

I would recommend this book to anyone contemplating replacing windows or adding skylights, whether you are hiring a contractor or going to do the job yourself. Because there are so many factors involved when choosing a window, this book will provide you with the knowledge to make informed decisions which generally lead to better function.

Greg Ossi

Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge in exchange for thoughtful, honest reviews. Thank You! And you can usually find their titles at a discount from Barnes And Noble

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