Enter V-Buck - this is a vinyl product that can come in pre-formed frames according to your window sizes, lengths that match your window sizes for your form on-site or you can just order whole lengths that you cut and form into your window frames according to what windows you have designed. We chose the latter of these options as:
1) they are not hard to cut and form together
2) we have made little tweaks here and there to our window schedule along the way so it left us the flexibility to make any last minute changes we might want
3) it was cheaper to do the work ourselves and ship them in long pieces.
So these are how the lengths arrived from V-Buck courtesy of Bruce Anderson. These frames that the windows will sit in will only go into the ICF portion of the house. The container windows will sit in a metal frame welded to the container cut outs.
Needless to say my first order to Bruce for the V-Buck included lengths for ALL the windows. Bruce thought we have doubled the size of the house since we got our first quote from him. A quick call back to revised the total length fixed the problem and then the lengths arrived. Unfortunately, I also didn't figure out how we were going to maximize our cuts from these 16 lengths of 16'. Obviously you can't really patch two lengths together to the length you need should you end up with off cuts. Ughh.....where was my OCD planning?
We spent a few minutes running through all our possibilities on paper on how to maximize our stock to get all the lengths we needed but came up one length short. Then I figured there must be some free computer downloads that could utilize algorithms better than we could to find out optimal cut layouts that would get all our lengths out of these 16 pieces.
Off to the computer I ambled and 3 hours later, a few downloads it was determined that we weren't half bad with our calcs and that yes we do need one more length and in fact we came up with a better layout for our cuts than the programs did - HA!
The first program I downloaded was an add-on for excel called 1D Cut X. I am a HUGE lover of excel and thought this was a perfect solution.
It was rather disappointing. No matter what I did it kept telling me I needed 18 lengths and not the 17 we had calculated.
So then I downloaded an independent software called 1D Stock Cutter from Astrokettle Algorithms (what a great name). This was FANTASTIC, you could set it to reduce your number of layouts or optimize your leftover length. This last one seems to be pertinent to those in industry to maximize leftover stock. A very cool program and it just verified that we do need one more length.
This is the layout print out that the 1D Stock Cutter provides you, it is so easy to use and follow. I highly recommend it.
So the first thing I did was to order the three remaining lengths that we needed at their specific lengths as this would be cheaper for shipping than just ordering one long length. V-Buck is a cool product and is completely recycled vinyl out of Utah.
Here are all our lengths cut out to size to match our window schedule. They cut like butter but they produce tiny little pieces of vinyl confetti that floats everywhere. At first it is so cool and fun and then you realize it is in your ears, down your underwear and just gets everywhere.
V-Buck also provides you with the connectors that attach the sides together as well as the braces for the corners that keep the frames square. It is so easy it almost feels like cheating especially after working in the containers where the whole process is figuring it out as we go and having to be very ingenious with our solutions. V-Buck is like building with legos, cut and click!
Here is our first window frame complete, it is really lightweight but the funny part is that this is a 5030 window, a size of window that we don't have in the ICF. The beauty of these frames is that you can just pop it apart and stick in the different lengths to make it the right size.
One down, 14 more frames to go.....