Replacement Windows

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thunderbrick

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #20 on: 4 Mar 2011, 06:49 pm »
Danberg, you hit it right on the head!

Here's an solid example.  In my first house the second floor summer heat was unbearable, despite central AC.  First thing I did was add attic insulation and two of those rotating turbines on the roof to ventilate the attic.  The "cold zone" moved from my ankles up to my waist.  I added tinted storm windows to the 2nd floor and it immediately restored comfort to the entire upper floor.  No more sleeping in a mattress on the floor.

Controlling heat loss and solar gain is critical.  Low-E windows will help.  New construction windows, as Danberg pointed out will give you more usable glass and, when installed properly (it's easy), will cut way down on drafts.


bummrush

Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #21 on: 4 Mar 2011, 07:33 pm »
We put 14 windows in 5 years ago.Double pane gas filled. House did get more quiet.we had3 bids from 8k to 13k  went with lowest and have had zero problems .Window are just basic energy efficient  vinyl

rollo

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #22 on: 4 Mar 2011, 07:59 pm »
Bigfish, 

Lots of excellent information in this thread.

Seeing that you live in Raleigh, NC your major concern will not be heat loss (low-E glass with argon), but heat gain through your windows.  Make sure that you get a "solar glazing" that cuts down on radiant heat that enters your home.  It WILL dramatically cut down your air conditioning costs (not to forget additional comfort in the home)!  Also, it should not add much additional cost to your project.  On a retail INSTALLED basis, your additional cost should be in the + 2% to 5% range.  As said earlier, mfgrs costs to dealers is ALWAYS within a 5% - 8% range for the windows alone (not including installation costs)  Don't be taken by as salesman that tells you differently.  Return on investment is excellent, less than 3 years, if you stay in that 2% to 5% installed cost.

Another area that was mentioned briefly, but I would strongly recommend looking into is if you need to have your existing wood window frames entirely removed back to the original "stud opening."   That will greatly effect the overall installation cost, but depending on the age and type of the existing original wood windows can be a major source of air infiltration, hence energy ineffeciency!  Typically, "replacement vinyl" windows do little if anything to address that.

The other question that no one has brought up, how long do you plan to stay in your home?  That should be a question that needs answering in regards to how much do you want to invest in this project!

My perspective comes having 30+ year career as a window mfgr representative (representing innumerable brands & types of windows, wood, wood alum clad, composite, vinyl, etc).  It can be very confusing when it comes to window replacement, as there is a lot of misinformation given by salespeople, attempting to sell you their product.     


  Good information . I believe 3M makes the window film.


charles

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #23 on: 4 Mar 2011, 08:01 pm »
If energy efficiency bang for the buck is your metric, your best bet may honestly be to recaulk any leaking windows to ensure no air infiltration and then look at well fitted double or triple cell cellular blinds.  (Which aren't exactly inexpensive either, I've discovered.)  I've had this comment from multiple energy audits and even a couple of window installers when I specifically questioned him on it.  Air infiltration is a huge aspect of window installation and home efficiency in general that isn't as commonly discussed.  I had a blower door test done on my house a few weeks ago and I was amazed at all of the penetration points... poor window caulking, can and eyeball lights, improperly sealed rim joists, pipe penetrations for sinks, etc..  I knew about this before the test, but the scope and details were still surprising.

Along similar lines, the window installation is important as well.  Others have commented on it already, but I was pretty specific about having cut-back installation using low expansion foam to seal the joint along the house.

For what it's worth, I decided not to replace windows except for a couple that are physically damaged (and I have yet to do it).  I moved on to insulation and air sealing to improve the comfort of my home.  Oh one other thing to check... I have two cantilevered sections on my first floor, my gas fireplace and the "bay" type exit from my kitchen to my deck.  While there was bat insulation on the rim joist at these locations, the floor under the cantilever itself was uninsulated.  Oops!

By the way, the following site is quite handy for comparing energy efficiency details on various windows:

http://www.efficientwindows.org/selection.cfm

By the way, another point on understanding your environment when selecting windows... I appreciate the recommendation earlier in the thread regarding casement windows, but wouldn't do it where I live.  The winds where I live (Colorado front range) are often high enough that most people I know in the area with casement windows have problems with them vibrating and eventually wearing the mechanism.  (I know Boulder, CO, for example, requires construction rated to 110 mph wind loads.)

thunderbrick

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #24 on: 4 Mar 2011, 08:13 pm »
Good point on high winds being a problem with casements.  For normal areas I'd still recommend them.  Or awning windows, which are essentially casements turned horizontal.

JLM

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #25 on: 4 Mar 2011, 09:26 pm »
There are only a few companies that make casement/awning hardware for the entire industry.  When I shopped casements Pella was the best (obviously sturdy), some had tons of wiggle (that I'd worry about in high winds too), and some were better (but took 13 full rotations of the crank to fully open).

But you may want to consider fixed units.  You can play around and see if you get sufficient air without opening certain units.


Bigfish

Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #26 on: 4 Mar 2011, 10:54 pm »
Thanks again guys for all of the information.  Audiophiles are truly full of knowledge! :thumb:

What I am trying to accomplish is set my home up for retirement.  I want a totally or essentially totally maintenance free exterior.  The home was built in 1984, has an asphalt shingle roof (2nd roof), masonite siding and single pane wood frame double hung windows with a storm.  I have an estimate on a metal roof and two estimates for vinyl replacement windows. 

This year my plan is to install a metal roof, new anticlog gutter system and new vinyl replacement windows.  Vinyl siding all exposed paintable surfaces by this time next year.  I like Hardie Plank but to tear off the masonite and reinstall Hardie Plank is not economically viable.  Once these projects are completed we will tackle the kitchen (yuk) and we should be set by the time I hit 62.  My view is that these projects will only increase in price as time moves forward and I would like to place them in the rear view mirror.

There were comments to avoid triple pane windows.  For the price difference of approximately $1000.00 for 17 windows I am having a hard time understanding this recommendation.  Triple panes drop the U rating of the window from around .30 for a double pane to around .22.  If I have read correctly building codes will require triple pane windows in 2014 or 2015 to meet energy efficiency requirements.    Please comment!

Thanks,

Ken

thunderbrick

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #27 on: 4 Mar 2011, 11:13 pm »
If you pull the crappy masonite siding off, you'll find it VERY easy to install new construction windows at off-the-shelf pricing. Hardie plank is great, so you might save money in the long run.  Vinyl siding cheapens a house IMO, is susceptible to wind damage, and can fade badly.  A good small contractor could do it without having to deal with a sleazeball salesman and his commission.  I was APPALLED at what my mother paid for two "replacement" windows on the mid-atlantic states a few years ago.  If you have a decent lumberyard (NOT Lowes or HD) ask them for recommendations on contractors, and whatever you do, check references!

Even if you ARE a Steelers fan. :nono: :lol:

geezer

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #28 on: 5 Mar 2011, 01:30 am »
In 2008 I replaced all our windows, but not before researching the market thoroughly. Previously I'd had aluminum sliders, as well as wood double hung. Before you decide, I urge you to look into fiber glass, double pane, low E, argon casements, made by Marvin, which is what I now have.

These are the most sturdy windows I've seen. They are the easiest, most convenient to open and close you'll find. To open, you pull out a latch before you can crank. After closing, you push the single latch lever back into position, which clamps the window closed, and closed tight, with locking mechanisms at the top and bottom. I don't think you'll find any tighter window, nor one more resistant to wind forces.

These windows crank outwards, so the screens, if you have them in, are inside, and therefore less susceptible to dirt and wear and tear. When you crank a window out, the hinge side simultaneously moves sideways providing an opening that allows you to clean the outside surface from inside the house. There are no channels of the sort you have with double-hung or slider windows that collect dirt that are inconvenient to clean. Maintenance is minimum.

These windows are all custom sized, so you can be sure of a perfect fit no matter what they will be replacing, and you won't have any rattling about.

I truly believe if you compare with any other windows, you will find these are better on every count. However they will be more expensive than vinyl, but if you're planning to stay in your home for a long time, I think you'll realize they're well worth it.

Find a Marvin outlet near you and check them out. You'll see what a really good window should look like.

Danberg

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #29 on: 5 Mar 2011, 04:48 am »
As already mentioned, it is true that there are only a few manufacturers of window hardware and all but two manufacturers use almost identical hardware in competitive window products.  The hardware is enginereed for the weight of  double pane glass, which today all window manufacturers use as a standard product (whether it's double pane clear, double pane with low-E coated, double pane solar glass, etc.).

Here's where the problems with "triple pane" come into play.  That third pane of glass adds 1/3 more weight to the equation, hence over-stressing the hardware or sash balance systems.  Even under "ideal" wind loading situations, the hardware will wear out prematurely.  Ever try to get "old" (10 years or older) window parts.  Good luck.  Remember those few hardware manufacturers... they change their designs and owe no individual loyalty to any one (1) of the thousands of window manufacturers they originally sold to, to keep old designs avaliable.  They're business is based on selling their newest designs, not manufacturing "old" items!  If long term low maintence is your goal (as stated), I strongly recommend staying away from "triple pane."

Also, with "triple pane" you are dealing with two sets of glass spacers which DOUBLE your chance of seal failure (condensation between panes of glass).  If it's under warranty, should be no problem, but out of warranty glass replacement (not including labor) typicaly will cost you 60% -75% of the original cost, of the entire window!  Why take that chance?


If you have any specific window questions and I can offer assistance, pm me.  I am no longer a window manufacturer representative, but did so for over 30 years and learned quite a bit about many aspects of the window business and would be glad to help.         

django11

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #30 on: 5 Mar 2011, 10:46 pm »
JLM, I don't have an answer to that, unless he made an error.  I think the home energy audits are most productive for older homes, those that were built when energy was cheap, building codes were (are?) weak or non-existent, HVAC systems were inefficient, or in poorer areas.  Many of the homes we audited were referred to us by community aid organizations.  Elderly widows, the handicapped, the people that could least afford high energy costs.  Some of the houses we saw were simply energy sieves.  Small-dollar improvements, say $1,500 or less, could do a lot to help those folks.  I dare say most of us are not in that position, so we might look at it differently.

On older houses a Canadian housing entity estimates that average air leakage is like having a 13x13 inch hole in the house.  In my house there was actually a space around the brick chimney running all the way from the heated basement to the unheated attic.  It was probably more than 13x13  :duh:.  A little research and and a little elbow grease can save quite a bit of money.  You are basically just blocking holes and cracks  in the building envelope.

Bigfish

Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #31 on: 17 Mar 2011, 12:17 am »
Guys:

I ended-up deciding on the Simonton 5500, triple pane, Solar Package with Low E and argon gas. I decided upon a licensed, insured contractor that provided me with an attractive price.  Installation is planned in a couple of weeks and I hope I will be happy.

Ken

lonewolfny42

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #32 on: 17 Mar 2011, 03:30 am »
Guys:

I ended-up deciding on the Simonton 5500, triple pane, Solar Package with Low E and argon gas. I decided upon a licensed, insured contractor that provided me with an attractive price.  Installation is planned in a couple of weeks and I hope I will be happy.

Ken

Good luck with your new windows Ken. :thumb:

Here's something you'll need to do in about six months....Link....  :D

richidoo

Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #33 on: 17 Mar 2011, 03:58 am »
Solar protect is a nice feature. We put 3M film on the windows, it works good. Protects those speaker veneers...  :thumb:

rob_b

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #34 on: 27 May 2011, 07:50 pm »
Man, I just stumbled into this forum by accident and just happen to be looking at windows.  What a wealth of knowledge here.  I'll probably be putting on 3M prestige 70 and trying to do it myself.  Anyone have any experience with this.  I found some tutorials on youtube and it looks relatively easy.  Now I have to find a place I can get the tint from.  Suggestions?

django11

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #35 on: 28 May 2011, 12:31 pm »
I applied tinting film to the inside of my truck windows.  It was quite difficult to get all the bubbles out.  If you are very patient and meticulous try it.  Start on windows you don't see that much.  If not patient get it done.

thunderbrick

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #36 on: 28 May 2011, 03:27 pm »
I installed a big west-facing triple casement in my son's room about 15 years ago, and the afternoon sun (+ his huge array of computers!) made the room awfully hot.  Reflective window tinting was a great help and fairly easy to install.  Plus, when some neighborhood punk threw a big rock through the window, the film contained the glass spray in what was by this time my wife's sewing room.

Devil Doc

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #37 on: 28 May 2011, 03:45 pm »
I did my windows 2 yrs ago to take advantage of the Tax breaks. The best advice I got was from a friend who builds houses. "You don't need the most expensive window".  I went with Harvey. They're an industry standard window that met the tax break specs and about mid-priced, about half of what the premium window sellers were selling. They are presently paying for themselves.

Doc.

jobrizzle7481

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Re: Replacement Windows
« Reply #38 on: 6 Jun 2011, 03:54 am »
Vinyl windows just like siding warp.  I used to build homes and do some remodeling and any home that had older vinyl windows were generally warped and did not open or shut correctly.  Pella is an excellent company but are more expensive.  You pay for what you get just like in audio though.  Also, I believe the government still has a tax rebate going on for energy star windows.  Possibly up to a 30% return so why not spend the initial money on some nice wooden casement windows and get some money back come tax time.