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February 18, 2010 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #347306
I have old school metal awning windows – which I LOVE the function of, and love how they look (never need painting!) – but they’ll eventually have to be replaced. Most of my windows are huge, and I need to start saving my pennies, it seems.February 18, 2010 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #347307
We went with the vinyl and they seem fine with our (original) wood trim.February 18, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #347308
Just a few comments… things to keep in mind.
There are a few different ways that companies can replace windows, and it depends on what kind of windows you have currently installed. If you have an older home with wood sash windows, usually a replacement entails taking out the existing sash, leaving the trim, sill, and jamb(sides) in place. Then, they put in a new window unit (a complete hung window in a frame). This will reduce the actual size of your windows (i.e. reduce the size of the sash). For some houses, you don’t really notice, but on others, it can really screw up the exterior proportion of your windows. Andersen does a nice line of clad windows specifically made for this application, and the frame profile of the replacement windows is very slim. For a composite window with wood interior, I thought they were good looking and they were designed for older houses. The old window frames may not be square, so make sure you have good installers who can adequately insulate any gaps in the framing (replacement windows will not help if the installers don’t get a good fit.)
If the framing around your windows is deteriorated, you may consider replacing the entire window frame– i.e. you will be removing the moving sash, as well as the sill, the jambs (sides) etc. In the case of older wood sash windows, there is usually a weight pocket on either side of the window, which is where the counterweights slide on pulleys– it can be an area where air infiltrates after the new windows have been installed. In this case, the final size of your replacement windows will essentially match in size your existing windows.
You can also get things called sash packs. These are just loose sash, that replace the existing sash in your windows. This takes a skilled installer to make sure that the sash fit and operate properly.
Also, make sure to consider color. A bright white vinyl window can look really out of place installed in a dark frame… consider your trim colors of the house, and evaluate whether to get a window that could later be painted if the trim color changes. Vinyl or composite cladding really won’t hold paint; wood or metal will hold a paint.
Regarding dividers… if your window has “lites” or dividers and you want to keep that look, make sure to check how the dividers are applied. If they are just applied on the interior of a double glazed window, it will look flat from the outside. If the dividers are applied on the outside of a double glazed window, it will look flat on the inside. Beware of windows that have applied dividers on both the inside and the outside UNLESS there is also a spacer bar in between the two panes of glass. Having dividers applied on both the inside and the outside will give you this weird “double vision” effect, unless there is also a spacer bar that unify the dividers and make it look like a single divider.
Make sure that, whichever type of replacement window you choose, that you invest in a good quality window. I’ve seen windows deteriorate in less than 10 years, and it really isn’t a project that you want to do over again.February 18, 2010 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm #347309
We used Zen windows last year and are pleased with the windows and installation. I love that Dan comes to the house and gives a 5 minute quote. No pressure, no sales bull.February 19, 2010 3:15 am at 3:15 am #347310
I bought all of mine from Exterior Building Supply on Silver Drive between North Broadway and Weber. Brian is great to work with there. I paid ~ $185 each for double strength double hung Low-E energy star windows. All one piece frames. welded corners. No metal. I really like them. Installed them myself. Saved mega bucks that way. Oh, and there are all made in Cincinnati so you are supporting local/state economy.February 19, 2010 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #347311
Thank you for that very informative post Hey Square.
Lots of good stuff to consider there.February 19, 2010 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #347312
So if I have to get wood windows ’cause I live in a damned historic district, any suggestions? Anyone have solutions of a wood window in a shower?February 19, 2010 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm #347313
Mercurius wrote >>
So if I have to get wood windows ’cause I live in a damned historic district, any suggestions? Anyone have solutions of a wood window in a shower?
Could you replace it with glass block? or does it have to replaced with a “window” window because of the regs?
Rosatti did all the work with the architectural review people…you may want to at least check with them and see what they have done. I know they offer wood replacement, but as they weren’t necessary in our case, we went with vinyl.February 21, 2010 3:38 pm at 3:38 pm #347314
For the bathroom window – some windows that we looked at were wood on the outside, vinyl-clad inside.March 11, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #347315
Mercuis, Marvin all the way. I have seen these local brands,and rosatti,and all those are crap. Check out East High school, those windows were replaced with all marvin. I have no idea why, MArvin is quality, but also expensive, no school should have marvin windows.March 12, 2010 12:28 am at 12:28 am #347316
LBOWACC wrote >>
I have no idea why, MArvin is quality, but also expensive, no school should have marvin windows.
…because no school is worth that!August 19, 2013 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #347317
This is an old thread, but for anyone redoing window and finds it, I just wanted to add that I used Zen Windows and they DID ask for money before the job was complete. I have just been told they did not insulate around the new windows.
Too late for me—but maybe not someone doing research now.
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