Replacement Windows

Old 03-11-00, 09:18 AM
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My husband and I are currently in the beginning stages of exploring options in replacement windows. We are overwhelmed by the amount of companies and information they are presenting. Can anyone narrow down what we should be looking for in replacement windows? Our home is 50 years old, and not very large (11 windows). We would like to stay with the wood windows but everyone has a different opinion as to why we should/shouldn't do that. How difficult are they to install on our own and can anyone recommend a good "How To" book for a reference? In addition, our vinyl siding needs replaced as well. Same questions apply. We have had quote from $6,000 to $20,000. Thank you!
Old 03-12-00, 05:29 AM
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Get back to me with the size of your home. Is it single story or two story. I can then answer your questions. Thanks

Jack the Contractor
Old 03-12-00, 06:43 AM
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quote:<HR>Originally posted by Jack the Contractor:
Get back to me with the size of your home. Is it single story or two story. I can then answer your questions. Thanks

My home is a single story bungalow, originally a 2 bedroom, one bath but has had an addition put on and is currently 4 BR, 2BA. 5 of the windows are approximately 36x54, 3 of the window areas in the addition area we would like to enlarge to make the house look uniform and we have a somewhat large inoperable picture window that we are thinking about "baying" or at least replacing with operable windows. The character of the house is definitely wood windows, but again, I've heard much pros/cons regarding such windows. If there is anything else you need to know, please let me know. Thanks
Old 03-12-00, 09:49 AM
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I don't believe that a contractor could do what you are asking for for only $6,000.

The $20,000 may seem like it is high, but it just might be closer than you think.

A bay window is going to cost at least $1500 to $3000 just for the window and installation.

You are not really talking about "replacement" windows in your home. Replaccement windows fit into your old window casing. From your description you would "like to enlarge to make the house look uniform and we have a somewhat large inoperable picture window that we are thinking about "baying" or at least replacing with operable windows".

You arer looking at carpentry labor to accomplish any changes in window size wheter enlarging or making smaller. Making smaller usually is much less labor intensive. You are wanting "new construction" style windows for these enlarged openings.

If you want to put on vinyl siding, your windows "should" have siding J-channels built into them. It isn't absolute, but helps.

Siding costs you about $125 to $165 sq ft if the contractor supplies material.

Home repair & Construction

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Old 09-28-04, 06:19 AM
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I'm no contractor, but I just bought a house and redid it entirely. Maybe I can help you learn from my mistakes...
Windows: stick with a big manufacturer, Andersen, Marvin, Pella, Regency.... I used a window company recommended by a friend, and I'm sorry I ever met the guy. He installed Atrium windows and they are absolute garbage. Let's put it this way: the first set arrived and were horrible. The didn't fit, they weren't make a long story short, it took 3 FULL SETS OF WINDOWS before it came out close to correct. Here is what I would have asked then, knowing what I know now:
1. What type of insulation will be in the windows. Notice in the Andersen windows that the insulation between the panes is straightened and laid down under a metal cover. It looks nice. The Atrium windows literally had a strip of insulation just laid between the 2 panes. It is not straight, not even, and not good looking at all.
2. Will the windows be straight. I never would have thought I needed to ask this, but I did. My windows after installation were not straight. They weren't straight in the frames, and they weren't straight when they opened. The contractor obviously didn't shim them correctly, and tried to say that because my house is old, the windows won't be straight!
3. What is covered under warranty after installation. Most windows come with a long warranty: make sure that the warranty includes labor. If the window breaks and it's covered, great. But if it costs $200 for him to come and fix it, you might as well buy a new window. Make sure that all labor (sometimes called a 'trip-charge') is free for warrantied items.

I had 18 double hung windows installed, at about $5000. I went with this guy because he was the cheapest. Looking back, I would have gone with the highest estimate ($8000) just to have straight, good looking windows.

1. What kind of insulation will be used. The thicker the insulation, the straighter the job, and the more efficient your house. Whether it will truly impact your heating bill is questionable, the straightness of the siding is more important.
2. Are they going to go over what is already on the house, or are they going to rip it off and build back up from the plywood? If the latter, make sure they re-Tyvek the house, and replace any plywood rotted.

I have a ranch style house, but very long. (about 100 feet). I had my old shingles ripped off, and built up from the plywood. Tyvek, 1 inch insulation, and Certainteed siding. Also getting seamless gutters around the whole house. The job cost me $25k. They were $3k above the price that I was quoted from the idiot who did my windows, and I can REALLY tell the difference in the workmanship.
Old 09-28-04, 09:41 AM
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I'm coming from a little bit different circumstance, but I think this will help.

I have a 1926 Craftsman home. Originally the house had beautiful single sash windows you could open and close with window weights - the whole 9 yards. Unfortunately years of neglect, and several owners left these windows in poor shape. Most of them have either been painted shut and suffering from serious dry-rot (so they can't be salvaged), or torn out and replaced with single sheets of 1/8" plate glass sandwiched in with trim, which means I don't have matching sets.

So, when I went to check out windows I had to consider trying to match the style of window. The grid pattern was truely unique, so I had to find a company that could replicate the grid patterns of the original windows.

To make matters worse there are only a couple of windows in the house the same size, and none of them were a standard window size. Most of them are odd-ball sizes that would require me to tear out entire exterior walls, and reframe them to meet new building codes, or to accomodate standard size windows. Since that's out of the question for now I had to accomodate the existing openings with custom sizes.

Therefore, I went with Milgard. They're an excellent company in the sense that they can custom build a window to your specs exactly. That's something that Andersen can't do. They also make a good quality window. The downside is waiting for the window to be delivered, and having to send a window back if the order got screwed up. Therefore, it's critical to go with a distributor that will pay attention to detail. As long as Milgard gets the order they'll build it - even if it's wrong. Another issue is that the windows are literally delivered wrapped in plastic, and it's up to you to figure out how to get them in. Since I'm a pretty respectable carpenter it's not a problem, but for the inexperienced DIY'er it can be a challenge getting into the swing of things. Some distributors will provide an installation service. Others won't. Milgard may have complete packages now, but I haven't look into it for obvious reasons.

So far I've installed 7 of their vinyl windows for smaller applications - the 6 basement "canopy" style windows that crank out, and one crank-open square window for the attic gable. I had to reinforce all of the framing, and do a little shim work, but after the window was set, and all the trim was put in they look wonderful.

The rest are Woodclad. They're fiberglass on the outside so you can paint the frames, but they're trimmed out in fir on the inside to give you an old fashion single sash window look. Very cool. I've put three in the house so far. I make my own exterior trim out of hemlock, and use single pieces of clear cedar to construct the exterior sill. The interior will be trimmed out in fir like the window itself to make everything come together. I'm really happy with them, and they beat those single pieces of 1/8" sheet glass.

Price will be an issue, but not if you restrict your "specialty" window replacement to just a few windows. So far I've spent around $3000 for those windows. I have about another $15,000 to go at least. It's not a cheap investment, but in the long run it will make your home much more heat efficient, and more attractive if you decide to sell it.

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