Vinyl Replacement Windows


  #1  
Old 05-19-03, 04:34 AM
zeman
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Vinyl Replacement Windows

I would like to know the level of skill needed in order to replace windows/storm windows. My current windows are wood and relatively easy to remove. And, I have a general idea about installing replacement windows in that I must measure three different sections of the opening for the window manufacturer.
I imagine that most warranties are not valid if done by a non-professional. I've done work around the house and at my job in construction for the phone company. I'm just not sure all that's involved in installing the above, and whether I've got what it takes. I would appreciate some info if possible please, Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 05-19-03, 08:30 AM
Tn...Andy
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A trained monkey can do it.....I offer myself as living proof.

15 years ago, I needed a job and a fellow I knew was selling windows at window sales outfit. He told me they needed more help installing them, so I went out and talked to the guy in charge. My previous experience did include carpentry but I'd never even seen a "replacement" window up close. I followed one of their crews around for a few days, got the general jist of it and went to installing.....that was the extent of my "factory training". I'm now somewhere around 20,000 installed.

Now, I will confess to being sort of "innovative" which is required many times when you run into oddball stuff or situations....there is no book on most of these things, you just invent a solution on the spot and keep on trucking.

IF you have wood windows with the aluminum side tracks and storms, these are "PIE JOB" windows IMHO.....exactly what vinyl replacements were designed for and do great.....

Measurement is the key. Actual pulling of the old and getting the new screwed in and caulked is a 30 minute job w/time for a soda on each if you can take that much sugar Your biggest challenge and where experince DOES help is in wrapping the trim with aluminum coil if you go that route ( as most pro's do ).

Heres a little ditty I wrote and saved ( ain't clip and paste NICE )

How To Measure for Replacement Windows
Wood Double Hung Version


Wood double hung windows are what vinyl replacement windows were “really” designed to replace, though they definitely can and are used in other situations.
The thickness of a replacement window frame is 3 ¼”, which is the combined thickness of 2 standard wood sashes. The replacement window goes in the space where the old wood sashes slide up and down.

In windows that date from the late 50’s forward, wood window makers used fairly standard sizes and construction methods. Standard sizes start around 18”, then go to 20”, then 24”, 28”, 32”,36”, 40” and occasionally you see a 44 or 48” on WIDTHS.
The sashes will generally slide up and down in an aluminum or plastic track.

Heights usually run 38”, 54”, 62”, 72”.

For example: a wood window called a 2/0 x 3/2 is a 24” wide by 38” tall window.
IMPORTANT: Window sizes are always given width first, height second. Don’t get that mixed up !

When you measure the width, you would get REAL close to 24” when you measure inside the area where the sash slides up and down. The height will measure about 37 ¾”or so, measured from the top of inside sash track to the TOP of the sloped part of the sill where the sash makes contact when it is lowered.

So for that window, I would order a replacement 23 ¾” wide and 37 ½” tall.
I order my windows “EXACT SIZE”…..if you don’t tell them that, they will automatically cut your measurements ¾” or more……..on the assumption it’s easier to fill in than tear out, I guess…..If you do what I tell you, there is just enough gap to slide the unit in and leave a caulk joint…..otherwise, you have some serious insulation stuffing to do, plus more trim problems later. GET EXACT SIZE.

On older double hungs, like the type that have rope pulleys and sash weights back in the wall, you measure the same way, but the sizes will vary quite a bit more…..there were far less standard……they sometimes vary ½” or more even between window to window that appear the same size.


AND, here's ditty #2:

How to install replacement vinyl windows
If you have standard double hung wood windows



First, I’m assuming you have read my “how to measure “ and have your windows ready to go in.

1. Remove the storm windows. The wood strip or ledge they were screwed to is the “storm stop”. Usually a strip of wood about ½ x ½” that extends back under the exterior moulding. In addition to giving a place to mount a storm window, it also serves as the stop for the outer most sash, the upper one.

2. You can either remove the storm stop with a wood chisel and take the sashes out to the outside…..which I do IF the inside is painted up and I don’t want to disturb it…..or you can remove the inside stop ( the one that holds the lower sash in place as it slides up and down). Don’t take off the top outside stop. Not necessary. If the inside stop is stained and will come off easy, go that route. Do take off the top inside stop…..necessary…but save them for reinstall.

3. If you have fairly “modern” windows with the aluminum tracks, just raise both sashes to the top, slip a bar or hammer claw in behind the track and fold it inward…..usually couple staples holding it, then grab both sashes together and jerk in the direction you took the stop out. The whole mess will come right out in your hands, be ready. People put deadbolts on their doors and 4 little staples hold the windows in…..ahahahahahahahaha

4. If you have the older rope and pulley type window, after taking one of the stops out, cut the sash cords on the first sash( boom/boom…those were the counterweights falling back in their cavity) and take out the sash. Then take out “parting stop”…..a 3/4x1/2” strip set in a dado ( groove) in the side jamb. Probably painted all to whizzz, but pry with a small chisel or screwdriver and it will pop out. Then you can cut the cords to the other sash and take it out.

5. On both, there is a parting stop at the top of the window…remove it too or the new window won’t go in place.

6. There is a type of wood double hung I call “pop and go” windows. They used a spring loaded aluminum strip on one side to put pressure against the sash as the method to hold it in place. All you do to get those out is grab the sash, jerk toward the spring loaded side ( usually the left side from inside looking out) and the sashes will come right out. Then take the aluminum tracks out ( screws set in pockets). The pocket on the spring side is deep…..you need to measure this type window slightly more in width. Usually a 28” wide window I make 28 ¼” so it will set in that pocket a little better….and you still have to stuff some insulation there.

Page 2

7. Now set your new window in the frame. Put it tight against either the inside or outside stop, whichever you didn’t take off. Level, make sure the new window is square, then use the four screws that came with it to install. If your windows are tall, I run another screw in the side jamb ABOVE the travel point of the sash shoe on the inside track to hold the jamb securely where you want it. Don’t bother using the jamb adjusters that come with them, most are junk.

8. Run bead around the outside on sides and top. Stuff some fiberglass insulation under the bottom where the new window is flat and the wood sill slopes away. Then you can slip the sill extension piece ( that flat pc with a little lip that came with the window) onto the bottom of the window to fill that gap, and install a couple of wood strips to replace the stop you cut off. Caulk and paint as needed….OR

9. I make aluminum trim to cover all the outside wood. If you can rent a sheet metal brake, buy some aluminum trim coil and do the same. This is a deal where pictures would be worth a zillion words…..maybe I’ll set up a website one day to show you how. This finish work is what separates the amateur work from the pro work.
 
  #3  
Old 05-19-03, 04:00 PM
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The only thing Andy DIDN'T tell you was whether he prefers root beer, one of the lemon-lime sodas, or just plain old cola. (Pretty sure we will know that in a day or two now. LOL!!) Otherwise, he told you just about everything you will need to know. But, just in case he left something out, or you run into something really strange, we will be here!
 
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Old 05-22-03, 05:56 AM
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Lightbulb A cheaper way ...

IF you window opening is close to the standard size of new construction winodws you can buy those for about 1/2 of what a custom sized "replacement" window costs with equal features.
My windows were the standard 28x54 with a ROUGH opening of 32x59.
SO I removed the 80 year old windows as well as all the rotted trim (the rotted trim was my main reason to replace the windows) and cut the opening to 32x60, installed the "new construction" window, cut new trim and whala I'm done
It is more work than sticking in a "minature" replacement (when using "replacement" window you loose glass area, when using new construction windows you GAIN glass area) but saves money and makes the window look like it was installed when the house was built.
If you have metal windows originally, "new construction" windows of the correct frame size should be fairly easy to find.
 
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Old 05-27-03, 11:10 AM
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I am also thinking about doing this same project. I had a guy come over and give us a "free" estimate of ONLY $8,258 to replace 13 double hung windows. He said "tonight only" he'll take off 15% and then went down to $6,200 before we asked him to leave. I then talked to some friends who said I might be able to do it myself. I've included some pictures of my one window to ask some questions about:











All Pictures at once.

I have a couple questions:

1. In order to measure all the windows, would I need to remove them all including the plastic part they slide in to get the measurements?

2. Is the part I have pointed out in the last picture the stop? If so, do I just need to remove that and then the window will come out?

Thanks so much!
 
  #6  
Old 05-27-03, 12:07 PM
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Thumbs up Looking good

Those windows look good, no rot, finish looks good also
I would just weatherstrip them rather than paying thousands to replace them.
It would take you forever to get your $$$ back in energy savings if the old ones were weatherstripped.
IMHO replacement is for windows that are not functioning properly or have a lot of wood damage.
 
  #7  
Old 05-27-03, 12:47 PM
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54regcab, thanks for the reply. I'm not sure if you think they look good just because of the picture or not. Here is a link to a picture that I scaled down only a little:



A LOT of our windows look really bad.. We have condensation build up on almost all of them as well. They are the original windows (1969). They shake with the wind as well. What exactly does weatherstripping do?

Thanks for your advice.

Tom
 
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Old 05-27-03, 12:55 PM
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Lightbulb Weatherstripping

This will prevent the windows from rattling and make them more airtight.
The pictures don't show any wood rot, but if you have it you will need to replace at least some of the wood.
Condensation may have just damaged the paint, see if you can press into the wood with your fingernail.
If you are going to tear down the window to replace the wood you might as well install new windows.
Mine were so bad the sashes was basically held in with paint !!
It sure is a LOT less work and expense to weatherstrip if you window is in sound shape.
 
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Old 05-27-03, 12:59 PM
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Well are windows from 1969 double paned with that low E and argon gas? Or is that not that big of a deal. Maybe I can take more pictures and you could get a better idea..

Thanks a lot.
 
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Old 05-27-03, 01:20 PM
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Lightbulb Low E double pane etc.

The biggest heat loss through bad windows is infiltration (air leakage)
New double pane windows do correct most of the condensation problems, low E is a nice extra.
Replace windows due to poor appearance that can't be fixed with paint, rotted wood, old window doesn't function etc.
Weatherstripping will normally pay for itself in one year.
Replacing windows can take many years to pay for themselfs in utility savings depending on the condition of the old windows.
IF you saved an average $50.00 per month from the new windows it would take 10 years for the windows to pay for themselfs (assuming $6K replacement cost)
If you put the $6K towards your highest intrest loan (credit cards, auto etc) you would be better off with the intrest you saved.
 
  #11  
Old 05-27-03, 07:02 PM
Tn...Andy
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Well, the prices you're getting are ridiculous.....as is evidenced by how much the turkey was cutting it before he left.

The windows just by themself would cost about $200 each with LowE....putting them in isn't that hard.

And energy savings is only ONE reason to replace. The tilt in feature for washing means you can clean all 13 in maybe 2 hours....how long does it take to do that on your current windows......( Yeah...I know....I had 'em too......you're flying to get it done in a day )

You also end the painting...especially if you have the exterior trim wrapped. I bet you can't get the storms taken down, the window painted and the storm reinstalled for 50 bucks.

And installing weather stripping sounds easy....it ain't. For one thing, you can't get the type of weatherstripping that's one a replacement window. Most have a compression bulb on the bottom sash where it meets the sill. They use a flex strip on two places on the sides of the sides...real good stuff, but you have to install it in a groove cut in the sash.....your sashes don't have it...
Yeah, I know they carry all kinds of tack on weather stripping at the hardware store, but it looks tacked on.....so I'm going to respectfully disagree with 54......, but I WILL agree if you pay 6k, you'll be a long time getting even
 
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Old 05-28-03, 04:48 AM
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Well we had another estimate come over last night. These guys were much better. They came right in, measured all the windows, and then gave us and estimate and left. No hassle / pressure. They quoted us $3,995 for 11 Double Hung and 1 Casement ( I don't know if it's considered two or not. It's over our sink and has two seperate cranks). The brand name window was Kensington. That averages out to $333 installed (with the outside aluminum trim). HUGE difference to the crook that we had the first time.

I also looked at our weatherstripping last night. A LOT of it is cracked off and I can take my finger and just pop pieces off. So now my dilema is do I do it myself or not. I know a contractor who can get me a price on Simonton Windows so I guess I have to wait and see the price. What about the aluminum on the outside that makes it look nice. About how much would that cost for 12 windows and what's the degree of difficulty on that?

Thanks again!!

Here are some more closeup pictures of one of our windows:
















 
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Old 05-28-03, 05:30 AM
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Lightbulb Window condition

They look pretty good for 30 year old windows
I'd be HAPPY if the windows I was thinking about replacing looked that good.
Clean, repaint, and weatherstrip unless there is wood rot that doesn't show in the pictures.
$4000 ...
If you save $33.00 a month (you will save more in winter than summer, this would be and AVERAGE) thats a 10% return on your investment in energy savings.
Not bad ....
If financing, will the interest rate be greater than 10% ??
If paying cash, do you have any outstanding debts (credit cards etc) with an intrest rate over 10% ??
You may be better paying off high intrest loans (if you have any) w/ the $$$ depending on your financial sitiuation.
If you weatherstrip and paint all the windows @ 20 per window ($260.00) you would need to save a little over $2.00 a month to get the same 10% return.
If you can get the windows for $2,000 and do the work yourself you will only need to save about $16.00 a month to "break even"
Of course if you just want new windows due to looks etc, go for it
It's not that hard to do yourself, once you do the first one the others go easily
 
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Old 05-28-03, 05:41 AM
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Re: Window condition

Originally posted by 54regcab
Of course if you just want new windows due to looks etc, go for it
It's not that hard to do yourself, once you do the first one the others go easily
Looks are a big part. We like the look of vinyl A LOT more than our windows, of course we haven't cleaned and painted them either.

What about the outside aluminum part. Do you know anything about that? As far as cost and degree of difficulty?

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-28-03, 09:17 AM
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Question Aluminum

I really don't know about the whole aluminum thing, I just cut new exterior trim pieces out of 2x4's with the table saw
I imagine for the aluminum to be molded into trim pieces you would need a special machine.
 
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Old 05-28-03, 10:21 AM
Tn...Andy
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Getting the aluminum coil put on the outside will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $25/window or so...IF you can get somebody to come do it......I've had requests to come do it over the years, but don't.....if I don't get the whole deal, I'm not going out for a 1/2 day's work.....sorry, that's just the way it is...

But you can do it yourself....there will be a learning curve of course, but it's not that hard..

OK...here's another dity I wrote and saved....

****************************************************


You can rent a sheet metal brake at a local rental. The size you’ll probably get is an 8 or 10’ model. These instructions assume you have some type of wood to “wrap” on the outside of your windows. I can also tell you how to do it if you don’t
Some other points.......the coil comes in 24"wide by 50' rolls. It's cut, or scored really, not cut, with a utility knife. I lay my roll on a non-scratching surface, like the grass, or a pc of 2'x12' carpet scrap if I'm working on a driveway type surface, and score the length I need using a framing square as a guide to run the utility knife along. Then fold the metal somewhat and it will break clean along the score line.

With the pc the right length, I mark off the bend points...let's say you were going to wrap a 1x4 trim board on 3 sides.... the edges and the face.........I'd measure from the edge of the coil over 3/4" and put a mark, then measure over 3 1/2”, put a mark, then another 3/4" and mark..... I’d also put an "X" above that mark so I know it's the cutoff point for that pc of trim.....that uses up 5" of my 24" wide metal coil, leaving me 19" for more trim. Now I fold the sheet in the center ( DON'T CRIMP....just an easy bend that will flatten back out), and put one end of the metal to the other end, with my marks up and showing. I take a pair of snips, and make a real small cut at my marks, so the exact same point is marked on each end of the metal......that saves you remarking the other end, AND keeps you from screwing up and marking from the wrong starting edge.....I know if you just marked off one pc on 24" you wouldn't screw up, but I mark the whole sheet for multiple pcs while I'm down there on my knees anyway.

OK...you sheet is marked. Insert the sheet (PVC side down if you're using PVC coated coil, either side if painted coil ) into the jaws of the brake, and clamp the brake so your cutoff points (the "X") are right on the edge of the jaws. If you rent a brake, try to get a center handle one, like a Tappco Pro series rather than the older J brakes....they are much easier to use......

Now score the metal using the jaw edge as a guide. One good clean, straight score is what you're looking for. Then raise the lower bending arm of the brake, and make a 90 in the metal, work back and forth a time or two and the metal will separate, leaving your work pc in the brake and the 19" "scrap" in your hand. Set the scrap aside.

Unclamp the jaws, and then pull the metal out to the first marks on the end. Reclamp. Raise the handle making a 90 degree bend. Unclamp again, move the workpc out to the other marks, reclamp and bend again to 90. You've now made a "U", with 3/4" legs and a 3 1/2" face. This pc is complete.

That's a real simple pc......but harder pcs are just multiple bends, and angles, like 45 degree, are just a "guesstimate" on the bend......you just have to develope an eye for it, there is no gauge on the brake. It helps greatly IF you have the ability to "see" the shape in your mind......and experience is about the only way to do this and work more complex shapes. If you over or under bend a pc, stick it back in and use your hands to pull it back to the correct angle, or use the brake to make more of a bend......this ain't plate steel you're working with......

Also, the pc I just described only had "outside" bends, since we were just wrapping a 1x4. You will also make "inside" bends, and you have to flip the face side of the metal up and then put it in the brake to make an inside type bend. Often, molding wraps are combinations of the two, so you'll be flipping and re-inserting the metal several times during the process. This is where you have to really "visualize" the pc as you bend it......look at each bend from the end in the beginning to make sure the profile you want is coming out of the bending. I sometimes take a real small pc of scrap, like a 2" wide by whatever long and make a test pc if it's a complicated set of bends with a bunch of inside/outside and some angles throw in too, that way you don't mess up a big pc of metal coil trying to get the bend pattern down pat.

And you will screw some up getting the hang of it, but heck, I let my mind wander sometimes and screw up a pc now and then too..... and that's after having used 5-10,000 rolls, so pitch it in the "Christmas money" pile and bend another

That ought to get ya started......it's more than anyone told me.
 
 

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