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Contractor suggested I install my own replacement windows?

Contractor suggested I install my own replacement windows?

Old 07-04-03, 11:31 PM
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Contractor suggested I install my own replacement windows?

I'm getting quotes to install replacement windows in my house, and one of the window companies gave me two prices: One for them to do everything, and another ($3000 cheaper) for them to drop off the new windows and show me how to install them myself.

They say that the tolerances on the windows they build will be so tight, that I can pop the windows in, run a bead of caulk, and I'm good to go.

I can save $3000 by spending a day learning how to do this myself, and another couple days installing, but will I ever be able to do as good a job as the pros?

Isn't the installation of the replacement windows the most crucial part? Or can I really not screw it up if they measured and built the windows properly?
Old 07-05-03, 02:51 AM
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wow...first time I ever heard of a window company doing that !
Most of them have less than $100 per window install cost, so they are "giving up" 2k in profit.......hmmmm

What kind of window do you have now ? and describe as completely as you can......including your existing siding or masonary....

Oh yeah, and I take it from your figures you're getting 10 windows.....How much do they want for the 10 dropped off ?

And IF they install, do they include wrapping the outside wood mouldings IF you have that ??

Last edited by Tn...Andy; 07-05-03 at 04:15 AM.
Old 07-05-03, 06:23 AM
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The existing windows are really big (old victorian) 8 over 1's, double hung, with the ropes and the weights and the pulleys...

He said we'd pop out those little moldings that are held in by friction in front of the windows, cut the ropes, open the little doors and get the weights out, stuff the holes with insulation, close up the doors, pop in the new windows, caulk, and put back the little wood friction guys.

We currently have storm windows, which he said we would just untack, remove and throw away...

The exterior is original wood shingle...

The interior is original plaster...

Were talking about 30 windows. Polar Guard windows, mechanical frames (not welded), welded sash.

I don't think we have exterior mouldings... all the interior casings are dead flat (almost farmhouse/mission style)

Their quote did NOT include wrapping any exterior mouldings...

Will I waste my money (heating savings) on the windows if I botch the install? Or is it impossible to botch the install?
Old 07-05-03, 02:59 PM
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OK, I don't know where I read into the first post and got 10 windows......my mistake......

So HOW MUCH are the 30 windows costing ?
I'm still curious as to the total.....

As to the info on installing....

First, the inside stop is NOT held by friction, it's nailed.....generally lightly in the case of the old sash weight type windows because it's been off before to replace sash cords. If your inside stuff is stained, it should come off fairly easy......IF painted up with 10 coats over the years, it will be sort of a mess. I ususally chisel off the stop outside that the storm window is mounted too and take the old sashes out that way and put the new window in from that side.....but again, you need to wrap the outside to hide the fact you did it that way......

Some of the old style windows DO have a little "door" on the side of the jamb to access the weight cavity.....some don't....you can see that just by raising the windows. But even if they do, you ain't gonna stuff much insulation up a 5' tall window from a 6" slot in the bottom....just ain't gonna happen. You'll have to pull either the inside or outside casing......and you say you don't have any outside casing, which is ALSO sort of un-usual....there is generally a 1x5 or 1x6 on the outside of this style window....you MUST have something out there just to mount the storms too ???

Also, when you pull the storms, there will be the screw hole from where they mounted.....that's another reason I wrap the outside to make a good job.

As for the actual window removal and install....it ISN'T that hard, but accurate measurement is absolutely KEY.......these old style widows will vary often in size from 1/2" or more from window to window......and check carefull for square.....often old houses with this type window have settled and the windows are WAY out of square and hard to install......stand back and look at the sills inside with the bottom sash raised just to the point you start to see light.....you can tell when they are WAY out right then.....

You CAN do this with a little guidance......it isn't rocket science.

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