New windows for south FL home

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  #1  
Old 09-13-08, 08:03 AM
J
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New windows for south FL home

Hello Everyone,

I have a concrete block home in south Florida built in 1965 with what appears to be original all aluminum crank-out windows. Some of the windows are badly damaged and won't close all the way. I can't get parts for them any more and no local contractors want to repair them. Some of the cranks are also in bad shape and at $20/ea, it doesn't seem cost effective to replace them if the windows are also in bad shape. I'd like to replace the windows myself little by little to spread the cost out (maybe do a couple per month).

Here are my goals for this project:
1. I live on a busy street. I'd like windows that will reduce road noise
2. I'd like windows that will seal better and be more energy efficient
3. I'd like to replace the crank-out windows with single hung or double hung windows. I'd like to stick with aluminum since anything wood doesn't seem to last long down here (termites, sunlight, etc)

I have looked at HD and Lowes and their windows all seem to be pretty low quality single pane glass. I consider myself very handy but I'm not really sure where to start with this project. I guess the first task is selecting windows... can anyone recommend a brand and/or dealer?

Thanks,

- Joe
 
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Old 09-15-08, 03:45 PM
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You have the worst of worst windows. Jalosie windows offer little noise protection, no heat/cool protection, and can leak in a blowing rain. Changing them out will be a good move. Have you figured out how they are fitted to your frames? It may take a custom built window to get a proper retro fit, but it will be worth the wait. After you have checked at big orange and blue, check with JeldWen, Pella, Andersen and others to see what they offer. I would also suggest you consider vinyl clad windows. They are impervious to weather, wont' rust, don't conduct heat/cold as do aluminum, may be somewhat cheaper than wood, and don't require attention as wood windows would. Definitely get multiple pane windows, preferrably with Lo-E or argon charge between the panes. Let us know what you find out. You are on the right track.
 
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Old 09-15-08, 04:11 PM
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Everything chandler said..

One question tho, do they crank out as a unit and swing over to one side (casement), or are they multiple panes of horizontal glass "slats" about 3" tall that open like mini blinds (jalousie)?

They may sell replacement "insert" units for the casements, much like they do here in AZ for the old sliders. We didn't have this type back in VA, but in CA and AZ, thats the most popular replacement they sell. Very simple install.

If they are the jalousie, you'll prob be looking at frame replacement as well, which is a bit more work.

Also, I think the windows you were looking at must have been storm windows. I haven't seen single pane units stocked anywhere in years. And all-aluminum windows have kind of gone away most places. I'm sure they still sell in some areas, but they conduct too much heat and cold trhough the frame.

Could be different down there.
 
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Old 09-15-08, 06:23 PM
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probably "awning windows rather than Jalosie

http://www.victorsun.com/images/bigawn.gif

very common down here , in fact when they came out in the "50s they where called "Miami windows " I remember my parents being real proud of having the new Miami windows

I replaced some here with insulated sliders that cut the sound and seem to cut heat/cool loss
 
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Old 09-15-08, 08:56 PM
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Hi everyone, sorry I didn't respond sooner - been tied up with work! My windows each have 3 horizontal panes that crank up an out (much like in the image posted by Mango Man). Each horizontal pane is maybe 12" tall, the lengths vary from window to window. Some parts of my house - the parts farthest away from the A/C return - are significantly warmer than others. I'm hoping that replacing these windows will at least help a little. I can snap some photos of the windows if that would help anyone. Some of the windows are definitely worse than others. They all seem to open and close OK, but some don't "lock" shut. You can push the window pane out 1/2" on some of them in the closed position because the locking tabs have broken off. When I moved in, I noticed the seller had taped many of the seams on the windows - now I know why

Aluminum windows still seem to be quite popular down here - in fact, they may be required to comply with the hurricane building codes. Almost all of the windows I've seen in HD and lowes are aluminum frame. Honestly, I'd be worried about bugs using anything else. The glass is definitely single pane (and thin) - I had to replace a pane when I moved in. Not a fun task in these windows!!!

Thanks for the suggestions - keep 'em coming!

- Joe
 
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Old 09-16-08, 08:29 AM
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Ok, I understand now. See that's why I hang out here, I keep learning all the time. Mango had the best perspective I guess.
So they function like giant jalousie windows sort of? The only place I'd ever seen them installed was sun or "Florida" rooms, guess now I know why they called them that...lol.

I'm still truly amazed that they still sell single pane windows.
 
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Old 09-16-08, 10:27 PM
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I'm aware of three manufactures that meet the your aluminum and acoustic desires. One is in Texas, the other Kansas, the last one is in Florida. You'll be able to find them yourself in a minute or two.

First, find out what you MUST COMPLY with. If you live under an HOA or in an Architectural District that's one set of compliances. The building department should be on your call or visit list. Ask if Miami Dade standards apply or not. What's the wind load in psf. (Plus & Minus). [The building dept. is not required to tell you this, (because the calcs should be submitted by your licensed engineer), but if you ask the right person they may point you in the right direction].

Become aware of the wind exposure category stated “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”. 'D” is the severest building exposure (open terrain). “A” is the least exposure (protected by surrounding structures). “B” has closely spaced obstructions. “C” has scattered obstructions.

After you know what you must comply with, you're ready to start sourcing.

If Miami-Dade applies see the approved products:
http://www.miamidade.gov/buildingcode/pc-search_app.asp
This a good place to get your feet whet.

Your next stop is the AAMA American Architectural Manufactures Association. This site contains substantial technical information about windows.

http://www.aamanet.org/
Find the certified products directory.
Set the Pref Class to “R” = Residential.
Set the Pref Grade to ”=” + psf wind load
Set the Framing material to “AL” for Alumimum or “V” for vinyl.
The check boxes allow you to set inside or outside Miami-Dade.

If applicable, and you know the wind load and the exposure category, you can order the windows like a pro. Otherwise you may need more personalized help.
 
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