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Old 02-20-09, 03:31 PM
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Hey Guys & Gals, I am a first time home buyer. I purchased my house about 4 months ago and would like to go ahead and replace the windows this spring with vinyl. It's a cape that was built in 1947, I live in CT so efficiency is important for cold weather. I have done some research on U-factor and SHGC so I guess what it comes down to is this.

The original windows are wood, weighted and single pane with grids. I consider myself to be mechanically inclined (hence the username) and was wondering if this is something I can tackle myself or I should leave to the pros. I am very picky when it comes to doing work so I know even if I struggled a little bit or it took twice as long I know the job would get done right. Plus a few of my friends tell me its very easy to do and I shouldn't have any problems doing it myself.

What are your opinions on this? Also, Most of the windows are standard size, there are 15 windows total (includes the 2 small ones on each side of the fireplace), what do you expect my range of cost will be? Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 03:58 PM
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First big question that needs to be answered. Since you have done some research..do you know whether you want to go with vinyl or clad replacement (insert) windows..or rip out the entire old window and install a complete full frame window?
 
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Old 02-20-09, 04:40 PM
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I guess it depends on what is involved in doing both. The first insert option doesnt sound bad. If i do the full frame, does it require pulling off the window molding and sill? Do I have to touch the outside of the house? Im guessing if I did the entire frame it would not only seal better but it would probably function better? This way its not a wood frame with vinyl inserts. Does that sound accurate?

From what I saw I would remove the stops, cut the ropes and slide out the inserts. The windows are not drafty around the outside, and they are square (not sure if this is why people do the entire window), but I would rather put the time and $ into it now then have to go back and do something else or worry about issues later. Does that make sense? Do it once, do it right.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 05:09 PM
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Greetings and welcome to the forum,
Your choice is to use replacement windows, which are generally ordered to fit the exact opening you have, leaving the inside framing and outside siding untouched. Or use new construction windows, which come in a selection of sizes but require patching the siding and redoing the inside trim. The new construction windows involve a much bigger project, but you get basically the size you want.

What do you currently have for siding and inside trim?

Bud
 
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Old 02-20-09, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Greetings and welcome to the forum,
Your choice is to use replacement windows, which are generally ordered to fit the exact opening you have, leaving the inside framing and outside siding untouched. Or use new construction windows, which come in a selection of sizes but require patching the siding and redoing the inside trim. The new construction windows involve a much bigger project, but you get basically the size you want.

What do you currently have for siding and inside trim?

Bud
Bud, I have aluminum siding, and inside, the walls are plaster. As for trim I'm not sure how to answer that, because if I said wood, granted it would make you chuckle but I don't think that is the answer you are looking for.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 05:22 PM
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Actually in the case of windows..that tells quite a bit. It means you probably have casing framing the window and a wooden stool projecting into the room.

Keep going with details...I'm cooking ribs...so see you tomorrow.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 05:24 PM
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No wood is correct, probably the old original trim if the windows are single pane. Aluminum siding is tough to work with and patching or matching to patch is tough. It may also have the old wood clapboard siding under the aluminum .

Let's see if some of the carpenters jump in here with any suggestions.

Bud
 
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Old 02-20-09, 05:49 PM
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I am a firm believer that a picture is worth 1000 words. So here are 2000 words


 
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Old 02-21-09, 06:39 AM
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OK...if you would like to avoid removing the interior trim..and the exterior wood is in good shape...you are a perfect candidate for replacement windows. They can vary from $150-500 (or even more) for common sizes. You can find good quality windows in the midrange.

I wouldn't consider any Big Box brands. The lower end are not of good quality and the upper end is equivalent to mid range windows from other manufacturers, which can be found cheaper.

Replacement windows are easily installed from the interior by a DIY'er. Pro's normally do it from the outside to avoid any mess or liability issues. You can order and install a few at a time as funds and schedules allow. It is very satisfying work and can be a big improvement in looks and efficiency. All that is required is common hand tools, and after doing 1 or 2 to learn, you will probably be able to do an entire window, start to finish, in less than an hour.

I believe there are a couple of Pro's in your general area that can advise on brands and actual costs.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 11:55 AM
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My first thought would be to compliment you on the good condition of your windows. They appear to be well cared for, and likely enhance the appearance of your home. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but your white combination windows also appear to be in fairly good shape- at least they are not the old mill finish aluminum storms from the 50's and 60's that rattle and shake.

Provided your storms are in good shape, I would not be in a hurry to replace those windows just yet. Just throwing that out there. I've been installing replacement windows since 1991 and have removed many a nice window that did not necessarily need to be replaced. The people just wanted them because they thought it was the best thing to do. Some because they wanted the low-e. Others because they wanted something that was easier to open, or easier to clean. Some hated cleaning storm windows. So I'd suggest you take a step back and consider why you want to replace them, and if it's a good reason, then by all means, continue your quest for information.

But you might also read all the posts in the windows forum from people who have replaced their windows with vinyl ones only to find that they now have condensation problems in the winter that they never had before, with their old window + storms. Just something to consider.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 12:10 PM
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Good points by X

If you plan on staying there for a while...there may be other projects to put your funds and efforts into. Insulation and more efficient heating and cooling come to mind.

They do look in pretty good shape. A little maintenance and some bees wax or parafin on the sides will help them open and close if thats an issue.

Now..if you only took pics of the ones that are in good shape, and the rest are real bad...you may not want to invest a lot of money and time into getting them up to snuff, only to replace them in 3 yrs.
 
 

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