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Repair or replace window?

Michael Rivers's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 428

09-17-13, 08:55 AM   #1  
Repair or replace window?

I'm continuing my ongoing saga of fixing most of my very old windows and installing new storm windows. For the most part, this is straight forward, and I'd be done if I could just afford the storms and had the sash weights.

But I'm not sure what to do with my bedroom window.
Presently, it is a double hung with the upper sash painted and probably screwed in place. The lower sash has all the channels and holes needed for sash weight lines, but there are no pulleys and no access door for said weights (but, I haven't stripped paint yet).

I can either get a new storm window unit for about $150 and fix the window for around another $50 for parts, assuming I have the skill needed to install pulleys and there is room for weights (or I get a spring balance and alter the sashes accordingly).

I can pay $300 or so to get a vinyl replacement window installed. My normal concerns about a replacement window are a little lessened by the fact that the window does not get any sun that would weaken the vinyl.

Edit: I saw a video of a replacement window company that actually suggests cutting the sash cords, taking a hammer to the pulleys, pushing in the replacement frame, and calling it a day. Horrible.

I can install my own replacement window. I'm not a huge fan of that option due to lack of help, inexperience, and mild acrophobia.

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XSleeper's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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09-17-13, 04:41 PM   #2  
Some newer double hung windows (newer than the old pulley and rope style windows) have spring balances in the head of the window rather than in the sides. The really old double hungs didn't even have counterweights. They simply had spring bolts through the sides of the sashes. If you have either of those styles, my guess is that your rough openings will be too small to use any type of pulley or counterweight on the sides, due to the stud being too close to the jamb.

I have no advice for the choice you are facing, as in the end it is really your call.

[QUOTE]the window does not get any sun that would weaken the vinyl./QUOTE]

huh??? Don't tell me millions of vinyl windows are being affected by the sun?

dan0661's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 376

09-17-13, 07:20 PM   #3  
If you go to a good lumberyard they should be able to hook you up with a good replacement window other than just vinyl. They will take measurements and provide you with new jamb liners and sashes to replace the old and you won't have to pull siding or redo interior trim.

joecaption1's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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09-17-13, 08:06 PM   #4  
One person should be able be able to install a replacement window in about 1/2 hour once they get though the small learning curve.
We can install all the windows in a 2, story house in 1/2 a day with 2, people.
I've never pounded in the pulleys, I pry them out.
Removing the side casing so insulation can be added and old weights removed would be the best way.
Way better to get the outside trim wrapped with coil stock before install replacements so there's no more painting.

Michael Rivers's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 428

09-18-13, 05:04 AM   #5  
I do not know the truth of the "sun" statement, just something I read at some point in the past.

All the outsides of windows have been wrapped in coil stock from when a prior owner had siding put on. Sadly (a term I get to use for most of the work done by the prior owner), that wrapping was done with the broken storm frames still in place. This makes it very difficult to replace the storms, and makes for bad gaps and lots of water intrusion when the broken frames are removed.

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