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Replacing vinyl replacement windows with wood sash


mikecurranto's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 19
RI

01-09-14, 05:46 AM   #1  
Replacing vinyl replacement windows with wood sash

My house was built in 1920. It's a Craftsman type Bungalow. The old wooden sash windows were removed 30 years ago and vinyl replacements were installed in the cavities. They were a real mess and could not be saved for the most part.
I didn't think to ask the installers to save anything. Stupid me. But here I am.
I am planning to build new wood window sashes and removable winter storms. I have been researching long and hard.
Iím planning to reuse the vinyl window glass by fitting it into my new sashes. None of it has leaked or clouded.
Found lots of great info on building sashes but nothing on removing vinyl windows. Yet. Figured I'd start here.
I have no idea what I'll find when I remove the vinyl.
Are there any contractors out here who have removed wood and replaced with vinyl? What gets removed? The weights and pulleys? Any framework?
I remember the old rickety windows. The ropes fit into grooves on the sash and went over a pulley to a weight in the wall recess.
I'm hoping the pulleys and weights are still there. If not, I'll go to the old house boneyard for new ones.
I do know the inside stops were removed, ripped a bit more narrow and replaced. I can cut new stops in my wood shop.
I will be removing all the old siding and trim from the exterior so I figure that's the best time to do the install of my new sashes.
So, how do I do it?
The big question. How are the vinyl windows removed? Obviously I need to remove one and see what damage the installers may have done.
Any help, pics, links will be much appreciated!
Thanks.
Mike

 
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Gunguy45's Avatar
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01-09-14, 06:15 AM   #2  
Well...I don't know if you are deadset on building your own...but you can buy replacement sashes with thermal glass and any grill pattern you want. They come with replacement jamb liners which don't need ropes or weights. They can be had in plain wood or clad in vinyl or aluminum in many colors. With all the work involved, plus having to order insulated glass...the kits often work out to the same price.

That said...

Many times the ropes have rotted and break allowing the weight to just fall into the wall cavity. The pulleys are normally removed and the hole sealed somehow. If they were done 30 yrs ago, doubt they would have used spray foam, which would be the choice today. Likely not even sealed.

You don't need the pulley and weight system. A better choice is a tape balance, available many places on the net.

Vinyl replacements are normally just held in by a few screws on the sides into the old wood jamb and caulk against the stop.


Oh...just saw you are removing all siding and trim. Why not just go with new construction windows (in wood if you want it) and avoid all the hassle?


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
mikecurranto's Avatar
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01-09-14, 10:01 AM   #3  
Not deadset for building my own. I am going to give it a try with some cheap pine just to see. Once I get the steps correct and my wood machines dialed in, cranking out sash for 18 windows should go pretty quick. I am going to attempt to re-use the insulated glass in the vinyl. I'll just make new grills for the look of separate panes.
New construction windows? Forgive my ignorence, but will they fit into the existing openings? The house was built in 1920. Everything about the windows other than the sashes was site built. The weight pockets, the sill, the stops, everything. But if they fit right in and look period, then it's a consideration. I just don't want anything other than wood showing as my house has wood everything and the vinyl looks so out of place.
I can't see any screws on the sides. I guess I'll have to pry off some vinyl covers to see them?
I found the tape balancers. Those look like a good upgrade from weights, especially if mine were scrapped.
But too damn cold in Rhode Island to pop out any windows right now. Think I'll wait a few months.

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
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01-09-14, 10:12 AM   #4  
New wood windows can be made to any size you need, just like vinyl replacements. If you stick with regular wood that will be painted, they aren't that much more than standard sizes. I'm most familiar with Jeld-Wen custom and their factory is so automated that all the parts for each window just show up on the floor just like standard sizes. Now, stepping up to something like Andersen Woodwright windows can get very pricy.

Do some checking around and find out about the sash replacement kits. Not sure what brands are in your area but many companies make them.

The screws may be covered by snap on trim in the sash channels. You'll probably have to tilt and remove the sashes to get a good look. They do tilt don't they?


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"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
XSleeper's Avatar
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01-09-14, 10:46 AM   #5  
Do you realize that the IGUs in the vinyl windows are probably 3/4" thick? And that its possible that you might break them getting them out? Putting a 30 yr old IGU in is a waste of time IMO. Plus being plain clear plain glass with a metal spacer it is old technology, so to speak.

 
mikecurranto's Avatar
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01-10-14, 10:39 AM   #6  
They are thick! I took a closer look last night. It was just a thought.

 
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