Replacement Windows?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Nate R, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    OK, I have some money in the budget this year for replacement windows. 13 of them to do.

    The house is 900 SF, 2 BR/1BA, no basement. So, around here, it's not worth a whole lot. So I don't see a point in putting in expensive replacement windows.

    So I'm looking at lower-end vinyl replacement windows.

    Any brand recommendations for vinyl replacement windows and why? I'm considering:

    Pella Thermastar
    Crestline
    Jeld-Wen
    American Craftsman (HD brand)

    Any other ones I should be looking at?
  2. sjsmithjr

    sjsmithjr Geologist

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    The Pella Thermastar's aren't bad; Crestlines are junk; depending on which Jeld-Wen you're looking some are nice; I wouldn't put the American Craftsman on a doghouse.

    Hope that helps.

    -Sam
  3. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    I replaced several windows a couple of years ago w/some American Craftsman and they have been just fine. I was replacing wood frame single pane windows w/exterior storm windows - there was a big difference.

    Note: if you're buying the Pella Thermastar off the rack at Lowe's you are not getting Low-E glass. That is special order. The AC ones at HD already have it and are nearly the same pricewise.

    You get a tax credit for window replacement.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  4. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    I just did a whole house with the Pella line. I ordered so I did get the low E glass. The savings in heating is excellent.

    I feel that the pella line is ok. I really think that Republic has a great window, the one sold through Hanson's Window. Not sure if that is a local thing or not. Anyhow they don't have the highest efficiency ratings and clarity of glass but it seems adequate.

    Tom
  5. BigLou

    BigLou New Member

    Messages:
    138
    MG
    those must have been some crappy windows, a good single pane window with a nice storm window will perform as well if not better then an average replacement window.

    Nate,
    what is the reason for replacing the windows ? have you looked at window quits they are going to be in the same price range but are going to provide much much much much better performance. same goes for the more expensive replacement windows. insulated glass is more or less all the same the only difference is the coatings. The right low E coating can make or break you, and the low end windows only offer once kind of coating. The other thing the higher end windows do a much better job of is air sealing. Leaking air will be the majority of your energy savings, the increase in R value is minimum. I think a lot people "heat savings" are in thier mind or from the increased air sealing

    lou
  6. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    What's a window quit? Or is that a typo? Google doesn't give me anything on it.

    Replacing the windows? Most of the current ones are 85 years old, and have been neglected for the last 40+ years. Most of the panes have been replaced w/ Plexiglass. All have been poorly maintained. 5 of them aren't working windows, but old storms screwed in place of where a double hung window should be. Some replacement sashes in them that are the wrong size, etc, etc.
    The work required to correct the problems and keep these windows would exceed the cost and effort of replacement windows. There's no architectural value to the windows, either. No charm, no beautiful wood, etc. And many of them have terrible air leakage. 1/2" of snow on the window sill is no good. :p
  7. BigLou

    BigLou New Member

    Messages:
    138
    Nate,
    sounds like my place, there was really no fixing those old windows.
    Window quilts are just what the name implies, they help keep your house nice and warm
    http://www.1windowquilts.com/
    lou
  8. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
  9. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    They were - 30+ years old, thin glass in the inner windows. The exterior storm windows did not line up well at all. The new ones (especially on the west facing wall) have been a big improvement - not to mention they look much nicer. The local power company has increased rates and our bills have not changed much from when we had the old ones in. I need to do the ones in the basement next.
  10. oldanbo

    oldanbo New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Sequim,WA
    one word

    MILGARD

    They have a lifetime warrantee and they stand behind it. My house was built using these windows and I did have one occasion to call them.
    The house was about 7 years old at the time, and one of the casement windows wouldn't close enough to lock, they were here in a day or two, fixed and said thank you.

    I won't have anything else.

    :D
  11. crater

    crater New Member

    Messages:
    49
    We sell Republic windows in Iowa. We believe that for the money they are the best replacement window on the market today. Not just coming from a sales standpoint either goto Republicwindows.com and do some research. You will find that there are quite a few decision you'll have to make. I know, you can't get pricing off there site, however it will arm you with some good question to ask other dealers. Like what is the R-value of there glass packs or better yet what there u-rating is, the u rating is the inverse of a r-rating, loosely saying how much cold/heat does the product let through. Then goto the gov's energy site and see what is recommend in your area. Then there is VT (visible transmitel) rating. again loosely speaking, how clear is the glass or how much lite is allowed to pass through. Low-E is simply a coating applied to the inside side of the outer pane of glass in a double hung window, it is applied to reduce UV rays from entering your home. Low-E is double fold, it reduces the amount of fading of funiture and carpet plus helps stop the heat that is carried by the UV ray. Then theres argon gas, simply said "insulation". Argon gas is heavier that oxgen therefore stoping the radiant transfer across the glass. Then there the construction of the frame and how many "dead air channels there are. Vinyl windows have a inherainat problem of two things 1) there strengh, partically the sash. Under heavy loads (triple pane glass packs) the sash can become bowed resulting in a bad seal to frame connection, therefore make sure there is somekind of steel reinforcement in the sash frame.
    As far as product goes. I of course would want you to buy Republic, but they are or can be expensive. If the house is not worth it (think about resale) then Jeldwin makes some fine products. I agree do not buy Crestline, I firmly belive that Crestline is only around to provide windows for 3 season porchs, and to home builders to cut there bottom line. Bty Jeldwin and Crestline are owned by the same company, I think Jeldwin owns Crestline but I could be wrong.
    If you need further assistance please let me know, whatever you buy will be a pretty substancial investment and if you go really cheap, you'll pay for it untill you sell the home.
    On the flip side you should get around 83% of your investment in return if you were to sell. Replacing windows is on the top of the return ladder when looking at selling in the near future. And if your not looking at selling soon then by all means, buy something good.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2008
  12. crater

    crater New Member

    Messages:
    49
    BigLou, Storm windows were designed to do one thing only, keep mother nature off of a wood frame windows. They provide 0 thermal break, in fact if they haven't been chaulked shut, they should have drain holes at the bottom.
    A "all vinyl" product is not sustable to rot like wood and with todays improvments don't even require a wind barrier
  13. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Architect

    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Take a look at local makers too... Jones (local company) makes some really good jeld-wen knock off's and they cost 2/3 the price. Worth a look. Definitely Low-E tho.
  14. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Why? In my area, I don't see that it's worth it for Low-E, given the option. I want all the sun heat I can get most of the year. 7000 heating degree days a year and only about 600 cooling degree days.

    I will look into locals. I know of 2 off the top of my head.
  15. mikept

    mikept DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    CT
    Nate R: Low e glass can be designed to keep the heat out of the house or to keep it in. They make high and low solar gain low e glass

    crater: low e glass reflect Infrared heat not Ultraviolet "heat"
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2008
  16. crater

    crater New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Thanks for the correction Mike.
    Nate. is'nt the whole idea of a well insulated home to be able to heat and cool efficiently? If heat is allowed to enter the home then whats to stop it from exiting? As we know the heat migrates to cold. And although maybe not the recommended choice, low-e is not nessesary. If I was looking into purchasing a low to mid grade window I would be looking around the $250.00 each range, this is of course based on the size mainly. We and so do others, price the windows on there united inches for a base, then add on for options. United inches is just the width + the height in inches. Then we have a scale like 0-48 ui = $$$, 49-101 ui = $$$ ect. So you can really measure the windows yourself, go to a home improvement store and get a pretty close estimate without the hassel of the salesperson coming to visit. Keep in mind there is a installation charge, and that will depend on the difficulty. If your windows are in deed in as bad of shape as you have explained, maybe new construction would be better. Rotten frames and sills or just plain rotten wood all together can add quite a bit to the bill in the end. If the frames are rotten then the installer will probally have to construct a new one (maybe on-site) anyhow, thus your installing a replacement as a new construction anyway. Aluminum exterior wrapping is only for cosmetics, although there are some that say after the exterior casings are wraped (whatever they may be) that the weather cannot get to the wood anymore thus sealing it and stoping any futher damage. Now this may hold some weight but very little. If you don't have perfect siding or the sealant (chaulk) used pulls away then basically yo will have a void for moisture to gather a do damage. We use chaulk that is $7.00 a tube (high buytl content), it does stay flexable although as it dries it tends to shrink therfore pulling away. We call it improper installation, allthough sometime you just can't help it (paint flakes away, or too cold)
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  17. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I guess I assumed heat gained by solar would not as easily be lost through a window since it would be a different manner of heat in exiting. (IE: I don't have a bright light shining OUT the window)

    Installation charge? No thanks, I'll do it myself. :D

    I didn't think of new construction.

    From what I've seen, I don't think the frames are rotten anywhere. I'll find out before I order windows. I know the aluminum is pretty much cosmetic, but I do like the weather resistant factor. And all of the casings are already wrapped. Some just have suffered abuse since then.

    Thanks for the tip, I'll be SURE to use GOOD caulk.
  18. crater

    crater New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Abused capping:D Strange how that happens is'nt it. Anyway if you should decide to install windows from the exterior you will have to re-cap, due to the removal of the outside stop. When we do that we cut it off with a sawz-all retaining the stop as it will be an exact fit back on, then bend new capp that will float over top of the stop and return back to the vinyl, as tightly as possible, then you should have 2 pretty good surfaces (al,vinyl) to chaulk to.
    Also inspect the sill very good. If need be cut of the first couple of inches usually even with the exterior wall sheeting, then rip a new piece of treated 2by lumbers down using somewhere around a 10 degree angle to give the new sill positive slope outward, just face screw it in the existing sill, then cap sill running the AL as far in to interior as you can get (at least far enough that the replacement will sit on it, then install the replacement. You will probally have to finish nail a piece of parting stop on the sill at the bottom of the new replacement due to the sloped sill of the orginal window(the new one won't be made with a slope on the exterior or bottom of the window) then just bend a 3/4x1/2 90degree angle to cap it. Again you'll have the best surfaces to chaulk to.
    Be sure to get some 3.5" x 1" window insulation to stuff around the replacement and old wood frame. A 3" putty knife works well for doing it. BTY the replacement should be made 1/2" smaller in width and height to accomadate to this insul. Don't forget to insulate under replacement also, just lay a piece in maybe staple it down so it can't move out on ya, then tip the replacement up in to the hole. Also be carefull where you screw the window into the old frame, you don't want the screw head interfearing with any sliding action of the sashs, Laugh if you will, but it happens. If they are real wide like 48" then you'll have to run a screw though the sill :eek:. Most replacement have air chambers so yo can carefully drill a hole though the first layer of the sill, they same size as the head, then run your screw down though the hole it should go though at least a couple more air chambers so the head will catch on the second layer, then CHAULK the screw head. Then if you can find some plastic plugs you can just plug the visible hole. We use the plugs that you would find in a door's glass frame to hide there screws. Anyway this should be done as a LAST RESORT to get the bow out of the sill.
    Just some tips. Any ? please ask
Similar Threads: Replacement Windows
Forum Title Date
Remodel Forum & Blog Condensation on new replacement windows, Why? Nov 19, 2008
Remodel Forum & Blog framing out replacement windows Aug 27, 2007
Remodel Forum & Blog Sealing large gap around replacement vinyl windows Oct 26, 2006
Remodel Forum & Blog best replacement windows Aug 2, 2006
Remodel Forum & Blog Bathroom vanity replacement Jul 21, 2014

Share This Page