Author Topic: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me  (Read 1364 times)

dycker1978

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« on: September 01, 2017, 09:11:09 AM »
We are in need of new windows in our house.  They are the original windows from the house build in 1962. It is not an energy savings thing, they payback time would be to long, it is a windows cracking thing.  I think the house has shifted over the years and there are a couple of windows that have cracked.

Anyway, I got two window companies in.  One quoted $19500 and the other $15500.  More then 60% of the cost being labour.  So this got me to thinking, why don't I do them myself.  I am handy and able to do thing like this.

This is why I am here, doing my googleing, and youtubeing, I have seen many that say don't do this yourself.  It will cost more in the long run.

I feel that these are probably paid for by installation companies, but I thought I would ask here for your general thoughts.  What say you?  Are windows able to be done as a do it yourself project?

paddedhat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2142
Re: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 10:34:48 AM »
Windows are one of those places where fraud, and gross overpricing, is epidemic. Step one is to be clear that you are not dealing with a few of the outfits that specialize in charging 3-4X what the job is worth, based on a huge advertising budget and slick sales presentations, high commissions, and tons of overhead.  I don't know the specifics in the great white north, but in the states, it's outfits like Renewal by Anderson, Appleby Systems, Costco, Sears, BJ's,   These are places that could literally be ten thousand more than a locally owned, small remodeling contractor would charge, for the same work on a modest house.  the next question is exactly what are you trying to accomplish? How many windows, Are they installed in a frame wall with siding, brick, stucco? What style and material are the old ones? What style, quality and options are involved with the new ones?

Bottom line is, here in the states, MOST small to medium sized windows can be replaced, as a DIY project for $200-300 a piece, which is enough to cover a decent quality window and the materials needed for the install. Larger units, casements, brick or stucco walls, and other issues will inflate the price. 

Skills Barterer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 10:36:02 AM »
I have put one window in so far in my life. It was newer (2006) so my following comments may not apply.  The learning curve is very steep, but short.  I feel like I could put in a window of that type in again in an instant.  However the key is the siding material around the window.  If it were brick right to the window that would be a huge pain in the ass as you would have to cut out and then replace all of the bricks.  Older windows are seemingly easier.... most youtube vids are of the older style.  It looks like you don't need to remove siding to get those out.   

How much DYI do you do?  have you framed a wall or hung a door before?  If you have experience with either, and have a bunch of time and patience I think you could do it. 

paddedhat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2142
Re: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 10:54:36 AM »
I live in an area with tens of thousands of older brick and stone homes. Removing brick from around windows is done, on rare occasion, for things like installing different sized windows, or repairing damaged brick, due to rotted lintels. That said, generally there are several ways to replace windows in a brick structure without touching the brick. Most windows in this region feature an exterior trim, called a brickmold. Removing this piece typically allows room for the installation of a flanged replacement window. If there is no exterior trim, the attached article provides details for how to get the job done without needing extensive masonry work.

http://www.jlconline.com/how-to/exteriors/replacing-windows-in-brick-veneer-homes_o




affordablehousing

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 11:34:07 AM »
Before I ran into my casement window issue (other post) I was in the same boat, replacing 6 large steel sliders on a second house on my property. The siding was stucco, and like an idiot, I first called a friendly sounding window company from the radio. I suppose it was helpful, as like happened to you, they quoted me $15,500 to replace the 6 windows with fiberglass sliders. I told him that unless that quote included him giving me his F-250, he better get the F off my property. I realized that I would need to do this myself. I did a lot of learning talking to the guys at Home Depot and Lowes, but ultimately got my 6 windows for around $1050 - Milgard Style Line or something vinyl windows. The tricky thing was to make sure first the inside measurements fit, but what the Youtube doesn't tell you is to also consider the outside trim dimensions. In my case I wanted to have my replacement windows have a consistent reveal around the top, left and right sides, and weep down the oddly intact lip of the frame. Depending on your frame and exterior cladding, you should consider how the windows will fit on both the exterior and interior. In my case, sizing them down to fit inset meant I didn't have to add another 5 hours to my time grinding out the old window frames and could instead just throw away the old sashes and support bars. The proper caulking, low expanding foam, stainless steel screws, interior trim boards cost another $80, and I hired a helper for $20 an hour to make it go faster. All in all, the removal of old and install of new, came to a total of $1,300 and took a full day. This was BY FAR the most satisfying DIY project of my whole remodel, which probably wouldn't be the case if someone hadn't given me sticker shock.

I will say, I had it easy, single story, reasonable access, reusable frames, pretty level, stud construction to screw into, wide eaves so moisture barrier, while critical, was going to be tested less than in a house with shallow eaves. Still, amazingly satisfying and shockingly easy project to complete. Plus all the prospective tenants noted it and appreciated it.

lthenderson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 910
Re: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 12:01:45 PM »
It is not an energy savings thing, they payback time would be to long, it is a windows cracking thing.  I think the house has shifted over the years and there are a couple of windows that have cracked.

I would first verify that whatever caused the cracking is not going to happen before I blow a large amount of money replacing them. I would then check into getting the glass replaced versus the entire window. When I moved into this house, there were three broken windows. It cost me less than $100 to have the glass replaced in all three of them.

dycker1978

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Re: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 02:00:39 PM »
It is not an energy savings thing, they payback time would be to long, it is a windows cracking thing.  I think the house has shifted over the years and there are a couple of windows that have cracked.

I would first verify that whatever caused the cracking is not going to happen before I blow a large amount of money replacing them. I would then check into getting the glass replaced versus the entire window. When I moved into this house, there were three broken windows. It cost me less than $100 to have the glass replaced in all three of them.

A ball caused the cracking so I am thinking it will not be an issue again.  I will take a look to see what the cost of just the glass is.  Although my SO is wanting a more modern look.  I can appreciate that, and if I can do it myself for 2 or 3 K I think it is worth it, but I am not paying someone better then 15K to.

I should edit for clarity here.  They one in the west side was hit with a ball.  The large picture window was cracked when we moved in.  I am not sure what happened, but it has not change since we have moved in 3 years ago.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 02:07:35 PM by dycker1978 »

dycker1978

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Re: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 02:06:05 PM »
Windows are one of those places where fraud, and gross overpricing, is epidemic. Step one is to be clear that you are not dealing with a few of the outfits that specialize in charging 3-4X what the job is worth, based on a huge advertising budget and slick sales presentations, high commissions, and tons of overhead.  I don't know the specifics in the great white north, but in the states, it's outfits like Renewal by Anderson, Appleby Systems, Costco, Sears, BJ's,   These are places that could literally be ten thousand more than a locally owned, small remodeling contractor would charge, for the same work on a modest house.  the next question is exactly what are you trying to accomplish? How many windows, Are they installed in a frame wall with siding, brick, stucco? What style and material are the old ones? What style, quality and options are involved with the new ones?

Bottom line is, here in the states, MOST small to medium sized windows can be replaced, as a DIY project for $200-300 a piece, which is enough to cover a decent quality window and the materials needed for the install. Larger units, casements, brick or stucco walls, and other issues will inflate the price.

We want to replace the cracked ones for sure.  We have 3 large and a small on the west side, and a picture and two large on the east side.  One of the large ones in the west is that is cracked.  The picture window was cracked when we moved it(this is the one that I am not sure what happened). 

They are all wood frame, but from what the sales guys that were there said they can all be replaced directly.  So slide out the old, when in the new.  Because we are up north and it gets damn cold here, triple pain are wanted for the new ones.  We will go with the poly frames.  They will be casement I think.  From my understanding the fire code here doesn't allow awning in the bedrooms.

Wanderer10

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Buffalo
Re: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 09:55:06 AM »
This is a pretty easy DIY project. The hardest part is finding someone to sell you the windows. It is kind of an insiders business. You can buy replacement windows from Home Depot and Lowes now though, so things are getting better. I used a contractor friend's account to get 13 replacement windows from a local lumber company. I paid $160 for each one. They are cheaper double pane argon filled Anderson Vinyl windows.

You have to measure correctly first. I'm sure you've looked at the relevant youtube videos and know this, but the replacement window fits inside the frame of the old window. With really old school wood double hung windows (with the rope and weight to move the sash) it is easy to see where to measure. You can see the actual frame next to where the window slides. If you take off the inside window stop, you can just take the sash right out and see the frame. You measure the width in three places and the height in three places and record the smallest measurement. It also helps to put a big framing square in the corners just to make sure the window isn't wacky out of square. When you go to order, the manufacturer will usually want the actual frame measurements and then they will subtract 1/4 inch from the width and I think also a 1/4 from the height so you can slide the new window into the old frame and have some room for shimming and adjustments.

With most old windows, you just push the new replacement window up against the old stop and caulk it. But finishing the outside will be different for every situation. In my house I have some weird aluminium metal the I am going to have to tie into. I don't want to bend new aluminium so I think I might get some of that pvc shoe molding and use that and caulk to seal the gap. I think once you do one you will find it's easy to make the others happen. Before you order you can even take one window totally apart just to see the frame and how it will need to be finished outside. Also if your house didn't have any insulation like mine, you can take out the little wood pockets where the metal weights go and spray insulation in there. I'm also going to drill a few holes in the old frame and spray foam in there to try and seal it up a bit.

I'm doing my windows in a few weeks so I can post some pictures if you're interested.

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1509
Re: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 08:56:33 AM »
Can't speak for Canadian prices, but I've replaced quite a few windows in my old farm house, my lake house and my sons' house.
Can typically hire a contractor to remove the old windows and replace with a high quality insulated, vinyl replacement window for $4-500 per each.

Unless you have a whole bunch of windows or extremely large windows, prices sound crazy high.

dycker1978

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Re: New Windows - do it yourself Please help me
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2017, 10:36:37 AM »
Can't speak for Canadian prices, but I've replaced quite a few windows in my old farm house, my lake house and my sons' house.
Can typically hire a contractor to remove the old windows and replace with a high quality insulated, vinyl replacement window for $4-500 per each.

Unless you have a whole bunch of windows or extremely large windows, prices sound crazy high.

This is what I had thought too.  I asked around work, and apparently with the windows I have and size this is not high.

I did go down to home depot over the weekend, and with the measurements I have, It seems that we will be looking at 3-5k for the windows.  I think I am going to figure this out to save the 10-15k.