Author Topic: Windows? Anyone done them before?  (Read 6834 times)

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 522
  • Location: WNC
Windows? Anyone done them before?
« on: February 18, 2016, 05:57:03 AM »
My house is a 1951 build, with original windows.  They hemorrhage energy when its above 80F or below 40F, and I'd like to replace them with some more modern double pane windows.  It doesn't seem that hard to do, has anyone done it before?  Anything to look out for?  Any tips/tricks for doing the install?  Anything in particular that I need to have on the new windows?

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1229
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2016, 07:27:19 AM »
I think replacing windows is a fairly easy task to do and doesn't require much in the way of specialized tools other than a sawsall which makes removing the old one much easier. I would suggest going onto Youtube and watching a handful of videos of the hundreds on there on the subject. They will show you exactly what you are in for by doing it yourself and see if it is something you feel like you can do.

I would make the comment that unless your current windows are horribly maintained, your payback period in energy savings by replacing with a new window may be a couple decades or more. Good quality windows are pricey.

Lulee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Location: NH
  • "We'll jump off that bridge when we come to it."
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2016, 07:47:34 AM »
While I look forward to hearing from people with detailed knowledge of replacement window construction and installation, perhaps my experience with them will point your inquiries in the right direction.  In the last apartment I rented I was there for many years before and after the windows were replaced with new double-paned windows.  The new apartment had them all done before I moved in.  They seem infinitely colder to me than the old windows with their properly installed storms windows.  My parent's house which was like yours built in the 50ís has the same size windows as my place but has the old single-pane windows with good storm windows installed and I swear itís much warmer in front of those than in front of mine.

I suspect a few different causes.  I believe both landlords chose windows with metal sashes (theyíre vinyl clad so Iím not sure but the weight suggests aluminum construction) which logic says would have a lower R-value than wood.  In the old apartment and likely here, the installers did not remove the old sash weights and fill in the slots with foam insulation which would have ended any air infiltration and loss there.  And finally, it seems to me that the use of storm windows better helps prevent air infiltration due to wind as the storm window would take the force, flex, and air gap slightly but the inner windows, not having to withstand much pressure would not allow the gust in (this week we had sub-zero temps with nasty gusting winds and I felt puffs of cold making it around the edges of my double-paned windows every so often).

Iím sure proper installation and maintenance makes a huge difference whatever you have.  Since youíll be doing the work, you can choose the best possible windows to install and see that itís done right.

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2016, 07:56:50 AM »
What are your original windows made of? Metal or wood? Are they double hung or single hung? What is the exterior of your house?  What kind of molding is around these windows interior and exterior? Are they on a stone sill or wood?

In my experience on installing windows, the installation of the window is the easy part.  Getting the old windows out can be a royal PITA, and finishing them (trim inside or out) can take more time than installation as well.

As for buying windows, I purchase mine from alside.  You have to purchase these wholesale. They are vinyl windows, and I get them double pain, double hung, low-e, argon gas filled, with full screen.  Those will run me around 180/window for anything under 200 perimeter linear inches.  Any add ons, such as grids, wood grain finish, etc will add to the cost. 

Depending on where you live, you will need to meet minimum requirements for the u-value of the window.  (How resistant it is to heat loss, or the inverse of R-value). 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2016, 08:37:14 AM »

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2003
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2016, 09:00:49 AM »
I don't think you will save much doing them yourself, and likely won't get as nice of a job unless you are a skilled carpenter with the correct tools.   To do a good job on the exterior aluminum wrap, you will need a sheet metal brake which most guys don't have.

You can replace old wood windows with new all vinyl insulated, low E windows and screens, plus wrap the exterior jambs in aluminum caulk everything inside and out, and dispose of the old windows for about $400 per window, installed by a competent replacement window contractor.   

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2016, 09:51:00 AM »

Don't replace them!

One of the big requirements I have for windows is that they open.  Hard to do that with storms or interior inserts without taking them out. 

Not saying they aren't great for efficiency, though. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Midwest

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 10:05:50 AM »
I don't think you will save much doing them yourself, and likely won't get as nice of a job unless you are a skilled carpenter with the correct tools.   To do a good job on the exterior aluminum wrap, you will need a sheet metal brake which most guys don't have.

You can replace old wood windows with new all vinyl insulated, low E windows and screens, plus wrap the exterior jambs in aluminum caulk everything inside and out, and dispose of the old windows for about $400 per window, installed by a competent replacement window contractor.   

When I replaced mine, diy was about 1/3 of the cost.  Not a carpenter.  We had a brick exterior.

We replaced single pane aluminum with vinyl.  Getting the windows out and installing the new ones was easy.  Hardest part was trimming out the new windows as the old had drywall returns.  Mine, including really nice trim and some tools, were less than $200 per window including a custom 8' window.  The slider was $400 so without that cost would have been even less.  Costs have gone up since then, but I saved a ton and gained experience (and kept the tools).
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 10:07:58 AM by Midwest »

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 10:39:50 AM »
One of the big requirements I have for windows is that they open.  Hard to do that with storms or interior inserts without taking them out. 

Not saying they aren't great for efficiency, though. 

So, you're saying that you're so lazy you'd rather spend $$$ to replace perfectly-good windows with an inferior [in terms of reliability] product?

It seems to me that spending the effort 2x (or 4x, if your summers are hot enough that you put them back on to keep the heat out) a year to install/remove storm windows is the mustachian option.

soupcxan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2016, 11:21:42 AM »
So, you're saying that you're so lazy you'd rather spend $$$ to replace perfectly-good windows with an inferior [in terms of reliability] product?

If OP has 1950s-era aluminum windows, they are not "perfectly-good."

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2016, 11:30:20 AM »
So, you're saying that you're so lazy you'd rather spend $$$ to replace perfectly-good windows with an inferior [in terms of reliability] product?

If OP has 1950s-era aluminum windows, they are not "perfectly-good."

Sure, but the OP hasn't actually come back to tell us what kind of windows he has yet. I'm still assuming wood, which was common in the '50s too.

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 522
  • Location: WNC
Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2016, 11:31:24 AM »
What are your original windows made of? Metal or wood? Are they double hung or single hung? What is the exterior of your house?  What kind of molding is around these windows interior and exterior? Are they on a stone sill or wood?

Hey, the original windows are wood. They're in pretty rough shape, they're double hung on a part brick/part wood sided house. The molding around the windows is wood also.

The Windows have been painted shut for so long that they are really hard to open. I'm sure the house has settled too, making it even more difficult to open.

I'll see if I can get someone to do it for $400 a window, that seem like a hell of a deal. I was originally quoted $650, which is what had me looking to diy them.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 12:58:31 PM by rothwem »

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2016, 12:00:56 PM »

One of the big requirements I have for windows is that they open.  Hard to do that with storms or interior inserts without taking them out. 

Not saying they aren't great for efficiency, though. 

So, you're saying that you're so lazy you'd rather spend $$$ to replace perfectly-good windows with an inferior [in terms of reliability] product?

It seems to me that spending the effort 2x (or 4x, if your summers are hot enough that you put them back on to keep the heat out) a year to install/remove storm windows is the mustachian option.

You also have to store all of the storm windows or inserts when you pull them off.  Not something I like to deal with. 

Wood windows, while arguably higher quality, don't come without issues.  They need to be maintained and painted, will shrink over time, and being an organic product, can have insect and rot problems. 

And I'll add that I don't replace "perfectly good" windows.  Just ones that don't open mechanically, have ruined counter weights or springs, have issues with rot, are metal frame, or are vinyl replacement windows that are damaged or not properly installed.

So for $180, I'll take my vinyl replacements, properly installed and insulated by me, any day over other options. 



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2016, 12:13:26 PM »


What are your original windows made of? Metal or wood? Are they double hung or single hung? What is the exterior of your house?  What kind of molding is around these windows interior and exterior? Are they on a stone sill or wood?

Hey, the original windows are wood. They're in pretty rough shape, they're double hung on a part brick/part wood sided house. The molding around the windows is wood also.

The Windows have been painted shut for so long that they are really hard to open. I'm sure the house has settled too, making it even more difficult to open.

I'll see if I can get someone to do it for $400 a window, that's seem like a hell of a deal. I was originally quoted $650, which is what had me looking to diy them.

400/ window is a pretty good deal of you are paying for it to be done. 

If you go at it alone, the windows don't sound terribly difficult to tear out.   Although, if the window is one unit attached to the brick molding and the sill is included, you may have to rebuild your own sill.  Again, in my experience, figuring out how to get that window out is more difficult than re installing. 

Once you figure out the first one, it should go much faster though. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2016, 12:26:28 PM »
Hey, the original windows are wood. They're in pretty rough shape, they're double hung on a part brick/part wood sided house. The molding around the windows is wood also.

The Windows have been painted shut for so long that they are really hard to open. I'm sure the house has settled too, making it even more difficult to open.

"Rough shape" in what way? If it's just that they're caked with paint then just strip and repaint them. If they're only slightly rotted get some epoxy wood filler. They really need to be pretty far gone to be not worth restoring, and (DIY) restoring should cost an order of magnitude (or two) less than $400/window.

FYI, my modern double-pane windows are hard to open too, so don't expect that replacing your windows will necessarily improve that.

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 522
  • Location: WNC
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2016, 12:42:35 PM »

Hey, the original windows are wood. They're in pretty rough shape, they're double hung on a part brick/part wood sided house. The molding around the windows is wood also.

The Windows have been painted shut for so long that they are really hard to open. I'm sure the house has settled too, making it even more difficult to open.

"Rough shape" in what way? If it's just that they're caked with paint then just strip and repaint them. If they're only slightly rotted get some epoxy wood filler. They really need to be pretty far gone to be not worth restoring, and (DIY) restoring should cost an order of magnitude (or two) less than $400/window.

FYI, my modern double-pane windows are hard to open too, so don't expect that replacing your windows will necessarily improve that.

Hmm. Interesting thoughts. Yea, they're just caked with paint and impossible to open. There's a little rot on the sill, and they done sit exactly square in the opening.  They also look bad, which wouldn't be a big deal except that I'm renting one side out and looks impact the rent I can get (it's a duplex)

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 522
  • Location: WNC
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2016, 12:43:34 PM »
I also have a tough time believing that modern windows aren't more energy efficient than my single pane ones. How is that possible?

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2003
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2016, 12:52:22 PM »
I'll see if I can get someone to do it for $400 a window, that's seem like a hell of a deal. I was originally quoted $650, which is what had me looking to diy them.

I just bought (4) of them roughly 3' wide x 5' tall for this price ($400 / ea).  Used a company called WindowWorld who has a local office in my town, plus installers all over the US.
No comparison on how easily these work compared to the old wood ones, plus they are waaaaay better thermally.




Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2016, 01:26:52 PM »
I also have a tough time believing that modern windows aren't more energy efficient than my single pane ones. How is that possible?

Don't get me wrong; modern double-pane windows are more efficient. The trouble is that they aren't enough more efficient to justify the cost of replacement. For example, say a new window is twice as efficient as an old one. Well, what does "twice" mean? It means you've gone from R-1 to R-2. But when you note that the rest of the wall is R-13 (2x4 studs) or R-19 (2x6 studs) or better, you realize that difference really isn't all that much. Moreover, double-pane windows are unreliable enough that by the time they've paid for themselves in energy savings, they're fairly likely to have already failed and need replacement a second time.

An important feature of traditional windows is that they just use simple panes of glass, so when they get broken you can simply scrape off the glazing putty, get a new pane from any home-improvement store or glass shop, and reinstall it good as new. But when you break a double-pane window, you have to replace the entire sash at the minimum, or the entire window if the manufacturer doesn't make a matching replacement sash.

The other thing to remember is that with double-pane windows, actual breakage isn't your only problem. A common failure mode -- one that single-pane windows don't have to begin with -- is that the seal around the edge of the two panes stops being airtight and moisture gets in, fogging up the glass. My parents dealt with this recently: they had to replace all the double-pane windows in their 1993 house due to seal failure. Did those windows, which only lasted 20 years, save enough energy to justify their cost versus single-pane windows that would still be working perfectly well now and for another 20 years (at least)? I doubt it!

Admittedly, they claim that pane-sealing technology has improved... but I don't trust it. On a new build, sure, go ahead and gamble on new-technology double-panes (mainly because you practically have to due to building codes and/or what's available in the marketplace). But if you already have good single-pane windows, there's no sense in throwing them out.

Midwest

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2016, 01:55:05 PM »
I also have a tough time believing that modern windows aren't more energy efficient than my single pane ones. How is that possible?

Don't get me wrong; modern double-pane windows are more efficient. The trouble is that they aren't enough more efficient to justify the cost of replacement. For example, say a new window is twice as efficient as an old one. Well, what does "twice" mean? It means you've gone from R-1 to R-2. But when you note that the rest of the wall is R-13 (2x4 studs) or R-19 (2x6 studs) or better, you realize that difference really isn't all that much. Moreover, double-pane windows are unreliable enough that by the time they've paid for themselves in energy savings, they're fairly likely to have already failed and need replacement a second time.

An important feature of traditional windows is that they just use simple panes of glass, so when they get broken you can simply scrape off the glazing putty, get a new pane from any home-improvement store or glass shop, and reinstall it good as new. But when you break a double-pane window, you have to replace the entire sash at the minimum, or the entire window if the manufacturer doesn't make a matching replacement sash.

The other thing to remember is that with double-pane windows, actual breakage isn't your only problem. A common failure mode -- one that single-pane windows don't have to begin with -- is that the seal around the edge of the two panes stops being airtight and moisture gets in, fogging up the glass. My parents dealt with this recently: they had to replace all the double-pane windows in their 1993 house due to seal failure. Did those windows, which only lasted 20 years, save enough energy to justify their cost versus single-pane windows that would still be working perfectly well now and for another 20 years (at least)? I doubt it!

Admittedly, they claim that pane-sealing technology has improved... but I don't trust it. On a new build, sure, go ahead and gamble on new-technology double-panes (mainly because you practically have to due to building codes and/or what's available in the marketplace). But if you already have good single-pane windows, there's no sense in throwing them out.

How much does the product you linked cost per window?  I looked at indoor storm windows for my house and it was cost prohibitive.

paddedhat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2229
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2016, 02:30:55 PM »
So, you're saying that you're so lazy you'd rather spend $$$ to replace perfectly-good windows with an inferior [in terms of reliability] product?

If OP has 1950s-era aluminum windows, they are not "perfectly-good."

Seriously, I have installed hundreds of windows, both new construction and replacement. I would never determine that anything was "perfectly good" until I was on the job and had done a through inspection. There are a whole lot of sixty year old windows and doors out there that were shit when they were installed, and unlike good whiskey, sure as hell didn't get any better as they aged. Mid-century windows include garbage like single pane aluminum units, and single glazed wood units with horrible aluminum tracks and coil spring counterbalances. Wood casement and awning windows with clunky, cheap operations and hinges, and a serious lack of weather sealing and gasketing. Up to the end of the craftsmen/bungalow era, most windows and doors were made to last a century or two. Once you gain enough experience as a remodeler, it becomes pretty clear that post war construction quickly got over the "do it right, so it lasts forever" mentality, and a lot of corners were cut.

Might be time to lose the attitude? This isn't some elitist old house restoration forum, where rich folks brag about how much they spend to preserve the purity of their special dwellings.  This is the real world.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2016, 02:47:36 PM »
Mid-century windows include garbage like single pane aluminum units, and single glazed wood units with horrible aluminum tracks and coil spring counterbalances. Wood casement and awning windows with clunky, cheap operations and hinges, and a serious lack of weather sealing and gasketing. Up to the end of the craftsmen/bungalow era, most windows and doors were made to last a century or two. Once you gain enough experience as a remodeler, it becomes pretty clear that post war construction quickly got over the "do it right, so it lasts forever" mentality, and a lot of corners were cut.

Might be time to lose the attitude? This isn't some elitist old house restoration forum, where rich folks brag about how much they spend to preserve the purity of their special dwellings.  This is the real world.

1951 is still pretty early in terms of "mid-century," so there was a substantial probability that the OP's windows could still be quality. I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt. Also, I qualified my later statements and agreed that shitty windows are okay to replace so your point is moot anyway.

Besides, if you're just bent out of shape about my perceived "attitude" because I characterized not wanting to deal with storm windows as "lazy," well, it is! Your reaction is your own problem, not mine.

How much does the product you linked cost per window?  I looked at indoor storm windows for my house and it was cost prohibitive.

Don't know; don't care; wasn't recommending a product anyway. I'm not sure which link you're referring to (in case you didn't notice, each word was a different one) but the point of them was that they explain why replacing the window itself is a bad idea.

If exterior storm windows, interior storm windows, energy-blocking window film, or hell, even just heavy curtains pencil out for you -- fine, go for it. But simply fixing the existing windows and then leaving them alone, continuing to eat the slightly-higher energy bills, is fine too!

The fundamental issue here is that the OP is contemplating spending probably tens of thousands of dollars to fix a perceived problem that could probably be fixed almost as well by a $20 can of paint and some elbow grease*. If nothing else, it's at least worth a try before committing to writing a gigantic check!

(* figuratively speaking -- stripper, scraping tools, etc. are needed too, of course.)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 02:49:55 PM by Jack »

paddedhat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2229
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2016, 04:50:18 PM »
1951 is still pretty early in terms of "mid-century," so there was a substantial probability that the OP's windows could still be quality. I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt. Also, I qualified my later statements and agreed that shitty windows are okay to replace so your point is moot anyway.

Far too assumptive for my tastes. There is no reason to believe that the OP is looking to avoid an easy fix, that a window from 1951 is far superior to one from 1960, or a whole lot of things that are apparently quite concrete in your world.

Besides, if you're just bent out of shape about my perceived "attitude" because I characterized not wanting to deal with storm windows as "lazy," well, it is! Your reaction is your own problem, not mine.

Please don't flatter yourself. I have already expressed how much I value your opinionated conclusions. Don't get all delusional about your ability to shape the thread, and anger anybody about your expert take on storm windows, or any other strongly held belief you may have. There are plenty of venues  for those that believe that removing just about anything from any older building is tasteless, and beneath them, this forum is not one of them.



The fundamental issue here is that the OP is contemplating spending probably tens of thousands of dollars to fix a perceived problem that could probably be fixed almost as well by a $20 can of paint and some elbow grease*. If nothing else, it's at least worth a try before committing to writing a gigantic check!

(* figuratively speaking -- stripper, scraping tools, etc. are needed too, of course.)

And the assumptions continue. The average house in my region has roughly seventeen windows. How that would translate into tens of thousands of dollars is beyond me?  Now it's just a bit of effort and a $20 can of paint? Lets pretend that there is no lead abatement involved, or other health risks. Lets pretend that good paint doesn't cost $40-50 a gallon, and that everything will be just ducky after the rot is patched, the sills rebuilt and all the other exterior parts restored to working condition and look good. Now were are at $50 a window for materials, a few hours per opening in labor, and there has be nothing done to increase the thermal performance at all. Just a lot of time and money spent to return them to functional adequacy. Now it's $125/per for decent triple track storms and more hours of labor to install and caulk them...............wait............................stop me when we get are getting close to the cost of installing decent replacements.


Midwest

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2016, 04:59:38 PM »


How much does the product you linked cost per window?  I looked at indoor storm windows for my house and it was cost prohibitive.

Don't know; don't care; wasn't recommending a product anyway. I'm not sure which link you're referring to (in case you didn't notice, each word was a different one) but the point of them was that they explain why replacing the window itself is a bad idea.

If exterior storm windows, interior storm windows, energy-blocking window film, or hell, even just heavy curtains pencil out for you -- fine, go for it. But simply fixing the existing windows and then leaving them alone, continuing to eat the slightly-higher energy bills, is fine too!

The fundamental issue here is that the OP is contemplating spending probably tens of thousands of dollars to fix a perceived problem that could probably be fixed almost as well by a $20 can of paint and some elbow grease*. If nothing else, it's at least worth a try before committing to writing a gigantic check!

(* figuratively speaking -- stripper, scraping tools, etc. are needed too, of course.)

Here's your link - http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/save-your-windows-and-your-money-indow-window-inserts.html

If you don't know and don't care, why post the link? The whole point of that link (that you posted) was window inserts are great.  They look great, but the ones I looked at were expensive (as in comparable to cheap windows expensive).

I won't argue your assertion that the wooden windows may be repairable and may be better in his situation.  Depending on his situation, that may be an appropriate path.

On the other hand,I will comment that my whole house cost less than $2k (1500 sf house).  That's a heck of difference from the tens of thousands in the above post.





BudgetSlasher

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 631
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2016, 06:58:51 PM »
I also have a tough time believing that modern windows aren't more energy efficient than my single pane ones. How is that possible?

Its not that they are not more efficient . . .

look at it this way (http://www.archtoolbox.com/materials-systems/thermal-moisture-protection/rvalues.html)

Quote
Glazing                                      R-Value
Single Pane                                   0.91
Double Pane with 1/4" air space      1.69
Double Pane with 1/2" air space      2.04
Double Pane with 3/4" air space      2.38
Triple Pane with 1/4" air spaces      2.56
Triple Pane with 1/2" air spaces      3.23

to put that into perspective this website (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/heat-loss-transmission-d_748.html) indicates that an uninsulated 2x4 wall has an R-value of 5.

Your improvement in R-Value is very small and your cost is significant. If you actually have to replace your windows or were selecting windows for a new contribution then the math is different.

You are better off spending your money elsewhere. . . I will use myself as an example: In my house assuming 400 dollars a window and I do as as much labor as possible myself for the cost to upgrade the windows I could Take the attic insulation from R-30 to R-60, add an R 3.2 subfloor to the basement (doors open in and limit height), add R 10 insulation to all poured concrete basement walls (already has R 5 below grade), spray foam the rim joist, seal outlet and switch boxes to the drywall and places gaskets behind the faceplates, and install 2 SEER 33 heat pumps.

OR

I could probably pay someone else to install a solar electric system that would supply all of our electrical needs for the life of the system.

granted my house is larger than I need and has an obnoxious number of windows, but then my sq/ft is larger so my materials cost for other projects is more. In any case my return on investment is going to be much much greater.

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2003
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2016, 05:46:23 AM »
Energy efficiency of windows is just one aspect.  Having lived in a few old homes, here is my take on the old wood windows, aluminum storms, etc.

The SOB's are a pain in the butt to open and close, and often you can't even get them all of the way open.
They seal so poorly that your curtains blow in the wind and house is drafty.
They frost up in the winter and you have to scrape the inside to see out of them.
The routine of storm window remove / install every spring and fall is a pain in the butt.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2016, 08:15:54 AM »
Far too assumptive for my tastes. There is no reason to believe that the OP is looking to avoid an easy fix, that a window from 1951 is far superior to one from 1960, or a whole lot of things that are apparently quite concrete in your world.

We've both been making assumptions: I assumed that the windows probably don't need to be replaced; you assumed that they do. Why is your much-more-expensive assumption somehow better?

Please don't flatter yourself. I have already expressed how much I value your opinionated conclusions. Don't get all delusional about your ability to shape the thread, and anger anybody about your expert take on storm windows, or any other strongly held belief you may have. There are plenty of venues  for those that believe that removing just about anything from any older building is tasteless, and beneath them, this forum is not one of them.

When did I make a claim about changing the windows being "tasteless" or talk about any concerns related to historic preservation? I don't know if you lack reading comprehension skills, or are misrepresenting me on purpose. Either way, knock it off!

My entire argument up to this point has been basically "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

And the assumptions continue. The average house in my region has roughly seventeen windows. How that would translate into tens of thousands of dollars is beyond me?

The OP was quoted $650 per window. If we multiply by your own average of 17 windows, it comes out to $11050. That's tens of thousands of dollars. QED.

Here's your link - http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/save-your-windows-and-your-money-indow-window-inserts.html

If you don't know and don't care, why post the link? The whole point of that link (that you posted) was window inserts are great.  They look great, but the ones I looked at were expensive (as in comparable to cheap windows expensive).

Because I only read the first paragraph before including it. I suppose I should have clicked through the "study after study" link to this article instead, or something. Sorry about that.

Lulee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Location: NH
  • "We'll jump off that bridge when we come to it."
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2016, 10:10:59 AM »
Thank you, BudgetSlasher, for those enlightening figures.  They explain a lot about my personal experiences.

At the risk of reigniting the tension here, would those with good experiences with replacement windows give advice on what to look for in the construction of better quality ones?  For exampe, vinyl-cladding helps minimize maintenance but watch for x and y to ensure you get durable cladding or how to determine that the seal youíre looking at in the nice dry store will hold up well in cold, stormy weather.

I do love their convenience when it comes to cleaning and the OP may find it easier to market his apartment to renters with them.

Jon Bon

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 729
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2016, 06:18:18 PM »
While replacement windows can be outrageously expensive there is something to be said for windows that actually open, have screens and you don't get cold being next too.

 I have had aluminum single pane casement windows that would have an eighth of an inch of ice on them by the end of a cold snap.

I would imagine  a double pane window has gotta be several times more efficient then windows covered in ice.

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 522
  • Location: WNC
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2016, 08:26:50 AM »
Jeez, there has been a lot of fighting in this thread. That wasn't really my intention when I started this thing.

I've found a solution. I'm not going to mess with trying to refurb the windows, they look like shit and have been painted a million times so they won't open. I'm going to get new ones, my girlfriend's boss has agreed to help me install a couple windows until I get the hang of it. He's flipped dozens of properties, has an enviable selection of awesome wood and metalworking tools, has an awesome shop in his garage and drives a crappy car despite a six figure govt salary. Seems like the kinda guy I need as a teacher, right?

Midwest

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2016, 08:36:47 AM »
Jeez, there has been a lot of fighting in this thread. That wasn't really my intention when I started this thing.

I've found a solution. I'm not going to mess with trying to refurb the windows, they look like shit and have been painted a million times so they won't open. I'm going to get new ones, my girlfriend's boss has agreed to help me install a couple windows until I get the hang of it. He's flipped dozens of properties, has an enviable selection of awesome wood and metalworking tools, has an awesome shop in his garage and drives a crappy car despite a six figure govt salary. Seems like the kinda guy I need as a teacher, right?

Congrats on your decision.  That's the kind of guy who helped me get started in DIY.  Windows were one of the first projects.  Good luck!

paddedhat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2229
Re: Windows? Anyone done them before?
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2016, 12:23:06 PM »
Great to hear that you found somebody experienced to show the way. I'm guessing that like several folks I have done this for, you will be blown away by how easy it actually is. Keep them plumb and square, use plenty of quality sealants, and you're good to go.

Despite some of the ridiculousness of this thread. Fact is, quality replacement windows can be had for less than $200 per, in most cases. A competent DIYer can do a typical house for $2500-4000, and end up with a home that's a hell of a lot more energy efficient, comfortable and has windows that don't need to be screwed with for decades. Good luck.