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replacing windows

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Jan-78FJ40, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. Jan-78FJ40

    Jan-78FJ40

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    My house is relatively old for local standards (San Diego, built 1974), and has the usual one layer sliding windows. They are in ok shape,but simply not very good, and this makes heating and cooling extremely inefficient.
    So the plan is to replace the windows for something modern, a bit UV reflective, and double layer.
    I had a person come by yesterday, and the prices quoted were a joke (7k for 7 windowns including installation). Basically the job consists of taking out the old windows (10 minutes), and sticking in the new ones from the outside, and sealing them up.

    Here is the question: Can't I do that myself? Does anyone have experience and advice on this? Where to just buy the windows? any manuals about this? Iam pretty handy, usually...

    thanks for the help
    Jan
     
  2. fsusteve

    fsusteve

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    Yes, take measurements and go to Home Depot.
     
  3. thorvald

    thorvald .......

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    no experience putting them in, but have some ordered (our old ones had mold growing inbetween the wood). getting 6 small windows and two egress size for basement for $960 from lowes.
    had a few quotes, lowes ended up being the cheapest even over home depot.

    cutting the cement's and digging the holes is going to be the fun part :)

    theres a couple places i saw installation instructions, think one was pella website, might have something on the lowes or home depot site, cant remember for sure.
     
  4. beno

    beno Gihee Arakawa Moderator GOLD Star

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    Hey Jan:

    My uncle owns a window, siding, and door company in NJ. I've worked for him during summers from 1993-1997, then again from 2002-2004.

    It's technically not a tough job, but once you get windows out and see what's underneath and around the frame, you might have problems (IE: framing out new ones, getting rid of rotted wood.).

    Secondly, measuring is pretty tough especially if you have awkward windows--ie: non-standard windows. Also, if you want to upgrade to bay or bow windows, sliders, etc. All of these create other technical difficulties.

    Another things: the windows at Home Depot/Lowe's are ok...not great, and not as good as the professional or contractors grade stuff used by companies...also the supplies are much better too (gauge of screws, the vinyl used, the aluminum capping, as well as industrial grade caulking which is essential for insulation/breathing, and expansion and contraction during different temps./humidities.

    Where are you located?

    I might know some one who can give you a MUD discount.... ;)

    Drop me a PM.
    Best.
    -onur
    Akron, OH
     
  5. Jan-78FJ40

    Jan-78FJ40

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    thanks, pm sent.
    jan
     
  6. zetasig

    zetasig

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    Just had our windows replaced in the rental by a company, 8 k for I think 16 windows. Lifetime Guarantee. Screen replacement as needed for free, provided its not a weekly thing, and I bring them the frame. Dual pane. double hung. Beauties. Best Investment I have made. this was in a 100 year old house. so there were some irregular sizes. Any problems and they come out to fix them. Havent had to call them once. Warrenty on the work is transferable for 25 years when I sell the place.

    As Beno said. Quality is not as good at home depo. Also if you have different size windows you will need to frame them all in and figure out how to make the outside not look like s***. Neighbor down the street is doing his own and it looks like it. It will probably take away from the sale price because it looks like crap.
     
  7. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    Jan,
    i worked in the plant here for Pella/Hunt windows back in 82-86, just before Hunt Windows went tits up.
    i really liked the quality of Pella, the options with the shades between the glass, clip out inner glass, mutton bar between the glass etc appealed big time.
    if i was to replace my windows i would look at either Pella or much cheaper vinyl. if you order through a copmpany then they can make the vinyl to match the existing which is much less work.
    can you do it yourself? why not? read a book or two, chat with the locals that do such a job, watch them... give it a shot on one window, if it goes well then order the rest, if it doesn't then sub the replacement out.
    my Dad and Brother both do this for a living, it comes down to common sense and the ability to think on your feet.
    cheers and good luck.
     
  8. Jan-78FJ40

    Jan-78FJ40

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    Thank you Wayne!
    Jan
     
  9. NMuzj100

    NMuzj100

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    The custom windows from home depot are great in my opinion. They are obviously not as good as the high end brand names but look to be about the same quality as all the contractors around here are using. I had them all made to my exact dimensions.

    Window replacement was one of the easiest home improvement jobs I've done with the highest return. The new windows make the place easier to heat, cool and clean and really cut down on outside noise.

    The real key is in the measuring before ordering the custom windows. Make sure you open up the frame enough to get the true rough opening size. Measure twice or more to be sure.

    A :banana: :banana: job. Have fun. I spent about 1 day and $1500 to do all my windows and even the cheap window places were quoting me $7500-10,000. I think these guys must be ripping people off left and right. The hardest part of the job is the detail work to make the final result look perfect and I doubt you get that from any contractor.
     
  10. Jman

    Jman

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    If ya don't know, I ain't tellin'
    Here's an idea to see if you really can do the work: measure up ONE window and order a replacement, then install it yourself. Then, if you like how it turned out, measure up and order the rest, do as you have time. As others have said, make sure you measure the rough opening (take the moulding off inside your house to measure it).

    My windows were about $250 apiece (Anderson) and I did three a day. The worst part were the little surprises taking the ond ones out--the new ones went in real easy. It was really enjoyable for me, and I loved the result. :)
     
  11. White Shark

    White Shark

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    Certain-Teed and Milguard are about the best vinyl windows out there. Vinyl frames, dual pane, Low-E glass and screens are all you need. The LOW-E will give you a 20% advantage in U-Value.
    Windows are rated in U-Value, insulation is rated in R-Value.

    U-Value is the amount of BTU's lost per square foot of glass per hour.
    R-Value is the amount of resistance to heat loss

    How do you convert U-Value to R-Value?
    .50 U-Value / 1.00 = R-2 (3 1/2" insulation in your 2X4 wall is typically R-11 to R-13)
    Just divide 1.00 by your U-Value to obtain the R-Value.
    Title 24 in California requires a maximum allowable U-Value of .75 which is what you will find with most dual pane aluminum windows.
    Single pane aluminum comes in at 1.25+ U-Value!!!
    Vinyl windows are always dual pane (unless custom ordered) and come in at around .45-.50 U-Value.
    Add LOW-E (Low Emissivity Glass) and subtract .12-.15
    Add Argon Gas and subtract .02

    Anderson windows are typically around .30-.35 U-Value. This figure can be obtained with vinyl windows at 1/2 the cost of the Anderson's through the use of LOW-E glass and Argon filled panes which the Anderson's have as a standard feature. The LOW-E will give you about a .12 improvement in U-Value and is worth the cost as it also decreases radiant heat and UV light damage to your drapes, carpets, and furnishings. Argon is a waste as it disappates through the glass over time and you only realize a .02 U-Value improvement, which isn't worth the cost.

    Don't buy into the myth that somebody has a mystical magical glass that nobody else has. You can buy tints, "Solar" tints, and LOW-E (which is a microscopic coating), and other glass types, but they are all pretty similar. Everybody buys glass from the major glass manufacturers and renames them to fit their marketing needs. LOW-E can be combined with a tint as the tint is in the glass itself and the LOW-E is a glass coating on the inside of the glazed dual pane unit. Hard coat and soft coat LOW-E glasses vary, but not by much.

    Everyone buys glass from LOF (Libby Owens Ford) or PPG (Pittsburg Paint and Glass). Glass is glass is glass. Don't buy into the hype. They will also brag about using "virgin" vinyl. Big deal. Everyone uses new vinyl.

    Vinyl Windows:
    International Windows: Good product, good customer service, okay warranty support
    Milguard: Great product, good customer service, great warranty support
    Viking Windows: Fair product, zero customer service, next to zero warranty support
    Certainteed windows: Great product, fair customer service, ? warranty support
    Summit/Jeld Wen Windows: Good product, Average customer service, good but very slow warranty support
    Simonton Windows: Good product, fair customer service, ? warranty support

    Wood windows: (A overpriced waste unless used in a custom home or extreme environment)
    Anderson: Great product but no custom units, fair customer service, great warranty support (If you have 80 year old Anderson windows, they still make parts for them)
    Jeld Wen: Good product, fair customer service, average warranty support but slow.
    Marvin: Good product but overpriced, will make anything you want even if it requires them to send out an engineer, good customer service, ? on warranty support
    Pella: The Rolls Royce of product, but they don't come cheap (CookieMonster just installed a houseful of Pella's), good customer service, ? on warranty support but I'd bet they are as good or better than Anderson.

    If you don't want to do the install, you can expect to pay about $200-300 each for the vinyl window installs from a General Contractor. The vinyl windows should cost $100-200 each off the shelf at Depot or Lowe's, or $200-400 if ordered. A standard house with vinyl windows usually runs $1500-3000 for windows and $2000+ for the installation. I sold windows for 10 years. Stay away from Sears and the other large companies that subcontract the work. They'll screw you over. I've seen $20k window jobs that should have cost $8k. Scary. Being a General Contractor, I see a lot of high quotes and opportunistic abuse out there. Vinyl window installs are easy. Wood is a bit more difficult and much more expensive to purchase. PM me and I'll give you a window install primer. ;)
     
  12. erics_bruisers

    erics_bruisers

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    We're now looking at the Pella Pro Line and the Designer Line -- the Designer line has the shades inside of them (great for the dogs) -- and the Pro Line is the same quality, just not the bells and whistles --

    -- looking at a sky-light or two -- was told to go with a sealed unit, since the opening ones seem to always leak --

    -- needless to say, we won't be installing any of this ourselves --

    here's a pic of the doors with the shades in them -- i will go with the metal horiz. blinds instead --