Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

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lorinting
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Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#1 Post by lorinting » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:15 pm

New user looking for some general help. I live in a neighborhood with mostly 80-100 year old houses. Several of my neighbors have kept their original windows frames but had new double pane low-e glass installed. It is not cheap, almost twice as much as buying a new window however the style matches the house and the neighborhood. I am extremely handy and wondered if someone out there sourced just the new panes (I give them the dimensions, they give me low-e double panes) so that I could replace/rebuild the windows myself. The woodworking part isn't bad but I obviously cannot make my own low-e double panes. :mrgreen:

Thanks in advance.

Skydawggy.
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#2 Post by Skydawggy. » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:21 pm

I'd check with a local glass shop. They should be able to help. You might also want to consider installing storm windows with a LoE coating.

edwulf
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#3 Post by edwulf » Sat May 02, 2009 7:44 pm

Sounds to me like you would be a prime candidate for sash replacement kits. There are some out there that would meet historical district requirements in various parts of the country and you could likely match your existing muntin designs. Trouble is, I can't think of any right off the top of my head. You may want to look thru some of the St. Louis, MO historic district website information because I specifically remember seeing a list on one of their sites. A sash replacement kit, in case you don't know, is replacement sashes and track that use your existing window frame as such, versus sliding a 'replacement' window frame inside of your existing frame.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#4 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sat May 02, 2009 8:28 pm

Marvin and Eagle are 2 companies that do sash replacement kits.

rmit
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 8:32 pm

Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#5 Post by rmit » Sat May 30, 2009 8:52 pm

I too am interested in replacing the existing panes with 2-pane low-E with argon assemblies. One reason is so I don't lose glass area. Also, I want to keep the current dividers, which are painted to match the rooms. I don't yet know what caulk to use, but assume I could scrape the old out without hurting the frame. I think I can go 5/8" thick and have room left for a bead of caulk, like glazing. I found a place in VA that will make units to my sizes. I am not yet sure they use the best glass and spacers, but I am sure they are good. The initial price I got is under $100 per pane, which seems to me to be much less than a good window. I would think this could be as good as a new window, but I cannot get a tax credit because there would be no NFRC sticker on it. Washing would be easier than storms because there would be 2 sides instead of 4, and nothing needs to be removed. Does anyone have any comments on this? I am a little concerned about what happens over time as the gas leaks out. Hope they would not dis-color or get moisture.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#6 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sun May 31, 2009 8:33 pm

rmit,
The units would have a warranty against seal failure.
Of more conern to me is that you are going to try and just caulk them in. Most all mfg have a stop to hold the glass in place, even old putty glazed single panes have glazing points. Yuo must make sure that the IG unit is compatible with any caulk you would use, can not be more specific, but get this cleared with the Ig fabricator.

Skydawggy.
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#7 Post by Skydawggy. » Sun May 31, 2009 9:23 pm

rmit

You are wasting your time and money if you are trying to convert a single pane window to double pane. The glass isn't going to stay in with just a bead of caulk.

Window4U (IL)
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#8 Post by Window4U (IL) » Sun May 31, 2009 9:39 pm

The outfits that I've seen do this have a trailer outside the house with woodworking equipment in it. They bring the old sashes to the trailer, take out the old glass then rout a new deeper groove into the window sash to receive a thicker glass package. The new pre-ordered double pane IG is then wet-set into the sash and a new stop brad nailed on to hold the new IG.
It's labor intensive but in situations like homes in historical districts it's an option to consider.

Skydawggy.
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#9 Post by Skydawggy. » Sun May 31, 2009 10:07 pm

Window4U (IL) wrote:The outfits that I've seen do this have a trailer outside the house with woodworking equipment in it. They bring the old sashes to the trailer, take out the old glass then rout a new deeper groove into the window sash to receive a thicker glass package. The new pre-ordered double pane IG is then wet-set into the sash and a new stop brad nailed on to hold the new IG.
It's labor intensive but in situations like homes in historical districts it's an option to consider.

I checked into this process a few years ago but never persued it. It sounded pretty interesting. I sent them a couple of emails about a dealership but, never got an answer. Have you seen the process and results?

Window4U (IL)
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#10 Post by Window4U (IL) » Sun May 31, 2009 10:52 pm

I originally saw it on This Old House, then about a year ago I saw a guy doing it on the north side of Chicago and talked to him for a while. I wasn't real impressed with how he was doing them as they were a little rough. On This Old House the guy was using much better equipment.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#11 Post by TheWindowNerd » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:08 am

Well that figures TOH would have better equipment on the show, they are not to shabby.
I have seen dual pane puttied in to egg crates and last 20- 30 years. They are a pia to extract.

jrwarren
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#12 Post by jrwarren » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:58 pm

I have replaced single pane glass in casements and they do hold in place with silicone caulking.

I removed my casement window frames and had them sandblasted down to the metal, galvanized and then powder coated. Therefore the adhering surface I am using has virtually no chance of rust recurring with any significance (at least not in my lifetime).

If you are trying to use caulking to hold things to a painted surface, even if you really sand it down well and prime it...eventually it will rust and the paint will separate from the metal and then I could see caulking fail to hold single pane glass in place.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#13 Post by TheWindowNerd » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:00 am

If they are wood or alum rust isn't a problem.

Bjones88
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Re: Replacing panes in old windows with double pane low e

#14 Post by Bjones88 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:59 pm

I have a 1925 house with double hung windows. I have retrofitted one of the windows with double-pane units, one pane was low-e glass. The unit was 1/2" thick (the maximum possible without cutting into the inner molding). The dimensions of each window unit was about 30x30; each unit cost $50. I had a local glass manufacturer make the two units for me. I had to route the sash frames to allow for more depth in the window channel to accommodate the double-pane units. I installed 1/4" x 3/4" wooden strips on the outside of the frames to secure the window units in place, although the caulk I used probably would have done the job alone. I did not put a strip on the top edge of the inner sash, the 1/4" lip that abuts the upper sash. I used cheap plastic vee-shaped strips with adhesive on one side to seal along the perimeter. I wish I could have found something more durable like copper for this part of the job. I used what I could find locally. I like the result of the project, and the window functions very well, including thermally. The only thing I would do differently is this. I had to replace the weights with heavier ones, and they were difficult to find. In addition, the thermal performance is degraded by leaving the weight channels as original. Most window sites suggest filling these chambers with insulation and using an alternative method of countering the window's weight. I would use either a tape strip tension unit (mounts in the old pulley cutout or a spring system built into a retrofit vinyl side jam if I did it again. It is not a lot of work to pull your windows, rout them, glue in new double-pane panels and do some touch up painting, and the cost is much less than any alternative I have seen. Granted, the wood strips I used to secure the units in place change the appearance of the window slightly, but it's not glaring, and you can only tell from the outside. I imagine another strategy could be found to hold the glass units in place (beyond the strength of the caulk), but I am satisfied with the small wood strips. Hope this helps someone else.

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