Replace/repair ?

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Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2004 6:27 pm

Replace/repair ?

#1 Post by bb » Sun Oct 10, 2004 8:03 pm

My 30 yr old windows need help. I would appreciate any advice and/or recommendation. Here is the situation:

- 22 wood framed double hung windows, wood in good condition
- triple track storms
- double pane glass. 2-3 sashes have condensation, all are hazy and look dirty between the panes
- several pullies need to be fixed
- several windows squeel and require a bit of muscle to open and close
- exterior window and storm frames painted in custom color
- interior frames painted or stained
- removable mullions
- sizes range from roughly 30x30 to 36x60. These are not actual measurements, just ballpark numbers to give you an idea.

Initially, I expected to have to change whole windows, but after "webulating" and reading posts on this forum, seems I have more possible alteranatives - relace glass, change sashes only, or whole windows. I definitely need help and guidance from this forum to evaluate pros and cons and suitability for DIY of recommended approach, manufacturers to consider for replacement products, advice on whether to keep or remove storm windows, etc.

When done fixing/replacing, I would like to have clear glass; fully and quietly operating windows; consistent appearance - double hung & mullioned. Additionally, if a whole window is replaced, low external maintenance (but color-compatible with the rest of the house trim), paintable on the inside, preferably tilt-in for cleaning, no loss of glass surface. Oh, yes, at a reasonable price.


Posts: 552
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:41 pm
Location: Minnesota

#2 Post by Guy » Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:54 am

First of all it's great you've done some homework on windows. Great Job & Welcome! I wouldn't recommend doing this yourself. There are to many things to go wrong. If not done correctly this may jeopardize the warranty. Windows today have made so many advances from your existing windows. There is really nothing to conpare. Todays products are so further advanced. You really won't be able to use parts for any existing windows. I would go with an insert replacement and wrap the exterior. The inside can be touched up like new. You can go with a wood replacement such as Marvin to keep your wood interior. Or you can use a vinyl product like Simonton or Schuco which carry good neutral colors. The wood products will cost you much more than the vinyl. You can plan on spending anywhere from $500 - $1000 per opening depending on your existing windows. You will be way better off replacing your old stuff. You will get your money back if your staying there a couple years. Good Luck!!!

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Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2004 6:27 pm

#3 Post by bb » Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:15 pm

Guy, thank you for responding.

I did some more soul and web searching and concluded that sash replacement kits are quite adequate for my needs (price and uncertainty that I'll live in this house 5 years from now), and that I need to stick to wood for color-matching inside and out. So I posted a question about experience with sash replacemnts, but so far no reply. Perhaps I should have asked for opinions, may be experience with these kits is in short supply.

Marvin, Caradco, Loewen, Crestline, Vetter, Eagle have local dealers, I think all have wood windows. Saw Marvin today, will check out Caradco and Eagle. Ever heard of these others?

Had an interesting conversation with an outfit which sells both Marvin and Caradco - the salesperson recommended I get Marvins if I go with the whole windows, and Caradco if I only do sash kits. He doesn't have either on display at the moment, so I went to Marvin-only dealer and checked out their display. Nice looking stuff, helpful folks, no pressure. Twice the price of HD's Jeld-Wen (probably Caradco) sash replacements for the size window I asked ballpark prices for. Comparable features, except Marvins are with Argon, Jeld-Wens are not. I'll go check out Jeld-Wen windows at HD, presumably sash kits are made the same.

If I knew we'd stay in the house for another ten years, I would deffinitely replace all windows with wood clad and remove the storms. Marvin even has a color that is almost the same as our other exterior trim.

Thoughts or advice?

Marv F
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:23 pm

#4 Post by Marv F » Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:13 pm

After reading your rather unique requirements earlier, I was thinking sash replacements. Compared to vinyl, one is typically trading some efficiency for aesthetics. You'll also have the pontential to save on installation labor. That's the same choice I made.

I have an opinion based on the fact that:

1) I recently put some Marvin Tilt-Pacs in my house.
2) I was replacing some rotten Caradco's (builder grade slightly more than 10 yrs old)

I considered Caradco Zap-Paks, but HD did not have any samples. I ruled them out based on the roll-formed aluminum and my perception of low qualify on the (all wood) Caradco's I was replacing.

As far as all sash kits being the same, I wouldn't be too sure. Check the balances and the shoes. I think you will find significant differences between the Marvin and the Caradco Zap-Pak. There certainly were differences in favor of Marvin compared to my original Caradco's. Again, I can't be certain of the Zap-Paks because I never saw them. However, my original windows had spring balances which failed more than once.

Yes, the Marvins cost more, but ultimately I thought it was worth it. The fact that you might not be in the house long might make your decision different. I couldn't see giving Caradco more good money after bad. Only you can make that decision based on your circumstances.

I would also check on the Eagle kits. I would also assume the Loewen should be excellent, but possibly even more than costly than Marvin (this is just a what I've heard, though). I personally wouldn't consider the others you mentioned.

Since you say Marvin has a close color match for the aluminum clad, I'd seriously consider that over plain wood exterior. The extruded aluminum on the Marvin window looks very nice and the finish is purported to be top notch.

Hope this helps.

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Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2004 6:27 pm

#5 Post by bb » Fri Oct 15, 2004 6:49 am

Marv, It does help. Did you install your own tilt pacs? We are contemplating buying one and trying. If it is too much trouble we'd opt for professional installation. Thank you!

Marv F
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:23 pm

#6 Post by Marv F » Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:20 am

Yes, I installed them myself. If the circumstances are right, it's relatively easy.

Assuming that the frame is in good shape, square, level sill etc, and depending on how much work there is getting your old "jambs" removed (my squeeze jambs just popped out) you could probably do the kit itself in an hour. What took me longer was replacing the sills and the old brick mould and exterior "stop" (replacing with rot-free PVC). However, you may not need to do that.

Mine seem pretty much air-tight and I've already noticed the improvement with the LowE glass. I added some stick-on bulb weather-strip to the top sash edge where Marvin just uses a leaf weather-strip on the parting stop for some reason.

Some additional thoughts that come to mind are the way Marvin routes the grids to "lap" on to the sash looks considerably better than the "butt" approach of my original Caradco's. Also, the Marvin kits use a block and tackcle balance system with locking shoes (again, my guess is the Caradco Zap kit still uses springs with simple plastic pin shoes like my Caradco Classics).

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