Replacement Windows or New Storm Windows -- HELP!!

Ask replacement window questions & get answers!
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#16 Post by dafreak »

Storm windows are ugly..???...thats your reason for not installing them..??...I highly doubt it...More likely the profit margins arent as high...And no, there is not a storm replacement website...Do you have a problem with people interested in a product you dont sell..???...I find it interesting that most of the people on these boards are dealers, selling their products....Is there no window dealer "buy my product its the best" replacement board..?

crankthisout, your post made me laugh, but alas, you are nothing but a window dealer, just as Windoerep is....its easy to put down the consumer as we dont know much, right..???

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#17 Post by windowrep »

yes, they are ugly and that is why i have never sold a single storm window. they were ugly in 1990 when i started selling and installing windows and they are the exact same ugly window covering system they are now. it has nothing to do with money. actually quite the opposite, as i am sure i have walked away from deals that other people have walked in and sold the consumer storm windows. what is so hard about selling storm windows, go to a distributer and order them, make profit and go home. i will tell what is wrong with it, in my opinion and why i have, nor will i ever put one on someones house, no matter what the profit margin is. i live in the same area where i sell windows and i will not take my neighbors money for something that will not benefit them. that is called stealing. it will also decrease all property values around the area that i live in which in turn will hurt me. besides that they are ugly and i don't want to look at them. go to your local scrap yard and you will find all the storm windows you will ever need. at 48 cents a pound for scrap, storms windows have finally paid off.

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#18 Post by dafreak »

so tell me, why should I replace 40 year old windows in good shape with new windows instead of new storm windows...??...more efficient, newer, better, more cost efficient...??...Or because they are more attractive...??...I would never recoup the costs of new windows....Storm windows are not ungly, quite the opposite actually....

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Reply to crankthisout

#19 Post by Marcie »

Gee, crankthisout, thanks so much for your enlightened comments. I am looking for honest opinions. On the other hand, I guess I got yours!

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#20 Post by Marcie »

Well, well, well ... windowrep. So ... if someone puts up new storm windows on their home not only will the value of their home decrease, but the value of all the homes in the whole neighborhood. I have never heard anything so ridiculous. In what part of the country do you live? Walking around in my neighborhood where the homes go for about $500,000, I have seen some very ugly new windows and lots of windows where you have to look very hard to see if there is a storm window or not.

As far as energy efficiency, I would bet that a good storm window is just about as efficient as one of the new double-pane windows. I never have cold air coming in around my windows in the winter, even though my current storms are old. However, I totally understand that there are lots of folks out there who always want something that is new -- new construction, new windows, etc. I don't happen to be one of those people. I like to weigh my options and get what will be best for my situation. Thanks, though, for your opinion!

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#21 Post by crankthisout »


It's easy to put down people who only look through rose petal glasses.

As a window rep, I want to sell product (whatever it may be), make you happy, you refer me to others and the cycle continues. Replacement windows usually keep this cycle going pretty well.

Keep in mind new storm windows (which I sell rarely but do sell) provide many suprises some may be unaware of. How many times have we as window reps. heard these comments from customers after buying storm windows.

"How come I got all this moisture on my glass. These are new storm windows you sold me! These are new windows!"
----Tighter seal with same efficiency of glass means your openings can't breath as easily resulting in more condensation---

"I can't even see outside they're all frosted up!"
---Common wintertime problem, that moisture will freeze and become frost in colder climates---

"My fingernails don't fit inside these clips to operate the window" or "My arthrightus in my hands is so bad I can't move the tabs."
---New storm windows are built pretty much as they were 20 and 30 years ago with not so friendly tabs and latches---

Nothing starts your day off better than trying to explain to a 80 yr. old guy that there's nothing wrong with the window, thats just how they work.

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#22 Post by earwax »

Different strokes for different folks. Thats what makes the world go round. If money is an issue, go by a Thermastar retrofit from Lowe's and isntall it yourself. Takes about 2 hours to do.

If you want a really good window with a great install, it will cost a lot more. I am an Acura guy. Honda realiabiltiy with upscale feal. Won't catch me paying for a BMW or a Benz. Value is in the customer's eyes and so are esthtetics.

If you like storm windows. By all means, buy them. There are draw backs to them, that is why so many people are replacing them. The draw back to wood or vinyl replacement is cost. Happy shopping. I hope what every you decide, you are happy with and have a good contractor that satisifies your needs.

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good discussion

#23 Post by Oberon »

There have been a number of issues that were raised in this thread - good ones - I am going to address several...

I would suggest that people need to ask themselves why they want to replace their windows. Is it aesthetic? Is it energy performance? Is it maintenance? Is it saving money?

All good reasons and newer windows will affect all these questions - and possibly more.

First, and as we all know, energy costs are rising. People are being pinched by the cost of heating and cooling their homes. Many folks take a look at their old drafty windows and immediately consider replacement as a way to save energy. They contact a salesman (or go to the neighborhood big box) and the salesman may offer them these remarkable energy and money savings - often based on phantom numbers - and all they have to do is install these really expensive replacement windows. And installing replacement windows is often a very good idea that will ultimately make the home more comfortable and will ultimately save the consumer money.

Second, mentioned by other folks, original windows in an older home will usually look better than will replacements. This is especially true in a home that is much older. I might throw out that consideration for a 50's or 60's ranch, but for a turn-of-the-century Victorian there is no question that restoring the original windows may be worth the effort.

While you can buy windows that are virtually identical to the originals, and that may be more energy efficient - you can also pay a pot-load of money for those replicas. I would suggest that for most people that isn't a realistic option.

From an aesthetic standpoint - and assuming that the windows in the home are original and are part of the charm of the home - I may opt to restore the originals and add storms knowing that this is something of an indulgence but understanding that the primary concern in this case is the architectural features of the home. Personally, I really like older windows and I also think it is a shame to destroy the look of a home with poorly matching replacement parts – be it windows or anything else.

From a performance or energy standpoint, the best restoration job available on original single pane windows - and then adding single pane storms - will not get the sort of energy performance numbers that you can get with the top performing windows made today. I know that many restoration fans may not agree with that statement, but it is fact.

A good restoration job with good storms will save energy when compared to the performance of the windows prior to the restoration. There can certainly be energy value as well as visual value when restoring the original windows, but I say again that while you should see energy savings when comparing the before and after condition of the original windows – comparing to replacement windows may be a much different consideration.

When considering window replacement and what people don't always consider - and as FenEx and others have mentioned here before - is that your home is a system and windows are only part of that system.

Installing new windows in an older home probably will save energy-dollars and it will likely make a home more comfortable, but it may also be a matter of throwing money down a well so far as return on investment goes – if you don’t look at the rest of the home as well.

As said earlier, a home is a system and replacing windows without addressing other factors in the home may not be either energy-smart or dollar-smart. As a homeowner you need to determine where your energy dollars are being wasted - and if that is your primary concern.

Before I spent a penny on window replacement – strictly for potential energy and money savings – I would invest in a whole house audit to find out exactly where I am losing energy – and money. Then I would plan accordingly. In a tight, well-insulated house, poor windows can account for 50% or more of energy loss. In a loose, not well insulated house, windows may account for only 20% or even less of the total energy loss.

One suggestion was to keep the original windows and install good quality storms. Obviously, if you want the convenience of little or no maintenance then installing storms becomes a much less attractive option (and btw, there is no such thing as zero maintenance when discussing parts of your home - there may be little maintenance, but never zero).

Installing storm windows – especially on second or third story windows - @#&#$%@%# - in my opinion of course.

One could consider installing permanent aluminum storm/screen combinations, but in that case why bother keeping the original windows since those aluminum things aren’t particularly efficient and they may look even worse than bottom-end cheap replacement windows.

One other option might be interior storms – at least for some windows – but again mounting storm windows is certainly not a fun job – and then you have to have a place to store them when they aren’t being used.

And of course one can install “good” wood combination storms - which may be a workable compromise - but certainly not the cheapest if you go with really quality product.

Finally, restoration with storms will mean some very heavy time and trouble involvement in the operation of the home - something not all people want to do.

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#24 Post by dafreak »

I dont buy into the whole "storm windows will decrease property values". I live in a neighborhood where home prices range from 700K to well over a 1000K. Prices continue to go up. Many, many of the homes have storm windows and as Marcie stated they are not easy to notice. One thing I like about storm windows is that there are no dark screens and if I want all glass I can take the aluminum screen off and have all glass. I find dark screens on windows very unattractive. Another reason for keeping my older windows is that they add to the charm of the house. True divided light windows could be purchased for replacements but they would be awfully expensive. Economics is definitely playing a part here in my decision as I do not see how I would recoup the 20K difference that replacement windows would cost me. It would not happen-ever. Not in resale and definitely not in energy savings. Also, I am a bit confused as to all the maintenance talk about storm windows. What maintenance is there? Painting, cleaning? Not sure I follow you here as I have not had to perform any maintenance on my current storm windows. Furthermore, I have never had a problem with condensation or foggy windows. New windows are great, I am sure, but not all situations require or warrant them. My storm windows have protected the windows in my house for
40+ years and I bet they will protect them another 40+ years. New windows without storms would be dead in 20 years, max, and I would be going through the process all over again. At what point do efficient windows cost too much? Ill take the 50K in savings and spend it on other things. Hmmmm, maybe I'll buy a new Hybrid Car!

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#25 Post by windowrep »

i must be missing something, what the he@@ does it matter what your house is worth? it is all relative, take the two same identical houses right next to each other and put storms on one and new windows on the other. now see which looks better, will sell quicker,is more comfortable ect, ect.

dafreak, you keep talking about recouping money, what exactly did you get for $5,000 in storm windows? thats right nothing no more energy efficiency, not easier cleaning,ect.ect. you got nothing. how long will it take to recoup that? at least with a bigger investment in your million dollar house you would have received something for your money.

marcie, you are right i have no business even communicating with someone of your social status and vast window replacement knowledge. please accept my apology and good luck with them storms.

does anyone else here find it strange that people who own 500,000 to 700,000+ houses would think that putting new windows in their house is a bad investment? at $20,000 for replacement windows on a 700,000 house i believe that comes to around 2%. somebody please check that because i do live in a cardboard box in ohio and i am not that smart. and with the rain and all sometimes my candle will not light and i can not see very well. but i think it is 2%. what a sound investment. again i is not a smart man but if i could invest 2% of what i paid for this box and enjoy the noise reduction, comfort level, and yes energy efficiency { candles are expensive you know} new windows offer then why not?

aren't windows great!! what other home improvement project do you ask so much of?? whens the last time that new roof recouped the money? how about that deck? did it save you money on heat or cooling costs? of course the new driveway that you drive on has put money in your pocket recently. big expectations on windows and the quaility ones will deliver. wow that is entirely to long, that is the most time i have ever put into a storm window. good luck.

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#26 Post by windowTips »

Nothing wrong with storm windows, if that’s your choice, but let’s keep the discussion in the real world.

This statement is totally ridiculous;
As far as energy efficiency, I would bet that a good storm window is just about as efficient as one of the new double-pane windows.
If you have wind whistling through your windows they will help cut that down but you can't use the term "efficient" regarding storm windows. Installing them doesn't change the fact the windows in the home are "inefficient". A storm window can never make a bad window good, in fact it doesn't even make a bad window better. And if you put the two together; a bad window and a storm window you still have something that is never, ever going to compare to a modern double pane replacement window. That’s just all there is to it.

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#27 Post by dafreak »

windowrep, an earlier poster brought up the fact that storm windows decrease property values. Marcie and I are just showing him and whoever else that that is not the case. Oh, and no two homes are identical in my subdivision as I would venture to guess is the case in all subdivisions across the United States. So I guess you can throw out that goofy comparison. Hypothetically though lets use your example regarding "identical" homes. Are you saying the home that did not have repalcement windows would sell for less? I dont thnk you are saying that, are you? And if I can sell the house for the same price but it takes me a little longer as you state, does that make my window replacements a good or bad investment?

What did I get for 5K storm windows? I got an extra 20K in my pocket. They might not be a efficient but I bet new windows would not save me more then $100-$200 a year in heating/air conditioning costs. It would take between 50 and 100 years to recoup that money with "new" windows. And, I would need to replace them again during that time period. Please enlighten me with what I would get with new windows that is worth the extra 20K? More efficient? See above. Easier cleaning? lol. Noise reduction? lol

I dont think it is strange to want to save money no matter what the value of the house. Putting new windows in a house should not boil down to the fact that "everyone is doing it" and because you or another window rep tells me to. Those people will have to do it again which of course is good for you cause it keeps you in business. But, that is there decision and this is mine. I dont know why you have a problem with it.

Windows are great. But why replace them just to replace them if they are in good condition? Would you replace your deck becuase it was dirty or would you power wash it and clean it up? Would you replace your whole roof becuase a couple of tiles were missing or would you replace the missing tiles? Everything in your house mmust be new every few years. Congratulations but I dont live that way.

Oh, and 2% on a 700K house is 14K. 3% would be closer to the 20K number you came up with for your example (21K).

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#28 Post by dafreak »

I found a very interesting article by an unbiased person in the industry regarding storm windows. If you would be interested in reading it I have provided the link below:

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#29 Post by dafreak »

The energy efficiency of windows is normally measured using a U-Value, which is the “tendency” of heat energy to flow through the total window system.

The U value of an Anderon 400 series window = .35

The U-Value of a standard single-glazed wood double hung window is about 1.12.

The U-Value of a standard single-glazed wood double hung window with a storm window is about .50

A 50% reduction in energy loss and a heck of a lot cheaper than an Anderson 400 window.

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#30 Post by windowrep »

okay dafreak you are right. with a u-factor of .50-.58 i can see the investment. and they are beautiful, i will start offering them this afternoon. and thanks for the help on the math, i have never been good at that. however, just one more thought before i try to get all the storm windows back from the scrap yard. if storms look so good and add value to your home then why is the website you provided called invisible storms? why invisible? why not show them off? gotta go been great conversing a good topic with you. at least we got some responses going on this again. been pretty slow lately. good luck dafreak hope all works out as planned.