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Thread: Replacement Windows?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Default Replacement Windows?

    OK, I have some money in the budget this year for replacement windows. 13 of them to do.

    The house is 900 SF, 2 BR/1BA, no basement. So, around here, it's not worth a whole lot. So I don't see a point in putting in expensive replacement windows.

    So I'm looking at lower-end vinyl replacement windows.

    Any brand recommendations for vinyl replacement windows and why? I'm considering:

    Pella Thermastar
    Crestline
    Jeld-Wen
    American Craftsman (HD brand)

    Any other ones I should be looking at?

  2. #2
    Geologist sjsmithjr's Avatar
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    The Pella Thermastar's aren't bad; Crestlines are junk; depending on which Jeld-Wen you're looking some are nice; I wouldn't put the American Craftsman on a doghouse.

    Hope that helps.

    -Sam

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member MG's Avatar
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    I replaced several windows a couple of years ago w/some American Craftsman and they have been just fine. I was replacing wood frame single pane windows w/exterior storm windows - there was a big difference.

    Note: if you're buying the Pella Thermastar off the rack at Lowe's you are not getting Low-E glass. That is special order. The AC ones at HD already have it and are nearly the same pricewise.

    You get a tax credit for window replacement.
    Last edited by MG; 02-27-2008 at 01:04 PM. Reason: added text
    Note: I am a DIY'er and not a professional. My posts here are observations / opinions and may or may not be in accordance with your local ordinances.

  4. #4

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    I just did a whole house with the Pella line. I ordered so I did get the low E glass. The savings in heating is excellent.

    I feel that the pella line is ok. I really think that Republic has a great window, the one sold through Hanson's Window. Not sure if that is a local thing or not. Anyhow they don't have the highest efficiency ratings and clarity of glass but it seems adequate.

    Tom

  5. #5

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    MG
    those must have been some crappy windows, a good single pane window with a nice storm window will perform as well if not better then an average replacement window.

    Nate,
    what is the reason for replacing the windows ? have you looked at window quits they are going to be in the same price range but are going to provide much much much much better performance. same goes for the more expensive replacement windows. insulated glass is more or less all the same the only difference is the coatings. The right low E coating can make or break you, and the low end windows only offer once kind of coating. The other thing the higher end windows do a much better job of is air sealing. Leaking air will be the majority of your energy savings, the increase in R value is minimum. I think a lot people "heat savings" are in thier mind or from the increased air sealing

    lou

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Nate,
    what is the reason for replacing the windows ? have you looked at window quits they are going to be in the same price range but are going to provide much much much much better performance.
    What's a window quit? Or is that a typo? Google doesn't give me anything on it.

    Replacing the windows? Most of the current ones are 85 years old, and have been neglected for the last 40+ years. Most of the panes have been replaced w/ Plexiglass. All have been poorly maintained. 5 of them aren't working windows, but old storms screwed in place of where a double hung window should be. Some replacement sashes in them that are the wrong size, etc, etc.
    The work required to correct the problems and keep these windows would exceed the cost and effort of replacement windows. There's no architectural value to the windows, either. No charm, no beautiful wood, etc. And many of them have terrible air leakage. 1/2" of snow on the window sill is no good.

  7. #7

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    Nate,
    sounds like my place, there was really no fixing those old windows.
    Window quilts are just what the name implies, they help keep your house nice and warm
    http://www.1windowquilts.com/
    lou

  8. #8

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    I have these in my home and they really work well. I bought mine at HD.

    http://cellularwindowshades.com/photos.html

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member MG's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLou View Post
    MG
    those must have been some crappy windows, a good single pane window with a nice storm window will perform as well if not better then an average replacement window.
    They were - 30+ years old, thin glass in the inner windows. The exterior storm windows did not line up well at all. The new ones (especially on the west facing wall) have been a big improvement - not to mention they look much nicer. The local power company has increased rates and our bills have not changed much from when we had the old ones in. I need to do the ones in the basement next.
    Note: I am a DIY'er and not a professional. My posts here are observations / opinions and may or may not be in accordance with your local ordinances.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member oldanbo's Avatar
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    Default one word

    MILGARD

    They have a lifetime warrantee and they stand behind it. My house was built using these windows and I did have one occasion to call them.
    The house was about 7 years old at the time, and one of the casement windows wouldn't close enough to lock, they were here in a day or two, fixed and said thank you.

    I won't have anything else.


  11. #11

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    We sell Republic windows in Iowa. We believe that for the money they are the best replacement window on the market today. Not just coming from a sales standpoint either goto Republicwindows.com and do some research. You will find that there are quite a few decision you'll have to make. I know, you can't get pricing off there site, however it will arm you with some good question to ask other dealers. Like what is the R-value of there glass packs or better yet what there u-rating is, the u rating is the inverse of a r-rating, loosely saying how much cold/heat does the product let through. Then goto the gov's energy site and see what is recommend in your area. Then there is VT (visible transmitel) rating. again loosely speaking, how clear is the glass or how much lite is allowed to pass through. Low-E is simply a coating applied to the inside side of the outer pane of glass in a double hung window, it is applied to reduce UV rays from entering your home. Low-E is double fold, it reduces the amount of fading of funiture and carpet plus helps stop the heat that is carried by the UV ray. Then theres argon gas, simply said "insulation". Argon gas is heavier that oxgen therefore stoping the radiant transfer across the glass. Then there the construction of the frame and how many "dead air channels there are. Vinyl windows have a inherainat problem of two things 1) there strengh, partically the sash. Under heavy loads (triple pane glass packs) the sash can become bowed resulting in a bad seal to frame connection, therefore make sure there is somekind of steel reinforcement in the sash frame.
    As far as product goes. I of course would want you to buy Republic, but they are or can be expensive. If the house is not worth it (think about resale) then Jeldwin makes some fine products. I agree do not buy Crestline, I firmly belive that Crestline is only around to provide windows for 3 season porchs, and to home builders to cut there bottom line. Bty Jeldwin and Crestline are owned by the same company, I think Jeldwin owns Crestline but I could be wrong.
    If you need further assistance please let me know, whatever you buy will be a pretty substancial investment and if you go really cheap, you'll pay for it untill you sell the home.
    On the flip side you should get around 83% of your investment in return if you were to sell. Replacing windows is on the top of the return ladder when looking at selling in the near future. And if your not looking at selling soon then by all means, buy something good.
    Last edited by crater; 03-06-2008 at 07:48 PM.

  12. #12

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    BigLou, Storm windows were designed to do one thing only, keep mother nature off of a wood frame windows. They provide 0 thermal break, in fact if they haven't been chaulked shut, they should have drain holes at the bottom.
    A "all vinyl" product is not sustable to rot like wood and with todays improvments don't even require a wind barrier

  13. #13
    Architect Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    Take a look at local makers too... Jones (local company) makes some really good jeld-wen knock off's and they cost 2/3 the price. Worth a look. Definitely Low-E tho.
    Spaceman Spiff aka Mike

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaceman Spiff View Post
    Definitely Low-E tho.
    Why? In my area, I don't see that it's worth it for Low-E, given the option. I want all the sun heat I can get most of the year. 7000 heating degree days a year and only about 600 cooling degree days.

    I will look into locals. I know of 2 off the top of my head.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member mikept's Avatar
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    Nate R: Low e glass can be designed to keep the heat out of the house or to keep it in. They make high and low solar gain low e glass

    crater: low e glass reflect Infrared heat not Ultraviolet "heat"
    Last edited by mikept; 03-08-2008 at 12:50 AM.

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