Double Glazed Windows... Does it really make a difference....

monroviamomJune 1, 2007

on your electric bill? We have a contact in the window business who says he can replace all 17 of our windows (many are fairly large) for around $6,500. He said it would be in vinyl (or I could get aluminum, but think vinyl makes more sense). I need to get the name of the manufacturer... can't remember off the top of my head.

I'm struggling as our home is more contemporary in style & am not sure that the framing on the outer side of the house really fits our home's style....

I appreciate any input that you might have.

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I don't understand, "am not sure that the framing on the outer side of the house".
What framing are you talking about? Vinyl windows come in a variety of styles to fit most houses.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 7:31PM
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It seems that most of the retro-fit windows have a frame, or boarder that surrounds the outside of the window (they look a few inches wide). Our current windows have no such frame --.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 8:02PM
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Yes it will make a difference. The question is how much of a difference.

That depends on the insulation value of the windows and the quality of the installation. Perhaps you can find out the manufacturer and what type of glass they will have. Then come back here and ask how much of a difference you can expect.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 11:42PM
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Thanks -- apparently, he works with Milgard & Certainteed... but haven't a clue on the quality. Clearly, I need to get more info. When I have it, I'll return. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 1:00AM
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If you have aluminum windows with single glazed windows. Check the depth of frame where the glass sits. If you have an overall of 1' from the glass to the outside of the frame you could look into converting over your windows to double glazed. All this requires is that you replace the glass with double glazed windows (usually with an airspace of a 1/4'), then a new type of glazing bead is put on to secure the glass that makes up the new difference in width from glass to edge of window frame.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spicy Recipes

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 12:15AM
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If you want to keep the look and you have double hung windows spring bronze them and get good storms. Any insert window will give you less glass and more frame compared to what is there now. Vinyl often has the largest frames of any insert. If you are getting air around the frame then an insert will not help with that problem. I tore the vinyl inserts out of my house since they were leaking just as much air as some of the original windows and went with a high quality wood window which also gave me a historically correct look.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 8:32PM
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I have a new bay window without tint/bronzing and I.m about to order three new windows for the front of my house which is also where the bay window is. My question is will the bronzing be noticeable when looking at my house from the outside at the curb. My eyes are sensitive to light and was not aware of bronzing with the install of bay window. So now I was thinking of having new windows with the bronzing but afraid it would look odd.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 10:39AM
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Yes it will be noticable. You could always replace the glass on the bay window if it bothers you that much.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 4:30PM
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So when the gurus weigh cost versus benefit in converting from single to double pane windows, what assumptions do they employ regarding the failure rate?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 10:59PM
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Failure rate of what? The windows? Like everything else, if you buy cheap windows, you will get what you pay for. By better windows and you probably won't have any problems or if you do, they will be covered under the warranty.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 11:22PM
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Not to speak of the related problems detailed in the tales of woe recited on this forum.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:50AM
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"By better windows and you probably won't have any problems or if you do, they will be covered under the warranty."

It really does not matter how much you pay for the windows.

The idea of cladding to protect wood from moisture is just a dumb idea.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 9:10AM
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True, except this thread is about vinyl windows and my comments were regarding vinyl windows. It also does not follow that if you purchase aluminum clad windows that you WILL have problems with them. Only that the odds are greater. The odds are even greater that if you purchase cheap products you will have issues regardless of what material it's made from.

Either that or I am deaf to the owners of millions of aluminum clad windows that are ALL having problems with them.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 9:48AM
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I took the topic of the thread to be whether installing double glazed windows will achieve sufficient savings on energy bills to justify the initial outlay and ongoing related expenses. I don't know that it's appropriate to assume that the initial expense of installation, in view of the warranties afforded, is all one has to be concerned with. The failure rate seems to be significant, and many of the "warranties" problematic. I read here that they may cover the cost of the window itself for as little as ten years, and the cost of installation for as little as two years. Separate and apart, there are the multitudinous problems with substandard installation being reported here and elsewhere. Looks like a "lifetime warranty" from a contractor and a $5.00 bill would just about be worth a cup of coffee.

Is the climate where the homeowner lives thought to be irrelevant?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 2:22PM
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Why are you so jaded and bitter? You do realize that your same defeatist logic could be applied to anything that you buy from cars, mortgages, treasury bonds, drywall, etc.

Do you research, get a good product, and hope that the company that is producing a good product has a good business plan in place.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 11:06PM
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Beg pardon? I am doing research, the focus of that research being the issue of whether the cost of double glazed windows can be justified in terms of energy savings. The "studies" I recall having seen do not factor in the expenses associated with replacing these windows when they blow a seal or whatever, and correcting substandard installation. On top of that, you have damage to the house caused by defective products/installation. Airy assurances about "warranties" don't get the job done, as evidenced by the complaints and laments on this very forum. And what good would it do the average homeowner to research a particular product or company, when even people who are in the business of building houses have so often come to grief?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 2:27PM
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The problem is that you are searching for data on the internet and anything you read must be taken with a grain of salt. People who are happy with their windows and have not had any problems don't tend to post their positive experiences as readily as those who have complaints.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 5:20PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

+1 on Sky's feedback. Things will never seem as bad as they on the internet.

The burden of the vetting process is certainly on you, however, if you do some research and educate yourself on the process, there is no reason that you should not get a great installation and product.

What the ROI of your window project depends on a myriad of factors that will require both active collection of data and statistical analysis.

Do you want or need new windows? What is the rest of the home like from a renovation of energy consumption standpoint? Are there other areas to be addressed first?

If you are as research orientated as you appear from your postings, perhaps and energy audit and unbiased feedback from a trained auditor will give you the data you are looking for?

At the end of the day, the technologies have come quite far and I assure you that the incidences of material failure are extremely low with reputable companies.

Best of luck in your search.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 9:27PM
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I have never figured out why some people think replacing windows must be some type of "investment" to have any value. What other home improvements are held to this standard? What is the ROI on a new deck, kitchen couter tops,a new roof, new doors etc. What is the pay back for making these changes?

What you should be thinking about is what happens if you DON'T replace your windows. Let's take a very conservative LOSS of savings analysis. Let's say you LOSE $250. per year over the next 20 years becasue you decided to leave your old windows. Let's further assume that utiity rates ONLY increase 3% per year over that time period. You would have spent $7164. more in utilities than if you had replaced your windows. And what do you have in 20 years? The same old window you had 20 years before that you have spent an additional $2000 for a few paint jobs, probably haven't cleaned and have had to live with the discomfort of air leaking in the winter.

Then you decide to sell your house but the Real Estate person tell you that you will need to replace the windows if you have any hope of selling. So you go out at that point and discover that it's going to cost $20,000 to replace your windows. So total spent over 20 years is nearly $30,000 and all you ended up doing is buying new windows for the new owners of your house and got no benefit at all.

Does that sound like the best approach to "investing" money? If you are looking for an investment, see a financial planner or a banker. If you have old windows that need to be replaced, see a window specialist. Don't confuse window replacement with something you want to make money on. Buy them for the same reasons you make other improvements to your home.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 8:53AM
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So in trying to get a handle on how long it will take to recover the expense of converting to double glazed windows, one just ignores the likelihood that the homeowner will be obliged to replace them, from time to time, and remediate substandard installation, at his own expense? That's exactly what I thought you were saying. What's that? You know of people who have not complained of such problems? Well, that makes all the difference in the world, doesn't it?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 10:57AM
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I honestly don't know where you are getting your information from and how you are evaluatiing it to come up with such distorted conclusions. Several people have tried to point out the errors in your research but you seem bent on arguing. I would advise you to be careful and purchase a good quality window from an experienced installer.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 1:29PM
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some people just don't make any sense in the way they rationalize things

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 1:47PM
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do not replace your windows. they will not pay for themselves and i don't wish you upon any contractor.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:01PM
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Maybe we've just got a lot of people suffering from fenestration hypochondria on this site.

Since you're so good at math, Sky, perhaps you'd like to try your hand at calculating what $6,500 compounded at 5% comes to in 20 years.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 1:32PM
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Most of the energy savings in new windows comes from the new weatherstripping reducing infiltration.

There are numerous seals available that can easily be retrofitted into old windows to seal them better.

The problem is the labor is expensive enough folks just replace the old windows, often with new ones that will not last as long as what they are replacing.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 7:54PM
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