Any Andersen conversion kit experts around?

jessie21September 27, 2012

I have old Andersen windows that need to be upgraded or replaced. A guy who owns an old time independent home/hardware store who used to deal with these windows said I could use the conversion kits on my windows.

When I called Andersen they told me my windows were narroline primed windows (sashes are wood, jamb liners are vinyl) and that the conversion kits were meant to work for narroline perma-shield windows only (wood interiors, vinyl coated exterior sashes). Both windows were in production in 1970, when mine were built (last year for the primed wood).

However, in researching Andersen and their parts, I see that the primed narroline windows parts catalogue says that if you need a replacement sash, you need to use perma-shield sashes to replace them, since the primed were not available anymore and that you would need to order both sashes if you need to replace them.

My question is, if the conversion kits work for perma-shield windows and perma-shield sashes can be put in primed narroline windows, then why can't the conversion kits be used for the primed too?

I know this sounds a little confusing, but I'm hoping someone can explain to me why I can't use them or conversely, assure me that I can.

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I personally would look at full frame replacements. 40 years out of those windows I would say they have given you full value. From my perspective putting new sash into the primed unit frames would be shortening the lifespan of the sash.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:17AM
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hmmm, I thought I posted a reply to this, guess it didn't take. Thanks for responding, millworkman, but I really am asking if they would work for me, not if you think it's a good idea!

We can't afford full frame replacements and were hoping to do a few at a time with the conversion kits. I am also crazy over losing too much glass and have been told I will even with full rip outs. But the question of full rip outs is moot anyway, since we can't afford it.

Also, the store owner who put these in his house a long time ago said they are holding up fine and his windows were even older than ours. Perma-sheilds were made from 1968. This guy no longer sells andersens and was losing a potential sale of other windows to us by telling us to go with andersen conversions so I believe him. I don't want to go back to him and bug him with more questions when we aren't going to give him business!!

I knew it was a long shot to ask on the forum if anyone could help, but just had to try.

thanks anyway...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 3:25PM
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Conversion kit jambliners will not fit onto the side jambs of a primed narroline window.

If you don't mind painting the existing frames and sills, replace the jambliners and both sashes.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 9:02PM
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I'm confused. Like I said in my original post, apparently the primed narroline sashes can only be replaced with perma-shield sashes, another old window and one that CAN be replaced with conversion kits. I'm sorry to be so dense about this, it's just not making sense to me.

Since the perma-shield sashes would fit my window, wouldn't this mean that the vinyl jamb liners of each of these windows is identical and so both should be able to be replaced by the new jamb liners in the conversion kit?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 7:38AM
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No, primed Narroline jambliners are different the Permashield Narroline jambliners.

Also, the primed units have a head jamb that is different then the vinyl clad units. You would have to remove the wood strip, over the balances, on the primed unit. A vinyl head jambliner would not fit on the primed unit.

It would look like crap.

I would recommend just rebuilding the unit with new sashes, balances and jambliners. It will look like it did 50 years ago but more efficient.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 10:38AM
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lol, looking like crap is not what we are after!

thanks for the clarification/advice!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 11:41AM
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I'm new to these boards but not to the Narroline conversion kit. Here's my 2 cents: It's a nice product, very easy to use and works with Andersen Narroline double hungs as old as the late 60s. The kit comes with two sash, jamb liners and a packet of installation stuff that includes some slick shims and backer rod too. I know they don't make the primed wood sash anymore and, as one member stated, I think the sash and jamb liner work together and both come in the kit. That said, it's a pretty inexpensive way to upgrade your windows without messign with trim inside or out. The new sash tilt too and come with high efficient LowE glass. I've ordered from my local lumber yard. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:59AM
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Thanks, saemom. Were your old narroline sashes painted on the outside, or covered with the perma-shieild material?

Do you still have any of the old windows to see what the etched logo looks like in the lower left corners of the glass? If so, can you describe it to me?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 10:07AM
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The old ones were Perma Shield. It held up great, just upgraded as part of an addition/remodel project. The new tilt feature is really smooth too. I ordered with prepainted white inside, which is really a beautiful finish. I don't have the old sash (recycled them as part of a local sustainability effort). The etch was easy to find though; a small triangle in the lower right corner, as I recall. You might find a picture of it somewhere on the Andersen website or call them. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Not that it will make much of a difference but the narrowline sash were and are a painted exterior never permashield.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 11:01AM
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interesting, because when I have called andersen directly, 2 different andersen people have told me the SASHES on narroline perma-sheild were perma-shield covered on the exterior, that the narroline primed sashes were primed wood on the exterior.

To make sure we were talking about the same thing, they identified "sash" as the thing that moves when you open the window and that actually houses the glass. I did know what a sash was when I called though.

All narrolines had vinyl jamb liners, mine do.

This is one of the reasons I have wondered if the the conversion kits might work for me....the people working at andersen don't seem to be really informed on the older products.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 11:19AM
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The sash on Permashield Narrowlines are painted with a poly urea pain, the only Permashield "wrapped" is the frame.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:12PM
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well, millworkman, I don't know how to tell the difference between primed and painted and painted with polyurea paint. They identified my windows as "primed" because I told them it was a wood exterior sash.

oh well......

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 3:19PM
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They are techincally painted, yes. But they call it a PermaShield finish because it is applied in such a way it should last just as long as any vinyl-and they include it in their 20/10 warranty.
And as someone who has put hundreds or more CKs in-I would advise you that you technically probably *can* put the CK in, but it wouldn't advise it-it's not designed to fit tightly to the old primed frame,and would look out place. In addition, some of the angles & sizing were just enough different you will run into trouble. If you can afford to-you may be able to get a full-frame 400 Series Tilt-Wash Window close to the same price as the CK. I believe your windows are surrounded by brickmold, so the siding likely wouldn't have to be removed-you simply remove the brickmold, remove the window & install the new TW window, and trim the outside with some vinyl or PermaShield trim to be maintenance-free. It's the window that the CK is based on, and uses exactly the same sashes. Hope you find a suitable solution!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 4:32PM
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windasman, I just saw this reply and don't know if you will see this but just in case....

You said "it's not designed to fit tightly to the old primed frame,and would look out place," but my frames all seem to be vinyl or vinyl clad, not primed wood. Would that make a difference?

Also, I recently got an email from another forum user, saying that someone knowledgeable about Andersons had told him that for a couple of years long ago, they were putting primed sashes in permashield frames. If this is the case, shouldn't the conversion kits work?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 11:13AM
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