Replace all windows on the second floor or just the broken one?

weathergalNovember 3, 2011

I have been the owner of my house (built in 1925) for a little over a year. Previous owners replaced the windows on the first floor with Anderson casements, which I am not thrilled with but at least they are energy efficient. The upstairs windows are the original single pane wood, and I noticed a lot of heat loss last winter before putting plastic sheeting up.

A few weeks ago, I had my upstairs bedroom window open, and it broke when I closed it. I had a guy come and look into just replacing the glass, but balked when he saw that the windows are the very old ones with pulleys and weights.

I live in North Dakota. It is now November. The storm window by itself isn't going to cut it when temperatures don't get above 0 F, so I need a new window ASAP.

I had a Anderson guy come out and take measurements today, and he did so for all the windows in the house. My question is, should I go ahead and replace all of my upstairs windows at the same time, even if it means using all of what I have saved so far? Or is it better to just do the bedroom window and wait to do the others when I'm not so rushed and have time to shop around?

(If I was starting from scratch I'd be looking into just refurbishing the old windows to keep the period character of the house, but with the downstairs windows and steel siding, I think the horse has already left the barn on that front.)


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If you just buy a window for now and then decide later you want another brand or model, you either have to re-purchase this window or live with it. Why not do a temporary fix on the broken window and then spend a week of so shopping around?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 7:36AM
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I would fix it and then make a decision on the whole lot and what you are going to do whether it is retrofit or replacement.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 9:05AM
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Fixing it and leaving it for another few years would be my first choice. However, the one guy I got to come out and take a look didn't want to mess with trying to reinstall after replacing the glass with the old weight system in place. Other people I've tried to get a hold of for just a simple glass replacement never returned my calls.

I got my estimate, and replacing all my upstairs windows would be $3500-4000. Oh, and I was mistaken, they are Renewal by Anderson and not plain old Anderson, which is apparently not the same thing. Some of the reviews I've looked at online are not that great. I liked the guy I talked to, he didn't pressure me at all, but I'm not sure if I want that product.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 3:52PM
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Read the reviews on RBA before you make a decision on this.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 5:02PM
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Anything you use as a replacement is not going to last as long as the originals have.

Storm windows work.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 8:00PM
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Find another window repair person...someone who actually works on old homes. they are out there.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 6:38PM
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thats a good point. current windows are 85yrs old. will new ones last another 85 years? does existing siding mate up to new window edge nicely? always seems new windows look so much better with new siding.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 7:56PM
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Thanks guys. I finally managed to get someone out to see about fixing the broken one. He had to cut the non-functional rope/weight off the pulley but managed to get the sash out to replace the broken pane. They are a bit backed up at their shop and it will be 3-4 weeks before it's done, but at least they returned my calls and are able to do it. I'm putting up insulation board in the meantime.

I would like to eventually restore or replace all the windows upstairs to make them more efficient and functional. Some of them don't open, and I must have really sucky storm windows because they are very drafty. I got a quote for Marvin Infinity, but I also want to look into restoration. I have a flier from a home show last March from a guy who did restorations of old windows, but need to find it in the mess on my desk.

One of the previous owners put steel siding on the house, so hopefully I'd be above to get something that fits it with it.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 10:17AM
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