Replace Windows or Repair

Mom2BoysWisconsinNovember 10, 2011

My 1970's vintage ranch home has wood sash windows. The wood is stained perfectly to match the trim throughout the house--dark walnut. The window sills are vinyl and pealing. The "guts" along the side of some of the windows are failing-either they won't stay up or they WILL stay up, but don't hang evenly. The ropes and mechanics are laying in the sill. Still others have a problem with the upper half of the window slipping down and hanging crooked. The "gases" in another window have caused the upper window pane to turn foggy. I long for the wood windows and wavy glass in my 1920's victorian that we left behind so we could live in this drab plain ranch with horrible windows. (Heavy sigh.) My question is... what are my options? What is the difference between a replacement window and a new window? Is repairing the existing windows an option? If I can repair the existing windows I don't have to worry about matching the wood stain.

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dennisgli

A replacement (insert) window fits inside the existing window frame. This allows for minimal disruption of the existing interior or exterior trim. So you would not have to redo the interior trim - you can get replacement windows with would interiors but you'd still have to finish the frames and sashes to match the existing trim.

With a new construction window you would have to remove the current frame - so you remove and either replace or install new interior and exterior trim.

I'd definitely consider having the existing windows restored. You'd have to replace the fogged insulated glass unit - but only having one of those isn't too bad. I'm concerned about the crooked sashes - if that is because the counterweight is broken on one side it's not a problem. But I'd have somebody take a look at them to make sure they are worth restoring. If the original windows were poor quality or there is hidden damage that needs to be repaired it might not be worth it.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 12:27PM
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deedles

Check out oldhouseguy.com

He's has a really good article about saving old windows and why to do it.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 6:52PM
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