Replacement for wooden windows

kntryhumanDecember 23, 2008

I am renovating an old house, approx. 100 years old. It has all wooden windows but they are single pane.

I'd like to keep the same look, at least across the front of the house.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what windows to use or if there is a way to keep these frames and insert energy efficient panels?

Here is a link that might be useful: Front of house

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Nice house!

It's hard to tell from the photo's - are the front windows casements?

I just had replacement "insert" double hung windows installed - where you add a new frame and sash inside the existing frame. I also looked at just replacing the sashes - eg. Marvin Tilt Pac - but those didn't look like as good an option. Either get you double pane insulated glass - but I don't know if either option is available for casement windows.

I assume you are trying not to disturb the existing siding?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 12:58PM
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Thanks for the information.

The entire inside of the house is gutted and will have foam insulation sprayed on the exterior walls, floor and roof. I'm not worried about air leaks around the frames.

My main concern is not changing the look/character of the front of the house. Vinyl windows just won't look the same. Vinyl is great for the sides and back of the house.

Thanks for the link. There is no rot around the windows. All the windows and frames are in excellent condition.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 10:07PM
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If I were restoring this house I would do one of two things Pella Architect Series with ILT either in a solid wood window with Spanish Cedar BrickMould trim and subsill, or Architect Series Aluminum Clad with an Azek Surround in in BrickMould with simulated aubsill

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 4:09PM
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Thanks. I'll check into them.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 4:54PM
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I would not touch the original windows. See my comment on your other post. You can weatherproof what you have. Please do not get vinyl - they look horrible in my opinion on old homes.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 5:55AM
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"will make the window as efficient as a Low E window."

Can you provide any independent testing to prove this claim? I'd be very interested in them if you could.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 11:40PM
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Interesting link - to an advertising blog.

"will make the window as efficient as a Low E window."

Only in a fantasy world.

And commenting on the link:

Plexiglass is acrylic. Saying that acrylic won't yellow and become brittle like Plexiglass is kind of self-defeating.

Acrylic is actually less efficient than glass. Acrylic has an R-value of .86 while glass has an R-value of 1.

Glass is actually a rather poor conductor of heat.

The only way that adding a piece of plexiglass to a single pane window and getting an R-5 is in a dream.

And advertising $50 for an ebook to explain how to attach a sheet of plexiglass to a window?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 7:53AM
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doesn't this break the "No advertising is allowed in any of the forums." rule, or at the very least fall under the heading of "spam" since it is making utterly ridiculous claims !!!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 3:15PM
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Not to mention running around this website on the day he/she joined using any possible excuse to chime in order to place the link.

My personal favorite is "Saving 50% on heating bill" That is pretty miraculous seeing as the U.S. Dept of Energy has stated that in a worse case scenerio you might lose up to 25% of your heat thru your windows. A superior window with proper glazing might cut that figure in half, or perhaps a bit better.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 3:35PM
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Oops! Didn't want to break any forum rules. My internet business coach told me to do what I did.

I had the acrylic windows installed in my house in 1994 in Red Deer, Alberta Canada by a company called Energy Doctor. After they were installed my heat bill do go down by 55%. I used to have a lot of condensation on my windows and even ice if the temperature went below freezing. They stopped that problem too.

Plexiglas is acrylic that has impurities in it that causes it to yellow. Acrylic FF has no impurities in it and is warrantied by the manufacture not to lose more then 3% of it's clarity in in 10 years. I've seen applications that were 20 years old and they were still clear.

Any info that I gave is from personal experience.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 5:43PM
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"After they were installed my heat bill do go down by 55%. I used to have a lot of condensation on my windows and even ice if the temperature went below freezing. They stopped that problem too."

Baloney!!! The most you can hope to accomplish with Acrylic FF is a reduction in long wave IR and UVA. It's not going to have any effect on short wave IR.

Internet Coach!! Give me a break.

Please go away and spare us the spam!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 6:25PM
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I wouldn't touch the original windows, either. We are renovating a 1850s victorian and I've agonized over what to do about the windows. Ours are in great condition, all open/close easily and there is no rot, but they do need some restoration (a few cracked panes, broken cords.)

Basically there are 2 camps - those who believe it is a sacrilege to remove original windows, and those who believe energy efficiency is impossible without new ones.

Our options were disobeying our historic district commission and on the down-low install wood sash kits (our opinion for the only replacement that is remotely acceptable, aesthetically. Or repairing what we had, window stripping them, and doing wood storms.

We also did the foam insulation. In the end I decided I couldn't live with the guilt of ripping out my windows. There is no replacement for them - they've been on the house (on the coast in NE, harsh winters, etc) and are in great condition despite the fact they are wood and are 160 years old. We are having them restored, weather stripped, and doing custom wood storms, and I feel pretty good about what the end result will be in terms of efficiency. It' an old house, it's never going to be as tight as a new one (we have other issues, like the basement, where we will lose some efficiency.)

Our house is in a historic district and most have ignored the HDC rules about replacing original windows. So I get to see plenty of examples of options - I can say NO vinyl looks good - in fact they look absolutely AWFUL - wooden sash kits are slightly better but still greatly alter the exterior character of the house. The only windows I've seen look good are custom wood replacement windows, which as I understand it can be very tricky to install with existing siding (labor intensive, from a carpentry standpoint) and in the end are probably cost prohibitive to most people.

Here's a thread I started asking for pictures of wood storms. We are going to get estimates from the company cited in the thread, and from a local window restoration guy who does the same thing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wooden Storms Thread

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:53AM
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Though I'm sure it's probably cost prohibitive and sometimes maybe impossible, Ive heard about people with mad carpentry skills that can retrofit old wood sashes with insulated glass units.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 11:05PM
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