Replacement windows

Looking to start replacing old windows on my house. Got a (really high) quote from Renewal By Anderson complete with an extremely high pressure nightmare of a sales pitch, so I won't be going that route. I've heard that you're better off going through someone local as most big companies contract the work out to them anyway. Does anyone have any ideas or recommendations? If you replaced windows in your house, what kind did you get, and are you satisfied?

WindowPain WindowPain
Jan '20

We bought our replacements from Home Depot and love them. They have helped insulate our house so much from the old ones we had and they are easy to clean from the inside.
I can't give insight on the installation though because they were small windows so we did it ourselves.

Mel81 Mel81
Jan '20

How about Castle Windows,I know a few people that have used them and are happy with the product and the lifetime warranty...


Just keep in mind depending on the cost of the windows and installation (and how long you stay in the house) you may never realize a break even point in energy savings. Especially if you have an old historic house with wood windows which look better anyway it may be advantageous to keep them.

Eperot Eperot
Jan '20

I went through Renewal by Anderson’s speel and got an astronomical price($4,000) more than what I got them replaced for. I used Home Depot. They sub out their work to local contractors. They did an amazing job. 3 large windows and they were done in 3 hours, cleaned up and insulated the exterior around the windows. All are working out great! Had to replace my old Anderson windows with the rope pulley because they all snapped.

Carryonwindow
Jan '20

It depends what you have, want.

Renewal bu Andersen are great windows. But expensive. And they only sell one thing so can be very pushy. If looking for a showpiece, might be the way to go.

I creamed their price by ordering direct and using a local contractor. The website gives you all the options; your contractor, the measurements. Used to be the 1-800 added all the support you needed to wade through the options. For basic installs, I would say yes, but for exotic installs, you need an architect. I just did a 6ft by 24ft “hole” and would have been willing to do something special. But they could not support, so I went with a bank of the same windows. Fibrex frames, Interior/exterior mullens to fake divided lights, low e glass, stained in, enameled out, heavy duty hw, and half screens. A new room so I matched my existing pretty close not restorations. You can’t find these at home despot.

Previously I replaced the old farms windows with Marvin slip ins. Marvin because all wood snd they could custom make some special non standards. They were restorations for 1800’s windows, true divided lights. I enameled the outside but being young, figured I could paint the inside. Big mistake, the factory paint is baked on like auto paint. Much better at any price.

Other times just got a basic Andersen like for my garage/shop or my sunroom.
So, it depends. But I would check the andersen site. Blueridge can price.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jan '20

we used Castle Windows co. did a little back and forth got a good price.did a great job. had a problem with window they came right out an took care of it ,no charge after 10years windows are great, it's so quiet inside the house.so easy to clean very happy.

Frank 1945 Frank 1945
Jan '20

Lol I have a historic house, and it definitely wasn’t a good idea to keep the old lead filled wood windows.

That being said, we went through Lowe’s and they did a great job and it really wasn’t that expensive to do 8 windows. We plan on using them again in the spring.

17 in 05 17 in 05
Jan '20

Sure, but first lead paint can be removed (problem solved) and good luck finding any modern window that will last as long. The original wood sash windows in my house are 150 years old and now restored they'll last that long again. Modern replacements like to fail at the seals between the panes of glass letting condensation in, and their balances also fail. And unlike original wood sash that can be repaired, when modern windows fail they need to be replaced. Every component of traditional wood windows are serviceable. Not to mention modern windows generally look pretty bad in an old house. Just know that there are options and that a historic house benefits from maintaining the original windows.
Now if we are talking about a post WWII house...pretty much do whatever you feel.

eperot eperot
Jan '20

I have used Caradco windows over the years...better warranty than Anderson by far better quality and....serviceable.

steven steven
Jan '20

Cardaco bought by jeld-wenn and the brand is no longer. I am glad you had luck. Clearly not as good as Andersen, according to reviews and lawsuits at least, and I would hope you don’t ever need the warranty.

All modern windows will have the vapor lock and are subject to losing their seal causing internal condensation. It’s a fact of life if you want better insulation or to be legal. The bigger the window, the more prone to breaking the seal. The more flex, the greater the chance of failure.

No, a broken seal is not replacement time. Like any broken glass, you remove the window and replace the glass.

My replacements from Marvin are slip-ins, all wood, and custom restorations of the originals. Architecturally, they are exact duplicates. They are full divided lights like the originals. The only difference is they all work ;-) and the mullion depth is 1/64th/inch thinner. Otherwise it could have been milled but at a huge additional expense.

My recent Andersen’s are fibrex frames, wood sashes, same match/restoration as the Marvins except a different size of my existing Marvins, and the mullion match is just very close, not a match. They were ordered, no customization. I would dare anyone to see a difference tween fibrex and wood or in the general match against the originals.

I will say the low-e glass is cutting more heat than I expected which is good for summer but missing it right now.

No, you don’t have to retain mid-1800’s windows to have a restored look and feel. Over 30 years and no balance failures. It’s a replaceable part anyways. Matter of fact, since they are Marvins, I have always been able to get parts. But again, it depends on needs and wants. They were expensive. I would never put these in a new house; the very size of them make them a bizztch to open, close n clean even if it is “easy.”

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jan '20

Look and feel....mmm, perhaps. But I'd be able to tell immediately from the flat glass. Every window in my house retains wavy antique glass which really looks the part. But of course l'm being nit picky. I'm a restorer.

No doubt your windows are quality. I'm talking more about the people who aren't willing to pay for quality, divided light, actual muntins, etc. and merely buy cheap white vinyl one over one replacements, tear the original divided light sash out, and call it a day. Which is most of the time. You, SD, are a rarity ;)

Eperot Eperot
Jan '20

I had RJW Exteriors. https://rjwexteriors.com/ do mine. They had a good price and the work was fast and great. We got Andersen windows and love them. I couldn't believe how my heating and AC bills went down. The reduction in outside noise was something I didn't even consider but it is amazing. RJW is not high pressure at all. They listen to what you want and guide you in the right direction. I've sent them to friends and relatives with no complaints.

Thomas Early Thomas Early
Jan '20

Rarity....hmmm, never quite heard jt that way ;-). And you are right; at close range, my windows are clear, yours are not. Of course, I can only notice the R-value at the end of each month too, a huge difference.

Did you put up storms or do you just take the heating bill freight? $$$.

To me, restoration is about look n feel, not exact duplication. That’s just me I feel my 1860’s farmer would take the same course and perhaps even more modern. If you can’t tell from 20 feet or so, that’s restoration to me! Besides, the great room and modern kitchen would fail me anyway, not to mention those solar panels. All things in moderation.

I had started this by saying: it depends. Needs and wants. From white vinyl to full divided lights, all can be the right choice depending on your needs and desires. So, your needs are to retain the existing, mine were to be a very close match, but energy efficient and effective (first tine I could open all my windows). But also to add the fact that a middle step can be pretty close too. My Andersen's use inside and outside mullions to fake divided lights. You have to get close enough to notice no wavy glass to see the gap between the mullions in the glass pocket. For a few dollars more, too much for my needs, you can even put a mullion inside the panes. And you can use these in any configuration: inside only, outside only, internal only or some combination like I did. For a bank I did for my MIL, we just used the inside ones since no one was ever looking in from the back yard. For her bedroom, used the internal. Look like divided lights at a distance, but talk about easy to clean!

I think if looking for better than simple vinyl casements, the Andersen site offers a lot of options that can result in a variety of treatments including getting very close to full restoration, if that’s your desire. Most installers fall into offering what they usually offer because of familiarity. If one learns the site, uses the 1-800 to learn more, I think one can get a “customized” Andersen that might even be unique for about the price of an Andersen and a lot less than Restoration by Andersen. Blueridge will deliver those one-of-a-kind windows at the same speed as any other Andersen. You can order through Hime Despot too, but ordering the options there can be a much more painful process.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jan '20

SD, i get you. All l was suggesting is that if a person has an old house (100 years old +) with original windows and is contemplating replacing them to save on HVAC bills, you may benefit from leaving them alone as you'll probably never make the money back through lowered gas or electric bills. That's all.

As far as my house, l do not have storms. I feel they ruin the look, unless it were a divided light wood storm to match. Maybe one day l'll build them. But l've never had a gas bill over $350 in a hard winter month, so l'm not bothered.

Eperot Eperot
Jan '20

You are correct, short term. However, in the end Highlander, there can be only one (answer). And that's double paned are better on your pocketbook, better on the environment, probably, better for your resale, and most important, better for your quality of life than single pane windows. But they are NOT a good short-term investment, based on the money. They might be great, based on the other factors like quality of life.

Your "probably never make the money back" theory has to be bogus at some point based solely on the aspect of time. You are correct that "at some point," is a long ways out in a galaxy far, far away. Like 25-30 years. So, it worked for me!

The answer is: in our area, you will save about $366 a year, average per entire home, replacing single pane with dual pane v6.0 energy star window. Using an installed price of $600 per window, you can quickly see that breakeven is a long time, like two years --- per window. So, two windows, 4 years. If you have clear-glass, double pane, putting in energystar high efficiency 6.0's will save you $134 per year which is probably impossible to break-even while you still live there. FYI --- I think 7.0 spec came out late last year.

However, they are using houses under 2,600 square feet, one segment is 1,700 square feet. They are newer construction and feature natural gas heat, less expensive than oil, electric or propane. Another way to compute is about a 12% savings on your HVAC costs. I will try that later and see how that changes the result. Since they are using newer construction, these numbers probably don't apply to you and I, gosh knows if we do better or worse. For example, I used slip ins. The window is a great improvement yet the original trim and framing remains. The frame is uninsulated although caulked really well internally and externally. But, like for that lead weight pocket for the old windows, small pockets still remain. Sort of like having an uninsulated crawl space, albeit a very tiny one that is well caulked.

So, remember, it depends.

Basically, the stats say for my 25 years of service, I have reached breakeven and am making money. I will run some more in-depth breakeven once I get into it.

https://www.energystar.gov/products/building_products/residential_windows_doors_and_skylights/benefits

But wait, there's more.....I have saved pounds and pounds of CO2 emissions; Al Gore loves me :>)

So, the bottom line is you need to think about break-even, quality of life, the value of 100% working windows, etc. Or in our case, you like the wavy glass, I like the crystal clear view --- they both have different values to us. But you are correct, it is a long breakeven.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jan '20

changing the subject a little. By doubling up your attic insulation, sealing all opening with caulk or spray foam and getting a cover for your pull down stairs or opening you can make a significant reduction in your heating costs, cut down on drafts and inprove your quality of winter life. Five year ago I did it, fairly simple to do it yourself(70 year old). I paid for it in two years of savings on the heating bill. Also making an insulated box around your recessed lights, I had 30. Went with LED also

exphysics teacher
Jan '20

Yes, I agree. The biggest bang for my buck was attic insulation. I had a good amount and just blew another layer across over it. Pretty inexpensive and instantly noticeable. Especially on the AC.

Eporet is right, really long payback on windows energy efficiency although better resale value might be instantaneous.

Also ended up caulking most my clapboard. I know they say, let it expand, but figured today’s more pliable caulk could handle it. It does!

Also had a number of skylights that were single pane. Replaced and added shades. HUGE difference on AC by blocking/reflecting the sun. Strong recommendation for Southern or Western facing skylights. Not so much on heat, but certainly better when closed.

But, for me, while better insulated windows a plus, I could not prove the energy efficiency part like I could with attic insulation. The plus was in having all windows work, clean/new, screened, ez to keep clean, resale value, etc. Most buyers would probably avoid or lower their offer for a single paned house. I did even in 1984.

The new room I did not only has low e windows but really heavy insulation. It’s like a thermos bottle in there; temp rarely changes. Even with a pet door! Oh yeah, I can close that down with insulated cover for really low temps. The snow on this roof melts at the same speed of uninsulated, non heated buildings. Amazing.

So, I do agree. Best bang for buck beyond plugging holes: attic insulation.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jan '20

"Most buyers would probably avoid or lower their offer for a single paned house. "
I'm in that small percentage of weirdos who would pass on a house that had replacements. To me, nothing beats walking past a window when it blurs the world outside and feels like 1870.
The film "the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" makes superb use of wavy glass windows for many of its shots. It's virtually a love letter to them.

Eperot Eperot
Jan '20

I think for those who are purists, yes. But my dye was cast in that regard long before I moved in, windows wouldn’t change that. Since I gather replicating wavy glass would be a snap, does not appear to be a market for it.

Mine’s 1866, what’s yours? And is it smallish to get those fuel bills? Wven with all the improvements, pellet stoves, etc., I cannot touch that. Do all your wavy windows work? What happens when you break a pane, can you buy wavy glass?

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jan '20

NJ Window and Siding
Address: 1248 Sussex Turnpike, Randolph, NJ 07869
Hours:
Closed ⋅ Opens 8:30AM Mon



Products and Services: newjerseywindow.com
Phone: (973) 895-1113


The glass is wavy because of the manufacturing process using humans. Large cylinders of mouth blown glass are cut open when still molten and flattened out with heat leaving varied thicknesses which give the wavy uneven appearance, in addition to small air bubbles or "seeds" within the glass. The imperfections are unique.

The handmade quality of it vs. Modern manufactured "float glass" (what we have today) means a serious price difference. The clear glass costs less and is perfect but in a one over one configuration tends to give the house 'dead eyes'.

You can purchase "restoration glass" but in my experience it is too perfectly imperfect if you know what l mean. I have gathered a number of sash from other houses which got their own new dead eyes and they sit stacked in my basement so l have a ready supply of 100+ year old glass both for the restoration of my own windows and for other buildings l've done. I can recut the glass to smaller size if necessary.
All my windows are redone at this point with bronze weatherstripping and l also replaced my ropes with bronze chain. They all operate smoothly.

The house is 1,500 square feet, so it's on the smaller side.

Eperot Eperot
Jan '20

Now that’s restoration! Credits to that. All makes sense except rhe “dead eyes” part. Sorry, but CDs technically better than vinyl, clear glass technically better than not clear. Dead eyes and ears in the mind of the beholder. But one likes what they like.

And, at 1,500 square feet, $350 top bill, you cam probably shave that somewhere.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jan '20

Most of the house has been insulated, the only room that remains and sucks up the heat is the kitchen. Once that's insulated too it should cut down a bit.

Dead eyes just means the appearance of clear glass, when the windows just look like black holes with nothing in them. The wavy glass has a presence to it...it looks like a physical object. On the plus side, no birds ever think they can fly through them like that old windex commercial :)

eperot eperot
Jan '20

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