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Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-24-2006, 11:12 AM   #1
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Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

Anyone here replaced double pane aluminum framed
windows with the common vinyl type used today in newer
construction? Looking at doing this on my Pacific Northwest late 70's home.
Cost is north of $7K. Older ones function fine with
no condensation on inside frame.

This seems to be popular in our area although I would
suspect many are replacing older aluminum framed single
pane windows, not existing double pane 1/2" airspace variety as we have in our home.

I'm curious at the energy savings, payback, etc.
Naturally, suspect of any window salespersons!

gwix
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-24-2006, 11:31 AM   #2
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

there was a window thread a few weeks back to check out...

[Moderator edit:
Like this one: http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=8146.0
Boy how time flies.]
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-24-2006, 11:46 AM   #3
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

I had vinyl, double paned windows installed replacing old 70's aluminum ones.* I live in a somewhat temperate environment, so I really can't speak to the energy efficiency.* The double paned, vinyl windows have definitely cut down on outside sound and look a heck of a lot better than the groovy aluminum ones.* :P
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-24-2006, 01:46 PM   #4
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

gwix,

We replaced our ancient aluminum windows in our Kirkland house with vinyl double-pane ones about 7 years ago and wondered why we hadn't done it earlier.* They were certainly quieter and the rooms were warmer, too.* No $$ saving data, tho.*

We liked them so much we had the same guy install them in our Bellingham house as soon as we moved in.* We took the opportunity to put in larger windows in the living room and a larger sliding glass door, so we did a little more than straight replacement.* You may have a similar opportunity to bring more light in and get more view, too.

Short answer, we love them.* **

Ed
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-24-2006, 03:02 PM   #5
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

My house was built in 1998 and I already have one window that needs to be replaced due to broken seal between the double panes and condensation inside. I have no idea who made the window and have had two local window contractors look at it and say they have no idea either but then try to push their vinyl windows on me. I cannot find just one replacement window it seems. Any suggestions? I really don't want to go with a different window because it would require replacing 4 more of them on the front of the house because they would not match.

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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-24-2006, 08:06 PM   #6
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

SteveR,

Look very carefully at the edge of the windows and inside on the seal. You may find the name of the window mfg.

Do you know who built the place?

Maybe the local builder's supply can help you find one of those answers.

Ed

Of course, if one lost its seal in 8 years, maybe you ought to consider replacing them all with a brand name?
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-24-2006, 08:37 PM   #7
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
My house was built in 1998 and I already have one window that needs to be replaced due to broken seal between the double panes and condensation inside. I have no idea who made the window and have had two local window contractors look at it and say they have no idea either but then try to push their vinyl windows on me. I cannot find just one replacement window it seems. Any suggestions? I really don't want to go with a different window because it would require replacing 4 more of them on the front of the house because they would not match.
Steve,
Your windows aren't too old, I'm fairly sure it will be worth your time to find an exact/nearly exact replacement for the bad ones.

As Ed suggested, there's probably a sticker inside either the moveable part of the window or the fixed frame that gives the mfgr name, model, and exact size (so that a replacemnt can be ordered).

gwix,
If I already had good quality aluminum-framed double paned windows that looked and worked okay, I don't think I'd plunk down the cash for new vinyl windows. It's probably true that the vinyl ones will have slightly better thermal performance, but if you aren't getting condensation on the aluminum frames now then they've probably got a thermal break built into them. If your present windows function well and seal tightly, I don't think you'd ever save enough money in energy to pay back the investment. If you want them for another reason (you like the look, want to go to a bigger size frame, etc) than that's a whole 'nother discussion.

We bought new vinyl windows to replace 1950's vintage leaky aluminum-framed single pane windows, and it was a really good investment. But it is really worth it to do your research and shop around.



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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-24-2006, 09:12 PM   #8
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

agreed. i'd stickit out with the old ones if they are double pane. are they drafty or anything?

i replaced single pane aluminum with decent vinyl for 3500 (one picture window and about 7 regular sized). I made a WORLD of difference on my heating/ac bills (ohio). i also did some insulation at the same time tho...so who knows. but not feeling a cold wind 12" from the window is a sign they are working as designed
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-24-2006, 10:10 PM   #9
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
I cannot find just one replacement window it seems. Any suggestions? I really don't want to go with a different window because it would require replacing 4 more of them on the front of the house because they would not match.
There is no need to replace the whole window, all you need the insulated glass panel replaced. Check the phone book for "insulated glass". Any good local company should be able to make a new glass unit to fit your sash.

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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-28-2006, 12:06 AM   #10
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

Thanks for the replies.

No sticker, size or other info. in the window that I can find.* I will try the insulated window repair route first.*

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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-28-2006, 06:19 AM   #11
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

My house was built in 1998 and I already have one window that needs to be replaced due to broken seal between the double panes and condensation inside.* I have no idea who made the window and have had two local window contractors look at it and say they have no idea either but then try to push their vinyl windows on me.* I cannot find just one replacement window it seems.* Any suggestions?* I really don't want to go with a different window because it would require replacing 4 more of them on the front of the house because they would not match.

The suggestion to look in the space between the paynes is very good as it is usually the only place to find the manufacturer's name. Also there may be some numbers there that any glass vendor may be able to duplicate the glass from. Also you should be able to remove the glass with a putty knife and a hair dryer. Just remove any plastic or rubber trim and heat along the inside of the window while inserting the putty knife, do it all around the window and the glass will fall out. You will need someone on the outside to catch the glass or use a plumber's plunger to "hold" the glass so it will not fall out. After that just take the glass to a glass vendor and they can duplicate it. To reinsert the glass clean out the track (it is no doubt just silicone caulk (Clear)), then lay a bead of a good clear silicone caulk in the track and stick the new glass in and replace any plastic or rubber trim. Works just fine and as an example I had a window that lost its seal between paynes and got an estimate to remove and replace the window and the cost would be $165 if the glass vendor did it but it cost me less than $60 to DIY (BTW the same window vendor cut the glass and did the seals between paynes for me). Just be careful as the price is doubled if you break the glass getting it out of the car.*
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-28-2006, 06:34 AM   #12
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

Just curious...

You said you have a broken seal, not a broken window (glass)... why would you need to buy new glass if the old glass is just fine Just reseal the glass afer cleaning up the condensation...
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows
Old 08-28-2006, 02:37 PM   #13
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Re: Aluminum frame vs "vinyl frame" windows

Just curious...

You said you have a broken seal, not a broken window (glass)... why would you need to buy new glass if the old glass is just fine* Just reseal the glass afer cleaning up the condensation...

The above will not work as you must fill the space between the glass with ARGON Gas - It keeps the condensation from forming between the glass. This will work however, just replace with a single piece of glass from what there is there now, then you have a spare piece of glass for later (just could not pass that one up).

Before anyone tells me I just figured out to quote others comments. Will do so on the next one.
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