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Old 04-30-2010, 09:55 AM   #1
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new windows

I've been thinking of replacing my 26 yr. old windows. Since the govt. will help with a $1500 rebate, this might be a good time. Anybody else having this done? Which window mfgr. are you using? Up here in the north country I think newer windows can make a big difference in your heating bills, not to mention condensation.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:12 AM   #2
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We replaced the 1950s metal casement windows in our house with modern Kolbe&Kolbe windows. The brand choice was entirely at the recommendation of our contractor, whom we trusted.

The K&K rep came out and spent several hours figuring out how to do the job with the fewest custom-sized windows. We ended up having to have some custom sized (1950s aspect ratios were different that the present standards) windows made, but fewer than we expected. It turns out that having the trim a little wider or narrower here and there is not noticeable. You actually pay separately for custom widths and custom heights, so a standard width window that is non-standard height is cheaper than a fully custom one.

The new windows were fantastic and I wish we had done it years earlier. In addition to the expected heating/cooling savings, we found that the house was much quieter and much less dusty.

Still, it was very expensive.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:18 AM   #3
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FIL had the 30-year-old single-pane windows replaced with medium-priced double-pane windows last fall and it did cut his electric bill (heat pump) by almost half. The old ones did have storm windows too, but they didn't do much to reduce heat loss.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mn54 View Post
I've been thinking of replacing my 26 yr. old windows. Since the govt. will help with a $1500 rebate, this might be a good time. Anybody else having this done? Which window mfgr. are you using? Up here in the north country I think newer windows can make a big difference in your heating bills, not to mention condensation.
I too was thinking about taking advantage of the rebate by changing our 32-year old windows (single pane) but, after doing some research, I can't justify the expense. Our old windows are still in pretty good condition, our utility bills are already fairly low (we live in the south) so it would take many, many years for the energy savings to pay for the cost of replacing the windows (even after rebate). So we might look at other ways to get our hands on that rebate.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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We replaced 10 windows last summer and our heating bill went down but also the house is no longer drafty, much quieter, and less dusty. We used Pella. It was nice to get the tax credit. I think it adds to the home value (or at least may make a potential buyer choose the home with the newer windows over the others all else being equal), but I agree that it probably isn't really that cost-effective.

Someone earlier said it is really easy to replace them yourself if you have the do-it-yourself gene.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:47 AM   #6
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I went through a similar thought process (get the Gov't rebate) but ended up tuning up my double hung windows. I found that by adding a gasket to the top and bottom sashes and adjusting the center latch, I tightened them up a lot. It may be worth prying off the interior trim boards and sealing the window frames to the structure, if that was done poorly when they were installed. Back in the day, they used to stuff insulation in the crack, but it still leaks as noted by all the dust you'll see trapped there. You can use an incense stick to locate leakage spots if you turn on an exhaust fan or two.

New windows sure would be easier to clean, but I just couldn't justify the expense.
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:58 AM   #7
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Husband specified Kobe & Kobe for our daughter's very expensive home. They are very pleased, and I don't think it was the most expensive option.
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:51 PM   #8
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I just had 50 year old steel casement windows in my house replaced with vinyl from Window World. I'm pleased with the result. They cost me about $500 each installed and took a two person crew about an hour each to install.

Coach
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:44 PM   #9
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I bought a spec house 6 years ago. I checked to see what kind of windows I have. They are Pella, and I have had no problems with them. I seem to have low energy bills and I have not noticed any moisture or draft issues so I would recommend them.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:19 PM   #10
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Pella has a good product line too.

The piece in this that is missing is the flashing. The best of windows will cause grief if not properly set.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:58 PM   #11
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We've replaced all 34 of our 45 year old windows the last 5 years and did take advantage of the tax rebate last year. They are Anderson Low-E double hung. Anderson has a very good rep here in Minnesota. Often will see Anderson windows mentioned in house sale listings. Easy to use and clean. Very energy efficient and good quality. They have great service and warranty.

Pella Marvin and Anderson are all top windows.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:25 PM   #12
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We replaced the 18 metal-framed casement windows in our home soon after we moved in,. We bought double-paned vinyl sliders made by Alside. We've been very happy--the house is now much quieter, less drafty, and I suspect our heating bills went down (I had too many other changes going on to get a good before/after number). These Alside windows had good reviews and offered very good "bang for the buck" when compared to more highly promoted brands. (Window World used to sell them, maybe they still do, so I might have the same windows as Coach). Total cost 5 years ago was about $8-9K (IIRC). This home improvement project made a big difference in the comfort level of our home.
No matter which brand you buy, get a good installer who will assure all potential water issues are addressed.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:57 PM   #13
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About a year and a half ago, we replaced every window (28 of them) in our 153 year old house. We wanted to maintain the character of the house (we live in a designated historic district) and therefore tried our best to match the old windows as closely as possible. We went with these
Marvin Ultimate Insert Double Hung Window - Marvin Windows and Doors

We chose the simulated divided light version, because the authentic divided light ones had muntin bars that were too wide and didn't look right.

The new windows look great, both inside and out. The only real difference is that the glass is clear and flat, instead of being wavy and bubbled in spots like the originals. As a bonus, we were able to ditch the ugly aluminum storm windows.

It ran us about $1000 per window, installed.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:22 PM   #14
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I have been thinking about having this done before the rebate expires. Our windows are crappy and 2 of them have cracks. We have 2 windows in the living room that are side by side and are about 6ft by 6ft including the window frames. I really do not like them being that large. I would like to make those 2 windows smaller, if possible. I like light, but we live in a climate that is cold in the wintertime and hot in the summer. I guess that we would need to find someone that is experienced in carpentry and we would need to replace the siding on the house also. If we are going to replace the siding, then probably would need to put in some new insulation, since our house was built in the early 60s. This is sounding more and more expensive.
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
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We've replaced all 34 of our 45 year old windows the last 5 years and did take advantage of the tax rebate last year. They are Anderson Low-E double hung. Anderson has a very good rep here in Minnesota. Often will see Anderson windows mentioned in house sale listings. Easy to use and clean. Very energy efficient and good quality. They have great service and warranty.

Pella Marvin and Anderson are all top windows.
If I may ask, who was the installer for these windows and what was the cost? I also have heard good reviews about these mfgrs. I've read less than flattering things about some less expensive windows. And of course, the installation is just as important, if not more so, than the window.
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:10 PM   #16
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Dreamer: There are ways to manage that with modern window design. Stick with the major manufacturers and study what they offer.
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Old 05-01-2010, 05:50 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
About a year and a half ago, we replaced every window (28 of them) in our 153 year old house. We wanted to maintain the character of the house (we live in a designated historic district) and therefore tried our best to match the old windows as closely as possible. We went with these
Marvin Ultimate Insert Double Hung Window - Marvin Windows and Doors

We chose the simulated divided light version, because the authentic divided light ones had muntin bars that were too wide and didn't look right.

The new windows look great, both inside and out. The only real difference is that the glass is clear and flat, instead of being wavy and bubbled in spots like the originals. As a bonus, we were able to ditch the ugly aluminum storm windows.

It ran us about $1000 per window, installed.
We also used these Marvin windows for our 78 yr old house. Couldn't be happier. Dramatic noise reduction, draft reduction, ability to open ALL the windows, no sticks holding up windows where the cords seem iffy and DH hadn't gotten to replace them yet, and cleaning is so easy.

Overall window replacement is in 3rd place for best improvement -- only the screened porch and high-velocity air conditioning beat it.
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:09 PM   #18
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I also love that you can wash the outside of the double hung windows with the tilt-in mechanism they have. We paid people to wash the old windows twice a year.
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:11 PM   #19
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If I may ask, who was the installer for these windows and what was the cost? I also have heard good reviews about these mfgrs. I've read less than flattering things about some less expensive windows. And of course, the installation is just as important, if not more so, than the window.
Renewal By Andersen Here's a link

Depends on the size - in the $600-900 range complete including install screens tearout and disposal. They often have a "rebate" of about $80 a window when you buy a certain number, plus there's that tax credit from Obama. We had 3 separate installs and all were first rate experiences. Made and installed by Minnesota guys and gals so ya know its gonna be good and more expensive. They are spendy but I believe you get what you pay for both in product and service experience. Looks like you're in the Cities - they have showrooms in Roseville and Edina plus they have sales people that will visit. They are in other parts of the country but I can't promise a Minnesotan will do the install.
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:07 PM   #20
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If new windows are cost prohibitive and you live in southern areas, window tinting is an option. Our house has all the windows tinted and it helps a lot screening out the heat. You don't notice they are tinted until you compare it to an open window next to it. No help with drafts and cold, though.
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