Energy Efficient Windows Limited Life Span?

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Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 8:51 pm

coaledsweat wrote:
wsherrick wrote:fenestration
I had to look that one up! :)
So did I when I was taking a class on Manual J version 8. Many high end windows has fenestration spec value on the label. There's even a Fenestration Manufacturers Association! As if you manufacture a air leak!
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Post Mon. Jan. 23, 2012 7:21 am

wsherrick wrote:If you have a high style old house. Removing the original windows is one of the worst, most destructive things you can do to it. The fenestration of a building is one of the most important parts of its style and appearance. There are many ways of weatherproofing original windows and thus saving the integrity of the house. But you have to understand what you have first and you have to actually care about what you are doing. I have seen beautiful houses utterly ruined by people who had no idea of what they had or what they did. I have been almost brought to tears after witnessing the destruction brought about by viny siding and modern window salesmen. If you don't appreciate an old house and you want to turn it into a modern adaptation of some half baked idea. Just buy the modern house and spare the historic ones. There are not that many left.
I have a coal boiler because I couldn't afford to heat my 1903 Victorian house with oil. I have 25 original double hung wood windows with 1940's storm windows and no insulation in the walls. I have restored 12 windows thus far and they are much more energy efficient than before and I've retained the historic window and glass look. It's usually more cost efficient to repair than replace.

I think that replacement windows are appropriate in many cases but ti is important to get ones with wood cores or otherwise you risk them loosing thier shape over time and becoming as energy inefficiant as the ones they replaced. It is funny that wood core or wood windows are still the best option.

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Post Wed. Jan. 25, 2012 1:30 pm

ValterBorges wrote:Castle Windows Lifetime warranty for house, transferable at sale.
Same with Sunrise......

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Post Wed. Jan. 25, 2012 2:50 pm

Ironically I'm installing double hung, 6 over 6 vinyl replacement windows, made by Harvey Industries in woburn, ma. I purchased them through Portland Glass. These come with a life time warranty, 20 yr. to the next owner in case I sell the house. I'm 51 yrs. old and the windows will out live me. These are one of the best replacement windows made and they are suspect if not installed properly. I happen to be installing them. If the company, store, or salesperson has an independent contractor that is paid by the window, install them, chances are you will have integrity issues if they are installed with haste. Like all that is FOR SALE, you get what you pay for. Windows must be installed plumb, level, and, square, properly insulated, ( no expanding foam ). The trim on the exterior must cover the majority of the vinyl in order to protect them from the sun, the vinyl is weakest at the edges. If they were not measured properly and the window is too small this needs to be adressed. If the window is too big, the opening needs to be enlarged, a vinyl window that just fits in the opening is a bad thing, unless the house is made of vinyl there needs to be aprox. 1/4'' all around for proper installation. houses move and breath and different materials act differently. I will gladly post some pic's, wife has the honey do list going, I was lucky to sneak this in. :whip: :shifty:
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Post Wed. Jan. 25, 2012 4:50 pm

Fenster= window auf Deutche !!

One word of my 100 word vocabulary in German.. :lol:
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Post Wed. Jan. 25, 2012 6:38 pm

I used Andersen 400 series Narrowline double pane, double hung's when we re-habbed our house 20 or so years ago. I have had no problems at all and liked them enough to use them again on the addition we put in about 10 years ago. I was able to use new construction rather than replacement windows on the rehab since we stripped the house to the studs/sheathing. I made sure to wrap the opening's in 30# felt and flash the windows properly and then used the exterior flashing tape with tyvek as the final layer. Stuffed the gaps around the frame with fiberglass. The sashes are very tight together when locked. The only place and time we get condensation is in the bathroom when showering until the exhaust fan can catch up, and in the kitchen when boiling water or using the cooktop a lot (propane has lots of moisture). The only other window that gets condensation is the bedroom window right above the head of the bed. I guess we are breathing too much when asleep! It dries out pretty quickly in the morning if we remember to open the shade.

As a contrast I used builders grade double pane windows on the garage when I built it. I can't remember what brand they were other than cheaper than the Andersen's. Installed the same way as the house with wrapping, flashing, taping and insulating. Although there is no water infiltration, those things are crap. The sashes do not lock together tightly at all. Moisture on the sashes almost all the time, air leaks between the pane and the track. Terrible performance regarding air infiltration.

On another rehab I did the vinyl windows were custom made locally (like 2 blocks from the house). They were double pane and a mix of replacement and new construction, casement, double hung and fixed. They were about 90% of the cost of Andersen 400 series, but I didn't have to invest the time to do all the measuring, ordering and picking them up. The guy that made them measured and delivered since they were so close so I went with him since it saved me a lot of time. These also did not seal as tightly as the Andersen's but not as poor as my garage windows. Air leaks between the sash and track and between the sashes on the double hungs. Moisture on all the windows where the sash met the window pane even when the indoor humidity was about 30% and the indoor temp was only at 60*.

I frequent a builders forum as well as here. Andersen 400 series and Marvin along with a very few other regional mfg's usually get good reviews there, Andersen 200 series and Pella do not. Pella especially gets ripped over customer service (kinda like Harman!).
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Post Wed. Feb. 29, 2012 10:04 am

Modern windows generally have a life of 15 years. It doesn't have to do with the quality of the window, it is about the seal that keeps the gas in. They dry out, gas escapes and then you have an ineffecient window. An old double pain is still better than an old single pain, but the argon gas is what prevents the transfer of heat and cold. The beauty of replacement windows are that they are easy to replace.

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Post Wed. Feb. 29, 2012 4:06 pm

Thanks Pete..That really sucks tho!..Is there a way to tell/measure if the gas came out? I know the windows don't 'snug up' anymore when locked..I was hoping that that was the major issue..I have Waaaay too many windows to replace..I also have a mix of casements and double hungs..the casements seem especially drafty...

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Post Wed. Feb. 29, 2012 5:20 pm


S260 w/ Indirect 80 Gal Elec. Tank, Propane Backup - Heating 5,700 sqft + pool.

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Post Wed. Feb. 29, 2012 6:22 pm

SMITTY wrote:If you got an old house your better off keeping the windows that have outlasted many generations. Trust me on this ... unless replacing windows every 10 years is part of your maintenance schedule.
I replaced about 20 old wood double-hung windows with Paradigm vinyl replacements, double-pane but no Argon and no low-E. Cost was about $260 per window as I recall, including installation. It has been about 6 years, and so far so good, no obvious gales blowing in like with the old windows, but I don't know what they will be like after 15 or 20 years. Even though they are plainly much tighter than the old wood windows, I did not see any reduction in heating costs and the house did not really feel any warmer. Which probably means there are a thousand other holes the wind is blowing in, and the windows were only a tiny part of the problem. :(

I have since read other recommendations like Smitty's -- keep the old windows and pay somebody to restore them, which probably will cost a lot but no more than the vinyl replacements. Or if you are good at such things -- I am not -- you can strip off all that lead paint and restore them yourself.
Simple answers for simple minds.

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Post Wed. Feb. 29, 2012 7:23 pm

With almost 30 years experience in the new home construction and remodeling industries I can tell you that not all windows are alike as has been indicated here in other posts. I have installed almost all of the brands mentioned so far on here and many that have not. Unfortunately, vinyl replacement windows do have a definite life span so when choosing one I often tell my clients to go with a name that has been around for a while and not necessarily something your neighbor might have put in. Installation is huge whether it is new construction or replacement. Most window companies charge on a per opening basis so they get paid by the piece. This makes speed count. They get the same to install a window that take 15 minutes or one that takes 2 hours. I will not bad mouth any window manufacturer on here but I will say that of all the vinyl windows I have installed I consider Paradigm of Maine to be the best. I put 6 of them in an addition I put on my own home 10 years ago and they are still preforming wonderfully. I am in the middle of a complete kitchen remodel and I have gone with them again. On very old homes where they operated on a lead weight pulley system vinyl replacement are a waste of money. The weights are cut off and let to drop, the pulleys are removed and the window is popped in. There is no insulation in the weight bays so it is like putting in a new window and then leaving it open. Unfortunately this is standard operating procedure for too many companies. If you have a window or windows that have failed look all around both sashes, and the jams for a company name. Many will replace a sash but will not cover any labor involved. Warranties vary from company to company. Best of luck to all who are having issues. PM me if I can be of any further assistance. NWB

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Post Wed. Feb. 29, 2012 7:53 pm

On the subject:

Our house has 24 Anderson casement type windows and two double [one side hinged] Anderson Patio doors. A couple of them were fogging up at 20* or less outside temps. First, a little spot in the center, then a bigger oval. Then a few more, 6 or 7 in all. Called Anderson for giggles.

Long story short: They sent a warranty guy to check what was up. Although I have to do the work, I got 21 new windows, including both patio doors, and one stationary patio panel. Not only the ones that were fogging, but any that looked like they might in the future. I'm glad that I called, I had 2 weeks left on the 20 year warranty.

What happened: The maker of the glass ass'ys pulled to much "vac" on the panes when the gas was put in, and over time, the glass flexed in and the two panes were touching, or nearly touching.

Fwiw, I did notice that the rubber seals are getting a bit hard. Anderson sells new seals. I may replace the seals on the 7 windows that are not being replaced.

I love my Kaa-2. It replaced a small 5 section Red Square, and Iron Fireman, burned bituminous for 20 yr.

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Post Thu. Mar. 01, 2012 11:44 am

I'm a fan of Anderson windows. About 6-7 years ago I replaced all my house windows with new construction Anderson double hung windows. It was a lot of work but I did one window at at time and when all were replace had new siding installed. Made a big difference in comfort and appearance. After the warranty runs out you can still buy the complete sash. I did that when a 30 year old shad cord failed, and I upgraded to argon filled. It wasn't to difficult to do. Cost was close to the wholesale cost of a new window assembly. Distributor told me contractors just buy new windows and take a sash out, when replacing a broken sash.
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Post Fri. Mar. 02, 2012 11:06 pm

The 'rents have Andersons...
the panes in the big sliders fogged...
Got repalced for free...
Anderson replaced 75% of the windows at yr 19...
under warranty...
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Post Sat. Mar. 03, 2012 8:30 am

I have a couple 200 year old colonials and have done windows on both. 40 + units each! The first one was done 12 years ago,
went with Harvey sound reduction windows. Basically a beefy vinyl window with a built in storm. I got all options, low e,triple glass, etc. Tight, good looking, and work as good as the day they were installed.
Just did the 2nd house this summer. I wanted color- so Harvey was out. Went with Alside , there best window, all options.
Huge improvement over the old, but not as good as the Harvey. Time will tell how they hold up. I can say, installation quality
is huge. Screw up the the flashing,insulation, or caulking, and that new window will leak like an old one.

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