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Replacing old windows

We live in and 1853 Century (Connecticut Western Reserve) home in Cleveland Ohio. I have had several companies look at replacing the windows but never felt comfortable they were considering windows that were in keeping with the 1853 Style. (Lots of Vinyl, aluminum, what happens to the sills etc.)

What, who would you recommend to look at this problem and give me a direction.

Best regards and thanks.

Re: Replacing old windows

You haven't really indicated whether you'll be needing/using a full replacement window or needing/replacing the sash only.

If the jambs & sills are in sound condition, then replacing only the sashes or using an insert window might be the way to go.

Marvin makes quality custom sized replacement windows in both of these types...as well as full replacement windows. Many options available including grill screens & divided lites.

If you don't already know who your closest Marvin rep is, you could call them to find out. They'll send out a rep to look the situation over, discuss your aesthetic concerns and show you their offerings. This should be a free consultation (still is around here).....unlike some other companies who have taken to charging you a fee to make their on-site sales pitch.



Re: Replacing old windows

You really don't have to replace the windows to increase their efficiency. Install weatherstripping like this: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1120083,00.html

even double pane inserts can be made for your existing windows if they are thick enough to accommodate them.

I think you've been calling the wrong window guys. Try Anderson, Jeld-Wend, Pella and Thermal Windows (a good old Made in Oklahoma company)

Re: Replacing old windows

You might want to consider the windows by “Renewal by Anderson”. These are the windows that were used in the Newton house. They have a maintenance-free exterior and you can get wood on the interior. If your frames are in good condition (and square) then you can use window inserts instead of going with full-frame replacements. But if you want to eliminate maintenance on the window frames you’d probably want to go with full-frame replacements.

Whatever you choose you should stay with a bigger name window manufacturer that will be around to stand behind the warranty.

I did extensive research on windows recently and in my opinions the best option for a window is either a composite (wood-fiber material) or a wood window with vinyl or aluminum cladding on the exterior.

You can get windows with simulated divided lights so that they look right in an older home.

Re: Replacing old windows

Appreciate the thoughts! Anderson and Pella have been here and the reps did not do much for us. We have a new Marvin rep in town and I do like the looks of their windows.

The exsisting windows do not have sash cords and the glass is pretty old. (Five out of the 10 still open.) Making them weather tight looks like a real job (as does replacing them).

Each of the 10 windows has a full "hanging" storm window, however the windows and storms do not present a very weather tight unit.


Re: Replacing old windows

If you took the time to weatherstrip the existing windows you could replace the sash cords and return them to operating condition at the same time. This requires taking the windows out of their existing frames.

As another suggested get composite or clad windows. I have 100% vinyl windows that were installed about 12 years ago. Some of the corners are failing now.

I was thinking about your post and my reply which prompted me to post again. In my experience you want to consider how a window will be installed. Here the windows were removed and re-cemented (I have a rock house) from the outside and a few aren't really flush with the inside of the opening but they did a good job sealing the openings. I just need to replace some of the caulk inside.

However I had a "promotional" group come through to "update" the look of our house. Those idiots didn't take the time to pull the interior trim or even the exterior trim. They took a circular saw cut the siding and tar paper, even scored the sheathing to get enough room to pull the old aluminum windows out. When they were done we had gaps around all of the windows both inside and out and they never did get their crew back to apply the new siding. I had to do it.

So if you're going to have new windows installed, get the addresses of recent and current jobs and go look. Ask questions about how the install went to the homeowners.

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