Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>To replace or not to replace
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
g and a's mom
To replace or not to replace

I am really struggling with a decision to replace windows.

We live in a house built in 1973. One of the reasons I loved the house was the floor to ceiling windows that overlook the wooded back yard. We see deer, turkey, fox, birds etc. My kids love looking out the windows. The windows are in the open floor plan kitchen/ family room, so we spend a lot of time in these rooms. What my husband and I did not consider when we bought the house... the fact that they are single pane glass (so it is cold) and the former owners did not take care of water issues and therefore there is rot on the outside sills and some of it has come into one of the inside sills (which I know is bad)

The cost to replace the 8 floor to ceiling picture windows with tempered glass (Andersen renewal) is $11K installed. Andersen seems to have a great reputation and gives a warranty on labor.

Given the economy, we are not sure if we should spend the money. Also, I hear replacing windows does not provide a big return on energy savings, but I don't think that holds true for the large windows we have.

Has anyone replaced large windows like this recently. Was there a significant improvement and comfort and some improvement in energy efficiency? Any other thoughts?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: To replace or not to replace

First of all, sills can be repaired or replace without a great deal of problems.

Have you considered storm windows rather than replacing the windows?
Jack

Liska Architects
Re: To replace or not to replace

Most of the heat is lost from buildings through the roof not the walls or windows. You will get the most return on your investment by installing additional insulation in your attic, which is much less costly and will provide a big energy use reduction, instead of replacing an expensive window that will only slightly increase your energy efficiency. It may take 50 years or more to recover your investment in a new window. Also, make sure any penetrations or openings in your ceilings, such as light fixture locations are sealed to prevent warm air from moving up into your attic or roof structure.

Instead of replacing the window, make sure that the sealant is still keeping the window opening airtight and if not, scrape out any deteriorated sealant and reinstall to prevent air from infiltrating around the window. The rot on the existing exterior sill of your window can be repaired with an epoxy product such as Arbatron and repainted and the interior sill, if damaged, can be replaced.

If it is an aluminum clad window, the gasket separating the glass from the aluminum often deteriorates over a period of 15 to 20 years from UV light and allows water to penetrate at the bottom rail of the window and will cause rot at the bottom of the window. If this is the case, you may need to replace the window but make sure to replace with a non-clad wood window. Today's paint manufacturers make paint for exterior use that has a lifetime warranty that will not require future repainting if properly installed.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: To replace or not to replace
Liska Architects wrote:

replace with a non-clad wood window. Today's paint manufacturers make paint for exterior use that has a lifetime warranty that will not require future repainting if properly installed.

who makes this super paint for wood windows that never has to be repainted and is waranteed for lifetime? sounds too good to be true.

Liska Architects
Re: To replace or not to replace

Sherwin Williams makes an exterior paint called Duration that is guaranteed by the manufacturer to last as long as you own the house. You can find this guarantee at their website (www.sherwin-williams.com) and the warranty is listed on the label of the product.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.