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Old 09-13-2009, 08:27 PM   #46
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Comparing Replacement Windows


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Originally Posted by oberon View Post
Many (most? all?) restoration folks will tell you that no matter what you do new windows can never equal the energy performance of refurbished single pane original windows with storms. The fact that they are wrong doesn't seems to matter
I'm not sure where you get that information, provide a link if you have one

The Data I have seen:

Quote:
David Martin, president of Allied Window, Inc. in Cincinnati, OH, says that energy loss through a window opening can be reduced by nearly 50% when a storm window is installed. “Glazing materials with added performance features—such as a low-e coating—can reduce the U-value even further, but at least 80% of the [nearly 50%] energy savings comes from having the basic storm window in place,” he says.
Martin adds, “The U-value of a standard single pane, wooden, double hung window is about 1.12. The addition of a storm window will reduce that U-value to about .50 to .58, depending on the type of storm window which is used.”

Research for this article included information from Martin (www.alliedwindow.com), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and the Efficient Windows Collaborative (www.efficientwindows.org). The LBNL study cited can be found at http://repositories.cdlib.org/lbnl/LBNL-51453/.
That doesn't even come close to the .30 (or lower) of new energy saving windows
And many people in really cold areas will add a storm on a double pane window. I would only consider single pane if REQUIRED by a Historic District ruling

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Old 09-13-2009, 09:05 PM   #47
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Comparing Replacement Windows


Replacement windows would be inserts, not full frame.

Architecturally I am under no real constraints. Almost every house on this block (all 70-100 years old) has replacement windows. The houses across the street have vinyl. My neighbor on one side has older (1970s?) double-pane windows with metal frames. My kitchen has some of these -- 3 casement windows (I'm not replacing these until and if I do a kitchen remodel).

In addition to energy efficiency, cosmetics and maintenance are considerations.

The exterior walls in my living room, where the fireplace insert is (as well as two steam radiators), are more window than wall. I'm assuming they are big heat sinks, even with the existing storm windows. The adjoining dining room is the same.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:29 PM   #48
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Amycat,
Seeing that you seem to be in the planning stage for making your home more comfortable and energy efficient,I would consider also getting estimates for an insulation update.
I'm pretty sure that it would be covered by the rebate and it may give you more bang for the buck.You could always cover the interior of your windows with plastic if they are real leakers.
Just leakage through the sill/plate section of an older home can cause it to feel signifigantly cooler in the winter,and heat loss through the attic is is just burning up extra fuel.The money you save on heating this winter could be set aside for windows later on.
I'm just saying that you should consider where the most heat loss is and fix that first.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:03 AM   #49
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Comparing Replacement Windows


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I'm not sure where you get that information, provide a link if you have one

The Data I have seen:



That doesn't even come close to the .30 (or lower) of new energy saving windows
And many people in really cold areas will add a storm on a double pane window. I would only consider single pane if REQUIRED by a Historic District ruling
I agree with you.

If you reread my post (and maybe I worded it poorly), I said that restoration folks (Amycat's colleague for example) will tell you that adding a storm to a single pane window will give you energy performance numbers equal to or BETTER than those from a new dual pane with LowE and argon - etc. In fact, a few years back Fine Homebuilding did an article on window restoration and the gentleman who wrote the article said exactly that within the first couple paragraphs.

What I said in my post was that the restoration folks are wrong. They say it, but it simply isn't true.

Restoration with a good quality storm window will improve window performance over a leaky single pane window. As a percentage, it can double the energy performance numbers. If done correctly, restoration can do a lot with air infiltration as well.

However, no matter how well a restoration is done, it is simply not physically possible to get the same energy performance that the highest performing new windows can provide. But again, restoration can very much be a cost effective alternative to replacement in the right circumstances.

Last edited by oberon; 09-14-2009 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:19 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amycat View Post
Replacement windows would be inserts, not full frame.

Architecturally I am under no real constraints. Almost every house on this block (all 70-100 years old) has replacement windows. The houses across the street have vinyl. My neighbor on one side has older (1970s?) double-pane windows with metal frames. My kitchen has some of these -- 3 casement windows (I'm not replacing these until and if I do a kitchen remodel).

In addition to energy efficiency, cosmetics and maintenance are considerations.

The exterior walls in my living room, where the fireplace insert is (as well as two steam radiators), are more window than wall. I'm assuming they are big heat sinks, even with the existing storm windows. The adjoining dining room is the same.


Amycat,

This is a great thread. There is a lot of good information and some excellent discussions pertaining to replacement windows and overall home energy performance.

Going back to your original post, it might be worth your while to contact a couple of professional window installers to get a few more quotes and to discuss with them the advantages and disadvantages of different window brands.

The more quotes that you receive, the more comfortable you will be when you make the final decision.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:31 AM   #51
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Yes, this thread has been very informative. Thanks for you advice Oberon. Here are the quotes I've gathered. All are from licensed/insured installers, all include capping/wrapping unless otherwise indicated. All the windows qualify for the tax credit:

Champion $525 ("includes exterior trim," which I assume means capping)

Alside UltraMaxx R10 $400

AMI Alside Excalibur $375

Simonton 5500 $365

Harvey Classic $360 (no capping mentioned)

AMI Alside Excalibur $325

AMI Weatherguard $325

Alliance Stergis Belmont $300

Of the above, the Belmont, the Harvey Classic, the Simonton 5500, and the Alside Excalibur looked boxy -- I don't think they can be considered low profile. The Weatherguard is almost exactly the same as the Excalibur, it's made by AMI/Alside for a local company, but it has a lower profile. It looks similar to photos of the Simonton Impressions (which I have not seen a display version of). Also the local company does a 5 year guarantee on labor on top of the manufacturer's warranty. This company has a good reputation and has been installing windows here for 25 years.

So I'm leaning toward the AMI Weatherguard. I could get the living room and an upstairs bedroom done this year. By watching, I might learn enough about the installation process to install the windows in the dining room myself next year.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:31 PM   #52
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Comparing Replacement Windows


If I may chime in. Concerning storms and the tax credit. Depending on the existing window makeup(frame material, glass, etc.), what tint of glass will be used in the storm window, and the climate zone in which the structure is located, some storm products qualify for the credit. If you get on NFRC and
energy Stars website and search for 2004 IECC(supplement to 2003 IECC), you should be able to find the information.
There are two companies that I know of that has this information posted on their websites. They are
Gorell and ProVia.
I am not sure that this information is useful for this dicussion, but maybe useful down the road.
Take care,

Last edited by fenestrationman; 09-16-2009 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:40 AM   #53
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I just replaced a few old single pane, double hung windows with the Pella Thermastar inserts from Lowes that qualify for the tax credit. I was very pleased with the quality, and the installation was not too difficult (about an hour per window including taking out the old window and insulating around the frame). I don't expect to recoup the costs w/ energy savings, but it definitely improves the appearance, cuts down on sound, and will hopefully help with resell.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:44 PM   #54
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I also live in Southern New England. Who gave you the quote for Simonton 5500 @ $365?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amycat View Post
Yes, this thread has been very informative. Thanks for you advice Oberon. Here are the quotes I've gathered. All are from licensed/insured installers, all include capping/wrapping unless otherwise indicated. All the windows qualify for the tax credit:

Champion $525 ("includes exterior trim," which I assume means capping)

Alside UltraMaxx R10 $400

AMI Alside Excalibur $375

Simonton 5500 $365

Harvey Classic $360 (no capping mentioned)

AMI Alside Excalibur $325

AMI Weatherguard $325

Alliance Stergis Belmont $300

Of the above, the Belmont, the Harvey Classic, the Simonton 5500, and the Alside Excalibur looked boxy -- I don't think they can be considered low profile. The Weatherguard is almost exactly the same as the Excalibur, it's made by AMI/Alside for a local company, but it has a lower profile. It looks similar to photos of the Simonton Impressions (which I have not seen a display version of). Also the local company does a 5 year guarantee on labor on top of the manufacturer's warranty. This company has a good reputation and has been installing windows here for 25 years.

So I'm leaning toward the AMI Weatherguard. I could get the living room and an upstairs bedroom done this year. By watching, I might learn enough about the installation process to install the windows in the dining room myself next year.
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:27 AM   #55
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United Better Homes, North Providence, RI. Why, do you think that's low or high?
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:26 AM   #56
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United Better Homes, North Providence, RI. Why, do you think that's low or high?
Seems like a good price based on the quotes I have been getting in MA.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:23 PM   #57
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I was told that the company also operates in MA.

This evening while removing an electric baseboard radiator from the wall in an upstairs bathroom, a bunch of cellulose insulation fell out of the hole in the drywall. I know this is no guarantee all the exterior walls are insulated, but I'm thinking that maybe cellulose was blown in when the house got siding. This would mean the windows are the major heat sinks.
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Old 09-26-2009, 03:56 PM   #58
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How about the Lowes Reliabilt Series 3301 or 3500 Double Hung vinyl window. I belive Lowes Reliabilt is now an Atrium window - they switched it earlier this year. I'm not sure exactly which Atrium model number this corresponds to - will call Atrium on Monday.

Just wondering what you thought about their construction. Lowes also sells the Pella Therma Star and I'm not getting those. But Lowes is also offering a $99/window pocket replacement install and I'm leaning toward that, even given what people have said about their installers.

Thanks!



Quote:
Originally Posted by EMILY P View Post
I"d stay away from Pella THerma Star windows. They use double sided tape to hold in their glass. Not a good sealled system. Also, paper thin exterior glazing stops, weep holes in frames -idea for bug nests, jamb screw adjustment -there are much better windows than Pella why do people think they make a good product- it's average at best.
For vinyl window companies:
Siminton
Allside
Great Lakes
Silver Line 9500/8500 Series


Vinyl is vinyl (plastic)any way-most companies are here today and gone tomorrow- be sure to buy a national brand name-most vinyl companies claim to have the best window- when most are the same- oh yeah watch and read the fine print on warranties - good luck-
I like Marvin and Andersen Insert Windows as replacements- wood for the most part will last longer and you can get parts for most -good luck-
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:01 PM   #59
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I'd listen to AtlanticWBConst's post up above. (And I'm clear out here on the West Coast.)

See if you can get the company to break out the window cost from the install cost. If you buy windows that meet the "less than .30 U factor and .30 solar heat gain" numbers in the Federal stimulus bill, you'll qualify for 30% off the window cost - up to $1,500. The installation costs, or labor, don't qualify.

I work with Milgard Windows out here, but I don't think you'll find them up where you are.

Also, YES. The "mechanical" joined corners are screwed together and are nowhere near as good as "welded" at the corners.

- paulv
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:39 AM   #60
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Comparing Replacement Windows


Thought I'd post an update. I had 8 vinyl double-pane replacement windows installed almost 6 months ago, an AMI product with grids on the top sash and exterior wrapping, for $300+ each (I did some negotiation). The U-factor is .30 and SHGC is .19. They are really airtight and easy to operate. The ones in the living room, in combination with two French doors that I got hung to block airflow to the enclosed porch (which has the old windows all the way around), really made a difference.

I will probably get another 8 or so of these windows installed this summer.

I'm still getting some grief from people who exclaim about the benefits of restoring existing sashes. As I mentioned (I think) when I started this thread, my house is 90 years old; the windows are old but I don't think they are original. They just don't work well -- sticky/jammed, drafty -- and are covered with a lot of (lead) paint.

I did a little poking around. Getting brand new custom wooden sashes are $450 per window. Refurbishing the existing sashes and hardware looks to be at least $300 per window. Neither figure includes installation or new storm windows. So my guess is going this route runs anywhere from $500 to $800 per window, and the energy efficiency probably isn't as great.

According to the people who exclaim about restoring old windows, wood sash windows last 100 years and vinyl replacement windows last 25. Guess what? I'm 45 years old. At 70, I'll be nearing retirement, the mortgage on this house will be paid off, and I'll sell it.

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