DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Remodeling (
-   -   Replacing Windows? (

Kyle 12-09-2009 06:49 PM

Replacing Windows?
I live in Chicago with cold winters. My house is 40 years old with single paned wood windows and storm windows.

With the tax credit being offered, I am thinking about replacing my old windows with new construction Simonsen vinyl windows. I can get a pretty good deal on the Simonsens and have read some pretty good reviews on the product.

I am trying to figure out if the windows should be replaced or not. I don't want to spend $5,000 because I can get a $1,500 tax credit. I tend to think there is a lot of misinformation regarding the savings of replacing windows.

Does replacing my old single paned wood windows with new construction vinyls make sense despite the costs?

THanks for any information that can be shared. I really appreciate it.

Scuba_Dave 12-09-2009 07:17 PM

The RValue of newer windows is not that much greater then old single pane windows in good condition with everything around them sealed properly

The rebate is not a rebate, it is a TAX CREDIT
Spend $5000 & you get $1500 back on your taxes PROVIDED that the new windows meet the Energy guidelines (and had $1500 in taxes)
It is good for 2009 & 2010

I've replaced all my windows in the past 5 years (double pane)
House is much warmer, no more drafts, oil use for heat has gone down
The specific problem I had was a lack of insulation around the windows where the sash weights were located

So getting rid of the sash weights & insulating will bring back a return
That made sense to me
Plus I had one cracked pane, 2 other windows were fogged, 3 others had cracked parts where you lift the window

Just Bill 12-11-2009 06:27 AM

The tax credit is is on the cost of the windows, it does include labor. Window glass must have a U factor of .30 or less. A window like that will usually save 20-30% in fuel costs, over sinlge glazed windows. So if your fuel bill is $1000, figure on saving $200-300. As you can see, that will not make the windows pay for themselves. But you gain considerable comfort. Single glazed windows will always feel cold and feel like there is a draft, which is actually cold air falling off the glass(and air leaks). That is considerably reduced with properly installed(all air pockets insulated) high performance windows.

Scuba_Dave 12-11-2009 08:39 AM

The Tax Credit DOES NOT include installation costs:[/QUOTE

MJW 12-11-2009 09:06 AM


Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave (Post 364933)
The Tax Credit DOES NOT include installation costs:[/QUOTE

It includes mark up though.

Certain companies around the country use that for their sale. They double the price of the window and install it for free (on paper anyhow).

Same as anything else, there is a scammer for everything.

Kyle 12-11-2009 08:49 PM

Thanks for those who have replied.

I would love to get the new windows, but wonder if they will really make enough of a difference to make it worthwhile. As I mentioned, I have the old wood single paned windows and am thinking of replacing them with vinyl double paned windows. It's kind of like buying a new car when you have one that is 15 years old but still running smooth.

I wouldn't be considering it if it were not for the tax credit.

HomeSealed 12-11-2009 11:23 PM

The question is what do you consider to "make enough of a difference"? Will they be more energy-efficient?-Absolutely, will they pay for themselves?- maybe, but it will take some time and it also depends on what product you buy and the deal that you get. They will also be lower maintence, possibly improve appearance, and likely improve the value of your home(again, depending on your choice). It really comes down to what your personal values are. The one thing that I definitely would not recommend is going with a "cheaper end" vinyl product, as you'll end up kicking yourself in a few years.

Kyle 12-13-2009 09:06 AM


Have you heard or had any experiences with Simonsen windows? I originally intended to buy vinyl windows at the big box stores - Thermaguard by Pella at Lowes, American Craftsman 9500 at Home Depot, or Jeldwen and Menards. After reading a lot of reviews and advice online, it seems the general opinion of the above windows were not as good as those that could be purchased through a contractor. I was able to find a Simonsen distributor where it will cost almost the same for windows and installation as it would for the windos at the big bos stores.


MJW 12-13-2009 09:20 AM

Are you sure you don't mean Simonton windows?

stuart45 12-13-2009 09:46 AM

I've got an old cottage with single glazed windows that ice up on the inside in winter. I did think about plastic double glazing, but on old houses here it actually lowers the resale value nowadays, as many people are put off by them.
The pay back time is quite long as well. The Building REsearch Establishment estimate that on an old house with solid brick or block walls, only 17% of the heat is lost through the windows. So if the new ones were twice as efficient, it would still only save 8.5% roughly of the cash spent on the heating.

Kyle 12-13-2009 12:39 PM


Thanks for catching my error. I did mean Simonton Windows. I haven't seen them other than the company website but figure they must be better quality the the three I mentioned at the big box stores...

MJW 12-13-2009 02:26 PM

We install many of these windows and only install the new construction ones because they have a full nailing fin, and we don't do inserts if possible. I even put them in my own home. Great window for the money and very good warranty.

Thermotechs are comparable in quality and price. They are made in MN, but not sold at big box stores.

HomeSealed 12-15-2009 12:05 PM

Simonton is a good window. Definitely stay away from the big boxes.

Kyle 12-17-2009 07:03 PM

THanks for the information guys.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:56 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1