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Old 03-01-2010, 12:29 PM   #1
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Old Bay Window, lack of support...


I have a large bay window in the living room of my house, that is likely 25-30 years old. The two side windows are crank style, and when they were both opened last spring after we purchased the house, they failed to close. Since that time they have been partially open at an odd angle.

The bay window itself is visibly sagging from the outside by a 1/4" gap forming at the top of the window where it touches (used to touch) the soffit. I read the manual that comes with the window and it doesn't appear to be connected to the rafters as they are usually installed now. There is two wooden beams at an angle that appear to support the weight of the window, but actually they just angle from the front of the window to the ground by the house, without any footings or connections to the house. The two 4"x6"'s that are below the window didn't even touch the window prior to this winter, but not it appears they are touching (probably due to frost).

After getting several quotes from window replacement companies, we decided to wait awhile and see what happens with the window. I caulked the windows shut, and weatherized it (I live in Minnesota) for the winter, but I think the window is sagging even more than it was before winter.

Is there anything I can do to put off spending over $4,000? Is there a danger that this could cause more damage to my house?

Also, are Bay windows something I could install myself? I'm pretty handy and have several friends that don't mind working for beer. Also, is $4,000 to $5,000 about right for an estimate on a new bay?

Thank you very much!

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Old 03-01-2010, 12:50 PM   #2
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Old Bay Window, lack of support...


Bay windows can vary in price depending upon the Mfg & size
Installation also varies depending upon what they need to do

I opted to build my own bay window
Middle fixed was under $500, the other 2 were under $300
Framing, insulation (R19 wall, R49 ceiling) etc was less then $400
Get windows that qualify for the 30% energy tax credit

Before:


After: I gained 2' of floor space inside too

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Old 03-01-2010, 10:08 PM   #3
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Old Bay Window, lack of support...


I wouldn't recommend installing a bay as a novice, that is a very pricey thing to mess up.... In terms of fixing your existing unit, if that thing is sagging as rapidly as you say, I'd advise that you get it supported. Get out a floor jack, a board to put it on, and a piece of 4x4 to span from the floor jack to the window. Jack it up until it is level and/or operates properly, then build some new legs that are attached to the framing of the house. This will also be a good way for you to experiment with how a new installation would go. The adjustment is the hardest part.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:04 PM   #4
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Old Bay Window, lack of support...


Thank you for the replies. Do you think if I found a way to support it, and pushed it back up to its proper place, would the windows go back to working properly? Or would it just be delaying the inevitable?

I am starting to wonder if I shouldn't just install regular windows in that spot instead, to save some money, and do it myself.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:10 PM   #5
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Old Bay Window, lack of support...


At 25-30 years old I would replace them
Mine was only ~15 years old & I replaced them

Any picture of the window area ?

I extended the floor under my old bay windows
Built a standard wall to fit standard windows, then installed normal windows
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:31 AM   #6
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Old Bay Window, lack of support...


Here's a picture from the inside...below the window there is a heating vent, electrical, and old hardwood floor that I'd have to extend to do something more dramatic to that wall. I've also thought about putting in french doors and building a little patio, but I don't think it's something the city would approve due to proximity to the road.

I think I'm going to have to just go with regular windows due to cost. Outside of the house is vinyl siding, is there any good sources for info and 'how-to' installing large windows?

Thanks again
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:30 PM   #7
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Old Bay Window, lack of support...


You *should* be able to jack the window up into a position that allows the units to open/close properly.
Once that position is obtained, build some supporting braces for underneath the windows and then sheet it in.

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