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Old 05-22-2008, 04:15 PM   #1
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New Windows in attic - I want cheap and easy

I need to replace 5 windows in my attic asap. Is it better to go DIY or to hire someone? I saw an add in another city for $189 windows installed - if I could find a similar offer should I be tempted.

The old windows are rotting apart (three of them are original to the house 203 years old). I want to replace them with a half-decent vinyl single hung window. I don't care much about looks as the windows will be more than 35 feet up. I do not care about tilting out. I've read the threads about window replacement and have a better idea about what I should look for. I have general carpentry skills but have never done a window.

I'd love to hear some opinions about hiring someone, doing it myself, and selecting the right window. I'd like to spend around $250/window (when all is said and done). Is that a fantasy?

If I could only remember to THINK about what I was doing before I did it.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
I saw an add in another city for $189 windows installed - if I could find a similar offer should I be tempted.
I know that ad. It is pure advertising. $189 windows (installed) are like $24 mufflers or $30 brake jobs. It never costs what they say it will, and it is still junk after you pay too much for it.

I'd suggest hiring a reputable window installer/carpenter to install them for you. $250 each is a fantasy. The window alone will cost $200 for a cheap-o.

I never recommend that DIYers do their own window installations. The reason for that is that proper installation, flashing, and weathersealing of a window is a science. A LOT OF BUILDERS DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO DO IT RIGHT AFTER BUILDING TONS OF HOUSES. Some people don't like to hear me say this, and I typically try to help people with DIY stuff as much as I can, but experience has taught me how much is actually involved. You'll very likely have nothing but problems if the window is not installed 100% correctly with correct methods and materials. There's a lot more to it that nailing flanges and caulk.

If the windows' frames aren't too far gone, you might consider having new sashes made for the window units. Remove the stops, install new sashes, and you're good to go. That is a good DIY project, and can be cheaper than new windows if you shop around and DIY. At 200 years old, they might be ready for total replacement though!

Last edited by Termite; 05-22-2008 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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if is unless you have some kind of surplus store close by.Those adds are to get them to your house and basically pop a new window in.If your windows are rotting now what do you think the framing looks like? so take into consideration that they would have to be re framed installed and then whatever your outside is made of (siding etc...) that would then need fixed or replaced,I don't see anyone doing all that for 189.00 including the window.Now if you can do it youself you may come in somewhere around the numbers your looking at
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:58 AM   #4
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If you tackle this on your own you will have to order your own windows. Which means you will have to measure each window.Depending on the type/brand of window, there is a way to do this. If you make a mistake you just bought the entire order. Some thing to consider. Good Luck Leah

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Old 05-23-2008, 06:52 AM   #5
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Realize also that these are in your attic. Do you have the ability and the equipment to safely do the work at that height.
If the frames are rotted, then replacement windows are out. You would have to go with new construction windows, and that means more work on the exterior side; i.e. - casing, siding, etc...
If you hire a reputable company, they have the staging, equipment, the know-how, and the insurance to safely install such windows, at that height...
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