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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1942 colonial with six panel door, with two sidelights and a statement picture window and flanking pull out casements. Due to poor paint condition(the door is actually in bad shape draft wise and just needs to be replaced straightaway) --and them being lead paint I'm replacing them. It makes me sad to do away with old growth on the window side but seems most practical.

I've done a ton of research in part aided by this forum and am looking at provia (most likely) and a wood door for comparison. I was looking at high end wood/wood clad architectural windows from Marvin, mostly, but I have come to the realization that even the highest sticker price windows are consumable: as in these days it seems windows are built to last 30 or so years without the maintainability of old wood. This doesn't cut it for me.

1. Am I correct in thinking for windows that even with high end wood, exterior clad in aluminum I'll get only 30 years of service? Even then, I know no one makes actual divided lights these days.
2. Who makes the best wood doors? I have Simpson on the list. Pella doesn't seem to make their own anymore. Anyone else?
3. I'm also worried, should I go this route, that my high end provia door will not go more than 30 years either. I want to embrace fiberglass and it certainly wears better with no maintenance but it also means it can't be maintained to have the life of my current 80 year old door.

I'm currently looking at having sashes custom made for the windows and keeping the storm window over them that was placed there a couple decades ago.
 

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Due to poor paint condition and them being lead paint I'm replacing them.
Is this the only reason that you are looking at replacing your windows (or just the sash?).
Do you have rot or other issues besides paint with the existing windows/sashes?

I'm currently looking at having sashes custom made for the windows.
What do you see as the advantage of custom over manufacturer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Due to poor paint condition and them being lead paint I'm replacing them.
Is this the only reason that you are looking at replacing your windows (or just the sash?).
Do you have rot or other issues besides paint with the existing windows/sashes?

I'm currently looking at having sashes custom made for the windows.
What do you see as the advantage of custom over manufacturer?
The paint is significantly degraded on the outside of the sash. Its alligatoring and there are paint chips all over the sill. Structurally it appears fine. In its condition it is more ornamental than usable since the friction open creates dust. I am admittedly conservative in the lead danger risk. It is also surprising how many historical refinishers, who do windows even (go figure--i thought all old sashes had lead) didnt want to touch it. Maybe its just because its a one off but people said no to stripping it.

As to custom. I am worried from what ive seen in showrooms that even the best you can buy from marvin and pella arent as well constructed as one made in a woodshop. Wood doesnt feel right. Its feels flimsy. From what ive seen its a lot of small components laminated together. I want the next window to last 80 years, with maintenance, like this one. The other is none of the manufacturers really make a window that is like this.

To the door commentator. I know with wood i can strip, sand, paint, do anything to it. Same thing: will my fiberglass door last 80 years like my current door? Hard to argue against fiberglass in every other respect except that and aesthetic (its getting close to mimicking wood). You buy fiberglass ans you have to get the whole fiberglass assembly, as in my new sidelights would be fiberglass. That pains me a bit more than the door almost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It honestly pains me to replace rather than repair re: the windows. On either, do you all have any insight on what the new window and door lifetimes are? What can i expect out of a top line door or window. 30 years tops? More? Thats where im a bit stuck now.
 

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I talked with a Provia salesman the other day , and was quite inpressed with how the make their doors and windows. He was showing me how they make their fiberglass doors. Pretty hard to tell from real wood.
 
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