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tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2

New Windows

I am living in a house that was built in 1977. I really think the windows are that old as well. The sliding ones have some felt type material between them and it's pretty much turned to dust. I've lived here for about 6 years and I'd say the windows should have been replaced at least 10 years ago.

I'm going to call a home improvement company that will come out and go over everything in the house (take temp readings, review the insulation, look over exterior doors, etc). Anyone have any experience with a company like this? I've read up on reviews and they seem to be pretty good.

The window sills on the inside are tiled (yuck!). I'm guessing that their contractors can remove this and install drywall. Any idea?

The windows in the front of my house face west and get _pounded_ by the sun. There is tinting on them and that does a pretty good job. The large one in the living room has interior shutters. While they are not bad, I think I might want to trash them as they kill any view from the window. I suspect that I will have a choice of windows with very good UV blocker. I'd like to go with a window that people can't see in very well but silver tint is not an option. However, I also never use the living room. So it's not that big of a deal.

I have small sliding windows in the basement. I was thinking about going with solid windows as I never open these and I'd think solid would be more energy efficient. There are two larger windows that I will keep as sliders as I think I need at least one "escape" window. Does that sound like a good plan?

Anything you can think of that I should look for or ask about?



dark_star

join:2003-11-14
Louisville
kudos:1

My two cents worth:

New windows won't be cost effective. If you want them, fine. But don't expect them to pay for themselves.

My house was built in 1955 and has the original wood windows, with added aluminum storm windows. The combination attracts window salespeople. They all promise that the new windows will drastically cut my heat and air bills.

New windows would cost thousands of dollars. Many thousands for the upper end nice looking stuff like Anderson. But my average monthly gas and electric bill is under $100. And about $30 of that is fixed fees and customer charges. In other words, I'd owe the $30 even if I turned the gas off at the meter and cut the breakers off at the mains.

Money wise, caulk, felt, and adhesive foam are what pays for themselves.

Additionally, I think you are creating a fire trap if you eliminate fore escape routes by changing operable basement windows to fixed windows.


tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2

Understood. I'm not buying into all the hype on the windows paying for themselves but I do think it will help lower my bills slightly. Less for me as I don't run the AC often. But when it's 100 degrees out, the AC can run all of the time and the temp won't go below 78. Heating is easier and I have natural gas so it's not too bad.

My bills are nto bad but that is because I keep the AC around 83 in the summer and 63-67 at the most in the winter but at night it gets down to 56 when it's cold. Peak summer I run around $100-$120 for electric and winter I'm around $80 for gas. But I'm really looking for comfort. I'd like to be able to retain the temps more so them I'm doing now.

There are two other issues with the windows. The large picture window in the front is double pane and there are water stains on the interior of the window. I'll attach a photo to show you how bad it is. There is also "felt" between the windows that has completely disintegrated. So the other issue is sound. I can easily hear the cars on the road in front.

I also think that modern windows may provide better UV protection.

Lastly, some of the windows won't even stay open (they raise and lower) as the mechanics are broken. Trust me... they are really junk.

The windows I want to seal in the basement are 5' above the floor and only about 1' tall and 2' wide... not large enough for someone to exit. Code requires one egress in the basement. I will still have 3 large windows at both ends for this.




Red_Menace
poking around since 1978

join:2001-11-03
Littleton, CO
reply to tcope

The cost varies quite a bit depending on the quantity, manufacturer, size, options, etc. Most places will charge double or triple for the material, and then bend you over for the install, so do your homework.

Unless your utilities are outrageous, you won't be saving that much, but it does help.


tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2

That is what I'm a little worried about... being over-charged.

The place I have in mind went to my friends house and they gave him an estimate. We talked about it and he has about the same number and size of windows. They were going to do a lot more work but I _think_ the windows would be around $8000.00. I've been speaking to other people and have heard ranges from $7000.00 - $12,000.

There are also some rebates I'd get from the gas company.

My guess is that, given the temps I keep the home at anyway, I might only see a $10/month difference at the most. I can't see ever making $7,000 back at that rate. I know that. But I am also considering the equity it would add to the home. While I don't have plans to sell anytime soon, even 10 years down the road these new windows are going to help resale.

It's also a comfort level thing. I could actually get the house lower than 78 degrees in the middle of summer. That would be a nice option.

My house is ranch style and the 1st floor over hangs the basement by about 3' in the front and rear (I hate that design). There is old insulation on that over hang that I was going to replace. The floors in those areas gets cold in the winter. but truth is... I just don't have the time to do that and everything else. This company will do that as well (they do everything if wanted). I might have them replace the front door (as it's metal and in the summer will burn you if touched) and the rear french doors.

It's not only about heating/cooling (the windows _need_ to be replaced regardless) but also to make the home more enjoyable to me. I'd really like to be able to remove those indoor shutters and look out clear windows.

This company gives 18 months finance free. I plan on paying it down over that time and then taking a home loan to pay it off so I don't get back charged on the finance charges. The rebates should lower the amount a little but I figure I have pay it off in 2.5 years.



shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA
Reviews:
·Atlantic Nexus
reply to tcope

Heh, I think I have the exact same windows I could never find a brand on them.

I need to replace all of mine as the sealed glass has gone bad. One you can not see through at all.

You will save a bit on heating/cooling. The newer glass will help, especially Low-E. The big difference is those aluminum frames really conduct heat. I did one of my 5x5' slide windows with vinyl. You could tell the difference as the old always had a cold air falling down from the cold frame.

I replaced it with a 5x5' pair of single-hung, low-E windows for $240 or so. I found them through a local surplus place. They did not have anything the right size but had a good deal on new ones made locally.

I'd do it the other way around. Rather than find an installer that sells windows; find a supplier/brand that is worth the price and find who they recommend to install them.
--
Scott Henion

Embedded Systems Consultant,
SHDesigns home - DIY Welder



boogi man

join:2001-11-13
Jacksonville, FL
kudos:1
reply to tcope

replacing windows rally isn't that hard, provided the frame work around them isn't rotted(in a stick built house) super easy in a block or brick house.
--
my site



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
reply to tcope

It's hard to figure out if windows will save money but if you can figure out the heating degree days in a given year and how many units of fuel you used then you can try to figure it out. You can replace the windows then compare the following year's heating degree days and how many units of fuel you used. We replaced a large bow window in the living room and it saved about 11% on fuel used. That works out to about 7 years to break even unless fuel costs go up quite a bit then maybe 5 years to break even. If the windows are indeed the major loss of heat replacing them will pay for themselves in 5-10 years most likely. I'd start by getting a home energy audit with thermographic imaging and blower door test. They should be able to tell you where your losing the majority of your heat and what to do to fix it.

FYI: Even if you save $10/month now when fuel costs go up you might save $15/month next year and $20/month the following year. Your saving will remain the same in how much fuel you use but how much you save will vary with the actual fuel costs.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!



morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
reply to tcope

If you want to see bigger savings, make sure your insulation is appropriate. Look into foam like Iceyne.



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by morbo:

If you want to see bigger savings, make sure your insulation is appropriate. Look into foam like Iceyne.

Can't really tell until they do a complete home energy audit. The house might be fine on insulation or the windows might be fine even though they are old. Throwing money blindly at a problem is a bad solution period. I guess if you're made of money then throw away!
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!


morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000

True. Energy audit first then decide which direction to throw money. In general, insulation is usually overlooked despite being one of the best paybacks over time.



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by morbo:

True. Energy audit first then decide which direction to throw money. In general, insulation is usually overlooked despite being one of the best paybacks over time.

We had our attic insulation upgraded this Spring so I'm waiting to see how that does. So far it seems to be a MAJOR improvement. There is a state program which the utilities cover 75% of the insulation cost up to $2,500 a year. We ended up getting about $3,000 in insulation upgrades for $750 in actual cost. I'm guessing that's a 1-3 year return on investment. I'm with you that insulation should be the best return for the money but.....get a home energy audit first to make sure.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!

tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to Draiman

said by Draiman:

I'd start by getting a home energy audit with thermographic imaging and blower door test. They should be able to tell you where your losing the majority of your heat and what to do to fix it.

This company does a complete audit. I'm not one to buy into it all... I'll need to review their info myself. I di have a IR heat gun but don't really know the formula to apply the inside temp with the outside temp. But these windows are so bad that air can pass between them. Also, it's obvious that there is no seal between the panes any longer.

tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to morbo

said by morbo:

If you want to see bigger savings, make sure your insulation is appropriate. Look into foam like Iceyne.

I agree. I'm going to see what they would charge to redue the floor insulation as mentioned above. I feel that the walls are pretty good. I don't think removing al of the sidnig and putting in newer insulation would be something I'd want to consider right now. I know I need to have the over-hanging floors done as I can actually feel that they are cold.


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by tcope:

said by morbo:

If you want to see bigger savings, make sure your insulation is appropriate. Look into foam like Iceyne.

I agree. I'm going to see what they would charge to redue the floor insulation as mentioned above. I feel that the walls are pretty good. I don't think removing al of the sidnig and putting in newer insulation would be something I'd want to consider right now. I know I need to have the over-hanging floors done as I can actually feel that they are cold.

Nowadays they just move the siding a little and drill a hole then blow in the insulation into the wall. After that they plug the hole and move the siding back in place. You can't even tell they did anything most of the time.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!


RavonTUS

join:2003-10-15
Lafayette, IN
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to tcope

Greetings,

I had two quotes, one from a custom company for $12k and a handy man for $6k. Obviously different levels of quality of windows here, so keep that in mind. My reason for replacing them was that I could not open the old ones. The walls also had water stains from condenstation building up on the window seals.

If you go "cheap" remember to make sure to get a written list of requirements. Here are the things I wish I would have thought of before hand.

* Re-wrap aluminum on outside of windows, instead of putting old stuff back up. The outside would have looked so much better.
* Use foam insulation instead of fiber glass. To me it would seem to hold out the draft better.
* Make sure to include features on windows, like the little latches that stop it from going up so high. (duh)

Overall he did a great job on the inside. That's what you end up seeing the most. It was a great time to update the trim and model around the windows, so I'm glad he was good at that.

Hope it helps.
-Ravon



UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·Callcentric
·Dish Network
·DIRECTV
reply to tcope

I replaced six windows in my house for about $200 a window. I used Simonton replacements with Low E and Argon. So far, so good. I'm happy with the purchase. Haven't noticed a savings on my utility bills, but I don't feel wind blowing through the windows anymore.



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to RavonTUS

said by RavonTUS:

* Use foam insulation instead of fiber glass. To me it would seem to hold out the draft better.

For ours when they did some replacement windows 2 years ago they used caulk on the window to seal the window to the house. They actually used some exterior all weather sound dampening caulk for ours since they were installing acoustical windows. Normally it's just basic exterior all weather caulk. Once it's sealed they just used fiber glass for insulation. Most don't want to deal with the foam since it's a nightmare to clean up.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to tcope

As usual, lots of advice in this thread with little or no facts to back it up.

First, be sure to contact your local electric utility before contracting for the energy audit. Many utilities actually provide this service for free, or heavily discounted.

Everything in this forum always devolves in to an ROI debate. If you can afford new windows, and you want them, then buy them. Your energy bills may not go down as much as you had hoped (and actually, maybe they will). But it's impossible to quantify the happiness your wife will experience when she's no longer shivering next to those old drafty windows. You will also be raising the resale value of your property.


tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2

All I'm really looking for are opinions. So no harm no foul. I find with many posts I get some ideas on what I need to find out and/or know.

Wife? Nope.... 46 and never been married. No kids. Just me in the house. Hence keeping it at 78 in the summer and 63 in the winter. My cat does not pay room/board so he does not have a say in the matter (other then me waking up and he's laying on my chest with his head 2" from my face. That is his "What the F" look).


GroovyPhoenx

join:2006-05-22
Gloucester, ON
reply to tcope

Tell your dog to stop licking the windows! LMFAO... Sorry couldn't resist!



DataDoc
My avatar looks like me, if I was 2D.
Premium
join:2000-05-14
Martinsburg, WV
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to tcope

We replaced 2 sliding glass doors plus all the house windows. They all were ancient aluminum, no safety glass, double pane, nothing.

What we gained was:
1. No more drafts
2. Reduced traffic noise (we lived 1/4 mile from the Washington Beltway, direct line of sight)
3. Sliding glass doors no longer vibrate to Jake-brakes on passing trucks
4. Didn't have to smell the chimney smoke from neighbors wood stoves
5. Reduced heating/cooling bills

That's the order we thought important.
--
Four more years of cronyism, payoffs, bad energy policy and 60's radicals being in charge. Thanks for ruining our country.


Critsmcgee

join:2011-12-02
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to pike

said by pike:

As usual, lots of advice in this thread with little or no facts to back it up.

First, be sure to contact your local electric utility before contracting for the energy audit. Many utilities actually provide this service for free, or heavily discounted.

Everything in this forum always devolves in to an ROI debate. If you can afford new windows, and you want them, then buy them. Your energy bills may not go down as much as you had hoped (and actually, maybe they will). But it's impossible to quantify the happiness your wife will experience when she's no longer shivering next to those old drafty windows. You will also be raising the resale value of your property.

As usual, lots of iffy advice. Those 'free' utility energy audits are a joke. They don't use thermal or do a blower door. They don't even use IR temp guns. They come in and LOOK with their eyes. If they can find stuff they write it up in the audit report. You may as well just hand them your money since it's no better then just doing stuff at random to improve your place.

ROI is always going to be in these threads as well. Money makes the world go round. Don't expect that to change in your lifetime.


Lone Wolf
Ready For Retirement
Premium
join:2001-12-30
USA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
reply to pike

said by pike:

If you can afford new windows, and you want them, then buy them. Your energy bills may not go down as much as you had hoped (and actually, maybe they will). But it's impossible to quantify the happiness your wife will experience when she's no longer shivering next to those old drafty windows. You will also be raising the resale value of your property.

+1

I replaced my 50 year old windows and storm windows a few years ago and the new ones are prettier, stop drafts and keep the house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and with the same thermostat settings my utility bills dropped.
--
Another 4 years of Hope and Change.
The rich will still get richer and the poor get an Obamaphone and Food Stamps. lol


RavonTUS

join:2003-10-15
Lafayette, IN
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to tcope

Greetings,

Yeah, the free home audits are, well, you get what you pay for.

I had one just last week. The local utilities offer it in Indiana. He asked if my 55 year old house had insulation in the wall, no - duh. He found my water heater set a bit high, I like hot water - duh.

Other than that, he just looked around. I guess it would be OK for a first time home owner or someone just wanting a second opinion.

I did get a 3 boxes of light bulbs, 2 shower heads, and 3ft of pipe insulation. Free stuff ya!

-Ravon


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI

That 3' of pipe insulation will save you a fortune!


tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to RavonTUS

I think this energy inspection is different. It's basically a general contractor who wants work. As I understand it, they really give the home a once over (inspection insulation, windows, doors, testing inside/outside temps, etc.)

A gas company is not going to make repairs... they probably get some incentive just to have someone go out and inspect.

I called the guy yesterday and left him a message to see if he might be able to come out on Friday. He's not called back yet. Nothing turns me off more than sales people no calling back right away. Just sets a bad tone.


tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to tcope

Well the guy called this evening. I mentioned why I was calling and asked if he might be able to come out. I did not catch exactly what he was saying but thought he said it did not work like that, I'd need to have a meeting first. Perhaps I heard that wrong though. He talked about what they do. They take a thermal image of the home to find issues. They then seal the home. They can insulate, seal up outlets and installing lighting, install windows and doors, wrap the water heater, change light bulbs, etc. He said they install triple pane windows that were some of the most efficient on the market at a fraction of the cost. He said that they _ guarantee_ a 40% reduction in utility costs. I had an issue with this as I don't know how they can make that guarantee without knowing what I spend on my utilities. As I said before I don't heat or cool the house much and live with it. My electric bill is usually around $60 with a high of $100 in the summer and my gas bill is around $20 and $80 in the winter. Cutting 40% off those simply does not seem possible.

I then asked if I could only have certain things done. He seemed to stumble but stated that they could but then they could not guarantee the 40% savings. I said it sounded like they wanted to do everything... even if it was not needed and perhaps I'd save money but it would end up costing me a lot more. He never really answered that question but did confirm that I could have somethings done and not others if this was what I wanted.

I got the impression that they don't want to invest there resources unless a person seemed serious about doing everything they thought was needed. I can understand that. But I'm betting they want to wrap my water heater. Its in my basement. I hold my hand against it and it's not even warm (house is 63 degrees). I have a feeling that they are going to want to charge me an arm and a leg to wrap it... just to make money. Changing my light bulbs? Come on... I already use some florescent bulbs but not in many areas as they take too long to get to full brightness. I don't need someone else to change my light bulbs... I can do that.

I still set up an appointment for this Friday. He said it will take about 30 minutes. I figure I'll see what he reports and listen to what he says. But I think I also want to have another window/door company come in and get a bid from them.

Oh, he said that they use triple pane windows. I read up on double and triple and from what I could tell, most sites said triple is of course better but they are 10%-15% more expensive. So I was siding with just using double pane.

He did also mention that some rebates/incentives ended in 2012.



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by tcope:

He did also mention that some rebates/incentives ended in 2012.

I'd get them to give you that info in writing. There is no federal stuff so it would have to be state or local utility stuff. Most of those aren't expiring in 2012 they are an ongoing program that might change a little each year but the rebates/incentives are there year to year. It sounds like a way to put you under the gun to sign up and get work done yesterday. I wouldn't really trust anything about this company from the free audit to the actual work given what you've said about them in the thread.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!

Jacob Henry

join:2012-11-30
reply to tcope

Sliding windows are available different types of configurations like Single Sliders, Double Sliders, Picture Sliders and Center Sliders and frame systems available with a wide variety of glass packages to meet your design requirements.