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« Economic Cabinetry | Main | Diversity »
Tuesday
Jun162009

Replacement windows

 It is always a good thing to consider replacing your older worn windows, as every house opening is the loss of heat during winter months and a loss of cooling in the warmth of summer. Replacement windows are a good option as compared to total window removal as they replace only the sashes were as the window frames themselves may be perfectly fine.

You want to be sure your exterior trim is in good shape and to repair what ever needs to be fixed before the replacements are installed. Even a rotted sill can be completely replaced at this moment and rapping it with aluminum coil stock can solve the repainting situation. Most window companies make replacement windows in 1/4 inch intervals so measuring accurate will insure a perfect fit.

In older homes where weight pockets still exist it is wise to fill that void with insulation. One method we have discovered best is to blow in cellulose with a modified drum and blower we made ourselves that is small enough to lug around from window to window. Conventionally I have seen, and maybe you have to, workers pushing fiberglass insulation up the weight pocket access hole in an attempt to fill the cavity with little success but  to make it look as though they tried. There is no possible way that method can get the insulation over the top of the frame where the clearances may be the same as the sides and air can just continue flowing out of your home.

Very little interior or exterior trim is impacted using replacement windows and any good repairman or carpenter can install replacement windows with a minimum of tools and effort. However a few things need to be done accurately to insure a tight fit that will improve your energy foot print and not just throw money away.

Accurate measuring, chalking all contact points between the exterior trim and the replacement window, proper filled cavities with insulation, and tightly applied trim that is neat and correctly applied. The window should be secured straight and square in each opening and a good carpenter will accomplish that even if the openings are out of square.

Another thing to consider when trying to improve your home before winter arrives and your heating bills are once again your main concern; Storm windows. Storm windows are still being made and are a very cost efficient way to save money in a short amount of time with the volatility of fuel prices these days. Storm windows can improve a poor windows performance and can even improve thermal panes too. If sound proofing is also a concern this is where storms can help. Sometimes a fairly good window has gotten drafty, not because of its thermal pane glass, but because the air pressure is getting around the sash balances. A simple and inexpensive change would be to add storm windows that are of high quality of perhaps 1/2 the cost of replacement windows and gain the efficiency back by blocking the air infiltration pressure at the outside. Thus the windows thermal efficiency can be improved without the larger cost of complete window replacement.

A good local carpenter will make you aware of these options, once he has seen your windows and made a judgment to whether that is a good cost efficient route to take. Some replacement window companies will only try to sell you their windows, where as a home repair specialist will usual point you in the direction that best suits your needs.

There are nationally advertised companies that would like you to beleive there is only one solution, one price so call them. My experience is that if you keep your local tradesman busy and talk to him about your goals and needs to make your house more energy efficient, he can service you for the future with quality and care and truthful options to fit your budget and your homes needs. Your local home improvement specialist, can be your  best friend when it comes to protecting your investment with value and pride.

www.ronhoehn.com

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