View Full Version : window questions
I am in the process of buying some new windows for my house. The ones that are there already are 50 years old and wood.
I already replaced the one in the bathroom (different thread on that) and was wondering if there was a problem with ordering the windows slightly smaller so I could just add new jack studs, headers, and footers to close the opening up a little and avoid having to cut the siding of the house.
My windows now are an oddball size so I have to order them one way or another.
12-04-2002, 11:14 AM
I have replaced many many windows and I don't see a problem with what you are describing. There are a few pros and cons such as having smaller window openings you can do little about later on, the spaces around the window will be better insulated, and you may need larger trim to cover the areas on the interior, just dumb stuff like that.
However, please make sure that if your siding is hard cement-board type that you consider that it is probably asbestos. They used asbestos (transite) siding in some of the older houses and if left alone, should be ok. There is a problem if you can crumble the material using hand pressure, which probably won't be the case. Also, there could be a release of asbestos fibers because of water erosion around the nail holes and unpainted areas. So if indeed you do have to cut the siding and it is the hard cement-board type please take care and...
-do not saw it
-wear a respirator
-keep it wet with soap solution and water
-use a disposable drop sheet
-under no circumstances vacuum the waste, you could potentially contaminate the vacuum and any other room you would use it in afterward.
-Cut the tiles using a hammer and cold chistle taking care to capture any small pieces that result.
I spent 12 years of my career as an environmental consultant so if anyone else has any asbestos, lead or indoor air quality questions, I would be more than willing to help.
This may be much adoo about nothing, just a few thoughts however based on some of my experience.
Danford C Jennings
12-04-2002, 07:40 PM
Well, "slightly smaller" would be at least 4" in width....
So, the options are; custom (very spendy), get specs from some manufacturers (Pella, Pozzi, Norco, etc.) and choose to meet your parameters, or just go with the windows you want (like) and frame to fit.
My recommendation would be the latter. Seems like a hassel but, trying to find a single manufacturer that has the same models for all the openings can be a bigger pain, IMO, particularly on a older home where "custom" windows were used in the first place. FWIW.
12-04-2002, 07:47 PM
Going with a smaller window will make the job a lot easier. The existing header will still be distributing any load to the existing jack and king studs, so you don't have to use another "header", just fill in the necessary space with solid wood.
I've seen new vinyl windows that mount over exising aluminum frames, making the job easier still. Don't know if they have a similar product for wood framed.
Bill has some interesting input as well, food for thought.
Good luck Mat!
12-05-2002, 01:31 PM
Vinyl, vinyl clad, aluminum, or vinyl/wood replacement windows are an easy option. Just remove the sashes and stops from the windows and the replacements slide right in the old frame. Trim with aluminum coil, caulk the seams, paint the inside and the job is done.
Here are some links to help you out:
I hadn't thought about going that route. That looks very promising.
12-06-2002, 08:28 AM
I sell a lot more replacement windows than regular units when I supply for a remodeling job. They're easier, cheaper, and are available with many of the options of a full unit.
Shop around and find a good replacement window that suits your wants/needs. Take good measurements to bring to the dealer and do your homework before you go. Some dealers might try to push a window that doesn't suit your needs so don't settle for whatever is "sitting in the back room."
Good windows are built to order. And if you want muntins, I'd suggest the between-glass style. They're easier to clean around and they never get broken or turn color. Double hung tilt sashes make spring cleaning easier as well. You won't have to go outside to wash windows anymore.
12-09-2002, 12:57 AM
Here's a dumb question: why replace the windows at all? Instead, fix the ones that you already have. I just struggled with a similar issue. I'm renovating a 100-year-old+ house. After looking at the options, I decided that since the windows were still in one piece after 100 years, they were probably of better quality than anything I could buy today. So I decided to restore the windows I already have.
I had to shorten one window by about 12 inches to make room for a countertop. I built a new sash frame and mounted new sash pulleys, took the sashes apart, cut them down, and replaced the glass (with antique glass). It looks almost as good as new. And it works great--no sticking at all. Total cost: less than $50.
12-09-2002, 08:47 AM
>After looking at the options, I decided
>that since the windows were still in one piece after 100
>years, they were probably of better quality than anything I
>could buy today.
I'll have to disagree on that one. Today's windows are more energy efficient. Double-paned glass and insulated frames make them work with the house instead of against it when it comes to heating and cooling. Good replacement windows can pay for themselves by saving on heating and cooling costs in the long run.
That is a good thought and my wallet agrees with you, but I am replacing the windows for both the better insulation and noise reduction. I have a busy road in front of my house that I need to damped the noise from.
Thanks for the idea though
12-11-2002, 04:52 PM
If you are replacing windows in your bedrooms you need to be aware of the egress opening size. Typically minimum height must be 22" and the minimum width must be 20". Just something to keep in mind.
12-11-2002, 06:27 PM
Egress code is an excellent point. Be sure to check the local code book for the dimensions.