View Full Version : Replacement window question
08-14-2003, 12:55 PM
We are in desperate need of replacement windows, and finally found a carpenter who’s interested in doing the job. However, my knowledge of window products is ZERO so I’m looking for some advice.
The carpenter is recommending something called a “sash pack” – basically he would replace the guts of the window (rails, panes) but not disturb the existing window frame and trim. This sounds perfect for us, since our frames are in good shape – it’s just the panes themselves are warped from rain damage (apparently the prior owners of the house didn’t ever close their storm windows), they don’t fit in the tracks any more (some don’t open or close :eek: ), they’re single-pane instead of insulated, and the glazing is falling off in big chunks.
Complete new replacement windows don’t come in the same sizes as our old windows (house was built in 1968) and to install complete new windows would mean a lot of patching, drywall work, and all new window trim inside and out. The sash pack product itself is less costly than a complete window, and we will save quite a bit on the labor as well.
So – has anyone used these “sash packs”? And if so how do you like them? Do they look ok with the old frames? Any particular manufacturer you’d recommend?
In case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, here are links to some of the manufacturers we’ve gotten prices from so far:
Thanks very much for any advice! :)
08-14-2003, 01:13 PM
I've sent your post to DH (he works in wholesale building materials) and I'll let you know what he says. We replaced all our windows last year, but did the job ourselves. We also used windows his company made.
08-14-2003, 01:23 PM
Wow, Leigh, I am impressed! DH keeps telling me (three years now) that he'll do the windows himself. Are they easy to do? He wants to just order them at Home Depot. Our windows have to be about 30 years old and we have 11 regular windows and 2 very big windows in the living room/dining room. Don't mean to butt in here, but I'm very curious as to how easy it is (and if DH will ever get around to it!)
08-14-2003, 02:17 PM
Thanks Leigh! :)
SusanR, sounds like we live in the same house! A late 60's ranch? We're replacing the 11 windows, thankfully someone else did the other 2 before we lived there.
08-14-2003, 02:21 PM
We're going to start replacing our windows a couple at a time, too. DH plans to do it all himself. He's never done this before, so it should be interesting. So far all he has done is collect lots of brochures from window companies.
Anyway, just wanted to mention that our Home Depot has classes on installing windows. Might want to check around to see if yours offers them.
08-14-2003, 07:11 PM
Not much has changed in "standard sizes" for many years in double hung window units if that is what she has. For instance, my parents windows are single pane windows original to the house built back in '71 or '72 and are the same standard sizes sold today. In that case you could purchase standard replacement i.g. sash and balance (weather-strip) much like we did for our house and it would not require changing the inside or outside walls or trim. This may be what the carpenter is calling the set of pre-packaged
components a "sash pack". If the windows are not standard sizes then the cost of a custom sized double hung pair of sash would be higher than a
The replacement window units (which include their own frame or jamb, balance, and sash in vinyl, pvc, aluminum, clad etc.) are made undersized to fit between existing jambs for standard and non-standard sizes. The biggest difference is the additional frame which could provide an less expensive choice over custom sash with as much or even better operation and better seal. Even windows that are not squarely framed can be accommodated with good results.
What may be available could depend on what you require as far as the interior and exterior look of the unit. Vinyl, solid pvc, and aluminum replacement units are popular because of the no maintenance aspect. Some of these do not give you the same appearance of a double hung window and the inside would be the same color as the outside. If you want white on the outside, for instance, that is what you will have for the inside.
New i.g. wood or wood clad window sash or units would give you the same appearance of the old units. The cladding (vinyl and aluminum skin) offers exterior protection maintenance free with the ability to have stainable or paintable wood on the interior. These are usually more expensive than the vinyl or aluminum units.
The companies you referenced are not necessarily the same in quality or performance. Marvin is at the top of the food chain in terms of new house
construction products and you should expect to pay more for their products.
While I have heard of Vetter and Norco, I do not have any knowledge of where they stand. I would suggest calling your local building supply companies (not just the big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe's) with or without your carpenter to seek out the full range of the windows in the market. There are probably non-name brand shop built units also available such as my company offers builders. By doing that at least you can find more window company names to research. Our company deals with Capitol Doors and Windows
(also known as MI Home Products), Silver Line Vinyl Windows, Sierra Pacific Industries, Marvin, Eagle Windows and Doors, Norco, as well as some local companies that supply a solid pvc sash. Other companies you might check are Jeld-Wen (Wenco), Better Built, Weathershield, Kolby and Kolby, Lincoln Windows and Doors, MW windows, A&H Vinyl Windows, Caradco Windows and Doors, Simonton Vinyl Windows and many more.
Our website, robertbowden.com, has some links to the window companies we deal with. We also have a division in our company call Home Improvement
Resources that does this type of work with different products. You can also go onto the National Sash and Door Jobbers Association and search for manufacturers of windows.
08-14-2003, 07:17 PM
It wasn't that bad. We had new I.G (interior grill) wood windows. We used the ones made by DH's company. We primed and painted them over several months before installing them. We had some 'help' with the priming. :D We replaced 15 windows, including the balance (this is the track the windows slide in). We used new ones because they had better insulation than the old ones, and they just screw in. One window is a picture window and that took two people. It took DH two days to do 14 of the windows, but he knows what he is doing.
We did have to remove all the blinds, plus the stop. The stop is a small piece of wood trim inside the house. We just saved those pieces and resued them when we had the windows installed.
Also, all the windows made now are tilt in.
08-15-2003, 11:55 AM
Wow, lots of good information - thanks Leigh and Al! :D Now I have some homework to do...
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