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Thread: Where to start?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1

    Post Where to start?

    Thank you all in advance for any input. I'll really appreciate it.

    I have bought a little house (my life long American dream), guess around 35 to 50 years old and in very bad condition. It is safe to live in but costs so much for heating and cooling. I am thinking to replace the windows but love the look of old windows. I am wondering if there is any ways to safe to old windows but improve air-tightness with a modest budget. What are the pros and cons of buying windows and installing services from places like Lowe's / Home Depot vs local window business.

    Since I can't perform the work myself and have very limited resources to improve my home, I need as much of advices as I can before I make the move. So thank you for your words.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Where to start?

    Saving old windows is a good place to start. Most old windows are made of far better materials than newer windows, and the good news is, it takes a LOT of time but very little money to restore an old wood window.

    Post a picture of your house to give us an idea of what you're talking about. A picture is worth a thousand words, except when it comes to old houses. In that case, a picture is worth a million words!

    Rosemary THornton
    www.uglywomansguide.com
    author, The Houses That Sears Built

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    6,024

    Default Re: Where to start?

    I agree with RosemaryT, restoring the windows and installing proper weather stripping will give you a much greater bang for you buck than new windows.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Where to start?

    I'm in a similar situation. I have a home built in the 1950s that still has the original windows. They are single pane windows. My issue with them is that in the winter alot of the cold comes from the glass itself. I'm assuming this is because they are single pane windows. I would believe double pane windows keep the cold from transmitting through the glass due to the air insulation barrier, correct? If I could just clean up my existing windows vs buying all new ones, that would save alot of money. However, I really want the better insulation factor to keep the cold from transmitting through the glass.

    Thanks,
    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Where to start?

    Would storm windows work for you?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Where to start?

    Options:

    Exterior storm windows.

    A reflective film on the glass.

    Interior storm windows. Go to the lumber yard and get 1x1 lumber to make interior frames. Make these about a 1/4" smaller than the window opening. Go to Walmart's (or similar store) sewing/fabric section and get enough clear vinyl to cover the frame on both sides. Secure with staples or tacks. Put weather stripping around the edges of the frame and press into window opening.

    The third option is the most efficient and not much more expensive than option 2 if all are done DIY.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    3,180

    Default Re: Where to start?

    Cutting off the 'chimney effect' is a great way to go.

    1- Curtains that touch the floor or ceiling
    2- Storm windows on the outside
    3- That shrink-to-fit film on the inside
    4- Plexiglass sheets on the inside held in place with fridge style magnets.There are a number of attachment types
    5- Insulate the attic, crawl space, and underside of the house

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,941

    Default Re: Where to start?

    A storm window, or any device that traps dead air between the window glass and the interior or exterior, will give a definite improvement in heating costs and comfort. New storm windows are FAR more cost effective than new windows. Replacing windows is about on the bottom of the list when it comes to payback on the investment. It can literally be decades to get your money back!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Where to start?

    There are already storm windows installed. They don't seem to have much improvement. I will try the window covering.

    Thanks

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