Bungalow Replacement Windows – A Case for Casements Part 1

Since my accident, I haven’t been able to do much – between the painkillers and surgeries it’s left me a little “under the weather’. But I thought I would pop in to the Adventures and create a couple of long posts about windows  – what can I say? I have a lot of time on my hands.

When we bought this place in 2009 it was listed as having mostly replacement windows, which was a good thing. They were the vinyl double pane type. They seemed to work fine – double hung, tilt out – easy clean. Only the two picture windows weren’t changed. They were just a single sheet of glass with wood stops – and a storm window over that.Pretty drafty.

Single pane picture windowThe two largest picture windows were single pane with storm windows over the outside.

So, fair enough, I’ll just replace these two big boys – it won’t be cheap, but we gotta fix this. So now what? I know nothing about windows. I was a carpenter in my early years, but mainly framed concrete forms, so I was clueless.

OK, call the box stores and see what they can offer for installation (or at least get some clues to what to do). First up is the contractor for the orange box store. Some guy with a clipboard and a tape measure. After posing several questions about window flashing and other bits of information I looked up on the web, I know this guy didn’t know the difference between a sash and a window stop.

Blue was next – two guys in an old pickup truck and a ‘we do anything for money’ kind of attitude. They knew little more than Orange man.

So in the mean time, I started the demo in the kitchen, removing the trim around the windows. That’s when I found a flaw about my replacement windows.

kitchen replacement windowsHere’s a big problem. See those nice replacement windows? Looked perfectly fine – before the trim was removed. See the space between the two on the right? That’s an uninsulated space. Same goes around each window. Big gaps = $ out the windows in utility costs.

Houston, we have a problem.

office windowsAnd in the the office – same thing here. And so it went through the whole house. Every window had gaps and voids. Some from the pockets used to hold the window weights used with the original window, some because no insulation was installed between pairs of windows. There was so many gaps I’m sure it would equal leaving a window open year round.

What to do? Well, the common sense thing to do is just remove the trim from each window, insulate and foam fill all of the gaps and replace the trim.

That’s what you would do – right? Of course, that’s what you would do – you’re sensible, practical, and reasonable. And you know that I won’t do the sensible thing, right?

Of course you know that.

Let’s replace the windows – all of them – and install them yourself.

Um, replace them with what? So began the long quest to find windows that I want to live with. After many, many weeks of looking, surfing, interviewing, and all around fact finding I settled on these. Marvin Ultimate Replacement Casement windows. I selected windows with the wood inside and clad aluminum outside. The ‘ultimate’ means that they have a crank out mechanism – you can get push-out types with no crank. I got a special grill configuration with clear bottoms and external grills on top. They’re like new construction windows with nailing fins. Oh, I also got them with no jamb extensions because I wanted to make my own – it’s more difficult that way.

Marvin Ultimate Replacement Casement Window After I put all these in, someone told me that most use the expensive windows on the front of the house and less expensive windows in the back. Well, now you tell me.

Look at the time! – time to go take a nap. I’ll be back with the installation details and why I chose this type of window.

Stay safe.


15 thoughts on “Bungalow Replacement Windows – A Case for Casements Part 1

    • Thanks Laura! Still have more tuning on the old body. Now they want to replace my knee! You like those built ins? Me too – I tore them out to rebuild them, so don’t be distressed if you see a picture with them gone…they’ll be back.

    • Hi D’Arcy…thanks – it’s drivin me crazy not to be in the middle of a sawdust pile. You and Eric must be in heaven! We belong to a special club, you and me. If there’s an easy way, there must be a more interesting alternative, right? 🙂 You have a beautiful home and I am enjoying your blog.

  1. Love your new windows! We were also sneaky people who used the really nice windows on the front corner and cheaper on the back corner. Helped the budget a good bit 🙂 get to feeling better!

    That built in looks awesome by the way.

    • Hi Brittney! I was just reading your farmhouse table adventure – nice! Well, now you tell me about the windows. I guess because I started with the back windows I just was focused on them. It sure would have been cheaper that way :). Oh, the built in? I ripped them out – to rebuild them – don’t worry they’re going back in. There’s even a Misadventure with the doors at the paint stripper. Nothing has been easy. Enjoy that beautiful cherry table! Are you banding it with angle iron? Beautiful!

  2. Most people would think, “Wow! New replacement window, this house is a great value!” Without even thinking about the gaps and uninsulated areas that they can’t see. Thanks for sharing this since we can be overly impresses with what we see on the outside without knowing what’s on the inside or what’s being covered up! (Speaking from experience here!) Looking forward to reading Part 2, and hope your recovery is going well.

    • Hi Old Friend! You are so right about the windows. I suspect most homes with replacement windows would find the same thing as mine. If all of the interior trim isn’t removed (which no replacement window company does) it’s impossible to seal the window properly. The window might be insulated, but the surrounding will leak air like crazy.

    • Hello Reuben – yep – new windows are pretty nice. I installed my first one in 2010 and have all of them in now. I remembered you from your “Cube” posts! The eave returns post was very helpful!

  3. I’m so glad you found us. We can learn from your mistakes. No, seriously, I AM glad you found us. We are going through a complete renovation on an enclosed “dogtrot” at the moment. The one side is about 100 yrs old, and the other side is an entombed cabin built in 1840. We have our work cut out for us… 😉

    • Lynda – Thank you for stopping by. I m following your blog and I can see you are kindred spirit! Really you are doing it the right way – and living in an in-progress would be a mistake, in my estimation. This is exciting!

  4. Wow, I love your attitude. I am not at your level of DIY; I’m quite content to pay folks from the big box stores to take care of things like window installation. I would probably drop one on my foot. But at least it would make a good story…!

    • Level of DIY is really not the issue – it’s more the level of common sense – a department that I am sort of an underachiever. But, you are right, it is a story generator. Enjoying your blog.

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