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CSFTN

Member
Aug 24, 2014
925
511
Memphis, TN
This is an off-topic thread; I hope this is the best area to post. I would like to start a discussion about energy efficient home construction and renovation topics.

I will start with windows. I recently moved into a 30 year old home, built pretty well for 30 years ago, still 30 years ago. Technology has advanced, and everything is reaching the end of its functional life.

I am in the midst of replacing the (when new) SEER 14 HVAC units with 20s. Next step is windows, then perhaps solar. The house has many double hung, vinyl clad windows. I have been considering replacing them all, and want efficiency but also would like a reasonable ROI. Vinyl is definitely out; perhaps fiberglass or aluminum clad wood. But the real question: should I replace the double hung with casements? I hate the crank, so I am thinking about doing awning type casements. I don't like the look of casements, so I am looking at casements that look like double hungs.

Anyone have any experience doing this kind of renovation? I know casements are more expensive than double hungs, but does anyone have any idea of relative cost, awning-type casement vs traditional crank out, vs push-out, vs pull-in? To make the comparison valid all else should be held constant ie same brand and features other than casement type.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,478
423
auburn, ca
This is an off-topic thread; I hope this is the best area to post. I would like to start a discussion about energy efficient home construction and renovation topics.

I will start with windows. I recently moved into a 30 year old home, built pretty well for 30 years ago, still 30 years ago. Technology has advanced, and everything is reaching the end of its functional life.

I am in the midst of replacing the (when new) SEER 14 HVAC units with 20s. Next step is windows, then perhaps solar. The house has many double hung, vinyl clad windows. I have been considering replacing them all, and want efficiency but also would like a reasonable ROI. Vinyl is definitely out; perhaps fiberglass or aluminum clad wood. But the real question: should I replace the double hung with casements? I hate the crank, so I am thinking about doing awning type casements. I don't like the look of casements, so I am looking at casements that look like double hungs.

Anyone have any experience doing this kind of renovation? I know casements are more expensive than double hungs, but does anyone have any idea of relative cost, awning-type casement vs traditional crank out, vs push-out, vs pull-in? To make the comparison valid all else should be held constant ie same brand and features other than casement type.
I just replaced like 44 windows in my house. What I suggest you look into, which I did, was get laminated windows. Great for keeping out sound. When I looked into this a few weeks ago, there maybe 3 options out there today. One single panel laminated, 2 pane laminated, or a new one they told me was a single pane laminated with special design to give maximum sound reduction. Our house is so much quieter now, and you cannot go back and upgrade later.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,975
10,329
United States
This is an off-topic thread; I hope this is the best area to post. I would like to start a discussion about energy efficient home construction and renovation topics.

I will start with windows. I recently moved into a 30 year old home, built pretty well for 30 years ago, still 30 years ago. Technology has advanced, and everything is reaching the end of its functional life.

I am in the midst of replacing the (when new) SEER 14 HVAC units with 20s. Next step is windows, then perhaps solar. The house has many double hung, vinyl clad windows. I have been considering replacing them all, and want efficiency but also would like a reasonable ROI. Vinyl is definitely out; perhaps fiberglass or aluminum clad wood. But the real question: should I replace the double hung with casements? I hate the crank, so I am thinking about doing awning type casements. I don't like the look of casements, so I am looking at casements that look like double hungs.

Anyone have any experience doing this kind of renovation? I know casements are more expensive than double hungs, but does anyone have any idea of relative cost, awning-type casement vs traditional crank out, vs push-out, vs pull-in? To make the comparison valid all else should be held constant ie same brand and features other than casement type.

Generally with windows you very quickly get to the point of diminishing returns. Once you're double pane there's really not much that's cost effective after that. The primary way new windows will make a home more efficient isn't so much insulation but being more air-tight. Cheap windows have a U-Factor of ~0.4. SUPER-expensive windows have a U-Factor of ~0.2. Which correlates to R-Ratings of 2.5 and 5 vs most walls that have a R-Rating of >13.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,478
423
auburn, ca
Generally with windows you very quickly get to the point of diminishing returns. Once you're double pane there's really not much that's cost effective after that. The primary way new windows will make a home more efficient isn't so much insulation but being more air-tight. Cheap windows have a U-Factor of ~0.4. SUPER-expensive windows have a U-Factor of ~0.2. Which correlates to R-Ratings of 2.5 and 5 vs most walls that have a R-Rating of >13.
I learned there is two things about windows. One is the R value. Must most do not release there is also a noise criteria.

double pane vs triple pane vs laminatedost - Bing video
 

bruce4000

Member
Jul 8, 2019
167
255
Seattle
Went through all this with our 70’s house. Number one improvement was getting more insulation blown in the attic. House felt better and could see lower bills. Next was replacing single pane windows with double pane. Was cheap to do as had aluminum frames s as far glass could be swapped out. Made some difference and quieter. Later, ( and in a better financial position), replaced windows and frames with quality gas filled etc windows. Less condensation but couldn’t see difference in bills. Another obvious thing is make sure door weatherstripping is good as air blowing in is killer.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,478
423
auburn, ca
Went through all this with our 70’s house. Number one improvement was getting more insulation blown in the attic. House felt better and could see lower bills. Next was replacing single pane windows with double pane. Was cheap to do as had aluminum frames s as far glass could be swapped out. Made some difference and quieter. Later, ( and in a better financial position), replaced windows and frames with quality gas filled etc windows. Less condensation but couldn’t see difference in bills. Another obvious thing is make sure door weatherstripping is good as air blowing in is killer.
Yep, I have heard in the scope of things, windows for the money are not that great of a return. Of course a windows sales person will not say this
 

CSFTN

Member
Aug 24, 2014
925
511
Memphis, TN
Should have mentioned, what is there now is Anderson 100 series double paned, double hung windows, vinyl has turned yellowish. Not low-E, and I live on the 30th parallel. I live in a quiet neighborhood, so planning on going back with double paned except near the loud pool equipment.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,336
15,244
New Mexico
Yep, I have heard in the scope of things, windows for the money are not that great of a return. Of course a windows sales person will not say this
ymmv.

I rented a home in CO that I could see the gap between the window frame and wall.
As @nwdiver said, it is not a slam dunk to replace good double pane with great triple pane, but closing leaks is a great investment.

Fantastic windows come into play financially when they are part of an integrated home. E.g., if you can downsize home heating or time-shift home heating because your home is tight and well insulated then they can make money sense.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,478
423
auburn, ca
ymmv.

I rented a home in CO that I could see the gap between the window frame and wall.
As @nwdiver said, it is not a slam dunk to replace good double pane with great triple pane, but closing leaks is a great investment.

Fantastic windows come into play financially when they are part of an integrated home. E.g., if you can downsize home heating or time-shift home heating because your home is tight and well insulated then they can make money sense.
I was talking the windows, like glass directly. Yep, leaks from any place in a house is first priority! Attic insulation is important. And if one has old single pane glass, it will help.
 

CSFTN

Member
Aug 24, 2014
925
511
Memphis, TN
This is an off-topic thread; I hope this is the best area to post. I would like to start a discussion about energy efficient home construction and renovation topics.

I will start with windows. I recently moved into a 30 year old home, built pretty well for 30 years ago, still 30 years ago. Technology has advanced, and everything is reaching the end of its functional life.

I am in the midst of replacing the (when new) SEER 14 HVAC units with 20s. Next step is windows, then perhaps solar. The house has many double hung, vinyl clad windows. I have been considering replacing them all, and want efficiency but also would like a reasonable ROI. Vinyl is definitely out; perhaps fiberglass or aluminum clad wood. But the real question: should I replace the double hung with casements? I hate the crank, so I am thinking about doing awning type casements. I don't like the look of casements, so I am looking at casements that look like double hungs..... I know casements are more expensive than double hungs, but does anyone have any idea of relative cost, awning-type casement vs traditional crank out, vs push-out, vs pull-in? To make the comparison valid all else should be held constant ie same brand and features other than casement type.
Thanks for all the answers. I neglected to add the very first upgrades were LED lights .... which remains ongoing but almost done. It's shocking to me that a builder who (purportedly) considered himself green, heavily insulated walls and ceilings, cut a bunch of holes in the ceilings and put non-airtight cans in these holes. When it is 35ºF outside and you put your hand near one of these holes, you can clearly feel the breeze of hot air leaving. I have put nearly airtight lights (integrated units, not bulbs) in these spaces, negating the breezes.

Back to a original question, don't see anyone has addressed: anyone know the relative cost of an awning-type window (full size, not just a small one) vs a casement - all else equal?

Then next: my master bath is very cold. I am finding and closing air leaks. I discovered during another room renovation that the foundation a concrete slab + cinder blocks, as the land isn't flat. The facade is largely brick. I think that there may actually be cold air circulating thru the cinder blocks, leading to reverse convection of heat out, thru the tile floor. Anyone know of a way to fix this, other than either tearing off the brick, or tearing up the tile floor?
 
Last edited:

David_Cary

Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
1,218
719
Cary, NC
Hard to visualize "concrete slab + cinder blocks" but here are my thoughts.
Can you dig around the foundation? You can put vertical foam to the side of the foundation below the dirt line. It won't help air getting through the brick facade, but it might help. Otherwise, you are probably out of luck. You could foam the sides up higher and then cover the foam with dirt/mulch - ie change the outside grade some. Not sure if that is a reasonable thing to do in your situation.
Retrofits are hard.
 

CSFTN

Member
Aug 24, 2014
925
511
Memphis, TN
Hard to visualize "concrete slab + cinder blocks" but here are my thoughts.
Can you dig around the foundation? You can put vertical foam to the side of the foundation below the dirt line. It won't help air getting through the brick facade, but it might help. Otherwise, you are probably out of luck. You could foam the sides up higher and then cover the foam with dirt/mulch - ie change the outside grade some. Not sure if that is a reasonable thing to do in your situation.
Retrofits are hard.
Will buried foam wick up moisture like EIFS? EIFS was a big problem around here - insurance companies will revoke coverage if they find any. Termites
 

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