Archive for January, 2018

We replaced the original windows in our house in the summer of 2014. When we first started working on the house, we swore that we would never replace our windows because new windows are just not as beautiful as the old ones and the energy savings really aren’t there. You don’t get a return on your investment with energy savings, only maybe with resale value. We had restored the windows in the bedrooms by reglazing them, removing the lead paint, replacing the sash cords, installing metal weather stripping and insulating the sash weight boxes. We had fixed the upper sash in place at the time ¬†too because we felt we could eliminate drafts by only having one moving sash. We also installed insulating roman shades with sides that could clamp down. It was a way to make the room feel warmer and eliminate drafts. On really cold nights we would have a lot of condensation on the cold glass in the morning but it wasn’t really that bad while we still had the forced air heat. The condensation got worse when we switched to the radiant floor heat and a well insulated roof. This is because the forced air furnace really dried out the air in our house which the radiant heat doesn’t do. I couldn’t keep up with the wiping the moisture off the windows and over time, the paint started peeling and we would get black mold growing on the windows. As our plan for insulating the house evolved over time, we also realized we would need to replace the windows.

Replacing the windows also included removal of the lead paint siding, replacing sheething for structural strength at the corners, dense packing the walls with cellulose and connecting the wood structure to the concrete foundation. Did you know that old houses just rest on their foundation and not tied to it all? This could shift your house of it’s foundation in a strong weather event, such as a tornado

Installing plywood at the corners for structural sheer strength

The rectangular plate connects the sill plate to the foundation. The strap connects the stud wall framing to the foundation.


Installing the windows

Our new windows are new construction windows from Marvin. Phase 1 is their first try at the New Generation Ultimate Clad Double Hung. We bought them with the primed pine interior and aluminum clad exterior. We really wanted the New Generation because of the automatic lock function and the 4″ vent function. The New Generation also doesn’t have a crazy upcharge for triple pane glass which we went with, because they don’t have to do special millwork for it anymore like they used to for their older series.



This picture shows the window buck. We insulated the exterior wall with an additional 4″ of polystyrene insulation. The windows will sit at the plane in line with the siding

After the window bucks were installed, we covered the walls in Ice&Watershield and flashed in the window buck. The window is then also flashed in. Then we added the 4″ of foam board insulation which is held in place by 2x4s that are the furring strips to provide venting and drainage behind the siding. My husband did a lot of learning and math to calculate what insulation system would work. He mostly referred to Joe Lstiburek and the Building Science Corporation in his research.

We managed to install the foam board insulation and furring strips before winter hit but the exterior of this side of the house didn’t get fully finished until Fall of 2016. The interior trim is still missing around most of the windows now.





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