REPLACING YOUR OLD WOOD DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWSWritten by John Rocco
REPLACING YOUR OLD WOOD DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWS
Let's say you're tired of those old wood windows, and you decide it's time to upgrade to vinyl replacement windows. You get 2 or 3 contractors to come out and give you an estimate. After they leave, you can't believe windows can cost so much. I mean, having to get financing to replace your windows just doesn't seem right. Let me explain to you why windows are so expensive. You have to pay salary of salesman who comes over to give you your "free" estimate. Then, you have to pay salary of installers. Finally, you have to pay owner of company. In some cases there is a broker who acts as a middleman, and he or she gets a cut too. No wonder you need financing! Now, imagine if you already knew how to shop for windows, how to measure for new windows, how to remove old windows, and how to install new windows. You just eliminated everybody except owner. All of a sudden you can afford to replace your windows without taking out a loan! The next few articles are going to cover this process. This article is going to discuss proper way to measure for your double hung replacement windows.
It's important to properly measure for your windows. If you order them too small, you're going to end up having to improvise in order to get them to work. Even if you do get them to work, you're probably going to have problems. And if you order them too big, you're really in trouble. Chances are you will be ordering more windows. So, measuring is very important. Fortunately, it's also very simple. We are dealing with old double hung wood windows here, so if that doesn't apply to you, don't worry. Future articles will discuss other types of windows. In case of wood sash windows, you want to measure width first, and height second. When you go shopping for windows, always give dimensions as WIDTH X HEIGHT. To measure your width, you want to pull a tape measure from top right corner to top left corner. Measure in that 1 1/2" pocket that window frame slides in. Measure to sixteenth of an inch. Do same thing at about midway point,right above where window locks. Then, raise bottom sash and take same measurement at bottom. If you can't raise window for whatever reason, go outside and measure from there. You will have to remove screen though.
The majority of time all three of those measurements will be same. If they're not same, use SMALLEST measurement. Now subtract 1/4" from that measurement. This is your width for new window. The height is a bit tricky. If your window sill outside slopes downward for water drainage, you have to make sure that you measure from HIGHEST Point of sill. You want to measure from top right corner to bottom right corner. Put your tape at top where upper sash closes. If bottom has a 5/8" high inside wood sill piece to prevent water from coming inside, you need to raise bottom sash and run tape past 5/8" sill and down to high point of sloped sill. Do this in middle and on left. Once again, take smallest measurement, but this time deduct 3/16". This is your height. If you order your windows using these dimensions,they will fit right in, and leave just enough room to adjust if needed. The final step is to measure depth of pocket where both sashes slide. By depth, i mean from point outside where top sash rests against outside wood stop to point inside where inside sash rests against inside stop. This measurement should be between 3 1/4"- 3 1/2". The reason you need to know this dimension is because not all replacement windows have a 3 1/4" depth frame. You want a replacement window that's going to fit right into existing pocket of wood frame. If you purchase a window with a 2 5/8" frame depth, you're going to have approximately 3/4" to fill. That means buying new wood stops for inside of house that are 3/4" wider than existing stops. Get 3 1/4" frames and save yourself a lot of extra work. Now, if you're on a really tight budget, lower grade windows will be 2 5/8" frame, and you will have to get wider trim. But that's something you should weigh in your mind, whether money saved on lesser grade window is worth extra expense and time of installing new stops around inside of all your windows.
What to Know Before Signing a Home Improvement ContractWritten by Susan Chana Lask, Esq.
It is important to be a very careful consumer when it comes to home improvement contractors. For instance, I had a case where my client, an elderly and blind woman, signed a contract and paid $30,000.00 to a home improvement company that disappeared with all of her money! Unfortunately, company was a scam operation, my client lost her life's savings and it will take some time in court before my client may ever see her money again however, her mistake will be a lesson to all of you because this article explains how to protect yourself from home improvement fraud.
Before signing any contract with a home improvement company, first ask that company for its license number and check it out with your State or County Consumer Affairs' Business License Division. Find License Division on web or call information and get their number. You want to find out (1) name and address of company associated with license number given to you, (2) if company is currently licensed and license expiration date and (3) whether any complaints have been made against that company. The answers to those questions will help you determine if you want to proceed with signing a contract. Make sure both contractor and company he works for are licensed to work in your State.
If your going to sign contract then make sure certain things are included pursuant to your understanding and as required by your State’s Home Improvement Business Law. The contracting company's name, address and phone number should be printed on contract. Also, it is important that contracting company's home improvement license number is printed on contract and that it is not different from number you called and inquired about with Consumer Affairs. Lastly, make sure that all of work to be performed is listed in contract and that approximate start and end dates of work are included. You should put a penalty clause in contract regarding contractor’s failure to timely complete work because contractors are notorious for starting jobs and then leaving for a few days or weeks to do other jobs while you sit and wait in your dismantled kitchen for him to return. Once contract terms are satisfactory then contract should be signed by both you and company's representative.
An example of