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1950s timber windows

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  1. #1
    PiL
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    Default 1950s timber windows

    Hi all,

    Me again.
    Ive been looking around at the cost of new aluminium windows and have been gobsmacked at the cost.
    Take 2. Have looked into repair and found a bloke who seems to be good at his trade.
    He charges $250 to repair broken double hung window and $350 to repair rotten frames.
    Seems fair enough.
    The main question i have is that he's quoted $300 - $500 per piece of glass if i go with a modern vlam double glaze replacement.
    Basically that means a standard double hung window made up from 4 panes of glass costs $1200 odd just for the glass. Does that sound right to everyone?

    I think the repair costs are fair. This is worst of the windows. Im gonna assume $250 repair, $350 frame repair, $600 new glass. Still cheaper than replacement and keeps the original ambience:
    20210715_094423.jpg

  2. #2
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    It should be easy enough to check the price of vlam glazing units. Although I am not familiar with pricing for IGUs four panes for $1200 doesn't sound excessive for a custom made product that will save you money and give you comfort until you die. My view is that the sooner you spend the money on IGUs, the sooner you reap the benefits. Prices for doubling glazing and energy for heating/cooling are only ever going to go up, and once you retire disposable income is only ever going to go down. Give yourself the greatest chance of ROI by starting sooner rather than later IMHO.

    Oh, and don't even think about aluminium window frames unless you have polar bear DNA.
    Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it necessary, it is true, does it improve on the silence? - Baba

  3. #3
    PiL
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    I think I'll probably go double glazing rather than vlam.

    The thing that stumped me was that with the 5 panel window below, the little double hung ones cost the same as the big central pane.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20210715_093837.jpg  

  4. #4
    Senior Stinkologist Sir Stinkalot's Avatar
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    Default 1950s timber windows

    Not that long ago I got a double hung window (similar size to your side windows) re-glazed in single Comfort Plus (top panel) and an obscure VLAM with Comfort Plus (bottom panel) and it was about $450 from memory.

    I removed the frames, stripped the paint, routered the glazing channel to accept the new glass and dropped the frame off at the glazier. All they had to do was measure, cut and putty.

    The original frame had only very thin glass 1-2mm, so I needed to increase the glazing rebate to accommodate 6mm from memory. There wasn’t much more room in the frame to try and go deeper to accommodate a double glazed unit, so I stuck with the Comfort Plus.
    Last edited by Sir Stinkalot; 25th Jul 2021 at 11:32 PM. Reason: Edited the iPhone "smart" auto correct
    Licence to drill!

  5. #5
    PiL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Stinkalot View Post

    The original frame had only very thin glass 1-2mm, so I needed to increase the glazing rebate to accommodate 6mm from memory. There wasnít much more room in the frame to try and go deeper to accommodate a double glazed unit, so I stick with the Comfort Plus.
    Good point. I will discuss with the window restorer once lockdown lifts.
    From what i have read, vlam is more for acoustic insulation - id prefer to go thermal.
    Meanwhile, i got a quote back to replace all with base model aluminium. $24k

    Repair and reglaze is definitely the way forward.

    20210715_094001.jpg20210715_094402.jpg

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiL View Post
    Hi all,

    Me again.
    Ive been looking around at the cost of new aluminium windows and have been gobsmacked at the cost.
    Take 2. Have looked into repair and found a bloke who seems to be good at his trade.
    He charges $250 to repair broken double hung window and $350 to repair rotten frames.
    Seems fair enough.
    The main question i have is that he's quoted $300 - $500 per piece of glass if i go with a modern vlam double glaze replacement.
    Basically that means a standard double hung window made up from 4 panes of glass costs $1200 odd just for the glass. Does that sound right to everyone?

    I think the repair costs are fair. This is worst of the windows. Im gonna assume $250 repair, $350 frame repair, $600 new glass. Still cheaper than replacement and keeps the original ambience:
    What sort of repairs are needed? Do you mean replace the sash cord?

  7. #7
    PiL
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    Quote Originally Posted by joynz View Post
    What sort of repairs are needed? Do you mean replace the sash cord?
    Some of the windows dont stay open. Some dont shut properly. and some are jammed shut. He hasnt been around yet to quote (lockdown) but i wouldn't expect that all the windows would be charged at that rate.
    Apart from the rotten sills, the biggest part of the job is replacing all glass.
    Do you think im better getting a glazier to do the glasswork rather than the window repair guy?

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    The window repair guy would surely take the panes out and get a glazier to cut or make replacements.
    Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it necessary, it is true, does it improve on the silence? - Baba

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiL View Post
    Some of the windows dont stay open. Some dont shut properly. and some are jammed shut. He hasnt been around yet to quote (lockdown) but i wouldn't expect that all the windows would be charged at that rate.
    Apart from the rotten sills, the biggest part of the job is replacing all glass.
    Do you think im better getting a glazier to do the glasswork rather than the window repair guy?
    Glaziers will normally only fit glass without repairing the rest of the window. Unless someone removes the sash they will just fit glass in situ.
    Timber sash windows are labour intensive to repair correctly, if fitting non original glass the rebate will need increasing as per the comments above. The increase in glazing weight may also need adjusting the balance weights or spiral balances.

    If you think the cost of the glazing is high just measure some of the windows and get a quote just for re-glazing only, if there is significant difference either talk to your repair person or get additional quotes for the entire job.

  10. #10
    PiL
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    I think the costs are fair enough.

    My initial hesitation was that a small or large panel of glass didnt have much price difference. Ive come to realise that modern double glazing is not just 2 pieces of glass but a sealed unit so size/amount of material is not the biggest cost factor, rather the fabrication of the piece is.

    Just waiting for lockdown to be over and hoping that trades can survive...

  11. #11
    PiL
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    Ive spoken with the window restorer.
    Ive been given the option of "comfort hush" - Due to the width of frames, double glaze won't fit.
    Ive looked around and there isnt much info in terms of reviews for comfort hush.
    Comfort plus on the other hand has a lot of terrible reviews. Problems range from staining, cracking and no perceived improvement.
    Anyone here have experience with comfort hush?

    As for the window restoration and new glass, the entire window will be removed and worked on in the workshop before being reinstalled. Sounds like a tough gig. Fixing the windows involves grooves being routed and springs installed to offset the weight for opening the bottom windows. Top windows will be fixed shut.
    The worst outer sills will have a colorbond sheath covering as the old hardwood is still structurally sound.

    Any thoughts, advice or contributions?

  12. #12
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiL View Post
    Comfort plus on the other hand has a lot of terrible reviews.
    No experience with hush but I do have low e (plus type glass). Being laminated it noticeably reduces sound. The only thing is cleaning is specific, so no blue windex but the clear windex is okay as is a vinegar water mix. In certain light a light haze is evident but usually not, it is something inherent to this type of glass. It is great for reducing heat transmission which I appreciate with this glass facing due west. So I am happy with the comfort plus type glass, especially with a light green tint which enhances the blue sky colour as well as that of the green surrounds, had it in for maybe 8 years now.

  13. #13
    PiL
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    I think comfort hush is just comfort plus with low-e coating.

    Im pretty sure that I'll pull the trigger. $9k seems reasonable.

    The only catch is that ive been quoted nearly $4k more for the old lead paint to be stripped and repainted. That's for 5 windows.
    Is removing lead paint that expensive...?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiL View Post
    I think comfort hush is just comfort plus with low-e coating.
    They are both low-e and laminated. Hush probably has a different laminated core, don't know...check out the Veridian website or contact them.

  15. #15
    PiL
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    Spoke with the window restorer again.
    He's offered 10 years warranty on the work if he also paints the windows. Glass has 5 years from viridian.

    That comes to almost $13k as per the work detailed previously for 5 windows:

    20210715_093837.jpg x1
    20210715_094135.jpg x2
    20210715_094402.jpg x2

    Final measure and 30% deposit next week.
    Work to be done in october.

    Any last tips or things to bring up before he comes over?

  16. #16
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    Time to pull the trigger but have found out that the bloke doesnt have a builder's license. The job is $13k (way over the $5k minor reno limit).
    Is a window restorer considered a trade that requires a license?
    He has an abn and insurance.
    Any thoughts?

  17. #17
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    Took almost 6 months to get someone in to do the job.
    Windows all look almost original, just a thin strip of cedar (dunno the name) around the inside, middle and outside to seal from drafts and sound.
    Top and bottom sashes all work for the first time in decades and line up perfectly.
    House is so silent you can hear the person next to you breathe.
    Most of the sound comes through the door gaps.

    Very happy with the results.

    I'll be trying to match original wood stain inside and will apply fresh white paint on the outside.
    Is there a particular exterior white paint that is the go to brand? Gloss white.
    20220314_091349.jpg

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiL View Post
    I'll be trying to match original wood stain inside and will apply fresh white paint on the outside.
    Is there a particular exterior white paint that is the go to brand? Gloss white.
    Personally I stick with Dulux as I find the coverage better than other brands I have tried but many other get good results with their chosen brand, really is a personal choice.
    Make sure you use oil based as double hung sash windows stick with water based paint.

  19. #19
    PiL
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    Dulux it is. I have no idea so will take your suggestion.
    I'm a bit worried about the possibility of lead paint so am going to use disposable drop sheets and only scrape loose bits and paint over the rest.
    How is oil based different to water based for window sashes? Will take your advice regardless.
    Just waiting for the putty to dry.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiL View Post
    How is oil based different to water based for window sashes? Will take your advice regardless.
    Just waiting for the putty to dry.
    Not sure I understand your question? With the water based if you have two surfaced held against each other they will stick together and won’t slide, even after drying.
    Oil based once dry and hard will slide smoothly.

    The putty does not need to be dry, that can take years. It just needs a skin on it usually about 3-4 weeks but does depend on the oil content in the putty.

    I also use oil based primer for any external timber.

  21. #21
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    Yes use oil based in the window glides.

  22. #22
    PiL
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    So much scraping...
    This is by far the worst window.
    Probs got lead poisoning now.

    20220418_114840.jpg
    Have coated with primer.

  23. #23
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    have coated with primer?? what sort? clear? what is it??
    my neighbour did his timber parts about 30 years ago and were lead, i remember 5-10 years later he got cancer, not sure if it was related though. he was around 40 when he started the job.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by wozzzzza View Post
    have coated with primer?? what sort? clear? what is it??
    my neighbour did his timber parts about 30 years ago and were lead, i remember 5-10 years later he got cancer, not sure if it was related though. he was around 40 when he started the job.
    this photo was taken BEFORE priming sorry. scraped a lot of paint and some of it is back to original wood.

    some basic precautions were taken.
    i wore eye protection, trusty hat and a n95 mask. limited myself to scraping only and no sanding.
    put down a drop sheet to collect flakes.

    it seems like the people i've spoken to are pretty blase about lead paint. the window restorer certainly was as was the guy at the paint store.

  25. #25
    PiL
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    Have primed and painted 1 coat (semi gloss
    weathershield in lexicon quarter) on all the easy to reach windows. They look so much better. Will give it 1 more coat for good measure.

    Also gave the front wall a clean but now it is painfully obvious that the previous paint had run onto the wall and has stained the bricks.
    There is a garden bed directly below this window and am wondering if there's a way to clean the bricks without harsh chemicals.
    Have tried sugar soap and pressure hose. No go...
    Contemplating painting the whole front wall.
    screenshot_20220425-191157_instagram.jpg

  26. #26
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    screenshot_20220522-225045_instagram.jpg
    Ended up giving the windows 3 coats of paint.
    They look great, but there is a new thin piece of timber that the windows slide over which i have not painted. They stand out like dog's balls.
    If i watered down some paint and gave them a wash, just to take the wood colour off, do you guys reckon they would effect the movement of the sashes?

    Also still looking for a product or method to clean off old paint from the brickwork. The previous job was horrendous in some parts.

  27. #27
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    20220525_141300.jpg
    Blinds installed.
    Still waiting on flyscreen quote.

    The bloke that came out reckons the best way to install them is to make the screens a little larger and then to screw directly into the window frames. Not too sold on that idea.
    The old ones sat inside the frames and used some kind of pivoting fastener so you could easily remove for window cleaning. Reckons they don't last more than a year.
    My old ones were at least 30 years old and mostly held by nails.

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