Clippings by farmgirlinky

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RE: windows, winter, wind help? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: liriodendron on 11.03.2012 at 03:55 pm in Old House Forum

A first-aid, triage thing to do the first winter is to shut off some rooms and hunker down in the others.

You can also stuff foam weatherstripping down the rope-openings of the windows you aren't opening any more this season.

If you have wooden exterior storms, plan on keeping them - they are the best.

Old wooden primary window sash can be rehabbed to become nearly as, or better than, energy efficient as replacement windows. It's a job you can learn to do on your own. It's expensive to hire out as it is time-consuming job. But since it can be done one window at a time, it's ideal for DIY.

When we bought this mid 19th-c farmhouse (closed in early Dec.) we were unable to heat it all the first year as the chimney wasn't safe and since we live in northern NY it couldn't be fixed until spring. There is no central heat, so we relied on closing up rooms, and electric space heaters (and electric blankets). My DH had the best of the deal because he went away to work everyday in a heated office. I spent a lot time in those first few months out doing research in the county archives which are heated and dry.

Just figure out how to manage this first winter and you can address some of the issues in the coming months.

There's a good book to get: Working Windows by Terry Meany. You can get it from Amazon. It explains exactly how to overhaul and weatherize your existing windows.

Schoolhouse is correct, after a year or so, you'll find modern, nearly air-tight, over-heated houses unpleasant.

L.

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clipped on: 04.11.2014 at 02:50 pm    last updated on: 04.11.2014 at 02:52 pm

RE: Recipe for disaster. (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: secondhalf on 10.28.2012 at 05:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

A2 - I am so sorry this happens and I would echo the comments saying you should demand plywood. I was literally minutes away from ordering these exact Brookhaven cabinets in spite of my misgivings about the MDF. I was repeatedly reassured the MDF is superior. Then, in the middle of writing up the final contract at the showroom, I got up to look inside the display to decide on a pullout issue.....and the DISPLAY had a crack in the sidewall. The KD fell all over explaining that "would of course be replaced if it happened in a real kitchen." Well, I wasn't going to have it happen at all in my kitchen. I walked out and went with another company. They MUST know these things happen as these two examples can't be the only ones. if they knew you were using this as a dish drawer they should have recommended the stronger sidewall. Otherwise, they sold you a product that was not fit to serve the purpose and they should replace with an appropriate material (plywood) so you aren't dealing with this down the road 10 years from now. They charge so much and tell you the product is superior....this should never have happened. Again, that is so unfair to you and we all want to see you get back your excitement for your new kitchen. You should feel absolutely justified in expecting plywood replacements and they would be foolish not to as this is not good public relations for them.

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clipped on: 10.28.2012 at 11:05 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2012 at 11:06 pm

RE: Recipe for disaster. (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: caryscott on 10.28.2012 at 11:16 am in Kitchens Forum

It's the material that failed, though that kind of failure would suggest that the weight wasn't well distributed. Frameless construction is the standard here in Canada and from high end to low and particleboard (of varying qualities and thicknesses) is the standard and preferred construction material for this style of cabinetry. It has real advantages in relation to stability and the uniformity of the surface. I certainly doesn't hold screws like plywood - any ANSI rating would show that but the screw didn't fail or lose hold of the material it was embedded in the material around it gave way. Better support (better distribution of the force to multiple support points) probably would have prevented this and the overlapping layers in plywood would certainly make it far less likely to fail under that amount of weight. With a lot of frameless lines I think the drawer bases top out at 30" wide like Ikea (if I recall correctly) - this may be one of the reasons why. I'm sure there is a workable solution.

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clipped on: 10.28.2012 at 11:03 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2012 at 11:04 pm

Glass type difference- integrity

posted by: lnia on 05.30.2012 at 03:05 pm in Windows Forum

Hello
What is the difference between low e II w argon and loE 366 with argon? Cost? Quality?
Thank you!

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good discussion of E factors in relation to climate, siting of house, etc
clipped on: 06.22.2012 at 08:29 pm    last updated on: 06.22.2012 at 08:30 pm

LoE-180 runaround

posted by: haunma on 05.31.2012 at 01:27 pm in Windows Forum

I carefully researched my window glass options before soliciting estimates for my Seattle-area home. As I was warned, most professional window people are clueless about low- vs high-SHGC coatings. Pretty surprising, as Seattle may be the most logical place in the entire country for high-SHGC glass. (Not only are we a heating-dominated climate; we don't need air conditioning at all.)

The sales people were very open to my request (LoE-180 on the south windows, LoE-272 on the north)--changing from disagreeing with me, to agreeing with me, once I explained the reasoning. But now I (and they) are getting the runaround from potential window suppliers--Comfort Design and Simonton. Assertions made thus far:

1) "LoE-180 is the same thing as i80", which I find suspicious, as this sounds a lot like *i81* which is a different kind of coating altogether (pyro coating on surface 4, the indoors-facing "outside" of the IGU).

2) "LoE-180 / i80 is a new product" and they aren't comfortable warrantying it. Pretty sure this is bs.

3) I can only get this if I spring for tempered glass.

This is rather discouraging. The federal tax credits may have expired, but it seems that Physics has not yet prevailed in the industry. What's a homeowner to do?

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clipped on: 06.16.2012 at 02:47 pm    last updated on: 06.16.2012 at 02:47 pm

farmgirlinky kitchen before/after -- too long, too many pictures

posted by: farmgirlinky on 04.23.2011 at 10:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

Apologies in advance for a long post! and thanks to many thoughtful GW denizens who served as sources of inspiration to this frequent-lurker, sometime-poster: xoldtimecarpenter, rhome47, marthavila, palimpsest, buehl, boxerpups, marcolo, johnliu come to mind, among others.

We live in a 1910 house in urban Connecticut, and have been gradually renovating it for the last ten years. We hope to live here another twenty--thirty years or so, next stop would be assisted living vs. skilled nursing! So: nardellos-to-the-wall renovation, amortized over decades.

The original space included a walk-in pantry, originally the ice-box room, and the "telephone closet", which we ripped out when we moved in. The "servant's dining hall" and kitchen had long since been combined into one room. So the "before" space was raw and ugly but functional, and we installed our old Aga range and were happy for a decade. Five years ago we acquired the Subzero when our old fridge gave up the ghost. Maybe I pronounced the old fridge dead while it still had a thready pulse, but I hated it. With this renovation we ordered an Aga Module to append to the old 4-oven gas-fueled Aga range, so that we could turn the latter off in the warmest months. In the winter, we are glad to have a separate heat zone in the kitchen, where we tend to live. The rest of the house is kept just above freezing. The windows and doors were restored, except for one new window that was built to match the old ones.

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Steven Marchetti of Peix & Marchetti is our friend and architect. The space was gutted last August, and our excellent builder friend Allen Mathes built around the Aga and the large refrigerator. Allen built a fir "floor" on the ceiling and "strapped" it. The Aga is vented into the old flue and could not be moved -- the range hood could only be vented through one bay between joists to the rear of the house, so we held our breath until the custom Rangecraft hood arrived and was installed and fit like a glove: that's why the ducts are assymetrical. Very Terry Gilliam.

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The floor is cork, and here is a picture of unwaxed Jucca soapstone countertop. The cabinetry is custom-made in New Haven, by fantastic Bryan Smallman:

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Here are the just-about-finished pictures: there's a little trim to be done yet. We love the kitchen and it works well -- prep sink at the window and the utility sink accessible from both sides of the island are especially handy, because several cooks can work comfortably together and clean-up seems more communal. The Profi faucet is terrific for clean-up, also accessible from both sides because it is side-mounted on the Julien undermount steel sink. Friends off to one side at our old kitchen table seem happy and it they're not, we just pour more bourbon....

We worked with an architect friend, and were influenced by a favorite space, the Yale Center for British Art: the palette and the quiet feeling of the materials were what we tried to emulate, even as almost every material in the museum was switched for something else. Tennessee Golden Oak became vertical grain fir (oak today isn't Louis Kahn's oak), travertine became cork (who wants to stand on stone?), brutalist concrete became soapstone (who wants to worry about sealing concrete). Steel is still steel! The cream Aga that we have had for years dictated the choice of the biscuit fireclay farm sink and the cream ceramic subway tiles.

I have this idea that it's okay to mix a lot of materials if the palette is restrained, or it's fine to mix a lot of colors if the number of materials is restrained, but I'd be interested to see examples of lots of materials AND lots of colors working well. But that's just me.

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sawkille stools

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sawkille stools

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I'll list materials in a subsequent post. Again, sorry for the many pictures: I get cross-eyed trying to post these things! Let me know what you think. Except maybe you, marcolo ;)
Lynn

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clipped on: 04.25.2011 at 09:07 am    last updated on: 04.09.2012 at 05:18 pm

soapstone before/after rehoning

posted by: farmgirlinky on 06.25.2011 at 11:42 am in Kitchens Forum

Hope this is useful to some soapstone folks. We were overall happy with our Jucca soapstone counters from Dorado, but I was bothered by the higher-than-expected sheen after dry waxing, which had the advantage of making the iron and quartz veining "pop" more, but also made the counters easier to visibly scratch (scratches in the wax?) and perhaps more likely to have watermarks trapped under wax. I wanted a more traditional soapstone feel, and through remodelfla and others, reached Joshua of Creative Stone in Florida, who put me in touch with a former colleague of his in Pennsylvania, David Mellinger (267-644-8388) who just happened to be passing through Connecticut one week later. He rehoned our counters and oiled them with Clark Stanley's Snake Oil Liniment (=mineral oil), and we are thrilled with the difference. He sanded first with 80 grit, then with 150 grit. Water was involved in the final stages, too, but I was in the office when it happened and can't cite chapter and verse.) We are now officially thrilled with the soapstone instead of pleased/anxious. The veining is more subtle, but that's fine. At the risk of boring those who have seen pictures from this kitchen ad nauseum: the first two pictures are before rehoning, the latter are after rehoning:

BEFORE REHONING, WAXED WITH DORADO DRY WAX

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BEFORE ETC.

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AFTER REHONING, OILED WITH MINERAL OIL

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AFTER REHONING, ETC.

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clipped on: 10.18.2011 at 11:16 pm    last updated on: 04.09.2012 at 05:17 pm

Retrofoam, ICYENE and older wires

posted by: jason1083 on 05.09.2007 at 02:52 pm in Electrical Wiring Forum

I am considering having retrofoam installed in my walls, and ICYENE foam (spray foam) on the kneewalls and floor of the crawlspace in my upstairs (1.5 story house sorta resembles an "A"). I have the older style romex (the house was built in early 1940's)and I know the boxes for some of the lights and some j boxes may be upstairs. My questions are would there be any concern of the insulation damaging the wires by moving them, and what about covering the ones upstairs.

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clipped on: 03.02.2012 at 07:44 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2012 at 07:45 pm

Knob & Tube -- Cellulose Insulation

posted by: richardonthego on 10.28.2011 at 04:49 pm in Electrical Wiring Forum

Hi--

I am in Los Angeles in a house that was built in 1921. It has knob and tube and is still running electricity that way. We've had a licensed electrician come and inspect all the wires and breaker box and retrofit all the plugs to be grounded. We asked him if cellulose could be blown in over the knob and tube in the attic and he said that'd be fine because the wires are still in good shape.

I called an insulation company with experience in knob and tube and they said it's fine, as well. Especially because cellulose is non-flammeable.

I still have reservations, though. Despite both the electrician and insulation company saying it's safe, I'm worried. A lot of forums say to replace the knob and tube completely.

Should I be? Has anyone else blown in cellulose over knob and tube?

We are planning on only blowing in the cellulose in the attic, not the walls.

Thank you!

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clipped on: 03.02.2012 at 07:40 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2012 at 07:40 pm

RE: Do scratches on soapstone eventually 'oil' out? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: florida_joshua on 01.04.2012 at 11:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hey Stu, no offense but MB didn't really break into the soapstone market. He dealt with "Italian Soapstone" known as pietra del cardoso. . . . Look at his previous posts on this forum as well as many others. He did not talk highly about soapstone for this reason. You should also know that if soapstone was polished out with a diamond pad, you will not be able to match it with a silicone carbide sandpaper. This is essentially the problem. You would have to "refinish" the whole surface if this was the case, which in most cases is what you would want to do. Also the more you sand soapstone with a silicone carbide sand paper the more texture you get on the stone. This is because soapstone is made up of many varying (in hardness) minerals. The process of finishing soapstone is unique at best. It is not like any other stone on the market. . . because it is not made of the same minerals.

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clipped on: 01.05.2012 at 08:11 pm    last updated on: 01.05.2012 at 08:11 pm

Water rings on soapstone.....not anymore!

posted by: cheri127 on 03.24.2010 at 07:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

I posted on another thread earlier that Florida Joshua refinished my soapstone counters today and they look and feel wonderful...really, totally different. But I had to wait till the tile guy left to do the ultimate test; does it still get those dreaded white water rings/spots? The answer is, NO IT DOESN'T!!!! So, to all those who have this problem with their soapstone, it really seems to be the way it was finished, not the stone itself. I'm so, so, so happy. Thank you Joshua and thank you Pluckymama for posting your experience with Joshua's work and making us aware that a solution was possible.

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clipped on: 06.24.2011 at 10:55 pm    last updated on: 06.24.2011 at 10:55 pm

RE: Help! Soapstone slabs from quarry, installed, now water rings (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: Angie_DIY on 06.10.2011 at 12:14 am in Kitchens Forum

This is from an earlier thread (link below)

Posted by grannabelle (My Page) on Sat, Mar 27, 10 at 11:43
as you may have seen on my posting of yesterday, FL Joshua also rescued my counter tops this week...
here is what i consider an invaluable piece of advice that he gave me while he was here, having to do with water rings and the like (which in my case was the least of the probs with my stone)- perhaps many of you are aware of this, but i was not, and so i pass it on...i always oiled on top of the rings and spots in an attempt to have them blend in..with no success...Joshua explained that before oiling i have to scrub the ring or spot with dish soap and water to remove it...and then re-oil...otherwise, you are just sealing the mark under the oil...last night i saw two very small little spots (don't know from what) - followed Joshua's advice and two minutes later they were completely gone...

Here is a link that might be useful: Water rings on soapstone.....not anymore!

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clipped on: 06.24.2011 at 10:54 pm    last updated on: 06.24.2011 at 10:54 pm

RE: Life with soapstone--patina pictures galore (Follow-Up #44)

posted by: florida_joshua on 08.05.2008 at 07:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

OK, so here goes. I caught up on this thread a little late but I think I have an explanation.

How your soapstone patinas in your home depends on a couple of variables. One important variable is how much talc is in your stone. The second and I think this is extremely important to mention, is how the countertops are finished. Over the last couple of years I think Ive learned a delicate balance between polished up too much vs. not enough. Thirdly, what environment the soapstone is going to be placed into plays a role to. For example, does your ac duct point directly onto your countertops, or do you have a window that directs a lot of sunlight in your kitchen - both will evaporate the oil off quicker. Hard water would be lumped into this category along with how your soapstone is finished. How much you use your kitchen (introducing oils) will also play a part in this.

For me soapstone is a balance between how each of us act in our own kitchen and what type of soapstone you choose how its finished plays a big role too, (hopefully I get this point across. . lol). Soapstone is like a chameleon changing with each owner. It just fits right in . . .

Hope this makes a bit of sense.

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clipped on: 06.05.2011 at 10:53 pm    last updated on: 06.05.2011 at 10:53 pm

Spice Jars and Labels

posted by: cessnabmw on 04.21.2011 at 03:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

Now that the kitchen is almost done (will be posting all my pics and details soon), I wanted to see what everyone does for spice jars and labels.

We have two spice pull-outs on either side of the stove and want to add jars and labels.

Suggestions?

Recommendations?

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clipped on: 04.23.2011 at 12:14 pm    last updated on: 04.23.2011 at 12:14 pm

Soapstone owners: final sanding grit level?

posted by: rmaxharrj on 04.21.2011 at 12:02 am in Kitchens Forum

I am going to have Barroca (a classic softer soapstone variety) counters installed. They are in the fabrication shop now (yippee!). However, I am concerned that they will be too rough to the hand. Our installer wants a 100 grit final sand finish, but I think 150 grit or so would be more to our liking. Can you soapstoners out there give me your opinions about the right grit or finish for our counters? Apparently it is supposed to be easier to buff out scratches ourselves at the rougher grit?

Many thanks...

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clipped on: 04.21.2011 at 12:16 am    last updated on: 04.21.2011 at 12:16 am

bamboo hedge for newbie in zone 6

posted by: judyny6 on 01.12.2006 at 02:36 pm in Bamboo Forum

I would greatly appreciate help before I repeat my first bamboo mistake! I trusted Wayside Gardens zone recommendation for phyllostachys nigra, and $100 later it died its first winter. I want to plant a hedge on the front of my property- my view now is of my neighbors trucks. I need something 10 to 15 feet, that is eveergreen and can take afternoon sun. It is about 50 feet that I need to cover, bordering my front lawn. I was nervous about running bamboo, although that might be a cheaper way to cover all that space. I can't find any info about how wide the clumping kind gets. I was interested in fargesia murielae, fargesia robusta green screen, and phyllostachys decora. Any advice or experience with these or other recommendations?Thanks!

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clipped on: 04.09.2011 at 09:52 am    last updated on: 04.09.2011 at 09:52 am

Help with Miele Rotary Iron B890

posted by: linda2007 on 02.23.2010 at 11:37 pm in Laundry Room Forum

I purchased a 3 year old Miele B890 Rotary Iron that was used in an upscale restaurant to press napkins and tablecloths. (The restaurant closed due to the economy.) The rotary iron works great but, the heater plate (shoe)has a build up of residue that needs to be removed. I called Miele and they suggested I use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. The 50/50 solution didn't work, so I tried using undiluted vinegar, but it didn't remove the residue. I even used Ez-Off, a non-flammable, hot metal ironing surface cleaner that I purchase from Atlanta Thread to clean my Hi-Steam boiler iron, and my Rowenta iron, but Ez-Off didn't remove the residue either. I'm not sure what the residue is, but it's probably a combination of starch, grease, and scorch. I think I will try using a non-abrasive cleaner like Bon Ami, but I would like to remove the roller to access the heater plate for easier cleaning, but I don't know how. I would truly appreciate information, or suggestions from any of you on the laundry forum who know about Miele Rotary Irons, or other rotary irons. Thank you

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clipped on: 02.15.2011 at 08:26 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2011 at 08:26 pm

RE: Replacing wood windows (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: bluezette on 01.25.2011 at 09:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

We had our 1924 windows professionally restored and are very happy with the result. You really can do it yourself if you have the time and want to save the cash for other projects. Our DIY skills are limited, yet we restored the original wood storms on the first floor ourselves over the summer and they came out great.

Previous owners installed triple track storms on the second floor and we would not want to hang storms up there each fall and take them down each spring. We are currently saving up to replace the second floor aluminum storms with wood storms with upper and lower removable screen panels to take full advantage of our double-hung windows.

Here is a link that might be useful: year-round wood storms

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clipped on: 01.26.2011 at 09:24 pm    last updated on: 01.26.2011 at 09:24 pm

RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: beekeeperswife on 01.19.2011 at 11:21 am in Kitchens Forum

1. Do you have the cork glue-down tiles or click style flooring? (manufacturer?)

Mine is a floating floor, from US Floors. Natural Cork New Dimensions. Wide Plank, Corte. Click and lock. But it doesn't feel like some click and lock laminates, you may be thinking of.
2. What maintenance is required to keep the finish up? Did you do any sealing after installation or was your floor pre-sealed?

Absolutely no sealing. Each board is totally sealed (including the tongues & grooves)by the manufacturer. If I were to have sealed it afterwards, it 1. would void the warranty and 2. it probably would have cracked since it is a floating floor and son of a gun--it really does expand and contract.
3. Did you have any color change occur after installation?
nope
4. How long have you had your floors installed?
13 months
5. Any special floor challenges--big dogs, old dogs, kids, main entry, etc.?
My 18 year old cockapoo had a battle with a uti a couple of months ago. So you just never knew when the moment would hit her.....no problems with cleanup.

I use Rigo Floor cleaner, as recommended by the manufacturer. It is bought in a concentrated form, and you mix it up in a spray bottle. After sweeping the floor, you just spray it on, and use a microfiber cloth mop to wip it up. Floors look great.

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clipped on: 01.19.2011 at 12:26 pm    last updated on: 01.19.2011 at 12:26 pm

RE: humming halogen monorail lights when dimmed (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: davidr on 12.28.2010 at 12:29 am in Lighting Forum

The electrician is right. Try different brands of bulbs.

The problem is the way a thyristor dimmer distorts the AC waveform. Sine wave dimmers don't do that and they're becoming more widely used in theatre, but I don't know of any yet made for homes.

Autotransformer dimmers would eliminate the hum, but they're hard to find, large, and quite expensive.

You can also minimize the hum by sizing your lights (or switching some off) so they run at or near full brightness most of the time.

Finally, LED lights don't buzz. But they're still quite expensive and limited in selection. They're more efficient than incandescent, but those currently available are not as efficient as fluorescents.

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clipped on: 01.05.2011 at 08:36 pm    last updated on: 01.05.2011 at 08:36 pm

Add to the Finished Kitchen Blog! (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: buehl on 11.15.2010 at 02:32 am in Kitchens Forum

When your kitchen is complete, please submit it to the Finished Kitchens Blog! This way your kitchen will join others in inspiring and helping newcomers!

Add your kitchen to the FKB!

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clipped on: 01.04.2011 at 11:58 am    last updated on: 01.04.2011 at 11:58 am

Which appliances did YOU choose?

posted by: home4all6 on 01.01.2011 at 03:09 pm in Kitchens Forum

As I plot and plan and walk and measure and compute and draw and divide and *conquer* I am constantly plagued by fear of not making the right choices.
Aren't we all???
So I wondered if you all could share your final choices in appliances for your kitchen...as little or as much detail as you'd like to share.
I'll start with my current kitchen, which we've slowly renovated but haven't redone. We are a family of 6, all kids under 6 years old. I am not a hardcore cook, but would love to cook more, and as the kids get older, I'm able to involve them more, which is GREAT!

Fridge: GE Profile FD--w/water in door/not ice (love it)
DW: Bosch integra 800 series--so quiet, no issues
range: Electrolux 30" gas icon--works great, but issues with burners lighting and staying lit
microwave: still the oldy-moldy OTR one--blech...

We bought all at different times, and at closeouts/floor model discounts, so the prices were right :)

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clipped on: 01.02.2011 at 05:04 pm    last updated on: 01.02.2011 at 05:05 pm

Do you line your new kitchen drawers and shelves?

posted by: clancyspad on 01.27.2008 at 05:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

I was wondering if you line your new kitchen drawers and shelves? What do you use?
thank you

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clipped on: 12.04.2010 at 05:04 pm    last updated on: 12.04.2010 at 05:04 pm

Read Me If You're New To GW Kitchens! [Help keep on Page 1]

posted by: buehl on 09.28.2010 at 10:50 pm in Kitchens Forum

Welcome! If you are new here - you may find the following information and links helpful.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages contain helpful information about how to navigate this site as well as the world of kitchen renovations.

The Kitchen Forum Acronyms will help you understand some of the acronyms used frequently in posts.

The Finished Kitchens Blog has pictures and information about many GW members' finished kitchens. Not only can you see them alphabetically, but there is also a category list if you're looking for specific things like a kitchen w/a Beverage Center or a kitchen w/a mix of dark and light cabinets. Access the FKB Categories Page via a link in the navigation panel on the right of any FKB page. Additionally, there is also a link to "In-Progress Kitchens" for those members' kitchens that are not quite ready for the FKB. There is also a link to "Coming Soon Kitchens" for those kitchens that are ready for the FKB but have not yet been added. To access the "In-Progress Kitchens", the "Coming Soon Kitchens", and the "FKB Categories", see the links in the navigation panel that is on the right side of each main FKB page.

The Appliances Forum is very useful when you have questions specific to appliances.

To start off the kitchen remodel process, take the Sweeby Test. Then, move on to Beginning a Kitchen Plan.

Other topics such as layouts, planning for storage, and stone materials are discussed in later posts in this thread. Even more information can be found by doing a search on the forum.

Tips:

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How are the home page and the Forum organized? (from the FAQs)

  • The Kitchens Forum home page lists 30 thread titles, starting with those that don't yet have a response. Then threads are listed in order of most recent response. That first page displays the last 2 hours or so of activity. (If there is no response to a thread in an hour or two, the unanswered thread starts to drop.)
  • Below the thread list are page numbers 1-67 for the total 67 pages of threads available -- capturing maybe 2 months or so of threads, less when the Forum is busy.
  • Below that (and at the top of the thread list) is a space for you to switch to the Conversations or Gallery "sides" - these are set up similarly but not nearly as active.
  • Next down is a Search box -- very important! This is also the Search box you should use (not the one at the top of the page.)
    • Always refresh the page two or three times b/f assuming a thread has disappeared right after starting it.
    • As to searching...a thread will not be found during a GW search for up to 24 hours after it has been started. This may seem too technical, but...searches are done against what are known as "indexes". Indexes use key fields/words to find things. iVillage only indexes threads once a day. So, that means that until your thread is "indexed", it won't show up in a search. If you start a thread just before the index is taken, you will be able to retrieve your thread by searching soon after creation. If, however, you start your thread right after the daily index, then you'll have to wait almost 24 hours for the next index.

  • Next is a place for you to start a new thread. And finally there are some instructions and links at the bottom.


Kitchen Forum "Sides"

Discussions: This is the "side" you are on. It is for on-topic discussions concerning kitchens...renovations, use of, etc.
Conversations: This is the "side" where you can post off topic threads such as regional get-togethers and non-kitchen subjects.
Gallery: This is the "side" where members often post pictures...especially if you're posting a lot of pictures or a finished kitchen. (Note: This is where StarPooh, our FKB person, wants you to post your finished kitchen prior to having it added to the FKB.)


Again, welcome and good luck! The journey is wild, sometimes bumpy, but fun and very rewarding in the end!

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clipped on: 11.07.2010 at 10:03 pm    last updated on: 11.07.2010 at 10:03 pm

RE: Best recessed kitchen lighting - suggestions please. (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: lightguy on 07.16.2008 at 01:56 pm in Lighting Forum

Hi there.
My personal favorite is low voltage halogen for recessed lights. They're small, extremely bright, last a very long time and are more efficient than normal incandescent bulbs.
In my opinion, they're more efficient than fluorescent- when taking real world use into account (dimming and true life span). But on paper, fluorescent beat them out.

They also don't have poisons in them like fluorescent and are dimmable.

You can also look for trimless recessed lights. They are great. More pricey though. But there is no trim visible and the bulb is more hidden. There is literally just a small hole in your ceiling.

For the best energy efficiency and life though, go with an LED bulb. The Cree LR6 is a 6" diameter and the LR4 is a 5" diameter. Those options are great since they're dimmable, put out a wonderful color of light and will literally last you over 25 years. But they are bigger, so more visible, than the halogen.

I have gone through more than 500 of these in the last few months and to a person, everyone has been thrilled.

The nice thing about the halogen is that very soon there will be replacement bulbs for those 3.5" cans which are LED. So basically, your first round of bulbs will be halogen, then you can go LED. Since the technology is moving so fast.

Hope this helps.

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clipped on: 09.13.2010 at 08:36 pm    last updated on: 09.13.2010 at 08:37 pm

RE: Anyone tired of their white subway tile backsplash yet? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: chana_goanna on 07.27.2010 at 03:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

Sabjimata:

1. When will you be posting your comleted pics? I can't WAIT to see your kitchen. (Or did I miss it somehow?)

2. Please post a link to your blog; our tastes seem very similar and I'm sure your blog would be a goldmine of ideas for me.

Gina: I personally find subway tile much more interesting with a darker grout, like so:

The trick here is to space the tiles very close together and use a medium-to-dark gray grout, not black, which would be too stark a contrast.

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clipped on: 08.26.2010 at 09:27 am    last updated on: 09.02.2010 at 07:03 pm

RE: experience with Spencerworks? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: xoldtimecarpenter on 08.25.2010 at 12:37 pm in Windows Forum

We have had quite a bit of experience and find the product to be as advertised. It is, in our opinion, the best answer yet to combination storm windows on heritage houses.

If you don't live in Nebraska (sorry about your bad luck), you are at the mercy of the accuracy of your own measurements. Spencer will make the windows to the measurements you provide. If you are not sure of your measuring ability -- hire a professional carpenter or window guy to measure for you. You will probably want a pro to install the windows, so make him responsible for accurate measurements in the first place. It's his headache if they're wrong.

If you are going to do it yourself, measure twice on two separate days. Compare the measurements and remeasure any dimension more than 1/16th inch different. The web site for the company contains comprehensive measurement instructions, so it's hard to go wrong. But don't forget that few windows are absolutely square, so be sure to measure in at least three places and use the smallest measurement. If your window is more than 1/4" out of square over 3', you'd best have someone look at your foundation. There's something wrong. Houses should not settle that much.

As to service after the sale, if the problem is their error, you can expect prompt and cheerful replacement. If it is your error, expect to pay for a new window.

Good luck with your project,

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clipped on: 08.25.2010 at 07:51 pm    last updated on: 08.25.2010 at 07:51 pm

RE: professional faucet versus tall faucet with pull down (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: rococogurl on 04.23.2010 at 08:05 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi again kaismom -- for the Dornbracht drain piece I'd find a dealer familiar with the line to help. The website is difficult to navigate as you likely know.

I have the daddy of the Tara Ultra -- the classic faucet plus the spray-- ultra is the new combo. If a splurge is in order, that's the piece to splurge on. It's a fantastic faucet. I cannot recall whether it still has a lever or they switched to buttons. Mine is 5 y.o. and has the lever which must be held down to spray.

The Rohl architect faucet is similar and slightly shorter and with a narrower projection and has buttons -- perhaps that's an alternate candidate.

In our apartment I went with a tall arched KWC pulldown -- no spring. The functionality is equally superb -- I love the pulldown which has a button that switches to spray.

Apart from scale and the projection depth which were very important to me, the major difference is that the pulldown has a farther reach that's handy. I can fill a pot on the counter with it f.ex. KWC faucets have exceptionally high water flow, if that's a consideration, and the pulldown cable is all metal which I like.

We have a Hansgrohe pull out in our mudroom, also a tall pillar faucet and that pales in comparison, both for convenience and quality. I don't like the big head on that vs the smaller one of the pull down f.ex. and the cable has a fabric and metal mesh. Not that you're considering that but for comparison there's less functionality difference between the Dornbracht and KWC while the Hansgrohe is much less convenient due to the head. What I'm trying to say is that some pulldowns may have larger heads and I don't care for that (others might).

I have single bowl 30" sinks in both cases. The pull down is installed with the Julien which is about 12" deep overall so it lets me get down into that sink. The Dornbracht is mounted with the Rohl farm sink which is upmounted so higher -- the sprayer works perfectly there but IMO would not be as functional as the pulldown with the deeper sink.

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clipped on: 05.01.2010 at 11:38 pm    last updated on: 05.01.2010 at 11:39 pm

RE: Calling Macv, Oberon & All Other Window Experts (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: mbwaldrop on 04.12.2010 at 11:30 pm in Building a Home Forum

I thought that this may be helpful.

CR Window Ratings

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clipped on: 04.25.2010 at 07:11 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2010 at 07:11 pm

RE: loewen windows design flaw? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: oberon on 01.16.2007 at 09:28 pm in Windows Forum

I also left this post over in the remodelling forum since it seemed to fit a thread over there as well as this one.

I have been considering this post for a week or so and I wasnt sure if I ever wanted to actually post it. But now that I have seen posts from other folks who are concerned about purchasing Loewen because of seeing specific negative posts on this (and other) forums, I have decided to comment. As usual, it is probably too long.

kavo United States registered on November 18, 2006 birthday June 19.

From kavo on November 18, 2006 at 1919 (in the Windows forum)

"A cautionary note...we are having a major problem with some of Loewen windows just installed on a new addition to our house. The service from Loewen has been terrible and their rep is unresponsive."

From kavo on November 18, 2006 at 1922 (in the Windows forum)

"We are having a major problem with large french casement push out windows by Loewen. Just installed and do not operate properly -- the rep insists they are fine and is stonewalling us"

Kavo has no additional posts on any THS forum

pnwarchitect United States registered on November 19, 2006 birthday May 19

From pnwarchitect on November 19, 2006 at 2138 (in the Remodeling forum)

"In particular I would stay away from the large casement windows. Loewen uses the same size framing on the larger windows as on the smaller ones, and it is inadequate to support a larger window properly. As a result the windows tend to warp when you close them, if you can close them at all. I had a project in which you had to go outside and press the top corner of two of the windows in to close them at all."

From Adrian Justin on November 19, 2006 (not from a THS forum - but the link to this post is in a THS forum post)
"the larger ones are defective. The primary reason for this is that Loewen does not increase the size of the frame in the larger windows, allowing them to warp signicantly when they are closed and therefore not lock correctly. Two of our windows actually require a person to stand outside and push on the window while another pulls to get it to seal correctly."

From pnwarchitect on November 19, 2006 at 2303 (in the Windows forum)

"I'm not surprised. Loewen has been going downhill since it (over)expanded a few years ago. Sales have become more important than quality. I think that attitude will catch up with Loewen soon, I've heard many negative stories about Loewen from builders and other architects recently."

From pnwarchitect on November 19, 2006 at 2310 (in the Windows forum)

"If you choose to go with wood, I would stay away from Loewen, their large windows are underdesigned and fragile."

From pnwarchitect on November 19, 2006 at 2320 (in the Windows forum)

"Some manufacturers do not upsize the window frames for larger sizes and the windows do not function correctly due to warpage without constant adjustment. Loewen windows are notorious for this problem. Whatever you get, make sure that the larger windows have upsized frames."

From pnwarchitect on November 19, 2006 at 2326 (in the Windows forum)

"Unfortunately for you, Loewen casements are a problem in larger sizes (small ones are ok). Also, Loewen windows are generally fragile, the douglas fir is a veneer and can come apart easily"

pnwarchitect has no additional posts on any THS forum

magnum pio Canada registered on December 5, 2006 birthday January 6

From magnum pio on December 5, 2006 at 2004 (in the Windows forum)

"I wouldn't waste any time with Loewen (speaking from experience!)"

From magnum pio on December 26, 2006 at 2008 (in the Windows forum)

"I'd love to E-mail you some pictures of my Loewen windows (triple glazed units!) with frost/ice build-up on the inside of the glass!
Do waste your money on Loewen!"

magnum pio has no additional posts on any THS forum

My point to all this?

In the intelligence biz (my previous occupation before entering the glass and window industry) one looks for consistency and patterns when gathering data. People tend to be creatures of habit they tend to be consistent in how they do certain activities.

Note, for example, that the number/date of registration and the number/date of birthday is the same (once) and one number lower (twice) for these three folks and that for two of the "individuals" the date of registration was also the date of their only posts to THS.

Note the similarity of pnwarchitect post and the Adrian Justin post on another website forum and on the same daynote the timeframe of posts from all three individuals.

From all three "individuals" the essence of their posts is to slam Loewen nothing else. In addition, pnwarchitect made a number of factual errors and misstatements that have been addressed by others following his posts in the specific threads.

Also note that in all three cases the "I live in" was the country US, US, CAN. Again, many people also list their country of origin many dont.

Again, there is nothing about any of these comments that cannot be applied to many others who have posted on THS and elsewhere but within the framework of this particular discussion there are a good many consistencies that seem to add up.

I will offer no conclusions since this is simply idle conjecture, but I would suggest some interesting possibilities.

Again, while I have debated with myself whether to actually post this thing and I really dont care one way or the other if folks decide on Loewen as their window company it does bother me when I see other folks becoming hesitant about their potential window purchase based on information in posts that one might consider to be not quite as straightforward as it might be.

And as a disclaimer, I certainly dont spend my days "analyzing" what other folks post - I really enjoy reading what other people write - but, I was once trained to recognize patterns and I have spent a good part of my life identifying and analyzing consistencies and in this case the numerous consistencies pointed out a very distinct pattern that I could not help but notice I suspect that others may have noticed these as well.

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clipped on: 04.25.2010 at 06:58 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2010 at 06:58 pm

RE: miele la perla vs bosche 800 plus series (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: plumeriavine on 02.01.2010 at 05:09 pm in Appliances Forum

Love my Miele La Perla. Only one problem - the discharge comes out at a high flow rate - - doesn't work well with an air gap. Miele prefers no air gap. If you are having the installation inspected and you need an air gap to meet code, you need to consider how to handle it.

Miele suggested a 7/8 inch air gap. There is no such thing. There are only 5/8 inch air gaps.

Don't let what happened to me happen to you - - flooding from the air gap with the La Perla led to water damage in my kitchen.

Other than that, love the La Perla. Quiet as can be.

When it is done with the cycle, it opens itself several inches. A small latch remains attached to the door. Just yank firmly and it comes undone. We were too gentle with it at first and were frustrated trying to open the door.

Love the cutlery tray at the top, too. I feel it gets silverware cleaner.

The Miele is really quiet. At most points in the cycle, you can't hear it even right next to it.

The pot cycle is awesome! My broiler pan has never been so shiny!

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clipped on: 04.16.2010 at 08:26 pm    last updated on: 04.16.2010 at 08:27 pm

RE: can old single panes be made energy efficient w/o storms? (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: brickeyee on 11.26.2008 at 02:40 pm in Windows Forum

Infiltration (air leakage) is a bigger factor than even single pane glass.

Bronze weather strip can be somewhat effective, but there are better type available.

Try Resource Conservation Technology, Baltimore, MD.
They have 'flipper seals' that go in a small (3/32) groove cut into the edge of the sash.
Seals for the meeting rails (were the upper and lower double hung windows overlap) are also available.

Storms can be made that are not as intrusive as aluminum triple tracks.
Plenty of older places had separate wooden storm sashes once large sections of glass became available.
If you want to further minimize the appearance of storm sashes you can use minimal wood on the edges (1.5 in wide, or even 1 inch) so they do not intrude past the wooden of the window.
Putting some felt seals on the face against the window frame will further limit air movement.

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clipped on: 04.13.2010 at 08:43 pm    last updated on: 04.13.2010 at 08:43 pm

RE: can old single panes be made energy efficient w/o storms? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: oberon on 09.18.2008 at 07:31 am in Windows Forum

Cleaning, scraping, repainting, and adding the spring bronze weatherstrip will help to improve the energy performance of the double hung windows from what they are now.

Those front windows though are huge and you are right that they are not very energy friendly. In fact, they are very much energy unfriendly.

One of the very toughest decisions to make when renovating is what to do about the windows. Glass is a poor insulator and no matter how well you tighten up the window, it is what it is. Single pane windows can achieve a given level of energy performance that is not even close to the level of performance of the best windows available today, and those big windows have an awful lot of exposed glass area.

But with all that said, I am very much not suggesting that you change out your windows. Older windows have charm and are often architecturally significant to the home or building structure. As you said yourself, you would really like to save the original 1890 windows which is certainly not a bad idea by almost any measure (unfortunately, energy performance is one measure that is out-of-balance in this case).

This is a really tough question since those big windows are so very big with so much glass area...

Which way do the big windows face (N,S,E,W)? And where do you live? The orientation of the openings as well as your climate can make a difference in possible "fixes" for these windows and there are options that can be explored.


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clipped on: 04.13.2010 at 04:27 pm    last updated on: 04.13.2010 at 04:27 pm

RE: Window replacement: sash kits? Bi-glass? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: oberon on 05.21.2006 at 10:10 am in Old House Forum

There have been a number of issues that were raised in this thread - good ones - I am going to address several...

I would suggest that first you need to ask why you want to replace your windows. Is it aesthetic? Is it energy performance? Is it maintenance? Is it saving money?
All good reasons and newer windows will affect all these questions - and possibly more.
First, and as we all know, energy costs are rising. People are being pinched by the cost of heating and cooling their homes. Many folks take a look at their old drafty windows and immediately consider replacement as a way to save energy. They contact a salesman (or go to the neighborhood big box) and the salesman offers them these remarkable savings - often based on phantom numbers - and all they have to do is install these really expensive replacement windows.

Second, aesthetic...as mentioned by other folks, original windows in an older home will usually look better than will replacements. This is especially true in a home that is much older. I might throw out that consideration for a 50's or 60's ranch, but for a turn-of-the-century Victorian there is no question that restoring the original windows may be worth the effort.

While you can buy windows that are virtually identical to the originals, and that may be more energy efficient - you can also pay a pot-load of money for those replicas. I would suggest that for most people that isn't a realistic option.

From an aesthetic standpoint - and assuming that the windows in the home are original and are part of the charm of the home - I would opt to restore the originals. I really like older windows and I also think it is a shame to destroy the look of a home with poorly matching replacement parts be it windows or other.

From a performance or energy standpoint, the best restoration job available on original single pane windows -and then adding single pane storms - will not get the sort of energy performance numbers that you can get with the top performing windows made today. I know that many restoration fans may not agree with that statement, but it is fact.

But, a good restoration job with good storms will save you energy when compared with the condition of the windows prior to the restoration so that there can certainly be energy value as well as visual value when restoring the original windows. But, I say again that while you should see energy savings when comparing the before and after condition of the original windows comparing to replacement windows is a different consideration.

When considering window replacement and what people don't always know - and salesmen dont know or dont care - is that your home is a system and that windows are only part of that system. Installing new windows in an older home may save you money and it may make your home more comfortable, but it also may be a matter of throwing money down a well so far as return on your investment goes.

As I said, your home is a system. Replacing windows without addressing other factors in the home may not be either energy-smart or dollar-smart. As a homeowner you need to determine where your energy dollars are being wasted - and if that is your primary concern.

Before I spent a penny on window replacement strictly for potential energy and money savings I would invest in a whole house energy audit to find out exactly where I am losing energy and money. Then I would plan accordingly. In a tight, well-insulated house, poor windows can account for 50% or more of energy loss. In a loose, not well insulated house, windows may account for only 20% or even less of the total energy loss.

One suggestion was to restore your windows and install good quality storms. Obviously, if you want the convenience of little or no maintenance then installing storms becomes a much less attractive option (and btw, there is no such thing as zero maintenance when discussing parts of your home - there may be little maintenance, but never zero). Installing storm windows especially on second or third story windows - @#&#$%@%# - in my opinion of course.

One could consider installing permanent aluminum storm/screen combinations, but in that case why bother restoring the original windows since those aluminum things arent particularly efficient and they may look even worse than cheap replacement windows.

One other option might be interior storms at least for some windows but again mounting storm windows is certainly not a fun job and then you have to have a place to store them when they arent being used.

And of course one can install "good" wood combination storms - which may be the best option, but certainly not the cheapest if you go with really quality product.

But restoration with storms will mean involvement in the operation of the home - something not all people want to do.

The bi-glass option actually makes me a little uncomfortable.

First, one has to consider why a dual pane or IGU (Insulating Glass Unit) works. In order for bi-glass to fit in an existing sash I would assume that it has to have a very narrow space between the lites (I dont know this, I am only assuming and I could be wrong). The problem is that a narrow space between two clear lites really isnt much of an advantage over a single lite. If there is a LowE coating in the bi-glass option, that would improve the performance, but the U-value increase wouldnt be nearly as good with a really narrow space as it would be with a wider spacing. Using krypton gas infill in a narrow space with a LowE coating would work quite nicely but krypton is expensive and somehow I suspect that bi-glass might not offer that but again, I could certainly be wrong.

Optimum "space" for maximum energy performance in a dual pane IG with a LowE coating is 7/16". For a clear glass IG it is about " to 5/8". If the airspace is thinner, performance goes down unless the "air" in the airspace is replaced with a performance-enhancing gas.

Okay, this thing is already long, so I will stop herebut I do hope some people respond with questions, comments, because that makes these sorts of threads both fun and informative

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clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 05:26 pm    last updated on: 04.12.2010 at 11:53 pm

RE: can old single panes be made energy efficient w/o storms? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: oakhill3 on 10.01.2008 at 03:44 pm in Windows Forum

I understand your dilemna. After throughly researching, then deciding against, replacement windows for my 1835 brick Federal house because 1. original windows should NOT be removed from an old structure if it can be avoided in any way (no matter what contractors who are not restoration experts may tell you) and 2. the cost was not justifiable for the energy savings gained. Sure, I could have gotten cheapy replacements, and they would have LOOKED completely inappropriate. Even many of the expensive replacements we viewed would not have looked right, either. So I started researching and looking at storm windows. They cost MUCH less than replacement windows, but I was running into aesthetic issues with them, too, plus having a tough time finding one that would not interfere with my plans to put the shutters back up in a functioning fashion. Marvin Windows makes a wooden storm for historic buildings, but I found them to be rather expensive, too thick, plus the bottom sash portion was much too wide to look right on my house, not to mention my husband was quite opposed to having to maintain them constantly. Also, the meeting rail was way to wide to look right - I have 6 over 9 windows with a very narrow check rail. . . I want my windows to be protected and more energy efficient, but I don't want them to be visually obliterated by whatever storm I put on, either. I considered interior storms, but then that exposes the old sash to the elements constantly, and there is the risk of condensation buildup on the sash during the winter months, which I also did not want. At present I am looking at custom exterior storms made by Allied Window, a company based in Ohio (you can Google them), but they do have dealers around the country. I am located in Southeast PA, and there is a dealer outside Philadelphia who used to specialized in historic restorations. Allied has an almost invisible storm window (it's only 3/8" thick), can accomodate any size or shape window, and can be made in any color you want. I am in the process of awaiting a ballpark cost quote before making the final decision, but so far, they are the only ones I have found that don't significantly detract from the exterior appearance of old structures. I will let you know how they pan out cost-wise.

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clipped on: 04.12.2010 at 11:31 pm    last updated on: 04.12.2010 at 11:31 pm

RE: can old single panes be made energy efficient w/o storms? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: fasola-shapenote on 09.25.2008 at 09:42 pm in Windows Forum

You couldn't be more misguided and confused.

To be able to be specific, I dug up the actual numbers on the various window efficiencies. For a regular old-fashioned single-pane glass window, the R-value is 1.20. For the same size window with double-pane Low-E glass w/ argon fill, the value is 3.23. Refer to the chart on page 3 of http://www.marvin.com/download.aspx?DocumentID=784

The single-pane windows cost you nothing, because you already own them. The double-pane + Low-E + argon windows are insanely expensive, to the tune of hundreds or even thousands of dollars PER UNIT.

And yes, the rich ivory-tower liberal college laboratories have turned out some experiemental new triple-pane windows with an R-value of approx 8. These are not available nationwide, and are prohibitively expensive to most of the population (especially given that there is no American middle-class any more, and no one can get a loan). Not to mention, they cut out 50% of the light, and look terribly out-of-place on an antique barn/shed/whatever it was the OP said he has.

Again, that's hundreds/thousands of $$$ PER WINDOW UNIT (most buildings have more than one window), and that doesn't include the cost of installation. Show me a realistic calculation by which the energy savings will pay that back in the remaining lifetime of the presumably-middle-aged OP.

And as far as R-value goes...the lowest-quality wall brings the following to the table:
* 4" cavity insulation = R-13
* 1/2" interior drywall = R-2
* 1/2" exterior sheathing = R-3
* Wood or foam-backed-vinyl siding = R-1.5

That's an R-value of 19.5, which I rounded to 20 in my original statement. You can try to weasel around with the numbers all you want; the POINT is this -- no window, much less a window available and affordable to the average American, has an R-value anywhere near that of a wall. And that's a bad wall. A good wall (2x6 framing, cellulose insulation, perhaps even 1"-thick foam exterior sheathing, etc.) has an even higher R-value, making the window even crappier in comparison. ANY window is a big leaking hole in the wall. The marketing departments of the multi-billion-dollar window industry love taking thousands of dollars from people by selling them windows with all this jazzed-up crap like "Low-E II" and "argon fill" - when, in reality, the windows rarely if ever pay themselves back in the buyer's lifetime. I don't trust them any more than I trust car dealers or other salesmen, and neither should you unless you enjoy being parted from your presumably-hard-earned money.

Call me nuts, but I believe that if I will LOSE money by making a change, I shouldn't make that change. If my expensive new double-pane/Low-E/argon windows won't pay for themselves in my lifetime, I'm going to keep my old single-pane windows thank you very much.

Don't you know my truck has a single-pane windsheild and windows too, and it's never bothered me there either.

The government's statistics show that, when ranked, heat loss through windows is NOT the chief heat loss method in a regular home. I never said there wasn't any. The point is that everything else -- wall thickness and insulation, above-ceiling insulation, beneath-floor insulation, doors, weatherstripping, etc. -- these things add up to much more than the windows. You can have the most expensive, fancy, energy-efficient windows on the market...but if there's no insulation above the ceiling, you will bake in the summer and freeze in the winter. By contrast, if you live in a well-insulated house with single-pane windows (like I do), your heating and cooling bills are low. Heat rises...above the level of the windows, up to the ceiling. Put 24" of cellulose insulation above your ceiling...that's a LOT cheaper than new windows, and saves more than 3x the heating/cooling costs.

In the end, you realize that there is no justification for the new windows. The hundreds/thousands per-unit cost is NOT paid back in energy savings during the lifetime of the buyer. And that's even with the current exorbitant energy prices. You liberals who think that Messiah Obama is going to get elected and fix the world and gas and electricity and oil will cost what it did 15 years ago...you shouldn't be worried at all about keeping your single-pane windows, since prices will surely be falling as soon as Messiah gets into the Black House.

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clipped on: 04.12.2010 at 11:27 pm    last updated on: 04.12.2010 at 11:28 pm

RE: Modernaire Hoods -- pics and thoughts? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: jammiesallday on 01.09.2010 at 08:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Marg,
I am also in the PNW and BOY DID I GET A GREAT DEAL!!! Call them directly, ask for Pat. Holly cow, I am getting hood close to Katieob's (PS26) and it was much less than the ventahood quoted to me at Albert Lee. There was one local dealer who would order it for me, but didn't have any samples and his price was DOUBLE. I am so excited about this I'm going to pee my pants. Email me if you want more info.

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clipped on: 04.10.2010 at 04:04 pm    last updated on: 04.10.2010 at 04:04 pm

RE: Modernaire Hoods -- pics and thoughts? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: marthavila on 01.08.2010 at 09:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

MA is at a disadvantage because there are no dealers carrying it in the NW/Seattle area. (at least according to the rep).

Marg, it was actually to my advantage that MA had no dealers in my immediate area. Because of that, I was able to deal with MA directly. And, because of that, I believe I secured a significant price advantage. My hood is a custom color matched, powder coated PS 26, with 4 stainless bands and a pot rail. At a capacity of 1200 cfms, it is 45" x27" in size. I love my hood, don't regret for a moment that I purchased it, and I assure you that it cost nowhere near $6500! BTW, I think my hood is the only major purchase item I did not see/sample before purchase. However, between the online photos, excellent reviews from GW members and the wonderful customer relations experience I had with MA direct, I bit the bullet and made the purchase sight unseen. I'm sooo happy I did!

Here is a link that might be useful: MV's Color-Matched Modern-Aire Hood

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clipped on: 04.10.2010 at 04:02 pm    last updated on: 04.10.2010 at 04:03 pm

RE: Love my cork floors! (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: beekeeperswife on 04.09.2010 at 12:22 pm in Kitchens Forum

We installed our range and fridge on 1/2" wood, painted to match the cork floor. I knew that they would sink into the cork. My cork is 1/2" thick, thus the 1/2" wood.

We put the cork in after. I also put the cork around the island rather than under it--I had fears that it would sink into the cork also and look odd. Would this have happened? I don't know but there was no reason to find out!

Mine are the planks, floating floor. Each plank is about 3' long.

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clipped on: 04.09.2010 at 09:19 pm    last updated on: 04.09.2010 at 09:19 pm

RE: Love my cork floors! (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: farmgirlinky on 04.09.2010 at 11:23 am in Kitchens Forum

Would you help me think through the rationale for how much of a kitchen floor to tile? We are renovating the kitchen in our "forever" house (barring the UNFORESEEN...). Top-quality cabinets and an island are going in. An Aga range is already in place and can't/won't be moved during the renovation: we'll work around it. The refrigerator has "feet", so one can see a little bit under it. Although I don't foresee moving or changing cabinetry, a part of me (the anal part?) feels as though the chosen flooring should extend throughout -- even if one can't see it, one will know it is there, like a Ziegfield girl's fancy underwear....Stupid, no?

Here's the question: should cork flooring be installed before the cabinetry and extend underneath it? Or is that just begging for heartbreak on the day the cabinetry is installed and someone drops a heavy/sharp tool? Thanks for your opinions.
Lynn

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clipped on: 04.09.2010 at 11:23 am    last updated on: 04.09.2010 at 11:23 am

RE: Challenge: anyone w/ induction exp who'd go back to gas? (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: pamela1 on 01.03.2007 at 11:18 am in Appliances Forum

olivepear--

Have you considered buying the 3-zone 24" De Dietrich from the overseas supplier many here on the Forums have used and been very happy with? It's the same Fagor/Brandt unit as the Diva, but it's cheaper and has the coveted turn-off timers on each zone.

AND--can you squeeze in a 28" unit? The new AEG zone-free induction cooktop looks to be the next wave. I'll be bold enough to predict all induction tops will be like this in the next 5-10 years. No more little circles to worry about. You can span two zones with a large roaster or poacher, and you can cram as many pots on as will fit.

I'd buy this one in a minute, but the 28" is a little cramped for my configuration. It has cool things like stop-and-go timers where you touch it off to answer the door, etc., then touch it on again and it remembers its setting.
P.

Here is a link that might be useful: AEG zone-free induction thread and specs

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clipped on: 03.12.2010 at 05:14 pm    last updated on: 03.12.2010 at 05:14 pm

Torn over soapstone... HELP!

posted by: remodelfla on 01.15.2008 at 04:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm so conflicted over whether soapstone is the choice for me. My kitchen is somewhat contemporay with natural maple cabs and large white ceramic tile with some grey mottling. The entire living (kit, FR, DR, LR) is all open to one another with the same flooring... relatively large area. I never thought soapstone would go in my kind of kitchen; better suited for classic, rustic, country. HOWEVER... I'm in love with the white veiny look of the Santa Rita Venata. Saw some pics for our wonderful forum members. Unfortunately, I've come to learn that it is a rather "soft" stone and prone to dings. I don't know if I'd be a fan of that kind of patina. Does anyone have pics of a harder variety that has that same kind of veining? I don't want high maintance. I'm a low maintance girl in every sense of the word. What about Rainforest Green soapstone? I love the fact that soapstone is not ultra shiney. I currently have Silestone and love how maintance free it's been over the last 6 years. I would COVET something more matte finish and silky to the touch. Any feedback on a harder less accident prone stone that has the beautiful white veining of the Santa Rita Venata would be greatly appreciated. I may be looking for something that just doesn't exist....:-(

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clipped on: 12.01.2009 at 11:01 pm    last updated on: 12.01.2009 at 11:01 pm

Life with soapstone--patina pictures galore

posted by: bayareafrancy on 08.04.2008 at 03:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've been wanting to post these pictures for so long, but I've had horrible "soapstone elbow" from obsessive oiling, and I haven't been able to type much.

I don't baby this stone at all. In fact, I don't even use cutting boards very often (simply because I have a teeny kitchen with no good place for them). This is terrible for my knives, of course, but I like the nicks and scratches on the stone.

I have 2 kinds of 'wear' on my counter. One that I love, and the other that I don't love!

What I love are the marks of usage--scratches, dings, teeny chips. I want more and more of those. I'm restoring an 80 year old kitchen, and I want the counter to look as old an used as the rest of the kitchen.

Everyday look in my main (teeny) work area (you can see lots of fine white knife marks and scratches):
Photobucket

Another view:
Photobucket

After oiling (beautiful, but leads to pesky water marks, rubber marks, etc. as soon as I start using it)
Photobucket

What I don't love are the water marks! Argh, those pesky water marks! They drive me batty. They are only a problem if I oil the stone. If I leave it gray, the only thing that "stains/marks" it is oil (cooking oil, butter, etc.) but that can be washed off, The water marks mostly happen when something hot (like a dish right out of the dishwasher, or a lid from an in-use pot) is placed on it. The hot item seems to "steam clean" the bee's oil right off the stone. I can't figure out any solution to this.

Removed hot dish from microwave, placed lid here:
Photobucket

But the water marks I don't quite understand come from non-hot items. If the stone is freshly oiled, and I place a wet drinking glass on it, it will leave a ring. The ring (if faint) sometimes fades in a day or two, but not usually. Actually, I don't think think the ring is actually fading. I think the oiled area is fading to match the ring.

Photobucket

Water marks from regular glasses of water, and drips/puddles (these drive me batty). Am I the only one who gets these?:
Photobucket

Oh--the other thing that leaves rings is anything absorbent that can lift the oil out of the stone. So, I get a ring under my ceramic compost jar (the ceramic is unsealed on the bottom). Or flour spilled on the counter. Or rubber bottomed shoes (e.g. if I stand on the counter in sneakers or crocs, it will leave tread marks that won't go away until oiling. Or if I sit an appliance with rubber feet on the counter, it leaves footprints.)

All of these marks disappear with oiling. But constant oiling is hard for me and my poor elbow. So I'm thinking about "going gray."

Here is the everyday look in my other work area:
Photobucket

Another view (not for the faint hearted):
Photobucket

Of course, I still adore my soapstone. But I do with I could keep the dark look without battling all the water marks.

I've been painting the kitchen for a couple weeks now. It has been great to have mineral spirits and paint sitting right on the counters without worry. Of course, the mineral spirits stripped the stone back to gray. And I"m thinking of leaving it that way. Luckily, any color of soapstone works in my kithcen. But I do adore it dark.

But, black or gray, spotty or not, I love my soapstone!

:-)

Francy

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clipped on: 11.27.2009 at 08:43 pm    last updated on: 11.27.2009 at 08:44 pm

RE: Winter garden (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: Loretta on 01.03.2006 at 01:40 pm in New Jersey Gardening Forum

Winter is a great time to visit arboretums and botanical gardens. They are very good at scoping out winter interest plants beyond conifers. You will definitely find some wonderful things. This is more or less how I break it down for myself.
1.Conifers - personally I try to find conifers beyond junipers and arborvitea (though I never exclude any group). There are a lot of different colors, textures here. Check out from the library Conifers: The Illustrated Encyclopedia (2 Volumes) by D. M. Van Gelderen and J.R.P. Van Hoey Smith - unless you want to buy them. Also Gardening with Conifers by Adrian Bloom and Richard Bloom.
2. Broadleaf evergreens, trees, shrubs, subshrubs. These come with flowers and are often scented, a favorite group of mine.
Magnolia Grandiflora - very shiny winter leaf with indumentum - fuzzy brown felt underneath.
Kalmia
camellias
Rhodies and azalea
pieris
skimmia
Sarcococca
boxwoods
Evergreen ilex - several types, some variegated
leucothoe
euonymus - lots of choices here
Osmanthus Goshiki
...to name a few

3. Trees with beautiful bark: Besides the beautiful gray plates of your typical mature tree, there are other textures and colors to choice from. Go check out the tree gallery now for some tree bark shots.
Acer griseum
Stewartia pseudocamellia
coral bark maple
coral bark willow
prunus serrula
river birch and other birches
Seven Sons Tree
crape myrtle
pinus densiflora
cryptomeria
many others

4. twig color, texture: Many shrubs are not evergreen but are still colorful in winter. Look into salix and cornus for a lot of examples. Also
Kerria japonica
roses
oakleaf hydrangea
ninebark
spireas
Sand cherries and some deciduous ilex have very black bark
Saint Johns Wort

5. Persistant berries or colorful buds, cones: Some are more persistant than others.
skimmia as mentioned
pieris
ilex
viburnum
callicarpa
Crataegus - Hawthorn trees
Mountain Ash
roses for hips - many shapes and sizes, reds, oranges, greens, yellows
Magnolias -pussywillow like buds

6.shape: Some plants have better bones than others.
deciduous azalea
Harry Lauder's Walking stick
things called curly or contorta
Japanese maples weeping or not
Other weeping things like cherry and katsura

7. Perennials, groundcovers that don't die all the way back like:
heuchera
hellebore
sage
lavender

8. Perennial seedheads like
allium tuberosa (reseeds though)
stonecrop
astilbe

9. Finally, I look for plants that bloom early or very late to extend the season. I usually have flowers into December, sometimes January and starting up again in March or April, depending on the year.
witchhazels
winter jasmine
bulbs labeled late winter, early spring bloomers
hellebore - especially hellebore foetidus for me
pulmonaria
arabis

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clipped on: 11.26.2009 at 09:29 am    last updated on: 11.26.2009 at 09:29 am

RE: Screening Trees and Large Shrubs (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: ego45 on 11.12.2006 at 08:57 pm in New England Gardening Forum

Ejr2005,
You selected very nice shrubs to fulfill your border(s), but....IMO, some shrubs will be not well suited into 1/3 acres property at maturity.
Take for example Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush buckeye).
Unless restricted (pruning and removing suckers), 12-15' high x 20-25'+width is what you may expect in 10-12 years.
This one is about 12x18' and heavily pruned every other year

Cornus kousa depending on cultivar could be quite large, as well.

Rhododendron maximum? Forget about it.
It's a huge shrub, eventually 20x25 or wider.
Here is a picture of Rh. catawabiense which is just a tad smaller than Rh. maximum

BTW, the shrub/tree on a right side of the rhododendron is ...Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora', well known PG hydrangea.

Viburnum plicatum 'Shasta' will definitely grow to 10x12', Mariesii will be even larger. Here is a Shasta,

What I'm trying to say is that you have to be ready that some of your large shrubs eventually will 'eat' the smaller ones and you should be prepared to either transplant them later or somehow restrict the growth of the large ones.

One more thing, you said, 'We'll also fill in with other Rhododendrums (possibly 'Nova Zembia', PJM, 'Victoria's Consort','Roseum Elegans', and azaleas)...'
If I'd be buying from Weston Nurseries I wouldn't go for the such common and widely available names.
WN have one of the best, if not the best selection of Rh/Azaleas on East coast and I'm sure you could find reasonably similar, but not so common substitutes for the same money.
For example, instead of NZ you could buy 'Volcano'. Instead of PJM, buy PJM Elite or Northern Starburst, substitute Roseum Elegance for Scintillation etc, etc, etc

All just a suggestions and in no way I want to calm down your excitement. I'd be thrilled too to work on a new border from scratches.
Good luck.

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clipped on: 11.26.2009 at 09:19 am    last updated on: 11.26.2009 at 09:23 am

RE: Great storm/screen combos with old house look (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: clink on 09.02.2008 at 09:48 pm in Old House Forum

I love Adams windows!!! We live very close (5 miles) from their factory. Their windows are wonderful and we have storm windows and doors from there.

But comparing Marvin to Adams is almost impossible. Adams makes an all wooden window. We did a price comparison and Adams was twice the price. I haven't done anything yet with replacing the window. I have to decide which way to go.

Cathy

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clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 06:10 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2009 at 06:10 pm

RE: Great storm/screen combos with old house look (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: arlosmom on 09.02.2008 at 06:15 pm in Old House Forum

We had wooden storms made by Adams Architectural in Iowa. Ours are "combination plus" with fixed glass in the upper half and a clip-in panel in the lower half -- screens for the summer and glass for the winter. We had 20 made a couple of years ago and another 9 made this year (just took delivery last week!) and we've been extremely happy with them. They even made a curved top storm for the palladian window in our stairwell.

I hear wonderful things about Marvin products, but it's good to have options, yes?

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clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 06:03 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2009 at 06:04 pm

Great storm/screen combos with old house look

posted by: marita40 on 08.16.2006 at 02:32 pm in Old House Forum

I don't mean to sound like a commercial but it took me a very long time to come across these. I want to recommend them to anyone who wants to preserve the old house wood storm window look yet also have a modern triple track storm/screen combination. Marvin's Alpine line is a wood frame with metal storm/screen insert. Just had 12 of them put up on my 1923 bungalow front porch and they look great! Not cheap but not outrageous either. I'm saving for another 12 next year as I work my way around the house.

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clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 06:02 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2009 at 06:03 pm

RE: Interior storm windows/panels (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: ElanaLV on 10.03.2005 at 08:56 am in Old House Forum

Try taking a look at this site for interior storms. A friend of mine put these in her 1880 cape and is very happy with them. There is no problems with condensation or anything else. They are held in place with a small strip at the top of the window and at bottom. When they are in place, you really don't even notice them. Good luck. There are probably other companies like this out there, but these guys did one of the TOH houses and they were pretty good. BTY, I asked her if I could snap a pic. of one of them and she said she didn't mind, so if you'd like to see what they look like in place, let me know. http://www.stormwindows.com/

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clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 05:45 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2009 at 05:45 pm

RE: Low E glass for old house's window advices (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: oberon on 09.20.2007 at 08:12 am in Windows Forum

Hi sapote,

I also agree that restoring these windows is much better than replacing. They are architectually unique and should remain as part of the home.

In your environment, and based on your concerns about "reduce the glare and solar heat into the house during summer", you should be more concerned about Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or SHGC than about U-factor.

Note that in the article that you referenced they were talking about 5/8" or 1" insulating glass. How much space do you actually have for an IG unit? The thinner the airspace between the lites, the less effieicnt the IG unit.
But, as I said, you should not worry about U-factor so that is less of a concern.

The way to block direct solar heat thru your windows is by installing a LowE coating - as you have found from your research. But, not all LowE coatings are the same. You need a Low Solar Heat Gain or LSHG coating applied to the #2 surface of the IG.

The LowE coatings with the best perfomance numbers at blocking heat and glare are generally tinted coatings -
not tinted glass, that is a different material - but tinted LowE coatings.

But, if you don't want tinted windows (glass or coatings), then you will want to investigate the newest LSHG coatings on the market which have 3 layers of silver in the coating. One example is Cardinal's LoE366. I mention Cardinal's coating because it was the first of the triple-silver coatings on the market and it is the most likely coating that you will find for the residential market.

Again, U-factor is not the issue in your situation - although you will get some improvement by changing to and IG unit versus single pane, it won't be nearly as much as you might be expecting - SHGC is the more important issue with your situation. You can significantly improve your SHGC numbers by installing an IG with a LSHG LowE coating.

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clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 05:18 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2009 at 05:18 pm

RE: Replacing Windows on Old House (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: oberon on 12.21.2006 at 08:04 pm in Windows Forum

While the bi-glass system sounds like a pretty good idea at first glance, there are a couple of things on their website that I find a bit odd.

Quote from the web site
"Argon Gas: This is an inert gas that is inserted into the space between the glass. The gas is less dense than air and therefore transmits heat and sound at a slower rate. This adds to the sound proofing of the window and adds to the insulation value. Over time this gas will dissipate thereby losing its value."

In fact at ~300k (80F) and at sea level air has a density of 1.161 kg/m3 while at the same temperature and altitude argon has a density of 1.449 kg/m3.

At 273K (32F or 0C) and at sea level air has a density of 1.293 kg/m3 and argon has a density of 1.784 kg/m3.

Argon is also about 1.4 times as heavy as air.

Second, argon in a window system does not "add to the sound proofing of the window". There is no sound attenuation advantage to using argon in a window system.

As a separate area - and at risk of jumping ahead of myself - the bi-glass system as advertised could actually increase the sound level thru the window over the original single pane glass. I can explain that one further if anyone is interested.

Third, they are correct that argon will dissipate over time. What they don't mention is that depending on the sealing system used to keep the two lites together the loss may be about 1% per year argon loss (in the better IG systems). Since Bi-glass specifically mentions argon loss it appears to me that they may use a seal-system that has a much greater loss than others may have?

This brings up my next point which is nowhere on their site could I find an explanation of what IGU sealing system that they do use. They did mention that IGUs can be sealed using "aluminum, foam, or butyl spacers". Do they use one of these options? All three?

I could comment on all three types of spacers (and a couple of others as well) but since I dont know which one of these applies to Bi-glass I wont comment further.

From the site
"R" Value: This refers to the resistance to heat loss of any object. This is the measuring system used to specify and grade insulated glass. Single pane glass has virtually no R value while insulated panels 7/16" to 3/4" thick range from 1.87 to 2.9."

Well, R-value does refer to the resistance to heat loss. But, unlike the Bi-glass quote R-value is not the measuring system used to specify and grade insulated glass. The industry standard is to use U-value (also called U-factor) for glass insulating capacity.

And yes, I know that U-value and R-value are the inverse of one another - but there are some very good reasons for using U-value and not R-value when grading window systems. I can go more indepth if anyone is interested.

Okay, the optimum width in an IG air-space (between the lites) is about 1/2" to 9/16" for a dual pane without a LowE coating and for an IGU with a LowE2 coating the optimum is about 7/16" to 1/2" which follows the Bi-glass website quote reasonably well.
But, elsewhere in the site they state that the IG they build on-site "Insulated glass comes in 3/8" to 5/8" thickness". It appears that they are talking overall thickness which means that if they are using 1/8" glass, the overall airspace varies from 1/8" to 3/8" which is a good bit less than the airspace (that they stated in a different part of the site) was best for insulating value.

If they were to use krypton or better yet xenon gas in those narrow airspaces they could approach some very nice energy performance numbers. But, I would bet my next paycheck that they dont offer either of those gasses.

Using air in a 1/8" airspace? Why bother with two lites at all?

There are several other things that I was curious about, and perhaps I am being overly picky here, but shouldnt a company be accurate when they publish such statistics or "facts" on their site? Particularly when they use these "facts" to describe the performance of their product?

Based on the information that I saw on the website, I would hesitate to spend any money with them until I knew a lot more about what they were charging me for.

And a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

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clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 05:11 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2009 at 05:11 pm

RE: Replacing Windows on Old House (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: oberon on 12.21.2006 at 08:05 am in Windows Forum

I really like old windows. I believe that in the correct circumstance they are so much a part of charm of an older home that it is worth the effort to try to save them. I understand the desire of many people to try to do everything possible to save the original windows in a classic home, but I also understand the appeal of replacing them for the improvement in energy consumption, comfort, and the potential ease of maintenance.

There are a lot of misconceptions about old windows versus new windows and many opinions most of them based on feelings and not facts that come up in discussions like this one.

I am going to offer a few simple facts that relate to restoration versus replacement.

Fact if you were to opt for top-quality vinyl windows, you could get them made in any style that you wanted styles that would fit your home and that would be virtually indistinguishable from the original windows in your home and, these windows could last every bit as long as your home. But, note that I said "top-quality". A typical low end replacement vinyl window doesnt come close to meeting the same sort of standards as does a top-quality product from the vinyl used, to the glass used, to the hardware used it could be like comparing a Yugo to a Ferrari (and what happened to Yugo?).

The guy in the Sunday paper who promises to replace every window in your home at "$129.95" with his "super-dooper-highest-quality" window likely has neither the highest quality window nor does he have your long term peace-of-mind at heart. He needs to get in and to get out and what happens in five or 10 years? Thats your problem.

Okay from this point forward I will be commenting on good replacement windows and not just vinyl or aluminum but generic replacement using a quality product whatever the material but not necessarily the very best and certainly not the very worst.

Again, GENERAL overview...

Fact new windows are substantially more energy efficient than old windows, despite the claims to the contrary of a good part of the window restoration world. True, and the numbers are out there if some one wants to disagree.

Fact folks in the window restoration world like to claim that old windows have lasted 50, 75, 100 years and that new windows will always fail in short order - 5, 10, 15, 20, whatever. (Again, I AM NOT slamming anyone who has posted in this thread this is a common claim in the restoration world), yet this claim is usually based on emotion or on opinion and not on quantifiable fact and in fact, it is generally wrong but, ultimately quality products will outlast non-quality products no matter when produced and there are tens-of-millions of windows that were made in the last few centuries that didnt make it to today for a variety of reasons. The ones that made it thru are often the best that were produced and they likely had a good bit of maintenance at some point. These are good things and that also makes the consideration of keeping them around even longer worth seriously considering.

Fact new dual or triple pane windows with LowE and argon will make your home more comfortable in both summer and winter. There are plenty of studies to prove it.

Fact restoring old windows is good for the environment and helps with energy performance. This is certainly true, but it isnt the whole story.
Despite comments from folks who love their old windows and while there are many very good reasons for that feeling, those reasons are primarily aesthetic, not efficiency
replacing windows will almost always save energy over restoration.
But, again to reemphasize, restoration and the addition of a good storm window can still be a huge improvement over windows that are stuck, painted-over, drafty, and without storms.

Fact many old houses have their original windows and some of these windows (if they have had adequate maintenance for their lifetime) are in very good shape. But, some are also in very poor shape. Most are somewhere in between. But, they have made it this far - that is a given. If they are worth restoring, then by all means that should be considered a very definite option.

Fact most (but not all) older windows are made with old growth lumber which is inherently better than almost any lumber available today. Absolutely true and rather sad in some ways, but again, this is what our ancestors left us with kind of wondering what we will be leaving our descendents?.

Fact older single pane windows with sash cords are inherently huge energy wasters. because that open spot where the weights hide is an energy black-hole. There are alternatives to the sash-weight pocket that will greatly improve this energy dump.

Fact older windows have lasted as long as they have because they are of simple, uncomplicated construction that had the advantage of using a material (old growth lumber) that is no longer available. The pyramids will easily outlast a modern skyscraper that doesn't make a pyramid superior, it is simply different.

Fact many people like the look of wavy glass which was the norm in windows made long ago yet the waves and bubbles in glass was technically a flaw in the manufacturing process. Glass producers did their best to avoid such "embellishments", but it was the best that could be produced for mass production at the time.

Actually, for higher-end (spelled $$$$) folks they could produce glass without the waviness, but it was expensive and few folks wanted to, or could, spend the money for them.

This of course doesnt mean that such ornamentation doesn't add charm and character to the window and subsequently the home, however. Lots of flawed items have a certain charm and character of their own. And btw, I very much like "flawed" wavy glass and is readily available today, made in the exact same process that was used 100 years ago. Only today it is considered decorative and is therefore expensive.

Ultimately, to change windows is a personal decision.but there are very valid reasons for both sides of the discussion.


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clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 05:08 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2009 at 05:08 pm

RE: ROI of Replacing Old Wood Windows (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: patser on 12.07.2008 at 10:41 pm in Windows Forum

Vince, I have a couple of suggestions - Check into storm windows and spring bronze weatherstripping (kilian hardware.com or your local "real old fashioned" hardware store). Then $150 estimate per storm is what's typical in my area (greater Chicago). Also, since heat rises, make sure the floor of your attic is properly insulated. If you do those things, I think you'll get the most bang for your buck. Suggestion #2 is to post this question on the general forum at oldhouseweb.com. A number of old home owners that regularly post there have done the math and have stayed with their old windows plus the things I've mentioned.

Aesthetically, new windows do not look "right" in an old home.

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clipped on: 12.11.2008 at 03:36 pm    last updated on: 12.11.2008 at 03:36 pm

RE: light charcoal colored matte counters? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: ellene613 on 05.15.2006 at 08:01 am in Kitchens Forum

In a natural stone you might want to look at Buckingham slate, whuch is quarried in Virginia, or Devonian sandstone from New York:

Devonianstone.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Buckingham slate

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clipped on: 06.24.2006 at 10:08 am    last updated on: 06.24.2006 at 10:08 am