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The ultimate horror-flick... Old house abuse caught on tape.

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Re: The ultimate horror-flick... Old house abuse caught on tape.

Postby Texas_Ranger on Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:17 am

jade mortimer wrote:no respirators, no eye protection, no floor covering, working right next to a piece of unprotected furniture AND ripping out windows that appear to be in fine condition...i didn't watch the whole thing either.....jeesh....

Sounds like the average job here - watched two of them myself in the past few years. All those windows (minus most of the frames) are in our own cellar now. Some of them were huge intricate art-nouveau casements with opening transoms and everything! They took the casements off the hinges, broke some of the glass and took a jigsaw to the frames (and a chainsaw to some of the more accessible parts) as removing them whole would have required removing the stucco, cutting the nails and then lifting down the frames whole.

Oh and what about people working on the fourth floor without any fall protection??? And I'm talking old-house floors here, roughly 20ft. off the ground.

A friend of mine had her 50s windows replaced 2 years ago because they were in rather poor shape (some were so warped and sagging they required brute force to open and close) and because she lives in a very busy street and wanted soundproof glass (one thing I can totally understand, her new windows ARE great in that respect) and *omg* she had some sleazy guys bid for the job! One of them started talking non-stop as soon as he walked through the door and didn't stop for a second until my friend drove off (he'd been talking through the open car window before too, didn't react at all when he was told to leave because they were in a hurry).

I know it's a bad stereotype, but in my general picture replacement window salespeople are on the same level of sleaziness as used-car dealers and traveling salespeople who try to sell the Inuit refrigerators.

It's just a SWAG, but I think all that maybe 80% of the windows replaced every year in Austria need is a good paint job, new weatherstripping and maybe reglazing. Many people actually replace their windows because the glass is loose and rattling every time a truck goes by! Happens as the glazing hardens and gets brittle. Actually the window immediately to my left has this issue - but we have so little traffic that it's been pushed all the way down on the list of priorities.
The bad thing with electricity : it almost always works.

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Re: The ultimate horror-flick... Old house abuse caught on tape.

Postby triguy128 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:00 pm

Texas_Ranger wrote:
jade mortimer wrote:no respirators, no eye protection, no floor covering, working right next to a piece of unprotected furniture AND ripping out windows that appear to be in fine condition...i didn't watch the whole thing either.....jeesh....

Sounds like the average job here - watched two of them myself in the past few years. All those windows (minus most of the frames) are in our own cellar now. Some of them were huge intricate art-nouveau casements with opening transoms and everything! They took the casements off the hinges, broke some of the glass and took a jigsaw to the frames (and a chainsaw to some of the more accessible parts) as removing them whole would have required removing the stucco, cutting the nails and then lifting down the frames whole.e .



That should be a hint. IF its' that well integrated and difficualt to remove... maybe it was never intended to be removed.

Mabe I'll become a storm window sales person... and rep both Larson and the more premium Allied windows. Actually, you could do old home energy audits and make good, recommendation that have real returns. Like air sealing, compatible insulation, new storm doors, storm windows and HVAC improvements like duct sealing, modifications and haivng units cleaned and serviced (not nessesarily replacement) and installing outdoor resets controls.
1925 Neo-Classical

Previous home - 1968 single story Ranch/Colonial, 1200sqft - 11 windows
Current home - 1925 2 story Beaux Arts Neo-classical overlooking the Mississippi River, 3200sqft - 48 Windows
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Re: The ultimate horror-flick... Old house abuse caught on tape.

Postby 1907~ILFarmhouse on Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:26 pm

Triguy, I wish there was a storm window salesman around here!
We live literally 10 miles from the Campbell Center (a place that has restoration resources & has hosted the window repair classes), but it's classes never seem to be advertised locally (? not sure why?) and they are not very affordable to average person.

We've been here 5 years, in that time I have seen at least 5 beautiful, fully restorable, farmhouses dozed to the ground and burned. All wood trim, doors, windows, floors, and history gone with them. It's sad and depressing. Our neighbor down the road asked us about our windows when we were working on a few a couple summers ago, we told him we were restoring them. He smiled and said good! He also has an old farmhouse and put in new Marvin windows from our local Hardware/home store (no big boxes for miles and miles), he said "I wished I'd never seen em!" He hates them. It's sad that no one really knows that there windows can be restored for a lot less money and last a lot longer. We have 1 newer window in our house..it was here when we bought it. It's the leakiest crappiest window here, out of 26. We are always looking for a new "old" window to replace it with.
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Re: The ultimate horror-flick... Old house abuse caught on tape.

Postby Texas_Ranger on Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:03 pm

That should be a hint. IF its' that well integrated and difficualt to remove... maybe it was never intended to be removed.

That's the average way of replacing windows. Sometimes they also just cut up the frame and put the new window into the old opening - makes for insanely wide frames and doesn't address drafts between the old frame and brickwork at all. A friend of mine has that kind of replacement windows - they're vinyl from 1994 and so drafty he says he doesn't even need to open them to let fresh air in.

Sometimes there are windows that have to be replaced though, or at least the frame taken out of the wall and large chunks of it replaced. Windows close to the ground in old brick buildings tend to rot from the side facing the brickwork rather than the exposed face.

We also have two windows in our own house that I'd consider beyond saving, even though I tried. Both are casements and in really poor shape. The wood is very beaten, the whole casements are warped and soft, which means I won't ever b able to weatherstrip them properly and I suspect they were undersized right from the beginning, which looks great but makes them very unstable. Some of the muntins are half gone and some genius roughly patched and painted the leftovers. We definitely want to get fairly exact replicas, but those are expensive - by most Austrian carpenters we were quoted something in the lower 4-digit range for a product of unknown quality. Or, in other words, I could work about 80 hours for what they wanted. There's a famous German restoration carpenter I want to ask, but I guess shipping windows would be expensive.
Pretty much only leaves one option - I have to do it myself. Guess I'd better get good at doing mortise and tenon joints...
I'm also torn between using double glazing in the bathroom or doing it a more authentic way.

I do have some 100-year old (rough guess) lumber (floor joists) I intend to use. Even if it was construction grade by the standards of the day I think it trumps modern paint or even stain grade lumber.
The bad thing with electricity : it almost always works.

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Re: The ultimate horror-flick... Old house abuse caught on tape.

Postby eclecticcottage on Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:40 pm

We have a mix of windows at the Cottage, I imagine most were salvaged from other houses as only two (in the original portion of the cottage) match (casements :( I hate casements). There were only 4 windows that were bad enough that I'd replace them and two were removed for the doors we put in anyway. Of the remaining two, one is a casement that's just shot. We did repoint and reglaze, as well as repaint, but eventually it will need to be replaced. The other is a nwere vinyl replacement (Anderson) that the frame rotted on. It was also framed in poorly, you can see pics on this blog post http://eclecticcottage.blogspot.com/201 ... stuff.html so it doesn't close all the way on the bottom. That one is definately going to the curb. I haven't decided what to replace it with yet, so we're living with it. All of the others had their frames scraped and repainted-see this blog post- http://eclecticcottage.blogspot.com/201 ... dirty.html since they all have old school aluminum storms (installed MANY years ago). We're going to scrape, repoint, reglaze and repaint the actual windows this summer too. They're pretty much protected by the storms though, so I'm in no rush.

Our friends just bought a big ole (I think) Gothic Revivial and the only windows she wants to save are the stained glass transoms. Because it's easier to have the windows replaced than scrape and paint and reglaze (I do agree there after doing the few on the Cottage-thank goodness for small houses, lol), we might snag up the old ones. I dunno what to do with them yet, except I keep thinking I might build a greenhouse out of all the old windows I keep grabbing. Maybe a few cold frames at least.
The Cottage Blog: http://eclecticcottage.blogspot.com/

Current home: 1950's Summer Cottage turned year round home (the Cottage)
-@ 700 sq ft, heated with a wood stove, on the shore of Lake Ontario
Previous home: 1920's Vernacular (the Old House)
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Re: The ultimate horror-flick... Old house abuse caught on tape.

Postby pqtex on Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:10 pm

eclecticcottage wrote:Our friends just bought a big ole (I think) Gothic Revivial and the only windows she wants to save are the stained glass transoms. Because it's easier to have the windows replaced than scrape and paint and reglaze (I do agree there after doing the few on the Cottage-thank goodness for small houses, lol), we might snag up the old ones. I dunno what to do with them yet, except I keep thinking I might build a greenhouse out of all the old windows I keep grabbing. Maybe a few cold frames at least.



I just have to stick in my 2 cents...regardless of the difference in the amount of work, your friend's replacement windows will never look as good as the old ones. Even old windows that haven't been restored yet look better than the replacement windows I'm seeing more and more of around town. I'm becoming a bit of a hermit because I don't want to drive around town and see the houses with the replacements. I find myself getting stressed when I see a lovely old home that has new windows that are the wrong proportion for the house and have the fake plastic strips proportionally dividing the window wrong, too. :cry:
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Re: The ultimate horror-flick... Old house abuse caught on tape.

Postby eclecticcottage on Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:09 pm

I agree, but it's not my house, and with the number of windows in very rough shape (along with a LOT of other problems from basic systems like electric and plumbing to a leaky roof and questionable foundation) I do understand her POV. I would still try to save them...but it's not my call. She is set in her ideas. We tried to talk her out of even buying the house. Her first house and it was almost condemned...I think she might be in over her head, just purely from no "been there done that" experiance to draw on. And she's about 2-3 hours away, one way, so we can't just pop over to lend a hand (like we have time with the Cottage still requesting any and all waking hours, lol).
The Cottage Blog: http://eclecticcottage.blogspot.com/

Current home: 1950's Summer Cottage turned year round home (the Cottage)
-@ 700 sq ft, heated with a wood stove, on the shore of Lake Ontario
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Re: The ultimate horror-flick... Old house abuse caught on tape.

Postby CivilWarHome on Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:23 pm

The soffits look to be vinyl as well? It looks like it's not just the windows that have been redone :(
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Re: The ultimate horror-flick... Old house abuse caught on tape.

Postby sundine2 on Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:09 am

I couldn't stomach watching the whole thing. Once they started using the sawsall I left it....to disturbing...I will have nightmares just with the little bit I watched.
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