Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Kitchen Remodel Bumped to 2019. New Windows Next On Major Projects List

One of my wife's main gripes with the house is the kitchen. It's perfectly functional, and now that we ironed out a few bugs with all the new Top-Of-The-(Home Depot)-Line appliances, she's quite happy with them. The stove and dishwasher play different little melodies to tell you what mode they're in, along with other information if you learn the little audio codes. They both also have a display panel where you can override anything that might be going awry, a useful thing to have. The "flaw" with the dishwasher was caused by a poor installation (hot water valve barely cracked open), and the "flaw" with the stove/oven was an RTFM kind of thing. The ice maker/cold water dispenser in the fridge doesn't work due to there being no easy way to run a water line to it. That's one of the things to be addressed in the kitchen remodel, along with additional cabinet space, her main gripe with this kitchen. Since I finally learned all the ins and outs of the "Euro Style" hinges on all the cabinets, and replaced a bunch of mismatched hardware, I've got those all adjusted and closing, gaps nicely aligning, and looking good, so "non functional doors/drawers" is now a closed item on the squawk list. So, the kitchen is probably 95%+ in functionality, and maybe 65%~70% in style, and bumped down the list by her second most priority, which was new windows.

So, in a paradigm shift which surprised me, the wife called "Renewal by Andersen" to get a quote on new windows. These are high-end window replacements, and from the sample sections the guy brought, they're extremely well made and sealed. Most of the windows in the house are aluminum-framed "glider" windows, which means the slide side-to-side. The 3 windows in the Sun Room and the two side windows in the den are "casement" windows, which means they're crank-out windows, opening up by pivoting on the short side of the windows, and the entire window swings out. We had some of these in my Dad's house back in Illinois, and I love them. When you open the windows, they scoop up a nice breeze and direct it into the house.

BUT....when it's cold out (like below 20*), you can stand near one of the aluminum framed windows and almost feel it sucking the heat out of the house. And when it's warm out, the windows on the South side of the house absorb heat and the metal window frames radiate the heat into the room. The aluminum frames make a pretty good bidirectional heat sink!

The new windows are extruded from a proprietary compound made from wood bits and some kind of resin. Just looking at the cross section of the extrusion the new window frames are made from, it's apparent a lot of thought went into it, especially when compared to a cross section of a typical "vinyl" window that he brought with him. When the wife had the windows in the Long Beach house replaced, she went with an "economy class" vinyl window replacement, and all the windows came to about $5k, installed. My first wife and her husband had their windows replaced at the same time, and while they only had a couple of more windows than we did, and a sliding glass door, their bill came to about $18k, and man, could I ever see a difference in quality!

So, she popped for the Full Monty on the windows, and replacing all of them, with custom built windows, has a list price of about $37k........!

BUT...Andersen offers a 25% discount if you order in January, which knocks it down to a bit under $28k. With other rebates, Senior Citizen discounts, and some credits from our Home Energy Audit, we'll be down and done, with all new high-quality windows, for right about $21k. Since she just paid off her car, the cash for that will be diverted to the window replacement, and we'll get the loan paid off in less than two years.

Not quite the new kitchen she was thinking about (NEXT year!), but it's a worthwhile improvement to the house, and should cut down the heating bill in the winter.

18 comments:

  1. Good research on the window pricing. Those are expensive. I cannot remember the last time I had an icemaker that worked. I have been filling my own trays for thirty years. Rubbermaid ice trays, 4 packs are available at Amazon. If your tap water is drinkable, then you're already ahead. I have to get mine from town.

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  2. Oh, yeah...she knows how to shop and find bargains! And I'm happy she decided to go high-end, and not CHEEP! This place is too nice to scrimp on stuff.

    The new fridge came with ice trays, so that's what we're using. The previous owners didn't hook up a water line because: 1) the kitchen has a ceramic tile floor that would be expensive to R&R just to get a copper tube in there

    and

    2) the basement is fully finished, which means they would have had to remove some of the drywall ceiling to run the tubing on the floor joists.

    Considering the "quality" of the work the previous owner's did, I'm glad they didn't attempt to put in a water line!

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  3. Anderson has been around a long time and is something of a benchmark.

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    1. If the sectioned part he had with him is any indication, these are very well made. The brochure had a view of the window pointing out what materials were used, and it's all first class, from using butyl rubber as a sealer, to purging the space between the two panes with Argon gas.

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  4. We looked at Anderson replacements. Good quality.

    Let 'em sit for a while if you haven't signed a contract. They came off their (already discounted) pricing by another $4k a week later.

    Might not happen in your case, but it is amazing how much they discounted for us.

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  5. I used Pella Windows at the White Wolf Mine. I don't know where they are on the quality scale. Their motto is "perfectly beautiful" but I think that applies more to their opinion of the price that they charge.

    I have learned a lot about construction of modern windows and that these companies are VERY PROUD of what they make and are unashamed when they hand you the bill.

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    1. Windows in a house are one of those things that passed me by while I was staying in Kalifornia. The change in technology has been tremendous, from the raw material the frames are made from, to the sealers used, to the type of glass used. The windows we had in Long Beach were suitable for Kalifornia only. I doubt they would have lasted two years before they got replaced with something better....

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  6. We got the full push from the Renewal by Andy guy, and I knew the bill would be high when he was incapable of giving me even a ballpark until he'd completed the multi hour presentation.

    Everyone in my neighborhood needs replacements, and R by A has done quotes for dozens of them. He should have been able to say "it should cost + or - 20% of X, based on similar homes in your neighborhood." I could have then saved him the 2 hours... The $40k price was more than I was expecting, even with the type of sales presentation. There were some discounts available, and after we thanked him for his time we did get a 'save the deal' offer (I think.)

    They are SUPER NICE windows, and I don't think you will be disappointed by them, but they were too much for me to spend on this house.

    Being in a hurricane zone, I want hurricane glass, and that means a different company too. Still, it's gonna be $12k to $20k that everyone says I won't get back when we sell the house....

    From some of our friends experiences, you will be a lot more comfortable, your HVAC costs will go down, and you will be surprised by how QUIET the house is. All good things, and worth it.

    zuk

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  7. Even the CHEEP vinyl double pane windows in the little Long Beach house made a big difference in noise which was very nice because we lived in a very noisy neighborhood. It's very quiet here, so although I might not notice a huge dB reduction, I'm sure I *will* notice a difference in the spectrum of the noise.

    I suppose whether you get it back when you sell depends on where you live.

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  8. I would agree with Larry, talk to Pella before you make a final decision. One thing you WILL see, is lower HVAC bills.

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    1. Pella and Andersen were on here 'short list'. Not sure why she had Andersen come here first, but they got the job...

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  9. Dr. Jim, you two are spending money like drunken sailors. ;-)

    If you have to start robbing liquor stores to pay for it all, beware the shotgun armed dwarfs in the beer coolers!

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    1. Not quite that bad. Wait till I start building out the antenna system....that starts the time frame when we're BOTH writing large checks....

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  10. Some options regarding that 'fridge water line:
    If the 'fridge is next to the sink cabinets, run a line through the cabinets by drilling for access. If needed, you can continue this approach under the wall bottom trim. If the wallboard goes all the way to the floor, cut a trench in it deep enough to cover with the trim. If there is a gap, run it there, or drill the studs for pass-through. Copper tubing is preferable for this application, as it is more durable than plastic hose.

    For ceramic tiles, a diamond or carbide drill bit will work, if you have a cabinet wall surface you need to punch through.
    Don't forget to add a good filter. Under the sink is a good location for this, as the typical back of the fridge position is awkward, and seldom gets changed. (out of sight, out of mind) You might want to add more than one filter, depending on the quality of your water. Even if first rate, it's better to have one to protect the fridge guts, just in case. Pain in the butt to clean that out!

    A potential benefit of running it in the kitchen is a leak is more likely to be noticed sooner, than one run inside/under the floor. (I've only ever seen a leak at the end connectors, though) Freezing is pretty much eliminated, also.
    If you want to be perfect, you can cut the bottom of the wallboard off the studs, run the line, and replace the piece. If you don't have bottom trim, you can always add a strip for that location.

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    1. The fridge is on the opposite wall from the sink, so no cabinets to hide the line in. We can live without the ice maker/cold water spigot being non-functional for now. I have a feeling when she finally decides to pull the trigger on the kitchen, it'll be a two week slice-and-dice of everything in the kitchen!

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  11. I figured 50/50 for the opposite wall!
    You can still run a line by hiding it under the doorway trim, if that's in the way. Btw, running it under the door threshhold plate might seem easier, but once you pull those nails up, they won't stay tight. Then it's using flathead screws, or a new plate for different nail locations. PITA

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  12. BOOM! List of companies offering Trump Tax Bonuses keeps growing and growing - updated

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Keep it civil, please....