The Bi-Glass System
Post new topic   Reply to topic
Historic HomeWorks Forum Forum Index -> Windows & Doors Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next 
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
waxahatchie



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 99
Location: the other portland

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:24 pm    Post subject: new twist on an old bi-glass thread Reply with quote

a previous owner of our house removed many of the original windows about 25 years ago... some were rotted (obviously he thought beyond repair!) and some had been removed earlier to put in sheet glass picture windows.

the twist is this: he had versatile sash - then a brand new company, and the owner was his neighbor - make new windows, mostly 5 over 1, and in these windows they used panes of insulated glass, very similar to the bi-glass system... many of these panes have now blown, and my question is what to replace the panes with? obviously i can simply install more insulated panes, but they, too, will blow someday, ad infinitum. and if replacing the panes with like ends up being the best solution, wouldl i be able to use old wavy glass on the outer pane?

i am not adverse to starting over completely - most of the windows do NOT open, and they are beginning to rot out, so replacing them may be necessary but $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. so repairs may be in order.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnleeke
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2909
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insulating glass units always have a problem with broken seals and fogging up within 4 to 6 years on single seals and 10 to 15 years on multi-seals. The glass and window industry knows all about this but they don't want consumers and homeowners to know about it.

It is possible to have insulating glass units made with wavy glass, but it's not inexpensive.

Some people are repairing their newer windows that have failed, but starting over with new windows of better quality might make sense.

Maybe you could go back to single pane glass?

What do you mean by "blown." I'd like to have a few of your smaller glass units that are blown (if your replace them), or a whole sash if it has blown units and rotting wood, especially if its one of the 5-light sashes. I'd pay you a 'bounty' for your trouble and for shipping costs.

_________________
John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its really all about priorities and goals you have for your home. Everyone one of us who lives (or have lived) in an older home automatically have repair priorities and probably even some long term goals.

It would be nice to see a picture of some of your windows and specifically pictures of the interior profile (the glass sits against the profile). Bi-Glass mills out a big hunk of the profile in order to get a supposedly better quality glass unit to fit where the single pane of glass used to fit.

In affect this ruins the profile and in my opinion ruins the sash. Tearing out the profile makes the sash just 4 pieces of wood to hold glass. Where's the Historical significance in that end result? There is none!!!

If your sashes were made for insulated glass they may very well have an intact profile of sorts. (especially if they are 1 3/4" thick)

With this in mind, how do your sashes look? If they were made with quality and look good from both views, than if they were mine I may very well decide to start repairing them. Which would mean I would start looking for a place to buy the best quality IGU with the best warranty. (I doubt you could do much to make them look appropriate by just installing a single piece of glass instead of an IGU)

If the quality is just not there than its just a matter of prioritising short term repairs with long term replacement. which may mean repairing those you can't see out ofand replacing (correctly) as you can afford.

It all boils down to, you gotta see. The real question is, what do you want to see out of?

Steve S
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
waxahatchie



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 99
Location: the other portland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks - yes, it is about priorities, and the house needs SO much done to it, that 'correct' windows may have to wait awhile. if it looks like there are no cost-effective temporary repairs, we'll have to live with the fog.

i'm taking pictures now; i'll post them tonight. and john, i'd love to send you a unit if we take them out, but one glass company indicated these types of panes need to be broken to be removed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
waxahatchie



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 99
Location: the other portland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:45 am    Post subject: pictures Reply with quote

as promised, some photos. first, here is the house as built:








next, previous owner shot of windows being replaced:






note that EVERY window had leaded glass! the sill is shot, but i don't see much wrong with that sash :P

here is a typical current window:









close up:





the double-pane setup:








a typical outside shot. i don't know what the plug is for.


most of these windows were built NOT to open. the ones that are casements we will likely replace with salvaged single-pane units. looking for advice on what to do with the others.

for fun, here is a casement shot:


not an optical artifact, the wall is really sinking that far!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sean



Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 170
Location: Salem, MA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waxahatchie wrote:
but one glass company indicated these types of panes need to be broken to be removed.


Hiding the evidence, crappy design or both?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet that particular glass company suspects the IGU's to be glued in place. Either that or there's no removable glazing stop and they'll need to break glass and cut the profile to get the new IGU installed. I've seen that before also.

The home is beautifull and I particularly like the diamond grid on some of those windows.

I think I would want to duplicate the leaded in glass panels in those sashes that had them.

Did some of the original windows have the damond grid and some had the leaded in glass panels.

It was pretty unique.

Steve S
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
waxahatchie



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 99
Location: the other portland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

we have been looking at replacing many, but not all, of the diamond panes. too many windows have been modified to recreate the original look. here is a somewhat recent shot (mostly of trees).




i did do some research on IGU replacements, and it wasn't cheap. we would want to replace the outer pane with wavy glass, and one estimate was $25/sq ft. for that custom work. i have 35 small panes that average a square foot, as well 5 or 6 3' x 3'! just using off-the-shelf glass was about $5/sqft cheaper.
i suppose we could simply build up the rabbeting to allow a single pane again, but i am not sure it would look right - one side or another would have to be set back nearly an inch from the current plane. any opinions on how to go back to single pane are more than appreciated!

budget precludes ripping all of the windows out and rebuilding.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 785
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dear waxperson....
what a gorgeous place...i'm sorry you've discovered the issue with leaking/foggy IGU but it does proof 'our' point once again...

because the windows are such a significantly important design aspect of your home, perhaps an investment in bringing them back to the original diamond pane would be best in the long run...maybe you could think about doing one side a year or just a few at a time...

i can cut old glass for cheaper than the price you were quoted...if interested, email me... jade@crocker.com

.....jade
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what kind of an investment it would be to start replacing these IGU units with duplicates of your diamond grid sashes. I duplicated 6 diamond grid casements of an attic of a home that caught fire.

I think all I did for a month was cope and fit--cope and fit. But you know every time I drive past that house I couldn't imagine any alternative. It just make the house.

One idea you might consider is to plan a replacement duplication program.
It wouldn't require replacing all at once and in fact if you can find a wood shop or small window fabrication shop you may be able to work out a deal.

Owning a small shop of my own, I welcome these types of jobs to fill in hours during those slow months. And I do them at discounted prices.

I have no idea of prices in your area, but the idea here is doing just what can be afforded in a given time. It may be just one pair a year.

So then it becomes just pricing, timing and budgeting.

Just my opinion, but I would much rather put my money in diamond grid replacements rather than trying to get these IGU windows to look old.

I would take carefull consideration of making IGU's with wavy glass. all you need is for a real wavy part of a glass to rest on the sealant. That could casue a short life.

Again this is only my opinion. What a wonderfull challenging project you have. Have fun with it!

Steve S
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
waxahatchie



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 99
Location: the other portland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'd like to thank everyone for all the responses. we agree, the diamond sashes in WOOD were a great look, and we have a local window builder coming later to give us an estimate. and a retired contractor friend of mine was over today, and he figured that we could figure out some sort of single-pane replacement that didn't look goofy with the remaining insulated glass panes. i will post pictures and progress as it happens...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rncx



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 660
Location: Little Rock, AR

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hate to be the bearer of bad news but i think wooden diamond pattern sashes will be quite expensive. i've designed some, since i have some rotting ones too, but haven't gotten around to building any yet. they will require very attentive cuts and very accurate tools, i suspect, to create the proper angles and have them all fit properly.

how many would you need to replace them all, and would it be possible to get a precise size measurement (assuming they're all the same size)?

if so i could draw up some plans and get a guesstimate on the amount of work involved with one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
waxahatchie



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 99
Location: the other portland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we knew they'd be expensive - we are hoping not so much that we can't afford the local craftsperson coming out next month to bid on the two we are definitely replacing!

the windows are non-openable, and from what i can see from the framing, should be 24" H x 28" W. not sure how thick (look to be around 1.5"), but there is plenty of room to go deeper if need be. i'll get an outside shot posted later.

we will most likely invest in pro work on these 2 high-visibility windows - however, i am interested in building the rest myself. i had posted a question (in a dusty corner of the forums!) about what tools one would declare a must to do sashes, and john pointed me to your discussion of just that subject, rncx!
i do not think my basement is big enough for all that equipment, so i would love to hear what hand tools one could substitute.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnleeke
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2909
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
i would love to hear what hand tools one could substitute.


The Save America's Windows book has a 3-page section on making sashes by hand in the 19th century manner. Six photos show the general procedure and many of the tools used, but does not have all the explicit details that would enable a novice to do it. A source for a video showing how to make sashes by hand is listed. Even with all hand work there are several special tools needed.


http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/reports/reports.htm#Windows

Here is the discussion on sash making:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1296

_________________
John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
waxahatchie



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 99
Location: the other portland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:40 pm    Post subject: some progress Reply with quote

have been pursuing various angles on the windows - still have a local craftsperson coming as her time allows to replicate some diamond sash, and found a good sash on ebay in case we can only afford to have her do one!

got a quote from a firm on ripping out the smaller IGUs. replacing the insulated glass ran to nearly $2K. about half that if we simply put in old single-pane glass... but we have to buy the glass, and possibly the custom wood glass stops.

the glass part was easy; today i bought two huge sashes salvaged from a high school built in 1920. over 40 1' x' 1' pieces of wavy glass. i also purchased a small jiffy steamer for $30 and plan to try steaming out the putty. i then will have to figure out something creative to do with all that old-growth fir sash wood! hmmmmm.... maybe i can make those custom glass stops?

on that note, i have dug up a copy of 'make your own handcrafted windows and doors,' and need to order john's materials. that, and a good scouring of used tool sales should at least keep me busy for a while.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Historic HomeWorks Forum Forum Index -> Windows & Doors Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next 
Post new topic   Reply to topic All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 3 of 6

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum