1st floor window preps

Unlike the windows in the basement, those on the first floor are in decent shape and will serve us until we are ready to upgrade to high efficiency Insulated Glazing Units (IGU’s).

The exception are the three front windows, but more on that later.

Although the existing windows are in OK shape, the sills are not and the installation is rather shoddy, or to be more precise, rather leaky. It is one thing to have average performing windows, but the last thing we want is air leakage around them.

We also need to think ahead, a few years down the road, to when we are ready for new windows. Whatever fixing we do now should include preparations that would allow an easy removal of the existing window and easy installation of the new IGU’s.

We can reuse the original window bucks with the old window weight chambers for the existing and new windows, as they are still in very good shape.

Our first step is to remove the window stops and all caulking, remove the fasteners, carefully pull the window out, and clean up the fiberglass insulation around the buck.

We now can remove the old pulleys for the weights and cut the weight chamber open with the Sawzall. Having the weight chamber open will allow us to fill it with spray polyurethane foam for excellent insulation around the window unit.

The old window sill gets cut out and replaced with a new piece of pressure treated lumber. We re-attach the oak trim around the window, set the glazing unit back into place and screw it in. All that is left now is to air seal the gaps between the window and buck with foam.

Installing the new windows in a few years time should now be easy. We simply remove the existing units, scrape off the foam, set the new IGU’s in place and air seal around them. No need for additional insulation, carpentry, trim or drywall work.


About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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