The need for them is usually one of a few things. 1. Living in a historical district means you have to use wood. 2. Living in a Conservation District you may have to use wood on the front of the home only. 3. If you really like the true divided lite look that comes from the wood sticking out from the surface of the glass and want it bad enough to pay the extra bucks to get it..
Well we just stumbled onto the first wood window bump in the road. Their cost. Most manufacturers have several grades and models of wood windows. The cheap ones are really junky and won't last for very long. The higher end ones are much better but significantly more costly. (30% or so higher). For the purpose of budgeting I tell people to plan on $1200 to $1500 per window. I know that's a shocker but perhaps the rest of the page will explain the cost.
Wood windows are very labor intensive and require a great deal of wood trim both inside and out. Jeldwen recommends 6 man hours per window, and the average sized window is $600 to $900 depending on the options. Builders grade type wood windows are in the $500 to $700. Options, glass package, trims and sizings will all be variables that affect the cost. Labor can be one of the biggest variables.
The look is one of a kind but it is a bit pricey. These are required in Historic Districts and usually on the front of homes in the Conservation Districts. There are quite a few of both here in Dallas. They are also the primary product in Highland Park for the same reason. Painting is required on the solid wood units but the aluminum or vinyl clad type wood windows are maintenance free.
If you read the reviews and blogs you'll quickly see that the most important factor in any wood window job is the installation itself. Wood windows are tricky and have to be exactly right to work correctly. It's just not a home handyman type job. If Jeldwen says 6 hours a piece, they aren't kidding.Here was a pretty cool little deal in the Historic Districts in Dallas. We did wood windows, glazed some openings with better glass and put in a French Door.
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Steve in Arlington offers a great review for our installations and our ThermaTru Prestained Fiberglass Entry Doors.
Here's a neat full view door from Steve in Winnetka Heights Dallas who also got the factory stained exterior door from ThermaTru.
In the 20's through the 60's wood windows were the standard. This was when gas and electricity were cheap and wood was the product of choice. They often had what is called "true divided lite grids". This was in the single paned window days and those days have passed. Now we have double paned, heat reflective glass packages with Argon Gas filling and options for triple glazed and more. Many windows have eight or more possible glass packages including easy clean glass, thicker glass for noise and so on.
With the thicker glass we now use "simulated divided lite grids" to accomplish this look. These are grids that are stuck to the inside and the outside of the glass with 3-M Glazing Tape. The look is very similar to the old style but has that added heat reflective property from Low E Glass with Argon.Contact Us Today!
Wood windows are not custom sized like aluminum or vinyl windows. There are stock sizes and it is the job of the contractor to supervise the sizing process. Sometimes an opening may need to get bigger and sometimes it may need to be downsized to accomidate a sizing format from a specific wood window manufacturer.Our preferred manufacturer is Jeldwen and they make three different lines of wood windows. They would call it good, better and best but I think the builders grade one is a somewhat short term fix. I happened across some that were 8 years old and they looked pretty rough. Here's a link...
One of the big drivers in wood window costs is just the massiveness of the product itself. A replacement type window may be 3 1/4" thick max but a wood window is about 6 1/2" thick. It is designed to float all the way to the inside of the homes sheetrock and then have casing go around it on the inside. The outside will get brickmold or one by four casing. In this picture you can see the wood part, the aluminum clad exterior, the simulated divided lite grids and the "shadow bars" between the panes of glass to complete the look of the faux divided lites.
Most wood windows are pine but there are oak, hickory and other exotic type woods used as well. It's important to know that there are plastic sliders that the wood window moves on and those are most definately not wood. These new Jeldwens still have the protective film over the glass. This stays on until the end of the construction and painting process.
Here's the coolest of the wood window world overall. The twin casement has screens on the inside and this entire opening can ventilate. Its a great look but it is an upcharge over vertical operators. Recently it came up that Single Hung wood windows are more expensive than double hungs and even I found that interesting.
These can get pricey so you'd better sit down. Archtops and Circle tops run thousands of dollars. These were just under three grand and I've seen the big half circles priced recently at 5 grand for the window alone. This is a very high end product and while beautiful is often cost prohibitive. This is especially true in remodeling and renovation unless you're ripping it down to the studs. The rework of brick and associated carpentry can really become labor intensive and therefore not ideal for remodeling.
Wood windows have that classic look for sure. But there is no mistaking it for modern. Wood double hung windows do require full screens and it actually costs more for single hungs than double hungs. There are lots of moving pieces that have to come together to get a great project when it comes to wood windows. Knowing sizing and specifics of all the products out there is a big help. Knowing who to ask and get good input from is also a big help. Because wood windows can be so complicated, I recommend you treat it like you would a serious medical condition. It's good to understand what you're up against, but it's better to have a great doctor who really understands what's going on.
Sometimes it's the cool wood work and not necessarily the windows. When you see one like this, it has aluminum clad exterior and cool looking cedar trim and siding. The look is awesome but it's the cedar that does it. I can get a similar look much cheaper from aluminum or vinyl at least on the outside. Check our gallery for the pictures of the inside.
This is the interior view of a simulated divided lite grid Jeldwen Replacement Window.
Simulated Divided Lite is the term for grids that stick out from the glass on the inside and the outside of a window. In the past they were true divided lite grid windows but that was in single paned glass days. Now that there are double paned glass windows it's changed a bit. A window now has one piece of glass with dark brown or silver spacer bars and grids and they line up with wood applied to the inside and wood or aluminum applied to the outside of the glass.
This is not what it appears to be. If one piece of glass were to break... they all would be broken. If the seal fails, it fails in all the windows that you see.
Grids can be putty glazed style as pictured or a more contoured looking style of window. Grids can be 7/8", 1 1/8" or 1 3/8" wide.
This is a cutaway of a Jeldwen Site Line Wood Casement Window
It shows the wood window and the aluminum clad exterior designed to make a maintenance free exterior.
This model is in pine but other hardwoods and exotic woods can be used.
This one has he nailing fin still on it. Most retrofit wood windows are done without a nailing fin.
The interior can be painted or stained. Jeldwen even has a lifetime warranty against rotting with this model of window. Many wood window manufacturers have several lines. Jeldwen is no exception. There are three tiers of wood windows from most manufacturers. A cheapest line for builders, a mid ranged line for remodelers and a custom series for exact fit applications.
With wood windows in existing homes the latter is usually most appropriate.
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