The question: Now that the weather has turned and the wind picked up, a lot of people notice that their casement windows are getting older. Cranks are tough to turn, some of the seals are not as tight as they used to be, and more. They may have spent good money on them a few years back but now the warranty has expired. Is it a good idea to go ahead and replace them even though it’s expensive?
On the Outer Cape even the best building products will eventually show signs of wear and tear. With all the salt and moisture taking a toll, it’s no surprise that, even when it’s done right, relatively new construction could have some issues. When it comes to windows in particular, I have a golden rule: fix your windows; don’t replace them. Save the money and minimize the aggravation.
Today’s manufacturers offer so many replacement parts that there’s usually no need for a whole new installation. Unless the window frames are gone, chances are you can replace the parts that are giving you trouble. It’s always a good idea to have a licensed contractor do the work if you’re not up to the task. Some are certified by the manufacturer so they are ready to go, which is even better.
If your casement windows won’t crank, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. It sounds like an operator issue — not the person on the job, but the actual handle. (It’s really called “the operator” by the pros.) We can replace them so you can actually open the window. It could be as simple as the gears being stripped or the mechanism clogged with dirt and old lubricant. Why go through the expense and time of replacement when a simple repair could be the answer?
Have you got a foggy view or maybe some moisture is building up in the seams? Are the sashes not as they should be? There are replacement options there, too. Same thing with locking mechanisms. Things wear out and break but it doesn’t have to be a major project. Most repair jobs are done within a couple of hours or less. If the parts aren’t available right away, they can be delivered within a day or two in most cases.
When it comes to building projects, my goal is to do it right and keep things simple. When it comes to your windows, remember the golden rule and explore your options before thinking big.
For this week’s Dovetail Joint, the Independent’s Mike Potenza interviewed Raymond Roderick, a licensed contractor in Truro and a native of Provincetown. He’s been working in the trades on the Outer Cape for 37 years and is an expert in Anderson window repairs and replacement.