You need a new sash, not a new window: This statement is the justification of why Fenster Components exists. This is why we got into the window business in the first place.
The practicality of sash replacement is a superior method to window repair with all the benefits of a full replacement window.
We’ve created a whole new approach to window replacement that is, by far, less expensive, less mess and less hassle than the traditional idea of window replacement. Just so we’re on the same page, let’s dig into what the “act” of window replacement really is and how the Fenster process is better.
Traditional Wood Window Replacement
This process has to start with an apples-to-apples comparison of what is being replaced. I’ll be talking specifically about an aluminum-clad casement wood window in a typical mid-range custom home. For this example, let’s look at a home $300,000-700,000 in value with roughly 40 windows in it, and let’s assume a white plastic vinyl insert window is not an option for this home.
Traditional window replacement would require the entire frame of the window to be cut out from the wall. This can have a significant effect on the surrounding surfaces. Interior trim has to be removed, damaging drywall and paint. Exterior trim will also have to be removed, and if you have brick, stone or stucco, the window frame literally has to be cut out of the opening.
And all exterior treatment has the potential to create water infiltration issues when sealing the new window unit. So, now you have an entirely new frame that has to be secured into the opening, flashed and sealed properly.
My argument to this process is, ultimately: Can you fully get proper attachment and watertight seal with a replacement window long after the home was built originally?
Fenster Sash Replacement
Our process removes the entire frame seal question from the equation.
The frame is never removed or altered in any way. The surrounding surfaces are not disturbed in any way. The sash panel is simply removed from the existing frame.
For operating sashes, the sash is pulled from its hinges and operating hardware. The original hardware is then transferred to the new replacement sash and the sash is reset in the frame just as the original was.
For stationary sashes, there are two common mounting methods. Some windows have exposed screws through the interior jamb or through the edge of the sash itself. The sash is simply removed by backing out these screws. The second method is to have brackets hidden behind the interior trim around the sash called the screen stop.
Why Replace Just the Sash and Not the Whole Window?
Let’s first examine what is wrong with the windows and why you want to replace them.
Now, if you’re someone who just wants new stuff for the sake of having new stuff, then you can stop reading. For those of you a little more practical or without an endless budget, this is an important read. Ask yourself these questions before you rip out your entire window.
- Is there anything wrong with the frame? The answer is probably no, and there probably never will be. Then why tear it out?
- Poor seal? The weatherstripping can be replaced and even upgraded without tearing out the entire frame.
- Foggy glass? This is specific to the sash itself. Replacing just the sash solves this issue without a full tear-out.
- Rotten wood? An aluminum-clad window traditionally has an all-metal frame with a cladded wood sash. If the frame has no potential to rot, but the sash does, why not replace only the part of the window that needs to be replaced?
- Poor efficiency? Upgrading efficiency is probably the most common reason for replacement. Here’s what I’ll say to that. The materials, construction and assembly techniques for clad wood windows have changed little-to-none over the past 40 years.
By design, an aluminum-clad window frame of today looks no different than a frame from the 80s. The technology is in the glass, and nothing else. The bells and whistles like trendy hardware, blinds in the glass, roll-up screens and fancy colors are all great, but do nothing to improve efficiency: It’s about the glass. There’s the reason to tear them all out, right? Wrong. Fenster sashes come with the same Energy Star approved glass units that any major window manufacturer can offer you.