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Paging all old house folks...

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by HollowHill, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    I have an 1805 farmhouse in upstate NY, hipped roof, center hall, 2 story that I will finally be renovating the exterior on starting this June. In the process of trying to make decisions on what materials to use. I've got to replace the windows (Victorian 2 over 2s), reroof, reinsulate (blown in cellulose, old), and reside. Got the siding down (hemlock, solid stain). Windows are causing me sleepless nights. Code around here demands thermal pane. I'm looking at the Andersen A-Series. Anyone have any experience with them? Or any other suggestions to look at? I'm thinking 12 over 12s, even though the house is on the Georgian/Federal cusp, leaning more towards the Federal side, but I love the look of 12 over 12s. Pane size works out to 6 x 8, so I think it will be OK. Currently have a crappy, leaky, poorly done metal roof and thought I would go asphalt, but can't seem to find an asphalt that I like. Any suggestions? At this point I'm leaning toward standing seam as it will give the more plausible authentic look??? Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks!

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  2. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Windows are going to be tough. Used to be you could get salvaged sash or have reproduction single pane sash made and install with a good quality storm and meet code. The latest energy code is too strict and that won't do anymore. There was a long discussion on old house web about this last year (btw that forum is defunct and everyone is moving to wavyglass.org. For great advice go over there and ask for Jade Mortimer).

    Are those Anderson's true divided light? Looks better IMHO but a lot more seals to fail. Not to mention all the plastic in the track mechanisms even in wood windows these days. Who knows if parts will be available in 20 years when it breaks :(

    For the roof.... I'm guessing it would have been wood shake when it was built, probably whatever tree species is most common around you. The most authentic look would be cedar shake or shingle but we know how $$$$ that is and the new growth stuff just doesn't last from what I've been told, you would be lucky to get 20 years. There might be fiber cement products that mimic the look however.
  3. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I looked at the Building History of Northern New England book. It mentions that the first references to copper roofing show up In building literature around 1815, and then tin roofing gets imported from England after that, but doesnt become common on small homes till after the civil war. Early tin was flat soldered and standing seam shows up closer to 1900.

    So even if not original a metal roof might have been an early renovation and quite appropriate as you suspect.
  4. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    If you can afford a new metal roof, you'll never have to replace it. The enamel ones they have now look really nice. If its not too bad, folks have good results with plastic roof patch and "Silver Dollar" roof paint which can buy you a few more years.

    Probably period shingles would be made out of hemlock. The bark was stripped in great quantities for use in leather tanning, and the remaining wood was used for a variety of projects. During the off season, shingle making was a popular winter evening activity and the products could be sold at market to supplement income.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  6. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    The Andersen's are sim divided lite (grill on each side with spacer in between glass). The true divided light has too heavy a muntin I think for a Federal house.
  7. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, been doing the patch route for 16 years now. There's more patch than metal at this point, I think ;) It's gotta be reroofed. Will breath a huge sigh of relief when it's done. I know the true meaning of Chinese Water Torture.
  8. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, BeGreen, I'll give them a solid look. I did see one Marvin when I was out looking and didn't like it as well as the A-Series, but when you only see one, it's hard to compare.
  9. wenger7446

    wenger7446 Member

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  10. Redbarn

    Redbarn Member

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    We have a 1815 Federal House.
    We fixed up, retouched, repainted and kept our original windows, wavy glass and all.
    But we fitted exterior storms to keep the weather off them and
    then fitted Windowtherm interior storms inside the originals to stop the drafts and add thermal insulation.
    The original windows are now trapped between the 2 layers of storms.
    So the original windows rule the visuals but the storms provide protection.
    Way, way cheaper than fitting replacement windows and kept the style and charm of the house.
    Wavy glass is worth $$ to potential buyers.

    Besides, the existing windows have lasted 200+ years and I doubt the Moderns would last 20.
    Thistle, jharkin and ScotO like this.
  11. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Agree with you on this. If I had old originals, for sure I'd keep them. But, alas, I don't and the dang code won't allow me to salvage old ones and put them in :(
  12. Redbarn

    Redbarn Member

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    Thats a pity. Our old windows are made of old growth timbers and that is a remarkable material.
    I cannot bang nails into it (need a drill) and it is insect resistant. Resists mold as well.
    Sad that the code won't allow a like for like replacement.
  13. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Huh, I never thought about that with code. Well, I'll just have to sneak in our new old replacement then.

    For the roof, they make a tab shingle that's supposed to look like shake, but I've never seen it in person. Otherwise, standing seam is the way to go. There's a thread around here about it.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good that you were able to save the old windows. New ones will last too with reasonable care. We have Pellas from the mid-80s that continue to do duty, year after year, some Andersens from 2003 that are ok, but nothing to write home about and some Lindal casement windows that look like they'll stand up well. They better, they're on our weather side.

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