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Before & After


Replacement Windows - 1970s Ranch

New windows on a 1970s ranch house. It's one way these Georgia homeowners plan to beat back the beast of rising fuel costs. View gallery

Before: If they were super energy-efficient, that would be one thing, but they weren't even that. The aluminum storm windows were probably state-of-the-art when installed in the 1970s, but had become a cumbersome aluminum eyesore that obstructed the view and made window cleaning a groan-producing proposition. The wooden sashes were in tough shape, too -- hard to open and impossible to clean.

After: Addressing the issues of improved energy efficiency and ease-of-use, these homeowners chose a made-to-measure double-hung vinyl replacement unit from ReliaBuilt with a solid warranty. The units are double-paned, gas filled, and feature a low-e coating, as well as contoured grids (between the glass layers) that create an appearance consistent with the original windows. The upper and lower sashes both tilt in for cleaning so the full screen never has to be removed. No more ladders! And no more noise. The owners say they've discovered an unexpected bonus feature of these new windows since their installation: it's much quieter in the house, now.

Lessons Learned: Veterans of previous home remodels, these owners advise, "Don't bite off more than you can chew. Know your limits." Knowing theirs, they chose to let the pros do this one, but they said, "Not doing it yourself doesn't mean you walk away." Because they educated themselves, asked a lot of questions, and were present for both the measure and the install, they feel they helped to guarantee a headache-free installation. View gallery

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This month in the Reading Room:

If you're living in an older ranch style house that underwent some "upgrading" before you moved in, you might want to double-check your grounded outlets, particularly those in your bathroom and kitchen. How can you be sure they're really grounded? Should you be concerned? Read more.

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