casement or double hung?

Hi, I am purchasing a property in Nova Scotia, (Hot Summers, Cold Winters). The property is approx. 60 years old and has had some upgrades done over the past number of years. However, one thing that has never been done to the house was the addition of new windows. The existing windows are old wooden sliders with aluminum storm windows outside. They aren't very efficient and are ugly from both the inside and outside. My Question is this...Which should I buy, casement windows or Double hung? I like the look of casements, but I have heard in the past that they can give you problems, (mechanically) later on. At the same time, I'm not a huge fan of double hung windows, but less parts mean less wear which means better overall lifespan. Is this true or just a myth. feel free to comment.
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On Thu, 30 Jul 2009 19:51:18 -0700 (PDT), camryguy89

My $.02
Casements can provide better ventilation, since the whole area can open and the glass can catch a crossing breeze. It can also block a crossing breeze, so if you can, orient per prevailing winds.
Casements can provide a better view..no middle frame members in the way.
I believe, over time, casements seal better. A good lasting seal is IMO easier to obtain/maintain with a compression seal than a sliding seal. Plus, the area to be sealed is less with a casement; no center bar, which is particularly hard to seal well.
Casements can be an obstruction hazard when they open into/over active space, such as a deck.
The casement mechanism can be a weak spot, but so can the spring balances often used in DH. In high quality windows, neither should be an issue, provided you take time periodically to do preventive maintenance. There is more PM on casements, since the hinges and locks and the mechansim have to be cleaned and lubed periodically. Plus the outside pane is often exposed more to the sun since it sticks out when open. Again, not usually and issue with high quality windows.
From a design aspect, I find casements often look a bit out of place in more traditional style homes. But that's personal preference.
You can't as easily use a window air conditioner or window fan with casements.
HTH,
Paul F.
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wrote:

I have casements. From the outisde they look nice. But I find them a real pain. To install a window AC unit is next to impossible. And lately they aren't closing all the way. If it gets very windy I have to close them so they won't get damaged by wind force. I'd rather have double hung windows.
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wrote:

I agree with Paul on casements giving a better seal. Winter heat loss is a big issue in my house that has tones of double hung windows with really poor seals. I wish I had casements in more places.
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On Fri, 31 Jul 2009 12:30:05 -0700 (PDT), Zephyr

One point I forgot in my original reply: Modern tilt-in double hungs are a breeze to clean, especially on upper stories. At least one manufacturer is now making casements that can tilt in for cleaning; I imagine more will follow.
Paul F.
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Good casements wont be an issue, cheap anything can be. The installer is critical as 1/8" out of plumb, level, square voids most warrantys. www.energystar.gov has good starting info. Get what looks best with your homes style, casements do allow more air when open and do seal better for high wind areas, but you must compare performance data to know what you are buying, dont listen to salesman.
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On Fri, 31 Jul 2009 05:49:08 -0700 (PDT), ransley

Every pro has it's con.
The casements catch the breeze better for ventilation, but in Nova Scotia a breeze can turn into a gale in no time - and an open casement in a gale is an invitation to disaster. I'd go for a high quality vinyl double-hung. Fenergic, euro vinyl, or top of the line Beauville or something along that line -
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re: "The installer is critical as 1/8" out of plumb, level, square voids most warrantys."
This reminds me of something that I always thought about when I was installing my windows last year.
Plumb, Level, and *Square*
If the top and the bottom of the window are level, and both sides are plumb, how can the window not be square?
Sure, I always took the diagonal measurements, but I never really saw the point. With the top and bottom level and both sides plumb, the diagonal measurements have to be equal.
If one side or either the top or bottom of the window was longer than it's opposing side, then your level would never show level and/or plumb all the way around, so there would be no point in checking for square.
What could cause a window that was level and plumb to be out of square?
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Are you asking about single casements, double casements or even triple casements?
If you are talking vinyl replacement in a double casment, be aware that the mullion (the vertical "post" in between the 2 sections) is going to be close to 6" wide, since it is made up of the sash for both panes as well as the locking post. This will obstruct a lot of the viewing area. It's much bigger than the mullion on wooden double casements and wooden or vinyl sliders.
I assume you know that you have other options also, such as awnings and sliders.
I'm about to replace the double casement over the kitchen sink with a vinyl slider since the window is fairly small and the mullion on a slider is the same width as a double hung, just vertical. It won't obstruct any more view than the existing casement. The shape of the opening - within an inch of square - would make a double hung look funny.
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camryguy89 wrote:

Horizontal slider - best of both worlds.
Jon
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camryguy89 wrote:

Hi, Adding windows or replacing windows? No. 1 priority is to see whether attic has proper insulation. I have R60 up there here in Alberta. Regardless of style, well made windows work very well. Many many choices of glass, frame, etc.
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