Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Remodel Week 2: 5 New Windows

June 2011
After we got the french doors in, the next step was to install the two other windows we had purchased.  Around the same time we were getting bids to do the outside work on our house I also brought in several window restorers.  I got prices to have all of our old windows restored and to add wooden storm windows so they could be energy efficient in the winter.  Let's just say the price was a little overwhelming.  However, I did learn a ton about our windows, how they work and why they rock.  These windows were made of 80 year old doug fir and the restorers all felt confident they would live another 80 years withourt needing replacement. I felt better about being such a strong supporter of keeping old windows.  I love our old windows! The glass is dimpled and wavy and it casts the most amazing light onto our walls.  I also love how impossibly thin the mullions are between each pane it's amazing they can support the whole window.  I actually turned down some houses on our search purely because someone had removed all the old windows.

The bad news was that the windows in the back bedroom were in really bad shape.  There was 3-4 broken panes, all of the glazing beads were gone and there was some rot to the sill plates. Urgh.  I really wanted to keep the windows, but in the end it made more sense to replace them.  Since they faced West and South these windows were taking the biggest beating of all. We had our contractor order three new all wood windows for the bedroom and made them promise to give me the old  panes so I could make something out of them...

They installed our new bedroom window first.  I really can't tell you what a huge difference this made.  The original double-hungs were very short and fat. Both on the exterior and the interior they made the entire upstairs feel very low.  The funny thing is that our new windows are not any taller then the existing ones, the only difference is that the openings are oriented upward and thus appear to be tall and narrow. We love these things.  Side Note: Does anyone notice I tend to take pictures askew... Do I have a shorter right leg?  I know I can fix these things in Photoshop but honestly it's more real and funny to show you how unprofessional we are.

The stair window followed and the new back bedroom windows were a few weeks behind since we had to custom order them.  It is still a goal of mine to have the remaining 11 original windows on the ground floor completely restored. I might have to wish for a secret $4,000 to fall out of the sky but I can still dream and hope one day. 


  1. You has a great blog. I'm very interesting to stopping here and leaves you a comment. Good work.

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  2. I would suggest replacing your sidings too. Installing new windows won't be as much appealing for your house's exterior with those old sidings still there. But if you wish to replace only your windows, that won't be a problem, since it would take less time and can be installed from the inside of your house. Still, I highly recommend replacing the sidings. You may want to check your roof tiles as well.

    Mary Martin