Windows, windows in the walls…

…it’s just time you had to go!

“The windows aren’t that bad, I mean they’re original, but they have nice charm…” said naive us when we first moved in.  “We’ll get a few more years out of them before taking some time to phase their replacement.” Said us as we planned out the house renovations.  “Call the window guys and let’s just get an estimate so we can do some financial planning.”  Said us as we spent the summer fighting to open the 4 operable windows in the house every time there was nice weather.  “F-it, let’s just do them now… ALL OF THEM and be DONE with it they are so NASTY!”  We said to each other when the quote came in less than we were expecting.  And they can do it in 4 weeks?  Sign the contract!

Yes, we shuffled around some other projects and decided to get the windows done and we’re thrilled we did!  We had 3 windows replaced and french doors put in where a pair of windows were in the dining room, but the rest of the house- ALL ORIGINAL.  We were lucky if 1 window in each room opened and the rest of them were just jammed/painted shut.  The storm windows and screens didn’t do much to dress up the sloppy paint-job they had received in the past and the years of filth on both the inside and outside began to eat away at their ‘charm’ pretty quickly.

We were scheduled for the first week in October and the crew showed up on time and ready to go.  The house was built in 1929 and yes, there was lead paint so to begin, the crew sealed the windows from the inside and then removed the windows from the exterior.  We covered the items on the inside for some extra safety.

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Then the install began:

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You may notice that while the guys installed the new windows, I decided to do some landscaping and removed EVERYTHING that was left on the left side of the house. I think the neighbors were happy to see the last of the overgrowth removed!

All of the original wood was in great shape on the front windows- even had some great, simple bullnosing detail. We thought about leaving it exposed and painting it to match the others, but in the end, wanted to keep it uniform and simple and they wound up covering it back up.

Let that light shine in!

Now some before and afters:

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Don’t mind the white trim around the door and windows on the first floor, our first contractor used white flashing so we have to paint those to match the others.

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And a close up of the front:

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Do you see the difference?  I know, it’s difficult to see in the photos because the ‘befores’ don’t seem that bad far away, but in person, the change is crazy.  We went with Marvin Window’s ‘Integrity’ line with ‘Pebble Grey’ fiberglass finish on the exterior and painted white wood on the interior.  The fiberglass coat bound to the outside will make them super durable and the wood inside, even painted, has a great warmth.  We also changed the style of the windows.  The original windows were 6-over-6 divided light.  We opted for 6-over-1 with the replacement.  We wanted something a little different (seems like everyone does 6-over-6, especially with vinyl replacements) so although they may be a little more ‘craftsman bungalow’ than our little tudor revival, we liked the updated contemporary look they gave us.  We also made sure to spend a little more and have the upper glass be actual divided lights and not just one sheet of glass with mullions (dividers) applied to the inside and outside.  It’s not really noticeable in the photos, but when you’re up close to the windows in the house, the actual division between the glass makes a big difference.

We have long term plans to redo the sunroom/playroom with larger floor to ceiling windows, so we didn’t invest in replacing those (they are also the most ‘new’ windows probably but in around the 80’s).  We also kept the 2 windows in the stairwell because they are in OK shape and the square one at the base, although not operable at the moment, just looks nice!  The original diamond leaded glass next to the front door stayed because we are going to scrape and paint it to match the new, there was no way we were going to remove that one for a faux replacement.  And lastly, we also kept one of the side windows (in the master bedroom) because we ultimately want to put a second floor addition on the sunroom and that window would become the door into the addition from our bedroom, so, just avert your eyes for in the meantime.  It’s in pretty sad shape but we’re going to paint it out to match the new so it blends in until the addition happens.

Anyway, we love them and they were finished just in time for us to enjoy the fall weather.  They’ve also been great with the cold nights that have rolled in (no more drafts!) and the sound reduction is surprisingly noticeable too!

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6 Comments

November 19, 2013 · 2:11 am

6 responses to “Windows, windows in the walls…

  1. Minke

    Wow! Just in time for cold weather. Looks great. Enjoy them, much easier to keep new stuff clean and shiny too! Congrats. Can’t wait to see them in person soooooon! xxoo

  2. roma1912

    Congrats on all the hard work, is it just me or do you find the dust/dirt worse than the renovation!!!!

  3. Hi Naomi! Congratulations! Great job you guys did! I also live in a 1929 house, and have passed the “charmed phase” regarding the inoperable windows… could you please share your windows contractor information ? Thanks.

    • A + N

      Hi there Maison! Absolutely, we were very happy with Brian Barton, of American Cedar and Millwork. They are a Marvin window dealer. His email is bbarton@millwork1.com and mobile: (443) 336-0077. Brian was able to recommend the installer we used as well since American Cedar and Millwork can measure and order the Marvin windows for you but contracts out to install them. Good luck!

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