This will be a blog entry-in-progress, but since I am looking for advice/recommendations/referrals, it makes sense.
PROS of replacing the windows:
– Slightly lower heating bill (although not drastic) and the house will be less drafty. Our heating bill last year was north of $400 per month for 2200 square feet – WITH an automatic thermostat, electric blankets, and many Christmases of down clothing.
– From a good distance, these multi-pane casement windows look nice and because they are a less common style, are part of the character of our house. However, when you get within 4 feet of them, you can see that many of the windows are rotting. Most of them have been shoddily repaired with glaze, which just looks like a bad paint job (but can’t be corrected).
– On the outside of the windows, the metal that holds the screens and storms (most of which don’t exist anymore) look pretty ugly because they are bare metal on a dark brown wooden casement. Not sure how the city let the PHOs get away with that. New windows would have screens and storms that match.
– All of the window hardware has been painted multiple times. So offensive – and as we learned repainting the bedroom, difficultto restore. (Even Restoration Hardware doesn’t sell the replacement we would need.)
– All the new widows would have screens! We would actually enjoy moderate temperatures with some fresh air. Right now, in the whole house, there is only one window that both has a screen and has a clear path in which to open. This would also cut down slightly on heating and cooling cost, for those times of the season where the outdoors is actually more moderate that the closed-up house (this happened last Friday when the summer heat finally broke).
– Windows will open “out” instead of “in” making furniture placement and window treatments easier. We had a desk placed in front of the window pictured below, but if there is anything on the desk (like a lamp), the window can’t open – very impractical.
CONS of replacing the windows:
– Cost. We haven’t had a formal quote for replacing the windows with wooden windows (ie true replacements), but we know from research it would cost about $40,000. We are now considering high-quality (or so they seem) vinyl windows. (Only the moving part of the window gets replaced.) The estimate we have is $16,000.
– Our city is incredibly picky about appearance. We are not allowed to change the shape, color, or style of our windows. This means replacing the windows is not as easy as buying double-hung windows like you see on the commercials – we need actual tall multi-paned casement windows that replicate what is already there.
– The two leaded, bowed bay windows in the front cannot be replaced, so those will stay and contribute to the draftiness. Curtains in front of them would help, but also may draw moisture which could damage the window.
– For some reason I still don’t understand, in places where the external and internal color are the same, we will need to have the windows painted. This is an additional expense.
– We fear that replacing the windows with vinyl replacements will raise the value of the home, but not nearly as much as wooden reproductions. However, if we wait around until we can afford the $40K, will probably be retirement-age.
It’s already starting to get cold – time to make some progress on this project. Anyone have any recommendations or referrals for good window companies? All comments are appreciated. The quote we have for $16,000 is from Window World. We were pretty happy with the salesman (for what that’s worth), but we haven’t yet seen any examples of their windows. I like the fact they they install over only 2 days. Our general contractor from our previous work wants to bid, but he does not specialize in windows and I wonder if that would be kind of like ordering the fish at a hamburger restaurant.