Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pet Peeves....

One of my biggest pet peeves in remodeling old houses and buildings is replacing the old windows. It is like plastic surgery gone wrong.


I read and posted about Dr. Luce's Prescriptions for Preservation.




There should be hand out materials on the value of your original windows to each person remodeling an old house.


I often think of everyone that has ask us if we were replacing our windows and I sharply and firmly say......


NO!


All caps and exclamations included.


People.........Don't take out your great old windows and dump them in a land fill and replace them with plastic !!


Ok......so...... most of my readers are old house lovers, not haters..... Maybe...this post is not for you. But one day... it might just save some windows out there somewhere.


13 comments:

Jennifer said...

Amen! Preaching to the choir here!

A. said...

Ditto!! I've tried to explain to everyone who suggests we get new windows that, with some effort, our old windows too can be pretty energy efficient and that they are definitely irreplacable in terms of craftmanship and beauty. I can't stand vinyl.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Indeed!

The house of my dreams (not yet purchased, but hopefully, really soon now...) has the most awful vinyl replacement windows ever. In addition to many of the windows having muntins that are merely frosted onto the glass (a waste of a nice, wide piece of glass, if you ask me), the installation job leaves a lot to be desired. The dining room windows which used to tilt in have been replaced by a horizontally oriented double-hung. A couple pair of vertically oriented double hung windows have been replaced with single, horizontally oriented double hung windows. Further, the trim and finish work is awful - a better job of measuring could have been done, and many windows aren't even installed parallel to the existing sashes!

The question this all brings is as to what one should do in such a situation. With 20 double hungs and another dozen other windows, immediate replacement is out of the question. I'll try to find originals to salvage, but given that these awful windows have already been installed, I have to wonder if perhaps I should just buy really high quality replacements, a couple at a time, as I can afford them.

Melinda said...

I hate that my windows were all replaced with vinyl ones - they are truly the bane of my existence and I hate even more that the few originals I have left must be replaced too (to match the other hideous ones). Your's are truly beautiful and I am terribly jealous.

Anonymous said...

When we redid our house which was built in 1922 we left our old windows. One
was in such bad shape that we took it apart and reglued all of it. Also, for more energy efficiency we added storm windows which serve a dual purpose, energy efficiency and protects the old glass.

C&C said...

I love the style of your windows, I would not replace them either. It would cost megabucks to get the same style in a new window. I really like your green paint in this room also - very happy!

Why S? said...

I wish my area had never been visited by the plague of louvered window salesmen. But it was and our house's original windows have been long gone. Yours are beauties. You're lucky to have them.

Stephanie said...

Your windows are positively gorgeous!

:-)

NatalieDeltaGam said...

ohhhh, baautiful 8 over 1 windows. and dr. luce? one of my favorite professors--he is a wealth of knowledge on any historic preservation related. as for us, we didn't replace any of our one over one windows (though there are storm windows on the first floor to prevent heat loss). to me it seriously SCARS an old house when you replace them.

Sandy said...

Those windows are a thing of beauty! I have vinyl windows, but I don't have a beautiful old house; and they replaced horrid, cheap aluminum windows that leaked heat in the winter big time! If I could have afforded those beautiful wood windows (is it Anderson, Pella?), I would have put them in in a heart-beat! These windows are heavy and hard for me to handle, but they do save considerable energy and keep out the airport noise.

Green Fairy said...

I am drooling over your old windows--so lovely! Ours had been replaced by a previous owner with vinyl ones; they are definitely not of the same quality!

I was reading an article recently which talked about how, in the 1950s, the alleyways of Chicago were filled with antique stained-glass windows because everyone was trying to "modernize" their homes. People were just pitching them out. Can you imagine?

casacaudill said...

I wish we had original windows; alas, someone tore them out in the 1970s and (poorly) installed ugly aluminum ones in their place.

Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

Yep, you're preaching to the choir. My old windows stink and I am still going to rehab them. I just don't get most people that do otherwise.