As you can see from the next few shots, we tried valiantly to strip these windows from the layers of paint slopped all over them. They were completely painted shut, and no matter what we did, we couldn't open them.
A whacked-out previous owner had painted these solid original windows with a bright terra-cotta paint. I also know which one, because our lovely neighbor Margo told us the harrowing story of being invited over so 'boozy Susie' could show her the 'fab new trim paint'. Margo could only stare in disbelief. Much like we did while trying to remove it.
There was so much paint, we just kept scoring the poor sash with a utility knife (in the wrong place) and ended up cutting the bottom of the sash off. Duh. This was the most costly, stupid, 'HBO-passing-on-Mad-Men' type of mistake we made in this house, hopefully there won't be more of those dumb mistakes in our future.
And Marv #2:
You know I sprang for the Oil Rubbed Bronze latches instead of those boring 'taupe' ones!
Why wood? Well, for our house, they just look better than vinyl. Some people on my block installed vinyl windows, and I can tell from the street they are vinyl. I wanted something that fit the age of our house, and these ones are designed to meet 'historic design' criteria. Our house is not 'historic' by any means, but I still wanted real divided lites that didn't look painted onto the glass. And even though they are wood, they are very energy efficient and qualify for the Tax Credit, so we will get 30% of our cost back. Many also believe that a quality wood window will outlast vinyl. Seeing as how all the rest of our windows are in great shape after 70 years, I'm inclined to agree.
What was the cost? Well, it was $2400 (talked down from $2586) for the windows and the installation. Then we paid a company $300 to paint them for us. Why on earth did I have wood windows painted? Because all the remaining windows in our house are white, and I'm not replacing any more original windows. I could have painted them myself, but I already have an entire house of windows to paint, thanks. I also will be re-glazing some of our original windows as the weather warms up. Looks like a party, eh?
(This chick is waaay to clean to actually be working. Just sayin.)
Bottom line: we paid $2700 for two 5 ft tall windows and new cladding on the outside of the house. A lot of money, but worth it to me. I could have found a better deal, but the contractor is local and in business for over 13 years, and that was important to me in case we have problems down the road. What was the actual window cost vs. installation cost? We don't know for sure, but I'm guessing with the options I chose, $600 per window and the same amount for installation. I do think we got our money's worth because the 2 installers took around 7 hours to put in the two windows! Which means it would've taken us 3 years to get them in ourselves. Or, that they were incompetent. Only time will tell, I guess!
Have you replaced windows recently? How did you decide what to buy?