Photo Pool Challenge: Replacement Windows


When we closed on our house three years ago, it had vinyl replacement windows that were completely shot. A few windows were actually broken, but even the ones with intact panes wouldn’t shut completely because the frames were warped. We knew the windows had issues, but we didn’t realize how bad it was until we moved in. After about a week, we put up blankets over the windows where we were sleeping because we were so cold. (This was early December.) One window had a gap of about an inch and a half at the top that we couldn’t close! We couldn’t afford to replace them then, so we just lived with it, putting up plastic window insulation every year during heating season. That actually worked pretty well. At least we could heat the house. But it did have the big disadvantage that you could not open the windows. This is annoying when cooking, but especially so when you have a sewer gas leak, which we did and still do. And renters do not exactly love it. A couple years ago, we were all set to replace the windows and got three bids and measurements. The low bid was for metal replacement windows for $8,000 for 15 windows. The high bid was for wood Marvin replacement windows with a brick-to brick-installation from the outside for $30,000 for 15 windows. But then our chimney liner broke, and we had to spend the money on that. Now, three years later, it is finally done. Ideally, we would have redone the exterior facade front and back while simultaneously restoring the windows using wood frames in their original pockets, even if we had to use single pane windows (and storms over them), but we couldn’t afford the whole shebang. We really dislike the look of all replacement windows, even the wood Marvins, because the thick frames within frames take up so much glass space. In any case, we chose metal replacement windows from Champion because that seemed like the best choice in our budget. They are bronze on the outside and white on the inside. From the inside, they look exactly the same as what we had before but they work! We haven’t gotten a new heating bill yet, but we are pretty confident it’s going to be lower. Due to a materials cost increase and because we decided to rebuild the window frames on the ground floor, the final bill came in at just under $12,000. Does anyone else have any tips or experience to share about windows, especially how to restore the originals? Please post stories and photos here.

Look ma, no windows!
The window insides revealed.
Workers building new window frames on the ground floor.
The new windows look just like the old ones from the inside, but they work!