Saturday, August 06, 2005

The New Project

Well, as all of us old home owners know, original windows are awesome to have. Sorta. Let's face it, single pane glass held in place with most likely half-century old (or older in the case or ours) glazing isn't very economical insulation wise, and just plain looks bad.

Not only that, but our windows have sagged, panes cracked, and dry-rotted all on the north side of the house. It didn't help when previous owners retro-fitted aluminum storm windows without properly sealing them, rotting the sills, and keeping moisture close to the panes.

So, what do we do with this problem? With 22 windows and one out of three being different sizes, replacing them with WOOD windows would most likely run almost $100,000. I'd NEVER put in those vinyl windows. Low-E is nice, but what an indignation to a home that has just been placed in the National Register!

We've read some books about window making, took down a window, and started researching how we want to go about this. We've decided replacing the actual panes and sashes were the most important, and we'll so the sills later. We also have decided that dovetail construction would work best with the windows for durability. We're using pressure treated lumber for the upstairs, and haven't decided on a material for the first floor, since I don't want to refinish the molding around the windows from the inside. The second floor windows are worse off anyway.

Karl's completed the first window today. So far, the only obstacle we've come across is that they installed the windows, and custom fit all the trim pieces around them, so everything must come down to fit back together. Most of the windows we'll just use the original panes of glass, to preserve character, and we'll use salvage for panes that are cracked.

I'm excited because the first benefit is the cost. This is costing us almost nothing to do. We have the tools, and treated lumber isn't expensive. We'll prime and paint, and have lifetime windows, keeping in tune with the construction. The drawback is the insulation factor. We'll gain some energy savings from having windows that fit properly, but we'll never have the same savings as those who opt to install the vinyl Low-E. But, we heat our home with wood anyway, and last year our heating cost using wood was $150 for the whole season.

I'll get some pictures up when we complete more...


  • At 3:22 PM, Blogger Patricia W said…

    That sounds really neat. I can't wait to see the pictures of how you did this.

  • At 11:15 AM, Blogger Greg said…

    Way to go! Building your won windows is a great idea. I really applaud your efforts to keep the historical integrity of the house in tact. I’ve got 26 double-hungs that all need help. In my case the wood is all still pretty good but they are all either painted shut or very loose. They all need reglazing.

  • At 5:56 PM, Blogger Jocelyn said…

    I think that figure ($100K) is a bit high. We looked at Marvin wood windows and they were like $650-$750/per window. Maybe your windows are really large and might cost more- but I doubt that much.

    Building your own is great-of course. :)

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