What to do with old windows

peanutmomJuly 11, 2010

Okay, please don't hate me. I know there are some true blue, dyed in the wool historically accurate restorers. I live in a house that has definitely been abused and mistreated at different times in the history of its ownership. I love my house, but this was not always the case. When I bought it, there were holes in between sets of "matching" windows that you could slide your hand into. Now, for the record, a lot has been changed for practicality. We have taken a lot of windows out and recycled what we could, but there is no place near here that takes old windows, etc. and I cannot bear to send that beautiful, wavy glass to the landfill or break the windows up to recycle just the glass. Sorry, cannot make myself do it.

What I am wondering is how do I find someone who would be interested in some old windows, mostly large panes of glass that could even be cut down for smaller panes in other size windows. Double hung? One pane up and one down. 52"x27" over all size windows. Due to lead paint and other financial issues, we have been changing what we need to as we can. We use as much recycled material as possible, but I cannot do windows. I break more than I save and it has been heart wrenching to see the old glass shatter with my clumsiness. With all of our financial issues, we cannot afford to have them refinished. What I would like to do is find someone who would appreciate them and make use of them. Any ideas? Freecycle was a flop and I won't do Craigslist. Any takers? Sorry, couldn't help myself.

I would truly like to find them a good home. Pun intended.

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dian57

I've done two garden projects using old window frames. I found them at different times on Freecycle. I've seen window frames used at craft fairs also. You may want to try your post over on Trash to Treasure or Crafts and Decorations.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 6:47AM
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kimkitchy

Where are you located? If you are within reasonable driving distance of a city/metro area, look in the yellow pages for an Architectural Salvage company. They will buy them or take them on consignment.

I love architectural salvage places. I found two doors that exactly match my home's old doors at one.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 12:48PM
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rafor

Where are you located? I build greenhouses using old windows. If you aren't too far, I'd come get them! I'm in New Hampshire.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 1:30PM
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Moccasin

Yeah, Rafor, some of the most adorable little buildings I've seen were made from old glass doors and windows. Have you ever uploaded any photos of your greenhouses using the windows? Over on the gardening side or over here? I for one would love to see your results.

I know stacking up old window frames until you have enough for the whole project can be a trashy looking situation, but
if I had room to neatly store them, I'd keep the old windows
so I could make my own little greenhouse.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 2:37PM
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rafor

Moccasinlanding: I'm in the process of building my second one. We left the west coast before I actually got to finish the first one! I was so bummed. I did post some of the first house on the garden junk forum. If you search for my name I think you'll find them. Or go to the link and you can see pics of both. I haven't added any recently of the current one I'm working on, but I need to as we made some good progress this weekend.

Here is a link that might be useful: greenhouse

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 8:36PM
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karinl

I don't think you're looking for someone to put them in the garden, but to restore them.

You can find that person/those people, if you try hard enough. They are to be found through craigslist, ebay, or other similar sites, possibly through a classified ad in an old house magazine, etc. Maybe also a glass person, someone who would use the glass for stained glass, leaving the frames intact for someone else to work with. Someone who does store fixtures, movie props... problem is, there is no shortage of old wood windows in the world.

But even if you find that person or those people, the flaw in your thinking is this: you can't control what someone does when you pass them on. They may have a change of heart and toss them, run out of time, change interests, sell them or give them away further. You do have to let go.

Why won't you do craigslist? I've given away a great deal of stuff this way, sold some too, and don't have a problem with it; there are some disadvantages, but also some tricks to get around them. I've usually been very happy with the outcome of my postings.

I'm not a let-goer myself so know how hard this is. That is why I simply forgive myself, and hold onto such items until I'm good and ready and find the right home. My weakness is old mouldings, and one technique I plan to use when it's time (when we're done and I know for sure we've met all our own needs) is to put up a notice at the grocery store bulletin board in our neighbourhood, where many people are restoring similar old houses. You know, the kind with your phone number on strips along the bottom. Old fashioned, but might work!

KarinL

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 9:50PM
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peanutmom

Thanks for the responses. It has been hard to get back to the computer the last couple of days. While dh was off for the weekend, he started working on my kitchen cabinet to get my kitchen finished. Finally, after 4yrs. We have always done what we can with what we have, but we got lucky and got some very nice furniture grade plywood given to us in exchange for my husband doing some hauling. We have to custom make the kitchen cabinet to match the ones already installed. I am very lucky to have a dh who has the talent to do such things.

Back to the windows. I love the idea of making a small greenhouse. It would be a handy thing to have. We live in very rural PA and I have had a garden here for the last 3yrs. I would love to start some of my own seedlings.

Karen, you were partially right. I can't stand to see them destroyed, but I would be happy if someone was just using them. My brother just asked me yesterday for a couple of them for a shed he is building. Ta-da! Two gone. Now, if I can convince dh to build me a greenhouse. I don't think it will take much convincing, but I can imagine the expression when he realizes that it is another project on his very long to do list. I have seen people using the windows as seedling box covers for starting plants, too. Maybe just a few of those would be a good start.

I will have plenty of time to think about it. I am starting on my 7th month of my pregnancy and dealing with complications, so I will be sitting much of the next few months out. Dh will be relieved. It will give him time to finish the woodwork in the bathroom and the kitchen cabinet before the next project.

I feel bad for not being able to help, but he has been working his tail off getting some of the projects done. One thing he doesn't do is paint, so I will be praying for a few good days to get that done when he has the cabinets ready.

Thank you for the ideas and pics. I really like the fence idea with the window frames. Next time, I have a clumsy day, I will keep it in mind. I had also thought about posting one of those old-fashioned number type ads on a bulletin board at a local gas station near where we have a lot of cabins on the mountain near our home. I bet with the rough winter and crazy thunderstorms we had this spring some people would be happy to have those panes of glass to cut down and use for replacements.

BTW, I had a really bad experience with Craigslist about 2yrs ago. Someone came to look at a piece of furniture and even though they weren't interested in the furniture, they kept calling me- nearly harrassing me with prank calls, etc. My husband drives truck for a landscaping company and was gone for long days at a time and it really spooked me. I know not everyone can be that crazy, but I just don't want to risk it, esp with being pregnant right now. I have met some wonderful people through freecycle, so I know it doesn't all have to be bad. I will post on the garden forum and see if they have any ideas over there, too. Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 6:25AM
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blackcats13

Hey peanutmom - just wanted to say congrats on the pregnancy and I'll keep you in my thoughts. I'm in the home stretch - due in 1 week, we'll see when it actually comes though! Our carpenter/handyman is in the kitchen right now working on the drywall. You should've seen his face when I told him he probably wasn't going to be done before the baby arrives (he's a good friend)! LOL

Good luck with the windows, wish I was close enough to take some off your hands!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 5:46PM
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powermuffin

If it were me, I would stash the windows in the attic so that a future homeowner could restore them and put them back in. This follows the "do nothing that cannot be reversed" old house philosophy.
Diane

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 5:51PM
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peanutmom

blackcats, congrats. I will keep you in my thoughts. I hope you have a smooth delivery. And thanks for the well wishes. This is my fourth. Thank goodness my oldest is old enough to be on her own. She thought it was hilarious when I got pregnant when she was already. Oh well, our own little soap opera.

powermuffin, it never occurred to me to put them in the attic. I am not sure I can get them in there. We only have a tiny access hole to the attic. It would be big enough for a small playroom up there, but we haven't considered doing much with it because we will need to make another access hole. We have so many other projects going on that are needed, it is hard to think about starting something that isn't needed.

Maybe I can find somewhere to store them, but I am planning on staying here for a while because it will take a few years to get done what we are working on now, let alone the other projects that need done. I have seen so few homes restored instead of remodeled in our area, unless they are original log cabins or stone. Maybe it is the mindset here. There are some that are nearly original, but I get the impression it is more accident than design. I actually got to live in a beautiful farmhouse for a while that was mostly restored. I loved it, but didn't stay nearly long enough. It had a lot of bedrooms. They were small, but beautifully done. The main bedroom had a nursery room just off it and the steep kitchen stairs were such a novelty to my children. I loved them too. It was nice to go downstairs in the morning for coffee and get the few extra minutes alone until the children woke up themselves. I would love to find a house like that again someday, but if I do, I will buy and not rent. It was hard to move out and I still miss it. I guess sometimes a house can steal a piece of your heart.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 9:45PM
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peanutmom

blackcats, congrats. I will keep you in my thoughts. I hope you have a smooth delivery. And thanks for the well wishes. This is my fourth. Thank goodness my oldest is old enough to be on her own. She thought it was hilarious when I got pregnant when she was already. Oh well, our own little soap opera.

powermuffin, it never occurred to me to put them in the attic. I am not sure I can get them in there. We only have a tiny access hole to the attic. It would be big enough for a small playroom up there, but we haven't considered doing much with it because we will need to make another access hole. We have so many other projects going on that are needed, it is hard to think about starting something that isn't needed.

Maybe I can find somewhere to store them, but I am planning on staying here for a while because it will take a few years to get done what we are working on now, let alone the other projects that need done. I have seen so few homes restored instead of remodeled in our area, unless they are original log cabins or stone. Maybe it is the mindset here. There are some that are nearly original, but I get the impression it is more accident than design. I actually got to live in a beautiful farmhouse for a while that was mostly restored. I loved it, but didn't stay nearly long enough. It had a lot of bedrooms. They were small, but beautifully done. The main bedroom had a nursery room just off it and the steep kitchen stairs were such a novelty to my children. I loved them too. It was nice to go downstairs in the morning for coffee and get the few extra minutes alone until the children woke up themselves. I would love to find a house like that again someday, but if I do, I will buy and not rent. It was hard to move out and I still miss it. I guess sometimes a house can steal a piece of your heart.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 10:03PM
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rafor

I finally posted some up-dated photos of our progress on the second greenhouse. Still have to figure out more of the walls like a puzzle using the old windows and doors.

Here is a link that might be useful: greenhouse update

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 9:17PM
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SK97232

I turned my old windows into new leaded glass panels for my new and old built-ins. It was actually a pretty fun project.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leaded Glass Project

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 6:43PM
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Clarion

I vote to put them in the attic. Someday, someone will want them and reinstall them.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 6:41PM
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sarahandbray

Another attic/garage vote!!!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:40PM
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