Enclosed porch needs new windows. Ideas?

pacific_flightsNovember 1, 2011

At some point during the life of my house a previous homeowner enclosed the porch. The windows are aluminum and really need to be replaced. I've struggled for years over what to do here. I think part of what has held me back is that I'm not a huge fan of vinyl windows, which always seemed like my only option. Lately I've thought perhaps I could find some salvaged original windows, but they would have to be just the right size. Has anyone else ever done this?

The other part of the dilemma is the layout of windows. For the front do I go with 4 separate windows, a picture window with a double hung on each side, or something else? And the side window, is 2 double hungs best? I'll post some pics, with a few photoshopped options. I would love any feedback you guys could share.

Thanks! Jen

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The pic's confuse me, (easily done, lol).

The 1st two are actual -existing condition - pics, & the rest are photo-shop ideas?

If so.. How recent are the photos? Have you addressed the roof? (Sorry, off-topic I know, but I'd attack that before messing with windows).

Or not - lol. I like to think I know what I speak of, but often find out otherwise.

I read this post thinking "porch windows", but can't get past the shingles. Sorry... :-)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 9:44PM
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What style is your house--that would be a determining factor in the options? Ideally, is there no option at all for opening up the porch again?

My neighbor's porch is enclosed, the front has metal windows, but she found two eight-paned wooden ones for the end facing my house--and they look okay...though I have a pic of her house before the porch was enclosed and prefer that. :)

If you have no plans to replace other windows on the front, then I'd have to say, match the style of those so that less attention is drawn to them. Just my two cents, but until money allows, I'd try to keep to the existing style of the other windows--and I agree with ks--that roof looks like it could use some help first.

More and more, I count myself lucky that I still have my original windows, albeit behind ugly triple-tracks I plan on taking down some day.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:05PM
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I think it is hard to pick windows based solely on looks - you have to know how a window is going to be used. Do you need to open them and if so for what, what are the security and bug screening issues, what window coverings are in use, what do you want to see from inside and outside, how much light do you want (you lose light for every division and every opening you make). And then there is budget. It costs more to be able to open a window.

There is a windows forum, but whether you post there or here, I think more information would be needed - at least for me it would, to give any advice!

Karin L

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 1:00PM
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I had a feeling I would get comments on the shingles :) The roof is high on the list, I promise!

I agree that the house would probably look best with the porch re-opened, but my house is tiny (1150 sq ft), and for now the porch serves as the cat's room (a place for her to get away from the dog.) Also, I live just off of the main street in my little town (minden, nv), which gets quite a bit of traffic, including trucks passing through. The traffic can be loud, so it's nice to have the porch windows as a buffer to the noise.

Functionally speaking, I would like to have at least a couple of windows that open, but they do not all need to open. Light and the view are not really big issues. I still have the original (pink!) honeycomb shades that came with the house when I bought it. Even though they are 3/4 drawn I still have plenty of light. With the new windows I plan to replace the shades with something lighter, so I think regardless of the new window layout I'll have more light.

Sorry I wasn't clear on the photos. The first two are the current windows, and the following are photoshopped ideas.

And I have no idea what the style of my house is...don't know if it really has a style. It's very plain (no fancy molding details), it's shaped like a shoe box, it's pretty old for this area (1930), and I love it!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 3:06PM
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I am glad I stumbled across this post. I have a similar situation.A very large window quite similar to your front window. It is the only window that has not been replaced because of the simple fact of a disagreement in the configuration. The current window has a large fixed center sash and the flanking sashes are narrow, 14"and functional. The picture with the 4 double hungs is enough to convince my better half, that aesthetically this arrangement along with functionality (small openings, little air) fits the rest of the house.The only difference is the sashes will be 6/6 instead of 6/0.
Now, honestly I would seriously address the roof before even thinking about cladding unlivable space with windows. I can tell right now the cost of the windows will be close to replacing the roof. There is more more value in a roof than replacement windows.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 6:51PM
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We're having a porch built. The windows for it came from a salvage shop. 6 windows with screens. We came up three short for the end. How ever our builder has promised us he can match the windows we bought. If I remember correctly we paid about 12 dollars a window w/screen. So if we have to have the other three made we are still ahead of the game.
The ones we bought at the salvage shop look like they belong on the house and someone had been hiding them in the basement.
It can be done but don't expect it to be easy.
I think I looked for the right windows for almost a year. I knew what I wanted. It was finding them that was tough.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 2:50PM
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Carol, it's encouraging to hear that you were able to find salvaged windows for your porch. Sounds like I just need to be patient and keep looking :)

Jonny, I'm glad this post helped you! And yes, you're right that the roof should be done before the windows.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 1:55PM
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Cant tell what the rest of the house looks like in the photos - but from what I can see it looks kind of bungaloid in shape....?

If so those windows with the divided light upper sashes would be very appropriate and also give the house more of a vintage 1930 vibe I think. The slider windows and the big picture window is more typical of 1950s and later.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 7:36PM
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I would recommend the 4 wide double hung with the grids in the upper sash only. From what I can see of the house looks like they would fit perfectly with the style. I would also use a 2 wide double hung unit on the end. On this type of house I myself would probably go with Integrity by Marvin and the All Ultrex series.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 8:41AM
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