Replacement Windows in a 150-year-old house?

sarahandbrayJuly 12, 2012

We live in the Northeast and have been toying with replacing the 150+ year old windows in this house for years. It's an old home with lovely details/charm, but not on any historic registry so we don't have any confines in that sense. I will miss the wavy glass and wood frames, but not the chipping paint, four dirty surfaces (window and storms) that are impossible to clean, and the wood pieces I have to prop in the windows to keep them open--the ones that aren't painted shut, anyway! With three little kids, this is the kind of "charm" that's quite frustrating!!

There are 39 windows to replace, so we don't want to go any higher than $350-400 if possible per window. Suggestions on brand? We have wood now but would prefer something with less upkeep--vinyl?

(I LOVE gardenweb and designed/rennovated my entire kitchen with advice from these forums, but I do realize that the general advice tends to be very high-end/costly--hoping to stick to a reasonable budget on this one...)

Thanks so much for any suggestions and help...these forums are so helpful!!

Sarah from Albany

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You are going to have to deal with the expense of an RRP (i.e Lead Paint) removal.

You will not even approach (i.e. in the same stratosphere) the $400 number on a quality wood window, installed price.

If you like the character of the windows, look into a good painter and a good storm window.

Tearing out historic wood windows when a storm window combination might work, to put in a cheap vinyl replacement is not advisable.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:27AM
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Is that $350-400 including installation? If it is unfortunately what you would end up with will not bring much at all in a quality product, and in the long run cost you more in replacing them inside of 10 years.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:28AM
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I would never remove 150 year old windows.

Nothing you can get now is as good.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:40AM
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+1. I would look at storm windows with LoE glass and additional insulation around the windows. The cost of lead paint containment alone is going to be around $100 per window so that only leaves you $250-$300 including labor. It can be done but you would be putting a very cheap quality window in that is likely worse than what you have now.

If your home has poor attic and wall insulation, I would look more towards improving on that than I would about windows. Have you had an energy audit done? If not, that's where I would start.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:39AM
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OK, just switched up my post and opened a new thread (plus, changed my math--1871 to 2012 doesn't quite hit 150+, but close!)
Looking for advice on contractors that might do this repair. We have so many other projects going on and barely time for our kids as it is--can't imagine taking on another DIY project like repairing the windows.
(never counted # of windows before--41 plus 5 on basement! Ugh!)

Thanks for all the advice :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:56PM
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See my post on your other thread.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Did not click--thanks for the warning. Have since switched to getting new replacement storm windows--just couldn't get rid of the windows, and from what I've read, they are actually in pretty decent shape, given the age.
Thanks again for the responses!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:36AM
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