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White house - black windows or white

Posted by adam211 (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 15:12

Opinions please! We were supposed to the order the window days ago, and need to choose a color today!!

I have vinyl siding. I hope not for too much longer, but I'm uncertain of how long. So I have to live with a white exterior.

I am, however, starting to replace the windows because of interior remodeling, adding wall, etc.

I am debating white vs. black (or maybe dark bronze, which is practically black) for our clad windows (Andersen A). The exterior is white (until we reside, if ever) and trim will be white. We are adding trim like the original. Nice, white, thicker trim.

White: "classic", everyone has it, would look good or fine and expected. Would be a lot of white. Could look like a vinyl window. Although white, could fit better with white walls and blend/fit house better.

Black: could look horrible, or really nice, unique, and custom. Curious what this will look like but not sure it would look better. Doesn't look like a vinyl window. If we went with black, was thinking should get black sashes, white frame.

My wife wanted white and me black, I convinced her for the black and liked that idea since most homes of this era (1908) had dark sashes, but now we flipped and I'm thinking the black could be too much contrast with the white, but she likes the custom idea of the black and thinks if we don't get it now we'll never know what it looked like.

They are Andersen A-series, so we consider them paintable and plan to paint if/when we ever reside (who knows).

We keep going back and forth. We like the idea of the black being unique but think it could be a black hole.

Pictures are important. Here we go (I think the black looks more like a black hole than it would in real life). We are starting just with the two upstairs windows.

And, lest you wonder what we were going for in the long run:

Current state:


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: White house - black windows or white

Definitely white.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

I personally like the white. The black is harder to see in the windows with the glare, unless you have white curtains closed behind them.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

I hope I don't burst your hopeful bubble. It's just my opinion, but if the house body wasn't painted white, but perhaps, say gray...I could seeing going with black sashes.

I Googled 'old homes with black sashes, and came up with almost zip, until I hit this page that I have linked below. Read the full article, but here is just a bit of it.

"One more note: many historic houses in America had windows (and exterior shutters) that were painted dark. Black and green were the two most common colors in the 19th century. Painting your window sash a dark color will enhance the look of almost any historic house, while painting them white tends to detract from the look. Here's a window on my 1831 Greek Revival, below. The sash and shutters are painted Black Forest Green. Note the straw yellow body and the white trim."

You have a 20th century home, and I can't really tell the color of the house body from the black and white pic, but I suspect it wasn't pure white as it is now. If you were going to do more restoring to bring back some of the older detail, I could be convinced to go black, or the bronze you mentioned. As it is, unless you paint the body, I feel it will be too much of a stark contrast.

 photo GreekRevivalwindow-resized-600JPG_zpsfcc0e2cb.png

Here is a link that might be useful: Paint Color Do's and Dont's for Historic Houses


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RE: White house - black windows or white

Thanks, all! No bubbles burst. Strong opinions are welcome, we are on the fence and need something to push us over!

Still interested to see if white is the consensus?

To show how black can look:
Cedar Lake Reno

I've seen a number of nice looking white homes with black windows on houzz, and a number of nice white homes with white windows on houzz. None look exactly like ours, so it is hard to say. Also, every single picture of a home with black windows is at dusk and the lights are on inside.... probably because they are big black holes. I've seen some black in real life that I think looks great, but the homes are never white.

Historic note:
From the books on craftsman homes I've read, sashes in the early 20th century were often painted a deep burgundy, black, or forest green. They started to become white around the 20's, I think. I don't need to be 100% historic, but did find it interesting they traditionally were thought of as belonging to the interior. I also think they sometimes matched the siding color, if I recall.

This post was edited by adam211 on Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 15:50


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RE: White house - black windows or white

It looks stunning on that that reno, but also note all the details, the exposed rafter tails, the different types of siding, etc...If you were taking your home back to the beginning and bring those same details back, I could see it, absolutely, as it's along the line of what your house used to be. Sadly, whoever 'modernized' your house took away all its history.

Can you find a pic of a home similar to yours to do a true comparison? Do you have a historical society in town that could advise you, based what you told us above, that you may never re-side or paint?


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RE: White house - black windows or white

So it looks fine in that house because it has enough other detail that, even though the detail is white, it softens the blow of the black windows? I buy that, I think, but I do wonder if the entire house had just plain siding if it would also look good, and I think it might.

That said, I do buy that our home would look too stark with black, as that was my fear anyway, it's just hard for me to tell without doing it. But since it is the same thought as everyone else who posted, I'll probably go white.

I'm also not concerned about historically accurate colors at this point, just found it interesting that they used to often be dark and wondered if we didn't like the black because it wasn't trendy anymore. But if it sincerely doesn't work w/ the white vinyl, I'm happy to do any color that would look good.

Also, I haven't found any comparable photos. I think the windows will look better once/if I ever reside. I just also hope the white doesn't make the window really noticeable and busy, since someone else already stripped the home of the rest of its charm.

When/if I reside, then I will also re-visit window color. I'd probably at least do a cream, or maybe then even the dark grey/brown depending.

Happy to hear any more thoughts.

Everyone thinks white?

This post was edited by adam211 on Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 16:19


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RE: White house - black windows or white

I kind of like the black. I was going to say dark green but I am not sure the Andersen Forest Green is really dark enough. I do agree that one of the problems is that white can look like cheap replacement windows even if they aren't and that would be one reason I would consider something else. If you are paying for good windows, they might as well not be mistaken for something else.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

I think the black would look very sharp, white might be a little boring.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

I'm a big fan of white houses with black windows.

 photo dd0d9a5f-f9da-495b-9ab8-9a2ef6b93484_zps7336aad2.jpg

This post was edited by pps7 on Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 17:27


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RE: White house - black windows or white

The dark-painted sashes were a holdover from the last part of 19th c. At that time there was a preference for dark sashes to play up the sizes of the glass panes. Technology had recently evolved to make large float glass panes rather the smaller hand-blown panes (which are the ones we prize so much today). At the time though, there was a certain show-off factor in having the larger, more expensive, panes, and black muntins made even smaller panes look like the larger ones everybody was so hot for.

In my pre-Civil War house, the post Civil War years saw one of the most deleterious episodes in my otherwise unremodeled house's long life: they swapped out the original nine over sixes sash for two over twos. Even though my 2/2 have lovely wavy glass, the house would look much better to me if the original sash had been kept. It's not as if they wore out and needed to be replaced. Some of them are still in service in my outbuildings, and the attic windows on the back side were left with the orginal sash. The current sash in the house are 140+/- years old, but the house is older still.

I've been here 25 years, so I've gotten used to them, but I was much distressed when I first moved in. But I still get a pang of envy when I see a house of the same vintage as mine with its original windows.

I'm slowly repainting all my sash dark, dark, aged bronze green, which is what they are underneath years of white paint. It makes quite a startling difference to the appearance of the windows.

HTH

L.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

The dark-painted sashes were a holdover from the 19th c. At that time there was a preference for darksashes to play up the sizes of the glass panes. Technology had recently evolved to make large float glass panes rather the smaller hand-blown panes (which are the ones we prize so much today). At the time though, there was a certain show-off factor in having the larger, more expensive, panes, and black muntins made even smaller panes look like the larger ones everybody was so hot for.

In my pre-Civil War house, the post Civil War years saw one of the most deleterious episodes in my otherwise unremodeled house's long life: they swapped out the original nine over sixes sash for two over twos. Even though my 2/2 have lovely wavy glass, the house would look much better to me if the original sash had been kept. It's not as if they wore out and needed to be replaced. Some of them are still in service in my outbuildings, and the attic windows on the back side were left with the orginal sash. The current sash in the house are 140+/- years old, but the house is older still.

I've been here 25 years, so I've gotten used to them, but I was much distressed when I first moved in. But I still get a pang of envy when I see a house of the same vintage as mine with its original windows.

As I overhaul them, I'm slowly repainting all my sash dark, dark, aged bronze green, which is what they are underneath years of white paint. It makes quite a startling difference to the appearance of the windows.

HTH

L.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

We have black windows, white trim, yellow siding on our new house. Still under construction.
Just never liked white windows...


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RE: White house - black windows or white

Love your color scheme ppbenn! Personally I love black windows. I grew up in a white house with dark burgundy sashes built in the early 1900s. Our new home has black windows, cream trim and green siding.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

Thanks for all your help! Do note that in the pictures posted, the houses were not stark white. Also, the love of black windows on a non-white house is quite a different and less stark look than black windows on a white house.

Regardless, sounds like the consensus isn't overwhelmingly for white like I thought, and that the black doesn't seem ugly to everyone, which is good to hear.

It helps me to process by hearing all your thoughts, thanks! And I'm still listening....

While I may at last minute spring for white, currently I'm slightly leaning toward venturing toward black, with the knowledge of being able to paint. In the future, I can repaint a cream if I want lighter. Then it would just be choosing black, or "dark bronze"...


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RE: White house - black windows or white

Black.

Loads of people simply prefer the look of a lighter window, and kind of like ceiling color, can't imagine a window any other color than white.

Then there is the group that ends up with white because it's a stock color which means oftentimes it's cheaper and, well, in stock.

This post was edited by funcolors on Fri, Aug 16, 13 at 2:54


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RE: White house - black windows or white

White seems to be the safer choice to.

I say be adventurous and go black. Actually like it better.

Remember the old adage though...once you go
Black...


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RE: White house - black windows or white

I much prefer the white. Add color elsewhere.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

I do see how the black can look good. But, the examples are not like your house in style or color.
I like the white. It stands out and adds character to the front of your home.
So, one more vote for white! Sometimes a quest to be unique doesn't always pan out.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

I vote black. I realize that it is white and black vs the grey and black I had in my last house, but I was so happy when I painted the doors black. I thought they looked amazing. I also agree that white can tend to look like the cheap windows even when they are not.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

Hmmm... yes, this is difficult with such strong opinions either way! I understand, as I feel I see both sides. I'm obviously not fully convinced black will look good, but I think if I get black it will be obvious to me if it looks good or not once it's on there. At least I can paint it.

@ppbenn--your home looks fantastic, but it is yellow which helps. Any reason you chose to go with the whole window black including frame vs. just black sashes?


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RE: White house - black windows or white

A vote for black windows with white window boxes ....

And a vote for a glossy black front door ... and dark green front steps ..and lower parts of the house ....


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RE: White house - black windows or white

Black windows with white trim.

Here's inspiration for you:


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RE: White house - black windows or white

I like the black, it is just a tad different and, imo, looks really sharp.


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RE: White house - black windows or white

We went with the black. I thought our front door was original but on closer inspection its a veneer over particleboard. I really like the 3 windows over 2 or 3 panel windows, maybe in a black finish on exterior.

I'd like to strip the paint on the front stairs, maybe. Or yes, paint them something else. The blue must go.

Thanks for your thoughts, all. They were very helpful. I think we always kinda liked the idea of black even though we traditionally liked white. We were afraid it'd look bad or be too risky. Obviously some think so, and I guess it could, but we decided to go for it! I think it's the right choice. Hopefully by making things right bit by bit we can eventually get back to something of its former self.

Adam


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