Nick and I pulled the windows in the 2nd floor bathroom a couple weeks ago. We also rebuilt the wall to stabilize it and to add in a third window. Having gone through all the options for replacing the windows, I’m really excited about this new plan. Nick did an outstanding job refinishing the existing windows, and built a matching third. Reusing the windows will help maintain the historic nature of the house and will look great.
The existing windows are “awning” style windows that tip in from the top. They are simple, and actually can be completely removed from the frame for cleaning (or to get out in an emergency). I love the simple design of these and am happy to be able to keep them. Putting in vinyl windows, while supposedly more efficient and water resistant would have looked bad and cost more. In fact, in pricing replacement windows, I’ve found that they run about $1000 per windows whether you go for super energy efficient ones or fancy all wood ones. Anything less than either would be a waste of money and at that cost it would take about 40 years to pay off the replacement in utility savings. Low-e, double-glazed glass may be great for new construction, where the house is much more insulated, but just repairing the old windows and sealing the frames can get you noticeable increase in efficiency at a fraction of the cost of replacement. Fine Homebuilding even posted an article and blog post about this.