With a renovation having been completed in our house in what we believe was 1999, or in other words, way before we were even adults (I was in Middle School!), half of the house had new windows installed. The other half of the house still had its original windows, you know, the ones from 1955! We bought the house knowing that at some point we would need to replace the windows, and while it wasn't necessary that they be replaced now, we came across a great deal and decided to bite the bullet and replace half of the windows that we had on our list now and do the other half sometime in 2015. Funny enough, half of those windows are in one room alone, so it worked out really well!
We decided that right now, the front Living/Dining Room combination area was going to be used more by other people than the back bedrooms, so that was our priority in replacing that room. It's the room with the fireplace in it too, so having a non-drafty and pretty looking room was important in having people congregate to enjoy the fireplace and the dining area we will be adding in.
As a reminder, here are the windows in the Living/Dining Room before we had them replaced.
From far away, they don't look too bad. But, once you get up close to them, you can tell they are old, made completely of wood, drafty, and coated (even the glass has paint on it!) in at least one chipping and cracking layer of lead paint - which we knew about when purchasing the house. In fact, in the second picture, you can see how the window doesn't even fit in the frame anymore and you can see the spring mechanism that moves the window up and down. That alone should be enough to show you how drafty the windows are. For the last few months, we've had a kitchen towel shoved into the space to keep some of the cold air from coming in the house.
Needless to say, the windows needed replacing. I don't know the entire process for removing the old windows and installing the new ones, but I do know that these guys were quick! They started the work around 10am and finished right around 5pm, and as far as what they did do, I know that they carefully removed the existing window trim to reuse it after the install was complete, they removed the old windows without breaking any glass, installed the new ones, again, with no broken glass, thankfully, cut and installed some new trim where the old trim wasn't the right size, caulked the trim and the outside of the window framing, sanded down the caulk and trim, cleaned their work areas with actual cleaner, and lastly, performed a lead test to make sure that all debris was removed according to State law. That's a lot of work for two people to do in just one work day! I was very impressed, since on top of all of that, it was also gross December weather with constant rain and temperatures in the high 40s!
I wasn't able to get too many pictures of the process, as the installation team had the room sheeted off to keep all of the heat in the rest of the house and the debris contained to that one room. I was able to snag two photos really quickly, both of which show some new windows installed and one missing. I asked them about the large picture window and they estimated that it weighed close to 300 pounds! It's crazy to think how heavy glass actually is!
I wish I could have seen more of the process, but it was actually kind of nice to just have seen the before and then see the after. Different than most projects around here since I am the one seeing them through. It kind of made me feel like one of those renovation home shows, where they ask you what you want then send you away (all the way to the Kitchen!) and don't bring you back in until the space is finished! I like it better when I can see the progress though. I'm just curious like that, I guess.
Anyways, after everything was installed and cleaned up, I was finally able to get back into the space to see the newly installed windows, and they looked great!
Ah! So much better and so much more efficient!! We decided to go with a grille on each of the panes because we wanted the front of the house to match the windows in the Family Room/Kitchen addition and the Master Bedroom, all of which have those grilles as well. And in terms of screens, we went with a full window screen, much to my dismay, although the compromise on Dylan's behalf was allowing me to choose the HD screens, which allow in more than 30% more light to the room.
I can't wait to get this room painted and to start adding furniture! It's going to be so exciting to be able to use this space now that it will be nice and warm and bright!
Have you had your windows replaced recently? What was the process like for you?