We officially have 4 new windows in our house! That might not sound too exciting until you see what we were replacing:
This window has been cracked since we moved in, so we taped it up just like that last owners and put plastic over the window for the winter. The first floor of our house has all of the original windows, but the 2nd floor has cheap aluminum windows that were replaced a few decades ago. Besides one being broken, they are very energy inefficient, are always coming out of their tracks and are very difficult to open and close. So we used some money from Dave's grandparents to replace the above window, which was the worst, and the three windows in our bedroom, which we use the most. Maybe in 7 years when medical school is all paid for, or when we have little ones sleeping in the other rooms, we can do the rest of the windows upstairs.
We got aluminum clad wood windows from Kelly Windows, a local, family owned company that has manufactured their own windows for several decades. They do a lot of work for historic homes and can install windows without taking off the interior trim (woohoo!). I asked what happens to the old windows, knowing that both the glass and the aluminum are recycleable. The windows go in the dumpster, but they have a regular group of people who go through the dumpster to pull out anything salvageable.
This brief discussion about buying locally helped push me towards getting windows from a local company instead of from Lowe's. And after spending a few hundred dollars more for these windows and feeling oh so good about it, I have no qualms spending the extra $30 to buy dry-lock from our local hardware store. Thanks guys! We also briefly discussed getting vinyl windows instead, knowing that vinyl is standard for our neighborhood, but we knew that the long term environmental and financial costs would be way less if we did it right the first time and they don't need to be replaced again in 10 years. Besides, vinyl windows were not much cheaper and were of way lower quality than the wood windows.
You know what the best thing is about having new windows? I don't have to clean them!!! ALL the windows in our house were filthy when we moved in, and most had remnants of ivy stuck on the screens. With everything else we've been doing in the last year, deep cleaning windows just never made it to the top of the list! Dave's mom spent a couple hours cleaning ONE window in the kitchen (which looked amazing - check out the picture below of the half cleaned window!) and I was NOT looking forward to cleaning the rest. Now I have 4 windows that I don't have to clean. Hurray!