Laboring on Labor Day

Nope, not pregnant.  No new baby here.  I’m talking about windows.  Now that all most of the windows are in, let’s go inside to take a look at the difference the new windows have made.  First, check out the kitchen in all it’s 70’s wallpapered, oak, bay window goodness.

And now with the sliding white window.

Making this window flat lets in so much more light, and the window seems bigger without dividing it into three sections.  Oh, and the fact this window actually opens.  Go figure.  The same can be said for the breakfast nook window.  Before, V and E used the bay window as their personal dance floor/kitchen/play room.

Despite shortening the window, I think it feels more open.  Perhaps not having a mass of dark oak helped?  Whatever it is, I’m liking it.

Just a breath of fresh air to see a lighter, brighter kitchen.  Removing the ugly wallpaper definitely helped.

In the family room, we replaced the two stationary side lights with shorter double hung windows.  Hooray for air flow.  For some reason, I always feel guilty putting furniture in front of windows.  So this arrangement works better for us.

Also, I think the shorter windows feel more intentional and less like “this is a door, but let’s just take off the handles and no one will know.”   The window height actually matches, instead of looking like someone scored a lot of assorted windows on Craigslist and made it work.

Oh, and these windows and doors are so quiet to open and close.  The old door squeaked and squealed.  Ben is a ninja leaving in the mornings now, sneaking out the quiet door.

While window shopping, we discovered most energy-efficient windows have a low visible transmittance thanks to the UV blocking coatings.  This concerned us, because about 50 or 60 percent of light makes it into the house.  Luckily, we don’t see a drastic difference.

To gain egress in the bedrooms, our city requires 5.7 square feet with a minimum opening of 24 inches tall by 20 inches wide within 44 inches of the floor.  The original height of the bedroom windows was fine, but our casement windows only opened about 18 inches by 4 feet.

To use the same brand and line of windows throughout, our only option was a large (4 foot wide by 66 inch tall) double hung window.

Luckily, our windows sit about 19 inches off the floor, so we didn’t have to use tempered glass.  Wahoo for saving a little money.

These are my favorite windows.  I love the cute courtyard feel of the back yard.

And from outside, the windows are almost the same size.

No more awkward bay windows bumping out, either.

Ben used three layers of 2 by 4s to get the windows out.  When he wraps the house in insulation, the siding will sit flush with the edge of the window.  Using the 2 by 4s is a simple and strong way to support the windows while extending for the future insulation layers.

Now to get the insulation on the outside and frame the windows on the inside.  Of course we’ll keep you updated on our progress.

What do you think of the new windows?  Have you gotten new windows recently?  Did it make a world of difference?  Both in looks and monthly savings?

20 thoughts on “Laboring on Labor Day

  1. Wow Amanda, the new windows look fantastic! What a huge difference in the kitchen and dining room without the wallpaper and white-framed windows. A job well done!

    1. Hi Julia!

      Yeah, those bay window tops blocked so much light, especially because these windows are on the north side of our house. Totally don’t miss the dated oak windows. 🙂 So glad you like them, too!


    1. Hey Andrea!

      Aww, thanks! Ben has had some practice at the other house and researches EVERYTHING before starting a project. Actually, he gets antsy if he isn’t the one doing the project.


  2. I am always so amazed at Ben’s abilities. It seems him and Sammy can do anything. You are very lucky! We are not handy over here so we have to hire out everything or do without. Your house is coming along nicely.

    1. Hi Angel,

      Ben is crazy (in a good way). Pretty much anything he tries, he’s good at. Totally crazy awesome. And Sammy is a wonderful helper/apprentice. Sure makes my job easier. 😉


  3. Any tips or resources for those of us who need to re-do the windows in our house, but have never done it ourselves before? How to know which ones to pick out, how to save money when buying them, how to remove the old ones, how to install the new ones?

    1. Hi Felicia!

      I’ve got a post about choosing windows in the works, so look for that soon. But I’m always a little hesitant to write a ‘tutorial’ for big projects like these because there are so many variables. So much depends on the window type, size, and location that it would be difficult to cover all those scenarios. I’d suggest talking to someone you know to give you a better idea.

      Hope that helps!

    1. Hey Esther!

      Thanks so much! I definitely prefer the afters, but it has to start somewhere, and usually it’s with demo. 🙂


  4. We’re also working on replacing our windows and will be finishing up the last three windows this weekend. It’s amazing how much more airflow we have through the new sliders vs. our old casement and picture windows.

  5. I am so happy I am not the only person that wants to replace my bay windows! I will have to use this post to convince the hubby 🙂 looks great!

    1. Hi Breanna!

      Ha, Ben and I agreed the bay windows! It helped that our windows barely opened because they started sagging. 🙂 Good luck convincing your hubs!


  6. Looks so nice!! I think they make a huge improvement inside and out.

    We are getting all new windows for our home, once they stating the building process! Can’t wait, our new windows will be taller so that’s great, more light We are also replacing a sliding glass door that would stick with french doors, can’t wait 🙂

  7. Wow he guys are really pushing through these projects. Its already looking amazing and can’t wait to see how it changes.
    Good work on your and Ben’s part and very impressive given that you are also raising two adorable little boys while doing it.

  8. Your house looks great. I like a lot of the things you’ve done. I scanned through other articles, because I wanted to see how the trim looked on the bump-out windows. The interior trim looks nice, but the after photos of the windows look flush. Did you bump out the entire exterior wall?

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