A peek into my windows

We ordered windows this week.   It was actually pretty painless, considering that we had to look for a new contractor right around the time that we expected to be ordering the windows.  You see, the windows can go in anytime, and should be completed before the renovation of the kitchen and living areas begins.  We were ready to order from the company who had done our windows previously, but they were slow to respond to my email questions, and impossible to book time with to view the products.  We were prepared to be loyal, as they had done a good job on our previous replacement windows, but we decided that they didn’t deserve or want our business, so we moved on.  Out of our trusty BILD member directory, we picked out a few window companies, checked them out online, and called the one that had the best reviews, Ambia Windows and Doors.   Michael returned our call, and at his request, I provided measurements on which he could base an initial quote.  His quote was lower than the company we had originally planned to deal with, so we were pleasantly surprised.  When it became evident that we would have difficulty finding a time for him to bring samples to our home, he agreed to meet us at our showroom.  He arrived on time, and was knowledgeable about his products.  We are convinced that we are getting better quality windows for a better price than if we had stayed with our previous contractor.

Here’s what we decided on:

A basic casement window with crank for the kitchen.  Ours will be white inside and out. They will come with folding cranks.  Compared to our existing windows, they will let in much more air.

A basic casement window with crank for the kitchen. Ours will be white inside and out. They will come with folding cranks. Compared to our existing windows, they will let in much more air.

Our existing kitchen windows are original to the house.  They are beige inside and brown outside.  Only a small section at the bottom of the window slides open for air.

Our existing kitchen windows are original to the house. They are beige inside and brown outside. Only a small section at the bottom of the window slides open for air.

In the living room, we are installing awning windows similar to these.  The bottom area will be stationary, while the larger top section will open out, awning style, to keep out the rain.  Like the kitchen casements, these will let in much more air than our existing windows, and we will be able to keep them open even when it's raining, which we can't do now.

In the living room, we are installing awning windows similar to these. The bottom area will be stationary, while the larger top section will open out, awning style, to keep out the rain. Like the kitchen casements, these will let in much more air than our existing windows, and we will be able to keep them open even when it’s raining, which we can’t do now.  Ours will be white on the inside, but beige on the outside, to blend into the new board and batten siding and to minimize the appearance of the horizontal support in the middle of the window.

Our existing living room windows are original to the house, and, like the kitchen, have only a small slider opening in the bottom.  When it rains, the water bounces off the outside ledge and into the house, so we have to keep them closed.

Our existing living room windows are original to the house, and, like the kitchen, have only a small slider opening in the bottom. When it rains, the water bounces off the outside ledge and into the house, so we have to keep them closed.

Our existing windows are so bad that it really won’t be hard to improve on them, and we were pretty easy to please.  We didn’t agonize over different styles, but I do have a few biases to admit to:

I don't like gratuitous arches and plastic mullions.

I don’t like gratuitous arches and plastic mullions.

As a decorator, I’ve dealt with my share of arched windows.  They are often a nightmare to dress, especially the homeowner wants to be able to see the arch, but still have privacy and block out unwanted sunlight.  Too many homeowners dress only the rectangular area below the arch, thus lowering the height of the window and making the whole room seem short and frumpy.   On most new housing, I dislike arched windows.  And plastic mullions are silly!  They don’t fool anyone into thinking the windows — or the home– are quaint and old, and they often fall right off.

If you must have your plastic mullions, then at least minimize their impact on the view, and use them around the edges, as on these casements.

If you must have your plastic mullions, then at least minimize their impact on the view, and use them around the edges, as on these casements.

These are the only acceptable mullions for me -- they are wood, not plastic.  These are modern bespoke windows, not old ones, but they are authentic, with authentic metal hardware instead of today's plastic latches and cranks.  If you can install these, then go ahead and have your mullions!

These are the only acceptable mullions for me — they are wood, not plastic. These are modern bespoke windows, not old ones, but they are authentic, with authentic metal hardware instead of today’s plastic latches and cranks. If you can install these, then go ahead and have your mullions!

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