new bedroom windows | 1970 home renovation

by | Jan 17, 2023 | 1970 home renovation, All Things Home, Decorating, Master Bedroom, My House, Room Makeovers | 54 comments

When we first started our home renovation projects, I felt like we had more than enough saved and dedicated to comfortably do all of the projects we wanted.  As I’m sure many of you have experienced in the past, that money can go a lot quicker than you expect.  Some projects have come in delightfully under our expectations, but the ones that have been over have been way over.  The floors cost about double what we anticipated.  And the roof, which we weren’t planning on doing for a few more years, came in about 30% higher than what we expected.  All of the little projects, materials, and required tools have also added up.  We’re not renovation newbies, but we haven’t tried to tackle so many things in such a short period of time.  We typically do one or two large projects and then mix in smaller ones we can do ourselves.  But, we’re taking it step-by-step, setting priorities, making compromises, and pushing some projects back a while.

Sometimes limitations can be frustrating, but they can also force you to come up with creative solutions, to thoroughly shop around and do your research, and to focus on what’s really best for the house and your family.  It forces focus, which is always a good thing.  I have found myself feeling pushed and stretched in new ways.

All of this is to preface the story of our new bedroom windows and how budget constraints led to a wonderful, cost-saving outcome.  The 50-year-old windows in this house aren’t terrible, but some were definitely in better shape than others.  They are an old model of Andersen windows, which means they are quality, but they are also solid wood, which means they are susceptible to moisture, and termites, and need to be repainted every so often.  Many of our windows were gummed up with old paint and were in need of sanding, priming, and painting, so we wanted to look into the cost of replacing them.

As a side note, I know replacing old/older windows can be a bit controversial.  While these are vintage windows, they are not anything I feel passionate about keeping and restoring.    If they were 100-year-old windows with wavy glass, then I would fight to keep them.  What I care about in the case of replacing these windows is that we stay true to the style with 8-over-8 divided panes.  The current windows have removable plastic mullions.  I like the look of them, but the fact that they are plastic, removable, and only on the inside makes me a little less enthusiastic about them.

So, when I was in a local hardware store to pick up some materials, I stopped by the window department to request a quote.  They sent a representative out to my house later that week and he worked around the house, measuring tape in hand, making notes, and was ready to present an estimate to me.  He really should’ve said something like, “You might want to sit down for this.” or, “Please don’t laugh at me when I tell you the total.”, but with a straight face, he informed me it would cost over $40,000 to replace 17 windows in our house.  He also pointed out all of the discounts and savings I was getting and just about handed me a pen to sign on the dotted line.

I couldn’t tell you what the expression on my face was, but internally, I was torn between laughing and crying.  That was more than our floors, more than a new roof (a roof), more than replastering, retiling, and reequipping an entire pool, and more than our entire kitchen renovation estimate (which includes moving a staircase.)  It was more than both of our cars put together.  It was way, way, way more than I was expecting and that’s finally what I sputtered out.  “Well, that’s too much for us to do all at once.  What about just the front bedroom windows?”

1970 ranch house renovation | primary bedroom before | miss mustard seed

The windows in our bedroom were the worst.  They are the most exposed windows in the house and had evidence of moisture damage above and below the windows.  We felt like they really needed to be replaced.  You can see in the picture above that there was mildew under the windows. The paint was also bubbled and cracked above the windows.

The representative crunched some more numbers.  It would be $14,000 to replace three windows.  I don’t know what your expectations would be, but I was thinking it would be closer to $800 – 1,000 per window, so this obviously wasn’t even in that same neighborhood.  We weren’t in the same hemisphere.  I’m all for splurging where it matters and, yes, windows do matter, but there have to be some other good options out there.

I was talking to my mom about it and she suggested I call Window World.  They had replaced all of the windows in their house in Florida, including a sliding door and a couple of specialty windows for a very reasonable price and were pleased with the quality of the product and the service.  Not only did they notice a huge difference when it came to energy efficiency, but also when it came to diminishing outside noise.  I put in a call to Window World that day.  (They are a national brand if you’re not familiar with them.)

The Window World representative went through the same routine…measuring, taking notes, and sitting at the table to crunch some numbers.  I braced myself as he sat down to share the estimate.  The entire house would cost less than three windows for one bedroom.  I told the representative that he should have someone else come and present their quote before Window World because I was just about bursting to sign the contract.  I could’ve hugged him.  I was more sensible than that and I asked for an estimate for just the bedroom as well.  We have a lot of big projects and we want to make sure we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves.

Given that the estimate was so much less, I wanted to make sure the quality was still what I wanted.  Were they double-paned?  Yes.  Would they tilt for cleaning?  Yes.  Were they covered under a warranty?  Yes.  The only difference that was of note to me, other than the price, was these windows were vinyl instead of wood.  In the end, the wood would be painted anyway, and would I really care?  Given this house has had termite issues in the past, vinyl is probably a better option, anyway.  I also had my mom’s glowing testimony, which counts for a lot.  If you ever want a truthful review on something, just ask my mom.  She’ll give it to you straight and unfiltered.

I didn’t place the order on the spot, because the rep needed to do a bit of research.  The style of the window I wanted wasn’t one most people order.  In fact, he had worked for the company for over 10 years and he never had an order for an 8-over-8 fully divided window before.  They weren’t even pictured in the sales pamphlet except for a small slice of a window towards the very end of the book.  He spoke with his manufacturer, though, and confirmed that they can make that window.

I received e-mails with detailed estimates for the entire house as well as for the bedroom.  To replace the three front bedroom windows was $2,800 and we decided to start there.  It took about 12 weeks for the new windows to arrive and that’s a lot of time to question my decisions.  I hoped they understood that I wanted fully divided panes, not just dividers inside the panes.  I know those are popular for the ease of cleaning, but I just love how fully divided panes look.  Windows are a huge architecture feature and I want them to really pop.

The installation crew arrived yesterday afternoon and I nervously watched as they pulled our windows off the truck.  They were perfect.   They were even better than what I envisioned.

  

window world windows | miss mustard seed

The crew quickly installed all three windows while I peeked, but I couldn’t wait to see how they looked from inside the room.  Windows, to me, seemed like a pretty boring part of a renovation.  I mean, if you’re adding new windows, that’s pretty exciting, but if you’re just replacing one window with the same kind of window?  That doesn’t seem like fun money to spend.  I was so wrong.  They look amazing and I am already excited about replacing the rest of the windows.

window world windows with fully divided panes | miss mustard seed

The panes are fully divided inside and out, which looks so sharp.  It’s a bit more tedious to clean, but I really don’t care about that.  I only clean windows when they need it or a couple of times each year, so I can put up with it if I love them.  And I love them.  

window world windows with fully divided panes | miss mustard seed

(You can read about the curtains and hardware HERE.)

window world windows with fully divided panes | miss mustard seed

I also bought new roller shades for the windows (just simple vinyl ones) and now I need to patch and paint the trim.  I figured I would wait to do that after the new windows were installed.

window world fully divided windows | miss mustard seed

window world fully divided windows | miss mustard seed

Is anyone else as in love with divided-pane windows as I am?  Our Minnesota house had huge picture windows, which were great for letting in light, but they always felt too modern for me.  These feel charming and timeless, both qualities I like in a home.

window world fully divided windows | miss mustard seed

We need to tackle the kitchen and the pool, but once we get those big projects behind us, the windows in the rest of the house will be next on our list…

54 Comments

  1. Monica from Littlestown

    The windows are beautiful but my oh my! Those prices give me heart palpitations! I’m so thankful I was married to a general contractor who could do the work and we saved tens of thousands over the years being able to replace windows ourselves.

    Reply
    • Susan Therrien

      I glad you had a good experience with Window World. But, I will never recommend them! I’m trying to get a screen for a window that was installed April 2022! After the sale customer service is nonexistent in my area of Central Florida. The screen was about 1/8” too big. So the installer broke the screen. They keep sending men out to rescreen because their communication between departments is so bad. They promised they have the screen and would call me after the holidays. I will be calling them again tomorrow. The windows seem fine but I’m glad I didn’t do the whole house.

      Reply
      • Marian Parsons

        Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. That is frustrating! From what I’ve heard, your experience is not typical of Window World, but even good companies don’t have happy customers 100% of the time. I hope you’re able to get your screen fixed and you end up with a positive result.

        Reply
  2. Carswell

    I love the look of divided pane windows – but having two divided light french doors in my entryway I’m less enthused about cleaning and dusting them.

    I don’t know if it’s too late – but you might consider holding on to some of your old windows if you are going to be building a shed at some point. I can’t remember off hand if that’s on your list.

    There’s nothing like a lot of natural light in a shed. My brother built my shed and we’d saved a few windows from when they’d been replaced in a rental we lived in previously (our landlord offered them to us) – he incorporated them into the design and I love the way it looks as well as appreciate the light they let in.

    Reply
    • Monica

      That’s a great idea – even if no shed is in the plans, they could be listed on FB marketplace and there’s always someone who could use them!

      Reply
      • Bonnie Kilgore

        We had a similar adventure last fall when replacing the original windows in our 1959 ranch. The estimate from a big name company was over a quarter of the price of the house! Eventually we got a reasonable quote from a different company and in the end we’re happy with the new windows as we’re using less heating oil! At first I missed the charm of the two over two handcrafted MCM windows, but I really like that we’re getting more light in the house.

        Reply
    • Lisa P

      Great idea!

      Reply
  3. Carlene

    Thank you for doing the shopping for so many of us! I’ve heard good things about Window World in my area too. (Texas). Windows are high on my remodel list. Thank you!!

    Reply
  4. Kim

    I believe the first estimate came from a man preparing to send triplets to Princeton?

    Reply
    • Cassandra E

      Wish there was a ha ha button!

      Reply
    • Mary Lou Dishop

      My husband made hot houses for growing plants out of old windows. They were wonderful. Our cost for replacing two double pane 12 over 8 windows in a 70’s Spanish house in AZ was similar to your last quote. It always pays to get 2 or 3 quotes on any renovation project. Don’t second guess yourself when renovating. If something doesn’t fit your budget, let it rest and an alternative idea will come to you when you least expect it like in the middle of the night. Happy designing. mL

      Reply
  5. Cassandra E

    All’s well that ends well! What a difference!

    I too would opt for the more fiddly to clean windows. It’s the small things that make the heart happy and the extra cleaning so worth it.

    Reply
  6. Kimberly

    The same thing happened to us! Our first quote was $50k, but if you sign now, $44k. We ended up using window world too! Even if these windows don’t last us a lifetime, like the first company claimed, at least I know I can afford to replace them!

    Reply
  7. Marion Lutz

    Hi Marian
    I’m in Paris with a friend and wanted to know where you shop for art in Paris. I couldn’t find it on your website. The windows look great!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      We went to Paris Puces de Saint-Ouen and the dealers had gorgeous things, but some felt a little overpriced. There are little “pop-up” fleas that we found all over the place, so it’s good to keep an eye out when you’re walking. I would ask a concierge or even at a cafe to see if you can get any local tips. I would also search online and found a great fountain pen shop that way. Montmarte (I haven’t been there, yet) is famous for its street artists, so that could be a place to get some new paintings. Anyway, I hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Mayanna

        Be careful of purse snatchers in Montmarte. Never let go of your purse.
        I love the windows. Vinyl was a good choice. The 8 over 8 reminds me of Williamsburg.

        Reply
        • Nancy Johnson

          Not just the purse snatchers, but the pickpockets. I wear my bag across my body so no one can grab it off my shoulder. In addition, my purse is so packed that I have difficulty finding things in it. Nonetheless, someone managed to extricate my wallet without any trouble. Saint-Ouen is notorious for pickpockets.

          Reply
          • Marian Parsons

            Yeah, we were very concerned about that, but really didn’t have a problem. You just have to be smart and aware. I kept my money, cards, and ID in a neck wallet and wore it under my dress, so it couldn’t be seen or accessed. I then carried a backpack with a waterbottle, umbrella, my sketchbook, and as a place to put purchases. That system worked well when traveling in the city.

    • Irene Kelly

      When my husband built this house over 60 yrs ago he used all Andersen. And fifteen yrs ago we decided to replace all windows with the new Andersen. And change out the 3 living room windows with one big bay window that one alone 15 yrs ago was $15 thou. And same with the dining room was only $12 thou. And one big window for Kitchen was $10 thou. So probably double for all now. Luckily our contractor was able to do the job because all the inside mountings are wood stained. I really did not want to spend that much for only 3 windows but glad my husband won that battle because now we get so many compliments on all 3
      And my solid brass window lights look so nice. Know what you mean about windows making you happy ! Your new windows look so nice and clean !

      Reply
  8. Kim

    Wow, your new windows look fantastic!

    I know some family members who might be needing new windows soon and I will let them know about Window World, as I know that they do not have much money to spend. As well, they will be needing the same type as the ones you bought for their 1960s Colonial.

    Reply
  9. Teresa

    Marian,
    My friend used Window World a few years ago to replace all the windows in her 70’s brick rancher and she has been very satisfied. They made all the difference in the appearance of her home. Your bedroom window looks beautiful as well.

    I really wasn’t too shocked with your quote on the wood windows because when we replaced all of our downstairs windows in our cape style home with Pella windows (wood with clad) around 14 years ago they were expensive then. We had to do our kitchen bay window and kitchen sink window first and then do the rest of the house a little at a time. The clad did fade over time, and when we had our house painted last year, we had it painted as the warranty had long expired.

    As in all materials, there are pros and cons. Wood can require more maintenance and rot if not maintained and vinyl can crack and fad too over time, but I think vinyl has come a long way and is made better now. Neighbors of ours have vinyl siding and windows and they have a front window where the vinyl has broken and cracked. All in all, I think you will be very satisfied with your choice!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, definitely trade-offs. I felt like I could live with any downsides to vinyl because of the substantial price difference!

      Reply
  10. Marne

    What will you do about painting the window trim? Will you make it to match the color of the vinyl? I usually prefer more off an off-white/cream trim, but our vinyl windows are WHITE, so it seems I have to paint the trim/frame WHITE too. Thoughts?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I am going to paint them the same gray as the rest of the time and just let them not be the same.

      Reply
      • Marne

        Would love to see a picture of how that turns out!

        Reply
  11. Babs

    Smart shopping! I wouldn’t have given WW a thought…but now I will should I ever need new windows. Actually, we do need all new windows as ours let in so much cold air that I have to put up heavy drapes in the winter to keep out the cold air. Since we are planning on putting the house on the market in the Spring we will not be replacing all the windows. We wish we could have done that 20 years ago when we moved in.

    The windows look great!

    Reply
  12. beverlee

    As I have saif, we used Window World over 10 years ago, they look the same. Humid and hot Houston is why we love the vinyl.
    The vacuum in one of them, and they came out quickly and in 30 minutes, it was done, and no mess.
    Their warranty is good. Keep your paperwork.
    Happy to see that you didn’t faint and fall out over the price. We had the same problem with the other company.

    Reply
  13. beverlee

    So many typos…sorry. We had an issue with the vacuum in one of them,

    Reply
  14. Rhonda

    Your new windows look great! In your photos it’s hard to tell if your new windows have screens?

    Reply
  15. Jinny

    Reminder, ,there are numerous tax credits for energy improvements including windows. Good time to replace!

    Reply
  16. Susan Blair

    Wow! That price on windows is crazy! Honestly- we had the same kind of sticker shock with replacing a door last year ($7K)- granted there were some atypical things- but yikes!. I appreciate the recommendation as we have some windows that honestly need to be replaced- they aren’t horrible, but the seal has broken so they do get moisture inside. It does really pay to shop around!

    Reply
    • Noreen

      We had the same sticker shock when we replaced our roof. I was set on a metal roof, I love the look of them. The first estimate was for $95,000. Yes that is right $95,000. I almost asked the guy how he could say that estimate with a straight face. This was from a nationally known company. Needless to say we did not go with them. The final price was $24,000 which was still a lot but it is a metal roof that will last for 75 to 100 years.

      Reply
  17. Norma

    Terrific! The windows look so great! I’m glad that you were able to get a good deal! Enjoy!!

    Reply
  18. Susan G

    Where did you find affordable roller shades? Most of the ones I have looked at the price has been astronomical.
    By the way, I love your new windows!

    Reply
    • Marilyn

      Does the window replacement include the window frame and exterior sill? That’s where we have moisture damage and I would want that addressed with a window replacement.

      Reply
      • Marian Parsons

        Yes, it did. It does not include the interior trim, though.

        Reply
  19. Addie

    Two years ago I was in the market to replace the windows. I got a couple estimates and nearly fell out of my chair. Then I saw an ad for Window World on TV and called. YES!!!! they were great. I went with Window World and was so happy I did. I noticed No air coming in during winter AND last summer I hardly needed the air conditioner. Yes!!! They are so quiet to….can’t even hear a car drive by. They are also very attractive. You won’t be sorry!!!!

    Reply
  20. Andrea

    Exactly the same situation! Had an estimate for whole house windows that made me faint, & feared new windows were out of the question. At the recommendation of several family members I called Window World & the quality of the window, the sales rep, the warranty, and the price sold me. It was $5300 for 12 windows in 12/19. My windows are beautiful, a pleasure to use and easy to wash. The install was well done and on time, and the UV protection has protected rugs & art from fading. Actually, the name was kind of a turn-off as it sounded more like a ride at Disneyland than a serious company! Oh, and another nice touch was the $50 sent to my relatives for their referral, a nice touch.

    Reply
  21. Karen E

    Kudos to you for getting true divided light windows!
    We also recently bought an old house & need to replace some of the vinyl roller blinds. I’d appreciate knowing where you got yours. Thanks.

    Reply
  22. Judeth

    I got that kind of shock when I replaced my wooden privacy fence. It was during the pandemic with wood prices as high as the Empire State Building. I had to have a new fence, but my wallet is still hurting.

    Reply
  23. Barbara Moore

    My sad window story: At the very beginning of our new home build my husband must have had a conversation with our builder without me. He was in the ‘save every penny stage’ of our build. Didn’t take long to get to the ‘just go ahead and do it’ stage. When the windows were installed I was shocked to see they had installed the wrong windows. They are NOT divided panes, they have the horrible thing in the middle of two pieces of glass that is supposed to look like divided panes. And that’s not the worse part. They are single pane windows. The top window doesn’t move making it EXTREMELY difficult to clean. You have to go out on a ladder to get the job done. Ugh. When I told the builder they had ordered the wrong windows, he said they’re the windows your husband ordered, I’ll be glad to order a second set for you. Looking back I should have said, DO IT! But of course the budget wouldn’t allow it.
    To make all this even worse, my house is built to look old. It’s a white farmhouse with a metal galvanized roof. I dearly love it. But, man or man, I hate the windows. Only silver lining is the husband can never complain about having to climb a ladder to clean the windows. Not nearly a big enough consequence if you ask me….

    Reply
  24. Terry A.

    I just went to their website, and see they also do doors! Does anyone here have experience getting exterior doors from them?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! They do exterior doors, siding, and shutters. We need to have some shutters replaced and are likely going to have them do it. My parents had exterior doors done by them and they were very happy. Their glass sliding door was an especially nice upgrade and they noticed a huge difference with heat/cold coming through the cracks and glass compared to the old door.

      Reply
      • Terry A.

        Thank you so much!

        Reply
  25. Margie

    Oh Marian your windows look beautiful. Thank you for the tip since we need to look into replacements for our windows in the near future.

    Reply
  26. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    Marian, your windows sure are “charming and timeless”! They are beautiful! So happy that you found the World Window Company. They did such a great job of installing your new windows. I know you will appreciate having your new windows and can look forward to more window replacement with this company in the future.

    Thanks for sharing your window journey with us! Enjoy your week!

    Reply
  27. Chris A.

    They look fantastic! I never knew Window World would do that. My Mom and my sister had all the windows done by Window World at their homes and loved them. Good for you!

    Reply
  28. monique

    Oh dear, what a shock hearing the first estimate! It is so important to get a second opinion as for a doctor. At the end you are such a winner, great looking windows, looking solid. But can you paint on Vinyl? When you do, let us know.

    And for Paris, it is true. Don’t ever leave your bag hang over your chair as you sip something good watching people walk by. Gypsies live on the outskirt of the city and bring their children at the sites visited by tourists who are such recognizable preys. Two or three kids will surround you, distract you and voila!

    Reply
  29. Roxanne

    I so enjoyed reading this! Thank you for sharing your window story. The windows look great. Gives me something to think about for our next project. All my best 🙂

    Reply
  30. Ann

    Windows look great and the checked curtains on the French return rods are ??. Can you provide the resource for the French return rods?
    Thanks so much

    Reply
  31. Cheryl

    Beautiful!!

    Reply
  32. Chris

    The windows in my 1984 house are wood-framed, double pane, with storm windows on the outside. The LR and DR are 9 over 9 and fairly large while most of the rest are 6 over 6. While they do keep the electric bill reasonable, the sash mechanisms failed many years ago so the windows do no stay open. About 20 or so years ago, we shopped around for replacements windows. Lower prices windows did not seem well made and, frankly, looked like like replacement windows with more vinyl framing and less glass. Other brands had better products but much higher cost and we felt we were paying for all of their advertising everywhere. All of them sent out high pressure sales people. The initial price was always knocked down the longer we asked questions. When one salesperson lowered the price substantially after his previous “final, rock bottom, final price”, my husband asked him to leave as we could not trust him. We decided to wait but now it is time for me working alone to act. I really do not want to deal with the sales people alone and don’t have anyone nearby whom I could call upon to sit through multiple sale visits. Anderson window replacements seem to be desirable for looks and resale in my neighborhood but, unless they have a substantial discount, not very affordable.

    Reply
    • Tamara R

      Yes! Some of them love to use high-pressure sales tactics and can be outright rude to work with. I don’t know why anyone would want to make a quick decision about such expensive items in the first place.

      Reply
  33. Tamara R

    I am always shocked at how expensive windows are. We recently had 3 different quotes for 10 basic windows in our home. One was about $22k, $18k, and then $6,500. We went with Lowes but have had a lot of difficulty with the window manufacturer (silicone smeared on the panes, hinges popping when you open it, etc). It was so bad that Lowes actually got reimbursed through a lawsuit last year. The windows take 4 months to come to our area in Texas! A bit of a headache…

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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