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Old 02-26-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
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Just how custom is this window


So my wife and I are about to seal the deal on our first house, a 1930s Dutch Colonial in the Hudson Valley area of NY. Lots of great potential in the house and while we want to do a lot of reno and keep the charm of the house, it's totally ready to move in and enjoy.

One thing that has me puzzled is this particular window. It's a very unique setup with two windows on the side and a center storage unit. There really isn't any insulation on it so I can assume this is a major point for heat escape, but the window is so very part of the house, we don't want to lose it.

Has anyone seen a design like this before?


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Old 02-26-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
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Just how custom is this window


Just looks like two picture windows to me nothing special about them.
Looks like that an outside wall, if it it I hope that's a false panel not a real cabinet door.
If it is that means there 0 insulation in that area.

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Old 02-26-2012, 08:53 PM   #3
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Just looks like two picture windows to me nothing special about them.
Looks like that an outside wall, if it it I hope that's a false panel not a real cabinet door.
If it is that means there 0 insulation in that area.
Yep that is a real door and zero insulation (well some batting stuffed in there right now). What I am really curious is the historical significance if any of such a design and if there is anything newer that might have a similar design just to keep with the essence of the house.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:57 PM   #4
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Just how custom is this window


What do the rest of the home look like.

To the extent that it is historical...so are original cabinets but you don't see people going that route.

Not picking on your cabinets but there is a bunch more to the home that is historical than that small section if it is uncomfortable and a set back.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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I could be wrong, but I'm thinking that setup is not original to the home. It seems strange that the "door" between the windows would have a raised panel look, which does not match the other cabinets. It also looks like there is a lower cabinet door that is inaccessible due to the placement of the oven, which would lead me to believe that is not its original placement.
Maybe someone with knowledge of NY architecture would say otherwise, but it does not look to me like historical preservation should be something for you to worry about. As Joe said, that center "cabinet" between the windows is a major issue, as is what appears to be light shining through around the window panels =major air leakage. Are those in-swing operating windows?
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:14 PM   #6
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What do the rest of the home look like.

To the extent that it is historical...so are original cabinets but you don't see people going that route.

Not picking on your cabinets but there is a bunch more to the home that is historical than that small section if it is uncomfortable and a set back.
The rest of the home is quite nice. Needs some updating (horrible wallpaper, etc). The glass is original, with lead glass, and string-drawn counterweighted system. Debating to swap those out later, but they are in generally good shape (couple broken panes out of all the windows).





Some wood valences that will go but they are a bit interesting.

Well there are custom cabinents too, but we will likely pull them out and replace them with a similar look, with modern conveniences.




Behind that fridge is a door... to the ironing board. I may relocate that down to the laundry room that I am thinking of building in the basement to at least make it functional.

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Are those in-swing operating windows?
Yes they are.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #7
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It looks like the base cabinets on the other side of the room are different as well. I'd just reiterate that preservation is probably not a valid concern here. I'd replace that window if at some point you do the rest of the house as well and not even think twice. Obviously that is your choice, but in addition to efficiency, you'd gain significant glass area and probably brighten up the room.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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What's on the outside for siding?
If it was mine I would remove all of that reframe so there's a center frame and install two new constrution 3 over 0 double hung windows.
Then it would match the rest of the windows, more avalible window area, and me far more energy energy efficient.
With those old style windows in the rest of the house you would be shocked to see what's behind the trim around those windows. On the sides in most cases there's going to be a pocket for the weights that's nothing but a big hole to let air in. Under mine I could see day light all around the outside trim.
I removed the weights, caulked around the outside trim from the inside, filled the hole with fiberglass insulation and installed replacement windows.
My heating bills went down almost 25% the next winter.
And yes you can order the windows with the same deviders so the look from the street will remain the same.

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Old 02-27-2012, 02:28 PM   #9
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It looks like the base cabinets on the other side of the room are different as well. I'd just reiterate that preservation is probably not a valid concern here. I'd replace that window if at some point you do the rest of the house as well and not even think twice. Obviously that is your choice, but in addition to efficiency, you'd gain significant glass area and probably brighten up the room.
The rooms are quite bright, but I do plan to replace them at some point. A bathroom and kitchen remodel are likely to come first though.

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What's on the outside for siding?
Clapboard.

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If it was mine I would remove all of that reframe so there's a center frame and install two new constrution 4 over 0 double hung windows.
Then it would match the rest of the windows, more avalible window area, and me far more energy energy efficient.
I agree, I just wanted to make sure I was not eliminating something with historic value.

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My heating bills went down almost 25% the next winter.
And yes you can order the windows with the same deviders so the look from the street will remain the same.
Nice.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:47 PM   #10
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The rooms are quite bright, but I do plan to replace them at some point. A bathroom and kitchen remodel are likely to come first though.
The kitchen remodel would be the perfect time to do it. Personally I like a twin casement/awning or a slider in that space, but that's the nice thing: Once that center mull is gone you have a lot of options to choose from.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:08 PM   #11
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Do you find the cabinet between the windows to be charming? If you do then keep it, I think you are not loosing a huge amount of energy through that.
Personally I think it is impractical and if it were my house I get rid of it so I could put in new windows that I could look out of while standing at the sink.

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Old 02-27-2012, 04:20 PM   #12
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Do you find the cabinet between the windows to be charming? If you do then keep it, I think you are not loosing a huge amount of energy through that.
Personally I think it is impractical and if it were my house I get rid of it so I could put in new windows that I could look out of while standing at the sink.

Andy.
They are pretty unique and add some charm to the house. However I see little practicality with them. I would likely dump them, that is unless there was some very interesting story for their use.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:32 PM   #13
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certainly is a custom detail that can't be denied
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:05 PM   #14
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I live in the Hudson Valley, Ive never seen anything like that before. I kind of doubt it's historical in the true sense of the word... pretty cool, though, literally and figuratively

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