We have been out of our house now for 4 months and 1 week…not like I’m counting or anything 😉
I won’t say that time is flying by, because that would be a lie, but I will say that while we still have quite a ways to go (likely another 8 months) we have come a looong way!
The house has been knocked down, new foundation poured (for second story reinforcement and for outward expansion) and walls have been put up. The the rooms have been framed, plumbing has been going in and just this week our roof work started!
Down to the studs
Walls and second story
Roof is coming along!
The work on our end has been a lot of behind the scene planning. The biggest ones we’ve been nailing down lately are the plumbing fixtures (toilets, faucets, shower handles, etc) and cabinet designs for the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s so fun but it is also decision overload. I have never over thought things more…and that’s saying a lot for those of you that know me! 😝
The latest big decision we’ve been faced with was to keep or not to keep our original leaded glass windows.
Our house was built in the 1930’s and one of the features I fell in love with from day 1 were the beautiful original diamond leaded glass windows on the front of the house. They were single pane and a little wonky, but I was determined to keep them as part of the design if we could get approval from the city (they have all sorts of rules on these things).
We tweaked our original plan a little bit and ordered new colonial style windows (Marvin Integrity) for all but the living room, where we planned to keep the diamond design. Once all the other windows were ordered, we began reaching out to some companies and carpenters who could help us restore our existing windows. We knew that the glass could use some love, but we were mostly concerned about the wood frames. They were pretty warped and couldn’t even close all the way. Not only is that not very safe, it’s also a pretty huge energy suck. I was surprised that there weren’t as many people out there that do the sort of thing, but eventually, we found some glass experts and some carpenters to quote us.
Here’s when we were hit with reality that this was going to be a much more costly decision than we anticipated. You know how people always say to add on to your budget when planning a renovation? Yeah…they aren’t lying! We’ve tried to be as cost conscious as possible throughout this process, but there are some areas where we’ve already ended up spending more than we budgeted (all on us and our changes). We are trying to be smart about the areas where we are ‘splurging’, ensuring that they are areas where it actually is an investment and will be worth it in the long run. We also keep reminding ourselves that we are building our house with the intention of it being our forever home, so while some things might feel pricey now, when you think about the fact that we’ll be enjoying them for 50+ years, that puts things into perspective. I may be pretty good at justifying these things, but it’s still stressful. We have saved a ton for this and we do have a little wiggle room to make these types of decisions, but that wiggle room is shrinking a bit and any time money is involved, anxiety levels tend to rise (at least for us!). Now I completely recognize how fortunate we are to be in this situation to even renovate our house, and that these are totally first world problems. That’s not lost on me one bit. It’s still stressful though!
So all that said, what did we decide with the windows? Here were the options we were faced with:
- Scrap the idea of using the leaded glass windows and order colonial style windows for the living room that match the rest of the windows (most cost effective, and energy efficient option).
- Have a carpenter build custom wood sashes/window frames and have the leaded glass panes restored (least energy efficient option, high cost).
- Work with a brand (like Marvin) to build window frames that would be more efficient and less maintenance (clad exterior would never requiring painting whereas wood does) and have the leaded glass replicated as double pane since the window frames would be too large for single pane (energy efficient option, but also high cost).
In the end, we decided to go with option 3. While definitely more expensive than I we hoped, I’m feeling good about our decision. The windows will be exact replicas of the originals BUT even better. The glass will be double paned, super energy efficient and the window frames will be require zero maintenance. We’re working with Legacy Glass and one of their lumber partners. We found them through an incredible project that the ladies at Ricco Style worked on. Not only do they have beautiful work, they are also some of the only ones who provide the option to do insulated/double paned windows for leaded glass. Oh, and they are a primarily woman run company, which I think is pretty bad ass.
This week we met at their studio to discuss the layout and different glass options. We decided to go with clear glass and the same leaded glass style and thickness as the original windows. These will be such a focal point for our house and I am so glad we are staying true with the original character that I fell in love with from day one. I was seriously so sad when at one point it sounded like this might not be an option. Moral of the story? I apparently have really great albeit expensive taste 😝 I promise to enjoy these windows forever and can’t wait to share more updates along the way!