Renovations from PoPville – A Fixer Upper in Park View episode three

Ed. Note: We used to feature these renovations from PoPville back in the day but it’s been a while since I’ve found folks willing to share. A good time for me to say, which I sadly realize I have to say, if you have negative comments about the reno please consider keeping it to yourself. Critiquing the renovations is not the point of these posts. It’s simply to show what some folks have done. If you like it, obviously, feel free to let them know but again – well let me be clear – don’t be a jerk. Thanks. Sorry to have to preface with that. I really do love these features and am fortunate that 2 or 3 three more folks have also agreed to share their renovations. These renovations can be extensive – like a whole house gut or simply a 1/2 bath added, floor refinished or even smaller. It can be a whole series of posts or just one. If you’d like to share one of your projects please email princeofpetworth(at)gmail thanks and thanks for understanding!

You can read episode two from this series here.


“I knew we would replace the windows in our house eventually, but I did not think we would do it in the first year let alone the first five months! However, after doing some research I found it was more cost effective to do all 15 windows at once rather than replace a few at time. Plus many companies have a four (or more) window minimum. I hope no one reading this has to replace windows soon because the initial consultation some of these window companies make you suffer through are terrible. Also, both spouses have to be home for the consultation, which is really annoying if you both work. Our windows were twenty years old and I don’t think they were even nice windows the day they were installed. They were so drafty and some of them could not even be unlocked, or it felt like they would break if you forced it! One window also had a small break in the glass.

First we met with Home Depot for a quick estimate on getting one window fixed since the lock on it was broken and that is not too safe. He was prompt and provided us with a quote for $671 Simonton window. He never mentioned lead paint or any of that and I know our house has lead paint in it since it’s 100+ years old. If you’re dealing with lead paint there is a special process for removing/disposing of the old windows. I also read mixed reviews on buying windows from Home Depot. Furthermore, $671 for a window and installation isn’t that cheap.


Next we met with Ameritech Construction and I did not enjoy the sales pitch and demonstration at all. If you research buying new windows you’ll find lots and lots of complaints about the high-pressure sales tactics these companies use. Well, this company nailed it and kept making jokes: “Just whip out that checkbook and write me a check now!” When you’re trying to get me to spend $30,000 on windows I just don’t appreciate your jokes. So he started out at $30,000, but then came down to $21,000. This was for triple pane windows. I will save the long story, but ultimately we did not go with this company.

Lastly we met with Thompson Creek and though they were trying to make the sale, it was not as bad. I was impressed with their product and liked that everything was local. They make their windows in Maryland. A friend also recommended them and their price was much better. They also agreed to remove the awnings from the front of the house, which I have wanted to do since we closed! We replaced the four small windows in each of our two bay windows with picture windows instead of the double hung. They finished the job in 11 hours and the team was very professional and left the house cleaner than when they arrived. It cost $11,000 for everything and the house is so much warmer and quieter. Each and every single window in our house was also a different size so it was nice that Thomson Creek custom made each window to fit. Some of the old windows did not fit correctly and they had used filler at the top to make up for that. The last thing I really wanted to do was spend that money on windows, but it really makes a big difference from inside and outside the house.”

30 Comment

  • Looks great! Why do they require both spouses to be home? Seems unecessary. Also, unrelated but I love your molding and ceiling.

    • To avoid having to redo them if they aren’t liked, maybe? That seems strange, but maybe window companies have those sorts of problems.

    • epric002

      i agree- we had our windows replaced a year or so ago and my husband handled the whole thing. none of the companies said that we both had to be home. very weird.

    • I assume that because it’s a big purchase, the salespeople want a chance to win over both decision makers at the same time. If one person is “sold” but then has to convince their partner, the salespeople won’t be as likely to make the sale as they would if they could convince both at once. The Thompson Creek salesperson we met seemed to have that as part of his schtick: make the pitch, give the couple time to themselves to discuss, then offer more bargains to seal the deal.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Thompson Creek’s product is top-notch and their people are very professional, but the both-spouses home and high-pressure sales are because the sales rep that does the initial consultation gets paid on commission and is only credited with the sale if you sign on the spot. If you call back to schedule work a few days later rather than on the spot while the rep is still there, the guy who came out for the consultation does not get credit for the sale. I think that’s pretty rotten, but that’s how they roll, and thus, that’s why they have those requirements.

        • Yes, it’s to make the sale. Even after I told Ameritech I wasn’t going with them the salesman was trying to find a time to “get in front of both of us” to try and convince us. I assume it’s because they don’t want to make the sale to one person only to have them come back and say, “Sorry my husband/wife said no!”

        • I recently purchased 2 windows from Thompson Creek. I couldn’t agree more regarding the quality of the product and professionalism. Great company!

    • Thanks anon! It’s the original molding and tin ceiling.

  • I’d say that replacing the old windows– we had the originals, 100+ years old!– was the single best renovation move we made. We figured it would save us money on heating (and it has), but we didn’t count on how much it would reduce the outside noise. Big bonus.

  • Thanks for this post and for including the cost! The windows look great – so the total was $11,000 for all 15 windows, correct?
    As an aside, has anyone refurbished their original wood windows instead of replacing them? I’d love to keep them if they could be done well (all open easily, sealed relatively well, etc.) and for roughly the same cost, but I haven’t found anyone that has gone that route.

    • I chose to keep my original double hung 6 over 6 windows – the cost to refurbish/renovate them was comparable to replacing them. I highly recommend the Craftsmen Group; they’re local (shop is in Columbia Heights) and have worked on many historic buildings around the city (like the rebuilding of Eastern Market).
      They renovated/refurbished my windows so they are better than new. Better because I had them replace the single pane glass with laminated glass which made a big difference in sound and weather proofing.

      • Also, they put weather stripping all around and replaced the sash cord with chain (which is more original). I can open the top and the the bottom of every window with just one finger. Smooth as butter 😉

    • Yes, for all 15 windows. The wood in two windows was rotted too, but they basically replaced that at no extra charge. Oh and they removed our awnings.

      For restoring windows I have heard good things about these guys:

  • These windows look great, but I guarantee they don’t look as great as having the original windows fully restored. Before anyone does anything rash, I would encourage you to look into window restoration. We looked into replacements and found that restoring (plus new storms) cost a little more but had basically the same energy/noise performance and maintained the architectural style of the house. In full disclosure, it also took a lot more time. But, we’re thrilled with the decision.

    • Do you have a company to recommend? LIke PTWtarheel, we tried to find someone to do this and couldn’t. Like the OP, we went with Thompson Creek (for two windows only) and were very, very happy with the finished product, as well.

      • Yes, any further details on your experience restoring your original windows would be greatly appreciated! If you don’t mind sharing approximate cost, company you used, level of destruction inside the house, time and general process (for example, I’d assume they just do a couple at a time and block your window opening with plywood or plastic while they’re working on the window at their facility?), that’d help a lot.

      • We used Neil Mozer from Mozer Works. He only does window restorations, and is great at it.

    • True, but some of us–including the author of the post–are dealing with cheap, bad replacement windows, previous owners having long ditched the originals.

    • Umm the original windows from this house are long gone. Like I said the windows that came with the house were twenty years old so most certainly not original.

  • Awesome post. Thanks for including the costs. We’ve got some original windows that are quite drafty, and then a few double hung windows that were replaced maybe 20-25 years ago that are slightly too big so you can’t actually use the latch to lock them! All on the 2nd floor thankfully.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I just spent all afternoon looking for options to replace our front door.

    Looks awesome by the way!

    • HaileUnlikely

      If you want a major upgrade, e.g., a different size door, or adding sidelights where there presently are none, then I don’t have any special wisdom on that, but if you’re just replacing an old door with a new door of the same size, I’d recommend buying the door yourself (best places would probably be HomeDepot, GA Ave Builder’s Surplus, Galliher & Huguely) and hire a handyman install it for a total of less than half what a window-and-door company would charge for the same job.

  • Ha! I thought my mom was crazy when she complained to me that she can’t get anyone to come out and give her a quote on replacing the windows in her house. They all have required that my father also be home and he is almost always in their second home out of state. If anyone has had success working around that, please let me know what companies. Thanks!

    • Could she either say that she is the sole decision-maker in the household or just lie and say she isn’t married? It seems odd that companies would ask outright if you’re married, although I guess they find a way to do that somehow.

      • They kind of trick you into it. I believe they said: “Are you the only owner of this house?” And of course I said no and then they go into there shtick about how both homeowners need to be present so when is a good time for that? They never asked if we were married or anything.

        • Gross, *their shtick. Anyhow, a way around it might be to pretend you’re the only homeowner.

  • I Dont Get It

    My dream is triple pane windows I’m the front of my house. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks for sharing this–especially the price! We need to replace our windows too. Did the install mess up your interior trim/paint/shades or anything?

    • No problem. So you have to take your shades/blinds/etc down before the install (hence the lack of blinds in the photos). You also have to remove any photos/art/frames on the walls if they’re close to the windows. Yes, it chipped the trim on some of the windows, but I didn’t mind because I hadn’t finished painting the trim upstairs yet and it was easy for me to touch up the window trim downstairs. It was very minimal though and mostly on the inside of the window trim.

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