Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Real Estate & Home Improvement => Topic started by: JDinJH on March 08, 2017, 10:00:55 PM

Title: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: JDinJH on March 08, 2017, 10:00:55 PM
I am considering changing my windows in the historic part of JH.  I was quoted $5k per window from a reputable vendor - the windows have to meet certain specifications that have to be approved by the landmarks commission and the windows are large, i.e., custom work.  The prices seems somewhat inflated.  On the other hand, I have no experience on the matter.  On that note, can anybody offer any insight?
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: earbears on March 08, 2017, 10:14:16 PM
I think it would be a good idea to look at the Landmarks Commission website. They all sorts of informations as to grants and rules & regulations. Perhaps this one would be helpful: http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/lpc/downloads/pdf/pubs/App_Guide_Windows.pdf
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: ljr on March 08, 2017, 10:17:17 PM
I would love to know the answer. What I have heard is you have to "go through Landmarks"--maybe the vendor does that for you? And someone told me it could cost $10K per window! Which of course I cannot afford. But I have not really researched it. Also, I heard that we would have to put in windows with wood frames because that is what was originally in the building--even though long before the building was landmarked all the other apartments put in modern, aluminum windows--so it makes no sense that we would have to put wooden windows in that do not match the rest of the windows. Our wooden frames are splintering and disintegrating, our locks that attach to the wood frames are broken--really it seems crazy that we would have to spend that kind of money to update our windows.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: lalochezia on March 08, 2017, 10:21:40 PM
On that note, can anybody offer any insight?

A quote: "It is better to ask forgiveness than permission."

http://windowfix.com/

YMMV.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: JDinJH on March 08, 2017, 11:02:07 PM
On that note, can anybody offer any insight?

A quote: "It is better to ask forgiveness than permission."

http://windowfix.com/

YMMV.

I am with you.  I have to convince my wife to pull the trigger.  While $5k per window seems expensive, it does not seem so outside of the range of what is generally considered acceptable for similar jobs.  I can only imagine that it will get more expensive as time passes.  In any case, I am truly interested in the community's general wisdom on the subject - I can not be the only one to have had this dilemma. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/realestate/the-red-tape-of-new-windows-in-new-york.html?_r=0



Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: Ro on March 08, 2017, 11:27:47 PM
Buy-Rite Windows has done a lot of work in the historic district. Get a quote from them.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: dotley on March 09, 2017, 03:04:46 AM
Also DI Windows and Doors has done work in the historic district.  They do not do the landmark filing
718 229 6789
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: dotley on March 09, 2017, 03:05:48 AM
Where is Buy Rite located?  I see a listing for Flushing and Whitestone.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: carrefour_ny on March 09, 2017, 11:04:00 AM
I have experience with windows and am happy to shed some light on the process.

1) Window replacements must be approved by LPC. They do have specific requirements, which are indeed complex and costly, but are designed to preserve the historic character of the neighborhood.

2) There is therefore a benefit to replacing the windows building-wide if that's needed/an option. It is also the most efficient option. There is an organization related to the LPC that offers financial assistance to historic buildings undertaking restoration work; it might be available to individuals as well. 

3) You might be able to get away if the windows you are considering replacing are in the back and not visible from the street. For facade windows, the best course of action is to follow LPC's requirements.

LPC has been known to issue serious fines and violations to projects that aren't in compliance, even when seem minimally offensive. I would therefore recommend NOT taking this option. For that reason, sane, respectable contractors would turn down a job that's not in compliance.

4) You will need to hire an architect to prepare drawings and filings for the LPC, though sometimes contractors offer this service. Presuming that this is a co-op, the board will also need to sign off on these plans.

Hope this helps!


Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: wlirfan on March 09, 2017, 12:01:55 PM
3) You might be able to get away if the windows you are considering replacing are in the back and not visible from the street. For facade windows, the best course of action is to follow LPC's requirements.

We have an apartment where all 14 of our windows face the back of the building and are not visible from the street.  Landmarks issued a waiver and the Co-op permitted the installation of those regular, storm, double paned, easy to clean windows.  It was significantly cheaper, but this was also about 12 years ago, so I don't even have the contact information of the company that did the replacement.  It was sad to see those old wooden windows go, but when we bought the apartment, more than half were painted shut, and all but two could no longer stay open.  It was time.

On another note, look outside your building to see if anyone else has newer windows, then knock on their door.  They may already know of the specific type of window that Landmarks would approve, and have leads on installers.  Also, ask your Board.  Any new windows would have to receive Board approval anyway so if anyone had them installed recently, the Board would know who they were, and what company they used.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: Notirk on March 09, 2017, 09:29:54 PM
Interesting discussion. It looks like for small buildings, one must match material for replacement windows well as the other criteria. However, what if you (and most of your neighbors) already have vinyl windows installed? Are these "out of spec"/in violation? Or perhaps these are grandfathered in? In that case, if one wants to replace their windows does one need to file the paper work - and if so, are the replacement windows meant to match the original historic windows? How confusing!
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: ljr on March 09, 2017, 11:37:22 PM
Yes Notirk that's what is confounding. In my building almost all of the old wooden windows were replaced with modern windows before the building was landmarked. I think my windows are the only original ones left in the front of the building. So if I replace mine they have to match what was there BEFORE everyone else replaced their windows. How does this make sense? Wouldn't it be more aesthetically pleasing if all the windows matched? Anyway guess I will never do this--I can't imagine spending that much money on windows. I'm going to look into what might be done to restore/repair the windows instead of replacing them.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: am315 on March 10, 2017, 08:31:43 AM
In what year did the historic district come into place?
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: ljr on March 10, 2017, 08:46:49 AM
I think in the early 1990s is when it was landmarked, based on quick Googling.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: am315 on March 10, 2017, 09:47:33 AM
It strikes me that many of the replacement windows were installed after the landmarking as they are all entirely uniform in look and style.

If there were no LPC rules in effect when the windows were installed why would everyone install virtually the same windows. I assume the new windows were costly to customize in terms of color and style.

Is this the wrong assumption?
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: dotley on March 11, 2017, 07:21:28 AM
Our small co op is getting estimates to replace our basement windows.  They all face the back of the building and are not visible from the street.  How does one go about getting a waiver from Landmarks?
thanks
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: Benoit on March 11, 2017, 08:47:04 AM
@Dotley, It is my understanding if the windows cannot be viewed from the street, land marking does not apply.
 @Am315. The windows may have been replaced before landmarking, so they are good. But eventually, they will be need to be replaced, and at that time, must adhere to Landmarking, so EVENTUALLY, they will ALL be restored back to its original design.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: homeowner on March 11, 2017, 09:34:40 AM
Forgiveness not permission is the wrong way to go with a landmark building. Sooner or later the seller will have to pay to correct the violation and it goes against the essence of what the area looks like.

If the window cannot be seen from the street, landmark approval is not required.  As a private homeowner, I don't know the process for buildings but you might reach out to the JHBG for some help.

So many buildings have replaced their paned windows will all glass to the detriment (IMO) of the areas aesthetics.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: Notirk on March 11, 2017, 11:34:14 AM
@Dotley - I believe it is only for the side of the building facing the road, there looks to be some guidance for secondary facades. Check out the LPC window guide linked to earlier in this thread.
@am315 - I can see the co-ops or responsible owners wanting to maintain the general styling (like the 6 over 1 arrangement on Elm Court). For new vinyl windows, it isn't expensive to get a little molding added. But if you need custom wood windows with custom glass, that's a serious investment.
@Benoit - Thanks for the insight. That at least sounds like well motivated reasoning on behalf of LPC, but unfortunately in reality, I feel homeowners will hold off on replacing windows for a long time - some of these original windows are approaching 100 years old! Unintended consequences...
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: mpw on March 14, 2017, 08:51:29 AM
Where is Buy Rite located?  I see a listing for Flushing and Whitestone.

I'm not sure where Buy Rite is located, but you can reach the owner, John Riccobono, at 718 767 9338. They replaced all the landmarked windows in my coop, and I found them to be very reliable.

Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: Minimal4me on April 01, 2017, 03:02:45 PM
Forgiveness not permission is the wrong way to go with a landmark building. Sooner or later the seller will have to pay to correct the violation and it goes against the essence of what the area looks like.

I agree. Our building replaced with aluminum some years ago - I guess before the LPC was formed. Our windows are cheap, ugly, and look so wrong for the era of the building. It's the thing I'd most like to change.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: rosie on April 04, 2017, 05:02:11 PM
In order to get a permit from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, you need to fill out the following form:
http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/lpc/downloads/pdf/forms/application_form_permit20160720.pdf
You'll also need to provide documentation of the new windows you're proposing, which you should be able to get from whatever vendor/contractor you're working with.
The Jackson Heights Historic District was designated in 1993. If you'd like to read the report, it's here:
http://s-media.nyc.gov/agencies/lpc/lp/1831.pdf
The LPC has a good guide to replacing windows, which, as others have mentioned before on this thread, is to preserve the historic character of the neighborhood. Even if your windows have been previously replaced, the building is still subject to LPC jurisdiction. Also, if the majority of windows are the same (new) type, it's likely because the building or coop board decided to replace windows in many apartments at once to benefit from the economy of scale.
Guide here: http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/lpc/downloads/pdf/pubs/fact%20sheet_Windows_2117-2.pdf
I hope this is helpful!
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: JDinJH on October 02, 2019, 01:49:08 PM
I wanted to follow up on this post.  I ended up using Adler Windows to replace my windows.  They obtained the proper paperwork from the Landmarks Commission.  We had a few hiccups, but I would definitely recommend this company.  To elaborate further, some of the windows were not a perfect fit and Adler Windows had them remade; I brought this to the attention of Adler Windows.  There are a lot of vendors that would have stuck me with the windows because the measurements were slightly off and the moldings would have covered them.  On the other hand, I hired a top rated company and they wanted to ensure that I was completely satisfied. 

There are a few tips I would like to share:

1) make sure that you get a picture and model number of the window that is being installed
2) make sure that the window specifications are in the work order, e.g., vent locks, color of hardware, painted, primed, unpainted, etc.
3) have somebody take the measurements independently from the window vendor and compare the measurements
4) on installation day, take the time to cover your floors and if you can put padding around the area where the workers will be working - you want to avoid scratches and dings on the floors
5) after installation, check each window's hardware to make sure that they open and close easily and that the window can be disengaged/re-engaged for cleaning the outside panes while the workers are still present
6) if they are installing window handles, have them measure the exact place where they are drilling to ensure consistency throughout all the windows


Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: carrefour_ny on October 03, 2019, 12:14:54 PM
Thanks, JDinJH. I just called Adler Windows and they said they don't work in buildings that are occupied.

What brand windows did you use?
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: JDinJH on October 03, 2019, 03:13:47 PM
Thanks, JDinJH. I just called Adler Windows and they said they don't work in buildings that are occupied.

What brand windows did you use?

What do you mean that they do not work on buildings that are occupied?  That's strange.  They definitely worked on my windows and I was present when they performed the work - I had to take a few days off from work.

In any case, we ended up using Marvin Ultimate Next Generation windows on all but the bathroom windows; we used Crystal windows in the bathroom.  I ended up splurging for sound attenuated windows, about $300 extra per window.  On that note, I totally recommend getting sound attenuated windows.  While it does not totally eliminate outdoor noise, it really makes significant a difference when the planes fly over the neighborhood.
Title: Re: Replace Historic Windows
Post by: Minimal4me on October 12, 2019, 04:16:45 PM
I wanted to follow up on this post.

Thank you so much. While I'm not ready to do this right now, I'm making note of it for future reference.