Author Topic: Replace Historic Windows  (Read 3582 times)

Offline JDinJH

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Replace Historic Windows
« 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?

Offline earbears

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #1 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

Offline ljr

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #2 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.

Offline lalochezia

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #3 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.

Offline JDinJH

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #4 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




Offline Ro

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #5 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.

Offline dotley

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #6 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
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Offline dotley

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2017, 03:05:48 AM »
Where is Buy Rite located?  I see a listing for Flushing and Whitestone.

Offline carrefour_ny

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #8 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!



Offline wlirfan

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #9 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.

Offline Notirk

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #10 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!

Offline ljr

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #11 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.

Offline am315

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2017, 08:31:43 AM »
In what year did the historic district come into place?

Offline ljr

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2017, 08:46:49 AM »
I think in the early 1990s is when it was landmarked, based on quick Googling.

Offline am315

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #14 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?

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Re: Replace Historic Windows
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2017, 09:47:33 AM »