Replacing mid century modern windows

jkeeton72August 22, 2013
I need to replace these windows in a mid century modern and was wondering about window type / design. I thinking about larger windows but have no clue as to the type? Any help would be great. Thx Justin
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Why do you need to replace them? Unless windows are damaged or drafty, the cost (both money and carbon footprint) of new windows won't be recouped over the life of the window. This goes against what the window companies like to tell people but it is true. If you do replace them, keep the style and size the same. Those windows were designed intentionally to be small and high. This gives you privacy in the bedrooms and bathrooms inside, so you don't have to put up window treatments that will block the light. This was a common design feature used by architects in MCM design, which has unfortunately been mostly abandoned today. People now seem to think bigger windows are better no matter what. Today you see people installing large windows on the front of a home, which require thick curtains and blinds for privacy, and the bigger windows usually provide a view of just the road. These smaller windows accentuate the long low lines of your house, and inside you probably have a dramatic contrast between these windows versus the large windows off the public spaces with an excellent private view of the back yard. Usually with MCM design, when in doubt the best thing to do is stick as closely as possible to the original architect's design.
4 Likes    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:40AM
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Hi Justin -
What did you decide to do? I too have a mid century modern house and want to replace windows without sacrificing the clean lines. In my case, the existing, single-pane windows are extremely drafty and a couple have small holes (birds?)
    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:54PM
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We replaced all of the windows in our 1950's ranch. We had the same style windows you do. I'm short and couldn't see outside without standing on tip toes and they weren't energy efficient. Drafty & very claustrophobic. We put in longer, narrower double hungs and I love them. Our heating bills have decreased and I no longer feel like I'm in jail.

Unlike your house, we have a pitched roof, so the change wasn't an affront to the original style. You live there, so make it your own. Go window shopping, there are plenty of contemporary larger windows that will look fine. I quite frankly don't understand the current love affair with MCM. Change the windows to suit you, not some 60 year old style.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:28PM
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We are installing new windows from Anderson. They make a fibrex window in their 100 series, narrow lines. We are installing a larger window in the front and the two bedrooms. The house is so dark and it needs some light. The back windows will be full fixed windows, floor to ceiling.
I'll post pics after the installation
    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:13AM
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Looking forward to your pictures!!
    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 12:30PM
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Also Looking forward to your pictures!!
    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:29PM
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Here's a couple of pics from our Andersen 100 window install
1 Like    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 2:57PM
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The front window is the only one we enlarge. The rest of the MCM windows are still high, just Anderson
    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 2:58PM
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ísARK Studio
I love new the wood accent in the back. A lovely update and homage to the MCM style. We like Anderson 100 series and are specing out a black for the exterior on one of our upcoming projects. Is yours bronze on the exterior? What was the interior finish on the frames?

Congrats on your new updates!
    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 3:05PM
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Cool. I just chose Andersen 100s for my new build - which will be modern with an homage to mid-century. So good to see confirmation of the choice.

Also like the high windows. I will have them on the front and one side. I agree - an all but forgotten way to have both privacy and natural light.
    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 3:14PM
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ísARK Studio
What colors did you select for the frames (int/ext) on your remodel?

Also, congrats on your new build. I'm sure everyone would love to see your finished home. Andersen 100 is a great product at a really good price point (especially for new construction). The only product of Andersen I strongly encourage people to stay away from is the Renewal by Andersen replacement windows. These are essentially the same Fibrex material and very similar to the 100 but they are highly inflated in cost.
1 Like    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 3:47PM
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The exterior was cocoa bean and the interior was white.
    Bookmark   September 12, 2014 at 5:18AM
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2 Likes    Bookmark   September 12, 2014 at 5:19AM
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Correction!!!' The exterior was DARK BRONZE not cocoa bean.
1 Like    Bookmark   September 12, 2014 at 5:25AM
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