New Window Style Choices (Plus, I Found The Perfect Installer!)

I think finding the right sub-contractor to do work in your house is much like a relationship with a significant other — when it’s right, you just know it.  You may be able to put your finger on exactly why it’s right, or you may not.  It might just be a “feeling” that you have.  But either way, you just know. And when it comes to window installers, I’m certain I’ve found my perfect match.

I’m sure you could tell in my last post that I was feeling pretty frustrated and discouraged about windows.  My experience with that window company actually wasn’t my first attempt at finding someone to install new windows.  I had already talked with and “interviewed” two or three other installers, and I just didn’t get that feeling that any of them were right for the job.  For whatever reason — either telling me that what I wanted wouldn’t work, or telling me that a building permit isn’t needed for that kind of job when I know it is, or giving me ridiculously high quotes, or showing up really late for the appointment (something that doesn’t really convey trustworthiness and dependability IF they don’t call or text to let me know they’ll be late) — I just didn’t get that feeling that I wanted to hire them for the job.  So the window company that I told you about on Wednesday was about my fourth attempt, and when it went south, that’s when my frustration and discouragement set in.

Then it dawned on me.  I have a plumber who I absolutely love and trust.  And since he’s a self-employed local small business owner (it’s just him and his assistant), I bet he knows other self-employed small business owners who could do just about anything I need done on my house!  So I texted him, and he sent me a name right away.  I called this framer/window installer, and was impressed almost immediately.  I told him what I wanted, and then said explicitly, “I do not want replacement windows!”  And without skipping a beat, he said, “Oh no, you don’t want those!  You want everything taken out and everything replaced.”  Aaahhhh…he gets me.  🙂  I had a good feeling about this.

So he came yesterday morning to measure and give me an estimate for installation.  He had given me a time frame when he would show up, and said he would text when he was on his way.  He texted me, and showed up during the time frame he gave me.  Bonus points for reliability.  And on top of that, I really liked him.  He was easy to talk to, he understood exactly what I wanted, and he explained things to me very clearly.

My next “test” for him was the front window.  I told him that the other company had told me that I’d have to keep the windows in the same configuration as they are now because the two vertical pieces separating the casement windows from the center picture window are load bearing.

dining room windows - 1

He said, “You don’t have to keep this configuration.  You can put whatever kind of window in there you want.  It just has to be framed correctly.”

I could have hugged him.  Seriously.  I refrained because…awkward…but I wanted to.  😀

Anyway, he said that if I wanted one solid window there (like a big picture window), he would just need to be sure that there’s a 12-inch header above the window.  If there’s not one there, he could add one.  No big deal.  But if I wanted three separate windows of equal width, and it turns out that those vertical pieces are load-bearing, then he could just move them over so that they’re spaced equally.

I just loved his “can do” attitude.  He didn’t make anything seem impossible or too difficult, and on the flip side of that, he didn’t act as if this job wasn’t worth his time.

My final “test” was when I asked him if he would have to pull a building permit for the job.  I think something in the way I worded or asked the question gave him the impression that I didn’t want a permit pulled for this job, and he seemed kind of reluctant to answer the question outright.  But he finally said, “Well, I would definitely want to.  The people in the permit office know me and trust me, and I’d hate for them to catch me doing a job like this without a permit.  It would ruin my credibility, and since this is what I do, I couldn’t really use ignorance as an excuse.”  Bonus points again!  🙂  I assured him that I definitely do want him to pull a permit.  He seemed relieved.

So it took a few months and several tries, but I finally found my perfect match.  Now I just need to get my windows ordered this afternoon to get this ball rolling.  He offered to order the windows for me, but he also gave me the exact dimensions of the windows I’ll need, along with the names of people at two local lumber yards (where the local builders go — they don’t buy windows at Home Depot or Lowe’s) who I could contact myself and order the windows directly from them.  And since there are so many options when it comes to windows, I chose to order them myself so that I can better understand my options and make an educated decision.

The main decision I need to make before I head over there this afternoon is regarding the style.  I’ve just kind of assumed all along that I would go with this 6-over-6 divided lite design.  I love the way it looks, and I know it fits the style and age of the house since all of the original windows in this house are this style.

6 over 6 windows

But when I was looking at window options last night, I also came across this 6-over-1 style.

6 over 1 divided light windows

Matt likes the second one better, but insisted that I not make my decision based on that.  He wants me to have the one that I like better, but I honestly don’t know which one that is.  It might come down to a spur-of-the-moment decision as I’m placing my order this afternoon.

I’m just so excited to finally be moving in the right direction with this!  And I’m so thankful that I’ve finally found an installer who I like and trust.

Oh, and I did finally hear back from that other company.  Here’s what they said:

Hi Kristi,

I got with the installer [in Richardson, 110 miles away] and unfortunately due to his schedule and distance, he would not be able to do the re-framing.  If you can get a contractor to reframe the openings, we could come in with our windows.  The issue I see is, the contractor would have to frame it up to your liking…then give me the measurements to order.  I would be 6-8 weeks out from that point to get them ordered, so you would have holes in the house for that amount of time.

Holes in my house for up to two months?  Ummm…no thanks.  When it’s not right, you just know it.  And sometimes you can put your finger on exactly the reason(s) why.



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  1. So glad you have found your perfect match!!
    Call me crazy, but I would be really interested to know what each of those window styles would look like from the outside (quick rendering??) Windows make such a difference from the outside too!

    1. Good idea! I’m such an “interior” person that I often forget to consider how my choices will affect the exterior. And windows are kind of a big deal when it comes to the exterior! 😀

      1. I really like the 6 over 1. 6/6 is a little much and maybe a little dated. You dont see them much anymore. You may like a 3 over 1 top and a solid on the bottom. You will be amazed at how many choices there are. You can put the grids practically anywhere. Divide each window into 4 or put a grid all the way around the window a bout 2 inches in. You will want to know what it looks like on the outside. Maybe photo shop them into the plan you had for the outside. So happy you found a trusted contractor!!

  2. I love the six over one windows. I think they are nod to the traditional, but with a slightly more modern feel. I think the six over six may be a little too fussy especially if you decide to do molding on the walls in the dining room, and not just on the entry wall.

    1. I agree with the 6(or less)-over-1, but mostly: YAAAAAAAAAAY for you finding someone you feel is trustworthy! That is a huge accomplishment in so many areas of life these days. I wanted to cheer when he said that he didn’t want to break the trust of the permit office or ruin his credibility. I wish there was a gift-giving category in our culture that was along the lines of graduations or birthdays but celebrated integrity!

      1. Yes, Lauren. Celebrate integrity. Now there’s a reason to celebrate! His replies to Kristi’s questions made me want to hire him.

  3. I love the 6 over 1. I have that style in my house and it really lets in more light! My windows are old, so I have removable wooden dividers on the inside. I just removed them one day and have never looked back.

  4. I knew the frustration wouldn’t last long, and thought that your plumber (that I know you love) might know a local window installer. So glad he came through for you! Can’t wait to see the process. And, if we’re voting…. I love that 6 over 1 window, I might need to look into that when we replace our living room window (3 in a row, just like your picture).

  5. Yay for windows! He sounds like a great fit! I love his concern about wanting to stay credible.

    I love the 6 over 1. It’s fresher to me. The 6 over 6 might end up looking busy with all of the picture frame trim on the walls. You don’t want your walls and windows competing. But, I would definitely update your “future” outside view, too, to see what the outside looks like. I think the 6 over 1 would look great, but you should check.

  6. I am so happy you found your “perfect match”. Personally, I love the 6 over 1 but it is your house. I know you will pick the one that matches the look you are going for.

  7. are the mutton’s between the glass, I put in new windows in. with them there, very easy to clean, but my living room window I did not replace , it has the wooden frames in the inside ( which I hate to clean ) really just wondering ?

  8. Have you given any thought on casement windows? I agree that you should look from the outside before making the final decision. Very happy you have found the right person.

    1. I like the double hung. Easy to clean from the inside & I think you get a better air flow when you open them than casement. Casement you still need to go outside to clean them on the outside. As you get older you would not want to do that. I always bought the 6 over 6. Grid between the class. I really like the 6 over 3 thou. Question: is he going to have to remove your siding to put these in. Can’t wait to see the finished project.

  9. Are the windows actually six individual panes or one solid pane with the insert to make it look like 6 panes? (the latter is in my home). If the insert……you could remove it as you please.

  10. Yeah… 6-8 weeks for a hole in your house… um.. no thank you. Why can’t a contractor just tell you- I don’t wanna fuss with your job. It’s outside my comfort zone and “box” of knowkdege and don’t want to lose money on a job possibly learning something that might guarantee work in the future. HA!!!

    In other news- Amen to good contractors with work ethic and experience!!! AND the people who know them and can spread their existence willingly. 😀

  11. I just want to add something for you to really think about- if the mullions are inside the glass or outside. Mine are inside and I won’t be doing that again, but that’s personal. I prefer the option of painting them over the ease of cleaning (would love to go with black trim and doors right now). So I just thought I’d throw that into the mix.

  12. Kristi,

    Windows I had in my previous house had removable muntins. Would this be an options for you? That way you could either have them in or take them out, as you wish and wouldn’t be locked into making a “permanent” decision. Just a though…

  13. I know what you mean about the perfect fit in a contractor. I trust mine completely and he always works with me trying to do exactly what i request. I am in the minority but i like the 6 over 6. A new house is being built in my neighborhood and the windows are plain with what looks like a double white line etched all around the perimeter of the windows. It looks great! Good luck & i cant wait to see the finished product!!

  14. Your post made me laugh! I am not sure how such stupid vendors actually stay in business! And they assume you don’t know anything. Glad you found someone you like. Like many of the other commentors, I like the six over 1 configuration. I have the 6 over 6 in my house and wish I had the others. One thing you may have already thought of, if you get a window with the framing within the glass, it makes for much easier cleaning when that season comes. I do love that about my windows.

  15. So happy it worked out for you. That was too frustrating. I’ve dealt with window world a few times and I guess I got lucky that I didn’t need anything special. So they were fine.

    On the window I prefer the 6/6. I have that in my house now. And I just love the balanced finished look.

  16. So happy you are getting to do your windows and finally have the right contractor. In my humble opinion I would go with casement windows no to the grid look and definitely look at rendering with view from outside. I just think with all the trim in your home and then the windows with grid either 6/6 or 6/1 would just be so busy and distracting. Again just my humble opinion and will of course continue to admire your vision for YOUR home, and Matt sounds like the perfect hubs in the “I like but do what makes you happy” genre. LOL have a beautiful blessed day.

  17. Happy for you! Finding GOOD subs for those jobs you don’t want to tackle yourself is worth the extra money. Thanks too for giving this small business owner some work 🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. Yay! Nothing better than a great handyman! You should give his name to the ‘other’ window company. Give him more business! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  19. So glad you found an installer. The big national companies generally just want the standard in/out jobs. I have a local father/son plumbing business in my contacts. They are great.

    I like the 6 over 1. It is less busy and you get an uninterrupted view on the bottom.

  20. I’m sorry, I just can’t get over the “holes in your house” comment. That is SO horrible that it’s hilarious! LOL Seriously dude? Yeah, seems like a reasonable comment to make to a customer *sarcasm* So glad you found someone reasonable, nice and knowledgeable to work with!

  21. SO glad you found the right tradesman. Please consider removable mullions, easier to clean the glass and if you ever want to change the size, or color, of the dividers it is easy.

  22. For the style, play with mockups of inside and out. You want interior and exterior looks as the others have said.
    Mullions- can be outside or sandwiched. You are choosing between easily changing colors vs easy cleaning.

    After reading your post earlier this week, I noticed the DIY channel has heavily sold advertising to the company you wrote about. Amusingly, the shows install a different company’s product in the homes. Logo is prominent, but not really verbalized.

    I’ll follow along since our house has the original 40+ windows on it.

  23. I would go with the 1 over 1. Especially if you love to open your blinds or drapes. Then it is like having no windows at all, just a beautiful view of the outdoors.

  24. And if the windows do go as well as planned, you will then have two resources to suggest local tradesmen in the future–yourself or family/friends. What a great tip that I will always remember. Thanks!

  25. Great news for you! Just FYI- We have the first window option, the 6 over 6. Personally I don’t like it because I find it quite distracting, even annoying, looking out the window.

  26. This is awesome news and more reason to love your plumber! I love the 6/6 personally. Mine are between the sheets of glass and makes for easy cleaning. Since I have no intention of painting other than white it is not an issue for me. The 6/1 is kind of like a ball gown top with a pair of yoga pants 🙂

    More interested in which looks best with the outside of your home!

  27. Glad it worked out! I love my plumber and I have asked him for recommendations for other people. Trust the people you trust. Glad you are going to a lumber yard, such better quality and more options. Everyone on here seems to be in favor of six over one. I have six over six on my second floor, and nine over nine on my first. I love them. But my house is very southern looking even though I am in the north east. Happy for you. Blessings

  28. We live in the country and have large open windows (no mullions) so as to have an unobstructed view. I also do not use full coverage drapes or blinds or curtains (except in bedrooms). I love the airy openness and light and could not stand looking through mullions all the time, just my humble opinion. Everyone is different, so do what you like. Of the 2 pictured, I prefer the 6/1, but would prefer 1/1 if it were my own home. I love your hubby’s viewpoint tho, he’s a keeper! Mine is much the same way. Happy wife = happy life!!

  29. So happy you finally found the “right” sub. Do you have any idea how the cost of using his services and ordering the windows yourself compares to the other bids you received? I will be replacing the front windows on my 1950 ranch soon and like you did not care for the responses I was getting. So this information would be really valuable.

    Regarding the style, why not get the 6/1 or 6/6 with removable mullions. That way you can keep your options open although I know that will cost more. Also, congrats on your new HVAC system, they are the best.


  30. I like both window styles. The most important thing to me would be that all the windows in the house be the same style. You would know better, but a neighbor replaced the windows in her dining room bay with solid glass, no panes. The windows can’t be opened. The rest of the house has 6 over 6 windows, making the new windows a stylistic and historical incongruity. When our house was added onto years ago, the contractor installed windows in the addition that don’t match the old. Argggh! The job must have gone to the lowest bidder.

  31. It’s so nice to have some tradesmen who do good work. You had the plumber, now you have this new guy, and he probably knows some others–you know, he knows two friends, and they know two friends, and so on. Good for you!

  32. Hi Kristi: I like the ones with the mullions only on the upper half. I can say from experience that we have all our front windows with mullions, and if I had it to do over again, I actually would not have mullions at all. They obstruct the view to much. I like the clear panes of glass. Have a great weekend :0)

  33. I grew up in a craftsman house built around 1920 and it had the 6 over 1, which would also fit your house. Go for it!

  34. I usually don’t comment on post. But here I go..
    We are house building so I am googling windows and came to this.
    The 6/6 is definitely dated back to the 80’s.
    Here are other reasons why I don’t prefer them.
    The crosses block your view. Unless you are up close everything has a bar running through it. 2. It brings the eye into look at the windows. It is like framing your windows like a picture. Instead of looking at your curtains or something else, your eye is drawn to the crosses.
    I have this style now and hate them every day!

  35. I’m wondering if the 6/6 would be too busy with all of the trim work you plan to do. Looking forward to seeing what you decide.

  36. Dertmernation has certainly payed off. Well done Kirsti, and I’m sure you will follow you heart and choose what makes you the happiest. ????

  37. Kristi, I want to be sure I understand something you wrote above. “I do not want replacement windows!” And without skipping a beat, he said, “Oh no, you don’t want those! You want everything taken out and everything replaced.” Did you mean you didn’t want to just replace the glass but all the frames too? We have several windows that have “failed” i.e. condensation can be seen between the two panes of glass. The frames are perfectly fine. Is there any reason why we couldn’t just have the glass replaced? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Nancy, I have had my failed windows repaired. I went through Home Again to find a window repair contractor. Repair is the key word. The contractor came out and measured the window (double pane with grids between), ordered the window, and installed it in the existing vinyl frames. Then they put the window back in the outer frame and looks like new. You may want to see if your windows still have some warranty on them. My failed windows were under some warranty. This time I had to pay labor but the window materials were covered 100%. I have been in this house so long that I am on my second set of replacement windows! New ones are even more energy efficient than the first set.

      1. Oh thanks Kristi. Your answer eases my mind and repairing is what we are planning to do. I feel your pain in trying to decide how you want to go with your windows.We are remodeling a bathroom. Who knew there were so many decisions to be made for just one small room. Love following your remodeling journey.

      2. Clarice, i am so sorry I didn’t look at your name on your reply to my question. I appreciate you sharing your window experience with me. I am looking forward to getting our windows repaired. Thanks again.

  38. I would go for plain old 1over 1. Who needs/wants all those mullions to clean, paint or distract your view or add fussiness that isn’t necessary.

  39. I have 6 over 6 (original to the house built in ’75 – still in great shape). But if I ever replace them, I’ll definitely go with 6 over 1 or even 3 over 1. Glad you found a contractor you’re happy with ! I’ve had the same experience and finding a great contractor makes ALL the difference. Can’t wait to see what you decide.

    1. Window World is who I originally called (who couldn’t find anyone closer than 110 miles to frame my windows). Their windows plus the price of a separate contractor to frame the windows would have cost me about $500 more for my dining room windows than the price I got going through a local lumberyard and hiring my own framer to install.

  40. I really like the 6/1 look – fresh, stylish, and not as busy. Most homes in this area are Colonials so 6/6 is prevalent. So I usually associate 6/6 with Colonial and I don’t think that is the direction you are going. So happy you found the perfect contractor!!

  41. My house was built in the 40s and all my windows are 6/1 and I love them. Washing all those little panes can be a pain 🙂

  42. Who wants to look out the window and see lines? Option #2 for sure. I say that interior view trumps exterior view. How often are you standing outside your house looking at the windows?

    My living room windows are being replaced in 3 weeks. 3 picture windows. All are 5 feet tall, the 2 on the ends are 2 ft wide, the one in the middle is 4 ft wide.

  43. A big yes to the power of recommendations. My father has owned a small home remodeling business ( small as in just him) for about 30 years and I can’t recall the last time he worked for a new client that didn’t come to him through a recommendation of his network of plumbers, electricians, etc who he also trusts and recommends.

  44. Does your plumber know any contracting guys in Weatherford? 🙂 (Serious question!) I’m getting the same feeling about contractors we’ve gotten quotes from for insulation; I’m afraid to even get quotes for our windows!

  45. We decided to go with a six over one on our Colonial house. It originally had 6 over 6, but I always felt the view was obstructed by gridlines. When we replaced the windows, we went with a 6 over 1 and I LOVE that I get an unobstructed view to the outside through the bottom portion of the window. It’s not the most traditional look, but it works for us. Added bonus…it’s so much easier to clean the windows. The kids tend to dirty the bottom portions of the windows (or maybe kitty noseprints, in your case!) and it’s so much easier to not have to clean individual panes (if that’s how they are designed.)

  46. Have you seen this bank of 3 windows with very Kristi like built-ins on each side in Coastal Living Magazine’s Ultimate Style Guide for 2015, page 24? So you and so fresh!

  47. There is a lot to be said for word of mouth recommendations. It’s good to support small business people also. I hope all turns out well.

    I like the symmetry of the 6 over 6 windows but the view to the outdoors will be better with the 6 over 1. Not very helpful, am I? LOL