My sunroom's old wood windows are weathered and in bad shape. I would replace the windows, but I live in a historic district and the cost would be astronomical. I would like to have someone clean the window sashes and sand down the window frames, then refinish all the wood with some sort of exterior sealer. What kind of contractor does this type of work? There are 7 windows total, what might project cost me?
Jennifer ~ St. Louis
Hi Jennifer. Depending on the shape they're in, restoring wood windows can be labor intensive, but can usually be accomplished without too much trouble. My first choice for the task would be a painting contractor, but I would do some research to ensure they had experience in working with wood windows -- not all painting contractors do. If St. Louis has a large historic district, you should be able to find a painting contractor who specializes in working on old houses.
I would also feel comfortable hiring a general contractor with old house experience. There are enough old homes around, and people who love them, that there are contractors who do most of their work on restorations. There are also a few manufacturers who offer new windows with historically accurate features and modern energy efficiency. A general contractor who specializes in old house restorations might know if any of these are approved for your historic district.
As far as price, it's very difficult to tell without seeing the windows. If they are true divided lites and have numerous mullions between the panes, that can definitely push the cost higher. Of course, the size of the windows will also be a factor. If the windows are about 3' x 5', just refinishing both sides might cost about $100 to $150 per window. If wood or glass repairs are needed, the cost could be higher.
I recommend that you have several local painting or general contractors take a look at the project and provide estimates that should provide a more accurate idea of the total cost.