It seems that we get at least one phone call or email per day asking if we buy old windows. Aurora Mills purchases as many windows as we can, but unfortunately so many people are replacing their old windows that we cannot possibly rescue all of them from the landfill. The sad part is that many of the windows don’t even need to be taken out; they just need some simple retrofits and repairs. By doing those simple repairs homeowners can retain the original character of their homes, still add energy efficiency, and save money. The payback in energy savings is, at a minimum, 50 years, but more along the 100 year mark. Check out this link for more details, but we haven’t seen any study that has any kind of short time return on your investment.
If you really have to replace you windows, think about these great ways to upcycle them. We wrote a blog article a while ago about making green houses and cold frames, but here is another example of great reuse.
Robert Ralph of Green Ridge Windows makes some amazing hand crafted cabinets using recycled old windows. All of his cabinets are made from wood milled from sustainable forests wherever possible, he uses vintage hardware (hinges, knobs), water based paints, and a portion of his proceeds are donated to the Deschutes Land Trust. Here are some examples of his work: