Windows bring light, warmth, and beauty to a home. But over the years, like other components of a house, they get worn out and eventually need to be replaced.
The life expectancy of a window will vary based on its materials and your location, but most should last about 20 years. When it's time to upgrade, don't just toss those old panes—upcycle them into something cool.
“The five signs you need to replace your windows are: rising heating and cooling costs, drafts on windy days, difficulty raising and lowering windows, condensation between glass panes, and cold-to-the-touch glass,” says Brad Roberson, president of Glass Doctor.
Once you've determined it's time for a window refresh, consider what you can do with those old frames. Old windows can be repurposed into pieces of art, furniture, and even organizing solutions for your home.
Not planning on replacing your windows any time soon? You can also find discarded old windows at junkyards and thrift stores.
So gather up those antiquated panes and try out one of the following creative projects.
Wall art, picture frames
The most common way to repurpose window frames is as wall decor, using them to frame photos or paintings.
“Place patterned paper inside the old window frame, to create an inexpensive work of art,” says David Flax, vice president of operations at Window Genie.
Or unleash your inner Picasso and paint your own work of art. Maggie Houseknecht, who runs Rightupmyalley on Etsy, has been repurposing old windows since the late 1990s. Her shop features repurposed windows made into beautiful hand-painted art and furniture.
“Flowers brighten my day, so I love to create various flower scenes, in the hopes of adding cheer to any home,” says Houseknecht.
Entryway key holder
Turn something old into something new by reusing your old window to liven up your entryway and provide a handy place to leave keys.
“With the help of a few hooks, an old window can be made into a rustic key holder for your entryway,” says Flax.
After sanding and repainting the frame, he suggests, simply attach a few hooks along the bottom for keys, hats, and other small items.
With a little imagination and a single old window, you can create a one-of-a-kind message board for your home.
Secure colored or patterned paper behind the glass panes and write on the glass, as you would on a dry-erase board.
“Your family will love writing little messages and reminders to one another!” says Flax.
Old windows can also be reused to make a blackboard for the kitchen, mudroom, or breakfast nook. Flax says you can do this by painting the panes with chalkboard paint.
If your window frame is missing glass, apply chalkboard paint to the wall in the shape of a square, and hang the frame in front of it.
The coffee table is the centerpiece of any living room, and sometimes it can even serve as a conversation starter. Show off your DIY skills by building a piece of furniture out of an old window.
“This project requires a bit more effort, but the results can be stunning. You’ll need to replace the old panes with safety glass, mount the frame to scrap wood for extra stability, and attach a leg to each corner,” says Kevin Busch, vice president of operations at Mr. Handyman.
Marty Walden, who runs the blog Marty’s Musings, says it took her and her husband three to four hours to repurpose a window into a coffee table. They even installed a hinge, so that the top of the table opens up. Books and magazines can be placed underneath and exposed through the glass.
Showcase your necklaces and earrings—and keep them from getting tangled—with a wall-mounted jewelry organizer made from an antique window.
“Replace the glass with chicken wire, and install a few hooks on the frame,” says Flax. “Now you have the perfect place to store and display your jewelry collection.”
Article source: Realtor.com
Author: Anayat Durrani is a freelance education reporter for U.S. News and World Report. Her work has been featured in Military Officer, California Lawyer, the American Scholar, and PracticeLink magazines.