09 January 2009

no vinyl (grillz is for teefs)

we spotted this travesty while walking lil' miss mona not so long ago, and just had to write a post about it, especially after reading an article in the home section of last saturday's los angeles times entitled "Bad design trends we hope die in 2009". well, this is a trend that maison21 would like to personally drive a stake through: vinyl windows. so many ways from wrong, we just can't stand it.
why would anyone do such a thing to a gorgeous historic building, like this 1920's spanish style duplex in m21's neighborhood? so stylistically inappropriate in every way- wrong proportion, wrong pane size, wrong color (can't paint that sh*t), wrong material (you know, like they had plastic in historical spain). wrong, wrong, wrong.
when we got home and downloaded the pics, we used the google for more info on this purveyor of urban blight, and discovered the final tragedy of the wrongness of the vinyl window: you what the manufacturer calls those cheap little strips of plastic overlaid on the glass? the grids that are supposed to fool one into thinking they are actually composed of multiple panes of glass? (like we're falling for it, 'cuz we're both blind and stupid). the klassy marketing term they use instead of "muntins", the real word for the strips of real wood or metal that divide the lights (panes) of a real window? they call them grilles.

wrong. this is not a grille- it's cheap, and looks it. real grilles should cost some real monies.
now these? these are real grills:
so remember when remodeling your home, just say no to vinyl- 'cuz grillz ain't for windoz, grillz is for teefs!

17 comments:

katiedid said...

Hahaha! One of my pet "peefs" of all time. Just say no to vinyl!!!! Poor, poor house.

My Decor Style said...

You are hilarious and I TOTALLY agree - those windows are awful. Have a great day!

Beaux Mondes Designs said...

Too funny Maison21

I agree. We just completed an addition to our Tudor revival which was built in 1924. Our contractor tried to convince us that vinyl windows were cost effective and would not be noticeable. We disagreed and insisted on spending the extra money for wood. We are so glad we did. Another issue was the ceiling height. As much as we would have liked higher ceilings in the new family room and master suite, we couldn't bring ourselves to deviate from the original design of the home with its 8 ft. high ceilings. We're happy we made that decision as well. Great post and thanks for the laugh. Have a great weekend.

Leah said...

Such a travesty -- it physically pains me when I see these windows on vintage homes.

We had to replace all the windows at our last house, a little 1941 cottage. The original windows were steel (but not the nice kind), and had completely rusted through. Custom divided-light wood windows were prohibitively expensive -- about $2K each. We initially thought that vinyl was our only option, and were just heartsick about it.

But then we did some research and discovered fiberglass windows. The have a much more substantial, period-appropriate look, can be painted on the outside and clad in wood on the inside so they're virtually indistinguisable from real wood windows. Plus, the custom-sized grids are placed on top of the glass, both inside and out, vs. sandwiched in between it. Even better, they're half the price of wood windows (and not all that much more than vinyl) and they last for decades (vs. vinyl, which will yellow, dry out, and crack and have to be replaced again inside of ten years).

Our new windows looked great, and we got tons of compliments on them. We even had people pull their cars over and knock on the door to ask about them and to get our installer's number.

I still wish folks would go for wood on any kind of period, architecturally significant home. But if wood isn't an option because of the expense, fiberglass is a much better option than eyesore vinyl. Just my two cents!

Tracy said...

Forgive me, Maison21, for I have sinned. Against my house, against the laws of good design and against my better sensibilities. But when you live in a featureless stucco box built in 1974 Southern California (I know you know what I'm talking about), vinyl "grilles" can work wonders. For your sad little home's appearance, for your cooling and heating bills and for your not-so-big window budget. (And let me add in my own defense that we did "upgrade" to the fancier, dimensional grilles.) Having said all that, know that I would NEVER use vinyl in a home with an actual architectural pedigree. I just don't happen to own one. Please don't think less of me.

maison21 said...

excellent suggestion leah- the fiberglass windows, while not aesthetically perfect, are a much more palatable option than vinyl, and aren't so outrageously expensive as custom wood, or even more expensive custom metal.

and to both leah and tracy-

i really, really hesitated before writing this post because it has a "let them eat cake" feel to it. trust me, i know all about not having the money to renovate in the style you would like- that's why my thrift store couture brand of decorating was born, i simply could not afford the good stuff so made do with slightly worn & torn versions of the look i would like to be accustomed.

i also know my "thrift store couture" mentality doesn't work when actually constructing a building (though savaged windows are an option when remodeling), so tracy, like me with my hideous hardwood floors, we simply have to make the best with what we have- either decorate with window treatments to distract, or probably as a better option (and the one i personally use), just turn a blind eye to the unaesthetic but immovable problem. "vinyl windows? what vinyl windows- i have no idea what you are talking about".

denial can be a beautiful thing.

Topsy Turvy said...

HI-larious!

-Lana

Habitually Chic said...

Oh no they didn't! That is just wrong and I'm sorry you had to see it.

Ryannan Bryer de Hickman said...

Definitely an atrocity - Someone needs to intervene!

MIMILEE said...

I TOTALLY agreez wich ya! Ha!

Velvet and Linen said...

Too funny.
That window is a tragedy!

xo

Suzy said...

That is so tragic!

ArchitectDesign said...

OMG I AGREE. At work we never let a client put in vinyl windows, thank god. The first thing I did when my parnets moved into their new house was to remove all the 'grilles' from their windows - it helped....

erika said...

oh my gosh. you crack me up. couldn't agree with you more.

Paloma {La Dolce Vita} said...

Ugh! It makes me so sad that someone would let that house detoriorate like that. Luckily for me, you are effin' hilarious and I am cracking up at the rest of your post!

muralimanohar said...

Ew. Just, ew.

erin@designcrisis said...

You are too funny!

So, what's worse: vinyl or gross 1970s aluminum? Because we have some very ugly windows on our mid 60s ranch house and I'd love to replace them, but DIZANG windows are expensive!