December 8, 2014

Black Windows

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Ours was filled with demo and exposing more interesting (read: gross) aspects of the house.  Including a lot of dead bugs hidden under 30-something year-old carpeting.  Don’t act like you’re not jealous.

One of the first things we needed to figure out for the renovation was what windows and doors we were going to use.  Every single window and door in the house needs to be replaced.  I knew the minute we walked through the house I wanted black, thin framed windows.

Screenshot 2014-12-07 22.11.58 Screenshot 2014-12-07 22.10.38

Images found on Pinterest

Our architect got a bid for us and we thought we were good to go but then we figured out there was a problem.  Our bid was for white windows, not black.  Seemed easy enough to fix, right?  Just switch them to black.  But here’s the thing– black windows are extremely difficult to find and even more difficult to find at a reasonable price.

I give you the black window dilemma:

1)  The most economical option for windows is vinyl.  It’s also the most often used.  Very few vinyl windows come in black and those that do, only come in black on the outside, not the inside.

2)  You can’t paint vinyl windows and make them look good.  They just don’t wear well and the paint wouldn’t hold up to the elements well.

3)  The other options are aluminum, wood, and fiberglass.  I’ll break down each one.

4)  Aluminum is expensive.  Also, it doesn’t meet all energy efficiency requirements for our area.

5)  Wood is very expensive and we couldn’t find a thin frame option we liked.  They all looked a bit too traditional which didn’t really flow with the mid-century look we were going for.

6)  That left us with fiberglass.  Fiberglass is more expensive than vinyl, but not as high as the other two options.  The most economical/best fit for the style we wanted (aka thinnest frame possible) was also black on the outside and white on the inside, but you can paint fiberglass– hoorah!

In summary, we went with thin frame fiberglass, black on outside, white on inside, and plan to paint them on the inside to get the look we want.  Who knew it would be so complicated?  It feels so good to have this decision made and checked off our list.  Windows and doors are a big investment and mistakes can be costly.

We looked at a bunch of different brands but ended up going with Anderson windows on special at Home Depot for Black Friday.

One tip: if you’re planning a remodel or new build, order windows and doors as soon as possible.  They take a while to make and get in, as they are often custom sizes, and you don’t want that to hold you up.

We’re still narrowing down the front door option.  I have something specific in mind and we just want to make sure we get it right.  That is the next thing we need to order, as it could also take a while to get in.

Lots more on the new/old house coming this week!  Stay tuned….


  1. Jane

    December 8th, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Do they come in any other colors on the inside? Like a tan or gray? If you order them in the darkest available color, it won’t take as many coats to get them from the original color to black.

  2. jan

    December 8th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    The black windows are going to be awesome!!! Who knew they would be so hard to get. One day if I ever build or remodel I want to definitely do black framed windows.

  3. Jenny Kearl

    December 11th, 2014 at 10:37 am

    You mentioned that different types come with black on the outside and white one the inside. Could you just switch the frame part of the window around? Put the black inside and white outside, bit the opening mechanisms inside? Good luck.

  4. Jen

    December 15th, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Hi Jenny. We looked at every option we could find and it many of the options came in black or other colors on the outside, but only white, cream or tan on the inside. We were only able to find one option – fiberglass – that comes in black on both sides, but it was quite a bit more expensive than black on the outside and white on the inside. Unfortunately, the window frame is built in such a way that it wouldn’t be possible to install them the opposite way, with the exterior on the interior and vice versa. We tried everything, and we were actually surprised at how few good options there are if you are going for this look. Thanks for reading!

  5. Rebecca_FeltBallRug

    December 17th, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I like your idea of black, thin-framed windows but who new it was so difficult! I’m glad you found a solution that’s going to work though, I can’t wait to see photos of the final product!

    But from the photos you’ve already shared I just love the simplicity of the thin-framed, black windows against the white! I feel like it is great inspiration for a simple black and white, geometric designed Felt Ball Rug! Don’t you agree?!

  6. abe gaskins

    December 19th, 2014 at 5:16 am

    Actually you can paint vinyl windows. We do it every day at our factory. Also, we have a black paint that will work on vinyl.

  7. Jen

    December 24th, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Hi Abe, yes, you can paint them but in my opinion the durability isn’t the same and the paint can scratch off. Because these windows are going to be exposed to some harsh elements, we opted for another solution. Thanks!

  8. How to Paint Windows Black (video) - withHEART

    May 20th, 2015 at 12:26 am

    […] much the entire design for the house stemmed from that decision.  In a previous post, I shared the drama rama with getting black windows and gave you the different options as well as […]

  9. Alana

    November 17th, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Cam you PLEASE PLEASE WORTH A CHERRY ON TOP tell me exactly which windows you used? I have been shrugging wroth this very same issue and have only found Andersen 400 or A series exterior black interior wood. The biggest issue is that when you buy interior unfinished thewindow screens also come unfinished wood or white (did you paint this ad well? ) I am also trying to find an economical way to get all blackin my mid century home. Thanks!

  10. Michan

    February 1st, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Try Milgard ultra fiberglass windows. They come in black interior black exterior and they’re very thin framed but they are expensive.
    The screens are black hardware comes in brushed chrome dark bronze another choices. Milgard makes excellent products and they have full lifetime warranties .

  11. Autumn

    February 16th, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Hey Jen, I hope you see this and can respond 😉 Can you please share which Andersen series you went with? I am struggling to find the same.

  12. Jen

    February 19th, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Autumn, I cannot remember! Let me see if I can dig it up somewhere! Standby

  13. Meghan Martin

    March 11th, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Did you ever share where you purchased or which series windows these are? Thanks

  14. Jen

    April 2nd, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    Hi there, we purchased from Andersen Windows via Home Depot.

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She’s Jen. He’s Jon. We’re believers in the power of home, fearless DIYers, and eternal optimists who know with a can-do spirit, elbow grease and some guidance, you can create a home you love. We love a good project—or 20. Stick around and we’ll have you pulling out the paint brushes and fluffing throw pillows in no time.

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