As I posted Saturday, we had new windows put in. We've lived with them for nearly a week now and while they're obviously not the real wood gorgeous authentic craftsman style windows (also known as "we'll never go on vacation again if we get these windows" windows), they are a vast improvement over the aluminum windows that were installed sometime in the 1980s, and installed incorrectly at that. When we're using the washing machine, the windows no longer rattle. When BART starts at 4:58 a.m., I no longer hear it. When it's windy, our curtains no longer blow in the wind (and yes, that's with the former windows closed).
And yes, we went with vinyl. I know that's a major sin among the more hardcore of the craftsman enthusiasts, but we were well beyond the point where we could refurbish the original windows as by the time we moved in they had become landfill somewhere and it just wasn't realistically in our budget to buy the "good" real wood windows. So we went with what worked for our budget and what would make our house a more energy efficient place to live and this time around that meant the evil vinyl.
And you know what? I'm okay with this. Sure it would be nice to have been able to afford $30k on new windows, but we can't. We can afford what we can afford and however you slice it, it was an improvement over what was here when we moved in. So I'm happy. I'm warm. And I'm feeling good about how they came out and what we paid for them.
I thought I had taken a picture of the windows from outside, but there wasn't anything on my camera so clearly I'm mistaken. I'll have to do that this weekend.