As I was re-doing my daughter's bedroom, I took the time to look more closely at our windows. All windows across the front of the house had an insert in them which was laid out like a wine rack - diagonal mesh, basically. You can see what I mean easily in this winter shot of the front of the house:
We hated that design with a passion, but figured we were stuck with it until we got time & money to replace the windows. As I was looking at the windows in my daughter's room, I noticed some small clips on the inside pane of glass, as well as some slide clips on the ugly insert. Being the super-genius that I am, I figured that if the glass could be removed without breaking the clips, I could remove the ugly. And so it happened. Two clips have broken so far due to being brittle with age, but the inserts are gone! I didn't take a proper "before" picture, as the wife and I were too happy about just being able to remove these damn things. Here's basically what we started with (ignore the ugly paint choice - my daughter is 9 and it was her choice):
A few minutes later and we're left with "normal" windows. Best part is now we don't have to replace the windows just to update the look of the house! There are two windows, however, which have the glass cracked on the outside pane which I'll have to replace and reglaze at some time in the future. Still better than replacing the whole window though. I consider this a 10 minute facelift which removed at least 10 years of age from the house.
On an unrelated note, does the Project Tracker I have on this blog show up properly on people's computers? It works fine for me at home, but at work it doesn't show any detail properly. Maybe due to a firewall??