Windows (Part 1)

This is a complicated topic for me.

I love old glass. I love how it melts and distorts and changes the view.  I love the kaleidoscope effect it has as I look through the window while walking across the room.

I love old wood. I love the character of it, the chips and splinters. I love the energy it absorbs over the decades, and how it radiates warmth to the touch.

I love classic styles.  And I abhor plastic.

When we moved in, I wanted to repair the windows. Preserve the classic beauty and style of wood sash windows.  How can I buy a 120-year-old house and install vinyl windows?  How could I not maintain the integrity of the architectural style?

I wanted to know every alternative to vinyl windows. I talked to everyone that had them, and everyone that didn’t.  I saw the cheaper vinyl windows that were falling apart. I saw the high-end vinyl windows with disappearing screens.  And to this day, as I’m walking through the neighborhood, I study the houses with them, and without.

Windows aren’t normally cost-effective to change.  Energy-saving guides don’t recommend changing the windows as a first step toward insulating the home.

But then again, they haven’t seen my windows.

A half-inch gap between bottom rail and stool.

Sash cords and pulleys are completely painted over.

Nails have been “installed” as locking mechanisms (and painted over).

Stool has many chips out of it. I assume it’s from many times the window has been painted over, and then pried open. (This window is by the back door. We’ve used it ourselves to climb in when we were locked out by Sam.)

The locks are in disrepair and often screwed into wood that’s rotting.

Some windows without pulleys have sash bolts, completely painted shut of course.

Sash locks, painted many times.

Another gap.

What do you think of vinyl windows on an old house?  Tacky?

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1 Comment

  1. Amy Clifton

     /  November 2, 2012

    Practical and affordable! More important to be warm….


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