Types Of Old Wood Windows

What Types Of Wood Is Used For Windows

The Three Most Common Wood Window Replacement Methods

Pine is the go-to choice and all our windows are designed with pine.

Sometimes a different look is desired, and Douglas Fir shows more vertical grain, even through the finish. It is also a slightly more durable option than pine because it contains more heartwood, but keep in mind that a lot of the durability comes from the design of a window and if its designed to resist water well.

Honduran Mahogany is the most stable and durable wood option and will perform well for a long time. The one place to avoid using Honduran Mahogany is in a condensing environment, such as a pool or hot tub room.

Here, Wallace shares five things you probably dont know about wood and windows.

Towel Rack And Mirror Combined

Pipe clamps and a towel rack are installed onto an old window to create this gorgeous and functional bathroom piece. The clamps hold mason jars in place for storage. Under the panes is a backdrop of chevron fabric and finally, a wreath is hung over the center of the window. This is a fully customizable idea that can work for any bathroom.

Should You Diy Or Hire It Out

Installing storm windows can be challenging for a DIYer, especially on upper floors, where the work often requires two people on extension ladders. No special tools are needed, howeverjust a paint scraper, a caulk gun, and a drill/driver. Expect to pay about $50 to $200 per window for a pro installation, depending on where you live and the type of storm windows involved.

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Put It All Back Together

Youre basically starting over, says Pam. You have this wonderful wood sash. You have this wonderful wood frame. And then you put back as much of it as you can. To reattach stops, Pam chooses nails that are small in diameter and just long enough to do the job so the nails dont go through to the weight well. She uses longer finish nails for trim. And unlike many homes original builders, she uses as few nails as possible. A sash window goes together in the reverse order it came apart. This means the top sash with its ropes attached goes in first, then weights are tied on. At this point, Pam does an inital check to verify that everything is working properly. Is something out of place? she asks herself. Does something need shimming? Once confident that everything is in good working order, she replaces the parting stops, the bottom sash, then the interior stops. Finally, she mounts the trim.

A Frame Perches Above The Fireplace

Should I Buy Wood Windows or Vinyl Windows?

An old window frame perched upon a fireplace can add a sweet, rustic touch to an elegant mantel. Without glass, the window mullions here are just large enough to rest painted wooden letters on top. You can alter this look by adding your own special word, or perhaps even your family name for a truly customized mantel.

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Physical Evaluation Return To Top

The key to successful planning for window treatments is a careful evaluation of existing physical conditions on a unit-by-unit basis. A graphic or photographic system may be devised to record existing conditions and illustrate the scope of any necessary repairs. Another effective tool is a window schedule which lists all of the parts of each window unit. Spaces by each part allow notes on existing conditions and repair instructions. When such a schedule is completed, it indicates the precise tasks to be performed in the repair of each unit and becomes a part of the specifications. In any evaluation, one should note at a minimum:

  • window location
  • hardware, and
  • the overall condition of the window
  • Deterioration of poorly maintained windows usually begins on horizontal surfaces and at joints, where water can collect and saturate the wood. Photo: NPS files.

    An ice pick or an awl may be used to test wood for soundness. The technique is simply to jab the pick into a wetted wood surface at an angle and pry up a small section of the wood. Sound wood will separate in long fibrous splinters, but decayed wood will lift up in short irregular pieces due to the breakdown of fiber strength.

    Following the inspection and analysis of the results, the scope of the necessary repairs will be evident and a plan for the rehabilitation can be formulated. Generally the actions necessary to return a window to “like new” condition will fall into three broad categories:

  • routine maintenance procedures,
  • Paint Paper Make A Pretty Clothes Rack

    Using a decoupage technique, a floral scrapbook paper has been adhered to the panes of this recycled window. By adding a few double prong coat hooks, you can create a gorgeous coat or garment rack. This is the perfect piece for any mudroom, entryway, or walk-in closet. You can decoupage any scrapbook paper you would like to the glass to create your own custom piece.

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    Charming Picture And Clock Window Holder

    Do you have an office environment that needs a bit of an upgrade? A simple, yet beautiful way to do that is with this amazing window transformation. In the various panes, you can add cool images, artwork, etc. that can fit into the theme of your room. The center can be a wonderful area to house a clock so that this isnt just appealing décor, but functional as well.

    Why Learn How To Fix Old Wooden Windows

    Replacing An Old Broken Window – New Construction vs Replacement Type Windows

    When most of us finally decide our windows need work, its often because theyve deteriorated to a point where they are no longer functioning properly. Theyve become drafty, weve noticed leaks, and the wood has become visibly worn or rotted. Our immediate thoughts are usually that they need to be replaced.

    The argument for replacement is a decent one. New windows are efficient both acoustically and thermally, and they look brand new. Getting new panes of crystal clear glass sounds nice, but when youve got beautiful wooden windows already, the fact is that a new set of windows probably wont hold an aesthetic candle to the ones youve got. You also wont get as much life out of a new set of windows as you will by restoring the solid wood ones you already have. Window restoration and repair is a fantastic alternative.

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    Can Glass Windows Be Painted

    Yes, but you must make sure that you have the correct type of paint. For example, acrylic paint can be useful for not only decorating your window, but also making the window itself more durable. In order to allow the paint to increase the lifespan of your window, you should get acrylic paint that has a baked-on capability. The feature might not be labeled as such, but youre essentially looking for something that will become harder when exposed to direct sunlight.

    Restoring Old Casement Windows

    Casement windows have been around since the 18th century and are a popular choice to this day. Unlike the sashes that slide over each other in sash windows, casement windows feature a pane that is attached to a vertical side of the frame with hinges. Kind of like a glass door. They are typically cranked open and provide excellent airflow. Early examples opened inward, as they usually had wooden window shutters on the outside. More recent examples open outward.

    Common problems with casement windows involve the crank and the parts that make it work, as well as bad weather stripping.

    If you notice a draft coming through a casement window with a decent frame, you may just need to replace the weather stripping that provides the seal when the window is closed. Its a very simple process and shouldnt cause you to replace the entire window.

    Problems with the crank or the mechanisms by which it opens the window are a little bit more involved but are certainly still doable. Most common problems can be fixed with a simple replacement part.

    Once you decide to learn how to fix old wooden windows, youll find that you can solve your window problems by yourself. Try fixing one. Youll likely decide to tackle the others as well.


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    An Affordable Alternative To Replacement Windows

    Installing replacement windows is an expensive proposition. A single replacement window runs anywhere from $200 to $1,300 or more, depending on the manufacturer, and that doesnt include the cost of professional installation. For owners of old homes who have lengthy bucket lists of upgrades and repairs, having replacement windows installed can be cost-prohibitive. It often makes sense to economize on windows so you can tackle other projects.

    The final cost of installing SLIPs on your home will depend on the number, size, and type of windows you want to upgradeand whether you install them yourself or hire a probut the SLIP kits themselves are less expensive than standard replacement windows, with a square foot cost starting at $23. The SLIP system can be installed by a certified installer, contractor, or handyman, or even a homeowner with good woodworking skills. If you decide to get quotes from contractors, send them a link to the SLIP installation overview so they will be able to give you an accurate estimate on labor.

    Do-it-yourself installation will save the homeowner the cost of professional labor, but this is not a project for newbies. Before tackling it, youll need to understand how wood windows are assembled, and youll need to own and have a working knowledge of a few power tools, including a plunge router and a trim router. A detailed how-to video provided at the time of your order will guide you through the installation process.

    Cons Of Storm Windows

    Free picture: wooden, old, fashioned, window
    • ALTER THE FACADE: Some exterior storm windows have a lower profile than others, but all of them are visible from the street, which can impact curb appeal.
    • ARE IMPRACTICAL TO DIY: Installing storms is usually a two-person job, and requires extension ladders if the home is more than one story tall.
    • REQUIRE SOME UPKEEP: Wood storm frames in particular need to be repainted periodically to maintain their integrity. And weep holes on aluminum models must be kept clear to prevent water damage to the windowsill.

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    How Long Do Window Blinds Last

    Believe it or not, their longevity isnt necessarily based on what you spend. More expensive blinds will usually be made with better quality materials and can last longer than cheaper window blinds. But, how long they last really depends on how well you take care of them. If theyre dusted and cleaned regularly, with an occasional professional cleaning, they can last 10 years or longer.

    The Blinds For Windows Buyers Guide

    The complete buyers guide to modern blinds and shades for your windows . Weve tried to make this guide as comprehensive as possible to help you learn all about the different types of blinds, and make an informed buying decision. The focus of this article is indoor blinds.

    Before using this guide, however, it may be helpful to ask yourself a few questions and make a few considerations.

    For example, what will be the primary purpose of your blinds? Will they be decorative or more blackout blinds to help keep sunlight out? Do you prefer a vertical blind or horizontal blinds? Do you require manual blinds such as a roller blind or roman shade, or would motorized blinds be more suited to your needs?

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    Windows Of Opportunity: Repair

    When planning for CPA historic preservation projects, the discussion often includes: What are we going to do about these old windows? Should we replace them or repair them?

    Repairing historic windows is more economical and environmental than you might think, and almost always the right choice. In this market-driven economy, we are constantly barraged with ways to buy our way to go green. Each year, Americans demolish 200,000 buildings. That is 124 million tons of debris, or enough waste to construct a wall 30 feet high and 30 feet thick around the entire U.S. coastline. Every window that goes into the dump is adding to this problem. Doesnt it make more sense to make good use of what we already have instead? Living in an existing house in an established neighborhood is already greener than building a new green house. That is not to say that older and historic homes cant be made even more efficient – they can. Likewise, refurbishing an existing historic window is a greener approach than installing a new one.

    Historic preservation is part of the solution to reducing our carbon footprint. But there are still many myths to bust, especially when it comes to windows. A growing body of research and professionals agree that weatherization and air sealing saves more energy – and hard-earned dollars – than replacing windows. Even the U.S. Energy Department agrees: We have found weatherization to be a more cost-effective option in decreasing energy bills.

    Further Resources

    Weatherization Return To Top

    Removing Old Wood Window & Installing Vinyl Replacement Window (Step By Step)

    A window which is repaired should be made as energy efficient as possible by the use of appropriate weatherstripping to reduce air infiltration. A wide variety of products are available to assist in this task. Felt may be fastened to the top, bottom, and meeting rails, but may have the disadvantage of absorbing and holding moisture, particularly at the bottom rail. Rolled vinyl strips may also be tacked into place in appropriate locations to reduce infiltration. Metal strips or new plastic spring strips may be used on the rails and, if space permits, in the channels between the sash and jamb. Weatherstripping is a historic treatment, but old weatherstripping is not likely to perform very satisfactorily. Appropriate contemporary weatherstripping should be considered an integral part of the repair process for windows. The use of sash locks installed on the meeting rail will insure that the sash are kept tightly closed so that the weatherstripping will function more effectively to reduce infiltration. Although such locks will not always be historically accurate, they will usually be viewed as an acceptable contemporary modification in the interest of improved thermal performance.

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    What Kind Do I Need

    Today you can buy windows in more forms than our forefathers could have imagined. Double, triple, even quadruple-paned windows filled with inert gasses like argon to prevent heat or cold transfer. They have become an efficient part of the house, yes, but when dealing with a classic home from generations past, an out-of-place window from the wrong time period can destroy a beautiful facade. Windows of yesteryear each had a purpose and served a function. For example, double-hung windows were designed with an upper and lower sash that could be opened independently of each other. The top sash was designed so that in the days before air-conditioning, warm air could escape from the house and be replaced by cool air entering from the bottom sash.

    Pre-war windows were also glazed with linseed oil putty to make the panes airtight. Caulking may last for years, but it doesnt come close to the 80 year life span of properly cared for glazing putty. Also, being made from old-growth timber, original windows are surprisingly rot-resistant. Ive had to completely rebuild only 2 windows out of the 32 on our 1929 bungalow, and those 2 were the only non-original windows in the house! The 2 replacements were a mere 20 years old before they succumbed to the elements!

    So, before you decide to replace your drafty old windows, stop and think. They can be restored to their original appearance, working condition, and efficiency with period weather stripping

    How To Restore Sash Windows

    Publish Date:

    Self-taught window restorer Pam Rodriguez works on a home in Fort Worths Fairmont Southside Historic District.

    Van Ditthavong

    Pam Rodriguez didnt set out to restore old-house windows for a living. While residing in Massachusetts, Pam learned restoration techniques on the fly, first in an 1875 church she volunteered to help revive, and then in her own home, a 1930s Dutch Colonial in Boston with 22 windows in dire need of repair. A confident do-it-yourselfer, Pam figured out techniques as she went, taking apart sash and frames, making the necessary repairs, then putting it all back together again. Im a restorationist at heart, she says, so she learned to preserve original materials whenever possible.

    In 2005, she returned to her native Texas to be closer to family. Not long thereafter, an acquaintance in Fort Worths historic Fairmount neighborhood faced a quandary when she discovered she would need to restore the crumbling old windows in her 1920s Colonial Revival. That turned into a job for Pam, and soon word of her skills got around. Today, shes Fairmounts go-to guru of window restoration.

    Theres nothing quite like a well-maintained old-house window.

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    When Were Window Blinds Invented

    They may have been around a little while longer than you thought they were. Window blinds can be traced all the way back to ancient Egyptian and Chinese cultures. The first versions of window blinds would have been made by stringing reeds and bamboo together.

    The Persians brought the blinds to Venice, where they became extremely popular, hence the Venetian blind. And, the rest is history.

    An Englishman named Edward Bevan received the first patent for the Venetian Blind in 1769. Constructed with thin strips of wood, the blinds were held in a wooden frame for support. They were introduced to the states in 1841 when John Hampson from New Orleans, upgraded the features, allowing the slats to be adjustable.

    All About Historic Windows

    9 Reasons To Keep Your Old Windows

    For me, windows are one of my favorite, and at times, most challenging aspects of a classic home. Windows truly are the eyes of your home and I have seen too many homes with a black-eyes over the years. A home and its occupants look out onto the world through these sometimes simple, sometimes complex contraptions to keep out the elements and let in the light. And the world learns a lot about your home by its windows.

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