Old windows vs. Replacement windows
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Donna O



Joined: 09 Sep 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:38 am    Post subject: Old windows vs. Replacement windows Reply with quote

My husband and I own a home that was built in the 1890's. It was added
> onto in the 30's and lastly in the 90's.
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> The windows from the 1890's are three over one and are all painted
> shut on the top. The lower sashes are in varying stages of disrepair -
> from the rope block and tackle to lead paint that is flaking, old
> window putty and weak stiles. The windows in the 30's addition are
> eight over eight. I took two windows out, repaired, reglazed and reinstalled them.
> The block and tackle was repaired and they now open top and bottom.
> Except that there seems to be some "give" in one bottom window that
> makes opening it difficult at best if it is not opened with perfectly
> equal pressure from both sides of the frame. The 90's addition made a
> screened in porch an interior room and has new Anderson sliding patio
> doors and a double hung window.
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> My bathroom window, which is from the 1890's original side of the
> house, was replaced before we bought the house and to make a long
> story short, was replaced again when we redid the bathroom a year ago.
> I had the look of the 1890's window duplicated in the new Anderson
> window - not true divided lights but glued to the glass to resemble the oldest windows.
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> My dilemma is whether to replace the rest of the windows with
> "duplicated" new Andersons or to repair the old windows. If they were
> all original windows I wouldn't even consider replacing them, but now
> the house is a mixture of old and new. I am gathering information and
> would appreciate your professional opinion before I make a decision.
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TDL



Joined: 13 Dec 2008
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went through a similar situation with my house from the 40's. I hated the vinyl replacement some of the windows had so I used Marvin single glazed true divided light windows with energy panels where vinyls were installed. They are not an exact match but look much better. I took out the old frame down to the block and installed a triple casement where the frame was damaged and a tilt pack double hung where they installed a replacement window. If I had a rope and weight balance system I would have used a local shop to build exact matches for the sash and rebuilt the jambs as needed. Just because a few windows are gone I wouldn't destroy the rest. It sounds like you do not like the replacement Anderson windows anyway.
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Andy in NH



Joined: 01 Mar 2006
Posts: 92
Location: Lyndeborough, NH

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Windows are a strong indicator of the age of an historic house. Even not-so-historic houses celibrate their age with differing windows and they continue to be a part of the whole. I would encourage you to restore those windows which you believe to be part of the structure as it was built.

Andy

- who lives in a connected farmhouse where the yankee owners kept the windows (12 over 8) from the 1750 cape by placing them on one end of the attic and on the second storey rear of the 1870 addition (with 2 over 2 windows). All part of the story of the house.
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MohrJax



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 23
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna,

We restore windows in Jacksonville, FL.
I would hate to see all those windows get replaced. You will never really get your "investment" back- Unless you are 20 yrs old and plan to to live there for the next 40 years, and that's only if the replacement windows make it that long, which they wouldn't so by year 7, maybe 10 if you are lucky, we will have the same problem except your old windows will be gone forever. Think of it this way. The window you have now are from 80 to 120 years old, they are great windows! They just need some TLC. So, I strongly recommend that you work out a maintance/preservation/restoration plan. Start with the worst and work your way up. The timeline really depends on your budget per year. A few years ago we worked on a house that was built in 1901. The only new windows were in the addition of the new kitchen. We restored all 31 windows. The home would have not looked the same if they has replacement windows. There is only so much I can type without sounding like I am preaching but the glued on faux exterior muntins will probably fall off in a couple of years. We are working in one house that had the same thing done 2 years ago, the glass is foggy and the fake muntins are falling out. One last thing. The windows from the 1890's and those from the 1930's were made from the same natural slow growth wood. Thats the best wood we will ever find! Have you thought about replacing the 1990's windows with old windows? (circa 1900-1940's?) I know some local building code will not allow that but if you have a local preservation society, or historic preservation committee at the city council they may allow it (we are able to get an exception here in Jacksonville- there are certain guide lines like there has to be a pre-existing hole or window that was replaced and doesnt match the house: we can get them custom made (with true divisions) or get reclaimed windows from the junk yard, restore them and put them in (which is what I like to do vs custom) Anyway there are soo many others things I would like to say but this is long enough. If you have any question feel free to email me at acorrales@mohrjax.com

_________________
Angel Corrales

MOHR Historic Restoration Company
1308 Dancy Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32205
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Conservator



Joined: 29 Nov 2010
Posts: 24
Location: New Bedford, Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:37 pm    Post subject: replacing original window frame and sash Reply with quote

This comes under the heading of "forbidden" to me.

One of the prices we pay in winter is the heat loss from these old windows. When I bought my 1790s house in coastal Massachusetts all sashes were original and I spent two years repairing the sash and reglazing the window panes. I took the sash outside after the glass panes had carefully been repaired and removed all paint with a heat gun too.

I have zero tolerance for anyone who removes the original fabric of an old house and certainly the windows are a major part of the look/fabric of an old house. In fact when I see an 18th or 19th century house here in New England and someone has replaced the old windows with vinyl I look away as though the house has lost a part of its soul.

Remember YOU LIVE IN AN OLD HOUSE. There are tremendous pluses to that experience and certain things we simply must endure in the name of preservation and conservation. In my view all vinyl replacement windows should be banned from the market.
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Conservator



Joined: 29 Nov 2010
Posts: 24
Location: New Bedford, Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnNowling wrote:
Yeah the windows are an indicator but who else hates it when you see an beautiful old house with new windows? That looks horrible to me.


I do
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