I took the screens off my windows so I can repair them…that was before I realized I have to remove the sashes. I thought I could scrape and paint the sashes right in place but that is going to be a lot of work to do it in a way that they will not wind up sticking. I have to buy the storm windows for the outside so I can remove the sashes. I will not leave the windows with nothing in them because:
- If I have nothing on the windows the bees and wasps will think that is an open invitation for them to move in and/or
- If I cover it with plastic the thieves will be thinking I am inviting them in to steal all the junk I have that no one really wants.
So I started looking for storm windows. Now as you know my house was built in the 1940’s or somewhere thereabout. It was originally a sweat and tears log cabin built by Mr Gates (and friends and family) for his wife Georgia. It was later added on to with additions by the next owner, Mr Walker. The wood is hand sawed and milled from the tress on the property.. Cedar trees that is, so there is zero insect damage to the house. That’s the fantastic part. The part that is not so fantastic is I have no earthly idea where they got these freaking window sizes from. Mr Walker worked for the old Hardware Store down town for many many years and I can usually find replacements in there for many of the house things that go awry because guess where they came from? Right.
The windows though…that’s a different story…a sad story. The windows are an odd size and it is killing me to find them. You might ask…where are the windows that were there before? Well on the non log cabin side of the house they put in wood screens instead of storm windows. They are a plain wooden frame on hinges that you can tilt out. They have screen only in them…no glass. New they should have looked like this
They are so fragile that they were crumbling as I moved them. Interestingly enough the worst damage was at the bottom. The windows had to be pried out because of all the caulking all around. They (the experts) tell you to never caulk the bottom of separate screens or storms because you want to have an outlet for water that seeps in…otherwise it will rot the wood. Okay so now we know that is true!!
I don’t feel bad replacing the screen windows with storm windows because the rest of the windows around the house have storm windows and once they are all replaced my windows will be matchy matchy!
When I started shopping for windows and talking to the sales people I might as well had a recording of a cash register playing because that’s all I heard in my head, that and violins (when they were trying to sell me on buying new vinyl energy-efficient windows). When asked if I have 2- track or 3- track windows my answer was a pathetic I DON’T KNOWWWWWWWW …and my temporary ignorance triggered the sales guy to think that he had an opportunity to take advantage of me. But I am not that stupid people. I went home and did my research and now I know I have triple track storm windows on the outside and plain ole wood 4 lite sashes on the inside. The window sashes are in terrible condition but when I removed a window and salvaged the sashes to be used as a door for my nifty little wall nook in my kitchen, it came out perfect, and now I know I can find the weights by taking off one piece of wood, I can reglaze the window panes, I can sand down the wood, fill in any slightly rotted areas with wood filler and it will be strong as new and I can paint it and make them look pretty darn good as compared to the old! The only thing I have not tried is putting in new glazing points. Why? Because I’m scared that’s why. I think if I break a glass that will be a deal breaker on me moving forward with my project so I am taking the avoidance approach.
So back to the sales story…after listening to the ignorant expert tell me how inefficient these windows are and how I should upgrade to vinyl windows that don’t require storms or at least get some good storm windows and leave those God awful, ugly aluminum windows alone I was exhausted and tired of hearing it. I wanted to say: Listen here Mister salesman, I want to retain some parts of the original integrity of the house and replacing my wood windows with aluminum storm windows with vinyl windows is not on the list! I hate vinyl windows and I hate vinyl siding and I hate vinyl fences and I hate vinyl wood-looking floors so vinyl is not the ticket to a high commission emotional sale from me. But I didn’t. I just went home, tailed tucked out of shame for not even knowing what I was shopping for.
I went home and did some more research…and I came across this NPS (National Preservation Society) brief which stated (paraphrased):
“Storm windows. Windows are a primary source of heat loss because they are both a poor thermal barrier (R factor of only 0.89) and often a source of air infiltration. Adding storm windows greatly improves these poor characteristics. If a building has existing storm windows (either wood or metal framed), they should be retained. Assure they are tight fitting and in good working condition. If they are not in place, it is a recommended measure of a preservation retrofitting plan to add new metal framed windows on the exterior. This will result in a window assembly (historic window plus storm window) with an R factor of 1.79 which outperforms a double paned window assembly (with an air space up to 1/2″) that only has an R factor of 1.72. When installing the storm windows, be careful not to damage the historic window frame. If the metal frames visually impair the appearance of the building, it may be necessary to paint them to match the color of the historic frame .
Triple-track metal storm windows are recommended because they are readily available, in numerous sizes, and at a reasonable cost. If a pre-assembled storm window is not available for a particular window size, and a custom-made storm window is required, the cost can be very high. In this case, compare the cost of manufacture and installation with the expected cost savings resulting from the increased thermal efficiency. Generally, custom-made storm windows, of either wood or metal frames, are not cost effective, and would not be recommended in a preservation retrofitting plan.”
THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET….NO LONGER DO WE HAVE TO BE SUBJECTED TO THE SALES PERSONS MERCY!! In the old days all they had to do was sound convincing like they knew a litle something something but now a days unless you are just the type to shop with no research, they have to know what they are talking about. Nothing worse than to go home, look up what they told you and realize they told you all lies just to get a sale. I don’t know about you but that’s a sales relationship breaker for me. So many experts out there trying to get you to throw away your good but old stuff so you can buy their new crap that usually they won’t stand behind for more than a year!
No matter…I have windows in terrible shape and I noticed a huge difference with the storm windows so I am searching for aluminum triple track storm windows and that is the end of that!!! I been to the Habitat stores: nothing; searched Craigslist: nothing. I WILL FIND THESE WINDOWS AND I WILL NOT PAY A FORTUNE FOR THEM. Mark my words
That’s my story for the day. I will get back with you on this later.In the meanwhile, if you have a source for fairly inexpensive windows or you have some input or wordly insight into all this please feel free to comment. All you handy men reading my blog been mighty mighty silent…leaving me to the wolves. LOL
For all you local people….here are the sizes I need. Feel free to comment or send me a message if you know a good source.
2- 20-1/2″ w x 47-1/2″ h (width can be up to 23″)
1-20-1/2″w x 40″h (optional…this is for the bathroom and it would be nice to get a window I can open and let the air in)
2-22″w x 53″ h (also optional…one window is broke and I bet it will be cheaper to replace the whole window rather than have it repaired.)
and I need a plain old storm that is stationary (meaning does not have to open at all because the window behind it does not open) 2- 22-1/2″w x 26″h