Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I Can See Clearly Now

by Connie Cortright

When we actually close on the sale of our house in a couple weeks, I wonder if the new owner will appreciate all the new windows we added to our house - and the money we spent on this huge project. It surely is wonderful with the newer windows. Here's the original article about putting in the new windows:

I took the day off of work today because we were finally getting the rest of our old windows replaced.
Old windows with rope showing
We started this long costly process more than two and a half years ago. Our 1926 house still had the original single pane windows in after all these year. Just try to imagine how warm it was in our house with the old windows still in place, especially during a windy winter storm. The single pane of glass didn't keep the cold out at all. Thank goodness storm windows were added in the past, but the cold seeped through, none the less.

We tackled this problem a bit at a time as we could afford.
Today the contractors are replacing the last twelve of the twenty-six windows we have in our house. As you well know, the cost of doing all of these windows at the same time was very prohibitive, so we did it in several stages.

If you're wondering how we know the windows are the original ones, I can answer that very simply. They have ropes on the sides of the windows as you can see in the photo. I'd never heard of ropes in windows until we moved into this house. Of course, if you live in or grew up in an older house, this may be nothing new for you.

Example of pulley and rope
It is called the rope/pulley-counter weight balance system. The window sash has a rope attached to each side of the window, running along the frame and over a pulley that is mounted into the frame. The rope disappears over the pulley and down into the wooden frame. The other end of the rope is attached to a weight inside the wood. (Of course, cold air has easy access to the house through these empty chambers that hold the weights.) When the window is opened, the weight holds the window in place so it doesn't fall.

All windows build before 1945 were made like this. Houses back in the 1920s and 30s were probably cold most of the winter with the single pane glass and the rope chambers allowing the cold air into the house.

I have to say that this system worked well despite its age. The windows in our house were very easy to open and stayed where I put them. The one disadvantage was that the pulleys got very squeaky. At least, a burglar would not have been able to enter our house through a window without waking up the entire household.

New window in our dining area
It was interesting to watch them take out the old windows. The window contractors cut the ropes holding the windows and let the weights fall to the bottom of the empty compartments. Then they stuffed insulation into those areas to make sure the cold air can't get in anymore. We need all the help we can get making our house warmer for this winter.

If anyone feels like donating to our window replacement fund, let me know. Thanks.

No comments:

Post a Comment