While we’re all waiting, I thought I’d show you one of the projects I’ve been working on for the past few weeks—repairing and restoring the large (55″x78″) 4-pane window in our dining room.
Unless you’ve repaired an old window yourself (particularly one of this size), it’s hard to understand the amount of work that goes into a job like this—scraping, patching, sanding, filling, caulking, glazing, weighting, nailing, gluing, painting…etc. I definitely never knew what was involved before we bought this house! Windows are persnickety things, but the great thing about an old window is that it can be repaired. I take pride in our house’s 125-year-old windows, and the strong, old-growth wood that went into building them. Not a single sash in this house has ever been replaced, and most of the panes are the original wavy glass. It’s beautiful when the light comes through them, bending here and there and making soft ripples in the view. I would never consider replacing them.
Beauty and history aside, these old windows are unbearably drafty if not maintained well. Caulking gaps, filling rotted areas with epoxy, and adding weatherstripping makes more of a difference than you might think. Hopefully the hours I logged working on this window will translate to a few bucks saved on oil this winter!
I also stripped the original cast iron lock (in a future post, I’ll show you how to easily strip old hardware!), which was covered with so much paint that it no longer closed. I love the details even on the simplest things in old houses. And did you know that the purpose of locks on old windows is not to provide security? They’re actually there to hold the sashes together tightly, keeping them from rattling in the wind and stopping air from entering between them. When they’re attached in the right position, they do their job very well.