Adventures in Remodeling – Out With the Old, In With the New

Weights 1

Sash weights – “old school” double-hung window technology, c. 1907

For many years, we were not able to use modern-day replacement windows when remodeling the house, because all of the ones on the market were made with metal rather than wood.  Also, none of the shapes available remotely resembled those of windows from the early 20th century.

Sashes 1

The old double-hung window sashes and glass

Thankfully, a few years ago window manufacturers realized there was a huge untapped market out there, and they started making windows that could be used in historical renovations. While we have renovated almost all of the rooms in our house over the past 28 years, this is the first room where we have been able to install all NEW windows, with double-paned glass and lots of other nice features that weren’t available 100 years ago.

Old Frame 1

The largest of the old window frames

We had to make a couple of minor modifications to make the new windows fit into the old opening; the opening was slightly deeper than the manufacturer’s standard, so Paul added a strip of wood all around the exteriors of the windows, then painted all of them before he installed them. We were able to have the interior surfaces pre-stained in the factory, which saved us a little bit of time.

Working 2

If I fall, you’ll catch me, right?

So today’s the “big install” – Paul’s friend, Gary, came over to help him take out the old windows and put in the new ones. It’s a perfect day for it – the temperature is just right, the humidity is low, and the sky is slightly overcast, so nobody is burning up in the sun.

Working 1

The forecast doesn’t call for rain until tomorrow….

I was peeking in from time to time, making observations and asking questions – you know, being my usual helpful self. I wouldn’t want the guys to miss anything, after all!

It…umm…wasn’t long before I was asked to quit “helping” them….. 😛

South 2

The first of three new windows, shimmed and ready to go

About Teresa in Fort Worth, TX

A short, fat, over-the-hill, happily-married mother of 4 daughters. I know just enough to get myself in trouble....
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4 Responses to Adventures in Remodeling – Out With the Old, In With the New

  1. Lipstick says:

    Hmm, I never realized that about windows in older houses. Hope the guys beat the rain!


    • Thankfully, it’s not supposed to rain until tomorrow!

      And the only reason we couldn’t use “replacement” windows until recently is because our neighborhood has “Historic Overlay” zoning on it, which keeps people from coming in and tearing down old structures or remodeling the exterior of a home in a way that isn’t in keeping with the flavor of the rest of the neighborhood.

      The entire neighborhood was accepted into the National Register of Historic Houses back in the 1990’s; the neighborhood association voted to apply for the zoning designation not long after that.

      We’ve just started seeing new construction in the neighborhood – anyone who wants to build a new residence has to go before the Historic Zoning Board to get their plans approved; it’s hard to tell which structures are new and which have been here 100+ years now!


  2. Lipstick says:

    Boy, advantages and disadvantages to the Historic designation, huh?


    • Believe me, in this neighborhood, there are MANY more advantages! It put a stop to duplexes with big driveways in front of them – most of the stuff that has to be approved is just minor; there are a couple of homebuilders who have done a great job of coming up with designs that blend in with the rest of the neighborhood.

      And since we’ve waited so long to start putting in new windows, the number of companies which offer the type that we can use has increased, and the styles available have multiplied. It’s all good 😀


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