Retrofitting old storm windows to be removeable from inside?

jlc102482May 25, 2010

I am wondering if anyone here has ever heard of somehow altering original storm windows on their old home to be removeable from the inside instead of the outside. My 1857 home has exterior storms which are only accessible from the exterior of the house. (From what I understand, this is the usual arrangement). Due to some injury/mobility issues, I can't really get up on a ladder to remove/carry them and am thus forced to enlist help. I'd like to be able to remove them myself, from the inside, but don't know if this can be done and/or if this would be a mistake from a preservation point of view.

I've attached a photo of a second story window so you can see how they are held in place. I am guessing I'm not the first person to ever have problems standing on a ladder trying to finagle heavy old windows 30 feet in the air, which is what inspired me to ask this question here! Does anyone have any ideas, or does some kind of hardware exist, that would allow me to somehow keep these storms in place from the inside instead of the outside?

Thank you!

Here is a link that might be useful: 2nd story storm window

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bulldinkie

We had new ones made 1 piece.There at about half way up window on storm window there a peg that goes in frame of window in a hole.You slide both same time it flips out you can remove from inside or out.The storm window hangs on 2 clips at the top of window .You hang them on the clip at the top then slide pegs on both sides in place.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 9:50AM
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Moccasin

What a lovely window you have. And the trim on your eaves suggests a really great old house.

I'm not able to give any advice to you, but I can understand why you'd want to keep those outstanding arched storm windows. Making new ones would be very expensive.

How many windows are there? Would you need to do all of them or just the ones on the upper reaches of your house?

How heavy are they? All about the same? How do you lower them down to the ground? Do you have room inside the storm window to attach a retainer to keep it from falling when the latches are released? My word, it would be an accident waiting to happen to carry such a window down a 30 foot ladder!

How wide or high an opening do you have when your regular windows are open? Would that dimension be adequate to bring the storm window through it? I'm not sure if I understand what Bulldinkie said, but I should hope something could help solve the problem.

Good luck. I understand your concern about mobility issues.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 12:10PM
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graywings123

Wow, pretty. It look like you could just put hinges on one side and open and close them. I wonder whether someone has ever tried that.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 7:21PM
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jlc102482

Hinges...hmmm! That is not a bad idea at all. I guess any mechanism that held the storm in from the inside would work. I wouldn't mind unscrewing a bunch of screws from inside the house if it meant I (or someone else) wouldn't have to go up on a ladder and try to pop the storms out up there. Thanks for the great ideas, everyone!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 2:51PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

Storm windows designed to be hung from the top will lack the structural characteristics needed to hinge them from the side. The weight of the entire glass + frame being cantilevered will cause the unit to gradually sag, defeating the purpose. Storms could probably be designed to side-hinge, but would require larger frames to give larger, stronger joints.
Storms of average sizes can be installed and removed by standing inside and feeding them through the open window top first, then pivoting them upward and inserting the locator pegs into the corresponding holes in the frames. It won't work as well with the metal bracket type of storm hardware.
Casey

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 10:08PM
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concretenprimroses

I'd love to see a pic of your whole house. Love the bright blue and cream combo, and it looks like you have incredible details.

Could the window be retrofitted so that one of the bottom panes of glass opens like a little door or pops off? Then you could reach out and undo /untwist the metal holders and feed the storm in. I think I've seen large windows with panes that opened. Might be a two person job to remove, one to hold the storm window while the other loosened it. Or there could be a way to also attach it on the inside as a preventative. Or handles.

People who do that kind of thing are getting hard to find. But if you do find one they could say if it was possible.

Kathy

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 3:07PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

If your storms are upper pane/ lower pane, they could be remodeled removing the lower pane and adapting the frame to accept interchangeable glass and screen panels, so there was never any need to remove the entire frame except for washing windows. If your upper sashes were operable they could be cleaned through the opening in the storm when "down".
Needless to say, new wood storms can be ordered as I described with interchangeable screen/glass lower sections.

Casey

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 7:22PM
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bulldinkie

We have had windows 20 years have had no problem with saggingThey are nice lookin windows.There is a piece of wood 3/4 way down to line up with inner window.Its a sturdy storm window.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:46PM
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energy_rater_la

http://www.magnetite.com/

not a big fan of these, and don't believe all
the hype on the site..but it may be an option for you.
best of luck.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 10:03AM
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