Questions about Vinyl Jamb Liners for This Situation

CassandraJune 9, 2011

I live in a 1913 house originally built as a duplex and now a condo. My unit is on the second floor. In the living room and dining room I have "cottage" or "oriel" windows, with a huge lower sash (47" tall) and tiny upper sash (20" tall). In researching new storm/screen windows, I found out that if they are sized to fit the meeting rail, it would not be possible to remove the storms/screens from the inside because they'd be so large and wouldn't clear the sill--you just can't maneuver them to pull them out. The only solution is to put new vinyl jamb liners/tilt packs in these windows. Once the sashes are tilted in, it would then be possible to remove the storms/screens through the opening. The original sashes, by the way, are in great condition and do not need to be replaced.

I would rather not do the jamb liners but in this situation it seems to be the only solution. I've consulted with a couple of old window restoration people about the matter. Frankly, the idea of being able to clean my windows from the inside--rather than pay someone to go up on a ladder twice per year--is very attractive to me. What concerns me more than the aesthetics, however, is whether or not I'll really be able to tilt the windows in. I've heard that it is actually very difficult and awkward to do. First, has anyone done the jamb liners? Second, what is your experience with them? Again, I would love to avoid doing this, but I don't seem to have a choice. Thanks.

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An alternative occurs to me: instead of messing with the vinyl jambs (which sounds lik you'd be permanently altering the sashes, too) consider whether you could make one of the side trim pieces on each window removeable. That way you could pivot the lower sash out whenever necessary.

I have some of my windows upstairs perpetually apart (long complicated story) and when it's time to clean them, I just pull the sash out and sit on the windowsill, duck under the meeting rail and there's the outside of the upper sash right in front of my face. (Of course, I have previously removed the storm/screen!) I like this arrangement so well that my long-term plan is to re-install the trim with little recessed screw grommet thingies so that I can pop them off at will.

This may not work for your windows, but it might give you other ideas.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 6:46PM
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liri, I appreciate you answering my query and understanding what I mean! After much thought I have decided to go with the tilt-pack jamb liners for the windows. I think it is the only possible solution that I can live with.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 5:14PM
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