Fixing Windows

vjrntsSeptember 24, 2011

We have a big house with a lot of gigantic leaded-glass windows. The glass is loose in the zinc cames (they're called leaded glass, but they're not lead), some of the zinc is damaged and the sashes rattle in the wind. So we called the local old-window guru who came to remove the four sashes from two windows in a room that I was redecorating. He sent them for re-zincing with the same glass, and reinstalled them in newly-weatherstripped openings with new sash cord. What a difference. Beautiful! Tight and smooth-opening. I can't wait for winter so I can laugh at the cold! (Storms are OK; sooner or later they get replaced too, but right now it's sashes.)

It cost about $500 each window. I wonder how much it would have cost to have new windows put into the same openings (48" x 60")? A lot more than that, I bet, and these windows will do for another 90 years.

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And, I believe your house has retained more $$$$ value with those original windows still in place! Congrats on a wise decision!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 11:09PM
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vj: any chance of pics of your home/windows? Not sure when you have posted but I can't seem to remember whole house pics. Would love to see.What a smart idea you had for the windows.c

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 2:40AM
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The cames are normally packed with window putty to seal against weather.

There are actually plenty of lead cames around, and it is still made.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 12:46PM
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OK, here's the URL: Our House. More pictures than you'll ever want to look at.

Most of the pictures are 4-6 years old; I took a lot of them right after we moved in. There is a subalbum entitled Restorations or something like that; you can find the kitchen renovation in that one.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 3:26PM
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Brickeyee, the cames were of course packed at one point, but the putty is mostly loose or gone in our windows now. And I'm sure that there are plenty of lead cames, as you say, but in this neck of the woods, they used zinc in the 20s.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 8:29PM
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ah..I remember the bird room and the " column" in the kitchen. And the little windows in the attic. Such an amazing house. You need to take a whole new set of " walkthrough" pics !! Would love to see what you have done. Such a beautiful location too. c

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 4:36PM
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Thank you for your kind words! You've seen most of the things that show. We've insulated, and right now there are two carpenters in the back yard taking care of some rot in the corners of the siding. The windows are the big project; we're going to do a couple every year until a) they're all done, or b) we're dead of old age. It's not certain which will come first.

An elderly couple down the street replaced all of their old windows with new ones. I don't know what kind; I didn't ask. I was too busy trying not to let them see how horrified I was.

I love these old windows! Think of the sights that have been seen through them, the sounds that have vibrated the wave glass. Why would I give all that up?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 8:22AM
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I was relieved to see that the replacement windows were not Robyn Brothers' fault:

Here is a link that might be useful: Old Windows Find a Following

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 7:23PM
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I feel the same way about my old wavy windows. I love to look out of them when the rain streams down and the way the light shines in...and..well you already know why they are so wonderful. Who needs to see the world more clearly..not me. c

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 8:39PM
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