Question! Type of Kitchen Window (Casement vs. Double Hung)??

ChelsTApril 8, 2011

Hello! I am a new member to the forum...My husband and I just bought a new house and are in the process of renovating our kitchen. I've found this site very helpful so far! I have a question about the type of windows to go with in our kitchen....

Above the kitchen sink, we have a window that is approx. four feet wide. Right now it's just a picture window that doesn't open and we're going to replace it. My builder would like for us to use an awning window, but I feel like it wouldn't give us enough air when open. He thinks if we replace with either casement or double hungs then we'd have to have 2 windows and would be bothered by the bar going between them. He also thinks that double hung are too difficult to open when placed over a sink.

I just can't seem to make a decision about which style to go with! Any opinions would be appreciated!

Thank you!

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Ironic: I was just looking at windows...marvin has a new slider-The Ultimate slider-the finger lever to open and close is low down and the center stile is narrower than if 2 casements were mulled together. the window locks in place automatically when closed-no locking hardware. and the finger pull rests flush along the frame-can barely see it. It slides really easily.Casements are nice but this window has good ratings and would probably be cheaper than dbl casements. Is there a home show near you? it's that time of year-play with lots of windows.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 10:32AM
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We have two big casement windows for our kitchen window and we get plenty of air!

I would not get double hung, I had one in the space before and you can't open it.

I like my casements, but the middle bar is annoying and my opening is maybe a little bigger than 4 feet. I have tall casements, that helps compensate for the center bar. Also it matters what the window opens out to. Ours opens to a 10 foot deep back porch with large supporting columns. We lined up the window so that the divider bar pretty much lines up with a porch column so that the bar is only obstructing the view of the column, not the back yard - if that makes sense.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 10:41AM
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How are you supposed to reach an awning window if you can't reach a double-hung? Not all of them have cranks.

It is very important to conform your windows to the overall style of your house. It's embarrassingly cheesy to put modern, undivided windows in old houses, or in new houses that were designed to look extremely traditional. What style is your house?

Oh, and almost all residential windows have a "bar" between sashes, unless they are very modern or picture windows.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 10:42AM
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I had a 4' window (2 casements) in the old kitchen, and I was used to the bar between them and didn't really notice them after 20 years. But given the option on the remodel, and with all the pics of to-the-counter windows on here, I went with a 5' casement window to the counter. I chose to do a 30" center non opening with operable 15" on either side. What a difference in light, and while at the sink, I have an unobstructed view out.

I think Marvin might do a single 4' casement and a tilt/turn window.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 11:32AM
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We replaced all the windows in our home recently. The kitchen window was a crank-out from the 70's.

We put in a slider window there (inside the frame is about 4 feet) and we're very happy with it. The middle bar does not bother me at all, we have a wonderful view to the back yard.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 11:43AM
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I had awning windows in my last house and loved them. They looked beautiful and gave me a great uninterrupted view. True, I didn't get strong breezes blowing through the kitchen, but they did a good enough job of letting in fresh air.

In my just-completed new kitchen in my new house, I put in crank-out casements. Couldn't get an awning window in the right size in stock windows and wasn't willing to pay the $$$$ for a custom one. The casements are fine and let in plenty of air. There is a fairly heavy stile between the two sides, but it doesn't bother me.

Here is a link to a photo of my kitchen and the window.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 11:57AM
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If the line joining the two casements won't bother you, go with them. Otherwise I'd look at herbflavor's suggestion. The double hung will be too hard to reach and open with the countertop & sink in the way.

In our situation we had 2 casements separated by a narrow column. We replaced them with casements.

Here's how it looks.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 12:13PM
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I'd be wary of a double hung window over a counter in the kitchen. I had one in the last house. The horizontal divider between the top and bottom half ended up being exactly at my eye height. That left me either squatting or standing on tip-toe trying to see under or over it. Annoying! I would much prefer a vertical divider if a divider is necessary. It's very natural to shift slightly to the left or right to see something if there is a vertical bar between the windows. Doing plies, not so much, unless you are a trained ballerina! : )

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 1:14PM
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I love double hung windows, but not for over a kitchen sink! I have new double hungs everywhere else, but I wouldn't have even considered one above my sink.
Find a good quality casement and you will be happy with that!
I am really loving my new Marvin windows.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 1:53PM
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I had the same question - I never even thought about not being able to OPEN the double-hungs! I guess I have my answer now (I too wanted awnings, but they don't have the size I need as standard).

Now, I have another question - I too hate putting modern windows in an old house BUT, even though all the windows in my house are double-hung with colonial grilles (same as the originals) I REALLY do not want grilles on my kitchen windows because I'm doing a more Mid-century Modern kitchen. The other thing is that the windows will only be 24" wide (and we have a 24" with grilles in the bathroom and it looks too cramped to me). One on each side of the range.

Since they will be casement and not double-hung like the rest, then do you think it will be ok to not have grilles? These windows will only be visible from the back yard - NOT the front. And the next set of windows with grilles is all the way on the other side of the house, only a sliding glass door with NO grilles (blinds between) would be near these windows.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 2:31PM
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natschultz, We recently replaced all of the windows in our 1923 English Cottage style home. Most of the existing windows were 27" wide and 30" tall. Because the house is built of structural stone, we had to have windows made to fit the existing openings. We went with a conventional colonial grid pattern and we're quite pleased. I'm attaching a shot of the kitchen window as an example. ( The kitchen, too, was recently re-done)

If you don't like this look you may want to look at Prairie style grids.

I'm attaching a link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Praire Grid Pattern

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 4:45PM
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I had sooo much trouble making that decision also. I love the look of double hung, and the rest of my house is double hung with grills. In fact, they are taupe color. But, I went with casements, no grills, and in white. I think it looks fine. One of the things that convinced me not to do double hung was exactly what laughable said- the center would be right at eye level. The casements do have a center post in the middle of my sink- yikes, how I stressed about that. But, it is not a problem. I worried a lot for nothing. You have to be standing right at the sink to have it in your view, and even then is not that bad- you are not always looking straight out. My window space is larger than yours, but here is a picture. Also, if you can go to the counter- DO IT! because of the size of the header, mine don't go all the way to the counter, but I love that look. There is a thread on it on GW. We also bumped out 6 inches. It was not a big deal or expense to do, and I love it so much.
My kitchen is finally done, looking back, the windows was my biggest decision and worry!
Natschultz, I have the casement with no grilles, and then french doors, no grilles. Like you, the rest of my house is double hung grills. I opted for the open view rather than to match the rest of the house. HTH
Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 5:03PM
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Do those of you with casement windows over your sinks have screens on the inside? Mine drives me crazy because over time it gets gunk in the screen from cleanup splashes at the sink. The gunk is hard to get out. Also, the window gets water splatters on it behind the screen, and to clean those I either have to open the window, go outside and clean it that way or remove the screen (which is a PITA on my windows) and clean the window from the inside.

Am I missing something?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 6:53PM
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I don't know if "awning" windows are also bay windows,but we have a bay window over the kitchen sink, with crank outs on either side, and I love it! Will use it again with our remodel. It lets in lots more light and good ventilation.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 7:03PM
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We are currently replacing our 70" sliding window. I had purchased a double casement window (48" wide) for over my kitchen window but I didn't like the big center bar so I returned it. And got a smaller sliding window 48" that has a double screen and the window opens on both sides. I am used to that small center bar but the double casment window has such a big center bar and such a distracting screen to have inside the house/in view.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 7:45PM
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We also chose a casement for above the kitchen sink for all the reasons already mentioned.

like puppeez, we planned a larger 30" non operational window in the middle, flanked by two 16"? operational casements, but realized that the single row of divided lights we'd chosen would be larger on the middle window than on the flanking windows so in the end changed the rough opening (windows hadn't been framed-phew!) and switched to 3 22" casements.

To ChelsT-If you don't like the busy/view-blocking feel of full divided lite windows, perhaps just do a single row of lites at the top? It was a good compromise for us- we kept with the integrity/style of all the rest of the full divided lite windows, but I'm pleased the kitchen windows feel more open to me.

I really think window continuity is one of the most important architectural details on a home and would hesitate to put a completely different window in one part of the house.

pudgybaby, I was worried about the same thing (keeping the screen above the sink clean.) Marvin has a new retractable screen that rolls out of view to the side when not needed. $$, but once I saw it decided that was one upgrade that I would sacrifice other things to get (we went with the cheap standard hardware, instead of the upgraded oil rubbed bronze we'd planned to help offset cost.) We put retractable screens on all our new windows. Haven't had a chance to really use them much yet as we haven't moved in, but I am so excited not to have to take down/clean/mess with screens there!

PS I've said before the Marvin website really sucks and the link to the product I'm posting looks broken as I'm trying to link it, but at least you'll have a reference, just scroll down to bottom of page. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Marvin retractable screen

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 6:26PM
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oops apologies to original poster ChelsT, my comments about the divided lite windows were meant for natschultz (Sorry by the time I finished reading the whole thread, I'd mixed up who said what)

and joan2121, windows were also one of my biggest worries. They are such an important feature-not something that the next set of owners is likely to change, if they're done well-I agonized endlessly and actually held up starting construction for several months until I felt I'd gotten them as right as they could be.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 6:32PM
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pb- like littlesmokie, we have the Marvin retractable screens. There when you need them, otherwise out of sight. Happy to spend a little more for that feature than to put up with screens and the cleaning fiasco.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 8:51PM
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Here's another option...we just selected our kitchen window for a new build. It's a 5' triple casement with a stationary center so it eliminates the center stile. Granted the two casements that do open are narrow, but I like the overall look. Our plan also includes a transom above so we'll have a lot of light.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 6:11AM
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Maybe it's because everyone in our family is quite tall, but we are replacing all of our casements with double-hung in the kitchen - including over the sink. No problem at all with being able to reach and open them. I just like double-hung better.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 9:30AM
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If casement or awning windows aren't your thing (maybe because of the screen on the inside or the price is prohibitive,) then why not look into single hung windows. I think the problem with double hung windows over the sink is when the top window starts to slide down slightly, and most eventually will, just enough that you can't get them closed properly without being able to reach the top of the upper window. If reaching the locking device is too difficult, then I would probably not even lock the windows during open window season. I'm very short and I can reach the hardware on our double hung windows above the sink in our rental just fine. As I said the only problem is when the top one slides down.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 9:55AM
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We have a triple casement window, leaded glass, original to the house. The sink is centered. The windows open in.

Don't make the mistake that I made: if you get a window that opens in be the faucet is low enough for the window to swing over it. I had to exchange my faucet. Probably won't be a problem for you because most modern casements swing out.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 11:01AM
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I just got the double hung and I love it. No problems opening it... This is probably silly, but I didnt want anyone bumping their head outside!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 12:34PM
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Retractable screens - that was my next question! So, only Marvin makes these? All my other windows are Anderson, but the screen was a HUGE sticking point. So how MUCH more do these screens cost?

Bumping heads outside, yeah, one of our windows will be above the hose - but hey, I guess we can just push it closed if need be!

Joan2121 - your bump-out - how did you do that? Is only the window frame bumped out or that whole section of wall? If the normal framing is 2x4, then is that framed with 2x10's? What does the outside look like? I really like that for an herb ledge; I was planning on making super chunky sills, but the bump-out is way cooler. Right now there is a 4' picture window flanked with 2 double-hungs (in the old den - will-be kitchen) and I love that there is a deep ledge under the picture window, but that is just because it does not open, the double-hung ledge / sill is normal depth.
We'll be doing the framing ourselves, but wouldn't this need a mini-roof to shed water on the outside? I was thinking of installing Brise Soleils above the windows to block the high-noon sun in summer (that wall faces Due South and it is brutal), but I could build an awning instead, but that would limit winter sun, which I actually like.

WillTV, I like your windows and they fit the style of your kitchen; we were considering Prairie if we went with a Craftsman style kitchen but because those cabinets are SO expensive, we're probably going with a sleek Mid-Mod kitchen instead (paint grade maple slab fronts vs. oak or walnut Mission to match the wainscotting in the old house). The grills on your window look normal - on my upstairs bathroom window it is a short 24" wide double-hung 6-over-6 and looks cramped; the original window was almost 4 ft. tall, so we shrank it when we remodelled the bathroom 10 years ago. When we replaced the downstairs bathroom window we had to get the same size as the original one because it was tiled into the wall, so we got frosted glass on the inside, grills in between - totally worth it.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 4:29AM
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natschultz, If you're going Mid-Mod then I think you can go gridless, but I'd go casement to avoid the crossbar on double hungs.

Another option is to get casements with snap-in grids and if you decide you don't like the grids you can leave them out.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 8:32AM
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I'm with cbonebt -- we're keeping the double hung. I am not very tall, so the "crossbar" isn't a problem for me, and we've replaced our existing windows with newer windows that are SO easy to operate. I'm not concerned about opening it. (I have a double hung window there now, and it's never been an issue.)

Most importantly, though, we have a screen porch attached to the kitchen, so a casement window would definitely end up smacking people in the head and/or impeding the traffic flow out another porch door.

We did order clear glass in the kitchen window (as opposed to low-e/argon in all our other windows) since it does not have direct sun exposure; we're not as concerned with solar energy transmission and want to preserve the "untinted" views.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 9:03AM
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We didn't change out the windows during our remodel, so I still have double hungs over the counter. The last few days have been the first warm really warm ones of the spring, or, as we know it, drag-over-the-stepstool-and-practically-climb-onto-the-counter-to-open-windows season.

I'm short, our windows are tall, and the sill is about six inches above the countertop, which all contribute to the difficulty. I can't come close to reaching the locks, and only have the leverage to raise the windows a couple inches if my feet are on the floor.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 9:19AM
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I think it's really a personal preference. For windows I know I'll open a lot, I prefer casements.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 9:54AM
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I know I'm quite late in answering but just found this posting. I am actually getting a Marvin window that is new to their line. It's called a ventilation window. The whole window pops out about 2" and really is just for cross ventilation. It has built-in screening around the perimeter. I hated the indoor screens of my casements (I prefer those over the sink usually) and didn't open the window that often. Also, I lived with a picture window in my last house for 10 years and not opening it didn't seem to bother me then. A leap of faith. We'll see...

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 1:09AM
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We're replacing most of our old windows with casements...BUT...we can't get a replacement casement for our bedrooms that the local code will accept for egress. So...two matching new doublehungs on one end of the house. [No fatties need reply.]

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 7:20AM
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It's embarrassingly cheesy to put modern, undivided windows in old houses, or in new houses that were designed to look extremely traditional.

Our 1950s build has double-hungs with true muntins. When we did the addition and kitchen remodel we opted to reuse two of those original windows in the new bath and laundry room, but switched to single pane casements & French casements in the kitchen and keeping room. We matched the interior and exterior window trim to the original house. Nothing cheesy about them.

The casements do have a center post in the middle of my sink- yikes, how I stressed about that. But, it is not a problem. I worried a lot for nothing.

(smiling) I remember similar thoughts reading this forum back when. Center post doesn't bother me anymore than the inside screens. Lots of unnecessary stressing.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 12:19PM
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Here is a thread about windows. I posted a picture of mine from the outside view. Hope this helps- although I realize I'm a little late! Sorry, just saw the post.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen windows

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:55AM
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I realize a lot has been said, but I wanted to address the question of whether it would be weird to have casements without grids over the kitchen sink when everything else is double hung with colonial grids. That's exactly what my 1941 house - and pretty much every house in my neighborhood - was originally built with. So I don't think it can be considered inappropriate (much less cheesy). It is very practical, however. That window does get splashed a lot, and it's a lot easier to clean than my colonial style paned windows, where you have to clean each pane separately.

The center bar between my kitchen casements doesn't bother me at all.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 3:45PM
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We had a similar decision to make except that the casements were to open into a screened porch and we were concerned that while on the porch, people might run into them. We have double hung windows with grills on the top half all throughtout our home but I didn't want my sink centered on a middle piece of wood between two casements. Was just something I didn't personally like for our kitchen.

We then saw a similar window to what is in my most recent post which has sliders where the side casements usually are and a large picture window in the middle. WE LOVE IT because it gives us unobstructed view, still has the venting options, screens are on the outside and we felt that having the option of the grills on the side windows, helped it to look more traditional like the rest of the windows in our home....our window is one of the best choices we made - we just love it!

I copied my link to my pictures'll see it in the 4th pic down over the sink.

Here is a link that might be useful: imlebby's kitchen

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 9:36PM
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Have you thought about a garden window? I just ordered one for over the sink. Fresh herbs all year!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 4:29PM
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All - am new to posting and as I am too remodeling a kitchen, this casement vs double hung has been a challenge. we have a 1901 victorian with a casement-like window currently over sink and crappy double hung that was added in the 60's over counter. rest of home is entirely double hung. however, we are likely going to casement windows that are 42 wide x 48 tall as one window will be in front of the stove and one in front of the sink. my husband is thanking you all who brought up the center horizontal line of the double hung as it would have hit him in line of sight (not me! I'm 5'2"!) my question may be more appropriate for another forum but did any of you switch your interior window trim out style from a trimmed window to a drywall return one? The entire interior of the home is fairly modern-ish despite the Victorian outer. thanks!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 2:57PM
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chartreusedesign - How did your Marvin venting picture window work out?? I'm thinking of ordering one for my kitchen window and would love to hear what you think now that it's been in for a while....

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:50PM
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I have an old farmhouse (built in 1895) that has single or double hung windows everywhere except the kitchen. In some previous remodel they installed horrible ugly windows that totally clash with the rest of the house. They enlarged the openings (wider) and shortened them. I am debating this issue right now and I am leaning towards 2 double hungs in the opening with a bar between. It suits the style of the house and even if it is not ideal we tend to not notice certain things once we adjust to the change. I have a feeling I wont notice the bar after a few months. I hate casements and think little kids would bang their heads when running on the porch.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:15AM
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I'm firmly in the Incredibly Cheesy Club because I replaced a bank of two double hungs and a bay window with casements. In a 50 year old Colonial style house, even. So that makes me Super Incredibly Fragilsitic Cheesey but that's OK since I live in Wisconsin.

No grids; I didn't want the visual obstruction. The 'wood' of the windows doesn't bother me. You quickly overcome that because the eye wants to look outside and focuses on that rather than the structural part of the window.

All of my windows are over counters so I opted for function over form. And casements are 'supposed' to be more energy efficient than double hungs.

The windows are on the back side of the house with only woods behind. No complaints about 'the look' from the deer, fox & turkeys that lurk back there but I did catch a Pileated woodpecker eyeing them up. Not sure if it was lust or disgust on Woody's part.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:47AM
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With my kitchen windows it is the size they altered to that bothers me more than what windows to use. Anything would look better than what is currently there. Our windows are at the front of the house so quite noticeable from the road....and they are single panes with very old wooden storm windows outside. I am looking forward to not feeling the draft while washing the dishes!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 3:59PM
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I grew up with casement windows, so to me, looking through a double-hung window is like looking through a prison window - figuratively speaking, of course, LOL.

However, there is also a practical reason why I wouldn't want D-H windows. The part where the window is supposed to slide, is always exposed and gets dirty quickly. Cleaning all those "rails" are a real pain, if you ask me. You don't have that problem with casements.

If your windows are not standard size, custom windows could be very expensive. You may as well change the window size. We had to re-frame a few windows and it was not that much more than an insert installation we did on other windows.

But then again, vinyl windows can be cut to any size. There are some good ones and they are less than clad windows. Visit the Windows board for more info.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 7:12PM
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