Reglaze or replace?
I really need some guidance here: In 2001 I purchased a 1935 brick colonial revival with the understanding that all 19 double hung, 6 over 6 windows would require complete reglazing within the next 5 years.
That time has now arrived and I have done nothing to address the issue except perhaps entertain the possibility of replacement sash kits for all as opposed to actually reglazing. The thought now frightens me for a few reasons: 1) the overall scope of the project, 2) the fear of working from a ladder for the entire second story and 3) the huge expense of sash kits for 19 windows.
I consider myself blessed with a fair amount of talent for home projects. But when a job like this comes knocking (as this one is now) my habit is to shut down and ignore the problem if I don't have a good solution. Meanwhile, the glazing continues to fall away in chunks....
To be honest, I would much prefer to reglaze and preserve the original windows which, after 70 years, have retained all of there structural integrity and could be made beautiful once again. I am also making the assumption that the windows can only be reglazed inplace. So my primary question centers around whether or not the sashes can be removed from the jambs where they could then be stripped, reglazed, repainted and returned to the jambs. The job would be less overwhelming this way if I could attack each window on its own over the next couple of years, but I'm afraid to take up hammer and bar and go after the first one to find out if this approach is possible.
(Details about these windows: nothing unusual really. I am wondering whether the upper sash was ever operable as it appears to ride on a tin guide strip that is channeled into the sash and secured at the bottom so the sash does not move. Even though I can't actually see this, I'm assuming this guide strip has flanges that are nailed directly into the jamb with small brads, much the way the tin sill liner was installed. I'm assuming if the parting strip were to be removed and the upper sash unsecured from its guide, the sashes might just come out nicely with no fuss?)
I would appreciate thoughts or advice from anyone with experience in this arena.