Different types of Antique Windows

Different types of Antique Windows

So you are in the middle of fixing up that old Victorian-era home that you bought, only to discover that some of the windows don’t work properly or need replacing. Most of these ancient homes have flat double-hung or vertical sliding sash windows. Modern window manufacturers attempt to replicate this appearance with the addition of muntins — steel or wood decorative frames inside or outside the dual- or tripled-paned glass. But when you’re attempting to remain true to the home’s origins through the restoration process, these replacements won’t work.

Antique Glass

Homes 100 years or older, constructed after the Industrial Revolution, might possess one of 3 types of glass inside their antique frames. Even old techniques involved glass blown using either the crown or cylinder process, which was broken into panes, through the U.S. Industrial Revolution, glass producers developed a new process that would allow them to attract 40-feet high cylinders of glass by a circular cylinder. They would then cut them into lengths of 7 to 10 feet, reheat and flatten them. Victorian-era homes or older homes might have windows that contain glass created in almost any of these methods. The appeal of antique glass comes from its many imperfections, waviness, bubbles as well as the slight variations in transparency.

Sash Windows

Like the variations from the glass in antique windows as compared with modern windows, the window frames have been only as distinct. These residences might include horizontal double-hung windows with counterbalancing weights and a sash, as well as windows, where the weights were concealed in a small box, or even vertical sliding sash windows. Every one of these type of antique windows usually includes hardwood sashes, also known as muntins or lites, that framed the window and kept the person panes.

Beveled, Leaded and Stained or Patterned

Windows not meant to be opened were often beveled, leaded and stained, or patterned. Several of these leaded windows utilized varying types of glass together with or without coloring. Beveled glass includes cut and tapered designs from the glass, usually defined by distinctive geometric shapes and framed by major. The surface of patterned glass feels bumpy or rough to the touch. Stationary antique windows may contain one or each of these types of glass.

Unusual Window Shapes

Aside from vertical and horizontally shaped windows, stationary antique windows have been manufactured in multiple layouts, sizes and shapes. Some of these windows might have been solitary as a design element of the home, such as an arched window that comes to some tall point at its crown, half-circle paned windows or windows where the panes themselves produce double seams within the larger arch of the framework. The glass in these windows may be colored, beveled or stained.

Antique Window Restoration

If you are attempting to restore an old home, you may update the windows with newer versions, but, for authenticity, you might choose to look to a glass restoration company or company that specifically handles or recreates antique window frames and glass. Thomas Baker of “Old House” magazine chronicles a method that homeowners can use to fix old sash windows, usually drafty and single pane, to make them much more energy-efficient. The method involves removing the windows to strip them of putty and paint, re-gluing that the sashes with epoxy, and outfitting them with weatherstripping.

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