Authentic Window Source

Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.

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jturpin
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:11 am
Location: NC

Authentic Window Source

Post by jturpin »

I have been working on my old post office. I am window ready now. Problem is that its hard to find windows that have a deep window sill. All the new windows that I look at have practically no sill. Any recommendations? I am replacing the upstairs windows 35x65. The bottom windows are being scraped,puttied,and redone.

Thanks
JT in NC
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1880 Stick Victorian
Posts: 833
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:35 am
Location: Lyons, NY

Re: Authentic Window Source

Post by 1880 Stick Victorian »

i am wondering if this is something that would have to be custom made? We had to duplicate a window frame and had to have it custom made to fit....i know probably not the answer you were looking for...

but i have to say that you have done an excellent job from what i can see.. was the roof gone when you started?
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Theo. & Alice Fries House
Lyons, New York - 1880

jturpin
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:11 am
Location: NC

Re: Authentic Window Source

Post by jturpin »

Lighting struck the building in 1915 which I have a picture of. It burned the roof off and at that time it was changed to a sloped flat tin roof. I had to build the top sill back up 2 feet in the rear corners. I used salvaged brick from a nearby farmhouse chimneys that matched perfect. I then sent my mortar off to Va Limeworks and had it matched so that I can repoint and lay the repairs back to match.

jade mortimer
Posts: 1986
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:22 am
Location: hawley massachusetts
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Re: Authentic Window Source

Post by jade mortimer »

haha, i can imagine the initial response of a number of folks when they first read your post jt...

yup, most new windows on the market today have no sill or trim...my suggestion would be to contact a window maker in your area...they can make a true mortise and tenon sash like the old ones...you will pay more but the quality will be reflected in the price...check out this site:

http://www.tradwebdirectory.com/

i'm sure that building is happy that you put the gable roof back and are tending to its many needs...

good luck!
...jade

Sombreuil_Mongrel
Posts: 2189
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:12 am
Location: WV

Re: Authentic Window Source

Post by Sombreuil_Mongrel »

Most of the old windows I come across, in substantial buildings, have a subsill anywhere from 2" to 6" thick, set onto the brickwork in a bed of mortar. hey usually have a 6* slope set into them. Then there's a second thinner sill, ranging in thickness from 7/8" to 1 1/2", that sat under the sash and extended inside until it was capped by the interior sill (properly called the stool). The thinner sill also functioned as the member which the shutters would close against (or the storm window nowadays). This piece was sometimes joined with nails, sometimes box joints or dovetails to the window jambs but not always. The upper sill would keep the jambs spread against the walls.
Anyway, the subsill would be no wider than the wall thickness + overhang (1 1/4" typical), sometimes narrower, in which case it was augmented with scraps/blocking. Sometimes there were "ears" on the subsill (typ. frame house) that extended beyond the jambs or casings. A typical subsill on an 1820's house in my area would be a chunk of white oak, heart pine or black walnut 3"x8". The house in my sig pic has 6" thick granite subsills, but that's another story.
Casey
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jturpin
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:11 am
Location: NC

Re: Authentic Window Source

Post by jturpin »

Thanks for all the responses, I have some Amish cabinet makers that are repairing my bottom windows soon. I am going to see if they will make the others. The roof design was derived from the pictures. I got to talk with the daughter (age 92) of the postmaster back in Sept. She went through the place and described the interior to me. She didn't remember the A frame roof since it had burned 3 years before she was born. I still can't decide whether to put the bars back over the windows. It would require drilling into the window sills to anchor them which I hate to do!

JT in NC

Don M
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Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:35 am
Location: Boiling Springs, PA

Re: Authentic Window Source

Post by Don M »

I would skip the bars at this point & your view would be blocked as well. The windows in my stone house are pretty much like windows in an antique fram house. The thick stone walls are plastered on the inside & the window sill or stool is made up with a wide board which is nice for various display items & cats love them! Don
BTW your building is coming along beautifully!
1840 Limestone Farmhouse
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LorenaBlairBOp
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