Use the upper sash?

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

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michaelskis
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:12 pm

Use the upper sash?

Post by michaelskis »

Yesterday I went to the Old House Expo in our area and had a great time. One of the speakers was a windows professional who talked about window restoration and re creating wood storm windows. In talking, I showed him a picture of my house and he pointed out that it is was his house, he would have a fixed lower sash and an operable upper sash so he could access the storms from the inside. Mainly because we have a 1/3 over 2/3 set up and it too hard to get the lower storm out without taking out the lower sash. It is also safer for our kids since the windows are only a foot off the ground.

I thought it was a brilliant idea!

Has anyone else ever done this? How do you like it? Do you get enough air flow?
1890 Edmund Barry House
Heritage Hill Neighborhood
Grand Rapids, Michigan
http://heritagehillhome.wordpress.com/

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Neighmond
Posts: 509
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 11:23 am
Location: NW Iowa

Re: Use the upper sash?

Post by Neighmond »

I open my uppers alot during the summer, it lets the hot air exit the top of the window, closer to the ceiling.
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csnyder
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:49 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Re: Use the upper sash?

Post by csnyder »

I was at the Old House Expo as well - I volunteered (which involved sitting in on two sessions and helping the presenters as needed), so I got in free. :-)

I was especially impressed by the sample windows at one exhibitor's booth (can't remember the name; from Kalamazoo; the booth was facing the doors). The way those windows glided so smoothly gave me hope that ours can too. I also became convinced that metal weatherstripping (the interlocking kind - not just spring bronze) is what I'd like to do.

Having an operable upper sash does sound nice. To me, the optimal setup would be to have both sashes operable, to give the most flexibility. That's a lot easier if the windows were originally designed that way, though.
Chris Snyder, WavyGlass.org

michaelskis
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:12 pm

Re: Use the upper sash?

Post by michaelskis »

csnyder wrote: Having an operable upper sash does sound nice. To me, the optimal setup would be to have both sashes operable, to give the most flexibility. That's a lot easier if the windows were originally designed that way, though.
Ours were intended to both be operable, but because of the size and division of ours, it would be a pain to get up on a ladder twice a year to swap screens and storms.
1890 Edmund Barry House
Heritage Hill Neighborhood
Grand Rapids, Michigan
http://heritagehillhome.wordpress.com/

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Sombreuil_Mongrel
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Location: WV

Re: Use the upper sash?

Post by Sombreuil_Mongrel »

I have read it several times but do not yet see how having just the upper sash move would make more utility for removing the storms, unless the fastener at the bottom is on the outside, then yet you'd need a ladder to get to the fastener.
For the windows with stained glass, inside storms may be better, if gaining operability of the top sash required a lot of reworking. I have seen fixed sash that were nailed through the jambs before installation, getting those out is very destructive.
Casey
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GothicHome
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:08 pm
Location: Chatham Kent On / Calgary Ab

Re: Use the upper sash?

Post by GothicHome »

All I did with my storm to make removal easy from inside is mount a couple of decorative brass handles just a little below mid height of the storm and used a couple of good nice looking brass eye and hooks. But my inside windows are simple double hung sashes. The bottom sash opens to the mid point. Just lift the window, grab the handles, undo the hooks. Push slightly to clear the frame and rotate storm and pull it in from the bottom. Works like a dam.

michaelskis
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:12 pm

Re: Use the upper sash?

Post by michaelskis »

Sombreuil_Mongrel wrote:I have read it several times but do not yet see how having just the upper sash move would make more utility for removing the storms, unless the fastener at the bottom is on the outside, then yet you'd need a ladder to get to the fastener.
For the windows with stained glass, inside storms may be better, if gaining operability of the top sash required a lot of reworking. I have seen fixed sash that were nailed through the jambs before installation, getting those out is very destructive.
Casey
My bottom sash is about 4 3/4 feet tall and the upper sash is only about 2 1/2 tall. Therefore the lower sash can only open up 2 1/2 feet. This is not a large enough opening to slide out a 4 3/4 foot tall storm window. However, if I have the upper sash operable, it will open up the full 2 1/2 feet and the storm (removable from the inside to be replaced with a screen, will also be able to be removed with a simple step ladder.

When I say fixed, I not mean nailing the sash. At most, I will use some type of removable caulking at the seams so I can open the windows on occasion to clean the glass.

Originally, both sashes were fully operable and the original home owners would need to hire someone to put up the storms in the fall and replace them with screens in the spring. However, with a window that is over 7 feet tall in the air more than 20 feet, it is not an easy process.

I am thinking of building wood frames and using the existing glass that I have from my poorly built aluminum triple tracks.
1890 Edmund Barry House
Heritage Hill Neighborhood
Grand Rapids, Michigan
http://heritagehillhome.wordpress.com/

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

Re: Use the upper sash?

Post by 1880 Stick Victorian »

Before we started replacing our triple track with wood storms, i had purchased four commercial grade triple track storms for this one bedroom... i also had them fit the storm with two screens so that i can totally remove the glass and have two screen panels so that i can open the top and bottom of our double hung windows... its not the perfect solution but is allowing us to use the full window...

if i was smart i would figure out a frame that storm or screen panels could be installed.. and that would eliminate hauling up or down any storms or screens...
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Theo. & Alice Fries House
Lyons, New York - 1880

OldTownHome
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 6:54 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA
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Re: Use the upper sash?

Post by OldTownHome »

I've been working on our windows and have been able to free the upper sash and repair the sash cords to make them operable again. It wasn't easy, but was rather gratifying. I'm in the progress of building 2 over 2 wooden storms that have removable upper and lower glass panels that will allow me to take them out and place screens. I wouldn't be able to do this properly without operable upper sash, so it was a necessity to get it all functional. Now that I'm nearing the storm install (this is like a 5 year project, ugh) I can't wait to try it out.
Old Town Home
1886 Victorian Row House in Historic Old Town Alexandria
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