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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Window Pet Peeve



House windows are not cheap. Over 20 years ago I spent big money to buy windows for the dome. I was worried about the specialty windows. There were a couple of custom triangle shaped windows that concerned me, just because they were custom jobs. The windows that really worried me where the skylights. Everyone had horror storied how they “always” leaked.

Years later the triangle windows are still perfect. The skylights never leaked one drop of water. All the hardware on them works fine.

The windows that gave me problems are all the normal, off the shelf, rectangular ones. Their big feature was the fact that they cranked out. Everyone said they were good quality. The price certainly reflected that. Well, after ten years the company disappeared. Then the cranks started to fail. After a long search I was able to find similar replacement cranks, but they don't quite work as well as they should.

I should have known better. Mechanical crank windows fail. They just do. The original ones didn't just swing the window open. No, there's a few levers that moved the whole window out and to the side. A simple pivot would be too easy -and fixable.

Window hardware that fails is nothing new. Remember back when windows had pulleys and weights? When they worked, you could pull the window up or down and it would stay in place. The counter balanced weights did all the work. The weights ran in channels on the sides of the windows. Over time the ropes would break and the weights crashed down to the bottom. Eventually all those old houses had sticks to prop the windows up.

My first house had those old style windows. Feeling ambitious, I replaced all the ropes. It took careful sanding and lubrication to make everything work perfectly. While it was kinda neat to get everything working, they were still old windows. I repaired the old storm windows and that helped with heat loss. However, those channels for the window weights were uninsulated and drafty. No help for it.

From now on, I'm going to keep windows as simple as possible. Clever features complicate things that don't need complicating.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. Most of life is covered in that last sentence.

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    Replies
    1. Our modern world has gotten overly complex, hasn't it?

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  2. I believe those crank operated windows are called casement windows. They open sideways, like a door. They also make awning windows, that are hinged on top so that rain does not enter the opening when open.

    My Grandparents home had those type of windows - they allow 100% wide opening of window, vs. vertical and horizontal sliders which cover at least 50% of opening, for better air flow.

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    Replies
    1. When they started to malfunction, I called them something else.

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  3. You can buy wood sashes and make your own frames. It is amazingly affordable and rewarding.
    http://shop.americanwindowsonline.com/wood-barn-sash-windows/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They look good. I'll bookmark the site.

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  4. I remember those windows with the rope and weights. They worked just fine. . . for awhile.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, and then they did not. Great fun to repair them.

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