"I have rotten wood and am looking for someone to replace windows"
That is the message I retrieved from my office voicemail on a Monday morning in November of 2012. I of course eagerly called the phone number left on the answering machine, and was greeted by Davie, who was the homeowner with the window problems.
I began to discuss with Davie what kind of problems he was having. He explained that some of the wood sections of the windows on his home were rotten, and that he was searching for a wood window to replace them. The home had been built in the 1920's, and had a series of casement windows that filled a corner of the kitchen that lead out onto an elevated deck. The deck was south facing, and bore the brunt of the summer sun. This seemed to be one of the factors causing the window frames to deteriorate.
With a spectacular view that the deck offered, the windows were both an element of disign from the interior and from out on the deck itself.
I set up an appointment for a Saturday morning, when I could visit the home, and sit down with the owners to discuss their needs and wants. Davie wanted a wood window, mainly to be able to paint it to match what I call Frank Lloyd Wright RED. A similar color was used on buildings early in the 20th century, and made quite a fashion statement at the time.
Upon arriving at the house and reviewing the condition of the exterior wood, I saw that the windows had removable wood grids (some people call them grilles). They were casement style windows, and were not exactly the best style window for the location. The deck area was small, and the casements, when cranked out to their open position, took up quite a large portion of the deck. The windows were on a corner, and one pair of caements opened up directly into a spiral stairway that allowed access to the deck from the garden below.
After sizing up all the issues, Davie and his wife decided to make a few changes.
- The windows were changed to a vinyl composite
- The exterior was factory painted a custom color to match the existing color scheme
- The style was changed to a cottage style double hung to regain deck space by eleiminating the crank out casement windows
- The grids were made as simulated divided lites permanently attached to the glass (inside and outside of the house)
- Tempered glass was used due to the proximity to the door and floor (must be tempered if 3 feet from door or less and 18 inches from floor or less)
- Low e glass with argon gas fill was used to improve energy efficiency (argon gas prevents heat transfer due to convection)
- A paintable / stainable synthetic wood veneer was used inside to allow an actual painted surface on the interior
The transformation made the windows virtually maintenance free (after the interior was painted) and not only allowed access from the spiral stairway while the windows were open, but allowed more space on the deck for grilling, and partying!
By using the cottage style double hung window (the top sash is smaller than the bottom sash), Davie and his wife Jonica were able to have a view to the exterior that did not have the meeting rails of the sashes right at eye level. The simulated divided lites and the painted interior surfaces will match the style and feel of the period when the house was built.
Here is the new view from the interior
The installation was completed in February 2013, and the homeowners are totally thrilled with the outcome. The original plan was to paint the interior white, so that the painted surface would blend in with the other surfaces in the room. However, because the woodgrain looks so pleasing, they are now considering staining the interior.