toh master carpenter norm abram hanging a restored wood window
Photo: David Barry
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Is It Time For New Windows?

Start shopping for replacements when the following problems crop up:

Extensive Rot
Small pockets of decay can be scraped out and filled, but if the sill and jambs are severely compromised, there's no saving them.

Fogged Glass
When the perimeter seal on a double-glazed window fails, the condensation that collects between the panes of glass spoils the view and reduces energy efficiency. The window needs a new sash, at the least, if not entire replacement.

Poor Function
Is a sash hard to open or will it not stay open? Those old windows from the weight-and-pulley era are easy to fix, but sashes with tubular-balance hardware from the 1950s, '60s, and '70s may not be worth saving.

Inappropriate Style
A 19th-century Italianate fitted with modern replacement casements, for instance, will have infinitely more curb appeal with new wood double-hungs that match the look of the original windows. Pictured: Rather than replace these 18th-century windows, TOH master carpenter Norm Abram restored them to like-new condition. Adding interior storms made them as weathertight as new units.
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