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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 1920s Craftsman. In the master bedroom the original window casings had been removed and some awful MDF moulding had been put up in its place during some past remodeling. The window is obviously original to the house and the casing has always bothered me, so I decided to restore them to their original style. These windows had been thoroughly worked over by someone. The obviously-not-original quarter round stop bead was about 3/4" out of parallel with the bottom sash so the window had a ton of slop. A stiff wind would suck the buttom sash in and out. I pulled the casing and found that the interior edge of the sill and jambs had been cut down, poorly, to plane in with the sheet rock put in sometime in the past. Enough was removed from the jambs that the weight pocket access plate had been cut into. Around 1" on the left and 3/4" on the right side had been cut away. Both jambs are cracked all the way up through the parting bead groove. Anyhow, I take it further and cut out the sheet rock around the window and find that there is no infact framing around this particular window at all. No full header, sill, cripples, etc. They're just over the left half of the window. The window looks like it had been moved over one stud bay and the framing to the side was just cut out and tossed. As far as I can tell, the only thing holding the window in the wall is the exterior casing and a heavy helping of can foam. So, deep breath, I'm now going to make new jambs, a new sill, rebuild the window and frame up the opening. I'm intent on keeping them original so here's my question. How were windows back then intended to be fastened to the framing? Were they intended to be directly fastened to the framing at all? It would be easy enough to shim and nail through the sill and head jamb, but is that how it was done? What's an appropriate rough opening? I really appreciate any help. I'm just not that experienced with these old homes. Thanks!
 

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Will you be rebuilding that window or replace it with a new one that looks like that.

What are the exact measurement of the old window.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll be making new jambs and sill at their original dimensions. Both sashes are fine. The frame measures 32" between the outsides of the side jambs, and ~56" from the bottom inside of the sill to the top of the head jamb. I'll be filling in the weight pockets with fiberglass and using Pullman balances instead of weights so I didn't include them in the measurement. I wasn't sure how the old timers nailed these in with the absence of a flange and the sloped sill. I'll include some pictures. Pardon the lighting.
 

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Show me a picture of another window in the house and I may be able to tell you the modern version of trim that will get close. Having that stuff custom milled is quite expensive.
 

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I'll be making new jambs and sill at their original dimensions. Both sashes are fine. The frame measures 32" between the outsides of the side jambs, and ~56" from the bottom inside of the sill to the top of the head jamb. I'll be filling in the weight pockets with fiberglass and using Pullman balances instead of weights so I didn't include them in the measurement. I wasn't sure how the old timers nailed these in with the absence of a flange and the sloped sill. I'll include some pictures. Pardon the lighting.
The rough framing is 1/2" bigger than the window in both directions.
We usually just use a double 2x10 header with a king and jack stud on each side We put the header at the top with a sill below the header and just put the lower sill between the jacks with cripples below that. But that can be different depending on where you are.

That will give you room to do the newer rainscreen installation and set the bottom on 1/4" plastic shims. I would attach to the sides only with shims to center it up just like hanging a door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The casing will be the easy part. The originals are entirely 4/4 pine with eased edges. Sides, head, stool and apron are all essentially the same. I'm really only concerned with the rough opening in the wall and how the frame should be nailed in. Would this be a question better posed in the carpentry threads?
 

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Funny, but I'm doing something similar...moving a double hung window from one location to another. The house was built in 1910 and the windows are original.


First question is if you are going to reuse use the sash weights? If you are, then the rough opening is large enough to accommodate the sash weights---maybe 2 to 3" on either side? From what I have seen, the window frame was usually held in place by the trim.


In my case, I am going to purchase retrofit spring ballasts for the lower sash, make the upper sash inoperable, and ditch the sash weights. No real way to insulate those pockets. That way I can make my window frame the same size as the original and make my RO with an inch space on either side.
 

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There was no way to anchor the sides because of the sash pockets. But they had good nailing on the outside with the shiplap sheathing that was typical. And you also see modern exterior doors hung by nailing through the shiplap on the outside. That is not a recommended way to install a door, but I have seen it done many times, especially on garages.



For my window, I will use some GRK trim head screws through the sides.
 

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Sorry to say but the photo window has no features to make it worth saving. For $300 or so, you can get andersen 200 (or others) with double pane and far superior outside/inside protection and air seals. Although the spirit of keeping the original is fine, I tend to count the dollars and cents. I used to be a fan of magazine called "old house journal"(name?) which was all about saving/restoring the originals. Not much anymore.:smile:
For your window, there probably are nails in the jambs as well as the outside trim, another name is brick molding. Jambs should be straight grain oak or such. Sill and some wood parts could be replaced with pvc lumber. Thicker sill can be built up with 1x. If restoring, that window is wood parts rubbing against wood parts, so need just enough clearance (wood expansion also) and never warping. It is possible to add seals.


http://www.conservationtechnology.com/building_weatherseals.html


Above site has been around for many years and their product is about the best quality. Window air seals are not parts that you can replace easily. Discounting the tape foam strips, which are unacceptable for restoration. So study the seals and plan for long term. Seals are usually pressure fit into grooves and the grooves can be planned preconstruction. Then adjust the stops. Lumber quality is lower so seal and protect the cuts and surfaces before aseembling.
 

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Yeah, I'm going use spring balances as well. I just find it hard to believe that these window frames were held in place purely by trim.



They were. Though that trim as you call it was mostly 1st growth clear SYP or poplar. The exterior 'trim was securely nailed to the part of the window that has the pulleys and the trim served the same purpose as a modern nailing flange. The combination of that combined with the wide trim on the inside was like having a modern nailing flange on the interior and exterior.



The was also some captive quality to the interior window sill, installed onsite, securely nailed to the window bottom and extending to at least the studs on each side. This was much heavier stock than any modern sill you will be able to buy.


Those windows were drafty but there were not going anywhere. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the solid information. This particular window had no interior sill. That was done away with in short order by one of the previous owners of the house. Sitting down to think about it now, it actually makes very good sense. The sill does provide a significant positive capture of the window frame. I had intended to use clear pine outside and poplar inside. Hopefully they'll be of somewhat tight grain. As far as nailing on the outside I was going to use 16 or 20d galvanized finish nails. That sound acceptable? Also, after giving it a second look, the exterior casing over the side jambs is built up to about an 1-1/2" thick. Beefy. I'd say that's a fair bit bit sturdier than a modern nailing flange. I guess I was worrying about nothing. Thanks again for all the help.
 

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This https://www.homedepot.com/p/Alexand...Jointed-Stool-Moulding-W1193-93096C/205958763 is most likely what the original stool looked like. The rabbited portion could be trimmed for shallow walls so that it left about 1/8" gap where it met the window sash.



The ends were trimmed to fit flush and tight to the wall. The left and right casings were set tight to stool.


There are heavier solid, better versions at a real mill work store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm milling the casework so that's not an issue. The originals are very simple. No nosing to speak of, just a simple eased edge. It's all 4/4 stock. The sills aren't pitched the whole way in. They have a level cut just inside of the bottom sash which I'm going to reproduce. They're actually pretty nice windows. The only hard part is going to be getting backside of the casing to meet up with the sheet rock. The wall is far from flat and the existing sheet rock is 1/2" thinner than the original plaster, so I'll probably just cut the jambs and sill shallower or rabbet the casing. Won't need the weight pocket access plate with the spring balances, so either way is fine.
 
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