To add a classy vintage look to a house, consider installing sash windows. For an authentic feel, choose wooden windows. The fine grain of timber frames gives a classic elegance and add charm and character to period houses. Decorating your home is easy with the installation of these as a feature.
This type of window is very practical, especially during summer. Half the window slides open, allowing the maximum amount of air to enter the room. Cleaning the glass is easier as the panels slide up and down allowing ease of access.
Frames are available in hard or softwoods or in synthetic materials such as PVC. The latter is easy to maintain. However timber looks more authentic and adds character. Properly treated and maintained timber, either hardwood or softwood, will have good durability although hardwood is generally considered a superior and therefore preferable option. As a home improvement project, these will increase the attractiveness and value of your house.
There are a number of types of timber which are used for the framework. Some of these are Siberian larch, meranti, ash, oak and redwood. If you choose frames which have been triple laminated, they will be stronger and have greater durability. DIY kits are available and are not hard to install if you have some experience with do-it-yourself projects.
Unless there is ongoing maintenance, wooden frames may warp and rot. Pressure treating helps improve resistance to damage from rotting. Insects sometimes attack wooden frames too. Check the length of warranty on new sash windows. Should softwood frames disintegrate, it is relatively easy to dismantle and rebuild them.
If you need to do replace existing sash windows, ask about improvements in materials. The frames may accommodate safety or security glass. You can also use a coated or tinted glass which will save on energy costs. While the traditional opening and closing mechanism is composed of cords and weights, it may be possible to replace these with a more durable and efficient spring balance system.
Sticking can be a problem. This is usually due to high humidity. The moisture in the air causes the wood to expand and swell. This makes them difficult to open and close. You will need to get the window open before you can fix the problem. Using a putty knife, try to force the blade between the window-sill and the sash frame. Do this on both sides of the window until you are able to free it.
If the window still won’t open, use a pry bar. Place it between the sill and the window. To prevent the bar damaging the window-sill, place a piece of wood under the jemmy. Work from one side to the other until you can loosen the corners and open the window. Clean the channel of debris and any blobs of old paint. Find the area which is causing the sticking and sand it down with a sanding block and some 80/100 grit paper. Wax the channel for added ease of operation. Timber sash windows will add value and class to your home.
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