May '05 2005-05-26_002_2
Historic Window Design
Historic window design is our passion; we specialize in making replica or historically accurate designs. Please call us for technical assistance, or contact us by e-mail.
Window historical background. Window design has changed slowly over the past years. Before 1700, all windows were casement, or hinged, until just after 1700 when the first ‘sliding sash’ window was introduced into the colonies. At that time, glass size was limited due to its manufacturing, setting on a standard of about 8″ x 10″, or 7″ x 9″. During the 1800’s, the muntins, or dividers between the windows, became narrower as the century progressed, and changed in profile. Glass sizes started to increase as well during the middle of the century. This led to a different looking window in the Victorian period. Window manufacturing didn’t change dramatically in my view until the late 1960’s, and since then the changes have been dramatic. Many manufacturers have taken on the attitude of function over form, and now vinyl jamb liners, and even vinyl windows are the standard. Except for a few companies, there is no impetus to follow historic details.
With the renewed interest in restoration and quality, historic window replication is becoming more popular.
Our windows are made with the finest materials and craftsmanship. We are able to match any window profile, both sash and frames. We can provide technical assistance in historic details; we can advise about historic window details, such as glass size, counterbalance systems, muntin design, all based upon the particular restoration period. Our custom millwork team can make sashes only, if desired. We typically run our sashes with our antique single end tenoning machine, to produce quality and traditional pinned joints for your historic windows.
The muntin design is often a great way to date a window. The following are typical muntin profiles on the east coast of North America, which we are able to duplicate:
Credit for this research: James Garvin
- We provide windows made from mahogany, cedar, or equivalent rot resistant wood.
- Our windows come pre-primed and glazed, ready to paint.
- We can provide historic blown glass, appropriately wavy depending on the period.
- We will do a site visit to create matched window plans.
Window Options that are available:
Wood Choices for sash: Mahogany, sapele, walnut Wood choices for sill: mahogany, walnut, Spanish cedar Counterbalance systems: sash ropes and weights, sash chains and weights, tape balances, jamb liner Weather-stripping: metal saw kerfs, compression bronze, silicone Glass: laminated glass (higher R-value) single strength regular, double strength regular, hand blown glass (new), hand blown antique Design: Standard rectangular, radius top, transoms, bow front Casings: We can provide our windows with exterior casings, of any profile. Shutters: We can make and install shutters on our windows.
Our historic designs are all single pane glass, for proper appearance and scale. Storm windows, both metal and wood, in single strength and insulated, are available. Shutters for our historic designs are also available, with a variety of hardware.