This Old House, Glaser Edition

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Steve and the Three Little Storm Windows

The house is not insulated, except for the crawl space under the first floor, and Steve’s office. We have heard about shooting insulation between the siding and the original slats, so we might investigate that at some point. Our first step in plugging the leaks is the installation of storm windows. Victorian houses have plenty of windows, and ours is no exception. Tammy’s parents, who also live in a Victorian house, have seen a dramatic difference in the energy efficiency of the kitchen, which has storm windows, and that of other rooms in the house, which do not.

Tammy’s father has been busy restoring the window frames and re-glazing the glass panes. Now that he is nearly finished, Steve has started shopping for storms windows downstairs, nineteen windows in total! Fourteen windows are about the same size, originally handmade. While the measurements are the same, buying storm windows is tricky. The settling of the house means that the windows are slightly skewed, all in different ways.

Trying to fit storm windows is like Goldilocks in search of the right bed. Steve special ordered one from Lowes as a test, but it was too large. Fortunately, the window arrived cracked. Steve hauled it home just for a test before returning it for a replacement. We are glad he did because it was too big! He ordered another sample window, and, unbelievably, the second one was too small! Caulking will plug any gaps between the window and skewed frame, but there is still a slight gap at bottom of this storm window. It is not perfect, but will be much better than nothing at all. Now that Steve has the measurements that are “just right,” he is putting in an order for thirteen windows of that size.

The window we ordered, pictured above, is a Comfort-Bilt (Millwork Division) Double-Hung, three-track aluminum storm window. It is hard to see in the photo, but we end up buying built-in screens. They are inside the storm window, better protected from ripping and dirt.


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