Returning a House to Its Former Glory, Part 2

Just in time before the weather took a turn for winter, we were able to finish this portion of our SpencerWorks traditional wood storm window retrofit. But first, we had to prep the original wood brick moulding, exterior jamb, and sill.

After sanding and scraping all loose paint, and patching with Abatron WoodEpox, we primed the entire casing and sill with Mad Dog Primer’s DuraPrime latex primer.  We went with this product because of its glue-like properties that hold down peeling paint, and because the product never fully cures, which allows the primer and top coats to “ride” with the substrate as the seasons change (in the summer, when wood products swell, and in cold seasons when wood shrinks, the primer does not crack).


After the top coats were applied to the casing, we began work on the storm sash.  The sash were constructed with traditional mortise and tenon, and are the standard 1 1/8″ thick, fitting almost any old home’s jamb perfectly.  We went a little custom on these, and upgraded to Spanish cedar, which, with proper painting and maintenance, should last well into 2100.  We also had the glass set in the rabbet using clear caulking.  To seal the glass from the outside, rather than use the new wood quarter-rounds, we went old school and glazed the glass to the sash.  This subtle detail gives the storms a more historical look.

Here’s a photo of the storm sash for a bedroom window, and the interior view of the storm, highlighting the beautiful ogee profile.





Once we finished the glazing and painting, we hung the storm sash to the house with the traditional storm window hangers.  Instead of using the traditional hook-and-eye hardware, we installed storm window stays, which allows for the homeowner to open the storms in those random nice days in early spring and fall before the bugs arrive.  In the closed position, the stays draw the sash tight to the jam.

The storm window stays, in stainless steel, in the open and closed position.








Here’s an interior view of the storm window in the open position.

From the exterior, the new storms look fantastic, and take this home back to its roots. The meeting rails on the storms now match the primary sash meeting rails, and the hangers draw the eye of the passerby, signaling that these storm windows are authentic. (Just the upper three storm windows were completed in this phase.)

For my money, there’s nothing better than seeing a house with storm windows flexed in the open position.











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