Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Window of Opportunity

There it sits, at the moment in our formal dining room of our home in Indianapolis....'The window". Actually not a bad thing, as it forces me to get things prepped for our Knox St Home in Cincinnati.

The previous owner had yanked out every original window in our house and replaced them with double paned windows. Normally if I have original windows I prefer to restore them and install magnetic storms which do an excellent job while maintaining a historic appearance.
Since this isn't a "museum house" recreating the original 2over2 windows is impractical and frankly as a concession to both pocketbook and comfort using modern windows is practical.
One of the nice things we have is a certain flexibility of design. One of the shortcoming of our home is that in the 1940's when the siding people came a calling is that we lost much architectural detail. Our brackets and top and side trim boards were butchered in the process of installation. This affords us a unique opportunity to both re-side in a period exposure hardi plank but to add architectural interest and detail to the front facade.
As anyone knows, replacement windows are expensive, However they don't have to be. Since we were redoing the front facade I have greater flexibility in window design and placement. As a result we can use a larger window and add a stained glass transom above. We went to Accent recycling here in Indy and purchased a "mis-measured" prism custom window. This is a 750.00 window and we bought it for 50.00! I am a big believer in using recycling centers and the proceeds from these centers go back in the community. After some "hunting" around their huge warehouse we found a lower fixed picture window that was the 'right size' to go with the new stained glass transom that will go above it.
Once this window is "Trimmed over" with wood it will appear to be authentic and this affords us the opportunity to create a small "square bay" on the front formal parlor of the house which we can trim out and create greater architectural interest (see illustration). Of course now I have to cut all the components for the new window frame and will have to not only remove but enlarge the old window opening. Since this is an exterior wall I will need to install a new structural header and re frame the "square bay" area but this will afford the opportunity to properly insulate the outside wall. When completed it will look "period" from inside and out.
I will keep everyone posted from time to time as this project progresses.

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