In its lifetime my home has provided shelter to dozens of people and pets, seen children become adults, witnessed questionable taste in wallpaper, survived several good-sized earthquakes, endured poorly considered remodels of the kitchen and bathroom, and even housed a pack of college-aged boys while serving as a rental.
Despite the attempts by countless vinyl window companies over the years my home still has its original windows. When I bought the house in July 2003, I took possession to discover that the windows were painted shut on the inside, painted shut on the outside, and the storms were painted on.
Most of the windows are in decent shape, though painted too many times. I cut open the lower sashes when I bought the house but didn't realize that the top sashes were actually functional until recently.
The sash cords of the window in the back bedroom both broke this summer, allowing the lower sash to fall and breaking the glass.
A curse upon the head of anyone who paints a window shut. I hope that the AC in your car breaks on the hottest day of summer.
I had to cut the paint with a razor blade, pound it with a block and hammer, and coerce the upper sash down. That orange goop is paint stripper.
I curse all people who paint window hardware rather than remove it. May insouciant nursing home maintenance men dribble paint on your head when you're ancient and mute.
Why paint a sash lock? Why why why??
The left pulley is unmolested (but the sash was painted shut over it) while the right pulley has been painted several times. Don't do this, people. Really. This is what it looked like after a lot of scraping and stripping.
This sash cord probably broke because it had been painted.
I tried to cut it open by hand (see the light-colored vertical line?) before giving up and begging a tool from our awesome neighbor.
This is the window after significant scraping. The wood damage could have been avoided with a storm window.
Again, more scraping revealed a sill in terrible shape. The previous owner hired someone who painted over the problem rather than fix it. I'll have to finish sanding it, fill it, then prime and repaint it.The broken glass was the final straw: I couldn't allow another winter to trash the window and its frame. While G-man was in Virginia on a business trip I decided to tackle the project I've been meaning to do, but been afraid of, for 7 long years.
I pulled the stops off.
I stripped paint.
I removed the lower sash and cut the upper sash open.
I listened to our nexi-door neighbor's 5-year-old jabber at me all day: "Miss Jenn, what are you doing? Miss Jenn, is that Curry? Miss Jenn, would you get me an otter pop (WTF??)? Miss Jenn, what are you doing? Miss Jenn, can I hold a chicken? Miss Jenn, why did you get a dog? Miss Jenn, what are you doing? Miss Jenn, why are you drinking?"
OMG. She never shut up! My mom says it's vengeance from the now-dead neighbors I irritated as a little girl.
I've gotten new glass for the window and stripped the old paint. I still have to reglaze the window, sand and repaint the lower sash and sill, strip and repaint the stops, seal the gaps with caulk, and put the window back together. If we really get our act together, maybe we can build a storm window by October, which is when we normally put the storms up for the winter.
Thank goodness this was the worst window. It was in rough shape but none of the other windows are this bad. I'm not done but now have the confidence that I can refurbish the others as needed.