UPDATED MAY 2019:

Hi Folks, today let’s talk about storm windows. Wood or aluminum…we seem to either love them, or hate them! But there is a better solution!!! Read more to learn about The Best Wood Storm Window options!

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Storm windows are a very important aspect of an old home. Aside from the added charm (did I mention “wavy” glass?) and curb appeal, they protect your historic wood windows from the harsh elements and help save energy. So what happened to them?

Ever wonder why we always see those ugly 1960s aluminum storm windows, and less of  the historic wood-style on old homes these days?

Why Traditional Wood Storm Windows Are Mostly Extinct:


 

    • Wood storm windows are heavy and require hauling them up and down a tall ladder – NO THANKS!!!
    • Wood storm and screen windows were completely separate units – DOUBLE THE WORK…DOUBLE THE STORAGE!!!
    • Way before air conditioning, storms had to we swapped out every summer and winter (glass storms and screens – WHAT A HASSLE!!!
  • Lighter, cheaper aluminum storm windows eventually started replacing wood.

wood screen A-A
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Storm (all screen)

Wood storm A-A
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Storm (all glass)

 

THE FIX:  The All-Season Wood Storm Window


 

  • Install an all-season storm window: A unique and innovative wooden storm window, where the lower sash is routed out to create an edge, allowing removable panels (glass and screens) to be installed .
  • Upper sash – fixed glass/glazed.
  • Lower sash -removable from inside of the house (glass and screens).
  • Upper/Lower – make BOTH removable, if your goal is to restore/retain double-hung window air flow.
  • All-season installation – no more swapping out windows twice per year!!!

Wood Storm Sizing / Construction / Installation


 

  •      Cedar or pine ~1  -1/2″ thick ( I prefer cedar for rot resistance)
    •  Mortise and tenon joint construction. Blind tenon and pin joint may also be acceptable.
    • Size and build window frames with the following gaps between the casing:
    • measure window opening in 3 places (top, middle, bottom) and cross measure for square (or not).
    • 1/4″ gap at bottom (for drainage and ventilation)
    • Bevel bottom edge to match slope of window sill.
    • 1/8″ gap on all other sides for expansion.
    • Router the back side about 1/2″ wide, and to the depth of your removable frames that you select locally (~3/8″ deep).
    • *Note – Make sure the lower rail top edge is routered on an angle so it doesn’t hold water!
    • Wood Storm Window All Season Storm and Screen My Old House Fix
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    • Glaze in the fixed sash (usually upper sash only) if just the lower sash is removable.

Wood Storm Window Mounting Before and After
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Get This Look:


 

  • Custom Storm Windows
  • Lower sash removable frames (glass and screen)
    • Local storm window/screen/door shop (Robertson’s, etc) can build your frames based off the finished storm window dimensions.
      • ~$20/per window (1 glass frame/1 screen frame)
      • “Wavy” glass option: Use salvaged windows and hand pick them for the wavy glass look. Remove glass from the old sash and have it cut to size when making the frames!!!

 

Wood Window Restoration with Speedheater 1100
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  • Finish
    • Stained and finished to match our porch ceiling and new porch swing.
    • 2 coats of Sikkens CETOL SRD (Dark Oak 009) stain for color.

 

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  • 2 topcoats of Sikkens CETOL Window and Door ( Satin Colorless 003).

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  • UPDATE: After about 4-5 years of exposure to the elements, the Cetol is chipping and peeling on our 2 sunniest sides of the house. As a result, the wood is discoloring as well. I will be trying alternatives to Cetol such as Waterlox Marine Sealer, as it is a sealer that “soaks in” and may retain the wood color better when staining (as the finish wears, wood is still sealed vs topcoat peeling to expose raw wood). You can also apply a “satin” finish on the last coat with Waterlox Marine Satin Finish

 

  • Hardware
    • Numbered Window Tacks – to keep track of each window location – like in the old days!

      Wood Storm Window Number Tacks
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      Numbered Window Tacks

    • Top Hinges –  stainless steel hinge/screw set (as zinc and steel plated will rust):
    • Stainless steel swing out locking hinges (for ventilation)
      •  Kilian Hardware
      • $10.99/set
      • Amazon
      •                                                            
    • Interior eye and hook latches
      • Lowes / Home Depot
      • ~$2.00/set

               

Wood Storm Window Eye and Loop Hooks Interior Latch
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