Single pane, double hung windows with sash cords and counter weights hidden in voids beside and between window frames was the norm for decade after decade of early century homes. Although less common in or out swing casement windows still exist today, and are wonderful to look at and use. Leaded glass mounted within wooden or steel sashes were commonly used as decorative panes as was wavy, handmade barrel glass fitted into upper and lower sashes with true divided lights of many description. Usually spoken of as a number of true divided lights in an upper sash as compared to a number of divided lights in a lower sash (e.g., referred to a six over eight; eight over eight, or whatever combination of lights characterizes a particular design). Storm windows were the norm and acted similarly to modern day thermal panes seen in modern day window sashes. Divided lights are copied today, but are almost always simulated as opposed to true divided lights. This is for many reasons the primary of which is the slender muntons dividing the sash into lights are too narrow to hide the seals associated with modern thermal panes. Storms windows typically are glazed for winter and screened for summer requiring seasonal swapping and storage of unused seasonal storm window sashes. Due to the work required to do this typically selected window only are swapped seasonally, or ventilation holes with louvered covers were installed to help avoid this seasonal requirement and hassle.
Doors, similarly, both interior and exterior doors, were manufactured to different standards than most modern doors. Mortise locksets ruled the day on both interior and exterior doors. Hinging was often a decorative as well as a functional element of doors and windows. These metal elements in old doors and windows were all cast iron, brittle and easy to break during renovation work in the modern area by people who don’t understand and make mistakes. Old doors and windows, like all ancient millwork detailing are typically misunderstood and neglected over the decades in some cases resulting in a requirement to either replace with modern windows, and if not possible or desired replaced with reproductions of the originals. Deciding which approach to take is a task of making lists of pros and cons, and considering other factors such as other scope of work being undertaken during a renovation or restoration project. Meshing a modernization efforts for energy efficiency or mechanical systems or building code with preservation efforts is not so simple and innocent mistakes can lead to very expensive and disappointing results in years to come. This work needs to be done by those who understand and appreciate these subtle, but significant differences between our modern world and the world of the past. Our history reminds us where we came from and points the way to our future. Let us help you to create lasting buildings that honour the craftsmen of our past enshrining into our future our current skill and knowledge which can be woven into ancient buildings.