I just completed a project doing some restoration work on beautiful old home in our area. The building has been designated a historical landmark, so some of the work was a lot different than what I am used to doing. The idea of all the work was to keep it true to original architecture to the greatest extent possible. You do not realize how much some of the things that have changed until you try a project like this.
The most interesting part of the entire job was getting the windows turned into something reasonably efficient without completely changing the character of the home by taking out these huge beautiful windows and replacing them with the more cost effective and energy efficient custom vinyl windows. These windows all had something I had nearly forgotten existed anymore – window weights. For those of you not familiar, it is a weighted rope and pulley system made so that larger heavy windows can be opened easily by hand and stay opened and shut by way of having weights the same weight as the window to counter balance the window thus holding it in the correct position.
While finding window weights was still manageable by searching around antique stores and old places for the nose round original weights, many of the window ropes and pulleys needed to repair the original sash style windows needed to be replaced. Taking apart the windows and doing this was a throwback to many years ago. It is hard to imagine the amount of thought and engineering that went into designing this style of window.
While I am very happy with my more modern triple pane glasa windows and vinyl, I must say there was a touch of nostalgia in repairing the intricate engineering marvel of the old sash windows. While I cannot argue the old windows were better in any way, they certainly were interesting and I appreciated the chance to work on them. It was in some ways nice to know a few buildings are being preserved with that type of construction intact on them.