Throughout this renovation project, we have kept every original window we could possibly keep, and these extraordinary windows are undergoing a loving and delicate restoration process. In the end, we will end up having restored (and in some places uncovered). 38 windows, 3 arched transoms, and 3 glass doors. Here is a link to two previous posts for further context regarding these magnificent 100 year old windows: Bringing life back into our 100 year old windows. And: Window restoration process.
This post focuses on the new windows we custom ordered to fill the places of those older windows too broken to fix and for our den/kitchen/master addition. To read the full story of the incorrectly measured new windows please reference this earlier post: Incorrectly measured new windows. I am rather particular and protective regarding our windows. I specifically requested to our window representative, multiple times, for the old and new windows to be as identical as possible, especially in regards to the proportions of the light patterning of the sash bars. Sash bars/muntins/grilles are the strips of wood that uphold and connect the individual panes of glass in a 100 year old window OR in a modern window simulate the look of separate panes of glass when actually these bars are superficially laid atop one large pane of glass. The technical terms are true divided light windows (our 100 year old windows made up of several small panes of glass), versus simulated divided light windows (modern windows made up of one large pane of glass with bars laid atop the glass). Our 100 year old Prairie style windows have the most pleasing proportions, and I wanted to match these proportions perfectly in the addition, and especially in those windows we sadly had to replace. I emphasized this point so many times to our new window representative that he actually commented on how particular I was about my windows. My response was, YES, I am particular about the windows, please make sure the old and new look the same as they will sit side by side for years to come.
Anyways, a few months later our new windows were installed, but they were basically stock Prairie style windows, not the custom windows we requested, and they were not in proportion to our 100 year old windows. I was disappointed. Our builder was very disappointed and quickly set in motion a rapid set of events that resulted in the promise of correctly proportioned new windows to exactly match the originals (as originally requested and at no cost!). Apparently the actual light patterning (sash bars/muntins/grilles) was never measured, just the overall window sizes, therefore resulting in correctly sized windows, but incorrectly proportioned light patterning, the thing I mentioned over and over as being of utmost importance. Well, it took a few months for the replacements to be installed, but they are in and they are indeed more appropriate for the home and for the surrounding original windows. New and old talk to each other in the same proportions and the home feels more connected and harmonious. Pleasingly proportional and at home in their old home.
Here are some pictures of our 100 year old windows to give you a feel of the larger than normal light patterning proportions. The light patterning is clearly Prairie style, but again, the proportions are generously larger than your standard, especially modern, Prairie style window.
And here is a distinct example of old next to incorrect new, the proportions are clearly off. The new windows were totally sound and good products, but set next to our 100 year old windows, they looked incorrect and made the whole home feel off balance.
A sampling of the incorrectly measured new windows from a few weeks ago versus the newly installed and correctly proportioned windows.
New windows before replacement:
New windows after replacement:
This was a supremely important match to make and we are finally there! Lesson learned, if something is just not right, even after you think everything has been fully communicated, speak up, be heard, and get it fixed!
Love and hugs,
PS…We made homemade coleslaw! It was a delicious end to a hot summer day!