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Thread: Window sash width vs side jamb width

  1. #1

    Window sash width vs side jamb width

    I'm trying to understand window anatomy. Is it correct that a window sash fits in a window jamb?

    If so, is the window jamb made up of a: Head,Sill, and two sides?

    Using the above terminology, how much wider should the distance be between the side jambs and the sash be to allow for movement? I'll be using cypress if that matters.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Bob Beasley; 10-01-2015 at 04:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Some variables here. Interior mill work is subject to various architectural styles, and of course there are no real hard and fast rules. I Googled 'window and door trim' in Amazon books and found all sorts of interesting reads for less than $20, some written by the pro interior mlllwork guys. Good luck learning new stuff!
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

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  3. #3
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    Ditto what Carol said about style variations. Here's a graphic of the basic terminology that I found.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  4. #4
    Mine is a 1896 cypress Acadian Cottage. I'm trying to duplicate the original windows. I think they were built on site out of construction left overs. Over the years someone replaced two of them with eh...gad.... aluminum windows.

    Not that I'm proud of my little cottage or anything BUT it made it's TV debut Tuesday on NCIS New Orleans season 2 episode 2. I'm having a blast learning all this stuff. And buying cool power tools.




  5. #5
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    Bill offered good help with terminology. If you are conversant with SketchUp (worth the learning curve), draw out your existing door mill work and then duplicate it around the existing window sizes and see what it look likes on your screen. I would not be surprised to see door casings the same width as window casings. Jambs would be a consistent ratio of the casings. Go from there and see what happens. I'd measure Bill's drawing to determine ratios, draw them out on the screen and see how it all looks. Don't overthink this. The original builders were likely not Rhodes' Scholars.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Hey Bob, good on you for keeping the old windows alive. So many folks think the new ones are better when it just ain't true and there's a lot of value in those old windows.

    The preservation trust and some related folks are holding a class local to me (http://www.thedalleschronicle.com/ne...-get-new-life/) on restoring old windows. I don't think I'll be able to make it to that one unfortunately, but while looking at it I found what I think is the main teaching material they're using http://blog.preservationleadershipfo.../#.Vg2jbZc8rmE (amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1505299144) which I may well pick up.

  7. #7
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    I think I would take on that challenge, and I would do just like the original builder did, with ONE exception. I would purchase some high quality tracking, and some high quality double pane thermal windows. There is a remarkable difference between the new windows and the old single pane windows in both hot and cold.

    I would built them on site but not with scraps.

    I would compare the original window and duplicate the construction, but incorporating the new design features. You can measure and duplicate the original pieces.

    I would make the new windows "look like" the old windows but with enhanced performance.

    Tilt out windows are a GREAT design - if I could build that feature in, I would.

    That stuff is not all that hard to do, but it does take a little patience, and a good miter saw and table saw. A good jig saw is handy also.

    Use the Great Stuff foam for doors and windows (blue can).

    With a little ingenuity and patience, you can make some great high performance windows that will be indistinguishable from the originals.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Voisine View Post
    would purchase some high quality tracking, and some high quality double pane thermal windows. There is a remarkable difference between the new windows and the old single pane windows in both hot and cold.
    Yes and no. The double pane are better than the 1950's era single pane, single window setup. They are generally not better than the older single pane plus storm window design.

    http://www.preservationnation.org/in.../#.Vg28GJc8rmE
    specifically:
    http://www.preservationnation.org/in...eet_100212.pdf
    breaks down the savings for the various types of updates.

    Somewhat anecdotal (but supported by other data I'm to lazy to look up at the moment):
    http://blog.preservationnation.org/2.../#.Vg286Jc8rmE

    Short version is that, yes double pane is better than single pane but not necessarily as good as single pane plus storm window (which effectively makes it a double pane I suppose but with a larger air space). This is assuming that all of the windows are well made of course, I think air leaks around the edges could quickly overwhelm the other variables.

    The other consideration is that double pane windows leak gas at some measurable rate (yes they can be recharged but who's going to do that?) and once that seal is broken you have problems with fogging, etc.. The single pane ones are more easily fixable. That's obviously only a consideration for certain types of us

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Voisine View Post
    Tilt out windows are a GREAT design - if I could build that feature in, I would.
    I'm on the fence here... its certainly a personal preference I think. I think I get better airflow with my current double hung windows than we did with our last house that had fancy swing out Anderson windows. I also believe that the double hung seals better on average (exceptions abound I'm sure). The other advantage of the double hung is that they are better at surviving high speed gusts when open (that was a bit disconcerting to find out the hard way - of course not every place has ~50-70mph gusts on a daily basis ). The swing out arguably has simpler parts though so.. I'm not sure.

    What do you see as the main advantage(s) of swing out?


    BTW: if you can get cypress wood for your windows its pretty nice for being rot resistant and sturdy (especially the heartwood). We don't see it around these parts but you might Even pine properly painted and cared for lasts a long time though.

  9. #9
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    I have new Marvin windows on the South side of my house - no storm windows.

    I have single pane windows with storm windows on the north side of my house. I have not gotten to them yet.

    I am 100% about the difference. There is a remarkable difference. Mostly noticeable in the winter. There is no mistaking the difference. Even in the summer with windows closed and A/C running, there is still a noticeable difference in the windows.

    I burn firewood for heat. Having heat loss from the windows is not an issue to me. If I was still burning oil for heat the single pane and storms would have been long gone.

    I grew up in older houses. I will take the new!!

    Also on the tilt in - there are good ones and not so good ones. Personally - I do not like Anderson windows.
    A good tilt out window makes cleaning a very easy task.

    I had sliding glass doors that frosted on the inside, even though they were double pane. They were inexpensive doors without thermal breaks. When I built my addition I installed Marvin Integrity, not even the top line. I did shop around and do my homework. I also learned a lot about doors and windows when I ran my handyman franchise. It can be 0 degrees outside and windy and my doors and windows do not feel cold to the touch. That is not so with the single pane with storms.

    I have never seen a single pane window perform in the same way, even with storms.

    All my windows are double hung.
    Last edited by Leo Voisine; 10-02-2015 at 01:02 AM.

  10. #10
    I really appreciate this input, this forum is quite amazing.

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