The Mast-Head: Windows 2.0

I decided to start restoring our distinctly mid-century, divided-light casement windows

    Cold weather has put an end to what perhaps was a fool’s errand on my part. Sometime in mid-fall on a balmy weekend afternoon, I decided to start restoring our distinctly mid-century, divided-light casement windows.

    My attention turned first to the sets along the walk from our driveway. To describe the paint as peeling would be generous; only paint and glazing putty remained in some places. It had been a score of years or more since the windows had seen any attention, and when we had the house reshingled and the trim redone a while ago, the painters did not bother with the windows, assuming, as their foreman told me, that we planned to replace them.

    But, with three kids and plenty of other things to spend money on, the windows lagged. Moisture crept in, and it lingered between the divided lights and the interior storm panel. The insulating capacity was near to nil when a wind came up. And just as bad, they looked like hell, greeting visitors with a disheveled hello.

    One of these days, we hope to start on a major renovation, perhaps changing the interior layout of the house, maybe even moving the master bedroom, opening up the kitchen, and during the process, replacing the windows. Until then, I figured, it did not make much sense other than to try to get them back in shape.

    As it turned out, there is not much to it other than time. First, the sashes have to be taken out of the jambs, and the jambs primed, filled, and painted. Unlike the spongy junk that passes for wood these days, the frames and muntins are still sound. They respond well to sanding and painting and look terrific when this is done.

    The thing is that because of other responsibilities, like running a newspaper and driving kids around, I only work on one or two at a time. But now cold has set in, and the project may have to go into hibernation until spring. No matter, I enjoy the work, though at this rate, I should have all the windows done sometime in 2015, just in time for the renovation to begin, I suspect.