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Window Contruction Timeline


dtontarski
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Can anyone provide me a link to a good website, document or recommendation for a book that will help be better understand how to date window construction, based on type of jamb liners, balance systems, etc.?

I've attached a photo - sorry that it's a bit washed out...so much for having an undergraduate degree in photography. The jamb is metal lined, the home was built in 1910. I'd rather say the windows "are" original than "appear" to be original in my report. Any direction and guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Dave Tontarski

The Finger Lakes Region of NYS

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Hey Dave,

Don't have any authority, but they sure look like typical zinc sash strips. Also the blind stop looks from that era.

Old House Journal had a piece on windows in the late 90's. Maybe Walter will recall. I'd be looking there and asking Bill.

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I'd rather say the windows "are" original than "appear" to be original in my report

I would personally leave room for some doubt in my wording. I would not want someone to try to hang their valuation of a historic property on my 5 minute evaluation of their windows. Their are experts that can be hired to determine the historical accuracy of building details. I think this is going beyond the SOP and might come back to haunt you.

I too try to eliminate the "appears to be" inspector speak from my reports but this may be one area you might want to leave it rather than pay for it later. Maybe say" the windows are similar to original windows..." or something along those lines.

Jim

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Why say anything about whether they are original? What has that to do with the inspection? Describe them as aluminum, wood, vinyl, fiberglass framed, or whatever, and whether they are single or double-paned, but I personally wouldn't be worrying about trying to figure out whether they are original or not. I'm only interested in whether they're installed properly, their condition and whether they function alright.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Les

Hey Dave,

Don't have any authority, but they sure look like typical zinc sash strips. Also the blind stop looks from that era.

Old House Journal had a piece on windows in the late 90's. Maybe Walter will recall. I'd be looking there and asking Bill.

Here in Nashville, the metal weatherstripping screams 1950s.

There might be some useful info in the OHJ archives, but...

an experienced HI, after say a year of steady work, ought to be able to eyeball windows and know their vintage. Same as HIs ought to be able to look at avocado-green refrigerators and know their vintage.

Any HI, even a newbie, ought to be able to ride down a street and know instantly when the houses were built. It's really not hard to learn design vocabulary.

WJ

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My knowledge of house part chronology of post 1900 buildings is rather limited. That being disclosed, I would expect to see a cord/weight/pulley system or a tape spring balance system in the window jambs of a 1910 home.

The jamb liners could've been retrofitted later - like when the cotton ropes broke. Sash construction and glass manufacture method would be a better guide to the vintage of the windows.

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