The weighted sash windows in the former Holy Rosary Catholic Church were built in 1939-40 with single pane, rippled, tinted glass. Nice windows for a church, but very dim inside on a stormy day, and very drafty. The fine people at Crystal Glass in Quesnel fabricated 16 new clear, double-glazed units for us a couple of years ago. I was glad to finish this finicky job!
You may notice the interior plexiglass storm window in the photo above – it’s attached to the interior trim using rare earth magnets. Here are the steps I took to do this:
The lower, rectangular windows came out easily from the inside.
The upper, arched windows required removing two layers of old, wooden trim that holds them in place, and sometimes unhooking metal flashing from the trim.
All were classically weighted sash windows. Here are the two counterweight sizes:
The old windows, especially the arched ones, were all slightly different sizes and required a lot of scraping, chiseling and sometimes even cutting to make the new glass units fit the recesses. But the first step was to use a heat gun to soften the old putty and chisel it out in order to remove the old glass. Difficult to do without breaking any glass.
Once the frames were cleaned out and fitted, they needed priming and painting:
Because the exterior fir trim was so old, it often split upon removal, even with gentle, patient prying. It required various forms of surgery to make it intact again:
These pieces needed more than glue and pins:
The interior trim needed resanding and finishing, and one sill had a split that needed reinforcement with glue and screws:
Claire stained the set of curved blocks I bandsawed to provide support to the new arched units:
Our friends Brian Lewis and Murry Krause not only kindly loaned us their scaffolding for the summer, they delivered it from Prince George to our door! (Interesting how standing up top feels higher than it looks from the ground.)
None of the window frame cavities were insulated, except for a thin layer of horse hair below the sills, so I filled, foamed, caulked and taped any empty spaces I found.
It’s wonderful to have clearer, brighter light in the gallery and more heat retention.
Thanks to our neighbours, Dustin and Connor who helped move the scaffolding one day as they walked by, and to Dave Jeffery, Tim Hathaway and Dave Jorgenson who helped more than once!