Did you ever hear of an Eastern Style window casing? An eastern window casing is something I heard of not too long ago and is only found in the New England states.
A regular window casing is otherwise known as a Western Style window casing. Whether you have an eastern style window casing or western style really does not matter much unless you use storm windows or working shutters. Storm windows on eastern style window casings is a huge problem.
Window casings all have what is called a Blind Stop. Eastern style window casings do not have a blind stop. Continue reading and you will see what kind of window casing you have and what you need to know.
I really do not know much about the history of these window casings. I would assume that early double hung windows were very primitive and this primitive design somehow remained in use in New England until around 1970 (not 1870). Historically, solid shutters were called shutters and louvered shutters (which came about in the mid 18th century) were called blinds. The blind stop was added to the window casing after the introduction of louvered shutters (blinds) and called the blind stop because it stopped the blinds from hitting the window sash. If anyone has other information on this please let me know.
What is a Blind Stop on a Window?
Look at the western style window casing image on the left. To make it easy the blind stop is colored in light blue. The blind stop goes all around the window and ends at the bottom at the window sill, which is colored in blue. What is important here is that there is a flat edge on both the face of the blind stop and the window sill. This flat edge acts as a resting place when closing shutters. Here’s some more info on window casing design.
Look at the purple mark in front of the blind stop. The is where the shutter would fit. The outside of the shutter is flush with the face of the window casing and the inside of the shutter is resting against the blind stop. There is just a small space between the back of the shutter and the front of the window sash frame.
Now look at the eastern style window casing image to the right. Notice there isn’t any blind stop and the upper window sash is closer to the face of the window casing. When shutters are closed – or at least when the shutters were regularly used and closed 120 years ago – the shutter would rest against the window sash and also stick out past the face of the window casing, looking sloppy. There is only about 3/4″ between the face of the upper sash and the face of the casing.
Storm Window Problems with Eastern Style Window Casings
First, this is what a Western Style window casing (normal window casing) should look like with a double track storm window.
The images above show a double track storm window by Quanta Panel . Notice how it fits nicely inside the window casing and is boarded by a nice shadow line around the edges that improves the appearance. The face of the window casing is not obstructed by any junk attached to it.
The windows above look absolutely ridiculous! I would sooner board up my window from the inside before I put a storm window on the top of the window casing.
A storm window, like a shutter, rests on and is screwed into the blind stop of a window casing. Without a blind stop the storm window can only be attached to the face of the window casing.
A storm window has many benefits but they do take away from the appearance of a naked window even when attached to the blind stop. The common triple track storm window is a very thick object that protrudes a few inches away from the window. When mounted to the window casing it appears to be gigantic! Double track windows are much better looking since they are not as thick but still will look ridiculous on an eastern style window casing.
Please understand however that any exterior storm window will protect and add to the life of your historic windows which if cared for will last well over 200 years. A high quality replacement window will look wrong and will last about 15 years and end up in the landfill. Remember “maintenance free” means Cannot Be Maintained. Read about window information you must know .
What To Do If You Have Eastern Style Window Casings and Want Storm Windows
GOOD NEWS! Allied Window, Inc. manufactures a top quality storm window that can be installed on eastern style window casings. This “invisible” storm window comes with an attachment making the storm window appear as if there were a blind stop.
These storm windows are single track and less convenient to use compared to the triple track which are easier to use because the windows are self storing. This is a small price to pay for the excellent curb appeal you will get. There is no excuse to have ugly storm windows that makes your house ugly. So if you care about how your house looks you have three options.
I recently spent a weekend at Provincetown – Cape Cod, Massachusetts and was shocked how almost all the homes that once looked beautiful could look so ugly because of the storm windows they used. I know they have a very strict Preservation Commission but unfortunately they neglect the impact of what bad storm window can do to a house.
I sent this information and an email to Darlene Van Alstyne and Anne Howard. Neither of them offered the courtesy of a reply. Many times with historic commissions the members are more concerned with exercising their power and authority than making improvements.
OK New Englanders.
Your house can be beautiful again.
Call Melanie from Allied Window, Inc. and she will help you.
Shutters for Eastern Style Windows?
Yes you can have shutters but they are different than what you would expect. Read about Shutters here.
The link takes you to all the info on shutters but for specifics go to Part 2.