Turning a fixed window to an openable window

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Old 03-21-09, 09:53 AM
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Turning a fixed window to an openable window

I have a small fixed, wooden framed window in the second story master bathroom that I would like to convert to a hinged window that can be opened to allow air circulation. It gets really stuffy in there sometimes. There are similar fixed windows next to it on the same wall (that will stayed fixed), so its important to not make radical changes to its size and shape. Initially, it seemed that the only option was to remove the old window, build in a new jamb, and have a new smaller, but similar window made to to fit the new jamb envelope. That seems like a lot of work and expense. So I started thinking... is it possible to just remove the old single pane glass from the window and put in a thicker, tempered glass pane that is hinged to the existing window wood frame? Then, it would look and operate much like, say a frameless shower door (using similar style hinges and hardware)? Obviously you would put some sort of weatherstripping on the window frame to form a watertight seal. Seems like a viable idea, but I've never heard of it being done before. Is there a product/process like this currently out on the market now? Am I crazy?
 
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Old 03-21-09, 10:35 AM
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Some fixed windows are actually fixed casements. What this means is that they are already hinged like a casement window, but they are sealed shut (fixed) and have no crank or lock mechanism.

If you know the brand of the window you might be able to contact the manufacturer... identify the model window you have, and order a kit to convert it to a casement. The kit comes with new stops, the crank and arm, the crank arm hardware, locks and lock hardware. This will work *IF* you have a "fixed casement", like I mentioned above. I'm not saying that would work with every fixed window.

Some windows have screws around the perimeter of the sash (inside only) that keep it fixed. Usually these are fixed casements. Other times the windows will be nailed through the sides of the jamb. (not fixed casement... just fixed!) I've also seen some where they countersunk screws through the outside of the sash and then puttied the holes over, making the screws hard to find and remove. These also are fixed, not fixed casements.

But if your windows are pretty old... say pre-1970's... they may not be fixed casements.
 
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Old 03-21-09, 07:57 PM
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Thanks for the reply back. Other similar windows on the house open via hinges mounted on the side (though they don't use casement operators, just a fancy brass bar with holes in it that holds the window open at various openings. Are they still considered casement, then?), so perhaps these might be fixed casements. I'll see if I can find a manufacturer and model number on the window, but since they are painted, I'm not sure where I would find that info. Any ideas where I should start to look? The house is from the late 1970's I believe, so I guess its not too old to have "fixed" casements.

If that idea fails, then what about my other idea about just the glass itself being hinged and opening. Is that a viable possibility?
 
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Old 03-21-09, 08:23 PM
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Huh! Just when you think you've seen it all. Side hinges and brass bar? That doesn't sound familiar to me at all. Can you snap a picture of one of these casements in the open position... and maybe a similar picture of one of your fixed windows? Inside/out? I really can't picture what you have now... since it's not the sort of casement that cranks out, it's not what I was imagining. Maybe someone else will have a better idea of what you've got.

As for the manufacturer... look in the bottom corners of the glass, or maybe on your casement windows, look the hardware over carefully- locks, handles and such.
 
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Old 03-23-09, 07:21 PM
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I think Rolscreen and early Pella used this bar system and I've seen it on some others.

Similar to this bar but theirs was a bit fancier.

Old House Store Victorian Style Casement Stay With 2 Pins (622) 300mm - BFBFVSCS622B

Some models even had a thumb screw to set it at any position desired..


As for your tempered glass idea, I would have to try and talk you out of it. I don't think you could get the kind of weather resistance you would need. Well maybe, if you live in Florida, but here in Illinois, old man winter would definitely have his way with that system.

Depending on the size of your opening a new window should only run you a couple hundred bucks (if you install) and would be much more effecient. By the way, as long as it meets the new requirements you would get 30% up to $1500 of what you spend on new windows back as a result of the new tax credits they are issuing.

I think you would have probably over $100 in the tempered glass, hardware and weatherstripping. Whichever route you go....

Good Luck.


Good Luck
 
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Old 03-23-09, 07:47 PM
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Yep, that's the brass bar I'm talking about (though slightly different design)!

I think I'll skip the tempered glass idea for now. That stuff is expensive, too!

Thanks for all the tips guys.
 
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