Dollarphotoclub_70989575Window maintenance is an often-overlooked part of home improvement. Replacing older windows with energy efficient windows is a popular do it yourself project. But not all older windows need to be replaced when you encounter problems, and some historic districts have very strict guidelines.

Some ct replacement windows may need glass replaced, paint removed, caulk to seal the air leaks or ropes replaced. Older windows are hung on ropes and need to be properly balanced to open and close properly. If you have older windows, you may want to invest time and money in restoring them and making them more energy efficient. Newer windows may be more difficult to update and repair, as they often available only as units. Here are a few tips on how to make restore old windows to make them more energy efficient.

Using Putty

Clean the rabbet before you start. Cut some putty from its container with any sharp utensil. If it is particularly sticky, spread a small amount of powder filler on your hands, and coat the putty itself with more filler to make it easier to handle. Work it in the palms of your hands so that you achieve a malleable, smooth consistency before you begin. Work from the outside. Roll the putty into strips about 3/8 inches in diameter. Press the strips into the rabbet. Maneuver the glass into the rabbet. Press gently around the edges of the pane. Then hammer the glazing pins into the rabbet, not quite touching the glass; their heads will be hidden by the finished putty. Use cardboard to protect the glass.

Press more strips of putty into the junction created by the glass and the rabbet using your thumb. Use a putty knife to trim excess putty from behind the glass and then draw the knife along the external putty to create a smooth seal. Miter the corners neatly. Then finally remove smears from the glass with mineral spirit. Before painting, let the putty dry until a hard skin has formed on its surface.

Installing Double-Glazed Units

Double-glazed windows have two layers of glass separated by air space, which creates nearly twice the insulation as single glazed units. Glass does not provide insulation value. It is the air between the layers of glass that creates the insulation of an air pocket. Some types of double-glazed windows also use a plastic film as an inner glazing layer. While you can achieve a similar result with a storm window, it is not as effective as there is heat loss along the frame of the storm window.

If you add a third or fourth layer of glass, the insulation value of your window will increase. Each layer of glass traps some of the heat that passes through, increasing the window's resistance to heat loss. When double glazing windows are manufactured, the air between the glass is dried and then the space is sealed airtight. This eliminates possible condensation problems later. Some double-glazed windows are made with a reflective coating, which helps the insulation value. Place two packers along the bottom of the glazing rabbet. Vinyl glazing systems vary, so follow guidelines specific to your system.

Further packers may be required around the edge of the unit to ensure that it is positioned centrally and securely within the frame. Position the unit on the packers and push it into the rabbet. Take care not to crease the waterproof seal or gasket as you push. Clip the glazing beads and gaskets into position to hold the unit securely.

Installing a Mortise Casement Fastener

Most side-opening casements require one fastener, although larger ones may need two, as will large awning windows. Installing fasteners is a straightforward procedure that simply requires accuracy in positioning. For hook or wedge fasteners follow the first three steps below, then pilot and screw the hook or wedge in position on the window frame. Remove the old fastener. Fill the holes with wood filler. Sand the filler smooth when it is dry.

You can buy colored fillers that are almost invisible in wood with a natural finish. If your window is painted, you will need to prime over the filler before touching up the paint. Hold the fastener in position and mark the screw holes. Drill pilot holes in the casement frame at the points you have marked. Screw on the fastener. Close the casement. Swing the fastener toward the window frame. Position the mortise-plate so the arm touches the frame in the middle of the opening.

When you are happy with the position, use a pencil to draw around the edge of the mortise-plate and its central opening. This will provide a guide for chiseling out the mortise. Chisel out the mortise and a rabbet for the plate. The mortise depth should be slightly greater than the length of the arm. Mark and drill pilot holes at the attachment positions. Reposition the mortise-plate and screw it in place.

Interested in more tips for successful home remodeling projects? Check out our "10 Tips for Home Remodeling Project Success" post.