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ABC Serving New Hampshire and Massachusetts Since 1984

¨A State Licensed Home Inspection Company¨

ALL ABOUT HOUSES BY ANDREW B. CONSOLI

We need to talk about windows. The original homes in America often had no windows. Having a window would make it difficult to heat the home and could become a security risk by having an unnecessary opening in the wall. Eventually windows were needed because people bathed once a year; the house really needed some fresh air. The carpenter cut holes in the wall to allow for wind to enter the house, those holes were wind holes. Get it? “wind holes,” that’s where the word “window” comes from.

Windows in the 1600s were small diamond glass casement windows. This type of window was most common in England at that time. Casement windows open outward. In the 1700s windows opened up and down called single hung or double hung sashes. The word hung comes from the fact that the window sashes are actually hanging in the wall opening on ropes and pulleys. Double hung windows have both sashes that open and single hung only one sash opens. There are many types of windows such as sliding, oriel, awning and Palladian. During the colonial era from 1620 to 1840 windows had 10 to 12 panes of glass per sash and during the Victorian era in the 1800s the sashes often had one large pane of glass. The Victorian era was all about “look at me” and how successful you were. Windows with single panes of glass would cost the homeowner more in taxes which allowed the homeowner to brag about how well off they were.

Window regulations today require that windows are energy efficient insulated glass sashes that meet the newest energy building codes. Check with the local building inspector before purchasing windows to be sure they are code compliant. It is illegal to have keyed window locks on bedroom windows. You don’t want to be looking for a key to unlock the window in an emergency.

Today’s windows are normally made to tilt inward allowing for easy cleaning. Windows can cost anywhere from $150 to $800 for double hung and $500 to several thousand for picture bay and bow windows.

Massachusetts requires a construction supervisor’s license and permits to install windows. New Hampshire only requires permits to install windows.


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