Monday, May 21, 2007

"Sure we have a true divided light...but we call ours 'simulated divided light.'"

This post is not for the faint of heart when it comes to windows. V and I are looking into replacing the windows in the old gal--but before anybody goes nuts on me, let me tell you that the house already has craptacular aluminum replacement windows from the 1960s that are failing miserably. On a windy day the curtains actually move inside the house from the drafts. Yup, it's time to replace!

Enter true divided light wood sash inserts. We already know what we want. Easy, right? Wrong. I have called numerous window companies ranging from mom-and-pop shops to the big manufactureres. Our wish list is straightforward: we want true divided light wood windows in a 6/6 configuration. Beyond that we are negotiable.

I won't name names, but the first place I called said "True divided light wood sash inserts? Sure, we have those...only we call ours 'simulated divided light.'" I gently explained to her that, in my version of reality, "true" is not synonomous with "simulated." So she very enthusiastically explained how their "true divided light" has grilles on the inside and outside, with a spacer inside, "so you can see that they really are a true divided light, it's just that we call them simulated." And she was serious.

The second place I called told me I don't really want true divided light. Hmmm, really? And why not? "Well, because if something goes wrong you'll have to replace that pane of glass." OKKKKK, and what happens if something goes wrong with a simulated divided light window? I'd have to replace a much bigger pane of glass, correct? "Well, yes, but at that point you could just replace the whole window and it'd be much easier."

Holy crap.

I did actually find a few places who would quote me a true divided light wood sash insert in the configuration I want. We'll see where those estimates come in. I have a feeling I'm going to be afraid. Very afraid.


Old House Gazette said...

Marvin Window is the only "Big Name" window company that I have found to have true divided lights. I'm sure there are others, but I gave up searching. lol

Oblio70 said...

O! I feel your pain & frustration! When we were looking to purchase a home, one of the things at the top of our list was "original double-hung windows". We figured that it would be easier/cheaper to repair the existing windows than to try and hunt down reasonably affordable "true divided light" windows. Luckily, we live in California where the need for double-glazing (non-simulated kind) is not entirely necessary. Wish you luck.

Stephanie said...

The price may be too painful once you figure in shipping from Oregon, but we used these folks for our windows and have been very happy with them.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. I have the original divided light windows in my house. With an open bottom pane, the upper pane has either a 3 or 5 pane vertically divided light - not a common configuration. I'm getting ready to remodel the second story and bump out shed dormers on the front and back, I was starting to fear getting matching windows for the addition. The local architectural salvage place has not had any windows of a matching style for several months of looking. I got lucky and was able to find a guy that pulled his and replaced them with vinyl - his loss. He had put them up on craigslist for free. I had to drive an hour to pick them up, but it was worth it. Good luck with your search.

Northeast Iowa Mom said...

I'm embarrassed to say I don't even know what "divided light" means. Is it individual panes of glass?

Have you seen this company?

G said...

Yep--individual panes rather than a single pane with false grilles tacked on the inside/outside. We just prefer to use the authentic divided if we can find it (and afford it, lol).

I have seen them. In fact, I've got a call in to them to see what they come up with for us! :)

Christine said...

ROTFL! And I'm sure in her head she really justified saying that. Hope you found your windows, and if you did, let the rest of us know where.

Anonymous said...

How funny--some people just do not understand the concept of trying to be as historically true to the original as possible. There is such a brainwashing in commercials these days that everyone needs to replace old windows--drives me nuts. I'm also sad every time I see someone throwing out old windows & doors. I'm looking for the true divided light windows also--have been hunting for antique ones, but would love to hear recommendations for new ones. (last owner of our house was an idiot for throwing them away & replacing some of the moulding with Menards crap..)