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Traditional Sash Molding Profiles

Since window “manufacturing” (as opposed to on site fabrication) began in the United States, a great deal of standardization has occurred. There is always the oddball out there, but for the most part, from around 1865 on, there have only been a handful of predominant sash molding profiles. By far, the most common has been the “Roman Ogee” (upper left in illustration). This is our standard profile, but we offer others.

Actual Heirloom Profile

The Heirloom ogee profile below is the same as the first image in the first row above and by far the most common profile. Other historic profiles are available at significant additional cost.

Examples of Historic Profiles
Glass Depth (offset)

The actual geometry of the profile is so diminutive and intricate that most people couldn’t pick theirs out of a line-up. However, what IS noticeable, and therefore significant, is the depth the glass is set into the frame. In the vast majority of traditional sash, the glass is set at least 7/8″ deep into the sash from the interior. This depth creates a “shadow line” that is partially responsible for the character of the window. Most contemporary windows choose to ignore this aesthetically significant detail and therefore are easily identifiable as “modern”. We’re assuming you aren’t seeking a modern appearance for your replacement windows and therefore the Heirloom Windows provides you with the historic look you’re after – that warmth and richness which is only found in deeply set glass.

Cross section of traditional historic sash with standard ogee.

7/8″ deep Heirloom ogee profile

7/16″ deep Anderson random profile


Sash Frame Ratios

One of the many defining characteristics of a traditional double-hung window is the ratios between the Bottom Rail, Top Rail, Meeting Rail and Stiles. In most cases, Stiles and Top Rails are close to 2.25″, Bottom Rails are 3″, and Meeting rails are 1.125″ – 1.375″. The untrained, naked eye can’t necessarily recognize a 1/2″ difference in the dimensions, but it can readily recognize disproportion when all the parts are viewed together as a whole window. If the proportions aren’t right, it’s pretty obvious.

Bad Ratios

Many replacement window makers either don’t recognize the importance of maintaining these delicate ratios or just choose to ignore them. Either way, the result is a look that’s not only not historically accurate but shouts contemporary!

Good Ratios

The Meeting Rail on this Heirloom Window is about 25% narrower than the Stile which is close to traditional. The Meeting Rail pictured left is about 20% larger than the Stile, and obviously presents a contemporary look.

Interior Finish

Simply installing new sash doesn’t finish the job! Many people aren’t satisfied with a bare wooden sash, so they need to have them finished with either stain or paint. Heirloom Window sash come with the exterior primed and the interior “sanded and ready for paint or stain”. That way you can precisely match both the interior and exterior of your new window to match or contrast the rest of your décor.

Interior Casing, Trim & Stops

As mentioned, only the sash are replaced with Heirloom Sash Kits. Neither your interior nor your exterior casing (or brick mold in the case of masonry buildings) is touched. The only “trim” that is removed and replaced is the interior stop (the thin slat that keeps the lower sash in place) and or the parting stop (which separates the two sash). If it’s caked with built-up paint, deteriorated, chewed up by old fasteners or window treatment hardware, we recommend replacing this stop with new material.

On the other hand Heirloom also offers complete window replacement systems with include the jamb sides, head and sill. Even in this case you carpenter should be able to reuse your existing interior and exterior casing.

Jamb Liners

Conspicuous Jamb Liner

It’s not hard to spot the lamb liner in this picture, even without the circles. The problem with typical jamb liners is that, not only can they be seen above the lower sash when it’s closed, but also around the perimeter of the lower sash. If the window sash are painted white, it’s not a problem, but the darker the color, the more the jamb liners stand out. Because the jamb liners in most contemporary windows also serve as compression seals and must mate firmly with the sash edge, if they were painted, it would scrape right off the first time the window is opened.

Inconspicuous Jamb Liner

The Magnum jamb liner is invisible! The liner in this picture was painted the same color as the jamb and trim so it just disappears. Since the weather-stripping, which is hidden on the edges of the sash, is the only thing that makes contact with the jamb liner, the jamb liner can be painted any color you choose, and it won’t rub off with use. If your windows are stained, your local paint store can match the stain color with the proper latex paint, so even then the jamb liners become inconspicuous.

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