Double Hung Windows

double hung windowThe most common type old house wood window used in America is the wood double hung window. The double hung window has two sashes, each one-half the height of the window, and each hung with cords and weights or fitted with sash-balances, so as to slide up and down. The essential features of this window are the same in both frame and brick buildings, although the difference in the character of the walls necessitates some variation in the construction of the frames. The illustration above shows an elevation of a wood double hung window in a frame building, with two styles of head-finish; and the drawing below shows an elevation of the same window placed in a brick wall.


double hung windowThere are also several styles of wood double hung windows found in old houses. A very common type of window in brick buildings being that shown at the right. Where the window has a circular head; there are two methods of constructing the upper part of the frame and sash. One is to make all but the outside portion of the frame square, with square, solid corners to the upper sash, so that it would slide up and down and be finished on the inside the same as though the window had a square head.

The other method is to make a solid circular head to the wood window frame, so that it would finish circular in form on the inside. double hung windowThe latter method would generally result in a better appearance on the inside, especially when the double hung window has no curtains or draperies; but a serious objection to it is that the lower sash would slide only to the springing of the circle, and the upper sash, having but a small portion of its sides straight, did not usually work well. For these reasons it is generally better to adopt the former method of construction for circular-head windows in residences, hotels, club-buildings, etc.

Double hung windowsFrequently in brick buildings the top of the upper light of glass, and also the outside of the frame, is cut in the form of the segment of a circle, in which case it is called a "segment-head" window. Segment head double hung windows were usually finished "square" on the inside. Double hung windows were also often made with the division between the sashes at some point above the middle, so as to bring the meeting-rail above the height of the eye of a person looking out from the inside; and when this is done it is necessary to make a "pocket" above the head of the frame for the lower sash to slide into, if it is to slide its full height.


double hung windowDouble hung windows are also frequently used in pairs, and sometimes three or four windows are included in the same frame. A window such as is shown above is called a "mullion-window" or a "double window," the vertical division between the windows being called a "mullion." This window has also a "transom bar," which is the horizontal division between the double hung sash and the small sashes, or "transom-lights." Transoms were frequently used where there were no mullions, and vice versa. Stone mullions and transom bars were also frequently used to divide windows, as shown in the drawing on left, which represents, also, a special type of the double hung window.