Restoration of 1670 Plank Frame Window Sash

This 17th/18th century plank framed window is standing proud of the wall.

This 17th/18th century plank framed window is standing proud of the wall.

The Thomas Pellet House in Concord, Massachusetts was constructed in 1670, shortly before King Phillip’s War. According to Kim Cleary, of Cleary Window Restoration Inc. in Waltham, Massachusetts, these plank framed windows were built before pulley and counterweight technology came into general use. The distinctive appearance of windows on plank framed houses is due to the fact that plank framed houses have a thinner wall, and the windows are framed outside the wall, or against the wall, rather than inside the wall, as was the practice in the succeeding centuries. This gives the building face a distinctive profile. Also, these aren’t double hung windows as the upper sash was usually fixed, so only the lower sash would open. Needless to say, even apart from the historic significance of such an ancient structure, any sort of replacement solution would fail as the concept of what a window was and how it worked was different from our era. Cleary and Son performed a complete restoration of the colonial era plank frame windows and sash, the only possible solution. To address weatherproofing and sound abatement issues, they furnished interior storms.

Kim Cleary is a Member of the Guild of Building Artisans.

List of Window Restoration Specialists.

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