I have never acquired an old house that had its original wood window screens. Makes sense. They are rather flimsy items that have maximum exposure to the elements & over the decades, windows fail & the harnessing of electricity has made it possible to use HVAC systems to cool our houses. Opening windows has fallen out of favor as people have come to believe that a house should be all buttoned up & air tight. And with the abandonment of fresh air has come the abandonment of wood window number tacks.
Being the daughter of a gardener, I like to bring the outdoors in so I like to restore my windows & build new wood screens. My little fur friends enjoy sniffing the great outdoors & I kinda live to make them happy.
The tricky part of making these screens is that old houses are seriously out of plumb & the windows vary in size, perhaps only gently, but enough to make it impossible to install a screen to a random window. Each screen must be custom made (measuring twice!) & then it belongs to that window.
I have a sensitive sniffer so I like to have clean screens & the best way to clean them is by removing them & then spraying them with a hose. Of course it’s easiest to pull them all off a side at one time, line them up & squirt them, but how do you keep them sorted? And right-side-up?
For you folks who live in regions that require you to use storm windows, necessitating a bi-yearly swap, this little trick will save you a great deal of time & aggravation.
USE WINDOW NUMBER TACKS
Invented in 1948, these cute & handy little items were used to mark windows with their matching storm windows in winter or their screens in summer. They are little, very sharp tacks made of a metal alloy with numbers stamped on their heads. The stamping is heavy enough that you can paint & disappear them, but remain legible. A tiny barb under the head ensures that they will stay in place.
They are produced in sets that are numbered from 1-25 & second sets if you have more windows (Most bungalows do!) that is numbered from 26- 50. You purchase a set for the windows & a corresponding set for the screens & another for your storm windows, should you have them.
You can occasionally find vintage ones on eBay or Etsy & can purchase new ones from House of Antique Hardware
TIP: I love old windows & doors, so if you’d like to know more about them, click here.
STAY IN THE BUNGALOW KNOW!!!
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