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Community and Q&A

Changing muntin orientation

jenniferz5 | Posted in General Questions on

The original windows on my 1953 home are intact and in “good enough” condition. However, they are not at all my style.  It seems that it would be not too difficult (although very time-consuming) to change the orientation of the muntins from horizontal to vertical.  The windows are square so I could reuse both panes of glass and the muntin for each window; although I would strongly consider replacing the panes with thicker glass.  

Has anyone attempted to do this?  [Photo attached.]

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  1. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #1

    Jennifer, traditional, true divided light windows like that have muntins that are mortised into the sash frame, so unfortunately you can't change the orientation. If the rest of the window is in good condition, you could find a local shop to make you new sashes.

    If I misunderstood and you are proposing to rotate the square sashes 90°, that could work, though usually the tops and sides of the sash frame are different dimensions and would need some carpentry to make them work.

    Why would you change to thicker glass? It wouldn't save any energy, but if your glass is prone to breaking it would help with that.

    1. jenniferz5 | | #2

      Yes, the glass is so thin that it has been known to break. New plan - what if I removed the existing muntins and replaced the lower glass with one piece of glass (no muntin) and dealt with the upper window (double hung) as I was hoping to (albeit with a new muntin)? I don't want to replace the wooden windows; this seems to be a reasonable compromise if you think it would work.

      1. Expert Member
        Michael Maines | | #3

        That's possible. I would look for a window restoration company or a millwork shop that makes windows. Brace yourself--it's not inexpensive work!

    2. Expert Member
      DCcontrarian | | #4

      Traditional sashes are made for a certain orientation, the joinery is designed for the stresses of that orientation.

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