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Cremone Bolt Windows: Maintenance, Features, and Repairs

Cremone Bolt Windows: Maintenance, Features, and Repairs

Interior renovationsCremone Bolt Windows: Maintenance, Features, and Repairs

When strolling through Old Montréal or Old Québec, you have most likely laid eyes on this outward-opening, antique window model. Elegant with a vintage charm, a cremone bolt window (vintage or French casement window) is rarely your top-of-the-list choice when purchasing new windows. However, their beauty definitely rivals that of the other models available on the market.

To better understand its ins and outs, here is a quick overview of its main features and the necessary measures to follow for maintenance and repair.

All About the Cremone Bolt Window

Cremone Bolt Window Features

With a single glance, you can appreciate the beauty of a cremone bolt window. Moreover, it is an ideal choice for heritage homes where the original charm is sought after, as well as for homes with French-inspired architecture. It is therefore not surprising that this type of window is a priority when renovating heritage buildings.

Without a doubt, its greatest feature is the manner in which it opens, which is made possible by the device that inspired its name. In fact, the cremone bolt window is equipped with a latch mechanism featured in the middle of the window, allowing both sashes to open at once. 

The window mechanism is known as "cremone," and is named after the Italian city from which it originates. The sections of the window are in fact, embedded from the inside. And, since there are several types of cremone bolts, the one used for wood frame windows is often a surface-mounted model. However, it may be that your window is fitted with a cremone or an espagnolette, which is a variation of the cremone. 

Since this device is not foolproof, a crossbar is usually recommended. Moving on, note that this type of window is often made up of two sashes, although another window can be integrated above the two. This fixed window is basically a fanlight and allows more light inside while still adding a certain flair to the window design.

Also, the opening mechanism is particularly valued for its range of motion, which optimizes the airflow let in.

In terms of the different materials, this model of window is available in wood, PVC, and a combination of aluminum and wood. 

window with open shutters_cremone bolt windows: maintenance, features, and repairs

Photo: Pixabay

Window Maintenance

Grease and paint the cremone bolt

After some time, your cremone bolt may become difficult to operate. To revitalize the latch mechanism, grease it while focusing on the handle. Even if you are not experiencing any problems of the sort, it is nonetheless highly recommended to grease the latch mechanism every five years.

Should the cremone bolt become rusty, disassemble the mechanism and, using a hard wire brush, remove any rust by running it back and forth along the surface, or by soaking the pieces in petrol or deoxidizer. 

Next, use a paint specifically designed for use on metal (ideally a glycerophthalic paint) to give it a whole new look. If you are unsure of how to go about this little spruce-up, check out our article Painting Metal: A Step-by-Step Guide. If your crossbar also needs a touch-up, feel free to strip it clean and paint it according to the directions provided in the above-mentioned article. And, while you are at it, check the state of the caulking. If necessary, replace the sections that no longer adhere to the frame.

Painting the Window Frame

When it comes to a painted wood window, it is essential to know that chipped paint is a gateway for moisture penetration. Eventually, the exposed wood will absorb so much of it that it may begin to rot. So, keep in mind that paint does not only have an aesthetic quality, it also acts as the ultimate shield.

Therefore, it is recommended that you paint your window frames as soon as needed and make any necessary touch-ups every five years, even if the paint has not faded or chipped. However, make sure that the paint does spill on the sides, over the hardware, as this could compromise its function. 

coloured paintbrushes_cremone bolt windows: maintenance, features, and repairs

Photo: Pixabay

Cleaning the Window Glazing

When it comes to cleaning the window glazing, use a product that has little ammonia (between 1% and 5%). Should there be a visible dust deposit from environmental pollutants, use a soft nylon rag to remove the grub. Do this once a year. 

Repairing a Cremone Bolt Window

It is no great surprise that the majority of issues that occur with this type of window are related to the window latch mechanism. Without a doubt, the bolt with eventually become damaged, even if it is a high-quality latch. Humidity and changes in temperature will sooner or later damage the lock mechanism. However, natural wear and tear will be inevitable, applying the suggested maintenance tips by greasing the device will delay the occurrence of damage.

When the time comes to replace the cremone bolt window, follow the manufacturer's instructions; the steps vary considerably from one model to the next. Since it is not an expensive part and that it does requires a certain amount of patience to repair, a quick trip to the hardware store could save you a lot of headaches. 

Cremone Bolt Window



  • Well-suited for heritage and French-inspired homes;
  • Opens by a latch fixed in the middle of the window;
  • Surface-mounted models are typically used for wooden window frames;
  • Ideally, will have a crossbar;
  • Usually features 2 sashes.

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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