Breaking Glass in the Name of Science

understanding glass

Today I get to spend the afternoon breaking glass in the name of science and I’ve recorded it on video so you can benefit from my tests without the clean up. Back in the day glass used to be simple. There was a limited supply and variety that you could find for windows and doors. Picking the right types of glass was all about finding the right size to fit the opening. Today that’s no longer the case. Just […] Read on →

Hurricane Preparedness For Old Houses

hurricane preparedness for old houses

Hurricane preparedness is no joke here in hurricane country. Having just finished the storm clean up from Hurricane Matthew here in Orlando my mind can’t help but focus on ways to keep us all safer. We dodged a bullet in Central Florida, but the coast and islands like the Bahamas and Haiti were not so fortunate. There isn’t much you can do to a building to help it survive a direct hit from a Category 4 or 5 […] Read on →

How To: Remove Glazing Putty

how to remove glazing putty

Whether it’s steel windows or wood windows removing glazing putty is one of the more frustrating things to do in my opinion. How hard the work is depends on a lot of factors like how old the putty is and what type putty was used. There are a few tricks to remove glazing putty without breaking the glass that I can show you. Mainly it comes down to being patient and careful. No matter which technique you use […] Read on →

4 Hacks For Re-roping Windows

re-roping windows

I’ve discussed how to re-rope double-hung windows in a previous post, but folks are always looking for more ideas on how to make roping easier. So, here are four simple hacks I’ve developed to make re-roping windows a whole lot easier. Click here for more help on restoring your old windows, and if you need some top notch sash rope you can always buy some right here.   Hack #1 The Piggyback If you’ve still got a rope poking through the pulley […] Read on →

Understanding Single-Hung Windows

understanding single hung windows

Depending on the part of the country you live in and the style house you own you may have either double-hung windows or single-hung windows. Theses two types of windows can look very similar if you don’t know what to look for, but knowing which you have is important. The operation of the bottom sash is almost always guaranteed in sash windows, but in a single-hung window the top sash is stationary. It can be removed easily, but […] Read on →

All About Wavy Glass

all about wavy glass

Lots of us appreciate the wavy glass we find in our old windows. Some don’t even know what they have, but for those of us who have taken note of the unique appearance of wavy glass the new stuff just won’t cut it. Old glass has bubbles, waves, inclusions, varying thickness…all kinds of beautiful imperfections and that’s exactly why we love it! I’m sure I’m not the only one, but to me modern float glass is too perfect. There’s […] Read on →

1st Annual Sash Revival

sash revival 2016

May is National Preservation Month and there are all kinds of events planned around the country to raise awareness about historic preservation. The Window Preservation Alliance (WPA) decided to get in on the act too! Throughout May our members nationwide will be hosting free local workshops on restoring wood windows. We’re calling these events Sash Revivals because we’re hoping that is just one month we can revive hundreds if not thousands of window sash. Here’s your chance to […] Read on →

6 Myths About Old Windows

6 myths about old windows

Lie, lies abound when it comes to old windows. Window companies proclaim how their replacement windows will do everything from curing cancer to saving the whales (hyperbole intended!). How can you tell if a window salesman is lying? His lips are moving. There isn’t a single part of an old house that is in nearly as much danger of disappearing as old windows. We’ve been made to believe that they are wasteful, energy hogging, lead encrusted death traps […] Read on →

How Much Could Storm Windows Save You?

How Much Could Storm Windows Save You

We all know that replacing your home’s original windows is not the solution. Or at least I hope you have seen the light by now. It doesn’t save the money the window companies claim and the replacements rarely last more than a decade before the seals fail and you end up having to replace the windows again and again. If you don’t believe me read what says about replacing your windows. “Unless the existing windows are missing […] Read on →

How To: Work With Spiral Balances

Spiral Balances

While most of the windows on historic buildings built before WWII used the simple and effective rope and pulley counterweight system there are some that utilize different balances systems. A popular option were spiral balances, sometimes called a tube balance, and that’s what we’ll talk about today. These balances are not terribly complicated, but they can be troublesome to work with if you’re not familiar with them. I’ll be speaking specifically about one of the more common types […] Read on →

An Old Fort Gets a New Look

Fort Coombs Armory

My company recently finished the restoration of the windows at Fort Coombs in Apalachicola, FL and I wanted to share the project with you. These were some unique windows from a fort with a lot of history and meaning to the residents, and I felt like the story was one that needed to be told. Fort Coombs was built in 1901 when the original fort on that same spot burned down after only 2 years of service. The […] Read on →

How To: Glaze Windows


Some of the most commonly asked questions I get are about how to glaze windows. What’s the best practices? What tips and tricks have I learned over the years? Basically, it’s a lot of folks wondering how to do it the right way. I’ll start with saying this…it’s not complicated to glaze a window, but it’s not easy the first time. It is something that most people have never heard of. Putting putty on a window and tooling […] Read on →

How To: Cut Window Weight Access Doors

How to cut weight pocket doors

Sometimes builders installed their old wood windows without weight pocket access doors to save a couple bucks. While it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, it creates a whole lot of work for us today when a sash rope breaks. Rather than being stuck with the typical alternative of removing the window trim and leaving yourself with a lot of plaster repair here is an easier way to fix the problem for good. In this […] Read on →

The Window Preservation Alliance

Window Preservation Alliance

What is the Window Preservation Alliance (WPA) you ask? Well, it’s a new organization dedicated to saving old windows that I think you might want to know about. Why I think you need to know about this organization is because they are doing a lot of work to help homeowners of old houses. And any group that is focused on helping folks like you instead of some other corporate cause is alright by me. This week I had […] Read on →