How to remove stubborn screws

4 Guaranteed Tricks To Remove Stubborn Screws

Last week I talked about how to remove paint from hardware so in keeping with that theme I wanted to discuss some tips to remove stubborn screws. After all, you can’t restore old hardware unless you can first get it off the door or window it’s attached to. Old flat head screws that have been [...] Read on →

Historic Steel Window

How To Restore Steel Windows

Historic steel windows are all across America. They became popular in big cities to combat the fires that were so common around the turn of the 20th century. Then from the 1930s until the 1950s they were a popular choice in residential housing due to the decreasing availability of quality lumber. Many steel windows sit [...] Read on →

How to weatherstrip wood windows

How To Weatherstrip Wood Windows

There are a lot of different techniques to weatherstrip wood windows. Like anything, some are more effective than others. In this post I’ll show you how to install spring bronze weatherstripping on your old windows. Spring bronze is without a doubt my favorite type of weatherstripping for a few reasons: Very attractive and gains a [...] Read on →

Storm Windows

3 Ways Storm Windows Can Save Your House

Historic windows can be a real conundrum for some people. Sure they are a gorgeous part of every old house, but they can be a real energy waste if they haven’t been properly maintained and weatherstripped. But just because they aren’t energy-efficient now doesn’t mean they can never be efficient. If you have the means [...] Read on →

Living in the Past Book

My New eBook is Now Available!

Today is a big day at The Craftsman Blog! For the past year and a half, I have been toiling to write my first full-length book about historic homes. Today that book goes from idea to reality! I’m doing a HUGE one week only sale for all my readers and their friends. If you have [...] Read on →

Italianate Style House

Italianate Architectural Style

The Italianate style was an elaborate architectural style popular in the U.S. at much the same time as the Gothic Revival style, from the early 1840s until the mid 1880s. The Italainate style was extraordinarily popular in the northeast, midwest and particularly common in San Francisco, which transformed from a small village into a major [...] Read on →

Old Window

How To: Paint a Wood Window Sash

After all the hard work is done restoring a wood window there is one final step, painting your window sash. Painting a window is by far the most important part of the process because it protects all the work underneath. It keeps sun, rain, dirt, insects, air and anything else from harming your window. Without [...] Read on →

Dip stripped windows

Dip Stripping Windows: Don’t Do It!

One of my first large scale window restoration jobs was to fully restore all 38 sashes on a 1950s Colonial Revival. I had restored close to 100 old windows by the time this job came around and had gotten pretty good. My glazing putty had nice clean corners and I had developed a pretty good [...] Read on →

Silent Paint Remover

The Best Paint Stripping Tools

Being in the business of restoring old houses I do a lot of paint stripping. And much of that paint is lead paint so I have to be extra careful to make sure we keep our dust under control. Here are the best paint stripping tools I have used over the years. Some work better [...] Read on →

Spring Bronze weatherstripping

How To: Install Spring Bronze Weatherstripping

To allay your concerns that old doors and old windows can’t be energy-efficient I wanted to make sure we covered how to install weatherstripping on these openings. Weatherstripping has changed a lot over the years. Today it is usually foam, vinyl, or felt peel and stick weatherstripping, but there is an old school way of [...] Read on →

Image credit: server / 123RF Stock Photo

How To: Cut Antique Glass

The title may say, “how to cut antique glass,” but it’s really the same process for any kind of glass you would find in windows or doors. The easy way is to bring your measurements to the local glass shop or hardware store and ask them to do it. They’ll do it perfectly and it [...] Read on →

Broken-window-glass

How To: Replace Broken Window Glass

Whether it’s an errant baseball or a tropical storm, windows are bound to break sometimes. And before you call a window specialist to replace your broken window glass you might just be able to do it yourself. More importantly, if you have an old house your broken window glass will need to be replaced in [...] Read on →

Ranch Style Home

Is Your Home Part of the “Historical Cusp?”

I have a lot of friends and clients whose homes fall into something I like to call the Historical Cusp. They don’t live in a house of any particular historical significance, and it’s not quite old enough to have been built by hand with non-standardized materials. But it still maintains some of the characteristics I [...] Read on →