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The Window Preservation Alliance

The Window Preservation AllianceWhat 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 the chance to sit down with Alison Hardy, President of the WPA and owner of Window Woman of New England in Amesbury, MA for a couple of questions about the alliance.

I’m a charter member of the alliance myself but thought that hearing the story directly from one of the founders would be beneficial to my readers.

Q: Alison, can you tell me why the WPA is needed today?

A: The Alliance came about because of an increasing number of preservation events that had, as sponsors, manufacturers of new replacement windows. A few of the professional window restoration companies were asked if they would also like to be sponsors, but since most of us work very locally or regionally, it made no sense for one company.

By coming together to form an entity that represented as many window restoration companies as possible, we could have a literal “seat at the table” for discussions about windows in historic structures.

Q: So how does this help the average old house owner?

A: One of the most frequent things we all hear is “I had no idea anyone was doing that kind of work.” Finding a professional to tackle the restoration of a house full of windows is very frustrating for most homeowners, architects, and contractors. Most of us are trades people first, marketing is not foremost in our skill sets. The WPA aims to help connect clients with professionals so together we can save original windows.

So, in essence, the alliance is a way to connect homeowners with window restorers in their area and let other owners know that restoration is an option.

Knowledge is power and when you can have more options for your old windows, that puts you, the homeowner, in a better position to make better decisions. Rather than blindly following the masses on the replacement window route you can make an educated decision if that route really is right for you or not.

The National Directory of Window Professionals is another helpful resource on the site. It doesn’t cover every window restorer in the country, only the members of the alliance; so while it’s not a complete list, it is a good start that will only grow over the years.

I encourage you to check out the Window Preservation Alliance website and learn a little bit more about them. Find a pro in your area, join the cause or just browse and learn about old windows. The website was just launched and is in its infancy, but look for lots of added content in the coming months.

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3 thoughts on “The Window Preservation Alliance

  1. I’m a window woman of New England myself. Futzing around with the double hung windows, up on the third floor of the near-Boston brownstone I live in. I’ve hung on to my original 1920s windows as best I can, repairing, re-glazing, filling (sorry, once with bondo but never again). I’m glad to hear about Alison and her crew. My biggest issue is the window boxes themselves, the ones that hold the window, which have weathered badly up on the third floor. Suggestions anyone?

    1. Mary, depending on the extent of the deterioration the jambs they can be restored in much the same way as the sash. A combination of Dutchman repairs along with a healthy amount of epoxy goes a long way. Though sometimes there are some pieces that are too far gone that may need a replacement sill or jamb leg. If your carpentry is up to snuff you can try to tackle those, otherwise finding a good carpenter to match the old details is your best bet.

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