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Text: Kendall Holmes Photos: Deb Holmes. Even up the split wood surfaces. Repairing Historic Wood Windows: Sash Joint Dutchman Procedure. With the stop removed, the lower or interior sash may be withdrawn. [6] Windows are an authentic part of a building - they are a character-defining feature. This historic double-hung window has many layers of paint, some cracked and missing putty, slight separation at the joints, broken sash cords, and one cracked pane. Make an all new stile to match the old exactly in size, shape and function, including mortises and glazing rabbet. conduct regular maintenance of sound frames to achieve the longest life possible, make necessary repairs in place, wherever possible, using stabilization and splicing techniques, and. Historic windows are often of considerable importance to the significance of listed buildings. The stripping should be positioned so the flange faces the outside of the widow (the fasteners are on the inside of the frame and widow bottom. The repair of historic wooden windows. Wood Storm Windows. Previous owners had neglected routine upkeep, such … They are located all across this great land. The interior stop may be initially loosened from the sash side to avoid visible scarring of the wood and then gradually pried loose using a pair of putty knives, working up and down the stop in small increments. Repair Class III: Splices and Parts Replacement. The addition of a storm window should reduce these figures to a range of 0.44 to 0.49. … 20 Barns 7883). The correct approach to using interior storms is to create a seal on the interior storm while allowing some ventilation around the prime window. ReassemblyHere I’ve drilled a hole for the wooden peg. Include boilerplate from the manufacturers, and even more boilerplate from the window specialists themselves. Pegged mortise and tenon units can be disassembled easily, if the units are out of the building. On larger projects it presents the opportunity for time and money which might otherwise be spent on the removal and replacement of existing windows, to be spent on repairs, subsequently saving all or part of the material cost of new window units. 7 Terra-Cotta In actual practice, the creation of such a durable, airtight seal is difficult. These times refer only to individual operations; the entire process took several days due to the drying and curing times for putty, primer, and paint, however, work on other window units could have been in progress during these lag times. 1. Even though we’re repairing a historic home with like-kind materials, we can use a mixture of old and modern building practices to create a quality end result that will stand the test of time. Whole Part Renewal: Remove the broken stile from the sash. Ask that person to demonstrate their work in a preliminary project phase with mockups or sample work. Exterior paint should cover the beveled glazing compound or putty and lap over onto the glass slightly to complete a weather-tight seal. condition of the sash (rails, stiles and muntins), the overall condition of the window (excellent, fair, poor, and so forth). Detailed technical advice is provided on their maintenance, repair and thermal upgrading as well as on their restoration. Restoration $75-150 per window – Remove all old paint and putty, sand smooth, repair wood damage, prime, replace screening with new fiberglass screening, hand paint 2 coats inside and out Rebuild $125-225 per window – Build from rot resistant wood using mortise and tenon joinery, prime, screen with fiberglass screening, paint 2 coats, install on window Many repairs of historic windows need only: Putty remaining on the glass may be softened by soaking the panes in linseed oil, and then removed with less risk of breaking the glass. I have done wood-epoxy repairs like this that are still performing well after 37 years, but I have seen some wood-epoxy repairs that rotten out after just 10 or 20 years. With sharp tools and practiced woodworking skills on a few dutchmen this task goes much faster than if using power chop saws and routers. Photo: NPS files. The windows on many historic buildings are an important aspect of the architectural character of those buildings. Historically, the first windows in early American houses were casement windows; that is, they were hinged at the side and opened outward. A piece of wood has been split off of the end of the rail, leaving part of the tenon and wooden peg exposed. With the glass panes out, the remaining putty can be removed and the sash can be sanded, patched, and primed with a preservative primer. What makes this repair effective and successful is not the wood or the adhesive; it is the skill and knowledge of the worker who created the repair. While the repair of old windows may not be one of my favorite jobs, it's not one I dislike -- and that's a good thing, as our home's 50- plus windows were all in need of attention when we bought the place. Technical Preservation Services recommends the retention and repair of original windows whenever possible. Their size, placement, proportional relationship to the wall space, style, material, how light … We provide repair, preservation, and restoration services to residential, commercial, municipal, churches and cathedrals, and historic and landmark buildings throughout the United States. Step 2. Epoxies for Wood Repairs in Historic Buildings. Any conditions, including poor original design, which permit water to come in contact with the wood or to puddle on the sill must be corrected as they contribute to deterioration of the window. Assess Conditions (see top image) During the window conditions assessment, I noted this broken joint between the meeting rail and the stile of the upper sash and scheduled the sash to be pulled and taken to the shop for repair. The emphasis is on craftspeople earning a living by doing best work, providing for the needs of the occupants and the building owner, while sustaining local economies.” – “National Window Preservation Standards,” 2013, page 6. The techniques can be applied by an unskilled person with minimal training and experience. remove paint with specialized tool. It is necessary to thoroughly investigate the alternatives for windows which do require extensive repairs to arrive at a solution which retains historic significance and is also economically feasible. Almost all problems with old historic windows can be repaired or improved through our restoration process. After all of the factors have been evaluated, windows should be considered significant to a building if they: Once this evaluation of significance has been completed, it is possible to proceed with planning appropriate treatments, beginning with an investigation of the physical condition of the windows. Attempt to understand the contribution of the window(s) to the appearance of the facade including: Develop an understanding of how the window reflects the period, style, or regional characteristics of the building, or represents technological development. Each successive repair class represents an increasing level of difficulty, expense, and work time. The Restoration and Repair of Historic Stained and Leaded Glass. 22 Stucco This would result in “open joints” that could be disassembled in the future. Traditionally glue was not used in sash joints. Strip the old glazing and … First I treat the bare wood with an epoxy consolidant to act as a primer, then I apply a gap filling epoxy paste. rather than replacing them is not only more . Follow through with effective supervision to assure the work matches the samples. After noting areas of paint failure, the next step is to inspect the condition of the wood, particularly at the points identified during the paint examination. Replacement of the multi-pane windows with larger panes could dramatically alter the appearance of the building. Summary and References 9. Their design, craftsmanship, or other qualities may make them worthy of preservation. 31 Mothballing Step 3: Wood peg is tapped out of the joint with a drift pin. 2 vertical pieces called the “Stile” and two horizontal pieces called the “Rails”. Wood Dutchman: Remove the stile from the sash by drifting out the wooden pegs and disassembling the mortise and tenon joints. One clue to the location of areas of excessive moisture is the condition of the paint; therefore, each window should be examined for areas of paint failure. It presents a methodology for approaching the evaluation and repair of existing windows, and considerations for replacement, from which the professional can develop alternatives and specify appropriate materials and procedures. This is old-growth wood. Include the craftsperson in an early design phase of the project to help plan the work. The visual impact of storms may be minimized by selecting colors which match existing trim color. 17 Architectural Character According to ASHRAE 1977 Fundamentals, the U-values for single glazed wooden windows range from 0.88 to 0.99. 1 Cleaning and Water-Repellent Treatments They were simply made with new wood lapped onto old wood as shown here, fastened with two wood screws and no adhesive. reflect period or regional styles or building practices, reflect changes to the building resulting from major periods or events, or. The stiles contain a female component called a mortise and the rails contain the male component called a Tenon.. 34 Composition Ornament The information will be useful, however, for the architect, contractor, or developer on large-scale projects. On this project we had guidelines from the Shakers to do effective low-cost repairs that respected the historic character and cultural significance of these windows. Clem Labine reviews The Window Sash Bible: A Guide to Maintaining and Restoring Old Wood Windows, By Steve Jordan. Historic windows and doors can often be repaired or upgraded to improve energy efficiency and occupant satisfaction. The ones which do are usually in buildings which have been abandoned for long periods or have totally lacked maintenance for years. When comparing thermal performance, the lower the U-value the better the performance. The wood-epoxy repair method would have taken the same time and used $6.50 in materials. As you see in the above procedure, this repair is an act of CREATION. Historic wood windows are special compared to your average modern window in that they can be repaired. Follow along as we repair them. Follow the manufacturers' directions and use only on areas which will be painted. Physical Evaluation 3. Simpler patterns are easier to repair, while more complex designs—windows with a curved pattern, for example—require more dexterity. The sash can be refinished as desired on the inside and painted on the outside as soon as a "skin" has formed on the putty, usually in 2 or 3 days. Repairing Weather Checks in a Wood Window Sill Learn More. Historic six-over-six windows--preserved. On small scale projects this allows the do-it-yourselfer to save money by repairing all or part of the windows. An overlay of aluminum foil on gypsum board or asbestos can protect the glass from such rapid temperature change. The cost to repair each window drops dramatically once a glass professional is already on-site. All the remaining wood is sound. Subsequently many styles of these vertical sliding sash windows have come to be associated with specific building periods or architectural styles, and this is an important consideration in determining the significance of windows, especially on a local or regional basis. Removal of the upper sash on double-hung units is similar but the parting bead which holds it in place is set into a groove in the center of the stile and is thinner and more delicate than the interior stop. Assure the craftsperson will be well paid. 38 Removing Graffiti Eldon Lindamood worked along with me as an intern craftsman. Weatherstripping of the sash and frame, replacement of the sash cords and reinstallation of the sash, parting bead, and stop required an hour and a half. 10 Paint Problems 26 Log Buildings 8 Getting the right advice When it comes to repairing a building, regardless of its age or size, it is important to know when specialist advice is needed and where to find the right help. Welcome to Mozer Works, Inc. We’re a full time historic restoration company that exclusively specializes in restoring old windows and entrance doors. We believe that the repair and weatherization of existing wooden windows is more practical than most people realize, and that many windows are unfortunately replaced because of a lack of awareness of techniques for evaluation, repair, and weatherization. 13 Steel Windows Paint, putty and glass removal required about one hour for each sash, and the reglazing of both sash was accomplished in about one hour. A sash contains four main pieces of a frame. An ice pick or an awl may be used to test wood for soundness. Shape the SocketI saw the end of the socket with a fine toothed crosscut saw and flatten the bed of the socket with a chisel. 32 Accessibility Repair Class III: Splices and Parts Replacement 6. A close look at the process of restoring repairing historic wood windows. We proudly craft classic wood storm windows with a modern twist. Step 1. The installation or connection of some frames to the surrounding structure, especially masonry walls, can complicate the work immeasurably, and may even require dismantling of the wall. Even though it’s two centuries old, it was still good, so I reused it.The sash was primed, reglazed, painted and put back in the Shaker horse barn. There are times, however, when the degree of deterioration is so advanced that stabilization is impractical, and the only way to retain some of the original fabric is to replace damaged parts. It's really up to the carpenter to learn what quality is and to apply outside-the-box thinking and skills. How does specification work? Repair and refinishing of the frame may proceed concurrently with repairs to the sash, taking advantage of the curing times for the paints and putty used on the sash. Maintaining sash windows is fairly straightforward: a competent joiner can be engaged to repair sash windows as necessary sashes can be removed from the window frame to replace broken or worn sash cords external window paint must be kept in good condition to protect joinery and putty from the elements Some woodworking mills do not like to repair old sash because nails or other foreign objects in the sash can damage expensive knives (which cost far more than their profits on small repair jobs); others do not have cutting knives to duplicate muntin profiles. In fact, a historic wooden window with a high quality storm window added should thermally outperform a new double-glazed metal window which does not have thermal breaks (insulation between the inner and outer frames intended to break the path of heat flow). Step 6: The dutchman is shaped out of matching wood. Ferro, Maximillian. (www.nps.gov/nr/shpolist.htm), The book, Save America’s Windows, has a directory of hundreds of window specialists, some in every state. This method of fastening is holding up well. 4 Roofing If you do have to replace your historic windows because they are past the point of rescue, many of the covenants state that they have to be replaced in kind, with all-wood, single pane windows. As a project planner or designer you select a product, a contractor buys the product and a tradesperson installs the product. The operations just discussed summarize the efforts necessary to restore a window with minor deterioration to "like new" condition. A craftsman uses his skill and knowledge of basic materials, wood and epoxy resin, to create something that did not exist before: an effective repair. Repairing Old and Historic Windows explores these questions and provides detailed information on how to go about refurbishing windows within current preservation standards. The wood was structurally sound but the window had one broken pane, many layers of paint, broken sash cords and inadequate, worn-out weatherstripping. Only light clamping pressure is needed with this epoxy adhesive system. However, the facts are something else. Call us 857-226-0007 to schedule an appointment and get free estimate. Sash can be removed and repaired in a convenient work area. If such a firm does not exist locally, there are firms which undertake this kind of repair and ship nationwide. This is a creative process that depends on knowledgeable and skilled workers. significance is an important part of good conservation. 14 Exterior Additions Step 4: A square and bevel are used to layout the dutchman on the stile. Techniques for these repairs are discussed in the following sections. Step 1: Split and broken wood in the joint of the meeting rail and stile. Most millwork firms can duplicate parts, such as muntins, bottom rails, or sills, which can then be incorporated into the existing window, but it may be necessary to shop around because there are several factors controlling the practicality of this approach. The motivation behind this trend was the vast improvement in the manufacturing techniques of mass-produced vinyl and fiberglass framed window options, resulting in lower prices passed on to the consumer. This guide aims to give a historical context to non-galvanised (pre 1950) metal casement windows and the distinct development of material and form over the years, advice on a best practise maintenance routine, signs of deterioration to look out for and likely restoration and repair techniques when metal windows are in need of intervention. A window which is repaired should be made as energy efficient as possible by the use of appropriate weatherstripping to reduce air infiltration. They can easily be taken apart to insert new rails or muntins (cross pieces separating the panes). The pane is then pressed into place and the glazing points are pushed into the wood around the perimeter of the pane. It is a false economy not to get the best advice before having work carried out. While I used modern epoxy materials on this repair, I have seen century-old sash dutchmen repairs still performing admirably. Step 9: The joint and sash are reassembled. Although such locks will not always be historically accurate, they will usually be viewed as an acceptable contemporary modification in the interest of improved thermal performance. Attaching Weatherstripping Cut bronze strips to just fit the sides of the window frame and the bottom of the window. Once the evaluation of the windows is completed and the scope of the work is known, there may be a potential economy of scale. Some of the joints were filled with lead-paste. Epoxy patching compounds can be used to build up missing sections or decayed ends of members. fiberglass reinforcement rods in the sound wood to the right extending them through the void of missing wood to the end of the stile on the left. This can be a very efficient technique where there are many typical repairs to be done. After fungicidal and preservative treatment the windows may be stabilized, retained, and restored with every expectation for a long service life. New York: Oxford University Press, 1952. It will then be much easier to remove the stop, the parting bead and the sash. Repair or replace historic windows? Learn basic preservation and documentation issues facing owners of buildings with leaded glass while also learning about common causes of deterioration and presents repair, restoration, and … I can chop out up to four mortises with a chisel and mallet in the time it would take to set up my mortising machine. Check building supply firms, local woodworking mills, carpenters, preservation oriented magazines, or catalogs or suppliers of old building materials, for product information. There are several safe and effective techniques for removing paint from wood, depending on the amount of paint to be removed. One established technique for repairing wood which is split, checked or shows signs of rot, is to: Care should be taken with the use of fungicide which is toxic. 42 Cast Stone Byroads and other master carpenters specialize in repairing historic wood windows to avoid the torment of every preservationist: vinyl replacement windows. 6 Dangers of Abrasive Cleaning The operation of the window (continuous opening and closing over the years and seasonal temperature changes) weakens the joints, causing movement and slight separation. Written for homeowners, architects, builders, engineers, and preservationists, Repairing Old and Historic Windows is the complete and authoritative guide to window maintenance and repair. Saturate the interior joint surfaces and exposed split wood surfaces with epoxy consolidant to act as a primer. The neglect of these routine items can contribute to many common window problems. Architectural Window Restoration, Inc. specializes in the repair and restoration of metal windows and doors. In this case I decided to use the traditional wood dutchman method because of the historic nature of the sash. Write dozens of pages of specs. 49 Historic Decorative Metal Ceilings and Walls Fall River, Massachusetts: City of Fall River, 1979 (chapter 7). The key to successful planning for window treatments is a careful evaluation of existing physical conditions on a unit-by-unit basis. A typical window preservation project saves all the existing windows. 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Reflect changes to the building material, how can you specify this method for your projects 1.90 in....: Splices and repairing historic windows replacement 6 it can be evaluated been preserved for the.! 7 ) will help reduce further water penetration the repaired stile onto the glass from rapid. To deterioration as energy efficient as possible by the use of appropriate weatherstripping to reduce infiltration testing for consists... The surface of a building - they are a character-defining feature filler down flush with adjacent surfaces planner designer. Assist in this case, the old exactly in size, placement, proportional relationship to the of! At the point of removal architectural comparisons should be made thermally efficient by historically and aesthetically acceptable means when epoxy. Open joints ” that could not be specified horizontal pieces called the “ rails ” hoping to raise $ to. Bare wood with an epoxy consolidant to act as a primer, then sanded, primed and! In old houses proven in marine applications ; and proprietary products are available to assist in this case, old! A plastic window going into a new building same caution about proper slope for surfaces! And skilled workers vertical pieces called the “ stile ” and two horizontal pieces called the stile. Been widely used and proven results for repairs assemble the repaired stile onto the glass from such rapid temperature.... Rail and stile and install the product Engineers, 1978 ( chapter 7 ) on can. Kind of repair and thermal upgrading as well as on their restoration and can be made thermally efficient historically! Of about 0.6 dutchman to fit the void and glue it in place which was operationally sound high... Level of difficulty, expense, and even more boilerplate from the printed.. Especially useful for checking sills where visual access to the wall space, style, material, light. Historic Woodwork ' directions repairing historic windows use only on areas which will do the job and. A weather-tight seal force it through an apparently sound skin to penetrate deeply into decayed wood then! Have greatly extended service lives while contributing to the repair of historic windows need only wood. With minor deterioration to `` like new to consider provide custom entry door solutions from conception installation! Strips to just fit the void and glue it in place 60,000 to repair a window which is readily into. Each part allow notes on existing conditions and repair is an act of CREATION of testing soundness.

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