Blog

Step by Step

  1. Measure for storms
  2. Remove stops
  3. Remove sash
  4. Remove pulleys
  5. Remove old glazing
  6. Rebuild Rotted Wood
  7. Sand and Prime Sash
  8. Paint 2 coats
  9. Add putty and glazer points
  10. Wait 2 weeks
  11. Add weather stripping (optional)
  12. Add Rope
  13. Install Sashes

Remove Old Glazing

Soften old, hardened putty (glazing compound) with a heat gun set to medium and fitted with a nozzle shield. Scrape the putty away with a putty knife. This exposes the metal glazier’s points; pry them out of the wood. Remove the glass, and label it so you know which opening to put it back into.

Rebuild Rotted Wood

To rebuild the cleaned-out joints, first brush on the epoxy primer and let it set for about 20 minutes. Then, using a plastic scraper, mix the two parts of the epoxy filler into a goop the consistency of Vaseline. Force it into the joint, and spread the mix over the sides to restore the joint’s original shape. Wait overnight, then trim the excess with a utility knife.

Tip: Clamp pieces of Plexiglas over the wet epoxy. When it hardens, take the plastic off. You’ll have a smooth surface that doesn’t need much sanding.

Sanding/Scraping and Priming

Sand/Scrape the entire sash with 100-grit sandpaper or scraper. Clean the sash then prime with oil based primer
Leave the sides as bare wood because they need to slide
Leave the top of the top sash bare wood
Leave the bottom of the bottom sash bare wood

Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3NbpEkGmo
http://saveamericaswindows.com/videos/

Glazing

Place putty on the ribbets (inside part of sash the glass lays on)
Add the glass and rub it so it adheres better to the putty. Do not push on it or it can break
Add glazing points
Add last layer of putty on top of the glass
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yiWBR7hh04

* Wait 2-3 weeks before painting the putty *

Painting and Hardware

Fill hardware holes
Use exterior paint if possible for the outside facing sides
Add hardware. Screw nails in at an angle for easy access
Extend paint over putty onto the glass about 1/16 to seal water out

Great Video on how to paint:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXiDm6u_CWM

New Rope

Tying a Knot – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yviFClpnJwg
Where to cut rope https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB_a3nNoFs0

Spring Bronze Weatherstripping

When you measure for your first cut, measure from the top of the window jamb down to the point where the bottom of the upper sash sits when fully closed. Add 2.5 inches to this measurement, as you want the weather stripping to extend below your sash a bit. One quick measurement later and you have your first cut.
https://www.oldtownhome.com/2014/1/15/Installing-Spring-Bronze-Weather-Stripping-for-Antique-Windows/

I provide resources for contractors, websites, and videos I used to do my projects that will have additional information . I hope you find them handy as well!

Resources

There’s a handful of people who restore old windows in Buffalo, but they are usually fully booked doing big jobs like the Darwin Martin house. I spoke to Steve and John. Nice guys but busy!

Online Resources

Overview of Restoring Windows with a Forum, Videos and Book – http://saveamericaswindows.com

How to Restring the Cord/Rope – https://thecraftsmanblog.com/how-to-restring-old-windows/

Parts of a window – http://www.doublehungwindowrestoration.com/window-anatomy.html

How to glaze the window – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yiWBR7hh04

Contractors

Northwood Historic Restoration
Steve Swiat
1728 Seneca Street
Buffalo, New York 14210
716-308-6821
restorationshop@roadrunner.com

Lost Cities Restoration
Daniel Farrel
lostcties@hotmail.com
716-510-3195
https://www.facebook.com/LostCitiesRestorations/

John Gulick
326 Plymouth Avenue Rear
Buffalo, NY 14213
cd@jagulick.com
Tel: (716) 427-8804

Measuring for Storms

There’s a lot of information online about measuring for your new storms online, and I followed them but didn’t get the results I wanted. I bought Larson storm windows, and Larson cuts an inch off your measurement at the bottom if you order it with an expander. When I didn’t order the expander, the storm window was the correct size! Almost all the websites I researched said to measure the window frame in three locations for the width and height because a window frame may not be straight.  It was difficult to measure the window frame on my second floor.

I decided to just measure the original storm windows and take a chance on the second round of storms I ordered. They fit better than the first round. I ordered the storm windows as Tip-to-Tip without an expander using the exact measurements of my old storms. Most people, including Larson, do not recommend measuring your old storms to get the measurements for your new ones. This just ended up working best for me.

Larsons’ guide on measuring  and their YouTube video

Use my guide for restoring your wood windows!

 

Supplies and Costs

When all is said and done. I found the costs of restoring a wood window with a new, quality storm window to be somewhat close to a vinyl replacement. I had to replace the glass of the wood windows every time because they break when trying to remove them or seemed to be permanently dirty/cloudy which added to the cost of the restoration.

I found there is much, much work to be done with restoring your old windows, but you’ll know they’ll last the entire time you own your home if you do it right. The storms should also last the entire time too. Replacement vinyls are not guaranteed or hold a warranty on the seals for more than a year usually.

I was quoted $200 to restore a window by Darling paint, which did not include a new storm window. Comfort Windows quoted me $400/window installed for vinyl replacements with Low-E coating.

Restoring Wood

Total is about $125 for each window. This includes replacing the glass, buying a new triple track aluminum storm window, and using a portion of the supplies. Add another $20 for Low-E coating on the storm window.

Where to Buy

Tools – The tools and paint can be found at Home Depot. The sash cord is at Amazon, and I like to support other restorers so I purchased my glazing putty from Winn Mountain Restorations. I also emailed Andrew the owner a question and he replied back promptly.

Glass – I purchased my glass at two different locations: Frontier Glass on Niagara Falls Blvd and County Supply in Black Rock. Although both had good customer service I think County Supply has more experience with people restoring their windows. I brought them the sash of the window where they measured it and cut the new glass to fit. I did not have either place add the glazing since I was using my own. Some if not all places will add glazing for you, but they use the new caulk kind that is much easier and faster to put on for novices but has its cons.

Storm Windows – I purchased Larson Triple Track Storms at Len-Co Lumber on Delaware Ave. You bring them the measurements of your storm and they’ll put in the order to Larson. Takes 4-8 weeks depending on if Larson is busy. I ordered many of my storms using the “Tip to Tip plus expander” method but all my windows were about an inch too short. This method is supposed to have the storm windows be exactly the measurement you give Larson, and the expander is used to add any extra protection in case the frame isn’t level. BUT, Larson makes the window about an inch short if you order the expander.

The second round of storms I ordered, I ordered “Tip to Tip” with no expander. That time Larson made the window exactly to my measurements and it fit better.

***Tip – Your measurements are very important so get them right! I provide more info on how to properly measure and my experience in that post.

 

Project Overview

I have many windows in my home that need to be restored. This means I need all new glazing, weatherproofing, new glass and even new storms.

After researching and listening to experienced people, I found that there are many different ways to go about a project like this. But before I jump into my decision, I’ll summarize the information I found.

Replace Windows or Restore Originals

You’ll hear a lot of proponents of restoring windows say restoring your current windows is usually the better, more economical option, but you’ll also hear from neighbors and others that vinyl replacements are the way to go. Both can have Low-E coating to block the sun and keep things cooler inside, and both can have the same amount of insulation and draft protection for the cold winter days. Here’s some pros and cons of each I found along my journey.

Vinyl Replacements:

Pros:

  • Quick and easy installation (either DIY or professionally installed)
  • Can be easily installed from the inside on upper floors
  • Easily available to buy
  • Little to no maintenance
  • Can be cleaned easier
  • No storm windows
  • Mid-level quality vinyl windows last for at least 25-30 years or more

Cons:

  • Can be expensive
  • Home loses authentic look. (Some siding and colors don’t match the vinyl colors well)
  • Cannot be painted
  • Non-recyclable
  • Seals can last for as little as a year

Restoring Wood Windows

Pros:

  • Can be equivalent to replacement windows when paired with a good storm
  • Can last 100 years
  • Can be cheaper
  • Better for the environment
  • Wood not vinyl

Cons:

  • Can be as expensive as low cost vinyls
  • Won’t look brand-new
  • Not easy to find an expert to do them
  • Not very easy to do if DIYing
  • May not get the results you desire after all work has been done

Wonder what is needed and how much it cost? View the Supplies and Cost page!