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Old 10-04-2015, 07:54 PM
3 posts, read 6,086 times
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Anybody have any information about learning how to restore old windows in a diy manner? We have a 1914 four square house in West Price Hill and want to help make the windows more energy efficient, but haven't had the experience with these old beauties which are structurally sound, but could use some update. Looking for classes or something similar. Thanks.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:49 AM
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Don't know of any classes, would think if you hired someone to help with some of windows, and then told them you wanted to use it as a "learning opportunity" so that you could do the rest of the house yourself - they might be agreeable to it, as long as you were willing to pay them for their time.

I know "This Old House" has gone over re-glazing old windows multiple times. I would expect their website would have some very basic "step by step" type information.

Good luck wiht your project!!
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:11 AM
24 posts, read 17,855 times
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After several years of trying to find someone to repair our old wood windows, we did it ourselves. It was really difficult to find someone reliable, affordable, and with the time to come out and work on the windows--many are too busy in OTR, or bigger, more expensive houses...

We never found a workshop to learn how to do it, but there are a lot of helpful websites/blogs and books out there (search Amazon.com). One of my favorite sites is this one Old Town Home. He has several posts about the complete process of restoring a window. Honestly, no one source alone was "best" but by reading through several, we figured out what would would for our specific conditions.

I would recommend looking into Allied Window (Energy Saving Storm Windows | Allied Window) for storm windows to go over the wood windows. They look good, protect the wood, and really help with the energy efficiency. Their installers did an excellent job for us.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:46 PM
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,751,855 times
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I went to a workshop with the Cincinnati Preservation Association. Working Windows by Terry Meany is a must-have reference. Ace Hardware sells the diamond cotton sash cord (aka 1/4" rope) that you need.

The work in general is easier than it seems. Pry off the stop, pull out the window. The rope mechanism makes sense just from looking at it. Get some fishing line and weights to help feed the sash cord.

We keep all original wood windows in our house, they are a mix of fully restored and fully rotten. I'll get around to the last few eventually. Quality exterior storms make a big difference. I'm not convinced the combo performs as well as a modern window but it's hard to put a vinyl window in an old house. The high end larson storm window can be custom ordered from lowes for a decent price and they are simple to install. We have those plus some of the high end storms from a window place (not Allied) and I prefer the larson though both are excellent. Roll2Home's Allied I think is a fully custom window and probably the best you could get.

I'm happy to answer any specific questions but honestly getting in there with a couple of putty knives, screw drivers, a good blade for cutting paint, and some rope will teach you more than anything.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:21 AM
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There is a place in Middletown, Ohio called Historic House Restoration. They specialize in old windows. I follow them on Facebook and it's interesting to see their progress on different projects. I have no idea what they charge for their work, but I'm sure it is not cheap if its good.

Like progmac, I've done all of my own window restoration in our 1893 home. I've also helped friends with historic homes in North Avondale restore what are truly irreplaceable windows. I have developed preferences for certain types of glazing, wood fillers, and have my own "tricks of the trade" born out of experience. A well-restored antique window will perform very well, and will cost you less over the long run than replacements.

Consider this too...about a year or two ago I was at a party up in Loveland in a neighborhood of newer homes...probably built in the early late 1980s through 1990s. The big talk at the party was how all the neighbors were in the process of replacing their windows already and talking numbers into the $30,000. Their windows were leaking, they wouldn't close, they were fogging, the vinyl had shrunk and deformed, and so on. Someone asked me about my house and I just said, "I wouldn't know...my windows are 120 years old."

If you need help, let me know.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:53 AM
Location: Lebanon
204 posts, read 276,543 times
Reputation: 391
I would also mention Historic Invisible Storm Windows in Milford, which split off from Allied eight or ten years ago and has much lower prices. I think the owners of Allied were divorced, and one of them started this small rival outfit, and now both companies make the same high quality low-profile storm windows (or at least, having bought and installed both, I can't tell the difference). The website for Historic Invisible Storm Windows is www.historms.com.
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