CHP hosted two window restoration workshops led by Bob Yapp, a world-renowned preservationist. Mr. Yapp has been involved with preservation efforts for over fifty years, including publishing numerous articles and books, working on restoration projects across the country, hosting the PBS program About Your House with Bob Yapp, and currently teaching hands-on preservation both at The Belvedere School in Hannibal, Missouri, and in workshops across the country.
Workshop attendees spent three days learning the art of restoring original wood windows at the Sweet House.
All sashes were removed and completely scraped to bare wood. Window jambs were scraped to bare wood also. The class squared up and re-pinned wobbly sashes, replacing severe damage with new wood or a Dutchman patch (rotten wood is cut away and replaced with a patch of good wood).
The group planed and routed the sides of the sashes to accommodate “t-strip” metal weather-stripping. Additionally, rubber weather stripping was placed at the meeting faces of the sashes and the top of the upper sash. This weather stripping has proven to eliminate nearly all drafts!
The group primed the sashes and jambs installed the original panes of glass, and learned proper techniques to putty the window glass. The group installed the sashes along with the new weather stripping.
Through their efforts, the class restored windows in the Sweet House to their original state. Those windows will last another 150 years, and each person attending the class gained a life skill in restoration.
Bob shared with the group that approximately 32 million window sashes end up in landfills every year. Up until ten years ago, almost all were old wood original windows. Today, nearly 1/3 of the throw-aways are less than 20 years old. Bob cautions against buying into claims by window manufacturers that new windows are cost-effective and energy-efficient. The Federal Trade Commission has fined many of these companies for making fraudulent claims of 30-60% energy savings. The thing to know and remember is that glass is suitable for light and airflow but not thermal performance. Interesting fact: In rehabbing over 160 historic properties, Bob has never replaced a window!
At the end of the workshops, Bob Yapp said, “I’m grateful to be around people who understand and care about what we are doing. It does matter. And preservation doesn’t cost; it pays you.” CHP agrees!
Please note, you don’t have to live in a 150-year old house to need window restoration. Many younger homes have wood windows that preservation lovers can restore!
For more information about Bob Yapp, and to learn why you should never replace wood windows with disposable replacement windows, go to: