Is there anything more comforting than viewing the world through the slightly rippled glass of an old window? Something about it gives a sense of continuity and permanence – a warp that signifies a time when each pane of glass could be only unique. But all too often people look at their drafty single-panes and think “Those have got to go.” Windows made of old-growth wood get torn out and frequently replaced with vinyl or other inferior materials.
“It creates just so much extra waste in the landfill that’s completely unnecessary,” said Scott Sidler of Austin Home Restorations and The Craftsman Blog in a recent Window Hero webinar held by Indow. “You’re removing a superior product even if it’s worn and beaten by the weather and years. It’s absolutely insane if you ask me – the idea that we’re taking out these windows that with a little care and maintenance can last centuries – and almost indefinitely if they’re cared for properly – to get a product in there that will not function as well or last nearly as long.”
Indow wants to save as many historic windows as possible and to that end has started a Window Hero Webinar Series. For the inaugural webinar Scott spoke as did John Leeke, a well-known preservationist and author of Save America’s Windows: Caring for Older and Historic Wood Windows. It’s people like this, as well as institutions like the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who are ensuring America values and preserves its historic structures and windows.
In the Window Hero webinar, John Leeke gives a fascinating history of how we got to today: people replacing irreplaceable wood windows with inferior plastic ones. He teaches wood window preservation techniques across the country to skilled craftspeople to ensure the art continues.
“Consumer marketing had bamboozled most of the American people into believing that they could live like the rich and famous by buying disposable products and that their houses were maintenance free and needed air conditioning,” he explains in the Webinar of what happened in the 1980s. “So little maintenance was done, many windows were painted shut, sealed up and forgotten to slowly rot and crumble away.”
He then gives detailed examples of methods for restoring and repairing wood windows. Learn more about John’s upcoming workshops and seminars and why he is a true Window Hero! Stay tuned for our next webinar in the Window Hero series. Check out the most recent one here.