Steve is the author of The Window Sash Bible, which explains how to repair, maintain, restore and improve old or historic windows circa 1800 to 1940. He was a contributing editor for Old House Journal for 17 years and is a graduate of Cornell University's Historic Preservation Program.
He discusses the benefits of sashes made from old-growth wood and shows us his techniques for how to properly maintain and restore them.
Upgrading and weatherizing an old house can seem like a daunting task. Where do you start? Do you tackle windows first or begin by insulating the attic? Are you prepared for an earthquake or even just allergy season? Whom do you consult? What tasks can you do on your own?
Enhabit is a Pacific Northwest nonprofit dedicated to improving how homes perform by making them more energy efficient, safer and healthier places to live. Home performance advisor Irie Searcy explains how you can maintain your home's charm while making it more comfortable and saving money on energy bills!
Steve Quillian of Wood Window Makeover in Tampa, Florida believes buildings preserve the stories and legacies of the families and communities who use them, something that fuels his passion for historic preservation.
In the Window Hero Webinar below, he demystifies window restoration so more people feel empowered to get to work on their historic windows. Get inspired!
In this inaugural Window Hero Webinar, John Leeke, author of Save America’s Windows: Caring for Older and Historic Wood Windows, 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 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.”
“It creates just so much extra waste in the landfill that’s completely unnecessary,” Scott says. “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.”
The window replacement industry has a powerful voice and the message most homeowners hear is replace, replace, replace: they should replace their windows if they want to create energy efficiency.
But a new alliance has formed to save historic windows and fight window replacement. Our Window Hero Webinar introduced the woman leading the charge: Alison Hardy, who last year restored and repaired more than 1,300 windows with her team at Window Woman of New England in Massachusetts. Alison spoke about the Window Preservation Alliance’s mission and how it plans to help local historic preservation organizations across the nation.
Preservation expert Jim Turner will discuss the value of preserving and restoring original steel windows for both homes and commercial spaces. Jim has spent 30 years in Detroit, Michigan as an advocate, activist and skilled craftsman in the world of window restoration, helping to bring some of that city’s beautiful old buildings back to life.
He is also an adviser in Michigan for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Gordon Bock is co-author ofThe Vintage House: A Guide to Successful Renovations and Additions. As an architectural historian and former editor-in-chief of Old House Journal, Gordon is an expert on how people can preserve what is essential in their vintage home while making it work for the needs and demands of modern life.
The biggest mistake people make?
"Making changes right away. It’s counter intuitive, but I encourage people to put the brakes on and live in the building for a while, even up to a year," said Gordon. "Look at the building, understand it better, especially if it’s more than 50 years old. If it has additions, some of that work may be good while some parts may be failing. You get to realize why it was built the way it was, as well as how it performs in summer and winter."