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  • Writer's pictureJen

Restore, Not Replace

All is quiet on the home front - while the bricks try to work their magic on the #kitchen floor, and I am waiting for a grease vent to be installed, there is quite literally nothing going on. Somewhat of a nice reprieve, but also ready to get this #remodel finished! We are racing toward the SEVENTH month point real quickly.


In the mean time, let's reflect on a happier time in my house remodeling - my #window #restoration. Restoration is the key phrase here - my tiny 1926 #bungalow has 22 windows in its 972 square feet. Not only would replacing them with new windows be incredibly expensive, it would take away so much of the character of the house that I love. I have mostly #double-hung windows - smaller in the street facing side of the house with a four-pane detail in the top, but I also have some great #casement windows on that side in the #dining room and #living room - which also flank my #picture window.


Living Room Window Restoration | Photo Credit: Restoration Comedy
Living Room Window Restoration | Photo Credit: Restoration Comedy

I have very fond memories of my #childhood picture window - it was the gallery for artwork that came home from school and where we hung #holiday #craft projects (paper snowflakes, "stained glass" paper pumpkins, etc.). It was where I would watch the garbage truck come by and wave to the garbage men. The Easter Bunny hid many an egg on the sill and sometimes a whole basket there. It was also where I would hide behind the curtain and pretend to be a store mannequin in a shop window - completely convinced that no one walking by would know that I was actually a live person. Ahh, the joys of childhood #imagination.


Back to my house and its picture window, it was one of the first windows I had restored because, like many picture windows, it was leaking. Keeping the water out of the house was a key priority. I also restored the single casement windows that frame it, the other double casements in the living and dining room and one double-hung window in the laundry room that was suffering from a major bout of Northern sun exposure and dry rot. I also had them restore my #bedroom double-hung windows that would old open three to four inches, as I was melting during the summer.


I was super excited when I found a local company, Window Restoration and Repair, through the Rose Park Neighborhood Association's Restoration Trade Fair. They were super knowledge, super nice and LOVED old windows as much as I did. They took the time to make sure each window would easily open and securely shut, adjusting areas that were no longer square as the house had settled. They added weather stripping and copper drip flange to direct the water away from the window. The re-weighted double-hung windows, installed new sash cord, and got the pulleys working smoothly. They removed the rotted window sill and created a new one that matched the others. Best of all - they made these windows a breeze to open. I was shocked.


They were clear up front that they were not the "make your windows pretty" people, they were the "make your windows work" people. I never thought they would work so well, though. HOLY HECK. Being able to open my bedroom window with one finger on the sash lift was mind blowing. I didn't need to fight to open them by banging the window frame or worry that the rubber mallet might go through the glass.


I saved a bit more and had them come back to restore all the windows in my house a couple of years later. Best. Decision. Ever.


While restoring these windows was also cheaper than replacing them, it was not "cheap," but it was also definitely worth the #investment. Investment is exactly the right word, too - when I had my house reappraised for a re-fi a couple of years after, having the original restored windows added a lot to its value.


I have been happy to refer Window Restoration and Repair to fellow home restorers because I am so happy with the end product.


The next time you are frustrated with a leaky, drafty, requires-a-hammer-to-open window, consider restoring it vs. ripping it out. And if you are in the Southern California area, give them a call, you will be glad you did.


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