Standards for Window Restoration
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Jeremy Ballard



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 127
Location: Providence, RI and Cape Cod, MA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, here's my take on things:

I think this is getting too complicated. The classifications and definitions need to be simple enough to remember without sub-classifications.


Standards classification:
Repair
Restoration
Conservation
Replacement


Repair: spot glaze, paint, tune up, epoxy, L brackets, whatever works

Restoration: remove glass/paint, epoxy, dutchman, dowels, element replacement(any species), sealer coat, reglaze original glass(antique or not), oil prime, 2 coats finish paint, install, weather strip(if requested) and tune openings.

Conservation: museum quality, remove glass/paint, dutchman, in kind element replacement, sealer coat, reglaze original glass(antique or restoration glass), oil prime, 2 coats finish paint, install, weatherstrip(could be debated for museum quality) and tune opening.

Replacement: sash is missing or has badly damaged no less than 2 edge elements and 25% of mullions/muttons, or glazing bed is inadequate, or profiles are non-existent. Basically you have to so much work to the sash that it's just not worth the effort. Replacement is really a judgement call and we all have different thoughts on when a sash is beyond repair.


These are minimum standards, one can always choose to do more. Short of Repair, there aren't really any steps(besides finish paint) that can be removed without not completing the project or impairing your ability to stand behind the product.

I personally think the "trade secret" thought is rubbish. We employ all the same methods to restore windows, in a nut shell what I wrote above. Weather stripping only comes in so many varieties that will work for our application. A good glazer can only glaze so fast. I doubt that the trade secrete will shave an hour off my hour count per sash to make my price more competitive. Yes, there are ways to gain an edge but none of them are secretes, it comes down to how you run your business.

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Heritage Restoration, Inc.
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree with almost everyting your saying.

We don't want things to get too complicated at all. Simple is best!

But I think the end result will be simple and fairly short. it's going to take a little while to get organized to the point of actual wording and listing of the standards.

I agree with your thinking on the secret thing.

Steve S
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Randall



Joined: 06 Aug 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everyone,
I been reading the various suggestions and the only issue I have is being careful not to create an organization that eventually creates bureaucracy. I seen this happen, I sure we all have examples and have seen this before.
Keep it clean and simple. Let keep our focus on the craft.
Another suggestion to keep the training in the hands of the craftsman, (I have said this to John) create a guild. Create Guild Masters.
If you wish to see who I am and what are my experiences visit my website for more info (see below)

Thanks
Randall

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Randall Marder
RM Design & Construction Inc.
37 years experience in historic preservation
http://www.rmdesignconst.com
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 3004
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Randal, thanks for stopping by.

Quote:
I've been reading the various suggestions and the only issue I have is being careful not to create an organization that eventually creates bureaucracy.


I think most of us have gotten our anti-bureaucracy inoculations. This is just what it appears to be, a few tradespeople cooperating to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. But, it doesn't hurt (too much) to get a reminder to keep our inoculations up to date.

If it happens to grow into an organization of one sort or another I'd be surprised if we had enough resources to create a bureaucracy. (although the Timberframers' Guild seems to be surprisingly close to that.)

The idea here is to be simple, open and inclusive, not complex, closed and exclusive.

The single task at hand is to develop a few standard guidelines to help lead us down the path of saving windows.

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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Randall



Joined: 06 Aug 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The standards should be reasonably flexible so homeowners have options to choose from. If the standards are to strict, we could lose old windows to the new windows due to the expense.
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Randall Marder
RM Design & Construction Inc.
37 years experience in historic preservation
http://www.rmdesignconst.com
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The standards should be reasonably flexible so homeowners have options to choose from.


Randal, correct! AND, so we tradespeople, and the architects and bureaucrats have options. Good standard guidelines provide options.

Check out the standard guideline we are developing here, and you will see it has a whole range of options, from traditional methods to the latest products:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1622

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think this is getting too complicated.


So do I, but here is how I think of it and why it's worth dealing with the complications.

It's complicated because the vinyl pirates and their corporateering masters have forced the complication onto us and the American public.

It's up to us to simplify this situation so that we get us and our customers out of the complication.

It's simple for each of us to continue doing our best on our own. It starts to get complicated and difficult when we want to work together.

This is the way the pirates and corporateers have set things up, and it's EXACTLY what they want: to keep us divided and separate so we are no threat to them doing anything they want. What they do is make the most money possible by doing Fast Things Cheap based on super-efficiency and high volume. They do not mind destroying all of the good wood windows in the land, that's peanuts compared to the mountain tops, entire environments and economies they have already destroyed (not to mention the lives of so many people they have destroyed fighting over the petroleum oil needed to make their windows.) They think: I've got mine, now I'll take yours, too bad for you.

We do our window work in an entirely different way and for different reasons. We work on the Cheap through Relationships for Good. A neighbor calls for help with a window. We use a little piece of wood, and fasten it in place with a tiny dab of adhesive, or a wooden pin we whittle ourselves. We do this so our neighbor will have a nice home. Along the way we earn a living and make the world a better place for everyone. We think: that's a good piece of work, are you satisfied, do you need anything else?

So, there's the complication. How do we get our customers who are lost in Fast Things Cheap land, to come around the corner with us to Cheap Relationships Good land? One way is to set some standard guidelines for our work. They will be like sign posts leading the way over. We need sign posts because we don't have time to hold everyone's hands down this path to Cheap Relationships Good land.

Yes, setting standards is complicated because we have to talk with each other and actually understand each other. Relationships are messier and more complicated than things. As tradespeople we're all used to dealing with things, windows, that's simple. Can we deal with complicated, messy relationships? I hope so.

Whittle a pin.

I can do that.

Understand a compatriot?

I can do that.

Set a standard.

I can do that.

Maybe we need a Simplify/Complicate standard.

Standard: Use the simple way.

Example: A simple solid metal weight, pulley and cotton cord system with 3 parts (maintained by us) is better than a complex mechanism with 19 parts made of plastic and thin aluminum (and sold by the corporateers). IS it better? WHY is it better? Why IS it better.

It's getting late, I'm going to bed.

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the natural order will be/is to be over complicated, at least at first.

And once we have the all inclusive thoughts brought out, at that time we'll be able to edit and make simpler. The goal is not to dictate how things must be done, only to offer a guidlines as "the doers" see it. Not everyone will agree and there will always be those that won't agree no matter. But as long as these standards are true, basic and of value everyone one will bennefit. How good is that. So we need to keep things movin. Input, and disagree, but keep contributing.

Steve S
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As my history teacher in high school used to say, "Out of Confusion arises Understanding."
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John

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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
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Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it feasable to suggest a maximum percentage use of epoxy on any given sash to be restored?


Steve S
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve S writes:
Quote:
Is it feasible to suggest a maximum percentage use of epoxy on any given sash to be restored?


I've started a new discussion for a new standard on wood-epoxy repairs right over here:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6569#6569

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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
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Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Assess Condition

Describe in a paragraph or by a check list the condition of each sash,
to include, moisture content, percentage of visible deterioration, glass
type, Do sashes need to be dissassembled, meeting rail replace,
with a corresponding picture of both interior and exterior.

Note: we all know what we look for prior to restoring. This allows us
to decide how we're going to do it and with what materials.

2. Complete repairs

Duplicate parts if warranted; parts replacement is justified when
a part is rotted more than 20% or it's bowed. Duplicated parts should
be exacting to the original, and should be made of like kind wood.

Use of Repair Epoxy; The use of epoxy for repairs should be limited
to 20% of the toal mass of a particular part. Epoxy should not be
used to form tenons, unless it is used with doweling.
Epoxy should not be used to form a connecting mortise. Epoxy repair
dough should only be used in conjuntion with an Epoxy Consolidant.
The use of any Epoxy should be done per MFG. instructions.

Traditional Wood Repair: Dutchman, scarf joints and other traditional
wood repairs should always be considered first when restoring window
parts.


3. Documentation of Restoration procedure and labeling.

A report should be given to the owner either in paragraph form or as
check list for each window giving the date of completion, products
used, and what parts were replaced and with what type of wood
used. Company's name will be on this report.



These are only standards guidelines and are not intended to dictate a certain procedure. In the end it is ultimately up to architects and owners to decide on the quality that they want. And if asked or if they need guidance than as in Jade's experience we'll be there to help them. And of course John has spent a lifetime, gathering, testing and publishing on just this subject.

These three points gives us an Assessment of each wiindow, a plan of action for each window and documentation of work completed on each window. And we will be putting our name on our work.


Short and sweet and allows us to still do it our way (as long as we document it)


Steve S
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've condensed my thinking of how the standards should be read. And it seems from the input, here on the forum and what Ive received through my email, that most think this way also.

In order for the standards (I do like the word standards as well as guidelines) to be accepted they need to be short and understandable with some flexability so we can still have room to have individual preferences (or in house secrets), on how we tackle some tasks.
After some thought Bob Yapp was very correct when he said that some will not want to reveal their trade secrets for everyone to use. I know, in our shop we have a few special considerations we use that I wouldn't reveal.

The intent after all is too have a set of guidelines to help building owners and homeowners understand The basics of sash restoration, as well as new to the trade restorers to understand what is and what isn't acceptable when repairing a sash. this will go a long way to keeping out the "goopers" from doing harm to a perfectly good sashes.

So, in this context the guidelines will need to be very simple.

Once these simple to read and simple to understand guidelines are written we can or maybe should go to the next step of defining a more thorough execpted standards as deemed necssary bu a National Coalition or Historical Window Restorers. In this contect the standards could be more through in the definiation of accepted methods using pictures and examples. We could even offer "a seal of Approval Stamp" to be placed on restored windows stating that this sash was restored according to strict stands of the Coalition.
Another stage could be continued education and training for Restorer.

I personally would love continued education and in particular training and in particular to that training in some of the more advance wood joinery techniques.
Although , we might need to lobby one of the bigger preservation groups to pursue this idea.

Steve S
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, this is a very good summary of the discussion so far. This crystallizes my thinking on it as well. A step-by-step progression:


1. Guidelines, brief, flexible, understandable and usable by us and the greater "public."

2. Standards, accepted methods with detailed descriptions, usable by workers, businesses, trainees, trainers, specifiers and project managers.

3. Organization, to promote, control and certify use of the standards.

4. Education, and training in window work, one aspect would be the use of the guidelines and standards.


That's Great!

So, let's refocus here, on #1., and say that we are developing Guidelines. We can make sure the guidelines are useful in themselves, and also suitable for the further steps when we move along to them.

I like it.

I think the Guidelines will need examples. Examples are a strong tool to help people understand how to interpret and apply the guidelines.

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John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought


Last edited by johnleeke on Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a good way of editing and adding to my thoughts while still keeping the main them or value.

I appreciate that a bunch. thanks

For now thogh I must go see my new granddaughter. Born just yesterday, Vivian is her name and restoration may be in her future. Surely preserviation will.

Steve S

We need continued involvement from others as well.
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