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Exterior Restoration of South Section of 1913 Prairie Box House

View of house with vintage windows

By: Sam Packard

  • Removal of aluminum fascia covering original eves, and rebuilding of eves.
  • Removal of 24 aluminum storm windows and building of 24 traditional wooden storm windows based on research and the design of the 1 surviving storm window included with the house.
  • Rebuilding and weatherstripping the original upper and lower sashes on the 24 windows: paint removal, original glass use and sourcing of old glass to replace broken panes and glazing of glass.
  • Painting of exterior of stucco house, painting exterior window surfaces, and staining and varnishing of interior window surfaces.
  • Fabrication and installation of storm window standoffs.

Before


Top – left to right: West facing 2nd story view of original glazing windows and aluminum storms, South facing 2nd story view of original glazing windows and aluminum storms, & South facing 1st story view of original glazing windows and aluminum storms.
Bottom -left to right: Southeast facing 1st and 2nd story view of original glazing windows, aluminum storms, and window air, Southeast facing 1st story view of original glazing windows, aluminum storms, and original air conditioning unit, & Southwest interior view of 2nd story sunroom view of original glazing windows, broken glass panes, wire molding, aluminum storms.

During


Top – left to right: After careful removal of glazing and glass, then paint with Speedheater, removal of bowed upper meeting rail and refabrication of replacement. On all sashes not already having it, bronze weatherstripping bent, grooved for and nailed in place for efficiency. Stack of completed sashes next to a window recently removed and ready to start work on.
Bottom – left to right: Slow oil primer hand brushed on after glazed window sets for a few days. Then two coats Sherwin-Williams latex exterior. Man-O-War spar Varnished sashes drying next to storm window wood seasoning.
Right – large photo: Penetrol and turpentine pretreatment of wood then glazing of an upper sash. Whiting then used to clean and remove oily residue off glass. I scoured the local used building materials place for a number of months to find old sashes to use the glass out of. I then have the glass cut at Lincoln Glass (or the local Ace Hardware for smaller pieces). We know each other very well at Lincoln Glass due to the number of trips I have taken there for their services. I have found I make a frustrating mess out of trying to cut glass myself.


Left to right: Rebuilt sashes temporarily installed and exterior paint removal, carpentry, wood pretreatment, priming, and painting of exterior. (Used Sarco putty on the banister project to seal nail holes). Rebuilt sashes temporarily installed and exterior paint removal, carpentry, wood pretreatment, priming, and painting of exterior. All ropes were replaced and window pockets vacuumed and covers reinstalled. Rebuilt sashes temporarily installed and exterior paint removal, carpentry, wood pretreatment, priming, and painting of exterior. (Used Sarco putty on the banister project to seal nail holes).


Top – left to right: Windows boarded, exterior paint removal, carpentry, wood pretreatment, priming, and painting of exterior. View from rented articulating crane. Windows boarded, exterior paint removal, carpentry, wood pretreatment, priming, and painting of exterior. Raided an neighborhood old house remodel dumpster filled with straight-grained, low knot studs with knob and tube wiring on it. Denailing of wood, jointing and planing to get wood close to the final dimension before final dimensioning for wood storm windows.
Bottom – left to right: Rails for one of the sets of 5 south facing storms, dimensioned (jointing and planing then table saw ripped) to 1-1/8” thick, 2-1/4” or 4-1/4” or 1 -1/2” wide depending on the part, then use of the sash shaper bit for glazing rabbet and moulding. Stile Mortises – Layout of all parts done at once using a knife and pencil to darken lines – Moldings are coped (not mitered), but this picture does not show a finished coped joint. Storm window checked for square, then pinned (no glue), and horns cut off and then hand planed and sanded before Penetrol pre treatment.


Left to right: Upper haunched mortise joint and storm window hardware. Meeting rail mortise joint.


Left to right: I’ve found it’s easier to fit the window to the jamb first, trimming the edges for fit, then hang with the hardware, and then do glazing and final paint work. Leaving about 3/32” all around the window if possible.


Left to right: Glazed storm window using as much of the glass out of the aluminum storm windows as possible to save on cost. Finding all the glass required for old-glass required for the number of storms being made would be out of the picture (It is ok with me that only the inner sashes have the original or old wavy glass, but not the storms). Storm in slow-oil primer.


Top – left to right: A neighbor down the street has storm window standoffs on their traditional storm windows, and they loaned me one to copy and then make – the short end closes the window and the long end stands the window off to let in air in the spring and when it’s nice out. I ordered 45 of these brackets to be made at a local metals fabrication place, and I bend the wire on the vise for the finished bracket. Standoff installed operating in closed position. Before “permanently” installing the inner sashes, bronze weatherstripping bent and nailed to the parting beads for efficiency.
Bottom – left to right: Upper storm windows installed and 3 of the east facing storm windows in stand-off position. Installed low-e glass on the 5 upper south-facing windows – original sash locks steel-wooled, Penetroled, and reinstalled for operation. Upper storm windows installed and 3 of the east facing storm windows in stand-off position – glazed in low-e glass on the 5 upper south-facing windows for efficiency and temperature in upper sun room.


Top – left to right: Rikon Mortising machine for the 3/8” storm window mortises. ca. 1930 Delta shaper with window sash shaper bit (molding and rabbet). Easel for sash and storm cleaning (using whiting), priming, and painting.
Bottom – left to right: For lead paint and paint removal, Speedheater Cobra, Proscraper, and a backpack HEPA seem to work pretty well on that task. Rebuilt 1970’s Rockwell planer for dimensioning the storm window stock. Rockwell Jointer for straightening and dimensioning storm wood.


Top – left to right: 3 parts Penetrol and 1 part turpentine to pretreat the wood before glazing glass in. Layout, marking, and fitting tools for storms. Rebuilt Rockwell 3HP Unisaw for dimensioning storm window stock.
Bottom – left to right: 4th bucket of Sarco Multi-Glaze type M used on all sashes and storms (and other exterior putty work) purchased from SRS Window Hardware. Point driver shoots 3/8” diamond shaped points to secure glass in place during glazing.

After – Finished Section


Top – left to right: South view of 2nd story and just installed 1st story storms. View of Southwest sunroom completed storms, first story storm, and uncompleted 2nd story aluminum storm on the docket for next summer’s saga. 1st floor storm windows installed, south banister, and completed porch floor and deck (not completely all installed by myself).
Bottom – left to right: Southeast view of sunrooms with installed storms and finished sashes. Front view of 1st and 2nd story sunrooms portion of house – thanks to John Leeke from Historic Homeworks for his personal guidance and books – the saga of the rest of the house continues next summer! 2nd story completed southwest view of sunroom’s rebuilt original sashes, and newly built storm windows.


Left to right: 2nd story completed view of sunroom rebuilt original sash, and newly built storm window. 2nd story view of completed east rebuilt original sashes, and newly built storm windows, and storm window hardware. 2nd story completed east view of sunroom’s rebuilt original sashes, and newly built storm windows.

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