Saturday, August 1, 2015

Parlour Window - Completely Restored

When one owns an antique home, one needs patience. Sometimes a project needs a few years to be completed. The parlour window - aka my studio window - is an example. In June 2011, I did a quick painting and glazing job, just to protect the wood and make it less draughty until I could get to it and do a proper restoration. Four seasons later and it's done.

June 2011: temporary and superficial 'make-up' job
1- One of eight windows in the tower part of the house. 2- Frame is separating from he glass. 3- Rot along the bottom of window. 4- mint green paint found in the paint history of the house
Badly peeling, cracked, brittle with extensive rot - not to mention, very draughty. Several windows needed to be replaced.

Our contractor for this project was Brian Harris of Heritage Renovations. He removed the windows making sure to note original placements. Each window had slightly different measurements.
Through his contacts with Amish wood craftsmen, the windows were perfectly reproduced. We highly recommend Heritage Renovations; Brian Harris is a real pleasure to deal with. In our case, he had to work with an antique house, but he can handle pretty much anything: new homes, homes designed for people with special needs, even bridges. 

 The new wood windows were re-installed in 2013, but only this season was I able to strip the paint and do a proper restoration. The old windows will retire in the basement on the DV's architectural salvage shelves.


 Sanding and Priming


 In the lower portion of the window, there was rot in the frame. You can see my screw driver poking the soft, crumbling wood.

 Wood hardener and epoxy did the trick.
"Ah, the smell of epoxy in the morning, it smells like… restoration"

A seamless restoration

Now for the shutters. Below is a shot of the DV circa 1940.
Note the 'split shutters', rarely seen. The originals are long gone, but the previous owners were diligent in having them perfectly reproduced, just as we did with the windows.

The DV circa 1940s
Brian screwing in the original shutter hardware.
Fully functioning shutter hardware - hinges and locks
 The split shutters permits me to 'customize' the amount of light in the studio, all the while
allowing privacy.

Voila! Too bad it's partially hidden by my magnolia.

Shutters really dress up a house and I love that most of them can still open and close properly.

The last window to be restored on the DV is the top tower window, aka Brian's study, aka The English Study for our B&B guests. This will be a job for a contractor along with the upper trim near the roof line.
Must make more money before that can happen.


Mark Ruffner said...

Dear Anyes,

It's such a pleasure to see shutters that actually function, and it's been a very long time since I've seen partial shutters like yours. The Dusty Victorian is looking spiffier with each posting, and I imagine that some time in the not-to-distant-future, you'll have time to loll about, though I know that's not your nature.

Incidentally, here in Florida, throughout the 1940s and 1950s, houses were built with non-functioning cement shutters. They don't move — they're just raised cement rectangles on either side of the window, decoration only.

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Mark,
Yes, the DV is coming together, slowly but surely. I will be forced to loll for a while as my order on a custom moulding is not ready. When we first moved in, all the windows in my studio were sealed shut - very stuffy at times. Now it's fresh and breezy.
I'm floored reading your words on cement shutters. Perhaps a response to the nuclear bomb age? How insane.
Always a pleasure,

Mrs. D said...

Hi Anyes my friend,

Your restoration work is always the greatest pleasure to watch. Lots and lots of hours, and every bit of time and $$ pays off. Makes us admirers drool. What a beautiful house you have, and the windows especially fancy. I love it.

Best wishes,
Mrs. D at 1893victorianfarmhouse

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Linda,
Long time no talk, so pleased. Thank you for your very kind and encouraging words.
Will drop in soon and pay you a visit.

Jan Hunyady said...

"Ah, the smell of epoxy in the morning, it smells like… restoration"

You need to sell t shirts that say that. I'd buy one or two because I can so relate.

Epoxy can make the difference between saving a window and throwing it in the trash (of course we save everything but some people don't).

Nice work.

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Jan,
Thank you for dropping in. I think I would corner a nice little niche market with these Ts :) . I've become a real fan of epoxy, It can save so many hours of what could be complicated work, as long as the rot is not extensive of course. Your house is absolutely lovely.
Always a pleasure exchanging with a kindred spirit.

Sharon @ Laurelhurst Craftsman said...

The restored window looks fantastic. I do love painted ladies. :D

The Dusty Victorian said...

Thank you so much Sharon. You certainly can relate regarding being patient with restoration/renovation project. The basement bathroom looks terrific. Well worth it!

catherine said...

My first thought was the same as Mark's "operational shutters"! A huge peeve is decorative shutters that don't fit the windows. We drive by your home often and It is so nice to see you restoring and preserving the integrity of it.

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Catherine,
Thank you for leaving a comment and very pleased that you appreciate the work we are doing on our house.
The next time you are driving by and we are out working on the house of the garden, please stop and say hello in person.