If you love old houses, chances are you love the appearance and character of the original windows too. Nothing can beat the look. However, issues of energy efficiency and repair and maintenance difficulties can lead historic home owners along the path to replacement windows. Unlike old wooden windows, replacement windows cannot be maintained to extend their lifespan.

Window Panes

Once a window fails, all you can do is buy another replacement window. If you would like to keep your home’s “neat, old windows”, a storm window increases the energy efficiency of the original window and also helps protect it once it has been restored. The trick is the restoration. A couple of companies in Cincinnati do this type of work (The Acanthus Group, LLC is one), and there is always the random, handy individual…

Adam bought his Queen Anne Victorian in the historic Rose Hill Subdivision of North Avondale in late 2007. As striking and gorgeous as the home’s front turret is, it also came with the dreaded curved windows—with no storms! Adam’s estimate was that these windows have been neglected for over 40 years, while a quote on storm windows with plexiglass came to over $2,000 a window. During the course of Adam’s restoration of the home (check out our Rose Hill Restoration page), the curved windows were something of a burr in his side.

The window sash was in such poor condition, it was sagging.

3924 Rose Hill Avenue

Finally, restoration of these patient, 117-year-old windows has commenced and two have been repaired so far…here is a summary of the work, in 10 “Easy” Steps:

1) Remove window

2) This job starting with soaking the windows in a kiddy pool to then mold the sagging sash back to its original form

3) Extract glazing putty and points from around glass and remove glass pane (not breaking curved glass = priceless!)

4) Remove paint and clean hardware

5) Apply epoxy consolidants and fillers

6) Sand, then clean and prime sash

7) Return glass pane to the window opening and apply new glazing points and putty

8) Let cure

9) Paint window sash with exterior color of choice

10) Reattach ropes and install sash (most profanities occur here)


If you are wondering who the mystery window restorer is, it’s my husband, Terry Garrard!