The Window Sash Bible

window sash bible cover

Cover, The Window Sash Bible

The Window Sash Bible is about the repair, maintenance, restoration and improvement of old or historic windows made from about 1800 to 1940. With so much misinformation provided by replacement window contractors and vendors, this book aids homeowners, do-it-yourselfers, carpenters, architects, designers, preservation commission members, and anyone in the old-house business make sound decisions about windows. Since most homeowners are unaware of their alternatives, The Window Sash Bible provides an array of options to save money, energy, and historic windows for decades to come.

Chapters Include:
  1. A Brief History of Windows and Glass in North America
  2. Understanding Your Windows: A Piece-by-Piece Description
  3. Basic Repairs, Maintenance, Upgrades, and Restoration
  4. Putty and Glass
  5. Keeping the Weather Out
  6. Typical Carpentry Repairs
  7. Storm Windows, Screens, Temporary Solutions, & Shutters
  8. How to Paint Your Wood Windows
  9. Window Shopping – Selecting Replacement Windows
  10. Health, Safety, and Lead Paint

The information is gleaned from my experience as a window repair contractor and old-house enthusiast, from other craftsmen, books, catalogues, journals, trade manuals, and ah-ha moments. Most of the recommendations are based on available materials and simple techniques that were once common. Whether doing the work yourself or hiring it done, The Window Sash Bible will help you understand how to evaluate any problems and how to undertake the repair process. Instructions range from simple tasks that anyone can do like replacing broken cords and cutting glass to repairs requiring intermediate wood working skills, for example, making a new sash rail.

The book begins with window and glass history and nomenclature. Familiarity with the pieces and parts prepares you to discuss your windows knowledgably with vendors, contractors, or other professionals and also sheds light on how your windows are supposed to work. Basic repairs and putty work include removing sashes, installing new sash cords and other balances, glazing (puttying), replacing broken glass, and everything you need to know about finding and using old wavy glass.

sample illustration

Sample Illustration:
Anatomy of a Window

Almost any old window can be retrofitted with effective weatherstrips. You'll learn how to weather-seal your windows with materials that are usually superior to those found on new and replacement windows. Choose materials and techniques to last ten years or for the 50 year solution. After learning all you need to know about durable and inferior wood species, carpentry instructions range from a simple Dutchman repair to replacing broken a muntin or meeting rail. You'll also learn the ins-and-outs of long lasting epoxy repairs and patches.

Thinking about putting those old wood storms and screens on the curb? Confused if your aluminum storms are worth keeping? Learn how to convert your old wood storms into efficient, handy combination units or how to extend the life of your aluminum storms by renewing the weather seals.

And what about painting? Did you know that your painter is often your window's worst enemy and that inappropriate painting techniques and poor choices of paint are the leading cause of sticky windows and ineffective weatherseals? You'll find instructions for painting inside and out, the best and worst choices for paint, and precautions to keep everyone safe from lead dust and debris.

The Window Sash Bible promotes environmental friendly solutions for window maintenance, repair, and restoration. After reading it, you'll understand why most replacements are unnecessary and why your existing windows may be superior to any you may replace them with.

Let's get started together.

Steve Jordan