The fanatical belief that remodeling doesn't need to cost you a fortune - or your sanity.

Improvemental Jobsite – Weatherizing Original Wood Windows in a Home In Echo Park Angeleno Heights

Posted on April 7, 2010

These windows were never properly sealed on the top and bottom

Thought I’d share some jobsite images from one of our clients in Echo Park doing some weatherizing on her 1926 weeping windows.  Read to the bottom and click on the link to see our client’s unvarnished thoughts on her personal blog about having my crews around!  (HINT: There is a little swearing involved… )

Many Los Angeles houses have beautiful wood windows that are original to their construction. That means they’re ancient!  As with my home, water damage and poor sealing over time have caused windows to swell, crack, get flimsy, become non-operable, leak profusely at odd times, and attract termites. EEK!

Oh, window. Soon you will be weatherproof again!

But what’s a homeowner to do?  Part of the value of a 20’s home here in Echo Park and Angeleno Heights is the history and great construction the homes were blessed with. The up and downside of ‘vintage’ windows and doors is that they’ve withstood earthquakes, Santa Ana winds, raging teenagers slamming doors, and big dogs battling the Mailman. (If you’ve got a dog and your mail comes in a mail slot, you get where I’m coming from about the abuse the front windows take…)

The outside didn't fare much better...

These windows are older than our parents! (erm… no Age-ism intended – hope I hold up half as well as these windows!)

As heating and air costs go up, quite a few of our clients have struggled with what to do with these beautiful old windows.  Truly, there are a lot of options. They can be weatherstripped, tuned up and touched up in many cases, if they’ve had attention over the years.

BB gun misfire?

Individual panes of glass can be replaced: especially ones that have suffered indignities like Christmas BB gun excitement, bad glazing, sand papering, and paint jobs, and becoming wavy over time with age.  But part of the problem with the glass is that we’ve advanced our technology to the point where we can stop the sun’s heat from cooking our homes – by replacing windows with low-e glass. Hmm…

Window muntins. I love that word...

For this specific spot at the front of the home, we chose to keep the original windows, sand them down to the bare wood, fill and repair all damage, and perhaps the most controversial decision – we are making them non-operable.  It is difficult to retrofit and successfully weatherstrip windows into these old out of plumb sashes, so to respect the front of the home’s appearance, and for safety, we are fixing the original windows in place.

Let's clean you up.

With several good coats of paint, inside and out, these windows will be a showstopper on the way into a beautiful home.  Do YOUR windows need some sweet love and attention before LA weather heats up?  I know just the guys to do the job… shoot me an email at and let’s talk.

Ready to be stripped! (it's not as sexy as it sounds... trust me)

Here’s what 90 years of weathering Los Angeles life can do to a window!

Time warp

Check out our client’s blog post about living through a window update.

You're next, buddy...

  • J Steele

    Nice! Good thing you did this before the new EPA Lead Removal law goes into effect! any idea on what the cost increase would have been to comply with the new rules on this project 😉

  • J Steele

    Nice! Good thing you did this before the new EPA Lead Removal law goes into effect! any idea on what the cost increase would have been to comply with the new rules on this project 😉

  • Double Glazing Birmingham

    If you have a window where you do not want to block a view consider window shades with the top down bottom up or duofold option. Other products that will not block views are sheerweave shades or solar shades.

  • Kenji

    Informative post.Some interesting thoughts on the subject. Looking forward to see what else you post in the future.Another fantastic post. They just keep getting better every time.

Client Love for Improvemental

Laurie did a museum quality restoration of my 1921 Craftsman. She also managed my move, had the chimney rebuilt, supervised the installation of new rain gutters, a new hot water heater, and about fifty other things. She somehow did all of this on time and on budget. She's really good. She did such a good job on my house, I recommended her to my parents. That's not something you do unless you're really happy with a person's work.

- Adam, Hollywood Hills