What to do about your bungalow’s old wood windows can be confusing. I address this & offer several solutions in my article, WHY SHOULD YOU PRESERVE YOUR BUNGALOW WOOD WINDOWS, ANYWAY? which tackle the issue from both a preservation & practical viewpoint. (As well as from a human & a cat viewpoint.)
These videos too address the concerns of both species, & will give you more information to help you in dealing with the damage that has occurred to your windows as a result of decades of neglect due to the lack of education of previous homeowners.
The professionals I have included are at the top of their field & are very interested in helping. A great combination.
My site is not geared toward the DIY’er, but it’s your house so you should have some idea of how it works. I have used material from these fellows to teach a handyman how to restore a window so my fluffy kids could gaze out, & he probably enjoyed the opportunity to learn from somebody else instead of moi. We did 2 houses together & well before the end, I think he might have been weary of the sound of my voice.
5 Great Reasons to Keep Historic Wood Windows (15:32)
Why we should restore our old bungalow wood windows instead of replacing them. It’s all about the $$$! Well not all, but, you know.
How to Restore a Historic Wooden Window- Step by Step (44:39)
Detailed instruction on restoring windows.
DIY Window Screens (9:02)
The Craftsman Blog
Great instructions, but I recommend slowing down the playback speed!
I hope that these videos explain what you need to know to resolve your window problems!
I’m not sure who loved our bungalow screen doors more, me or the pussycats. I was always ready to add or remove a layer of clothing for the opportunity to throw open the front door & get a whiff of my garden outside.
Having a deep porch protects you from the elements. In Florida, this meant being able to have the house open even when it was raining, letting in the breeze, the pitter patter & the rumbles. There were a few times that the wind would blow the mist in, but it was worth it to be able to hear & feel the storm.
Neither the Hare House nor my Tampa bungalow came equipped with screen doors but I wanted my kitties to be able to enjoy the world without having to experience it. When the doors were installed, both kits instantly found their places, shoulder to shoulder, tiny noses to screen, a pair of furry, sniffing sentries quivering with excitement as the occasional lizard scittered by.
I encourage you to experience the world outside, through your own screen door!
While this is not a DIY site, I occasionally slip in some how-to’s. Though I’m not a woman who enjoys getting her hands dirty, I trained my handy-man on many aspects of old house restoration with such videos. He enjoyed the education.
WATCH SOME VIDEOS ABOUT BUILDING SCREEN DOORS!
How to Make a DIY Screen Door (7:27)
A lesson in making a simple screen door.
How to Build and Hang a Custom Screen Door (11:58)
This Old House
Some fine points of building & installing.
That Old Screen Door (3:50)
“Back when life was simple, just like that old screen door.”
You can read more about my doors & my kitties here!
I have never acquired an old house that had its original wood window screens. Makes sense. They are rather flimsy items that have maximum exposure to the elements & over the decades, windows fail & the harnessing of electricity has made it possible to use HVAC systems to cool our houses. Opening windows has fallen out of favor as people have come to believe that a house should be all buttoned up & air tight. And with the abandonment of fresh air has come the abandonment of wood window number tacks.
Being the daughter of a gardener, I like to bring the outdoors in so I like to restore my windows & build new wood screens. My little fur friends enjoy sniffing the great outdoors & I kinda live to make them happy.
The tricky part of making these screens is that old houses are seriously out of plumb & the windows vary in size, perhaps only gently, but enough to make it impossible to install a screen to a random window. Each screen must be custom made (measuring twice!) & then it belongs to that window.
I have a sensitive sniffer so I like to have clean screens & the best way to clean them is by removing them & then spraying them with a hose. Of course it’s easiest to pull them all off a side at one time, line them up & squirt them, but how do you keep them sorted? And right-side-up?
For you folks who live in regions that require you to use storm windows, necessitating a bi-yearly swap, this little trick will save you a great deal of time & aggravation.
USE WINDOW NUMBER TACKS
Invented in 1948, these cute & handy little items were used to mark windows with their matching storm windows in winter or their screens in summer. They are little, very sharp tacks made of a metal alloy with numbers stamped on their heads. The stamping is heavy enough that you can paint & disappear them, but remain legible. A tiny barb under the head ensures that they will stay in place.
They are produced in sets that are numbered from 1-25 & second sets if you have more windows (Most bungalows do!) that is numbered from 26- 50. You purchase a set for the windows & a corresponding set for the screens & another for your storm windows, should you have them.
Old growth wood, from deep within the forest primeval. From fairy tales to an awed reverence in bungalow fans, the forest is endemic to the lore of humankind. Trees have been regarded as sacred in many early traditions. Since the dawn of time humankind has understood that his survival & that of the tree are interconnected- for shade, for food, for fuel & for shelter.
In old house circles, ancient wood is highly regarded for its strength & its beauty. I wrote an article about it & it is the most viewed post on my blog. That post discusses the properties of old wood, but in these videos, you are going to look at the forest & how it contributed to the wonderful characteristics of the trees & the lumber that was cut from them. 100 years ago, this lumber was used to build your house & today your house stands strong & sturdy.
You are going to hear a fascinating talk by a woman who grew up in the forest & listens to trees. She has learned the secret of how trees in the forest form a strong community, helping one another survive & grow, through communication & by passing chemicals & nutrients to trees in need.
You are going to find out how farmed wood differs from forest grown wood & why it results in inferior lumber.
You are going to see 100 year old logs pulled out of rivers to be milled into building materials.
OLD GROWTH WOOD VIDEOS
No matter how much you cherish your old growth fir, pine, oak – these videos will increase your understanding & appreciation for it immensely. The people who are speaking, are authorities in their fields & each one loves old wood. Let’s get started.
Goodwin Heart Pine on Dream Builders TV Show (5:22)
Pt.1 Introduction – Works of Heart – Goodwin Heart Pine (4:21)
Old-Growth Forests vs. Second-Growth Plantations (2:59)
Ancient Forest Alliance
What are Old Growth Forests? (2:44)
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Suzanne Simard | Mother Trees and the Social Forest (1:09:19)
Long Now Foundation
In this internet age, there is very little that you can’t find on YouTube so I have put together a list of old house restoration videos, arranged by skill/trade/interest for you to view. Whether you plan to do a project yourself, or hire a professional tradesperson, it is wise to know about bungalow, their history, their features. It’s also a good way to educate the people that you hire who might be looking to improve their knowledge & would be willing to watch these old house restoration videos to expand their skills.
The people who have made these videos are at the tops of their fields. They are experienced & skilled not only in their areas but also are good communicators & have stellar reputations for their abilities to teach others. They are also very nice people so their videos are pleasant & easy to watch. In fact, I watch them when I’ve had a bad day just to chill!
I’m not going to describe the videos individually because most of the titles explain the content. Just click & find out!
ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE VIDEOS
The terrible tragedy is that old buildings will be demolished, by the short-sighted, by the greedy & the ignorant. We are fortunate that there are people who come in & save the beautiful bits & pieces & offer them to us. Even if you are not involved in a project for which you might need their wares, a visit makes an interesting field, or even a road trip!
Architectural Salvage tour- TREASURE HUNT! Finding clues from the past. (10:20)
Southern Accents and the Journey of Architectural Salvage (2:48)
This is Alabama
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
I have curated a wonderful playlist of helpful & entertaining videos for your viewing pleasure. Bring out the popcorn & learn about everything from wood window repair to the history of the bungalow to how to take care of yourself when you dealing with the physical & mental challenges of restoring an old house.
I put a call out to my Facebook followers for their favorite bungalow architectural salvage resources. I have long been a fan of the idea of salvage, as well the the practicalities of the practice. In my previous article, I write about the cultural, economic & ecological benefits of salvage & in this article, I write about the ones that they recommend & ones at which I have shopped over the years.
I tend to get a bit mesmerized in a salvage shop. While you see a plethora of objects, of all ages & types, the story is incomplete. Riveted by these bits of story. I get unpopular pretty fast because I ask so many questions but I’m a woman who loves a story, mine or someone else’s, & I feel untethered when I don’t know the details.
Occasionally, it is difficult is even understand an object’s purpose! The object to the left, provided by Doc’s Architectural Salvation, is clearly a product of The Aesthetic Movement, an art movement in the late 1800’s which valued the beauty of the the applied & fine arts over any social ramifications. You have heard the expression, “art for art’s sake?” This philosophy was manifested in the work of the Aesthetic Movement.
(I’m rather partial to this design style myself, & my dishware at my home in Eagle Rock, the Hare House, was of an Aesthetic pattern. I displayed it on my plate rail in my dining room & heck if it didn’t look wonderful with my Craftsman built-ins & my Restoration Hardware, Stickley knock-off dining table.) But more importantly, what is this thing?
Now you know how I feel in a salvage store!
BUNGALOW ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE RESOURCES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY
I’m going to split up the country into sections. As I hear from you (hint, hint-see the comment form below?) I will break it up by state. So let’s get salvage shopping!
Established in 1999, Aurora Mills is a multi-facted store offering antique & vintage architectural items, lighting, reclaimed lumber, iron gates, doors, fireplace mantles- pretty the much the full array. They have an extensive website with a large online inventory as well as a tour of the warehouse which I opened on my big screen. Wow!!!
For the bungalow crowd, they carry Arts & Crafts tiles & other Craftsman pieces.
My Instagram pal, hosshouse1879 tells me, “They do an excellent job of organizing the materials that they have salvaged. If you go in looking for a house part, they know what area to go to & make the search pretty easy.”
Norm, the proprietor has a great affinity for Arts & Crafts & is always on the look-out for items appropriate to the bungalow. He has a good stock of lighting, doors & hardware for us & often has some furniture & even colonade sets that would we would love.
“We partner with communities to transform the home building and design industry into a circular economy.”
Referrer Amy K. says, ”It’s a fantastic place to just wander & look at all the treasures they’ve saved.”
So, I wandered through their website & found many items in their 50,000 sq. ft. jam-packed warehouse, in various categories that would be appropriate for bungalows, such as doors, windows, flooring, hardware, cabinets & cabinet doors, lighting, mantels, even kitchen sinks with drainboards (they come & go.)
In speaking with them I discovered that all items are on consignment, which encourages homeowners to recycle instead of contributing to the landfill. They even have several elderly pickers who bring things in to them to supplement their incomes.
In my world, there is simply not enough wacky so I’m a big fan of Schiller’s. My wood flooring company purchased reclaimed flooring from them & I was occasionally allowed to accompany my husband when he was there for a pick-up. It’s the sort of place that invites a long, quiet browse & husband wanted to get the flooring & scram.
Click on the PRODUCTS to see their array of items & don’t miss the Oddities page!
First of all, when you are on their site, you have to hit the OUR STORY link. The tale of this family business will both touch & amuse you. Dad started it out of love for salvage & over the decades, the business & the family just grew!
Martha L., my follower on Facebook says, “They have a huge selection & it is very organized. Their inventory is updated continually. Prices are reasonable.”
Speaking of huge selection, when you click the INVENTORY link, a full page menu drops down & each category displays another page plus.
Over 20 years ago, when I was restoring my 1910 Craftsman, the Hare House, I frequently visited Architectural Details in Pasadena, home of the Gamble House, the Blacker House, Bungalow Heaven & an glorious abundance of historic homes & commercial buildings. I was astounded that the huge space could not only be so full of old salvage, but so tidy & organized. The inventory was meticulously kept in an index of 3’X5″ note cards & there was nothing that was untracked or out of place.We drooled over the Batchelder tiles kept behind the counter wishing our fireplace was in need of mending.
A quarter of a century later, after the owner’s retirement, Architectural Details has morphed into Pasadena Architectural Salvage with just as many wonderful, orderly items (tracked electronically, I’m sure!). The folks here are very friendly & I’m sorry I’m so far away! However, looking at their website is quite the treat & even includes a couple Batchelder fireplace surrounds.
MORE! I WANT MORE!
I know that there are other great salvage outlets scattered about the U.S. & I want to know about them & why they are special. So plunk your magic twanger, Froggies & zip on down to the COMMENT section. Become visible. (For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, click here to see a link for a very strange children’s show in the 50’s. I shudder to think what the exposure of this to my 5 year old self had on my development.)