by Daniel Westbrook Master Carpenter
Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Bellingham
This historic window rebuild period replication consisted of removing the basement wood windows from a historic mansion off Aloha in one of Seattles oldest Capitol Hill neighborhoods. I know basement windows are not really the glory work, but none the less important architectural feature of homes in this era.
As often the case I’ll First remove the whole frame, with sash and all. After securing the home with plywood, Ill transport the units back to the shop and take them apart to assess the damage and make a report to the owner with recommendations for the rebuild. As you can see from the pictures I had to remove all the glass and remake many components to match the existing including the jambs, bottom rails, and side stiles. When I assemble the windows I use an oil base primer so when I go to re install all the windows are protected from the exterior. In one picture you can see a wood dutchman insert, which is a perfectly acceptable repair if done correctly.
These historic basement wood windows are more utilitarian than the main home windows. There is no less care in attention to detail and methodology carpentry in rebuilding and reinstalling for long haul quality. Thats what true craftsmanship is. It’s being honest, and doing it right with quality, even when no one is looking.