Old windows get a bad rap. To listen to the way replacement window marketers tell it, old windows are creaky, stubborn, lead-coated draft monsters possessing a single-minded intent to kill your monthly heating & cooling bills. The current U.S. federal tax rebates for energy efficiency are also helping push window replacement to homeowners who want […]


Restored Kitchen Swinging Door

by Josh on February 5, 2009 · 13 comments

in Projects

I found the solution to my broken kitchen door a few months before the door actually broke.  At a sale of salvaged house parts collected by the city of Minneapolis before demolitions, I found a swinging door identical in style and finish to the original in my basement.  Although the city was selling the doors […]


Broken Kitchen Swinging Door

by Josh on February 1, 2009 · 10 comments

in Projects

A swinging door between the dining room and kitchen is a feature common to many older houses across a range of eras and architectural styles.  That swinging door is also one of the most commonly removed details in a kitchen remodel.  Fortunately, though my kitchen has been remodeled at least a couple times, there still […]


Original Casement Hardware Cover-up

by Josh on September 17, 2008 · 3 comments

in Journal

Of the eight intact casement windows in the house only one has its original hardware intact.  That window is in the kitchen, in what used to be the breakfast nook.  My last post described my successful search for vintage replacement hardware for four of the other casement windows.  But before I hit the salvage shops […]


Vintage Casement Latches Installed

by Josh on September 12, 2008 · 7 comments

in Projects,Windows

At last, the casement windows in the front entry and above the mantle in the living room have their latches restored.  For reasons beyond my comprehension, some previous owner decided that these windows would be better as fixed windows instead of operating ones.  They removed the latches and, in the case of the living room […]


At this point, I’m getting down to the little details in the fireplace paint stripping project. For me, this is the time when the temptation to cut corners is greatest because the project’s conclusion is so tantalizingly close and deadlines loom so large. So far I am holding firm to my commitment to get all […]

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