Get the Book

Buy the Save America’s Windows book right here.

Order online and pay with with your credit card or PayPal.

Or, give me a call and order from a real person. That’s right, I answer my own phone and am happy to talk with you. 207 773-2306. –John

Shipping is via United States Postal Service, Media Mail, and takes one to two weeks.

SAM-CoverFrontSmlSave America’s Windows, 177 pages, 257 illustrations. Soft cover, black & white interior. $35.00 + $7.00 shipping.


Covers traditional methods and the latest in modern high-tech materials and techniques. Learn how to avoid falling under the spell of the window replacement salesman. Specific step-by-step repair and maintenance treatments. Window project profiles. National directory of 200+ window specialists who will save your windows and not try to sell you replacements.  This is the new 2013 edition with many revisions, an all new chapter on sash glazing and painting; and an expanded directory with hundreds of window specialists, some in every state. 177 pages, 257 illustrations.

SillCheckFilled2Figure 56. Filling Window Sill Weather Checks. Fill only the checks (cracks) … Do not coat the entire sill with epoxy which can trap moisture promoting decay … Step 4. Fill the checks with epoxy filler. The epoxy must completely fill the checks. For deep or very narrow checks first mix a batch of filler that is of a thinner consistency that tends to flow into the checks on its own. Spread it onto the surface and press it into the checks with a putty knife …

SillCheckTrim copyStep 6. Trim Filler. When the filler has cured trim off the excess. This is most efficiently done with a very sharp hook-type paint scraper. Skim off just a bit of the surface of the wood between the check to remove any wood that was saturated with the primer to reveal bands of bare, untreated wood. The bands of bare wood are needed to allow moisture to pass out of the sill…

SashRemove10Figure 62. Removing Sash. If the sash is still stuck use a “Window Zipper” tool. Lay the bottom of the tool flat on the face of the sash stile. The bottom is smooth and flat so it will not scratch the face of the sash. You may have to stick some thin tape or adhesive paper on the bottom of the tool or on the face of the sash to keep from marking the finished surface of the sash. Keeping the bottom of the tool flat on the face of the sash, run the curved toothed edge of the tool along the joint, sawing through the paint buildup into the joint. The top of the tool is rough and will rasp away paint buildup within the joint as well as rasp a little wood off the back side of the bead making room for the sash to move. Work the Zipper tool all along both side beads and the header bead if there is one. The exterior joint between the sash and the blind stop may also be painted shut, which you will have to work on from the outdoors side of the window.

14 Responses to Get the Book

  1. Ben Pope says:

    Hi John –

    I’ve used some of the techniques that you’ve published on this site to repair the windows on my 1915 Central Texas farm house. Your site played a large role in helping me decide to keep the existing windows rather than install replacement sashes. Two down, twelve more to go… Soon I’ll use salvaged windows to enclose the back porch. I’ve just ordered your book and am looking forward to learning more. Thanks for making this information available.

    Wishing you a happy New Year,
    – Ben

  2. (Ellen) Jane Horn says:

    Hello John,
    Just reading again on your site! You kindly spoke with me some years ago on my 1900 Folk Victorian window repairs … I am embarrassed to admit I have only covered them and not done any repairs … I have slept a lot since then! Now I care for my grandson, so five meals a day are priority :) I am committed to getting 2 windows done before winter! Thanks so much for your teaching us!!
    Jane

    • johnleeke says:

      Jane, thanks for the update. With your grandson there, please pay close attention to controlling the lead/health risk by using lead-safe work methods.

      • (Ellen) Jane Horn says:

        Calling to order the book in a.m. wondering HOW TO “reframe” both sashes of the one 36×72. I salvaged clapboard siding and the installer COVERED the top of the window, put it in opening crooked with the upper rail of the sash inside the side rail on one side, not on top where the rabbet is fitted :( . At present I can put my HAND between the sash and the rough opening. Of course water has entered this wall, had no siding from 2000 til 2014, only tar paper and 6 mil sheeting… NOW This Old House etc use an adhesive material to cover the rough opening to prevent water from reaching the wall. I so hope your book will show me how to seal appropriately AND how to redo the sill, angle for saw etc… I really need to move my home back east and just hire you! You mentioned your Sister and her handyman? being south of me 15 hours! All as planned I will call and order in the morning! Thanks … Jane

  3. R Young says:

    Hi John…Just wondering if you might have any referrals of someone who could replace several windows in my 1925 Mediterranean style home in Los Angeles. Most are beautiful original wood windows… several have been replaced with aluminum sliders,,,
    Yuck! Having trouble finding someone who can/willing to do this type of wood window replacement. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • John Leeke says:

      Hi R, the book listed above has a national directory of window specialists, with a full dozen in California, and three who work in the greater LA area, two of them specialize in making windows that match the details of older windows.
      If you get the book and none of the listed specialists are responsive, let me know and I’ll see if I can scare up a couple more for you to consider.

  4. Hello, John,
    Dan Mitchell out of Central Maine gave me your name and contact information. I am restoring the exterior of a non-profit office location (a 1835-36 brick and granite house) in Augusta, Maine. I have some questions about windows……might you have a moment to speak with me at some point……or should I just list my questions and send to you? I believe the windows are from a later period than the origin of the house. They appear differently in photos that we have from the early 20th century. The windows are basically in good shape (I think) but I want to take them back to how they looked in the late 1930’s. We are also adding the shutters back to the building. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

  5. Ed Ferris says:

    Do you still say that sash corners should not be glued? How do you prevent the meeting rail from coming loose when somebody is banging on it to get a stuck sash to move?
    A problem in my old house (1883) is that the sash are stained on the inside and modern wood is too coarse-grained to stain. Do you have a source for close-grained white pine? I was quoted $10/board ft. for C-select, ordinary quality.

    • John Leeke says:

      Do you still say that sash corners should not be glued?
      Yes, sash joints have not been glued for centuries, and it still works today. Without glue the wood can expand and shrink slightly without weakening the joint. Glue can trap moisture in the joint leading to decay and joint failure.

      How do you prevent the meeting rail from coming loose when somebody is banging on it to get a stuck sash to move?
      Sash joints are held together by steel pins or wood pegs. Some are made with a dovetail that holds the joint together. To prevent stress on the joints eliminate banging by keeping the sash in good condition so it slides freely in its tracks.

      Do you have a source for close-grained white pine? I was quoted $10/board ft. for C-select, ordinary quality.
      Look for old-growth lumber at salvage companies that pull wood out of old buildings. Good wood is costly and always has been, even in the old days. If you don't have dollars to spend on wood, keep an eye out for renovation and remodeling projects where you can often snag some old planks for little or nothing.

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  7. Ellen McGuffie says:

    Dear Mr. Leeke,

    Can’t buy your book. Can’t even think about it. Maybe it will become available in a library. Or maybe you’ll hire me to transcribe, edit and proofread your next book. (I am excellent at all those things, but now out of work.) I’m 64 years old, female, and have been will for quite a few years. Feeling better now and am finally tackling our 1930s steel casement windows. Maybe by the time I finish 42 panes of glass in one window I will have it down. We are not at this time replacing the glass, as that is also far beyond our financial resources. I look forward to buying new putty knife, and a new can of Dap 33. I also look forward to buying come chicken thighs and rice, and, a real treat, orange juice. Hunger is a frequent companion.

    who knows? I may find paying work again.I was forced to retire early as disabled due to really bad health, which I have finally, after all these years, come to understand. (Or my husband, who is an artist, may return to paying part-time work.)

    Reglazing steel windows does seem to have a few differences, one being the metal spring clip, of which I have found none. The only thing that seems to be holding the glass in the window is that small bead that goes behind the glass. This bead seems to be more like concrete than window glazing. At this point, I am leaving that alone, and replacing the glazing that falls out when you touch it. We are not replacing the glass, although I realize that would be a big plus. There does seem to be plenty of room for double panes to fit in, if we could only afford them.

    So I guess my main question is are the steel spring clips necessary? Were I to replace the glass, would they then become necessary, because I would have to remove that small bead that is holding the glass in?

    Thank you for any advice,

    Ellen

    PS: By the way, I have a brother who owns a 300 year-old wooden house in Plainfield, NJ. This year was its birthday, I believe. It’s a wonderful house, with some double doors and fabulous old hardware. But whenever the go into a wall to look at the walls and the windows. they are overwhelmed with horror at the extent of the rot. My brother is much more handy than I am, but he is still employed full-time, so while he can afford more, he has much less time than I do. Maybe I can convince him to buy your book. But I do not think he would share it with me. Besides, steel windows seem to be quite different.

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