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Case Studies

Mansion Makeover

This Garfield Park mansion has a storied past.  It had been used as a speakeasy during prohibition, later it became a brothel, then a rooming house.  Through it all, the original interior details remained, included the ornate staircase, beaded wainscot paneling, and several sets of […] Read More »

Wrigleyville Rejuvenation

The guys that bought this Wrigleyville 3-flat soon realized that the white triple track windows installed by the previous owner not only created a garish appearance, but did little to seal the cold out of their home. Our solution was to build and install our […] Read More »

Glencoe Gothic

This beautiful Glencoe home, built in the 1870’s, still had most of the original wood windows.  But they had been covered with cheap aluminum triple track storms.  The owners complained of cold drafts, and they also wanted an improved exterior appearance.  They were interested in […] Read More »

Ravenswood Restoration

We removed these radiused sashes with bent glass from the dining room of a residence in Ravenswood, for restoration.  Leaded glass typically needs repairs after about 100 years, and these windows were showing their age.  Our leaded glass expert put the glass back in order, […] Read More »

Bent Glass Beauty

This Wicker Park graystone 3-flat was badly in need of window work.  Much of the original bent glass was cracked, contained bullet holes, or had been replaced with plexiglass over the years.  The sashes had many problems including rot, failing putty and paint, and makeshift […] Read More »

Redemption in Red

The windows in this Logan Square two-flat had been neglected for decades.  The mill finish aluminum storms were at least 50 years old and falling apart.  Peeling white paint, putty falling off in chunks, broken ropes, and windows rattling in the wind were problems the […] Read More »

Breaking Bad

The owner of this North Side 3-flat called after an old aluminum storm window blew off the large front window on the third floor.  We replaced the storm window with a high-quality, low-e equivalent.  The primary window also had a bullet hole through it, not […] Read More »

South Side Stormproofing

This 1880’s victorian home on Chicago’s South side retains nearly all of the original trim details, both inside and out, including the original windows.  The aluminum triple-track storm windows were removed and we fitted new wood storm/screen units with low-e glass that the owners can […] Read More »

Old Town Modern

Much of our work takes place on Victorian-era buildings, but this Edgar Miller landmark in Old Town had a distinctly modern flavor.  The building, built in the 1880’s was re-imagined by Miller in the 1930’s. Vandals had repeatedly damaged the large leaded glass radiused window at the […] Read More »

Upgrading Evanston

This traditional four square home in Evanston retained the original windows on first floor.  When we arrived, they were covered by white aluminum triple-track storm windows.  The owner wanted these replaced with wood storm/screen units painted to match the house.  We installed 11 of our […] Read More »

Gigantic Glass

This stairwell window in a Wicker Park mansion is nearly 5′ wide by 10′ tall. We assisted our stained glass partner with removing it for cleaning and restoration. Many of the hundreds of pieces of glass were cracked or broken, and some of the lead […] Read More »

Bungalow Basics

This classic Chicago-style bungalow illustrates the difference in appearance between our wood storm/screen units, and the shiny old aluminum triple-track storm windows.  In this case, the effect is even more dramatic because of the beautiful stained glass on the home. Read More »
Finished work

Multi-lite Makeover

This 24 lite window was a prominent architectural feature in a grand apartment on Chicago’s South side.  However it had seriously degraded, and it was literally falling apart.  We took the sashes to our shop, where we removed the glass, stripped numerous paint layers down […] Read More »

New Look in Norwood Park

This storybook-style house had some of the largest double-hung windows we’ve ever worked with.  The photos show the transformation that took place by removing the ineffective aluminum triple track storm windows and fitting the windows with our cypress and low-e glass storm/screen units. Read More »
Repairs and weatherstripping makes the original windows a pleasure to use.

Gracious Graystone

This classic Chicago Graystone two-flat, built around 1910, retains all of its interior trim, windows, and stained glass.  The new owners called us in for advice, and upon our recommendation, installed new, high-quality storm windows containing low-e glass throughout the building.  We then performed repairs […] Read More »

More Bungalow Basics

The owner of this Chicago bungalow wanted to restore the windows overlooking the back yard, remove the paint, and return them to stain-grade finish.  We also added weatherstripping, new chains, and adjusted them for proper fit and operation.  The before and after photos show the […] Read More »

Wrigleyville Rehab

This two-flat near Wrigley field was purchased by the current owners and rehabbed into a luxury single-family home while carefully retaining most of the vintage features, including the original windows. The white, triple-track storm windows were removed, and we fitted the 14 front windows with our […] Read More »
Coil Calamity

Coil Calamity

In an attempt to speed up window work, wood trim is often covered with aluminum, known as “coil” in the trade, as shown here. This prevents the wood underneath from “breathing” and traps moisture, leading to underlying rot, which is often not visible until major […] Read More »

Saving Stained Glass

We were called in to this whimsical home on the Northwest Side of Chicago when the window ropes deteriorated enough to cause one of the upper sashes to fall, smashing the stained glass panel to pieces.  We removed the sash and brought it to our […] Read More »

Preserving the Past

A judge built this house in the early part of the 20th century.  It’s in excellent condition, but the owner called us in to weatherstrip a number of double-hung windows, and replace broken ropes with new chains.  We were happy to do our small part […] Read More »

Saving Stained Glass II

Okay, technically we didn’t “save” this stained glass.  Our stained glass partner designed and built this new address number transom panel from scratch for a vintage Chicago home.  We did repair the original transom sash and made new wood stops to hold the panel in […] Read More »

Taming a Turret

Radius windows containing bent glass are not uncommon in Chicago.  They require extra care to be put back into good condition. These two windows are in an upper room of a four square on the North side of Chicago.  The owners wanted them completely stripped, repaired, […] Read More »

Italianate Upgrade

This Italianate home in Hyde Park retains nearly all of its original interior and exterior details from when it was built in the 1880’s, including the original windows.  Many years ago, the longtime owners had hired a carpenter to build wood storm windows for the […] Read More »

Leaded Glass Legacy

This fine home in Evanston has 7 front windows that contain leaded glass.  Unfortunately, the panels were bulging and deteriorated, due to age, and some of the pieces of glass were cracked or broken.  We removed all the sashes and working with our stained glass […] Read More »

Repair in Logan Square

We see many instances where owners feel their old windows are beyond hope.  Missing putty, peeling paint, stuck sashes, and broken glass can combine to make the windows appear frightening.  However those problems  can be readily addressed with the application of traditional trade skills. The […] Read More »

Porch Protection

The owners of this North side home in Ravenswood had set up their enclosed front porch as a sunny home office.  However on the coldest days of the year, the room could not be kept warm enough to be comfortable.  They were looking for a […] Read More »

Keeping it Real in Kenwood

This single-family home in Kenwood had beautiful original stained glass in both the upper and lower sashes of all 6 of the windows in two stairwells.  Numerous pieces of the glass were cracked, the glass was filthy, and many of the sashes did not close […] Read More »
Triple-Track Tragedy

Triple-Track Tragedy

In the photo below, the owner of this six-flat had the right idea by going with storms. The 100 year old exterior casing is still in good shape and just needs a coat of paint. However the low-quality triple-track storms are already in bad shape. […] Read More »

Legacy in Lakeview

Our work in this 1920’s Holabird & Root-designed high rise in Lakeview illustrates a full restoration project. The owners of a vintage condo on an upper floor were having one room remodeled, which contained a bank of original windows. The windows had all the usual […] Read More »

Sears Catalog Upgrade

This house was built from a kit sold by Sears in the 1910’s.  The owners called asking if we could do some “replacement” windows for them.  Two of the front windows had been damaged from a roof leak, the original storm windows destroyed, resulting in […] Read More »

A Storm in Any Port

This 1890 Lincoln Park home illustrates how it is possible to weatherize victorian buildings without destroying their architecture.  A previous contractor had tried to get aluminum triple track storms with square tops to fit into the arched openings.  Sorry, no “before” pictures available, but the […] Read More »

Swinging Screens

The owners of this vintage Lakeshore Drive condo had earlier restored all the original metal outswing casement windows in their unit. They were looking for a way to allow them to add insect screens on the interior, but still needed to access the casement mechanism […] Read More »
One More Time

One More Time

This courtyard building, built in the 1920’s is located on the West side of Chicago. In the 1990’s, the owner removed all the original heavy wood sashes, sent them to the landfill, and installed vinyl plastic “replacement” windows, destroying the architectural look of this solid […] Read More »

Mrs. O'Leary's Legacy

Chicago’s building codes are among the strictest in the nation, partially as a result of the great Chicago fire, which destroyed virtually the entire city in 1871, and other epic fires in later years.  Metal fire windows containing “chicken wire” glass were required by code […] Read More »
Problem Painters

Problem Painters

The owner of this 3-flat hired painters to paint his windows. As is all too common, the painters took a shortcut by not caulking the window casing to the brick on any of the windows on this building. Note the large gap between the brick […] Read More »

A Fungus Among Us

Often, rot is a symptom of improper alterations to the original building design, because old-growth wood combined with the knowledgable design of pre WWII buildings, is a very durable combination.  Repairs can usually be done more economically than tearing out an entire window system and […] Read More »

Banning Bugs at Oak St. Beach

In the tall building in the center of the photo, a vintage luxury co-op across the street from Oak St. Beach, the owners wanted to enjoy the cooling summer breezes off Lake Michigan, along with their views of the lake. But even more than 20 […] Read More »
Reproduction Redux

Reproduction Redux

This photo shows that almost any trim can be duplicated. Using samples of the originals, we reproduced the casing and corner block to create the new interior window trim shown in the picture. The corner block was very challenging. Most situations will be simpler to […] Read More »

Registered Repairs

This unique home in the Lakewood-Balmoral neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places. We repaired and weatherstripped a number of original windows in the home. Read More »

Saving Stain-grade Sashes

When the interior woodwork is stained, rather than painted, extra skill is required to perform repairs.  Fillers, such as structural epoxies, can’t simply be applied and covered with paint. Such was the case in this 1890 two-flat on the Northwest side of Chicago.  The lower […] Read More »

East Village Virgin Victorian

This brick two-flat in East Village remains virtually unchanged from the time it was built in the late 1800’s.  The basement is filled with the original wood storm windows which had not been put up in many years, and the sashes appeared to be in […] Read More »

Hope and Change in Hyde Park

In this 1907 courtyard building in Hyde Park, one of the condo owners valued the charm of his vintage wood windows and interior, but was freezing in the Winter.  We provided extensive repairs, weatherstripping, and new low-e storm windows, allowing the original wood windows to […] Read More »
Tax Credits

Landmarking Lost

These twin buildings in Oak Park stand side-by-side. The condo board for the building on the left decided to replace their windows with vinyl-plastic windows, and wrapped their exterior wood trim with aluminum. The building on the right repainted the exterior trim and installed storm […] Read More »

Mind the Gap

Cheaper aluminum storm windows are often also installed incorrectly by cut-rate contractors.  It is not uncommon to find large gaps because of improper sizing.  On a recent project, we replaced the old triple-tracks with modern low-e storm windows and upon disassembling the windows, we found […] Read More »

Rejecting Replacements

The owner of this home in Irving Park consulted with the Pella Windows salesman for his recommendation on what to do with her windows.  Pella recommended tearing out all the original windows and installing new Pella “replacement” windows.  The owner wisely rejected his advice, choosing […] Read More »