A Total Window Makeover in a 1920’s Home

There are three components of a Total Window Makeover because there are three components that make up an historic window. They are the sash, the frame and the mechanics.

The Sash is the functional part of the window that holds the glass and either slides up and down on tracks, or hinges open and closed like a door. The Frame is the structural part of the window that holds the sash in place and frames out the actual hole in the wall. The Mechanics is the hardware that holds the sash and frame together while giving it functionality.

The SASH—encases the glass.

The FRAME—encases the sash.

The MECHANICS—joins the sash and frame.

The Sash Makeover restores the sash and ensures the relationships between the wood, paint, putty and glass are sealed. The Frame Makeover restores the frame and ensures a stable and protected frame to encase the sash. The Mechanical Makeover focuses on the functionality of the sash and frame together. All three components work together to form a Total Window Makeover.

The Mechanical Makeover is performed first, after which both the Sash and the Frame makeover can be performed.


The Mechanical Makeover brings functionality back to the window and facilitates all subsequent work, by taking it apart and putting it back together properly. The sashes are removed from the opening and cleaned of excess paint buildup that would impede movement. Parting beads are replaced. Hardware is serviced or replaced where necessary. Pulleys and locks are lubricated, ropes are replaced and weights reattached. Window is reassembled and tuned, ready for use.

This operation is aggressive and always damages the paint finish both inside and out. Therefore most clients opt to address this by including the Sash and Frame Makeover in their overall package. Clients sometimes ask to address paint issues themselves, though this is not recommended and voids the warranty.

This operation is also exploratory. Unseen damage is often exposed during this process. This is another reason we include the Sash and Frame Makeover, they are inclusive of all wood repairs and the Mechanical Makeover is not.

Watch the video below if you’d like to know more about what a Mechanical Makeover looks like.


The Sash Makeover is the second element of the Total Window Makeover and there are three basic options.

Classic Sash Rebuild. Original sash is stripped to bare wood, repaired if necessary, sanded, primed and reglazed with original and existing glass and then repainted. Restored or upgraded hardware installed.

New Sash Upgrade. Updated new sash made from KDAT (Kiln Dried After Treatment) pine or better and fitted to original opening. Glazed with new glass and painted. New locking and lift hardware installed.

Classic Hybrid Upgrade. Updated new sash made from KDAT pine or better and fitted to original opening, reglazed with original wavy and existing glass and painted. Restored or new locking and lift hardware installed.

If you’d like to see a Classic Hybrid Upgrade sash being glazed, watch the video below.


The Frame Makeover is the third element of the Total Window Makeover. Arguably the most vital part of the window, the frame is often the most ignored and least understood. It not only provides the tracks to mount the sash, it spans the transition between the highly variable external elements and interior climate control. It is crucial that it works with the sash to keep the weather out.

To best accomplish this, the frame exterior is stripped of failing historic paint systems, often to bare wood and repaired where necessary. Woodwork is primed and sealed with oil-based primer. All water entry points are sealed. Frames are hand painted with high quality Benjamin Moore paint. Weatherstripped with lifetime spring bronze.

Historic windows restored this way can last another 100 years. To see an example of what a Frame Makeover looks like, watch the video below.


  • Upgraded aesthetics and curb appeal
  • Upgraded functionality
  • Upgraded/improved hardware
  • Upgraded weatherstripping
  • Upgraded sashes with KDAT pine last 50 years or more
  • Upgraded windows mitigate lead problems
  • Upgraded windows increase property value
  • Upgraded by local artisans, supporting the immediate community