If You Want To Be Fast, Get The Glass Size

How long would it take you to restore the five windows I just agreed to restore? I’m going to try to get it done in six days. I might get it done in five.

One of the things I do when I go to look at a project, is make a rudimentary map of the house and notate the location of all the windows. I’ll make sure to write down the window style and the glass size. Believe it or not, one of the most important measurements you can get when you go to sell a job is the glass size, because if you have that, you have everything.

The houses I work on were built mainly around the 1920s and most of the windows were built in a factory where glass size was key. Glass came in huge shipments in precut sizes, mostly in two inch increments, 20, 24, 26, 32 and so on. Often times architectural plans for framing a house noted the window size by the glass size. The builders had formulas in their head and could calculate rough opening size, merely by the glass size. Because that was so commonplace, if I have the glass size, I can pretty much build the window around that. In the case of my project in St. Petersburg where I have to rebuild five windows, I know that the glass size in the six over six style double hung window is 20″ wide by 26″ high. I am not concerned with the pane size for each of the six individual panes – I just have to have the overall area and I can recreate the sash as needed.

Its so important to have this information so that if the client pulls the trigger and you know you need a sash, you can show up on site with the sash in hand, already primed and maybe even painted with a coat of paint. You can pull the old rotten sash out of the opening and transfer the wavy glass right then and there and get the sash back in the same day instead of having to board up the opening. Sure, you might have to come back in a few days to paint the glazing (hint: use Sarco Type M Multiglaze Glazing Compound), but you are still weeks ahead of anyone else. You are happy, the client is happy and you can serve more clients in a shorter period of time.