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Working Windows: A Guide to the Repair and Restoration of Wood Windows Paperback – September 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 1st edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155821707X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558217072
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the late 20th century, in spite of the renewed interest in historical renovation, preserving resources, and a strong do-it-yourself tradition developing among homeowners, the art of maintaining and repairing wood windows has somehow fallen by the wayside. Few modern home-repair books include more than a cursory look at wood window repairs and restoration, offering sketchy information at best. A whole generation of people have been raised not knowing that the upper sash in a double-hung wood window is supposed to open just like the lower sash to allow one to easily wash windows inside and out without going outside, or that properly working double-hung windows permit one to adjust home ventilation by allowing warm air to escape out the upper sash and cool air to enter through the lower.

In Meany's book, individual sections are devoted to the operation, care, and repair of double-hung wood windows, casement and awning windows, fixed windows, and other more unusual windows like pivoting and leaded glass windows, along with chapters on weather stripping, repainting, refinishing, and working with different kinds of window moldings. This definitive book on wood window repair and restoration is now offered in a new edition with excellent detail, helpful diagrams, simple and clear instructions, and a good bit of Meany's wry humor to make it a lively read. It is an absolutely indispensable part of any wood-window-owning do-it-yourselfer's home library. --Mark A. Hetts

Review

"The best guide on the subject.". --Seatle Times/Post Intelligencer

"Meany has put together the definitive book on wood window repair and restoration. . . [it is] written with excellent detail, helpful diagrams, simple and clear instructions, and a good bit of Meany's wry humor to make it a lively read. It is an absolutely indispensable part of any wood-window-owning do-it-yourselfer's home library." -- Amazon.com

"Whether you simply need to eliminate drafts or want to tackle complex stripping, author Meany is sure to steer you in the right direction. Remember, the windows really are the eyes of your home." --Timber Homes Illustrated


"Assuming you have a reason to repair old, single-pane windows instead of replacing them with insulated glass windows, Terence Meany's Working Windows. . . could come in handy. Meany, who calls himself Mr. Window, has some neat tricks up his sleeve. . . . "--Journal of Light Construction

"Working Windows leaves the subject of window design and installation to other authors, and instead concentrates on something more basic to homeowners: getting the windows you already have to work properly for what they were designed and installed to do."--Woodshop News
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This book was invaluable.
Jason M Mitton
A great primer that convinced us to restore our classic six light double-hung windows instead of replacing them.
houseinprogress
Do one window at a time, the book will tell you how to OPEN all the windows, but just take one at a time apart.
LEO OROURKE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By D. Smith on April 2, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
... It arrived on Friday, and was an easy read, with lots of diagrams and helpful hints. On Sunday I attacked a 73 year old double hung window which had been painted shut for decades, and everything I encountered was just as described in the book. By the end of the day, the window had been reassembled and both sashes now function properly. My total out of pocket cost was less than $20, including enough materials to do several other windows. To make this review a "5" the author should include a reference list of where to find those "hard to find" parts (including internet URL's).
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By houseinprogress on January 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
A great primer that convinced us to restore our classic six light double-hung windows instead of replacing them. So why would someone want to restore old windows instead of just replacing them?
A) They're gorgeous, practical works of art...the eyes of the house. Our windows are "six-light prairie style, double hung" windows. They're one of the typical syles for bungalows in the Midwest, and are a big part of what make our house the thing we love.
B) When restored properly, they will be weathertight as well as beautiful. (They are NOT maintenance free, however. If you are looking for maintenance free, restoration may not be for you.)
C) It will cost us less to restore these windows than to replace them with a vinyl clad wood window. This is based on the number of windows we have and the shape that they are in.
If those benefits are interesting to you, you need this book. Meany has written a fun book useful for the do-it-yourself'er as well as those wanting to learn about how window restoration works. With years of experience, Terence brings wisdom and humor (and some nice diagrams) to his writing. He gives beginners a realistic preview of what you're likely to encounter. Those with experience might find the book a bit basic but will appreciate the breadth of his experience and his recommendations on how to handle a few unusual challenges.
This winter, we have toasty warm, restored and WORKING windows :)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Paul Brazelton on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everyone who's owned an old house has gone through it - after being barraged by literature from window manufacturers, energy companies and design mags, you start thinking about putting in new replacement windows. It makes sense, right? Spend the money now, and reaps the dividends in energy savings with those smart, vinyl clad future-proof windows.

Some of us continue to read past this, and we learn more beyond the hype. Those old double-hung sashes that have been keeping out the rain and wind for a century would be replaced with sashes that will last a few decades at most - replacements that often cannot be painted or even repaired when their exotic caulks inevitably fail. Replacments that nullify the architectural integrity of your older home. Replacements manufactured with materials that have a profound negative environmental impact.

So, what to do? You're tired of the breezes through your home, the condensation and frost in the winter, the windows you can't even open, the money you can see wafting out of doors every time the heat or AC kicks in. Can you repair these ancient windows, make them work like new - maybe even work *better* than new?

Working Windows is the answer to that last question, and answers with an emphatic "YES!". Aside from windows rotting clear off of their frames, this book will help you recover, restore and improve your existing windows. From fixing problems with rot and warping to sealing out the weather to pointing and glazing, this book covers everything. Want to make your own storm windows? It's got it. How about screens? Sure thing.
Read more ›
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jason M Mitton on July 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have recently purchased an older home that has a number of double-hung windows that need sash cords replaced and some minor repairs. I had never worked with wooden windows before and was at a loss for knowing where to start or what to do. This book was invaluable. I am half way through all the windows and without 'Working Windows' I would still be lost. The style of writing is fun and informative. The book contains general information through specific product recommendations.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jane Powell on August 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
The revised and updated edition of Working Windows probably has twice the information of the original book, which was already the best book on the subject. And yet the price is still the same! I've repaired lots of windows, so I'm hardly a novice, but I still picked up a lot of tips and tricks and things I didn't know. And it's lovely that someone still wants to write about how to repair one of the eminently repairable things in a world in which most things are no longer repairable but merely disposable. In a way it's a sad commentary on our society that everything is thrown away rather than repaired, though many modern products aren't even repairable (like the replacement windows so many people have been talked into- when their rather short lifespan is over, they'll just go to the landfill).

The author's writing style is humorous, which I enjoyed, because I see no reason why providing information precludes it from being entertaining (if you prefer that, the National Park Service has a nice, dry, boring article on the repair of historic windows which is widely available). And he explains things clearly enough that even someone who isn't very "handy" could still manage to repair a window.

Anyone with wooden windows could benefit from having (and using) a copy of this book.
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