Doors & Windows

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Old House Journal's compendium of articles about how to repair and restore doors and windows for old houses, including hardware repair, finishes, glass repair/installation, and more. 

SEE ALSO: Architectural Salvage Projects |  Construction & AdditionsHardware Guides | Period Paints & Finishes | Restoration Projects  | Tool Reviews  | Wood Repair & Refinishing  |  Windows, Doors & Shutters Products & Services Directory

historic town house exterior

Adding Comfort to Historic Townhouses

A look inside historic townhouses: modernizing without erasing history.

Indow’s compression-fit acoustic panel, interior storm windows

Historic Districts Can Be Noisy

We have a solution to decreasing noise pollution inside an old house.

pocket doors

Windows to Pocket Doors

Old conservatory windows found at a salvage yard became pocket doors separating bedrooms.

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How to Restore Window Boxes & Siding Damage

Exposed to the harsh elements, window boxes and siding often need to be repaired and restored.

open window on brick building

Soundproofing Windows

Options for blocking exterior noise keep improving: no need to replace original, single-glazed windows. Secondary glazing can go inside or out.

before and after front door refinish

An Entry Door Makeover

When we finally got around to restoring the front door of our Victorian house, the effect was dramatic.

Replacement windows by Heartwood Windows.

Lights Divided, Truly and Otherwise

It should be understood that conserving old windows is the “greenest” option: they are endlessly repairable and easy to upgrade for energy efficiency and comfort. For those buying replacement windows, find good news in recent aesthetic improvements.

Although stained glass may appear to be stable, if the panes rattle when you drum on them with your fingertips, they need an application of fresh putty.

How To Repair Stained Glass

Vintage stained glass windows often need repairs. Learn tips and tricks so you can restore your stained glass.

Half-stuck Slide Windows

A Fix For Half-stuck Slide-away Windows

In a sleeping porch, the original slide-away windows got yanked once too often.

Bringing light and air to the vestibule, this restored transom window and operator are at the row house entry.

How Transom Windows Work

An OHJ reader gives a step-by-step account of replacing a transom operator for functioning over-door windows that open and close.

Door terminology

Door Construction

This glossary of doors and parts of doors will help you determine which types of doors, hardware, and glass are appropriate for your old house project.

fire screen to window grille conversion

Fire Screen to Window Grille

Why settle for a blackout shade when you can ornament the window with a screen of wrought iron and blown glass? It can be plain—or fancy!

window repair

How to Weatherize Your Windows

Learn how to keep warm throughout the winter with thermal tune-ups for your windows.

wire glass

Chicken-wire Glass

New Yorkers Gretchen and Ray Master embraced the use of salvaged wire glass in transoms and door panels at their early 20th-century loft apartment.

The parlor is filled with light.

Thermal Window Inserts Reduce Noise and Drafts

There was no need to replace the old windows in our 1756 New Hampshire house.

solar innovations skylight

Let There Be Skylight

Here’s a problem-solving overview of options for bringing more natural light (and ventilation) into a residential interior.

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Interior Storm Windows

Interior storm windows have many advantages, including price, efficiency, looks, and ease of installation.

screen door

Period-Style Screen Doors

No need to settle for aluminum or vinyl from the big-box store.

Victorian House

Easy Fixes for Curb Appeal

So-called curb appeal is a common concern among real-estate agents—but it also matters to those of us staying put. Here are some low- to medium-cost improvements that’ll brighten the neighborhood.

front porch with windows

Window Update

It’s usually better to repair than replace original wood windows. They were designed to be restored, and can be retrofitted in ways that save energy and bring comfort—at far less cost than replacements.

hardware repair

Exterior Fix-Ups

Head outside for three projects: sealing tarnished brass, fixing torn window screens, and installing functional shutters.

window

A Window Sash That Won't Budge

"We’ve tried prying, chiseling, and swearing, but nothing makes the window sash budge." —Polly Whitney

HeartWood Fine Windows and Doors custom designs period-appropriate entryways. (Photo courtesy of HeartWood Fine Windows & Doors)

Warm Welcome

Treat guests to a traditionally styled entry.

vintage hardware

Vintage Hardware to Match the Door

Victorian charm was revived on this cottage that had once worn white aluminum siding.

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Hall Tree From Scraps

A little imagination kept an old interior door with a full-length beveled mirror from going to waste.

Products of the Week

Brookside

Pewabic Pottery

Pewabic fabricates heirloom quality architectural tiles for public and private installations, gift and commemorative tiles, vessels, gardenware, ornaments and both reproductions and adaptations of its historic designs and offers classes, workshops, lectures, internships and residency programs for studio potters and other artists.