To Repair or Replace …

Phase I of the Beauport Window Conservation project has presented numerous opportunities to perform minimally invasive repairs or fully replace certain elements associated with the various windows.

While none of the windows have been replaced, the condition of some elements has mandated sensitive repairs by using wood splice repairs – commonly referred to as “Dutchman Repairs”.  Earlier posts regarding the Strawberry Hill and Master Mariner’s Rooms have touched on these repairs briefly.  The following images show wood splice repairs at different areas of various sash.  All repairs were performed with Eastern White Pine (new, although selected for heartwood and tightest grain available) and secured with epoxy adhesive.  (click on any image for a zoomed in explanation)

Rail RepairsStrawberry Hill Rail RepairStile End Repairs  Music Room Stile End Repair

Mid-stile Repairs Music Room Mid Stile RepairMuntin repairs  Music Room Muntin Repair

Returning to the field for installation, it is inevitable that just as the lower parts of the sash experienced deterioration their associated sills were also found to be deteriorated.  In some cases, deterioration was small enough or a part of a structural framing element such that a splice could be implemented.  In other cases, sills were found to be so deteriorated that total replacement was necessary.   The following images detail some of those repair and replace options.   (click on any image for a zoomed in explanation)

Sill Replacement  Sun Porch Sill Replacement   Red Indian Sill

Window Frame Repairs  Red Indian Frame RepairsMiscellaneous Trim Repairs  

Misc Repairs

While all these repairs are done in a conservative preservation environment, none of the damage nor the repairs are unique to this particular environment.  These same problems can be seen in many window installations.  The nice thing about these problems is that they can be fixed relatively easily.  There is rarely a need to fully replace the windows; proper repairs will continue to add years to the service life.

If you would like to make a matching contribution to the Save America’s Treasures grant so that we can continue the much needed work at the house, please contact or call 617-227-3957, ext. 247.




Filed under Window Restoration

2 responses to “To Repair or Replace …

  1. Suzanne Brown

    I’m curious—several of the photographs mention that some damage may be due to “prior expoxy repairs.” Why is that? Was the old expoxy chemically unstable? Hygroscopic? Unable to expand/contract with the original wood?

  2. beauportblog

    Unfortunately, we do not know the exact history of prior repairs. We do know that there was some repair work done 20-30 years ago. In those instances where the prior repair was done with a wood splice, all appears to be good. The newer wood is in fine condition; the glue joint is crisp and tight. We do not know what type of glue was used. In some rotted areas we were seeing evidence of epoxy embedded in the rotted area. It is possible that some of the earliest glimmers of rot existed back when the repair was done and an epoxy consolidant was used in an attempt to hold that rot at bay and retain as much original fabric as possible. If the rot behind the epoxy is not removed, the rot can still be “active” and continue to deteriorate. The premise behind an epoxy consolidant is that that rotting action would be stopped. It is unclear if modern consolidants would do a better job, but at this point the rot was so far advanced that splice repairs were performed.

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