Sunday, March 16, 2008

Preparing to prepare (Restoring Steel Casement Windows)

As I mentioned in a previous posting, I'm getting ready to restore all of the steel casement windows in our apartment. The building is from the 1930s and I'm not sure how long the current paint and glazing has been there. (pictures to come)

One of my neighbors has redone all of her windows and she'll be sharing some of her secrets, but I'm also doing some research.

First, who actually specializes in fixing these types of windows:

Seekircher Steel Window Repair - Peekskill, NY - they restore and repair old windows. Here's an article in the New York Times about John Seekircher.

- Kansas City, MO - has a nice step-by-step instruction of how they restore steel windows.

J Sussman - Jamaica, NY - they craft custom steel windows.

Second, what how-to articles are out there:

ThisOldHouseWeb - Someone writes in asking how to fix cold and drafty steel casements.

ThisOldHouseWeb - A detailed article describing the restoration process.

The Steel Window Institute - Who's who of steel window manufacturers

Third, the pictures:

Here's a standard steel casement window from the 1930s. steel casement window

You'll notice here that the outside glazing on the glass is worn away and missing a protective coat of paint.steel casement window close up of window glaze

Here you can see rust forming on the inside of the window as well as it not closing completely. steel casement window close up of window frame


Anonymous said...

I am restoring the Fenestra casements in my 1929 Tudor home in Pittsburgh, PA. I should be done in about a year!


Anonymous said...

Great Blog, We look forward to seeing more. Thanks for posting. I have found that Optimum Window Mfg. is the leading Steel Window Mfg. Great people to work with and nice showroom. you can visit them at or call them at 845-647-1900.

Elizabeth said...

Rob: Did you ever do the steel window refinishing? I am thinking about starting the same thing on my house in Dallas...wondering how it worked out for you...


Rob Deichert Jr said...

Elizabeth - I have not had a chance to start yet. This summer I will start and will blog all about it.


Unknown said...

So how did your restoration of the old casement windows do? How did they comeout? How did you do it? I'm leading a project where we'll have to restore some old casement windows from 1939 and would like to have some ideas.

Rob Deichert Jr said...

enrique I haven't had a chance yet to star, but the summer marks the start. I just ordered enough clips for all of the window panes and found a new paint that's supposedly better than rustoleum. It's a latex commercial bridge paint by PPG. I'll update as soon as I get started.

Anonymous said...

I live in Westchester County, and had a Philadelphia company redo all my Hope's casements. What an umbelievable job. They look, close, and lock like new. The company was great to work with. They are Pro Window Steel Window Co.

Anonymous said...

When buying steel windows the best place around, with the best quality is

Anonymous said...

I need to repair/replace numerous cranks on steel casement windows in my 1928 house - I would like to have a company do this in my house rather than have the windows removed! - any ideas? thanks much -

Unknown said...

Update from Jake (Pgh, Mt Lebanon PA)

I've taken out and totally refurbished 5 of the 30 Fenestra windows in my house.

1. Removed window from house
2. Salvaged as much glass as I could - if you keep 25% you're doing great :)
3. Removed all hardware (slides, handles)
4. Sandblasted and powder coated frame, casement, and hardware
5. Tap screw holes & replace all screws with stainless ones
6. Set glass with black silicone
7. Caulk & install

I made my own internal storms a few years ago. Net thermal resistance is about equal to a new window because my storms are plexiglas with plastic H-channel frames. I have about $200 in each 36x50 including internal storm. They look great, insulate very well, and best of all it preserves 80-year-old irreplaceable architectural elements.

If you want before & after pix, email me. Happy to help with tips, tricks, & pitfalls.


Anonymous said...

we just finished one steel casement kitchen window. It was quite a tedious endeavor. It took forever to remove the many layers of paint and rust. We tried to remove the entire window to take to a sandblaster but the window was thoroughly embedded in the concrete structure. The glass man will be installing tempered glass next week, double-paned glass was not an option. It is costing almost 5xs as much for the tempered glass as to replace the glass with single pane from Home Depot. I hope it is worth it and I'm going to give it a try just because the single pane crack so easily and we have had to replace many of them, the same ones, multiple times.I think these windows look fantastic but they are drafty and cold in the winter (and we live in California!) I hope I've made the right decision.

Anonymous said...

we're refinishing steel casement windows from the 1930s. Years of built up paint. We're not removing the windows. Any suggestions on how to remove the paint? We're using gel paint stripper and a scraper but it's tedious.

Anonymous said...

i know this is an old blog but has ANYONE completed reparing/restoring old steel casement windows? i have a house built in 1939 with an entire room of casement windows, 3 walls with 4 sets of aprox 5ftx5ft casement windows.