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Lifetime Sash Comply with Secretary of the Interior Standards


Does Wood Window Makeover and their Lifetime Sash comply with the Secretary of the Interior Standards?


Every once in a while we receive questions we think are too good not to share. Just this week we received this one.

We love to hear from you.

Have a question? Please send it to us. We’ll answer it. If it is a really good one, you’ll likely see it published here.

Steve, we are concerned that your Lifetime Sash violates decades-old preservation principles, seeking to save everything that we can before it’s thrown into a landfill. Rumor has it that you will take a perfectly good window sash, remove the glass to put it into a new Lifetime Sash. You are throwing the old sash away! Why aren’t you saving it?


Dear Confused,

I assure you that we are not violating time-tested preservation principles when we restore windows using our Lifetime Sash. In fact, not only are we restoring windows, we are restoring the spirit that built that window.

Wood Window Makeover’s Lifetime Sash outlasts the current old growth wood and it is guaranteed to outlast the current old growth wood by at least 49 years. Our Lifetime Sash is built using the exact same (if not better) craftsmanship employed at the turn of the century. We craft them using classic and time-tested mortise and tenon joinery and finish them off with a polished look using stainless steel, brass or bronze hardware.

It is not Wood Window Makeover violating timeless preservation principles. I can tell you who is. It is rather the painters and pressure washers. They actually gave rise to this Lifetime Sash. They are responsible for the so-called purists’ uproar.

Steve, why did you develop the Lifetime Sash in the first place?

That’s simple. It’s the elephant in the room, the Achilles heel. The one thing that nobody in the window restoration industry wants to talk about. Once a window is restored classically and the restorer moves on to her next project, that window is going to fail. No different than the replacement window – it is going to fail.

Whoa Whoa Whoa!!! What are you talking about? How can you say that? We’re talking about sashes that already lasted a hundred years and can last a hundred more!

Right. The homeowner is going to move out. That restored window will continue to be neglected. The same neglect that created the need for restoration in the first place. It’s our culture.

Our culture has changed. The modern homeowner stays in their home for 7 years and then moves.

But it’s not the restorer’s fault.

The restorer did the right thing.

The window was saved.

The house kept its charm.

The house sold for more money than any other home on the street because of its restored windows.

New owners move in and they don’t know what you did. They don’t know how many hours you labored to:

  • strip the sash
  • replace the ropes
  • paint the jambs
  • reglaze the glass
  • tune up the window and
  • make it like new again

They don’t know, nor can they know because all they see is that the color scheme is wrong. The sash shouldn’t be red, they should be blue. The siding color is wrong, the trim needs to be different and they are going to change it.



It’s the Pressure Washers and the Painters

And here come the pressure washers and painters.

Yep. The group that gave rise to the Lifetime Sash. If you really analyze this problem, you’ll see that it is this group that should be the subject of our wrath.

People pressure wash to remove the road grime. I would do it the old fashioned way with a hose, bucket and a mop, but who am I? People are gonna do it.

Your house needs to be clean before you go through the expense of painting again.

Unfortunately, that road grime is more than road grime.

It is dust from the neighbor’s garden project. It is dust from tree pollen. It is dust from fungal spores that decay all the wood that falls from the trees to the ground.

Fungal spores.

In the air.

It’s not going to change.

The pressure washer cleaning the house then forcefully injects all those fungal spores deeply into any crack or crevice, where there’s food aplenty to eat and now water to drink.

Forcefully injected into the space where two pieces of siding meet, into nail holes, into the joints of your restored window sash.

Then comes the painter to seal the deal.

Window decay, rot and death just sealed into the wood like a ticking time bomb waiting for the right moment to reveal itself.

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Pressure washers and painters are Wood Window Makeover’s single most valuable source of income.

Your Old Windows Won’t Rot – Guaranteed

Countless times I’ve been called out to homes to restore windows that have been pressure washed and painted. “My window is rotten and I don’t know why.” I have restored those windows. I’ve made new sash out of Cypress, I’ve kept everything intact, and I’ve also been called back out to the same job, new owners, showing me problems created by the process I described above.

Tell me… What good is a restored window when you can’t stand behind your work?

Tell me you can control who is going to come after you.

Tell me you can guarantee your work for more than a season.

You can’t.

“Oh, but if they are maintained!”

Promise me you’ll keep those windows maintained….(insert cricket sound)…. I rest my case.

With a Lifetime Sash, you get everything you want out of a restored window, with one small addition – peace of mind.

You don’t have to look over your shoulder and wonder if the person who comes after you is going to do the right thing.

You don’t have to wonder if your work will last.

Your restored windows will last.

You can stand behind your work.

Restoring Historic Windows with Lifetime Sash

Some people have the impression that Wood Window Makeover is all about ripping out the old and putting in new; like a replacement company.

We aren’t preaching that at all.

What do you do when a sash can’t be saved? When it’s not even there?

What do you do when you need a sash?

You have one made or you make one yourself.

Yet most people don’t know how to make a sash themselves, so that’s where we come in. With our Lifetime Sash you get the best of everything.

You get to finish your restoration. When you use Wood Window Makeover’s Lifetime Sash, you also get to give your client a lifetime guarantee.


Learn How to Restore Historic Windows

We teach classes every month.

We hold Pro and Joe, hands-on workshops every year.

We have a summer tour traveling the country where we teach people how to restore windows in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for historic preservation.

Teaching Preservation and Restoration Companies How to Make Six Figures

We are keenly aware that if we don’t offer a sash product to those we teach to restore, we are setting them up to fail.

We know that not everyone can make a sash from scratch.

Especially, a sash that will last a lifetime.

So we’ve worked hard to fill that void.

When restorers, like you, happen upon a sash that cannot be restored, you can offer your client the perfect solution.

So we are setting people up to succeed in window restoration by making it possible to restore all historic windows, at every level.

Want to grow or make more money in your historic window restoration business? We will teach you how.

Want to be the historic window company of choice in your community? We can show you how to achieve this, too.

Need a sash this week? Yep. You guessed it. Even that is possible.

If you need a sash, I can get one to you in as little as seven days. That includes shipping it nearly anywhere in this country.

Have questions about our Lifetime Sash? Call us or visit our FAQs page.

Sash that Lasts a Lifetime

That sash will last a lifetime.

You can make your money.

I can make my money.

The client gets what they need, including peace of mind.

Everyone is happy.

It’s the perfect solution for window restorers everywhere.

Ready to order your Lifetime Sash?

Give us a call or give us your information and we’ll call you.

Let’s Talk About Your New Window Restoration Business

There’s only one way to find out: fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to you immediately.
If you like, we can also set up an appointment with a senior member of our team to look at your project.


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CEO & Craftsman Steve founded Wood Window Makeover in 2006. His passion and vision for community, connection, historic preservation and excellence in craftsmanship has been a catalyst for homeowners and historical organizations to connect and preserve. He started the annual Historical Homes Workshop to teach and inspire others to passionately and responsibly preserve and connect.

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