Restoring Wood Windows with Bob Yapp

Photo: Yalecrest resident Rob Foye at work.
Last month I was fortunate to participate in a “Wood Window Repair and Weatherization Workshop” taught by Bob Yapp.  It was one of 3 classes put together by SLC Planning, Preservation Utah and the SLC RDA.  

Mr. Yapp is a renowned historic preservation expert.  In 1996 he created a series for PBS called “About Your House with Bob Yapp.”  Later he opened the Belvedere School for Historic Preservation.
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Bob Yapp with class participants

Having a hands-on class is a great way to learn.  Each class restored a traditional double-hung wood window.  We learned about safe paint removal, glazing, putty replacement, weather-stripping, and sash re-installation.  It was amazing how easily (and cheaply!) one can fix an old wood window so that it can do its job even better than before and last another 100+ years.

 


While working on the window sashes we also talked about energy efficiency and sustainability.  I wish I could remember the number of windows thrown into landfills each year.  It was astronomical.  Did you know…
  • It will take a consumer 40+ years to get any payback from replacement windows with insulated glass.
  • PVC or vinyl is the most toxic consumer substance manufactured today.  It can’t be recycled, off gasses toxic fumes and has contraction and expansion issues. It fades, cracks and has a maximum lifespan of 16 to 18 years.
  • Restored wood windows have another 100-year economic life before total restoration is needed again.  Replacement windows can never be restored effectively.
During our lunch break Bob said one of the great things about history and historic preservation is that it brings all kinds of people together.  Recently I attended an Entrada Institute presentation on the visual history of Wayne County.  The room was filled with people from a variety of political and religious backgrounds, old-timers and relative new-comers together.   With the photos and shared stories I saw appreciation, respect and even shared laughter.  Bob was right.  It really was NICE.
 
The info and conversations with Bob and the other class participants made this workshop great.  It was a lot of fun.   I highly recommend the class.
 
 
Note:  Top 4 photos courtesy of Ed Kosmicki.
— Kelly Marinan
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