Double Hung repaired all my beautiful nearly 100 year old windows. They now open and close perfectly and are tightly sealed. I added storms and couldn't be happier. Can't imagine my home without the charm of the original windows. ~Gail Barger
“Buy the best and you only weep once” is a popular adage of disputed origin.
We thought that’s what we were doing fifteen years ago when we pondered, researched and saved to do a complete restoration of our family’s 1886 farmhouse. We knew that doing one big project was probably less stressful and more economical that doing it in dribs and drabs. We were going for the full enchilada. The house has historic significance and the restoration was not entered into unadvisedly or lightly. And the finished product was stunning. Tradesmen, archivists, passersby and owners were all delighted. And truthfully, given the age of the house and the enormity of the restoration, that we got more right than wrong is a triumph.
Then along came entropy. Things are wont to fall apart, despite man’s desire for them not to. Ignoring our substantial efforts, the new old house started to look forlorn. A hard decision had to be made. Do we let things continue to fall apart or do we give this old house another shot at another 130 years? We took the leap, determined that the house deserved another new lease on life. Our efforts were focused only on windows and siding this time around since all the previous fixes were still fixed.
The window sash (I learned that sash is both singular and plural so I’m ignoring auto correct’s request for a singular verb) were all lovingly restored by a company that does nothing but wooden window restoration, Double Hung LLC. They admitted ours to their “Window ICU” in Greensboro and nursed them back to health with skill and TLC. And when they were returned, there was no doubt that the formerly rickety, leaky windows were better than new. Was it expensive? You bet. We could have bought a whole house of “replacement” vinyl windows for a fraction of the price of restoring the old ones. And they would have probably functioned just fine but it would have been a travesty to saddle our old house with some factory vinyl that would have epitomized “buy cheap and cry forever”. Remember, we’re aiming to minimize crying.
The old wood siding had failed in many places and was askew, in a droopy rather than rakish way. It was a bad look on our simple house that just wanted to stand tall and proud. The worst of the rotten and saggy boards was replaced with rough sawn eastern white cedar to closely match the 1886 originals. Our notion was to repaint the entire house for a uniform look. As the various sections being replaced went up, it was increasingly apparent that all of the original boards had outlived their useful life and the right thing to do was to give all the siding a new start. The carpenters who did the restoration treated the house like a surgeon would his patient- skillfully and carefully. Expensive? Yep. Worth it? Absolutely. We could have used vinyl siding at a fraction of the price of a historically accurate restoration. And it would have probably functioned fine, but just like the windows, it would have besmirched our old house. “Buy cheap and cry forever.”
So for the second time on our watch, our new old house shines. We’ve done our best with help from the best. And we expect this will be the last time this house makes us cry. One cry would have been ideal, but twice beats thrice!
Our old house is truly a home with heart, thanks to some excellent help.
Excellent job - my windows all work perfectly, the crew was awesome and it was an overall great experience. I'm so pleased to have found y'all as I really didn't want to replace my gorgeous original windows. Couldn't be happier and looking forward to seeing you again for the storms. Highly recommended. ~Karen Thompson Floyd
Double Hung did a fantastic job with the windows in my office, the Hastings House in Smithfield, NC. The windows were mostly original to the 1854 house, but had been painted over for years and even screwed shut. They are now beautiful, look like I imagine they did in the 1850s, and are actually operational! ~Sarah Edwards