On Saturday, September 20, 2008 we presented “How to Approach Work on Your Older Home” to a group of interested homeowners in Columbia, Pennsylvania. We discussed avoiding common mistakes, how to make an older home more energy efficient, and how to plan for the work. After we finished the question and answer segment Chuck offered to take anyone who was interested to go outside to look at some of the mistakes made (previously, such as, sandblasting and using Portland Cement based mortar) on the Columbia Market House and the maintenance tasks that can be completed to help preserve the building. The preservation fair was sponsored by The Borough of Columbia and the Historic Architectural Review Board through the support of The Richard C. von Hess Foundation.
Last Saturday, June 7, Chuck, Lois, and Danielle drove to Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (right above State College) to conduct a seminar for the Borough of Bellefonte as part of their wood window seminar day in the park. There were various other exhibitors (replacement windows, storm windows, and stained glass window experts with booths) as part of the window fair.

It was a hot day with high humidity on top of the heat – I would describe it as oppressive. We made do with the weather (which impacted the turn out) and moved our presentation into the park gazebo where there was shade and benches for the attendees.

Despite the small crowd we had a good time discussing the importance of wood windows to a historic building, the replacement cycle (caused by inferior new growth wood and modern construction practices – the replacement window salesman was not happy with this aspect of the discussion), and storm window options (interior and exterior). We also covered energy efficiency of wood windows, with support from the University of Vermont Wood Window Report (showing the energy savings is less than a dollar a year when wood windows are replaced with modern replacement windows), how to make wood windows more energy efficient, and a demonstration of the steps to repair wood windows.

We enjoyed sharing our knowledge with the few concerned homeowners and the Borough of Bellefonte’s available HARB members. We look forward to visiting this Victorian city again in the near future.