Serving Quebec (Gatineau Area) and Ottawa
Gunn’s Heritage Window Works
“Traditional Wood Window Restoration”
Traditional materials and craftsmanship have endured the test of time. By respecting and applying these traditional methods together with minimal and sympathetic modern developments, old wood windows can be restored to provide function, beauty and durability.
What I Do
I support clients’ wishes to preserve their beautiful heritage windows and ensure that they meet or surpass the performance of the vast majority of modern alternatives. Steps taken during a typical window restoration are:
• assess condition of sashes, storm windows and exterior architraves (exterior parts of window) and discuss options
• remove sashes and, if there are no storms, install a temporary faux window (trompe l’oeil)
• strip all exterior paint, putty and remove glass from sashes; strip interior paint if required.
• repair sashes: larger damaged areas I use reclaimed old growth wood for Dutchmen repairs
• glaze sashes (glass installed and puttied)
• sashes receive an alkyd primer and two coats of high quality acrylic latex paint
• apply weatherstripping and reinstall sashes, with repairs to cords and pulleys and/or hardware as required.
Now, stand back and admire what you have preserved.
Old buildings have captivated my imagination and soul for as long as I can remember. I feel that the loss of an old building is especially tragic when, had the building owners or stewards been able to access the knowledge and skills they needed, they might have kept the old windows, doors, siding, floors or the whole house.
Windows are often referred to as the eyes of a house, reflecting its soul. If you are lucky enough to still have the original windows in your home, they are the ones that belong there. They “fit” the feel of the house, and have served for 70, 100 or more years. With full and sensitive restoration they will serve that long again, unlike most modern replacement windows (i.e. disposable), which have a lifespan of 10-20 years. In terms of energy efficiency, fully restored windows with weather stripping and storm windows can outperform almost all modern windows.
Bio (Cynthia Gunn):
I grew up in Vancouver with a high school stint in Connecticut followed by a decade in the Rockies. After receiving my MA Geography, I worked for an environmental firm in Ottawa and wrote research reports for the Heritage Canada Foundation before settling into family life and a small catering business. With the kids approaching high school years I returned to my passion of preserving the fabric of heritage buildings, this time with a desire to do hands-on work, specifically window restoration. While transforming a small almost derelict 1920s cottage into a quirky but charming rental home, I soon realized that there is very little good information, hands-on training, and traditional products for window restoration available in Canada.
During desperate searches for knowledge and products, I thankfully came across Edifice Atelier and was invited to be one of the six participants in the first Heritage Maintenance Guild Programme. Not only did the course provide thorough and engaging instruction on all things heritage, we worked on an 1837 farmhouse to solidify our new skills. Going forward we have unlimited access to the Edifice Guild’s Mentorship Programme as an Edifice Guild Craftswoman and Member in good standing. I now look forward to serving the stewards of beautiful but threatened old windows.
Contact Cynthia Gunn today to discuss your next project: