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Workshops & Publications

Workshops and Lectures: 


LACAC Workshops on Historic Windows – for the Province of Ontario  

Delivered approximately 20 workshops across Ontario for the Architectural Conservation Unit, Heritage Branch, Ministry of Culture and Communications, on historic windows. Addressed historic window types, both appropriate and inappropriate techniques and materials for repair, appropriate materials and techniques for thermal upgrading, the economy of repair vs. replacement, limitations of new technologies, and when necessary, how to achieve accurate reproductions. (1991)  

Federal Historic Building Review Office and Parks Canada - Workshop on Historic Windows

Responsible for delivery of workshops for Heritage Conservation Program, Government Services and Public Works Canada. Participants are Architects, Engineers and Building Managers responsible for Federal historic buildings and National historic sites. Material covers both appropriate and inappropriate techniques and materials for repair, appropriate materials and techniques for thermal upgrading, the economy of repair vs. replacement, limitations of new technologies. Historic wood, steel and stained glass windows are addressed. (1993 - 2011)  



In recent issues of the Heritage Canada Foundation Magazine, Heritage, Craig Sims co-authored with Andrew Powter a series entitled "Maintenance and Repair of Historic Wood Windows". The illustrations and their captions below provide an introduction to the flavour and quality of this series. The series provides essential how-to-do information on this topic and promotes the restoration of old windows as an environmental and cultural benefit to society.  

“Repair or Replace - Windows in Historic Buildings: Arriving at a Sustainable Solution” Heritage Magazine Summer 2006, pp40-49  

HeritageCanada/HCsum2006D1.jpgWindows dominate the façade of this house in St. John's, Newfoundland.
200YearOldWindow  Although not maintained for years, this 200-year-old window still shows the three dimensional feathers of the drip cap and sill which are missing from most modern windows.  
BathOntarioWindows The original windows are still part of this historic building in Bath, Ontario

“Maintenance and Repair of Historic Wood Windows”Heritage MagazineFall/Winter, 2007, pp50-62 



HeritageCanada/HCwinter2007A1.jpgThe interior view of window frame without the sashes. 

Step 1 Removal of interior stop allows for removal of the lower sash.

Step 2 Removal of parting strip allows for removal of theupper shash.

Step 3 Removal of weight pocket cover allows access to counterweights when replacing sash cords.  



“Improving the Thermal Performance of Historic Windows” Heritage Magazine  Spring, 2007, pp48-52 


HeritageCanada/HCspring2007A1.jpg This mock-up (by D. J. White Restorations) shows a type of weather-stripping where sheet metal fins fit into sheet metal-lined kerfs in the sash.  



HCspring2007C1.jpg If new storm windows are fabricated they can be made as an upper and lower with half lap at the false meeting rail. The upper portion hangs from hooks and this allows the lower half to be interchanged seasonally from the interior with an insect screen.  




HCspring2007B1.jpg Sash locks are critical for helping secure a tight fit. Windows wider than 1 metre benefit from two sash locks, one at the 1/4 point and one at the 3/4 point.  



Saving Historic Windows Makes Dollars and Sense  Craig Sims,  Frontenac Historic Foundation, February 1998, Vol.24, No.1, ISBN 0381-0119 

Replacement Windows: an Explanatory Technical Note:    Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, (2005),  Parks Canada

 As a supplement to the “Standards and Guidelines” I was hired to prepare a text that explored the issues surrounding replacement windows in historic buildings.  

Joinery.jpgDetails from the document showing traditional joinery used in wooden sash…   


Muntins.jpg…and the evolution in muntin bars throughout the 19th C.


Window Rehabilitation Guide for Historic Buildings,   Life Cycle Cost Analysis for Restored and Replacement Windows Jean-Yves Tremblay and Craig Sims, Historic Preservation Education Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1997.  


Centuryhome - Renew Magazine

"Signs of the Times", Aug-Sept. 1991, guidelines for commercial signs on historic buildings.

"Frame Work", May-June 1990, a discussion of maintenance issues for owners of frame residences.

"Framed", May-June 1990, a brief history of framing techniques used in Canada.

"Stonewalling", care and maintenance of stone houses. March-April 1990

"Tales From the Damp", October-November 1989, causes and effects of dampness in basements and possible remedial actions.

"Winter Storms", July-August 1989, a discussion of types and effectiveness of storm windows available for owners of historic buildings.


Period Technology, Architectural Conservation Technology Series, Heritage Conservation Program,   Publications: Public Works and Government Services Canada (1986-87)

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