Tampa Historic Homes Workshop: Teaching the Next Generation of Restorers

The Historic Homes Workshop is a unique, hands on, annual event organized by Steve Quillian of Wood Window Makeover in Tampa, Florida.  It presents a two-day general overview of what is involved with restoring older wood sash windows, and a good overview of restoring plaster walls, as well. Sixty people attended this year’s workshop, which took place February 8th – 10th, at the historic May-Stringer House Museum in Brooksville, Florida.  The May-Stringer House is a relic with a fascinating history dating back to 1856.  Today it is an eclectic museum with antique personal artifacts that are sent in from families around the country.  In addition, the house is recognized as one of the top ten most haunted places in America!

Sixty attendees gathered for the event.

     The Historic Homes Workshop brings in contractors and DIY’s alike from around the country who are looking to improve their skills and knowledge of historic restoration, either for their businesses or their own homes.  Steve Quillian brings together skilled restoration professionals and trusted industry suppliers like Abatron, Accoya, Sarco, and Wooster, and works with them to run the seminars and lead student teams.  Never have I been more excited to be a part of a grassroots initiative that extends the knowledge of historic restoration and preservation by working on a project in action, letting participants get a real-life feel of things.  This type of workshop is by far the best kind of training.

     Day 1 is more of an exhibition day, with 1-to-2 hour long sessions explaining everything from how to market your own restoration business, to various methods of stripping paint from older sashes, to restoring a window with Abatron’s LiquidWood® and WoodEpox®Day 2 is a complete, hands on experience where everyone from of every skill level are placed into teams. Each team tackles an existing window that needs to be restored, and they work together to learn the latest tricks of the trade from an expert team leader.

Even in rainy weather, teaching and learning continues.

     A rain storm presented an opportunity to show how progress can still be made even when all the elements do not work in your favor. On Day 3, Steve leads an extended 5-day pro course that is a complete window makeover project as well as a full sash building course.

Workshop attendees learn best practices for window restoration.

     The real goal of these workshops is to promote the restoration and preservation arts and trades.  These are skills that are rare in today’s trades, and yet are growing in importance. Teaching these methods, and the growing demand to restore and preserve our heritage, has real value as more and more communities nationwide recognize the importance of their historic assets. These experts are paving the way for new and highly respected historic restoration professionals. Abatron is proud to be an expert presenter and leader at this annual workshop, and we look forward to seeing how far its students and pros succeed in their future projects.

The event was filled with learning, networking, and fun.

     To keep up-to-date on the projects and events Abatron participates in throughout the year, subscribe to our Building and Restoration Notes newsletter, or follow us on FaceBook. For an assortment of products to help you restore your own wood sash windows and frames, visit the Wood Restoration & Maintenance page of Abatron.com.