For the past few years, Steve Quillian, the owner of Wood Window Makeover in Tampa, has organized Historic Homes Workshop, an event that brings together some of the country’s most dedicated old home restoration and preservation enthusiasts. The event aims to educate and empower those interested in restoring historic homes to take the next step. And this year was no different.
About six months ago I received a call from Steve, inviting me to get involved in the Historic Homes Workshop. He asked if Abatron would consider sponsoring a table and if we’d be willing to give a presentation on epoxy repair for historic homes. Having “crashed” the even in 2015, I knew that this was something that Abatron HAD to be involved with.
This year’s event kicked off on Friday night with a welcoming party that allowed professionals, homeowners, and vendors to get to know each other in a very laid-back setting, featuring live music from The Danny Moody Band. It was a great way to break the ice and get conversations started that would continue throughout the weekend.
Saturday was all about education. Attendees were able to choose among 17, hour-long educational tracks throughout the day. Courses included: “Preserving your Home in the 21st Century”, “Insulation and Historic Homes”, “Epoxy for Historic Home Repairs”, and “Historic Windows as a Business”, just to name a few. A selection of the courses qualified for AIA continuing education credits. In between the presentations, attendees were able to visit with the vendors and sponsors at their tables in the courtyard. A little bit of local Tampa flavor was introduced at lunch time, as a selection of food trucks pulled up to the conference, serving everything from fish tacos to Sriracha sliders.
We gathered at Seminole Heights United Methodist Church on Sunday morning and split into teams of three. Each team was led by a qualified instructor who was tasked with the challenge of keeping the rest of us focused and working. The goal was to disassemble, scrape, repair, prime, and reinstall 17 large double hung wood windows by the end of the day. The state of each window varied greatly, and we encountered everything from broken sash cord, rotted and missing wood, broken glass, missing glazing putting, and rusty hardware.
All of the work was done with tools most homeowners already have or could obtain easily. We didn’t use any high-tech or fancy (expensive) methods that we wouldn’t be able to replicate down the road. It was a true lesson in basic window construction and the application of elbow grease. It certainly helped to have experts like Steve Quillian, Scott Sidler, Andy Roeper, Alison Hardy, Angel Corrales, and others available to answer our questions when they came up. More importantly, it was amazing to see so many dedicated people selflessly come together to pitch in on this project in the name of preservation and education.