Is it possible to keep a business restoring wood windows flourishing for over 20 years? David Hoggard has. He’s been in the business since 1997. In fact, his Greensboro, North Carolina based company, Double Hung, LLC., has recently expanded its operation to include an additional location in Savannah, Georgia called Double Hung Low Country. Double Hung has restored thousands of windows over the decades throughout the region of the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia.
“The Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia are the core areas we serve. But we have worked as far north as Grand Rapids, Michigan and as far south as Tallahassee, Florida” David says. “We go where the restoration work is needed, and we’re not afraid to travel when it’s necessary.”
With 38 people on staff, Double Hung is able to take on large projects that might include several hundred windows at a time, and meet the demanding construction schedules of large projects. The company is currently working on a large project at the Sir Walter Hotel in downtown Raleigh. It’s a 10-story building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in the early 1920’s, and contains about 600 windows. Double Hung is currently working on restoring the sash, sills and other frame parts. Having a large and well-trained staff makes this manageable.
Everyone learns the same set of core shop skills like glass cutting, epoxy consolidation, and dutchman repair. Cross training is essential to the flow of their production, so field technicians spend time training with shop technicians, and vice versa. Beyond this, Double Hung employs craftspeople who specialize in installing and restoring frames on site, and shop specialists capable of taking on challenging repairs as they’re presented.
Double Hung follows the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for historic restoration of windows. With historic elements, if it’s 30% or less deteriorated, restoration or repair is preferred. That makes using a consolidant like LiquidWood® and an epoxy wood filler like WoodEpox® essential to meeting the guidelines of the ‘restoration or repair’ initiative.
David was introduced to LiquidWood and WoodEpox in Tampa about 5 years ago at a Wood Window Makeover workshop, where he saw the Abatron product demonstration of epoxy wood repair. Later, at his request, Abatron performed a live demo for the entire Double Hung crew in the shop at Greensboro. Since then, Double Hung has switched over almost exclusively to using LiquidWood and WoodEpox for their epoxy repairs.
Regarding LiquidWood, David mentions, “We use it on lower rails of sash. It’s where all the moisture and condensation go. The wood becomes spongy, so we dig that out to the sound wood. It’s the perfect product for consolidating.”
When asked about the appeal of using WoodEpox, David underscored its utility and versatility. “You can form it to profiles, it doesn’t shrink, and it’s sandable just like wood. When it’s applied correctly, it’s imperceptible where the repairs are. And it’s made to last. It works like regular wood putty, but is much more durable. We also do a lot of sill work with it. Building those back out rather than replacing them. It’s invaluable. We work toward providing 30-year fixes, and it fits that bill. It’s great stuff.”
It takes more than just using great tools and products to be prosperous, however. David Hoggard notes that some key factors contribute to the continued success of his business.
“Our Integrity – We do what we say we’ll do, and do it well.”
“Our Work Culture – It’s a great place to work because it’s made up of great people who genuinely care about the job they’re doing.”
“Our Longevity – We’ve been around a long time, and are one of the largest companies that there is for what we do. Word gets around…from architects, general contractors, and home owners. We get a lot of calls.”