Conservation. Culture. Community. These are three words you could use to describe the two-day wood window restoration workshop we like to call the Rescue Rally. We brought together 30 individuals, ranging from home owners wanting to learn how to restore their own wood windows, to contractors wanting to hone in on some of their specific skill sets so they can better serve their customers. These individuals joined our knowledgable team of craftsmen for a do-it-yourself class right here in OKC.
Every year in the US nearly one million housing units are demolished. These destroyed homes add millions of tons of waste to our overfilled landfills. Since the 1970’s the earliest sign of future demolition is the replacement of original elements with low cost alternatives, like vinyl windows and siding.
Across the US, many communities no longer have professionals trained in repair and restoration. Leaving homeowners to feel like replacement is the only option. That’s why we teamed up with the city of Oklahoma City and Preservation OK. We wanted to put the tools back into the homeowners’ hands.
When you look at these historic homes, a lot of times it was the homeowner who built the house. They put their own sweat, used their own hands, influenced their individual personality to create a home that would withstand the test of time. Our goal for the Rescue Rally is to give homeowners the confidence to do it themselves. To have the satisfaction of looking at their vintage wood windows and knowing that they contributed to the legacy of the home.
We strive to change the culture from replace to repair. It has been said that the “greenest window is the one that is already built,” and we couldn’t agree more. So how can we change the culture? By educating our community. We split our event into two days: Day one is devoted to teaching the basics of a wood window, everything from the anatomy of the window all the way to how it functions and how to maintain its integrity. We incorporate instructor based learning and literally put the tools into the participants’ hands so they can practice various techniques on the old sash. They learn how to cut glass, mix and mold wood epoxy, and glaze there on site.
Our community is very high on our priority list. We don’t want to have a presence in a city that we can’t also give back to. That’s why on day two, we make it a true rescue event by taking our whole team of participants and instructors to a non-profit building to apply the newly acquired knowledge of window preservation.
Each person gets to help with the removal of the windows, the scraping, the glazing, the painting, the re-roping, and the installation of the beautiful original windows. It is not only a learning experience, but an uplifting experience for everyone involved. After all, preserving the wood windows isn’t just about saving the “thing” itself, it’s about saving the story behind it all.
The Rescue Rally has the power to transform the community, protect the environment, and inspire preservation.
If you would like to learn how a Rescue Rally could transform your community please message or call Allison Reinart at 405.590.3294
A special thank you to all of our sponsors for helping make this event happen!