Lighthouse window restorations: free for the asking

I must say that this is a pretty clever marketing campaign: “JELD-WEN Invites Public to Help Select the Nation’s Most Reliable Lighthouse for Restoration“.  All one needs to do is vote for your favorite lighthouse from this list of “finalists” and the structure with the most votes will “win new JELD-WEN windows and doors“.  Isn’t that just lovely?Bodie Island

North Carolina’s own Bodie Island Lighthouse (c. 1872) is among the fortunate ”finalists”, thanks in part to emails that are in heavy circulation urging Tarheels to select one of our state’s most treasured historic places for the honor of getting its windows ripped out, sent to the landfill and replaced by a company way up in Oregon with a slick marketing department.

You can bet that that the “winner” will be featured in some future JELD-WEN advertisement with some such theme as: “Our windows were chosen for America’s most popular historic lighthouses.”

Makes me want to puke. 

Just what our historic lighthouses don’t need are replacement windows – regardless of the quality of the replacements - what they do need is for their original windows to be restored.  They call it preservation.

In my opinion, the National Park Service, the likely owner of many of the “finalists” including Bodie Island, should quickly disavow this viral campaign before JELD-WEN announces their lucky ”winner” in September of this year.  If they don’t they might be faced with the delimma of either accepting JELD-WEN’s seemingly kind, but self-serving offer, or risk running counter to their very own Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation which tells owners of all other historic structures to repair, rather than replace, a structure’s historic windows.

I’ll make it easier for them to resist JELD-WEN’s anti-preservationist ploy with a dead-serious counter offer.

My company, Double Hung, LLC, will restore – for free* - any original windows extant in any and all of JELD-WEN’s twelve “finalist” lighthouses.  *All we ask is for the owner to pay travel expenses related to the restoration project. 

We will restore all original windows in one lighthouse every year until all twelve are completed.  First come, first served.   We’ve rarely met an old (pre-1935) window that we can’t restore, but should your lighthouse truly be in need a few new windows to replace inappropriate or deteriorated previous replacements, I’m sure my friends at either Marvin or Pella will be happy to help out with that.

Call me, toll free, 1-888-235-8956 or email 

Here’s some background on us.  We are very good at what we do.

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  1. Anon
    Posted July 15, 2008 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Nice slick self-serving marketing campaign of your own BTW. When calling the kettle black one should consider their own composition.

    And just what does that astrik after free mean?

    Agree however that they could do much better than jeld-wen products.

  2. Posted July 15, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks on recognizing my self-serving slickness. I have my marketing moments of genius from time to time.

    The asterisk is explained in the sentence following “free”, “*All we ask is for the owner to pay travel expenses related to the restoration project.”

  3. Anon
    Posted July 15, 2008 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Ahh, I see that second asterisk now.

  4. ck
    Posted July 15, 2008 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    It would be an outright abomination to use Jeld-Wen windows to replace the existing windows in any one of our lighthouses. Laughable, ridiculous, absurd, even insane. It would be like hanging vinyl siding on the house at Orton Plantation.

    I would bet you could find hundreds of volunteers that would help you with your effort, David

  5. Wayne W.
    Posted July 16, 2008 at 8:04 pm | Permalink


    I know at least two Volunteers that would help you with that.

  6. David Hoggard
    Posted July 17, 2008 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I’ll put you two on the ever expanding list, Wayne. You bring the beer.

  7. jade m
    Posted July 25, 2008 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    the lighthouses lining your shores should spot this marketing ploy from miles offshore and sound the warning signal to any who would give it a second thought…..

    the vinyl window lobbyists are not unlike the tobacco lobbyists–selling crap that has no redeeming quality whatsoever….

    thanks for the ‘head’s-up’ david…we window restorers are a small but determined group dedicated to saving the quality historic fabric of old buildings that have already stood the test of time…..

    pssst, pass it on…the stabilizing agent in polyvinyl chloride is LEAD!!!

    heartwood window restoration

  8. Posted August 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    preservation is the first choice, and if there is something left to rebuild, go for it. We have a different window company from NW Oregon and rebuild sash and build new wood windows the good old way with sash weights and the real stuff. We did sell windows for the lighthouse keepers quarters at Tybee near Savannah Ga. The original windows had already been torn out and vinyls put in. The contractor did a fantastic job completing the project.

    good work lasts

    Ray Bergerson

  9. Posted September 22, 2008 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    did you see that the lighthouse in North Carolina is in the top 3. bodie island, for the contest

  10. Posted October 17, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    David, great commentary on the value of existing historic windows and the fallacy of the Jeld Wen promotion. Two years ago, we manufactured historically correct mahogany weight balanced windows based upon one remaining window that was original to a lighthouse in Michigan. We replaced the Andersen Windows that had been used to replace the originals. The one window that was original to the lighthouse was in better shape than all of the Andersen replacements. We are finding that there is a trend to return to the classic joinery and designs of the original windows and have replaced aluminum window replacements and Pella type replacements on projects like the Utah State Capitol, Meridian City Hall in Mississippi, and the Cooke County Courthouse in Texas.