Wooden Window

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A Seat by the Window

Built in Oakland the year of the San Francisco Earthquake, this Oakland home came to a new owner with its shares of issues — termite problems, settled foundations and original wood windows replaced with aluminum. But this homeowner was determined to fix the problems and restore the architecture to its original charm. He took care of the insect damage, repaired the roof and made his mark as a true Californian by installing solar panels. The basic structure of the house was solid, if a bit off-square, so one of the owner’s first priorities was the restoration of the home’s windows to their original all-wood craftsmanship. He wanted to create a window seat nook that would bring back the decorative divided-lites and create a focus for the living room that would also elevate the houses street appearance and curb appeal. Wooden Window fashioned casement windows to meet those requirements and provided the expertise for seamless installation in spite of the off-kilter structure of the house. The owner couldn’t be happier with the “amazing” result.


Diamond in the Rough

This historically significant Russian Hill property had lain vacant for years when architect Gregory D. Smith partnered with builders The Capo Mastro Group to bring the home back to life, complete with up-to-date improvements and additions. The single-family home now houses a 4-car garage, rooftop entertainment deck with views of the San Francisco Bay, and a built-in elevator. To maintain the 19th-century charm of the home's windows, while updating their design for modern requirements, Capo Mastro contacted Wooden Window to replace the windows throughout the house. The new windows feature an intricate pattern of diamond-shaped, simulated divided lites to accent each of the window sets. Standard panes were replaced with laminated glass, with an extra thick interlayer, to reduce street noise.      


Spiritual Renewal-St. Mark’s

  St. Mark's entryway before replication As much as the parishioners of St. Mark's valued their church's history, it had taken its toll on the structure. The doors had expanded and warped over time to the point that one of the two door sets weren't being used because it was too much trouble to get them open. And locking the doors at night meant climbing onto a step and working to get the heavy tracks lined up.   Some glazing and they're ready to install The new doors, prior to final paint. What do you know? They actually open now. One of the nicest things about historical reproduction is that, however important it is to remain true to the original architecture, reproduction doors and windows don't have to live with the limitations and shortcomings of the original.   Besides providing new doors that actually open, Wooden Window installed modern flush bolts in the doors to keep the church secure.   When one of the church's flock saw the new installation for the first time, they asked, "where are the new doors?". For us, there is no higher compliment. A perfect match. "Everybody at the church is thrilled."


Spiritual Renewal-St. John’s

St. John's Episcopal Church was due for some ADA and code compliance upgrades, and it might seem they got a little intercession from above in the form of--wait for it--a flood. The original entryway Heavy rains and an outdated drainage system caused water to back up against the church exterior, damaging the entry. It seemed a good time to make some changes, and to take advantage of the opportunity to transform an institutional-looking entryway into a welcoming gateway to the churches interior. Fortunately, St. John's counted a few architects among its parishioners. John Seals, Steve Baronian and Bassel Samaha worked with contractors Oliver and Company, Wooden Window, Lenehan Architectural Glass and finishers Heather and French to transform the church's existing metal and glass doorway into something extraordinary.         The final new entrance St. John's interior sanctuary Solid wood, all-around Drawing on a palette African Mahogany and deeply textured obscure glass, the architects fashioned dramatic entrances to both the church proper and its interior sanctuary. Wooden Window even fashioned solid wood handles for the door sets and incorporated completely hidden hardware--marrying ADA compliance with the richness of natural materials. A great project, beautifully executed. We were fortunate to have been a part of it and we thank everyone involved.


Art and Obscure Glass

Sources: History of Stained Glass | Stained Glass Association of America. (2016). Stainedglass.org. Retrieved 1 July 2016, from http://stainedglass.org/?page_id=169                   Quick History: Window Glass — Retrospect. (2016). Apartment Therapy. Retrieved 1 July 2016, from http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/quick-history-windowsretrospect-165008


Lights, Camera, Castle!

This October Wooden Window was proud to lend its support to Clayton Timbrell & Company, Butler Armsden Architects, Strandberg Engineering, and Geoffrey de Sousa Interior Design as part of the Leap Arts in Education SANDCASTLE BUILDING CONTEST at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The Sandcastle Contest is a fundraiser to support Leap's arts  programs. The Sandcastle Contest is now the largest sandcastle event in Northern California. Teams and sponsors involved in Leap's 2014 Sandcastle Contest raised over $262,000 (an all-time record)! These funds will make it possible for Leap to serve over 7,000 students in 25 schools across the Bay Area with hands-on learning experiences in the arts. Begun in 1983, and originally staged at Aquatic Park, the SANDCASTLE CONTEST brings teams from corporations and the building industry together to partner with local schools to build the biggest and best sand sculptures they can imagine. Sculptures are inspired by a set theme each year, and the theme for 2015 is "Sand Cinema." Leap's Sandcastle Contest is one of the largest, most successful, and fun annual charity events in the San Francisco Bay Area. All proceeds benefit Leap, helping to bring programs in the arts to Bay Area schools. Schoolkids help build the sandcastles during Leap's 32nd Annual Sandcastle Contest at Ocean Beach on October 10, 2015. "Leap hosts this spirited competition between teams of architects, designers, contractors, corporations, engineers and local elementary school students each October on Ocean Beach. Before the event, teams meet with students in the classroom to develop ideas based on a set theme. Plans are finalized, clay models are shaped, team structure and schedules are defined, and tasks are assigned, all in preparation for the big day. On the morning of the event, the teams and students arrive and await the whistle that signals the start of the contest. As soon as it sounds, four hours of intensive building begin. By the end of the day, the beach has transformed into a land of magical creatures and fantastical structures. The teamwork involved in creating these works provides an intense learning experience for both the students and the many sponsors who participate." Leaparts.org,. 'Sandcastle Contest: Overview - Leap, Arts In Education, San Francisco'. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015. The mayhem stretches down Ocean Beach to The Cliff House Wooden Window and team were privileged to build a winning sandcastle together with students from Commodore Elementary School. "The participation is always inspiring. Each team sponsors an elementary school in the SF Unified School district and each team targets a fundraising goal.  Team firms are responsible for the design of their sand sculpture and all the lead up logistics, and the set up at Ocean beach the day of the event. A group of kids from the school shows up (probably from several different classes) with teachers and parents as well. Typically there are 40-50 young people and team members working on each sand sculpture." Bill Hamilton, Commercial Account Representative, Wooden Window       Additional Information: YouTube,. '2015 Leap Sandcastle Contest (Trailer Version 1)'. N.p., 2015. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. Claytontimbrell.com,. 'Clayton Timbrell & Company'. N.p., 2015. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. Butlerarmsden.com,. 'Top Fundraisers Again For The LEAP Sandcastle Contest! | Butler Armsden Architects | San Francisco'. N.p., 2015. Web. 8 Dec. 2015.


A Visit to Historic Sacramento

Old Town hosts a variety of seasonal events. Here, one of a group of magicians gathered to show off and withold their secrets from one another Barrels of sweets in Old Town's Candy Heaven, on Front Street Kayakers taking advantage of the warm weather The Delta Queen, a riverboat hotel on the water Just a few weeks back, Wooden Window focussed its quarterly offsite meeting on deepening our commitment to, and implementation of, our company-wide quality management system. Our CEO, senior managers, and consultants gathered to, among other objectives, lay out a tactical map to integrate the pursuit of optimal quality throughout the organization. This time, our meeting was held at Old Town Sacramento and, if you haven't been there (I've lived in California my entire life, and I hadn't), you might consider a visit. Early Sacramento’s waterfront location made it the perfect port for river commerce but was prone to severe flooding by the Sacramento River. Major floods nearly erased the city in 1852 and 1853. In 1862, a massive project was undertaken to bring in thousands of cubic yards of earth to raise the street level of the city. Portions of the original street level surface still exist under boardwalks and in basements. "In the mid-1960s, a plan was set forth to redevelop the area and through it, the first historic district in the West was created. Today, with 53 historic buildings, Old Sacramento has more buildings of historic value condensed into its 28 acres than most areas of similar size in the West. Registered as a National and California Historic Landmark, the properties in the district are primarily owned privately, with individual businesses leasing shops and offices." -- http://oldsacramento.com/about/history Old Sacramento is a virtual theme park of historical architecture, river views, restaurants, shops, and museums. It's well worth the visit. http://oldsacramento.com/attractions/museums http://oldsacramento.com/special-events


Picture Perfect

It's nice to work with friends. We had that opportunity when Treve Johnson, our long-time photographer needed new windows for his home. Treve knew our reputation for craftsmanship and quality first hand. "I didn't have to think twice about who to choose as a vendor... I've been on a number of projects where their windows and doors have been installed, and I've heard testimony from a number of home owners, contractors and architects." For this project, Treve needed to replace a leaking window. But Treve was also facing a problem common to Bay Area homes, and one with which Wooden Window is intimately familiar: "Our house is close to 90 years old, a MacGreggor home built in 1927. As such, the house has settled a bit which means the windows and doors are no longer square and plumb..." Taking initial measurements Just because we're traditional, doesn't mean we're old fashioned. Lasers gauge how out-of-square or out-of-plumb a window opening is                     In older Bay Area homes, door and window openings are often no longer square   Again, our reputation helped to put Treve's mind at ease: "I knew if I had Wooden Window replace the window I would get something that matched the straight-grained fir of the original bay window, maintain the architectural integrity of the house, and would fit properly."       "We now have a window, that was custom fit to the opening... The window opens and closes without binding and it looks like it matches the rest of the window trim. When the rains come this winter, we'll be snug and cozy with our new window, new roof, new foundation and new paint job."       That's what we do. Another day, another window...Wooden Window.


You’ve Got to Love the Little Guy

“The little guy“ isn’t what this beautiful 1950’s ranch-style home would be in most neighborhoods, but amidst the multi-level giants climbing into the hills of this historic Piedmont community, it may well have felt a little lonely—perhaps even a little underdressed. But there’s a company for that — Wooden Window. The home’s owners asked us to replace their original single-pane, metal frame windows with something a little more suited to the overall quality of the house. Wooden Window custom fabricated solid wood, insulated glass windows to enrich the home’s architecture and update it’s energy efficiency — all under the watchful and demanding eye of the City of Piedmont’s architectural review. Not so little anymore, eh?  


Hamilton Avenue Storefronts

When Santa Clara Development, ELS Architecture and South Bay Construction needed retail entries for their "Alvin's Corner" mixed-use project on Hamilton Avenue in Campbell, they selected Wooden Window to custom fabricate solid doors and windows for 25 arched storefronts. Alvin's Corner is made up of 3 floors of high-end housing above a retail ground floor. Storefronts for the retail outlets were crafted of stain-grade solid oak and installed by Wooden Window--including all necessary hardware.   Although still under construction, the residents of Campbell are soon to enjoy a new selection of their favorite retailers, as well as the availability of dozens of new luxury housing units.


21st Century Victorian

For those of us committed to preserving the historic architecture of Northern California, this homeowner's story was sadly familiar. Before After                         " House was built in 1908 as a small Queen Anne. In 1930, the roof was lifted to make 2 front bedrooms upstairs instead of one. The house was then stuccoed over. By 1936, almost all the interior 'gingerbread' was gone, as were two (!) fireplaces. The holes where the fireplaces sat were covered over with sheets of plywood--which are still there to this day." Undaunted by the gradual decomposition of her home in the years since it's construction, the owner, Mira Amiras, decided to bring back the intent, if not the exact form of the house in all it's original glory -- and more. "The house façade has not been restored, as that would have meant tearing out the upstairs. It's been, instead, 'reimagined.'"   Mira's shepherd, Fiona, modeled for the "Maybeckian" dragons Mira's partner in this extraordinary transformation was the remarkable Skeeter Jones of San Francisco's Clearheart Fine Design. Skeeter's company was founded in 1982 on Skeeter's more than 35 years in the building trades -- from ski resort condominiums and contemporary homes to 'Salt Box', Colonial and Victorian restoration. Skeeter has recreated more than 90 Victorian facades in San Francisco, as well as a number of major structural additions. Wooden Window was delighted to provide historically accurate, solid-wood windows for the project. And even more pleased with Mira's reaction. Every project needs a vigilant foreman. "I am so grateful to you guys for the work that you do. I looked for years for folks who made 'real' windows for our house. And watched my neighbors destroy their homes with hideous windows. Thank you so much for your work!"


The Science Channel Visits Wooden Window

When The Science Channel wanted to know how custom windows were made for their "How It's Made" cable series, they came to Wooden Window. And why not? Wooden Window has been designing and flawlessly crafting custom doors and windows for more than 30 years. Our fusion of Computer Aided Design and Manufacture with guild quality hand craftsmanship has made Wooden Window Northern California’s standard for excellence in door and window fabrication. The filming itself was a lot of fun, with our shop dominated for a couple of days with video equipment and french accents (the film crews are Canadian). If you've ever wondered just how modern custom windows are really made, have a look.


About Wooden Window

Since 1980, Wooden Window has been restoring and constructing fine wooden doors and windows for residences and commercial buildings throughout California.

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Recent Blog Posts

A Seat by the Window

Built in Oakland the year of the San Francisco Earthquake, this Oakland home came to a new owner with its […]

Diamond in the Rough

This historically significant Russian Hill property had lain vacant for years when architect Gregory D. Smith partnered with builders The […]

Room With a View

  When it came time to replace the original double-hung windows in this Berkeley Hills home, the owners found a […]

Seeing the Light

Pleasanton's Lighthouse Baptist Church is home to the congregation of Missouri-born Pastor Bill Bryson. Pastor Bryson began his ministry under Dr. […]

Lakeside Luxury

We recently had the opportunity to restore the front entrance to Oakland's Regillus Building. That building, like so many of our projects, […]

Reviews From Our Clients

Wooden Window has done great restorative work on many 1920's era homes in my neighborhood. They are also very active in local community service, having hosted Pinewood Derby workshops at their facility for local scouting groups for many years. I'm ... (Read More)

Wooden Window is rated 5 stars over 26 reviews.
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