A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow


Although all of our windows worked and the sashes had never been painted, the window trim had about five layers of paint on it, much of it chipping and cracking. We never tested it, but since the house was built in 1929 I’m sure much of it was lead paint. The exterior-facing sides of the windows were flaking badly, so much so that a swipe of our cat’s tail caused the tiny paint chips to come raining down on the sill. The glazing on the windows was dried and cracked; the windows rattled in the wind. The lower sashes had been replaced with chain, but the upper sashes still had original rope.


The PO had installed aluminum storm windows on all first-floor windows. Based on the general condition of the windows, our own research on restore vs. replace, and our desire to keep original features of the house, we were not considering replacement windows.

In the kitchen, b_windows_04.jpgwhen the PO remodeled in the early ’90s he replaced the window and door trim with pine, in a style that didn’t match the rest of the house. He also failed to finish painting the trim (presumably just ran out of steam).

Pete started to strip the basement storm windows, which were also in poor shape. One window took him a full day. It was going to be a long project; one for which neither of us had the time or patience. So when Jeannie over at House in Progress posted on her favorite strippers, The Stripp Joynt of Evanston Ltd. (now located in Chicago), I decided to take the plunge and call them myself.

All in all, they spent about four weeks at our house stripping, restoring and refinishing all the windows on the first floor, and stripping the basement windows.

Detail of window trim, before and after

In the kitchen, they replaced all the trim using birch and in a style matching the rest of the house. The original finish of the doors indicated a lighter, oak stain for this room, which goes nicely with our original maple floors and the current kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen windows, before and after

Living Room, before, during and after

You can read the posts here, here and here.

The Stripp Joynt refinishes furniture as well as doors, windows and house trim (baseboards, picture rail, chair rail, window/door trim). They also handle new hardwood floor installation.

I probably haven’t covered all they can do with wood, so you can contact them here:
The Stripp Joynt
4176 N. Elston Avenue (at Avers, just south of Montrose)
Chicago, Illinois


  1. Derek on January 12, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Those windows are beautiful. I wish we had our original windows, we have no choice but to replace. I love the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired stained glass.

  2. denise on January 15, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks Derek! We know we’re really fortunate to have these—supposedly only 30% of Chicago-style bungalows were built with the art glass windows. There are a couple of small pieces of glass that are broken, but they’re not very noticeable. Too bad about your windows…

  3. Molly on November 4, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Great job! I’m inspired.

  4. Johnny H on March 7, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Hello! About to inherit a 1930s bungalow that’s been in my family since it was built (so excited to own a piece of history!) The home itself needs a lot of work. If the windows are original, will they definitely have wood underneath all of the paint??

    • denise on March 7, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Johnny–Congrats on your bungalow! If your windows are original, I think you can be confident that they are wood. I don’t know if there was any other material that they would or could have used other than wood. Good luck and have fun remodeling! The finished product will be worth it.

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