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Windows and Lead Paint

Last fall I removed a double window from my dining room and replaced it with a French door. I tried to donate the window to the Boston Building Materials Co-op. They were unable to take it due to the high likelihood of lead paint on the windows (my house was built in 1932-33). I hate to throw it away, and I can’t haul it somewhere myself unless I cut the window sill in half. Any suggestions?

Sure, store it away up in the attic and you or a future owner will have a ready source for exactly matching replacement parts when other windows in your house need repairs. If you cannot store it whole, remove the sash and take the frame apart piece by piece without cutting the sill in half. This way you will have a replacement sill ready made if one of your other sills rots out.

John Leeke is a preservation consultant who helps homeowners, contractors and architects understand and maintain their historic buildings. You can contact him at 26 Higgins St., Portland, Maine, 04103; or by E-mail:; or log onto his website at:

© John Leeke

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