Historic Colonial Inn has windows again

Greensboro-based Double Hung Windows was onsite at the Colonial Inn in downtown Hillsborough installing windows the company restored.

The plastic is off and the windows are in at the historic Colonial Inn.

Greensboro-based Double Hung Windows arrived early last week to begin re-installing approximately 40 windows that had been removed last year for the restoration process. 

David Hoggard, owner of Double Hung Windows, said he had known about the 1838 building for 20 years, admiring the Colonial Inn anytime he drove through Hillsborough. He learned of the restoration plans when the project developer called him last year, to evaluate the condition of the Inn’s windows. Shortly thereafter, Hoggard was asked to submit a proposal to restore the original windows.

“The windows weren’t operable, of course,” Hoggard said. “They had years and years worth of caked-on paint and caulk. The glazing putty was shot. The ropes were not working. All the old wavy glass was broken and had to be replaced. Hardware needed to be refinished. We make them look like they did when they were first put in.” 

Hoggard said the windows are often removed early in the process, partly because the restoration process is lengthy, but also because the windows need to be put back into place before interior finishes — such as sheetrock — can be started.

“You need to seal the envelope, as it were,” Hoggard said. “Keep the rain and moisture out.”

Double Hung Windows has been in business for 22 years and employs 36 people. The size of the project dictates the number of crew members assigned to a site. Five crew members were on hand placing the like-new-again historic windows back into their openings.

Hoggard said restoring the original windows makes the most sense with these projects. 

“These particular windows have been there for 150 years,” Hoggard said. “The way they’re made, the lumber they’re made of, the joinery will allow them unlimited years, if they’re taken care of. It’s made to stand up. Unlike a replacement window, which is about 20 years and then you have to throw them away. They call them replacement windows because you have to keep replacing them. These windows, though, they’re an original part of the fabric of the building.  

Hoggard said the Colonial Inn project is not the first in Hillsborough for his company.

“We’ve done a couple of commercial buildings on Churton and several homes in the area,” he said.

Once complete, the Colonial Inn is expected to include a bar, restaurant, hotel rooms and event spaces.