Handyman on call

No shortcuts for reglazing windows properly

Q. I have lots of questions and I’m afraid I already know some of the answers (no shortcuts) but here goes: We bought a 1978 house that has aluminum track, 12 over 12 windows. The glazing on the windows has failed on all sides of the house and needs replacing. The thickness of the glazing bead seems very narrow. A glass pane has already fallen out and it appears that there were no points to hold it in place. In the spring I will remove the storms, scrape out all the loose stuff, and reglaze all the windows. Should I prime the muntins with Kilz first, or other prep?

 I have done glazing before so I know it takes time, but to do 24 panes per window will take forever. Is there a shortcut or a new product that is easier to apply than traditional glazing? It strikes me that the narrow beads will be harder to get nice and smooth and straight than the thicker beads I am used to. Any tips? And why did the glazing fail so quickly?

Jim Boyd, Madison, Conn.

JIM BOYD, Madison, Conn.


A. Your house with 12 over 12 windows sounds like a Royal Barry Wills house, and such windows are totally impractical. They failed because they might have been improperly glazed or glazed without painting the space where glass goes with Kilz or linseed oil, which is done to prevent the dry wood from sucking out oils in the glazing compound. So, be sure to prime the spaces or paint boiled linseed oil on the spaces.

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 There are no shortcuts. There are new caulking or glazing products on the market, but I have found them less than good. Stick with glazing compound. You will have to struggle with the existing narrow muntins.

 Finally, here’s my idea to save your sanity: Since the house is not historic, you can do anything you wish. I have done this with 17 windows. Knock out the glass and muntins and put in a single glass in each window, requiring much less glazing. Then, build some grids to make the windows 6 over 6, 9 over 9, or other pattern. I made my grids of 3/8-inch parting bead notched to present a flat grid that I inserted friction fit on the glass for a 6 over 6 pattern. If you go for replacements, I can tell you I am happy with Harvey.

Q. A while back, I had asked you a question in your chat room about my deck, and the rusting joist hangers. You said they should not be rusting, as joist hangers are made of aluminum, not steel. I recently took a close look at the hangers, and they are in fact rusting, badly. My house is old, built in 1930, but the deck was added on later, before I got the house. Anyway, it looks to me like the hangers are steel, and if so, should I be worried that they are rusting? If I have to replace the hangers, how can I do that without the joists falling down?

Arthur, by e-mail

JIM BOYD, Madison, Conn.

ARTHUR, by e-mail


A. Yes, the hangers are steel, but galvanized steel, which is supposed to protect them from rust. I did not say they were aluminum, but rather galvanized steel. I also told you the rust was superficial and not to worry about it. I was wrong, because I received an e-mail saying that if the wood deck is treated with a modern chemical called ACQ (ammonia copper quarternary), it will rust and corrode the hangers until they fail, and you should replace the hangers.

 How to replace the hangers: Install a 2x4 post under a joist. Then un-nail the hanger and put up the new one. Be sure to use hot-dipped zinc galvanized nails; they will last a lot longer.

Q. I had an insulator through MassSave and they sealed and blew in insulation into the attic, what a difference. In my great room there is a wood stove and they boxed the pipe in the attic without any insulation inside the “box.” Is there anything I can put in the “box” to stop the heat from coming through the metal flange and ceiling? The heat just radiates through that area. I originally had fiberglass insulation (without paper) stuffed in that area for quite a few years without any problems. The insulators said that’s a no-no. The chimney is 6-inch metalbestos.

Roger Guimond, Assonet

JIM BOYD, Madison, Conn.


A. No, you cannot insulate inside the box, but you can insulate outside the box with 2-inch duct insulation. Easy as that.


Q. The inside lining of my KitchenAid microwave is peeling. What can I do?

Alfredo Longuo, North Andover


A. Call your appliance dealer to take a look at it. I don’t think it should be used with a peeling liner, but the dealer will recommend to fix it or replace it.

Peter Hotton is also in the g section on Thursdays. He is available 1-6 p.m. Tuesdays to answer questions. Call 617-929-2930. Hotton ( also chats online 2-3 p.m. Thursdays. To participate, go to