Plum Alley Windowcraft
2522 Calumet Street
Houston, TX 77004
phone: (214) 228-5839
email: info (at) plumalleywindows (dot) com
From the website: I’m Rachel, a wife, mother, and the founder of Plum Alley Windowcraft. Our window restoration business is fairly new, but stems from 9 prior years of saving old houses. In 2011, my father and I took a blind leap and restored our first home together in my neighborhood; Houston’s third ward area. It was not smooth and had a steep learning curve, but we didn’t give up and went on to save 14 more old homes in Houston’s wards. My father taught me hard work, plus my innate attention to detail made us a good pair (he might say otherwise, haha). Throughout the years we worked together on houses, I began to focus more and more on preservation work. Then, my mom and dad moved to Galveston and I decided I wanted to specialize in one aspect of old homes: windows.
When I founded Plum Alley in 2019, I had great goals.
1. Offer high quality skilled craftsmanship for those looking to have their windows professionally restored.
2. Give DIY’ers, who want to save their own windows, a resource to learn from.
3.Help debunk all the myths and rumors about old windows out there. (and there are A LOT of them.)
4. Offer a place people can learn the dying art of glazing, painting, and carpentry.
The company name, PLUM ALLEY, is named after a quaint little street in Abingdon, Virginia, where I lived for a year during a musical theatre internship (I graduated with a BFA in musical theatre performance. I am just as shocked as you that my path has led me where I am now!) Abingdon was the first place my husband and I saw true fall colors, actual mountains, and were exposed to beautiful restored homes. It was the first time I felt conscientious of preserving the things that make our existence unique, which us a history to be rooted in. I had no idea at the time how much fine craftsmanship and tailored detail went into these structures; I just knew they had a special welcoming feeling and a familiarity like coming home for Christmas.
Now, having been deep in the bowels of many many old homes, I understand how all the systems work together, and how each system was custom made by hand to fit, including the windows. To buy a hand made wood window now would costs thousands, and yet we rip out and throw away these very expensive hand crafted windows every day and replace with plastic and vinyl that wont last 10-15 years. This is the message. Houstonians are all about what’s next, what’s bigger and what’s better. But sometimes we forget that to grow, we must have good roots. Our great grandparents built these homes with their own hands, and now we tear them apart with ours. Let’s start being better stewards of the history we have been given and improve what we have rather than demolish and start over. 75% of all our landfills are comprised of demolition waste.