Wattle & Daub Craftsman

Restoring & Preserving Omaha's Windows & Doors 

About Me

Greetings! My name is James Patrick Sechser. I operate a small business called Wattle & Daub Craftsman out of the Dundee neighborhood in Omaha, NE. 

I am a Woodworker who specializes in the Restoration and Preservation of old wooden windows and wooden doors. I also build new wooden windows and wooden doors in the classic styles. 

I'm one of the lucky people who found their niche in life and I truly love my craft. I have been restoring professionally since 2021 but my passion and experience goes back much further. I have worked on countless homes in many of the classic styles. I have worked on government buildings, buildings on the National Registry, beloved businesses in Omaha, and even historic barns. Perhaps I could work on your home or building one day? 

Why you should you consider Restoring over Replacing

Most windows and doors in older homes were designed to last lifetimes, as long as occasional maintenance is performed. Even if your features have gone neglected for some time, there is still hope! The stiles and rails of your fenestrations can be rid of wood rot, worn ropes can be rehung on their sash and weights, and broken glass can be reglazed. 

This is not the same case for most modern windows and doors. These features were not designed to be maintained, and instead designed to be replaced, which makes you fall into a perpetual cycle of replacing. Instead, you can engage in a maintenance cycle! 

Let's talk about that.. 

Preserving and Restoring your Windows 

Preservation is the service needed for windows that are engaged in the maintenance cycle and might need a little additional work. Think fixing the ropes on your double hung sash, or replacing broken glass and glazing it in it's sash. 

Restoration is the type of service needed for an opening that has gone neglected for some time. Think about situations where there is wood rot severe enough that the wood is failing, or perhaps you want the window stripped of paint and sanded rough to fine, so that new paint can be added. This is the more time-consuming service but it is worth every penny. 

No matter which service your windows need, the goal is to get your window back to like-new status, operating as intended by the original housewright who made your sash, with some features that still show their character and age. 

Preserving and Restoring your Doors

Preservation and Restoration of your exterior Doors is very similar to saving your windows. Without repeating everything I already mentioned, the biggest difference is the size of the fenestration involved and coordinating logistics such as a temporary door while yours is at my shop. 

Often times doors have much bigger and more ornate hardware, so I also put an emphasis on polishing your handles and hinges so that your investment is a shining example of the love for your old home. 

Many exterior doors also have glass features that are unique and hard to come by. Be it beveled glass, leaded or strained glass, or even a unique art glass--I'm able to repair it or replicate it. 

Replacing your Replacements

Are you sick of those replacement vinyl windows a real estate flipper installed... Or maybe you installed (no judgement here-replacement companies invest significant money into their advertising and sales force)? Maybe you want to add more character to your home with a beautiful quarter-sawn oak storm door that matches the style of your century home? While I love restoration and preservation, my heart is also in creating one-of-a-kind wood features for your home to shine. Sash, casement windows, storm doors, stave core doors--I am interested in your project and would love to work with an enthusiastic client. 

You've read this far... You must be curious about how much my services cost. 

Costs & Pricing

It's very difficult to assign a cost to your project without looking at it. I have restored windows from $600 to $2600 per opening. I have restored doors from $800-$4000 per opening. Often times I have identified projects that didn't need to be restored and instead needed some Preservation work, which is on the more affordable side compared to Restoration. 

If you have a few photos of your project and send them to me in an introductory text message, this will help me gauge if this is the right project for me to work on. 

If this is in your budget range, here's information on hiring me..

Retaining My Services

If you would like to show me your project, contact me by texting me at the number at the top or bottom of this page, or e-mail me at the e-mail address at the bottom of this page. We can schedule a time for me to look at your project and then I can give you an estimate. If you like your estimate, I ask for a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the total of your project. The other 50% isn't due until your project is completed or if we agreed to special payment terms. I keep it simple. I keep it accessible. 

I also encourage you to 'shop around' to different woodworkers or restoration specialists in the area. You should find that my costs are the most affordable and I've been told that I'm the easiest to reach and the most personable (my wife says that I'm the most handsome one too). 

I like to reiterate that I am not a salesman. I'm a craftsman who has empathy for whatever your situation is. I will not try to upsell you anything. I'll give you options and suggestions without pressure and answer questions to the best of my abilities. 

At the same time, I cannot describe myself as a handyman or general contractor. If you're a landlord, investor, flipper, or realtor, I am probably not your man. My craft is rich with sincerity and takes time and is very meticulous, and I am typically booked out for months. 

Thank you for reading this far. I hope to hear from you about your project. -James

On Advice and Consulting

I love to help others, but I've come to the realization that I need to keep some boundaries in order to conserve my energy for clients who have retained my services. Here are a few things I like to touch on if you're seeking some advice instead of a traditional estimate and services: 1. All of my local estimates are free as long as they take place on Friday's before 4pm. 2. If you are a homeowner who just wants some advice and doesn't want to hire me, feel free to get ahold of me and within reason I'll help you. 3. If you need an estimate for the sake of insurance numbers or for another matter than doesn't include hiring me, please inform me of your intent so we may discuss a solution. 4. If you are seeking something more intense and need me to oversee your project from a hands-off role, my consulting fee is $37.50 (rounded up to every thirty minutes). Depending on the length of the project, I will entertain a barter. 5. I only ask for a 50% non-refundable deposit before I can schedule your work. I know that some woodworkers want a deposit of 75% or even 100%, but I like to keep my services accessible to enthusiastic and serious clients. Finally, 6. I am not a handyman. If you are looking for a quick fix type of solution, I am not your man. 


If you are looking for an interior painter, I recommend Aimee Struble. Aimee has many years of experience and is a very talented painter. She is also a genuine human who I respect greatly. 

If you are looking for a real estate professional, I recommend Crystal Santamaria or Heather Tedesco. Both professionals have demonstrated to me empathy and a true caring for their clients, which can be a rarity in their field. Both of them understand the importance of historical homes, too. If you have the time and energy, it is also possible to buy or sell your home yourself

Do you need a home cleaner? I recommend Nothing Butt Cleaning

Legal Aid of Nebraska has some resources for landlords and tenants in this handbook as well. If you're a tenant who has a landlord that isn't making repairs to your fenestrations, feel free to text message me. 

Tools & Shops

If you seek to purchase your own tools for your project or perhaps you want to jump into the trades yourself, I recommend Festool for their dust collectors and sanding devices. These two are excellent first purchases: Dust Extractor CT MIDI I HEPA and Multi-Mode Sander ROTEX RO 125 FEQ-Plus.

If you're searching for online suppliers of traditional materials and hardware, I recommend Kilian Hardware and SRS Hardware. This is the glazing I typically use. 

If you're in the Omaha area, I recommend using Ideal Hardware for your tool and material needs. They are locally owned and very helpful if you have questions. They also repair windows and screens. 

On my style and aesthetic

My core aesthetic and style are heavily influenced from my long term surroundings of old Omaha neighborhoods, the plains of rural farmland, and my love for folk art. My aesthetic has be described as "folky" or "natural" as I prefer to work with linseed oil mediums and other historically minded techniques, and I find that the occasional line in paint is a sign of human hands and not paint sprayers or prefab style manufacturing. I believe that signs of use in wood shows character and tells a story, just like the patina in a brass doorknob or the stair treads in a family's home. While restoration will keep your windows working for a very long time, it's also important to show off their character by highlighting their signs of age with care and expert craftsmanship. 

While I do like the "old ways" of craftsmanship and I love my older refurbished antique tools, I also use state of the art power tools like Festool dust collectors and sanders to make my work as efficient and safe as possible. 

Conservation is an important aspect of my craftsmanship: my work produces very little waste. The vast majority of the glass I use is recycled from older windows, and most of the wood I use is old growth lumber salvaged from other windows and doors. Even my wood scraps end up in my rabbit's run or in my garden. 

Some accolades and what's going on in 2024. 

My work and I have been featured in the Omaha World Herald, the Lincoln Journal Star, and most recently Omaha Magazine. I have also given a lecture at the historic Joslyn Castle on door restoration. My Instagram is also a fun follow. 

For 2024 I'm busy working on projects as always. By May of 2024, I have restored thirty+ window sash and three doors, all belonging to historical homes and buildings. I have built one storm door for as historic home and built a custom door for a local business store front. I'm hoping to find more clients who are interested in me building them new doors and windows for their old homes and businesses. I'm also focusing on some foundational items: making my workshop more efficient and feel like a second home, refining my schedule and work times, and also continuing my education via taking on challenging projects and seeking out guidance and workshops from significantly more tenured woodworkers. 

Phone & Text: [ 402-577-0793 ]

Email: [ wattleanddaubcraftsman@gmail.com ]

Follow me on Instagram: [ @wattleanddaubcraftsman ]

Licensed & Insured

Bartering Entertained

Will Travel