Church Stained Glass Windows: Do-It-Yourself Survey

by John Phillips, Jr., President, Associated Crafts

Unfortunately, for many stained glass studios, including ours, they receive frantic calls from churches whose windows are at critical stages of deterioration and the church has avoided or not understood the problems that occurred until it reached catastrophic levels.

Associated Crafts has designed the following guide for you to view and observe each of your stained glass windows. We have provided you with a form that you can submit to Associated Crafts for review. When completed, this survey can also serve as documentation of each window, which can be very helpful with insurance claims or reproduction in the case of loss.

Before starting, first gather the following items:

  1. 25’ tape measure
  2. Paper and pencil
  3. Digital camera
  4. Note cards

Start at the first window. On a piece of paper, number the window (important), give a brief description and measure the window, rounding off to the nearest half foot.

Interior Observations

Exterior Observations


Round off all measurements to the nearest half-foot. For example, wood that is 32” should be rounded up to three feet. Write the width measurement followed by the height measurement (W x H). On large windows, you can measure half the distance and then double it.

Provide a description

You need to identify each window visually. You can use the name of the scene (i.e. Gethsemane or Communion, etc.) or the name found in a memorial plate (i.e. In Honor of John Smith). Another option is to use the area of the church to identify a window (i.e. "large balcony window" or "large altar window").

Take photographs

It is best to take simple digital photos. For interior photos, do not use a flash.

Repeat the above steps for each window, e.g. window two would be number 2 on the card.

Submit Documentation

Below, please find a useful form for you to fill out that will provide the proper format for submission to Associated Crafts. We are in the process of providing this form online and eventually you will be able to submit it directly through our Web site. You can either scan or fax the document to (888)801-9551 and e-mail the photographs to Associated Crafts will prepare and appraise the value of your stained glass windows and pictures on a CD and then return the appraisal and CD back to you. Make sure you keep the CD and appraisal in a safe place for future reference.