A Guide to Replacing and Refurbishing Historic Windows
Posted by historicalwindows, 10/05/2017 10:01 am

A home’s windows are one of its most visible, yet underappreciated components. Along with the character and beauty they add to the building, original windows connect the building’s interior and exterior while offering clues as to the structure’s history.

Despite their value, historic windows are often blamed for energy inefficiency. Many homeowners opt for historic window replacement because it’s seen as the greener and more cost-efficient option, but it’s not always necessary. Homeowners can go to historicalwindows.com or read on to learn more about replacing and retrofitting historic windows during home remodeling and other projects.

Retrofitting May Offer a Higher Return on Investment

Storm windows, cellular shades, and other window retrofits can bring energy savings similar to replacement windows at a lower cost. Interior storm windows can reduce the potential for lead paint exposure, while outer storm panels can increase the lifespan of historic windows. While replacement windows offer a significant performance increase, it takes time to recoup the cost through lower utility bills.

Consider the Climate

The best upgrade option for one location may not work for another because of differences in cooling and heating needs. For instance, in a colder climate that relies on heating, cellular shades can cut heat loss substantially. However, in places with hotter weather, retrofitting windows may not provide many benefits, especially if the windows aren’t facing the sun for most of the day.

Historic Windows Preserve the Home’s Character

A home's original windows were made to fit certain openings, and in many cases, they’re made in sizes and shapes that aren’t widely available today. Replacing these windows often requires the homeowner to change the shape or size of the window opening. While a standard sized, new window may allow a reduction in operational costs, it can affect the home’s historical integrity.

Older Windows are of Higher Quality

Wood windows made before the 1940s are typically made from dense, stable, old-growth wood that holds paint well, mills well, and is naturally resistant to rot and insect infestation. Moreover, old-growth wood is often harvested locally, which makes historic windows ideally suited to the local climate. If it's possible to do so, homeowners should consider refurbishing or repairing the old windows when renovating historic houses.

As shown here, historic windows have many advantages. The more homeowners understand their options for improvement, the more easily they can protect the home’s character and their budget. Visit https://www.historicalwindows.com/ for more window preservation tips.

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