Here in the Washington, DC metro area, numerous communities have been designated as historic districts. This means if you build or renovate in these areas, you must adhere to stringent codes and restrictions. One of the many requirements is to install historic windows.
There are no universally established rules for what constitutes a historic window—it must simply mimic the aesthetics of windows that were popular in the area at the time that your neighborhood was initially established. This has a different meaning depending on where you live, so be sure to check with the preservation association that oversees your community before ordering replacement windows.
With this information in mind, here are some window products and features we recommend for historic homes.
Fortunately, just because you live in a historic home doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck in the past. Weather Shield Premium Series windows offer a historic look with modern technology.
These aluminum-clad windows master the art of combining old-world wood craftsmanship on the inside with the latest advancements in durable, energy-efficient aluminum on the outside. This line of architecturally and historically accurate windows and doors are designed to meet the requirements of even the strictest historic district guidelines.
As the oldest material used for framing windows, wood is still the go-to option for many historic homes. The natural look and feel of wood windows make them incredibly appealing. They can also be painted or stained in any color you want, with the option of sanding and refinishing them in the future.
While there’s no denying the beauty, versatility, and historical accuracy of wood windows, the higher maintenance requirements may discourage you. If so, consider a convincing wood look-alike, such as CompositWood windows. This material offers the elegance and beauty of high-end wood windows with the durability of aluminum and the maintenance-free qualities of vinyl.
While any operating style can be approved for your historic home, double-hung windows are almost always a safe bet because of their longstanding history. These windows remain the most popular option to this day in modern and historic homes alike, so you can be confident they will fit your needs.
For several generations, individual windows were comprised of multiple panes or “lites” because it was impossible to manufacture glass in large sheets. While technology has come a long way, you may still want to mimic the look of divided-lite windows in your historically accurate home.
This can be done in one of three ways: removable wood grilles on the outside of the glass, aluminum grilles between the glass, or simulated divided lites with interior and exterior grilles permanently adhered to the glass. All three options strive to emulate old-fashioned windows without sacrificing efficiency.
Is it time to replace your historic home’s drafty old windows you’ve dealt with for years? Turn to Quality Window & Door if you’re ready to upgrade the efficiency and usability of your windows while maintaining their historic charm.
We supply some of the finest historic replacement windows available in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC. As a nonproprietary supplier of historic windows and doors, you can trust that we prioritize our customers’ needs above selling any particular product. In fact, our goal is to help you find suitable windows for your historic home—even if that means you don’t end up buying from us!
For more information about selecting windows that follow the codes and restrictions of your historic neighborhood, please contact Quality Window & Door at 1-800-370-8751.
You can also view our windows in person by visiting one of our local showrooms in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
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