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Restoring Your Historic Windows & Doors

Preserving your historic home presents many challenges. One of the most difficult decisions is whether to restore your original windows and doors or replace them with historically accurate versions. Depending on what problems your windows and doors are facing, it may be more economical now and in the years to come to replace rather than restore your windows.

Window and Door Restoration Techniques

Old windows face a wide variety of problems. Solutions exist to solve many of them, which you can pursue to preserve the character of your historic building. Of course, the effectiveness of these window and door restoration techniques varies, as does the cost.

  • Lead paint can be removed by certified workers. Then the window frames can be repainted or stained.
  • Rotted wood frames can be patched up.
  • Broken panes can be replaced with historically accurate glass.
  • Sandblasting can restore metal windows and doors.
  • Leaky windows can be fitted with new caulk and weatherstripping.
  • Out-of-square windows can be removed and planed down to accommodate a house that has settled over the years.

Replacing Damaged Windows with Historically Accurate Replacements

If attempting to restore your old windows is overwhelming, a simpler option might be to replace them. Don’t worry – you can find historic replacement windows that match the time period when your home was built, but that also feature up-to-date efficiencies that make life a little easier.

Historic window replacements offer the following benefits:

  • Lower utility bills: With better insulation and less air infiltration through modern double-pane windows, your leaky historic home suddenly becomes more affordable to heat and cool. Couple your upgrade with additional wall and attic insulation and suddenly your beautiful home boasts utility bills as low as more modern dwellings.
  • More comfortable interior: If the couch near the window traditionally remains unoccupied in the winter because of horrible drafts, you know the effect older windows can have on indoor comfort. Put those drafts in their place with modern windows designed to look like historic replicas.
  • Improved security: It’s common for out-of-square windows to be impossible to lock because the hardware doesn’t match up. This leaves your home and family susceptible to burglars. Improve your peace of mind with new windows that boast excellent security features, such as multi-point locks and impact-resistant glass.
  • Fewer maintenance requirements: True historic windows have more upkeep requirements because they’re almost always made of wood. If you want the look of wood without the maintenance, custom historic windows, including double hung windows, from top brands can meet your request.
  • Improved aesthetics: There’s no denying that a historic home looks better with historic windows, but if yours are chipped, faded and broken, your home’s curb appeal takes a hit. Improve aesthetics inside and out with new historic windows designed to match your home’s time period.
  • Improved resale value: Potential home buyers are interested in houses with windows that boast the above features. By ditching your lead-painted, inefficient, out-of-square windows for historically accurate replacements, you can add resale value if you ever decide to sell your home.

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