Redesigning History: 3 Reasons Window Restoration Is The Way To Go In A Historic Home

Posted on: 8 December 2015

Whether you own a historic home or you are looking into purchasing one, you should be prepared to face several reparations. As a house ages, parts of the house tend to deteriorate, such as the windows. While your first thought may be to replace old and deteriorated windows, modern windows often look out of place on older, historic homes. Fortunately, window restoration is entirely possible, even with some of the saddest looking windows. In fact, there are a few reasons to opt for window restoration.

A Cost Effective Decision

Although replacing windows on an older house may cost less than window restoration, preserving old windows may prove more cost effective in the long run. Window restoration can be cheaper than window replacement if you perform your own restorations. However, if you choose to hire a window expert, you are likely going to pay more out-of-pocket costs to perform restorations.

That being said, many window experts agree that window restoration is a more cost effective approach overall. Historic windows were built with replaceable or repairable components. For example, the window style often found in historic homes consists of multi-paned windows. If a window pane happens to break, it is entirely possible to replace the pane without replacing the entire window.

However, if a high-end, double pane thermal window breaks, the entire window will have to be replaced. Newer windows do not have the same easy-to-repair components since they usually consist of larger, solid pieces. For that reason, you may often find yourself replacing modern windows at full price whereas you could spend less replacing or repairing small sections of your historic windows.

An Energy-Efficient Option

Historic windows in an older home may seem scary at first. The first thing to come to mind may be the leaks, drafts, and high energy bills. When it comes to upgrading the energy efficiency of your historic home, you will need to shed the preconceived notion that window replacement is the way to go.

In truth, studies often show that windows only account for an estimated 10% of a home's energy loss. Rather than rushing forward with window replacement and potentially changing the overall character of a historic home, take into consideration that an estimated 90% of a home's energy loss is attributed to gaps that exist in the walls, floors, and roofing structure.

Preserving the old windows in a historic home can prove just as energy efficient as replacing the windows. Rather than replacing the windows in favor of modernized thermal or vinyl windows, consider placing an interior or exterior storm window over the old windows. A storm window can minimize energy loss in order to create energy efficiency within your historic home.

Easier Than It Looks

When you first step into a historic home and you see the rotted wood surrounding the window or the broken panes, it can appear frightening. Your first thought may be to flee in the other direction whereas your second may be to jump on board the replacement train. However, restoring old windows is far easier than it looks.

A window repair and replacement expert can easily take the window apart in order to replace rotted headers, footers, rails, and muntins, which are the cross sections that separate each window pane. Once the window is taken apart, the expert can also replace broken sections of glass in order to restore the old windows in your vintage home.

Broken sections of a window can easily be duplicated by someone who knows what they are doing, which is why you should work closely with a window expert rather than tackling a restoration job on your own. Furthermore, a restoration expert can determine if window restoration is within your best interest. You need to keep in mind that restoration is not always a possibility.

Side Note: In some cases, a window is too far gone to be restored, which means replacement is your only option. If the expert suggests replacing windows, it is highly recommended that you adjust your budget in order to purchase unique looking windows that match the characteristics of your historic home. In truth, you will be glad you did as it will help maintain the overall look and charm of the home.