If you are considering replacing your old windows, please reconsider. Even the draftiest of original old growth wood and steel windows can be restored.
What are the benefits of restoring old windows rather than replacing them?
Your home’s original windows were made at the time your home was built; they were made to fit your house. Standard replacement windows not only detract from the vintage appearance of your home, but they typically have a wider profile, resulting in loss of natural light. The wood and steel of original windows are very resilient materials, and can be retained, helping maintain the look and feel that was intended for your vintage property.
If you restore your windows, they won’t end up in a landfill, but will remain a part of your building for another hundred years. Replacement windows are made with new materials. When restoring windows, the cost is not found in the materials, but the labor, which not only prevents waste, but boosts the local economy. Additionally, the energy savings are comparable to new replacement windows when appropriate weather proofing steps are taken.
Old windows are built with old growth wood and antique glass. These are beautiful, quality materials that new windows cannot replicate. The windows original to your home have lasted for as long as your building has been around. The best replacement windows might have a 20 year warranty – and then will likely fail and must be replaced again. With proper maintenance, your restored original windows will last for another lifetime of your building.
To repeat, restored original windows are not only the best option for your building in terms of appearance and quality, but with appropriate weather proofing measures, are as energy efficient as installing replacement windows and more cost effective..
For further information regarding the benefits of restoring old windows in terms of cost and energy efficiency, see articles below:
- What Replacement Windows Can’t Replace: The Real Cost of Removing Historic Windows
- Windows: Energy-Efficiency Facts and Myths
- Saving Windows, Saving Money
- Top 10 Reasons to Restore or Repair Windows
- Window Preservation Alliance Library
Emily founded Solstice Stained Glass in 2008 after managing a restoration studio in Chicago’s north suburbs for 6 years. Emily is passionate about creating and restoring authentic beauty in the built environment.