What You Should Know About Replacing Windows in Historical Homes

Everyone tends to have a different taste with respect to their housing needs. Some homeowners prefer living in a city while others like suburban areas. Others like the amenities that come with brand new buildings while others are more attracted by the unique style and charm that comes with historic homes.

No matter what your preferences are, there are other important factors to think about in case you want to get replacement windows for your historic home.

Generally, historic homes are many decades old, typically older than 50 years. Such homes must have some significant continuity down the line as they should have been passed down from one generation to another or between different homeowners.

victorian house replace glass and window frames

 

Examples of historic homes include gabled Victorian homes, colonial red-brick townhouse, or Southern plantation homes.

Homeowners who live in historic homes face a huge challenge when upgrading them to integrate modern amenities. Such properties also demand general maintenance on a regular basis.

It would require periodic upgrades with the aim of maintaining its historic style while still enhancing its appearance, safety, and energy efficiency. Upgrading such homes can be very costly and time-consuming.

 

Private Ownership Comes with Benefits and an Equal Share of Challenges

While buildings registered as historical constructions come with many issues and restrictions when upgrading or remodelling, privately owned historical houses do not have many restrictions. However, such freedom to upgrade or remodel a privately owned historic home comes with benefits and an equal share of challenges.

For instance, you will have the freedom to fix anything you want such as a modern kitchen or bathroom. At the same time, you may have to tear out irreplaceable, original and valuable fixtures when upgrading the home.

One of the home features that most homeowners are often tempted to renovate after some years are the perimeter windows.

This is often due to their need to remove rotting frames, remove broken or chipped windows or improving energy efficiency.

Here are some key factors you should think about when replacing windows in your historic home.

 

Long Lasting

Today, most items and home fixtures are disposable. This means they are only used for a short while before they are thrown away or recycled. During earlier years, everything was made to last long.

Windows in almost all historical homes were built to last in a building for many years. The houses themselves were built to last for generations and they often did so despite decades of use.

Windows in historical homes often have a very simple design. This eliminates the chances of malfunctions from occurring, like it happens with complex, modern fixtures.

The kind of timber used in crafting these windows usually came from hardwoods grown in primeval, wooded and virgin forests that were undisturbed for many years.

This would allow trees and other forest plantations to grow strong and solid, unlike timber harvested today.

The simplicity that came with historic windows, combined with their quality, intended longevity, and superior craftsmanship created windows that would last long with just periodic maintenance.

You can even find historic buildings that have windows dating back to the sixteenth century. That’s how long these windows lasted.

 

Professional Restoration

When all other factors are put into consideration, if the windows in your historic house are still in decent shape and repairable, you can hire an expert to treat the window frames with new paint and add some weather stripping.

Installing storm protectors outside the windows is also a good idea as it will upgrade them while still maintaining your home’s original look.

This way, your home’s energy efficiency will be increased while protecting the windows from decaying further.

 

Proper Replacement of Historical Windows

In case windows on your old home are quite difficult to open, or have broken or cracked glass panes or the frames are rotting, and restoring their look through a simple repair is challenging or too expensive, then you should consider replacing them.

Also, maybe you have tried adding storm protectors on them for energy efficiency and protection but they still have more problems.

However, before replacing them with new windows, it is necessary to think about the overall value they will add to your house.

Modern windows are usually designed for modern homes. If the windows in your old home were designed specifically for your home, swapping them with modern windows would make your home lose its historic style for they would not blend easily.

This is especially so when you install just any kind of new windows you come across from a local store.

It is important that in case you choose to have the windows replaced, only work with qualified professionals who will be of help when selecting and installing newer windows that will blend with the historic architecture of your home.

This way, the kind of upgrade you intend to have will be realized. Your home will also retain its historical value as it will not lose on style, and your investment will not go to waste.

Replacing historic windows accurately and properly will also come with benefits in terms enhancing energy efficiency like that offered by modern, innovative windows.

They will also maintain a classic look, especially when they are built using woods like fir, pine, and mahogany.

Although a window sash typically comes in one glass pane, it can be made to look more traditional. For instance, the finishing touch applied to them should match with existing frames. Such finishing will complement the historic appearance of your home.

historic building glass replacement

 

Consider Guidelines on Preservation of Historical Buildings

It’s also important to consider whether there are any local or state laws that govern making alterations to historical buildings or modifications that may affect the overall appearance of historical neighborhoods.

If you bought your home, most likely you became familiar with any stipulations or conditions that may restrict you from altering its architectural design and features.

Homes built in historic neighborhoods are often subject to regulations and rules related to changing their exterior color, building materials, architectural details such as doors and windows, and some landscaping elements.

For instance, some regulations on historic structures may dictate that any replacement window should never be made using composite materials.

The regulations may also dictate that replacement windows must come in the same window pane pattern or style as the original windows.

Experienced and professional window repairers who have worked with many historic buildings would be in a position to upgrade your home with proper fixtures for its historic style.

They would also be in the best position to conform to all regulations and laws related to preservation of historic structures.

 

Professional Assistance

When working with a reliable company to analyze all concerns related to a historical building, they’ll be in an informed position to assess factors that need to be considered such as regulations on preserving historical structures, conditions of the windows, your home’s energy efficiency and architectural design of your home.

The window repair company will recommend the best solutions, be it restoring the original windows, removing them, or replacing them using new windows that retain their historical style. They will be in a position to deliver work that will protect your home’s style and historical value.

 

Avoid Replacing Windows Yourself

If you end up hiring an unqualified and inexperienced person or try to repair or replace the windows yourself, you may find it quite hard to remove them. Even when you remove them, installing newer windows that are of the exact size and style may not be possible.

Even worse, upon finishing the installation, if you picked the wrong windows for your historic building, you will end up destroying its appearance and this will impact on its value, charm, and status, which are its best selling points.

Replacing windows with just any type you come across can be extremely challenging since it is a process that demands expertise in activities such as sanding, insulating, and painting. This peripheral work is only suitable for qualified professionals.

Adding other factors to the work such as historical integrity, neighborhood regulations, and the property’s value makes the work even more challenging. Thus, it’s something not worth doing yourself unless you have the required experience and expertise.

 

Majestic Glass Does Custom Window Replacement

If you want your windows in your historic house replaced, Majestic Glass does custom replacement for windows in historic buildings across Sydney. We customize the windows to ensure they meet your material and style needs. Contact us today for a free estimate.

 

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