Don't Replace... Repair.
One of the most disheartening and frustrating things we see in our business is driving by a job site or home and seeing a dumpster full of old wood windows and looking up to see vinyl ones being installed in their place. Old wood windows were often built for the specific home or building that they are in, and they add charm and character that cannot be replicated.
Replacing your windows with newer vinyl windows may seem like an obvious choice, but it's not your only option. There are financial, environmental and architectural reasons to restore a building's original windows.
One of the greatest things about Historic wood windows is that they were designed to be able to be repaired. Unlike replacement windows, where the entire unit must be replaced if any part of it fails, wood windows can be taken apart to insert new rails or muntins (cross pieces separating the panes). We can remake broken or damaged parts, or rebuild a replica of an entire sash. We can also repair damaged wood with a special wood filler that is designed for wood restoration.
Often times old wood windows are inoperable due to years of being painted over and painted shut. If your windows are inoperable we can clean or replace hardware such as sash locks, sash pulls, and pulleys to make them functioning again. If hardware is missing we can also replace it with a time appropriate replica to match other existing hardware.
One major complaint we get about old Historic windows is that they drafty and not energy efficient. This can be solved by adding weather stripping and/or storm windows. Properly maintained wooden windows and storm windows work together like the two pieces of glass in a double-paned window. By adding weather stripping to wood windows and storms, they can achieve similar energy ratings as double-paned replacement windows.
Maintenance & Repair
Old wood windows are very resilient and are often made from irreplaceable old growth lumber that will last for centuries to come. New window companies claim that their windows are "maintenance free" which is correct in meaning that they cannot be maintained. They will most likely end up in a landfill within 10 to 15 years. Most of the time a replacement window will need to be replaced before a wood window will need basic maintenance. With minimal maintenance your wood windows will last several lifetimes.
We believe that you as a Historic home owner, are a steward to your house or building. It's your job to take care of it including its windows to save them so that future generations care enjoy their uniqueness and beauty.
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