Window Outfitters Blog
Own an Historic Home? Why We Usually Recommend You DON’T Replace Your Windows

Now, it might seem odd that a company specializing in replacement windows would actually recommend that you don’t do that for certain types of homes.  When we work with owners of older and historic homes, at times our best solution is for them to keep the existing windows – with a little added protection and some tweaking.

In the rush to modernize and improve energy efficiency in a home, we find the trend is to automatically pull out those old windows and install new replacement windows.   And while we install only high-quality products, we’re the first to admit that even the best windows we install may NOT be superior to what’s already in your home.

A common reason for wanting to replace those old wood windows is because a home is drafty and the heating and cooling bills are excessive.  Energy-efficient replacement windows COULD solve those issues, but are they the best solution for the problems?

Often the answer is no, and here are just a few reasons:

  • The wood used to construct windows in these homes were built in the 18th and 19th centuries was more rot-resistant than today’s lumber.  Old-growth trees were used for lumber, and that wood doesn’t compare to what is being harvested and used for window construction today.
  • You can’t beat the charm and craftsmanship of some of those beautiful old wood windows.
  • Those windows were designed to work for centuries, not just decades like most of today’s modern replacement windows.
  • Window construction was simpler – less parts to break or wear out.

So what IS the best window solution if you’ve got an older home with great windows that don’t deliver the energy-efficiency you want?

Storm windows from Mon-Ray

Add an extra layer with Mon-Ray acoustic storm windows – that’s generally our recommendation.  These high-quality storm windows are the preferred protective window for many historic structures across the U.S., especially at colleges and other institutions.

And Mon-Ray storm windows are perfect for protecting the wood frames of windows in older homes as well.

So keep your beautiful wood windows – maybe at some weather stripping, and perhaps the window glazing or caulk could use replacement. But don’t replace those old windows unless they’re warped or rotted. Protect those treasures with storm windows designed especially for that purpose.  Talk to us about what your needs are, and we’ll help find the right window solution for you.

Window Outfitters, Inc. specializes in exterior home remodeling and improvements for historic and older homes in the Twin Cities area as well as surrounding communities like Fairbault and Rosemont. 


Window Outfitters is a premier Window Replacement, doors, siding contractor and installer. As Contractor in the St Paul, Minneapolis, (Twin Cities) Minnesota (MN) metro, we proudly serve, but are not limited to, the following areas: Minneapolis Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows, Replacement Window Contractors Minnesota, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Savage, Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, Eagan, St Paul, Hastings, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, Farmington MN, Chaska, Shakopee, Chanhassen, Victoria, Mendota Heights Anderson Windows Minneapolis, Marvin Windows Minneapolis.


Window Outfitters Inc. | 12605 Creek View Avenue | Savage , MN 55378 | 952-746-6661

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