As a company specializing in replacement windows and doors for historic homes in Minnesota, it might surprise you that often we suggest to owners of these stately older homes that they NOT replace their windows. Now, we recognize that at times the old existing windows are in such bad shape that replacement is the logical answer, but often we’d rather work with the homeowners to come up with a better solution.
Why You Should Protect and Preserve Your Historic Home’s Original Wood Windows
Historically accurate architectural details are extremely important to historic homes. If your home is in an historic district, there are rules and regulations in place to see to it that this happens. And while many high-quality replacement windows are now available that replicate the look of many of the original windows, the reality is that no modern window frame can match the beauty of the old wood frames. Hand craftsmanship using old-world methods just can’t be reproduced with today’s technology, even though historic window companies come fairly close.
Another reason is the lumber used to make those windows was from old-growth forests, and that old wood resists rot far better than the lumber available today, even if it’s been treated.
So the first thing we do when we’re asked to consult on windows for owners of historic homes is to take a good look at the condition of the existing windows. If the frames aren’t rotted and the window mechanisms still work, we prefer to leave those windows in place.
The main reason owners of historic homes want to replace their old windows is that they are made of single pane glass and create drafts as well as high heating and cooling bills. Energy efficiency wasn’t a concern a century ago when those homes were built. But you CAN make those old windows more energy efficient by adding storm windows that are made specifically for historic buildings. We work with just such a company – Mon-Ray. Acoustic storm windows by Mon-Ray have been selected for use across the country in many historic buildings, including universities, hospitals, hotels, and homes.
So if you own an older or historic home and your goal is to make that home more comfortable, less drafty, and less of an energy hog, resist the urge to tear old those beautiful old wood windows. Instead, give us a call for a free in-home consultation and we’ll share with you why we believe the best solution for you and your home is the Mon-Ray storm windows we install. We have put these storms in homes in various historic areas throughout Minnesota, including Stillwater and Fairbault. And we’ll work with your historic district to make sure you are in compliance.