Anyone who has purchased a historic home more than likely underwent an exhaustive decision-making process that involved the weighing of the advantages and disadvantages of both its purchases and the cost of adding modern amenities.
A historic home's solid, Old World craftsmanship, spacious designs and classic styles like Victorian all tend to rank as high selling points. However, the disadvantages such as higher upkeep costs and inefficient energy use can cause some homeowners to pause.
One decision, to repair or replace a historic home's windows or window glass, especially in light of today's highly efficient windows, can be particularly difficult.
If the window glass or frames are original to a historic home, they can be a source of drafts and energy inefficiencies that may tempt you to replace them. However, there are several compelling reasons to keep your historic windows and preserve the character and authenticity of your home.
In a 2008 Angie's List poll, more than 42 percent of Angie's List members said their homes were built more than 50 years ago. When asked about if they had completed any energy-efficiency improvements to their home, more than 50 percent said they had completed a green project or planned to in the future.
Consider these motivations as you weigh the decision of how to handle your home’s original windows:
1. Maintaining architectural integrity
Your historic home was designed with these particular windows, and the original builder selected them to match with the overall architectural feel of the home. They even might be one-of-a-kind windows, built especially for your home to create a special connection between the outdoor and indoor environment.
Replacing historic windows with modern counterparts - unless the modern windows are custom-designed as well - will likely disrupt the architectural integrity of your home and remove part of its connection to the past. Plus, if you ever want to sell the home, the new windows may dissuade potential buyers with interest in a home with architectural integrity.
2. Local regulations
If your home is located within a historic neighborhood, or if your state or city has designated your home as a historic site, regulations may prevent you from replacing your windows with ones that are more modern in appearance. Adding modern-looking windows would drastically change the external appearance of your home and create a historic irregularity.
Always check with the your city or state's historic preservation office before making significant changes to your historically designated home.
3. Think about the payoff
Although new windows may potentially save you money on your home’s energy bill, the high installation cost for new windows often means it takes years for them to offer substantial savings. This is especially true if your historic windows are irregularly shaped and would require custom-built replacements.
A less expensive solution that allows you to preserve your historic windows is to hire a glass repair specialist to fix any cracks, loose panes or other sources of drafts in the existing windows.
4. Historic often means durable
Despite their age, historic windows can often offer higher durability than their modern counterparts. The old windows are often usually made from hard, durable wood and were designed to be repaired, not replaced.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation reports that 30 percent of modern replacement windows are replaced again within 10 years. Your historic windows, on the other hand, have already lasted this long and can continue to serve your home well for many years into the future, especially if you keep them in good condition.
When it's time to repair your historic home's original windows, turn to an Indianapolis glass repair company that will do the job correctly and preserve your home's unique appeal.