Your home’s old wooden windows are some of the most valuable yet misunderstood elements of a historic house. Most people find them painted shut with sash cords cut and with missing bits and pieces of hardware. That’s the time they usually opt to start over with replacement windows.
Reasons people choose to replace old windows:
- Inoperable windows
- Leaky and energy-inefficient windows
- Chipping lead paint worries
- Aggressive marketing from window companies
If you’re thinking about replacing your windows know this important fact:
Every one of these problems can be addressed and these windows can be brought back up to REAL efficiency and functionality.
The Facts About Historic Windows
1. Repairable - Historic wood windows are designed to be easy to repair. Unlike replacement windows where the whole window unit must often be replaced or factory repaired if an issue arises, historic windows can be repaired piecemeal. Each individual piece can be repaired, restored or replaced quite simply by the homeowner or local tradesman.
2. Upgradable - Your old windows may or may not have weather stripping, but if they don’t you can easily add it and dramatically increase their efficiency.
3. Simple to Maintain - Keep your old windows painted. That’s it! With some paint every decade or so you can keep them protected and safe for a long, long time.
4. Resilient - Being made from old-growth lumber these windows (when properly maintained) can be made to last for several centuries unlike replacement windows today which are obsolete within just a few years.
Now that you know the facts you’ll want to know the how and what of repairing these old windows. So below I have included links to posts that detail exactly how to restore and care for these windows. I’ve also included links to where you can find the proper tools and products to use in the restoration process.Some of these are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission (at not extra cost to you) if you decide to buy one of them. However, I WILL NOT link to anything that I do not personally use and recommend. Everything here is something we use at Austin Home Restorations almost every week while restoring and rehabbing old windows.
- How To: Reglaze Old Windows
- How To: Open Stuck Windows in 4 Easy Steps
- How To: Restring Old Windows
- How To: Remove Paint From Old Hardware
- How To: Replace Broken Window Glass
- How To: Weatherstrip Wood Windows
- A Window Glazing Tip & Trick
- 9 Reasons to Keep Your Old Windows
- All About Historic Windows
- Preserving Historic Windows
- 5 Worst Mistakes of Historic Homeowners (Part 1 Windows)
- Why Old Windows Are Worth Saving