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This blog is written by our guest, Chris Hewett, from his private Facebook Group, MyOldHouseFix. Chris’ summaries of complex home restorations topics and his links to other resources are favorites of many DIYers working to remodel and restore their old homes. Join his Facebook group, MyOldHouseFix for access to his extensive archives. 

Historic Windows

Are you on the “𝘧𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦” about saving your old or historic windows (𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘺 𝟣𝟫𝟢𝟢𝘴) that are in your 𝘖𝘭𝘥 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦? Is it worth it to save them? Why? Well, here are a few reasons to save your old, 𝙃𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙘 𝙒𝙞𝙣𝙙𝙤𝙬𝙨:
𝟭) “R𝙚𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩” windows may not even last until you’ve paid them off. On average, they have a 𝟭𝟬-𝟮𝟬 year lifespan…the window companies will even tell you this!
𝟮) Current “replacement windows” are just that – they are built with 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿 materials, methods, joinery, and workmanship in mind – we call that 𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗡𝗡𝗘𝗗 𝗢𝗕𝗦𝗢𝗟𝗘𝗦𝗖𝗘𝗡𝗖𝗘!
𝟯) So always calculate the payback…𝗗𝗢 the math…always look at the 𝗧𝗢𝗧𝗔𝗟 ownership cost, and plan to replace the “𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵” windows every 20 years on average – the seals fail, the glass fogs up, and the lifting mechanisms fail (𝗹𝗼𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘀). The numbers just don’t add up 𝗔𝗡𝗗 how many thousands of windows go into our landfills 𝗘𝗔𝗖𝗛 year???
𝟰) H𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗰 𝘄𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗼𝘄𝘀, covered with their companion storm windows (𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮) with basic maintenance, will last 𝗮𝗹𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆. The old growth wood is naturally 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 and more 𝗿𝗼𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁, AND the components to rebuild them are simple and readily available – simple 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦, sash 𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦, 𝘨𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴, 𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺, and 𝘨𝘭𝘢𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘺! It doesn’t get more simple than that!
𝟱) Historic wood windows can be 𝘳𝘦𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘵, 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘪𝘵 with better seals and 𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘱, and perform just as well as a new “𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵” window (when used as a “𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮” with a storm window)…check out the story below!
𝟲) ALL windows 𝗪𝗜𝗟𝗟 need maintenance, eventually…even your “𝗡𝗘𝗪” replacement windows will need maintenance and repair. What happens when the “replacement” window companies go out of business and/or you need to buy replacement parts? Good luck!
𝟳) 𝘛𝘞𝘖 words … 𝗪 𝗔 𝗩 𝗬  𝗚 𝗟 𝗔 𝗦 𝗦 !!!
Thanks, Chris, for sharing your experience and research.  Learn more about the products Chris endorses MyOldHouseFix

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