Preserve or replace? That’s the question
I live in a house built around the 1690s on the south shore of Massachusetts. I am considering re-doing the double-hung windows in the front, but I'm having a hard time finding someone to help me. The companies I've looked at either want to put in something made of vinyl or that’s not the size I'm looking for. I would like to keep the historic look of the house, with windows that are functional, and weatherproof. Do you have someone or a company that you recommend for a job like this?
—Nathaniel Budd, via email
If your existing windows post-WWII replacements are fitted with metal springs and the like, there probably isn’t much worth saving. You might have to order custom replacements from companies like Marvin or Wood Window Workshop.
But if your windows date back to the 1930s or earlier, it’s likely they can be restored and actually upgraded to do a better job of keeping out the weather than they ever did. And a restoration will almost certainly be less expensive than having a new window built from scratch.
Fortunately, you live in a state where there are lots of companies that restore wood windows and save you from getting vinyl or improperly sized replacements. The Window Preservation Alliance maintains a database of such companies.
Good luck with your preservation project.
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