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Re: Is it just me....

I discovered there's a lot of new thinking about replacement windows when informed that our state energy agency, one of the best in the country, no longer provides incentives for replacement windows, because the return in energy savings is insufficient. Here's one of several articles I found pointing out that energy savings are an insufficient reason alone for replacing windows - money.cnn.com/2011/04/11/pf/saving/Common_remodeling_mistakes.moneymag/index.htm

The National Trust for Historic Preservation addresses the question at length in a FAQ on windows and weatherization - preservationnation.org/issues/weatherization/windows/windows-faq.html this FAQ on windows and weatherization. It notes -


Reason #4: Old Windows Perform Well and are Energy Efficient

A growing body of studies is demonstrating that a historic wood window that is properly maintained, weather stripped, and has a storm window can be just as energy efficient as a new window. While additional testing will provide more evidence, many people find that using a window-storm combination is even more efficient than having a new double-pane window unit alone. This is because the air space between a historic window and the storm provides several inches of added insulation.

It also dispels some of the myths about replacement windows.

For me, I just can't imagine replacing the beautifully crafted and intricately paned windows in our 1914 Princess Anne. They're a big part of what makes the house special and impossible to duplicate today.

BungalowMo, TOH is a useful source for remodeling advice, but since almost day 1, it had dismayed preservationists with its inclination to replace and "modernized" rather than restore and preserve. I think it's even less about the OLD today.

ETA: I'm being told that I haven't posted here enough to be able to post links. So, I've changed the links referenced to not be active. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Re: Is it just me....

Samantha...I've read that article as well. It's nice to see another old house owner who understands the importance of saving this crucial element of our old homes.

One site I think you'd certainly enjoy... http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/index.php?sid=1f318a7005b7f12916da13820af2ab9d
I've been a forum member there for years & the folks there are all about the preservation. You'll love it.

Just as the eyes are the windows to the soul....the windows are the eyes to your home's soul.

Re: Is it just me....

I dearly LOVE old homes too! I hate the new carpet smell - but I bought a 100yr old bungalow & renovated it as much as I could do to preserve the old charm. I've done so w/very little $ - renovation according to period is very expensive! It already had a new furnace, hotwater heater and vinyl replacement windows that kept the winter winds to a minimum, but I still had to gut exterior walls in rooms to replace/add better insulation. Do you realize houses built "way back when" had no insulation unless it was the structure itself? Indoor apparel was wearing longjohns & warm stocking caps rather than just a comfy pr. of sweats. The house I live in now is stone - w/no insulation except in the 30 yr old addition - and it's very UNCOZY. I have to winterize windows EVERY winter. The updates in the prior-mentioned house were a vital reason to buy the house since I couldn't afford high heat bills. The sashes are the orig. wood so I respectfully ask why is the "plastic" so bad? I have no business climbing a 20 ft ladder to clean the storms that are 40 ft above a creek! Folks just don't have the time to spend on craftsmanship or research to "period" reno since they work 40+ hrs just to make the mortgage payment. But that's what owning a house is all about - nothing is ever perfect. Enjoy yours!

Re: Is it just me....

I was ruing the fact that I hadn't been here lately- until I came across this thread :( There are times when it makes sense to use modern materials and times when it doesn't. If you're trying to restore a house, then you stay as close to original as possible; but not everyone is doing a restoration! Most people want to retain the character of their home while taking advantage of better materials that were nor available when the house was built. There's nothing wrong with that, and nothing wrong with advice suggestion that- this is not "This Old Restoration" :cool:

As to whether old wood windows can be made to operate and perform better, sure they can. Better than vinyl? I doubt that in a big way, but you make that call for yourself. When you add storm windows to do that you're not "original" anymore anyway so I'll disregard that argument and keep on recommending vinyl replacements because dollar for dollar they work better than anything else. And as always, I'll say to use quality products because they are worth it- I know of many old vinyl windows that still perform very well, but few wood windows that do. If you want to, you can store the old sashes for future restoration with vinyl replacements- no more is lost doing that than when you put on storms. And while you're maintaining those old wood windows (or paying me to) I'll be smiling as I think of the fun you're not having while I am.


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