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Since we’re a licensed Minnesota replacement window company, it may surprise you that we strongly discourage homeowners with historic or older homes from replacing their original wood windows.
One of the main issues people find when they buy these old gems is that the windows are drafty, and since they are most likely single pane glass, they waste a lot of heating and cooling dollars. So the first step for many of them is to tear out those old windows and put in newer energy-efficient ones.
According to architects and real estate professionals, this is one of the top mistakes buyers of older homes make. It can tank the home’s value for starters. And it also takes away from the aesthetics you loved when you first saw that house. The beautiful lumber those old windows were crafted from (sometimes by hand) cannot be purchased on today’s market, so it’s not even possible to manufacture replacements that would look the same. Yes, there are some companies that have lines of historically accurate wood windows, but they can’t come close to the beauty of that old wood.
Is your home in a registered historic district or are there local regulations covering any exterior remodeling? You may find you’re not even able to take out those old windows.
Another thing you may find is that the wood in the window frames is matched to the interior wood trim. Both have aged over time at the same rate, and you have a gorgeous coordinated look inside. So if you’re going to replace the windows, you’ll likely want to replace the interior trim as well. And that can get costly. We have a better alternative.
Unless the original windows are so deteriorated or damaged that they are not worth keeping in place, we recommend adding an extra layer of protection on the exterior with Mon-Ray storm windows. This company is the #1 choice of historic preservationists across the country, including the National Park Service.
These slim-line storm windows are custom made for the windows they will protect, ensuring a perfect fit. They will increase energy efficiency by adding another layer of insulation (the air trapped between the storms and the windows). This also cuts down on infiltration of noise from the outside – that’s where the ‘acoustic’ part comes in. And this is important as well, because many of these homes are in busy neighborhoods (think Summit Avenue in St. Paul, or Dinkytown in Minneapolis, where many of the commercial buildings are considered historic).
Shown here is an installer working on one of our many historic home window projects. It’s our specialty! Oh, and Mon-Ray also offers storm doors that can provide the same protection for your wood exterior doors.
So don’t trash those old wood windows – you have an historical treasure there. Let us help you preserve them. Schedule a free in-home consultation with us today! Use our handy online contact form, or call us one of the numbers listed above.
Window Outfitters is a premier Window Replacement, doors, siding contractor and installer. As Contractor in the St Paul, Minneapolis, (Twin Cities) Minnesota (MN) metro, we proudly serve, but are not limited to, the following areas: Minneapolis Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows, Replacement Window Contractors Minnesota, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Savage, Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, Eagan, St Paul, Hastings, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, Farmington MN, Chaska, Shakopee, Chanhassen, Victoria, Mendota Heights Anderson Windows Minneapolis, Marvin Windows Minneapolis.