Many historical home styles are married to specific window types. If you’re a homeowner looking to maintain the accuracy and architectural integrity of your historic home, then read on to learn which replacement windows will work best.
We know that finding the right windows for your historical home can be difficult because of the original design’s limitations. However, it pays to know and stick to your architecture’s window style to accentuate and celebrate its aesthetic. But, your window does not need to be precisely the same. There are several styles to choose from that blend in beautifully with historical architecture.
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Factors To Consider When Replacing Historic Windows
If you choose modern replacements, keep in mind that not all window contractors are the same, and choosing the wrong one could be a mistake. Here are important factors you should consider:
- Available Materials — The term can pertain specifically to the frames: historic windows will require a natural wood finish, or at least a painted-wood look. In either case, you’ll need frames that look and feel like wood. Fortunately, our Infinity® windows are made with EverWood, a revolutionary wood grain finish that looks and feels like real wood. It also holds paint much better than wood can.
- Energy Efficiency — Our modern windows assure you of energy efficiency. On top of the energy savings, energy-efficient windows also help maintain a stable internal temperature, essential to keeping historic homes in good shape. Having the ENERGY STAR® seal is the best way to identify energy-efficient windows.
- Custom Sizes — Resizing the wall opening is the last thing that you want to happen with your replacement windows. That is why it’s essential that the window contractor offers custom-size replacement windows.
The best windows for historical replacements
Ask yourself how accurate do the windows have to be. There are two possibilities when it comes to historic building restoration. You can hire restoration experts to research and recreate the original windows from reference materials, such as archival photos. They may also source the exact kind of wood, glass, and hardware. Maybe even hire the original artisans who made the original windows.
Or (and this is where NEXT Door & Window comes in) you can hire window contractors to provide you with customized replacement windows with modern materials. While the first option is ideal, you have to be prepared to address difficulties. They may not be able to source the original wood, glass, and hardware, or there may not be clear reference photos to allow accurate replication. In addition, consider that the new frames will likely be susceptible to the same problems the original had, like warping, cracking, and rot.
Modern materials may not be the most physically accurate choice, but they have benefits, such as warp and rot-resistant frames. You’re also improving your home’s energy efficiency—helping preserve the equally historic interiors.
An eclectic window replacement, with thoughtful planning, can work wonders for your home’s curb appeal and its overall livability. So let’s go over which types of windows are the most forgiving and look good on any home.
BAY OR BOW WINDOWS
Bow or bay windows go beyond being an architectural accent and will add value and curb appeal to your home. It will also allow you to expand your view and increase your living space. Almost all architectural homes today consider these window types a welcome addition.
The bump-out these windows create always adds flair to any exterior design. Their panoramic glass promotes maximum daylighting and outdoor views. Comprising multiple panels, they usually feature operating flankers to allow adequate ventilation.
Double-hung windows have been around for centuries but remain to be the most popular in U.S. homes. Everything about the double-hung window is traditional. From its history to the present, it’s hard not to find a neighborhood without a home that features double-hung windows on the facade.
Due to their popularity, they are available in various materials, colors, and finishes. Whether you’re looking for a window made of wood, vinyl, composite, or fiberglass, it’s pretty much sure to be available as a double-hung window. These windows and their classic style are ideal for historic homes where a wood exterior is needed to match original architectural details.
The reason wood is a favorite among homeowners is that many homes have classic wood trim interior and original architectural details that they would like to maintain. Flexible design options like wood species and stains help with historical accuracy.
Casement windows are timeless and fully customizable to meet your preferences, making casements a perfect choice for a historical home. The key to its timeless relevance is its ability to make the entire opening available.
Its singular sash cranks out, providing maximum ventilation opportunities. As opposed to double-hung windows, casement windows aren’t divided by two panels. When closed, they press against the frame firmly and create an airtight seal.
Casement windows can have traditional or narrow frames. You can also combine these types of windows with picture windows for a broader, outside view.
If you are interested in the classic style of our casement windows, our Design and Energy experts are ready and excited to help you bring your vision to life. Plus, our experts can help you visualize this final window look with our Home Visualizer tool that allows you to try on styles before buying.
You can’t go wrong with any of these windows, but picking the right one for every room matters to meet your historical aesthetic and functional needs. Our Design and Energy experts are here to guide you along the way. We are currently offering in-home or virtual appointments with our experts to get your projects started ASAP. Schedule yours today.
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