Doing Historic Window Replacements Right Part 1

From city monuments that tell a treasured tale to older residential homes with delicate antique features, historic window replacements present unique challenges and require a developed skill set and knowledge base to preserve the structure’s integrity and charm. Gravina’s proudly possesses the necessary expertise to get the job done carefully and efficiently — read on to learn more about what it takes to keep your historic home as cozy and authentic as possible.


Knowing When to Repair vs. Replace

Historic buildings and homes seem to capture a moment in time. Their charm and mysteries are alluring, but — because of their age — their features can be fragile. While it’s important to properly maintain these structures to keep them looking and functioning at their best, there is value in knowing when repairs can do the job or if a full replacement may be in order.

The first step to assessing your windows and determining the best course of action is to identify what type of problem you’re dealing with:

Is it purely a cosmetic issue?

Carelessly painted windows are all too common on historic homes, causing windows to stick and leaving you with an uneven finish that diminishes the overall curb appeal of your house. The good news is that this can be corrected with a simple three-step process, but don’t forget to take the necessary precautions — lead paint is common in older homes.

Are cracks in the glass panes to blame?

Replacing these outdated panes can offer a refreshing facelift, but be sure to first consider labor costs to help you land on the best decision for your budget and the preservation of the building. Given the specialized nature of the work, you’ll likely pay a premium — and while you’ll have fixed the problem, you’ll still be left with an older and more inefficient design.

Are the windows drafty, resulting in high utility bills due to insufficient energy efficiency?

Don’t get us wrong: We’re big fans of the aesthetics of old homes, but window and glass technology has come a long way in the past 50 to 100 years. If you’re looking to match the efficiency of modern homes, replacement windows are the way to go.

Has rot found its way into the frame or sills?

Where there’s rot, there’s water. Step one is determining where the water is getting in. Step two is assessing the extent of the damage. In addition to replacement, you may need to make exterior fixes to your home to ensure that the problem does not persist.

How To Replace Without Damage

When deciding to replace, put the project in the hands of a company you can trust. More planning, knowledge, and tactics go into historic window replacements than those for modern residential homes, so let the experts at Gravina’s tackle the heavy lifting — from government policies and standards to carefully-crafted customization. Our experienced installers work by removing the entire outdated window — glass, casing, sash, and all — and replacing with historic-approved windows such as wood, wood aluminum clad, or historic storm that keep the character of the home intact while enhancing its performance tenfold.

Here at Gravina’s, we understand that making the decision to replace historic windows can be a tough one — but rest assured that our mission is to maintain as much original integrity and charm as possible when restoring the efficiency of a home or building. Curious about financing options to help this project fit into your 2021 budget? We’re happy to help! Give us a shout for a free estimate and to learn more about historic window replacements done right.

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