Despite the blanketing effect of resource-rich window manufacturers to market replacement windows, a growing movement is underfoot. A small yet devoted cadre of craftspeople are making people take notice as they restore old windows, bringing the soul of a building back to life. Slowly communities across the nation are realizing what's been commonplace in the old world: highly valuable architectural elements like a building's windows demand maintenance, and when not maintained, require restoration.
Mozer Works, Inc. is a leader in window restoration for the Washington DC metropolitan area. We provide consultations that will educate and help you choose what's next in the arena of bringing your windows back. Our trained craftsmen can show you how we combine restorative techniques with interlocking metal weatherstripping to recreate the beauty, architectural grandeur, and energy efficiency that your home deserves.
Below, I review why this dictate should be followed when it comes to your "old" window in terms of energy efficiency, environmental responsibility, resource preservation, architectural integrity and supporting the local economy.
It’s cost-effective to restore.
Full restoration typically costs slightly less than best high-end, two-pane replacements and that’s true even if you don’t consider which one is more lasting. It's a positive return (for decades, not years) as compared to the replacement windows where most experts have concluded that the lack of durability entails you don't recoup your investment. As the National Trust for Historic Preservation has concluded: "retrofits" of old windows, meaning restoration and enhancements, perform comparably and "offer(s) a better return on investment than replacement."
Although window sales people will decry your home's energy inefficiency by falsely selecting out your old windows as the culprits, the truth is your old windows with a good storm window make up an assembly as energy efficient as the top-of-the line replacement windows. Window restoration specialists will typically weatherstrip an old window to reduce air infiltration and seal other vulnerable areas of the frame and casing. This prevents draftiness, reduces air infiltration and increases overall performance.
For a visual representation of the weatherstripping process, please visit AccurateWeatherstripping.com. For more information on storm windows, visit AlliedWindows.com.
Greenbuilding & Environmental Responsibility:
Many people argue the greenest building is the one already built. Restoration is the path of least resistance when we're trying to reduce landfill contributions and cut down fewer trees. Think of the environmental cost of more landfill materials if we fail to question whether we should throw out a home's old windows. Or think about the environmental cost of cutting down trees in order to build new windows. What do you think is the energy cost of manufacturing the higher performance new windows that are clad or wrapped?
Old-Growth Wood, A Valuable Resource:
As importantly, if you throw out your old wooden windows, you're throwing out old growth wood, one of your home's most enduring features. Today's lumberyards are replete with fast-growth, less durable, plantation-growth wood. They can't compare with the lasting quality, superior stability and decay resistance of the old-growth lumber that was used in your home's windows. That wooden window can flourish another century or more, particularly if it's properly maintained. Modern replacement windows may come with a 15-25 year guarantee, at best.
The windows of your home are the eyes to its soul. A home's character first witnessed is reflected by its windows and doors Window restoration renews a home's arguably most prominent feature; its windows. While window replacements attempt to match what was, they often fall short and thus alter the exact look of a home.
Supporting Local Economy:
The slow food and organic farming movement has brought attention to the merit of supporting local farming, local production, and the local farm economy. Why can't we do the same in the restoration of our homes by supporting local tradespeople to bring back to life what was? In this way, we can provide value for many more years, if not decades, that is the essence of our neighborhoods, our homes, and our traditions.
Window restoration is never the cheapest route to fixing a drafty window, or getting a functional one, but it is the one with the best return of investment in the long-run. The term of that repayment is not measured in limited warranties but more likely generations and something in which we can all take pride. It adds value to not just your home, but your neighborhood. It supports local craftspeople and it contributes to a more sustainable future.