If your windows are drafty, broken, or difficult to operate, you may be considering replacement windows. However, if you live on a historic property, you may be nervous about detracting from your home’s charming architecture and authentic appeal with new windows—and it’s keeping you from pulling the trigger on this excellent investment.
Does this sound like you? If so, you’ll be thrilled to learn there are dozens of options for beautiful, functional replacement windows that will boost the value of your home while still maintaining its historic façade. Let’s take a look at your options:
Can I Replace the Windows on My Historic Home?
If you’re the proud homeowner of a historic property in St. Louis, you likely love the timeless appeal of your home and have already gone to great lengths to preserve its charm. You may have wondered if it’s even okay to replace your home’s original windows—and we’re here to tell you the answer is yes!
Many historic homes undergo window restoration—the process of fixing minor cosmetic issues with your window while maintaining its authentic appearance. However, this process won’t address more significant problems, like safety concerns, difficulty opening and closing your windows, uncomfortable drafts, and wood rot.
When these issues are present, it’s much better to invest in complete window replacement with an experienced local contractor, like Lakeside Renovation & Design. We will assess your home to suggest window styles that will maintain your home’s historic appeal while also solving the frustrating problems you’re experiencing, like sky-high utility bills.
Ways to Maintain Your Home’s Historic Appeal with Replacement Windows
If you decide replacing the windows on your historic home is the right decision for you, here are some things to consider before starting the replacement process:
Do Your Research
Many neighborhoods in St. Louis have preservation guidelines to ensure your home’s appearance remains historically accurate, especially if your property is on the National Register of Historic Places. For example, you may be required to maintain the same horizontal and vertical proportions as your old windows, and you may have limitations on the materials and finishes you can choose for your replacement windows.
Regardless of where you live in St. Louis, perform a quick internet search of your neighborhood, county, or district to ensure you follow the necessary guidelines during your replacement.
Maintain Timeless Features
Your home’s regulations may already require this step, but if not, it’s crucial to choose architectural features for your replacement windows that mimic your windows’ current style to maintain the historic appeal of your home.
Do your windows have grids (also known as divided lites)? If so, you should find replacement windows that can replicate the same grid pattern. What do your windows’ cranks, hinges, and sashes look like? Find hardware that matches their old-fashioned style and current color.
Many popular window brands, like Infinity from Marvin®, offer hundreds of hardware styles and historical features to maintain the timeless style of your home.
Choose Authentic Materials
When your home was built, window materials like vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass weren’t available, and solid wood frames made from pine, mahogany, oak, or maple were used instead. However, despite their timeless appearance, wood windows are prone to damage from moisture, pests, fire, and other uncontrollable factors.
Fortunately, modern window materials, like fiberglass, can mimic the appearance of wood, allowing you to maintain the charming appearance of your historic windows without worrying about the gradual deterioration inevitable with solid wood.
Infinity from Marvin offers fiberglass windows with EverWood®, an engineered woodgrain finish that looks, feels, and stains just like natural wood without the high-maintenance upkeep. This beautiful finish is the perfect alternative to wood windows for historic properties!
Select Historic Styles
Many modern window styles are geared toward contemporary homes, so when choosing windows for your historic property, it’s crucial to steer clear of these styles.
While you should always aim to replicate the appearance of your current windows when investing in a replacement, if you’re desiring (and permitted to make) a change, here are some window styles that tend to look great on historic homes:
- Casement windows—These windows are hinged at the side and open to the left or right, like a door, to flood your home with natural light and refreshing ventilation.
- Bay and bow windows—Though they are two different window styles, bay and bow windows are often listed together because they both include multiple panes for expansive views and protrude outward from your home to create striking curb appeal.
- Single-hung windows—This classic window style features a bottom sash that slides up and down and a fixed upper sash for straightforward operation.
- Double-hung windows—These windows look like single-hung windows, but they have an operable top and bottom sash, making them easier to clean.
Invest in Modern Technology
You don’t have to sacrifice functionality to maintain the historic appeal of your home.
Many brands offer modern upgrades, like triple-pane glass and security features, to boost your home’s energy efficiency and safety. These upgrades won’t change the appearance or historic appeal of your windows, but they will ensure they work better than your old, outdated windows.
Upgrade Your Historic Home with Replacement Windows from Lakeside Renovation & Design
As you can see, several factors must be considered before replacing the windows on your historic home in St. Louis. It’s helpful to have a local contractor familiar with the codes and regulations in your area, like Lakeside Renovation & Design, guide you through the process.
We care about you and your home, so we’ll take plenty of time to listen to your needs and find replacement windows that match and enhance your historic home. We’re also the exclusive contractor for Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows in St. Louis, so you can rest assured you’ll receive precise installation with premium products when you work with our team.
Contact us at Lakeside Renovation & Design to get started on your window replacement for your historic home!