Is Replacing your Historic Home’s Windows Worth it?

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James R. Irvine Construction company specializes in historic home restorations in Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania.  We love being able to breathe life back into older homes, but we always hear the same things from homeowners: ‘First thing is to replace those old windows.’

We agree that older windows can be drafty and inefficient, but there are a few reasons why we think keeping those old windows are a better option.


There is a reason the older windows make the home look beautiful. Those windows were the originals, with the proper proportions and delicate, unique touch that you lose when you replace with newer windows. Older windows also have the unique muntins that go with the original window glass. Muntins are the slender wooden pieces between the panes of glass that show off that period’s style of homes. New muntins are usually wider and can look out of place on most historic homes.

Environmentally Sound

Why throw away perfectly good, functioning windows? If you do want to replace the old windows, try to donate them to antique shops or historic shops first.

Simple Economics

The time it would take to pay back for replacement windows would take nearly 40 years, and that is if the old windows were in really bad shape. The energy savings per window is actually pretty small. It would be better to put your money towards weather-stripping and storm windows instead of replacement windows.

If you decide to keep your old windows and would like to restore them back to their glory days, give Irvine Construction a call. We have been experts in historic home restoration for over 30 years. Take a look at our previous restorations here or our other home projects here.

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