Irritated by drafts and sometimes smoky air infiltrating their widows, owners of a nice old home in Irvington thought their best option was to replace them with new top quality windows.
To their surprise, the City of Portland said…not so fast.
Because the 114-year old home is in the Irvington Historic District, the city is fussy about swapping out windows in historic structures. The concern is echoed in districts throughout the country because window sash sizes, shapes and depths contribute to the overall character of historic facades.
The lesson here applies to almost any older house, whether it is in a historic district or not: Repair in most cases is a cheaper, longer-lasting option than replacement. This realization gets lost in the steady drumbeat of advertisements for replacement windows on many media platforms.
While we’re at it, we should say that the worst possibilities as replacements are the widely-advertised vinyl windows that often warp under prolonged sunshine exposure.
“As any homeowner can attest, the seals on double-glazed windows can fail within 10 years of installation, resulting in condensation forming between the panes. Weatherstripping cracks off, leaving gaps around the window that allow cold air to blow in. And when is the last time you saw a window repair company that you could call to fix them? These windows were created with obsolescence in mind, unlike historic windows.”
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