Why Preserve Historic Windows?

If you live in an historic home, you know the beauty and character your home brings to the neighborhood and community as a whole. It’s a special honor to own an historic home, but it also comes with a big responsibility. You can’t really update and modernize the home in the same way other homeowners can.

You have to take into account the historic nature of the property before doing anything permanent – especially if your home has been deemed a historic property by the local historical society or if it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Especially when it comes to historic windows, special care must be taken when updating them for energy efficiency, preserving the value of original features and adhering to local regulations.   For homes that are hundreds of years old, it stands to reason that they will need some updating of some kind.

Wood frames are particularly susceptible to the effects of humidity and temperature. This can result in rot, cracks, and warping. Also, over time, hardware can rust, joints can fail, and movement is less fluid. Also, older homes were built with single-pane glass, which is not nearly as energy-efficient as today’s double- or triple-pane windows. Thankfully, these obstacles can be addressed and overcome with the right historical contractor in Boston behind you.

No doubt Boston is chock full of historical homes and buildings in need of updated windows. It’s important to remember that old windows are not inherently inferior to new windows, but with a few modifications and restorations, your historic building can retain its status while getting a much-needed update. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.

Quality of Wood

Old windows were built with higher quality, old-growth wood that is in many ways far superior to their modern equivalents. As such, they are more resilient and long-lasting, which is why they lasted so long to begin with.

Environmental Impact

The better efficiency of new windows can at first glance can make them appear as the most environmentally-friendly choice, but these windows take up a lot of resources as part of the manufacturing and transportation process.

Lack of longevity often equals more frequent replacement. By comparison, window restoration brings with it a smaller carbon footprint. For example, old windows are made of clean wood and glass, and can last another 200 years when restored and installed correctly.


No doubt about it: window restoration for historic buildings is expensive. That said, modern window replacement usually costs even more, especially over the long term where repairs and replacements are needed frequently due to the increased complexity and more points of failure.


Preserving the original features and materials of a home brings significant value to historic homes. Replacing the old windows with newer alternatives often sacrifices the aesthetic appeal and integrity of the property, undercutting its historic, cultural, and economic worth. You’re essentially destroying the character of the building by removing original windows.

Contact AD Construction

Not all contractors are knowledgeable about historic windows, which is why it’s important to choose a reputable South Shore contractor that has experience in this realm. We are skilled in window preservation projects throughout the area, so get in touch today to book your consultation at 877-345-BUILD.

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