Environment‎ > ‎


Matthew D. McKnight posted on the HOPE listserve in response to a question about if windows should be replaced or restored.  Click here to be taken to the message stream about windows and see below for blurb that Matt wrote:

"It is often assumed that you have to replace your windows to achieve any marked improvement in energy reduction. But, existing windows can often be weatherized to achieve efficiencies comparable to new windows. You have to consider the full life-cycle of the windows, including the energy costs to produce the new ones, as well as the fact that new windows often don't last as long. This latter point has to be stressed because old windows were often made from old-growth forest timber using naturally weather resistent woods that we simply don't have around in great quantities anymore. The wood in new wood windows is pretty crummy. Take a look at THIS position statement by the National Trust for Historic Preservation before you decide. You can also get up to a 20% rehabilitation tax credit from the state if you are within the historic district and are willing to replace the deteriorated portions of your windows in a way that does not compromise the historic integrity of the house."

I got the following information from the contractor who put an addition on my house - Neil Mozer - 301 920-1900.  He does historic window renovation.  You may want to give him a call just to cover all your options.

"There’s a quiet revolution sweeping the nation as many historic communities have embraced their roots and are flaunting their history. Specifically the architectural tradition of period homes in historic districts like Hyattsville or nearby University Park is being protected and preserved. Yet, they are still at risk in the path of “modernization.” One salient element in that battle is the preservation of a home’s old windows.

One of a home’s most distinctive characteristics are the windows yet many homeowners feel frustrated by windows that don’t work well, claims that they are inefficient, and concerns about high maintenance. There are many reasons to endorse window restoration even if you are not in a historic district.

First, the performance of your old windows can be brought up to an equal level with today’s replacement windows if a good storm window is used and the old one restored to include energy-efficient weatherstripping. Second, architecturally the restoration of your old windows is by definition the best match for keeping one of the most defining elements of a home’s character. Third, the fact that your old windows have lasted 70-100 years is a testament to the resiliency and the virtue of their old-growth wood.

What products sell in the market today that have lasted 100 years and can last another? Lastly, as a
statement in action that we do support the environment and promote the local economy, window restoration reduces landfill content and supports local craftspeople. 

Mozer Works, Inc is a licensed, insured company in Takoma Park ( tel. 301 920-1900) that does window restoration and is here to support you in choosing to maintain our local heritage. Contact them to find out more about restoration and preservation."