Top Ten Reasons to Repair or Restore Wood Windows Read here
“What Should I Do With My Old Window Sash?” by Alison Hardy Read here
How To Restore Steel Windows by Scott Sidler, The Craftsman Blog Read here
Restoring Steel Windows by Martha McDonald, Traditional Building Read here
A Glossary of Terms for Wood Windows from The G.W Cernich Works Company Read here
The Alliance Review -- Windows Issue Read here
Upgrading Historic Building Windows -- Technical Preservation Guidelines Read here
Secretary of the Interior Standards
Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings; BUILDING Exterior - Windows (1992).
Preservation Brief #9 – The Repair of historic Wooden Windows (1981). Prepared by: Technical Preservation Division, National Park Service.
Preservation Brief #13 – The Repair and Thermal Upgrading of Historic Steel Windows (1981). Prepared by: Technical Preservation Division, National Park Service. Read here
General Information on Historic Windows
This guide provides an illustrated history of window development in the United Kingdom from the Middle Ages to the present and a clear and concise explanation to the question, “Why are windows important?” Numerous photographs, diagrams, and illustrations are used to provide examples of styles, designs, and construction techniques of historic windows. This guide also provides a section on the history of glass and a glossary of window terms. Read here
Historic Windows (n.d.) By the Historic Preservation Education Foundation
Windows of Opportunity: Repair - Don’t Replace - Those Older Wood Windows (2013). By Rebecca Williams, National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Window Repair & Weatherization Guidebook
Are Historic Windows Energy Efficient? (2017). By Scott Sidler
This article discusses the comparisons between replacement windows and historic double hung windows and includes testing completed by the Window Preservation Standards Collaborative showing different types of restoration and weatherstripping techniques and their relative effectiveness on the efficiency of historic wood windows.
Evaluating the Energy Performance of Window Retrofit and Replacement
Homeowners and design professionals seeking to upgrade the performance and efficiency of existing windows are faced with many choices—from simple, low cost, do-it-yourself solutions such as window films and weather stripping to replacing older windows with new ones that require investments costing tens of thousands of dollars. Often these decisions are made without a clear understanding of the range of options available, an evaluation of the ability of these options to provide energy and cost savings, or proper consideration for the historic character of the existing windows. This study builds on previous research and examines multiple window improvement options, comparing the relative energy, carbon, and cost savings of various choices across multiple climate regions. Results of this analysis demonstrate that a number of existing window retrofit strategies come very close to the energy performance of high-performance replacement windows at a fraction of the cost. Read hereWindows Energy Efficiency Facts and Myths
The replacement window industry says that single-pane wood windows cannot be energy efficient and must be replaced. The local historic district design guidelines say that historic windows must be retained, seemingly without regard to energy efficiency. The homeowner is caught in the middle without the facts. The truth is that windows (old or new) are never highly energy efficient when compared with other materials. Will triple-glazed, Low-e, argon gas-filled replacement windows decrease heat loss to a level below that which is allowed by a historic window? Chances are that it will. The big question, though, is whether the decrease will result in a cost savings that makes replacing the windows cost effective. In general, the answer is no. This paper will elaborate on this point. Read here
Reports and Studies
A Comparative Study of the Cumulative Energy Use of Historical Versus Contemporary Windows (2010). By Frank Shirley, AIA. Fred Gamble, PhD, Jarod Galvin, RA, LEED AP.
Saving Windows, Saving Money: Evaluating the Energy Performance of Window Retrofit and Replacement (2016). Produced by the Preservation Green Lab.
Effects of Energy Efficiency Treatments on Historic Windows
This study focused on empirical testing of the energy efficiency and economy of a range of options for upgrading the energy performance of historic windows. The study involved retrofitting windows in a test home in a historic district in Boulder, Colorado. It included testing in a window laboratory facility developed for the study. Read here
The Window Sash Bible: a A Guide to Maintaining and Restoring Old Wood Windows, Steve Jordan, Feb 16, 2015
The Window Sash Bible is about the repair, maintenance, restoration and improvement of old or historic windows made from about 1800 to 1940. With so much misinformation provided by replacement window contractors and vendors, this book aids homeowners, do-it-yourselfers, carpenters, architects, designers, preservation commission members, and anyone in the old-house business make sound decisions about windows. Since most homeowners are unaware of their alternatives, The Window Sash Bible provides an array of options to save money, energy, and historic windows for decades to come.Buy here
Old Windows Made Easy, Scott Sidler
Old Windows Made Easy is the book for anyone who wants to learn the art of window restoration. This is NOT some technical manual that covers a bunch of obscure facts and techniques that only professional preservationists will find useful. It is NOT a comprehensive explanation of the history and function of wood windows.
Working Windows: A Guide to the Repair and Restoration of Wood Windows, Terry Meany
This definitive book covers the operation, care, repair, and restoration of all kinds of wood windows, along with chapters on weather-stripping, repainting, and refinishing.
Save America's Windows, John Leeke
Covers traditional methods and the latest in modern high-tech materials and techniques. Specific step-by-step repair and maintenance treatments. Window project profiles. 177 pages, 257 illustrations.
Window Preservation Standards Book
The national Window Preservation Standards catalogs specific methods for the assessment, maintenance, repair, preservation and weatherization of older and historic wooden windows. Many detailed methods, procedures and materials are included, as well as basic strategies for saving older and historic windows. The Standards were developed and written by more than 100 window specialists who collaborated from all across the United States and Canada. 107 pages with 49 illustrations, color cover, black & white interior, 8.5″ x 11″.
Repairing old and historic windows is a common issue in rehabilitation projects. Should they be repaired or must they be replaced? What can be done to repair a water-damaged sill? Can a window be retrofitted with storm windows? How can windows be replaced while still maintaining their historical integrity? Repairing Old and Historic Windows explores these questions and provides detailed information on how to go about refurbishing windows within current preservation standards. Written for homeowners, architects, builders, engineers, and preservationists, the book is the complete and authoritative guide to window maintenance and repair. Chapters focus on window problems, including deterioration, weather damage, paint problems, and condensation; window maintenance, including cleaning, weatherstripping, and installing shutters; and window replacement, including design, fabrication, and installation. Some 140 photographs and illustrations, many of which are technical drawings, an extensive glossary of window refurbishing terms, and a suggested reading list provide further ideas and guidance for undertaking the repair of old and historic windows. The complete primer on window repair and maintenance.
Old Windows In-Depth is the complete window restoration handbook for anyone serious about restoring their historic wood or steel windows. Almost 200 pages of picture filled tutorials detailing all of the major obstacles that you’ll encounter on the road to restoration.
This book is a greatly expanded version of Old Windows Made Easy, incorporating the text of the original book as well as 120 additional pages of tutorials and information to help you dig into the details of window restoration. This book covers the basic order of operations for the standard restoration of a double hung wood window, but doesn’t stop there. You get additional tutorials like:
- Weatherstripping options (spring bronze, integrated metal, etc.)
- Alternative balances systems (tapes, spirals, jamb liners, etc.)
- Glass & paint options
- Casement techniques
- Single hung windows
- Advanced dutchman and & epoxy techniques
- Steel window restoration
For a simple and cost-effective window restoration book, choose Old Windows Made Easy. For the complete window restoration handbook, choose Old Windows In-Depth containing a full color cover and 190 pages of black & white interior.