Wood windows can be just as energy efficient as their more modern counterparts with the proper weather-stripping and maintenance. Only 10% of air loss is caused by window leakage, with one third coming from drafty floors, walls, and ceilings. Additionally glass in old wood windows can be treated to make them more energy efficient.
This bungalow on Cape Cod was designed by architect Guy Lowell and was built in 1901, (http://www.boston.com/realestate/gallery/030909codman?pg=2) Every five years for five generations we took all the windows and shutters off and painted them. The innumerable coatings of thick oil paint protects the 114 year old windows from intense weather, including hurricanes and blizzards. It was a lot of maintenance but at least I managed to stay out of the years long debates about the color.
Wood vs. Fiberglass & Vinyl
With proper maintenance, wood windows will last longer than any other material and they also look better. Another important positive is that wood is a clean renewable resource. The regulations with respect to logging in the United States means that for every tree cut down, three are planted, ensuring a large wood surplus. (http://lifekills.me/2009/03/18/the-thing-about-logging/)
In the short term, replacement windows made out of vinyl or aluminum will be cheaper and easier to maintain. For the homeowner interested in increased resale value or intends to stay for a very long time, wood windows are the smart choice. Wood windows are also necessary in some cases in order to preserve the historical integrity of a structure. Historic Preservation Overlay Zones are neighborhoods whose architecture is considered to be worth preserving due to their ages and distinctive styles. Repairing or replacing windows must be done in the original style of the building and vinyl is not going to be allowed.
Wood Window & Doors
Wood windows and doors are often found in many older homes, but they can still be the right choice for modern construction. The look and feel of wood is as unmistakable as it is desirable. Wood is warm, paintable or stainable, and can be used in almost any shape.
French; swing-in; crank out; casement; arch top; grids of all shapes, widths and details – there’s virtually no window style for which wood won’t make an excellent choice.It looks fabulous! Yes, wood needs to be regularly painted and maintained. Wood requires a higher level of care than aluminum or fiberglass. It’s like going to the dentist: regular check-ups (in the case of wood window frames, that means bi-yearly maintenance) are the key to good health.
Los Angeles HPOZ Resources & Tashman Incentives
Tashman Home Center is an approved vendor of Los Angeles’ Historic Preservation Overlay Zones and an expert in restoring and replacing windows and doors with historically correct materials and styles. To learn more about the HPOZ program and Tashman’s Incentives, please click Los Angeles Historic Preservation Zones.