Does saving your historic windows save money?
This search returns more than 2 million results in Google, at the time of this writing.
Is it an important question. Absolutely.
Until recently, the argument was really divided by those who stood on one side or the other:
- Feeling of responsibility to the authenticity of your historic building or
- The financial feasibility
Often, you’ll hear people throw up the “energy-efficiency” aspect as an argument for not saving historic windows. This has been debunked on many occasions, by experts and by controlled experiments.
And yet, restoring and preserving historic wood windows is still not mainstream.
That is a bone of contention for us.
Lifetime Sash Removes the Barriers to Saving Historic Windows
Wood Window Makeover (WWM) has been preserving and restoring historic windows for more than a decade. I am Steve Quillian, WWM’s founder and an expert craftsman. I have a vision for historic restoration. It’s also a palpable passion… a purpose-driven mission… perhaps a spiritual connection… to the spirit of each hand-crafted window.
Retaining the spirit of the craftsman whose hands, sweat and vision carefully and artfully crafted each window is of critical importance. Preserving and restoring the original sash and window elements is also a priority, whenever possible.
As the volume of customers grew for Wood Window Makeover, so did my awareness that there must be a better way to make historic preservation and restoration a competitive option.
Two Obstacles & Arguments that Give Replacement Companies Leverage
As buildings are aging more rapidly and in greater volume than at any other time in history, two things have made preservation and historically accurate restoration a real obstacle to building owners and home owners:
- The lack of qualified preservationists and restorationists
- The cost of the craftsmanship
This is Economics and Supply and Demand 101. The fewer the expert craftsmen and women, the greater the demand. Let’s not fail to acknowledge that this is work that is done by hand.
Historic windows are not machined or made on an assembly line.
Work performed by human hands, by expertly trained and gifted human hands, is expensive. It is also a time consuming process.
Therefore, the cost of restoration and maintenance creates a financial obstacle for many.
Historic Preservation – A Responsibility. Not a Luxury.
Let’s be real. Not everyone can afford this.
Many would finish that last sentence with the word “luxury.”
Not me. Not Wood Window Makeover.
Historic preservation is not a luxury. It is a responsibility.
We’ve written a lot about it and it is our tagline:
Protect • Preserve • Restore
Lifetime Preservation • A Passion, Not a Luxury
Mike, one of our Certified Preferred Partners, wrote a passionate blog about the responsibility to historic preservation.
It bothers me that many consider historic wood window restoration a luxury.
I have been given a strong mission to make historic preservation available to everyone.
Not only to make it available, but to make it the thing everyone does. It’s important to me to resolve every logical argument and obstacle associated with retaining the historical integrity of an old home.
The window replacement companies saw the opportunity and capitalized on it.
Some in our industry refer to them as the “window pirates.”
I often refer to them as “The Machine.”
Well, first of all because this is a multi-billion dollar industry – annually.
The window replacement industry has done everything possible to create a low cost alternative to historic preservation and restoration.
They’ve taken all the overhead out of the process.
The Machine has taken the obstacles out.
They’ve also removed the eyes of the soul and the spirit of the craftsman from every home in which they replaced the historic windows.
They have trained sales people who have well-polished sound bites that speak to the emotions and pocket books of the homeowner and building owner. They’ve developed a process that makes sense to many consumers.
Take out those old drafty, squeaky, crooked, hard to shut and hard to open windows. No more window maintenance. No more loss of air conditioning or heating. More time for you. More money left in your pocket at the end of every year.
That’s mostly false. But, let’s face it. When it is what you want to hear, you believe it.
Many of these companies will even finance the windows for you.
What they don’t tell you is that you just enrolled your beautiful, historic home into a:
- Never-ending debt cycle
- Lower resale value stats – from which it cannot recover
- Metaphorical castration-cycle of stripping other historic elements and basically, bastardizing your home’s authenticity
- Buyer-category who will never appreciate it’s authentic history, spirit and beauty
Before you can finish paying off these synthetic, lower-class replacements, their mechanisms have broken, they don’t open and shut properly and they look awful. They need to be replaced.
Preserving and Restoring Historic Wood Windows – We’ve Removed the Barriers
It was critically important to Wood Window Makeover to be able to remove these barriers to wood window preservation and restoration.
If Wood Window Makeover could remove the barriers, historic preservation and restoration could compete with the window pirates or The Machine – on equal ground.
These are the barriers we knew we would have to resolve:
- Level the playing field – Equalize or reduce the financial investment of historic preservation and restoration, so that the financial argument is resolved and no longer exists
- Train and certify expert historic wood window preservation and restoration crafts-people so that supply meets the demand
- Replicate or restore sash that will require little to no maintenance
- Craft sash that are resistant to the environmental enemies of natural to wood, especially wood windows
- Use a wood product that had the same qualities as the old-growth wood originally used for historic wood windows and sash
- Provide a lifetime guarantee so that homeowners, building owners and contractors have faith in the longevity of the window and their investment
- Educate and create awareness of the availability, the opportunity, the demand and the capacity to provide an affordable, life-time guaranteed, energy efficient, nearly-no-maintenance historic window
- Get the word out to historic homeowners, building owners, preservationists, restorationists, contractors, handymen and handy-women so that they will become aware of the opportunity to grow a thriving business and preserve our historic communities, our culture and our history
After tireless pursuit, endless investments and effort, Wood Window Makeover has successfully eliminated every one of these barriers.
Lifetime Sash – Historically Accurate Replicate Sash Guaranteed for Life
We have developed the ability to replicate any historic window or sash and guarantee it for life.
We are able to manufacture replicate sash within a matter of days (not weeks) and have them in your hands in as little as 7 days or less.
You get to promise that lifetime guarantee to your customer.
Wood Window Historic Preservation and Restoration Training and Certification
We have developed a historic wood window preservation and restoration training and certification program.
We are making it possible for more historic craftsmen, contractors and handy-people to provide and grow their restoration and preservation services to historic building owners.
No Reason to Choose a Non-Wood Window Window Replacement
The barriers to retaining the historic integrity of a home or building have been removed. There is absolutely no solid argument – convenience, energy, or financial – to choose the synthetic window replacement.
Whether you are a historic building owner, homeowner, contractor or handyman you have access to:
- Professional historic preservation and restoration training and certification
- Affordable, historical, handmade sash replications that are guaranteed to last a lifetime
- Training and mentoring for those who want to start or build a six-digit wood window restoration business
Have questions? Call us or send us your question using the form at the bottom of this blog.
Want to start or grow a six-figure wood window preservation business?
Give us call and download our ebook, “How to Start and Build a Six-Figure Business.”