Window Restoration Tips from A to Z


Do you live in an older home? Are you trying to figure out if you should replace your windows, or if you can repair or restore them? We’ll help you find out the differences between restoration and replacement and which one is right for you.

Sometimes old historic windows add to a home’s charm the owners’ don’t want to lose, so restoration could be a possibility. But how do you know if your windows are beyond fixing? Below are some tips on navigating through this process.

A—Analyze your Windows

The windows that can most often be restored to their original condition are wood windows. Chances are, if you have vinyl or aluminum windows and they are more than 25 years old then replacement is likely your best choice.

B—Begin to Research Window Restoration Versus Window Replacement

If your home was built before World War 2, so more than 80 years ago, it’s a good bet that the wood windows were likely custom-built for the house. Replacing them with vinyl, or other options, would not keep that same aesthetic. If this describes your home, you may want to choose window restoration.

C—Choose Your Glass Company Wisely

Whether you are replacing or restoring your windows, be sure to do your research. Glass.com can help you find a reputable company in your area.

D—Discover the Window Replacement Options

If you are replacing windows with something other than wood, then vinyl is a good choice as there are plenty of options there in various price ranges and styles. If you are in a coastal area, ask your window replacement company if aluminum is a good window material for you.

E—Energy Efficient Windows are Key

If you are making the investment in new windows, you want to make sure you are choosing a strong energy-efficient option. Definitely look for the Energy Star label at a minimum, and maybe even consider Energy Star’s Most Efficient label, which will strengthen your energy efficiency even more, and possibly save you money in utility costs.

F—Find a Reputable Glass Company

If you choose window restoration, your options will be more limited in terms of finding an installer. Ask to see photos of other restoration jobs they have done, and ask if they have customer testimonials to share.

G—Glass Options for Windows

The glass in your window will determine how energy-efficient it is, and you can choose from a double glazed or even triple-glazed window. Be sure to ask your window company about how the different glass options will affect energy efficiency in your climate.

H–Historic Wood Windows

Historic wood is believed to be of better quality than today’s lumber. Evidence shows that old-growth lumber is stronger and more resistant to rot than today’s lumber. This is another reason to not be so quick to replace those old wood windows. Even if you replaced them with new wood windows, remember the quality of the wood may not be the same.

I–Invest Wisely in Windows

Restoring old windows is what window restoration companies do. But if they tell you your wood windows are beyond repair, then investing in a high-quality wood window replacement may be worth the investment.

J—Just Do It

Stop putting off your window restoration project. For many people, a home’s windows are an afterthought. Windows, though, have just as much of a visual impact as new siding, a roof, or a front door.

K—Keep your Window Options Open

It is important to do your research beforehand and to ask a lot of questions when meeting with your restoration or replacement specialists.

L—Locate the Best Window Restoration Company for Your Needs

Again, Glass.com can help you locate a reputable company to restore or replace your windows.

M—Manage your Money

It is important to develop a budget for your project. There are financing options available as well. Check out all your financing alternatives.

N—New Windows

Buying new windows is usually a once in a lifetime experience. Think of it as an investment, and choose wisely. You don’t want to look back and wish you went with the more energy-efficient, and perhaps slightly more expensive, option.

O—Old Windows

If you are working with a restoration specialist, ask lots of questions about the process of how they are restoring your old wood windows. If you are replacing, ask your window company, if they can and will be, recycling your old window parts.

P—Ponder Your Timeline

Even if you did all your research, and found the company you want to go with, don’t feel rushed. If you decide in November but feel like that will be stretching your finances over the holidays then choose a date that works best for you. But make that decision and then develop a budget so you can stick to that decision.

Q—Quaint—is it for you?

If you do have those old wood windows made of hearty, well-made wood, ask yourself if you want to preserve those old wood windows through restoration. Or you can replace them with a more modern, yet strong quality alternative.

R—Restoration Companies

Depending on where you live, it may take some time to find a good restoration company, as these are not in such large supply as window replacement companies. So don’t rush it. Be prepared to wait a little, to get what you want in the end.

S—Save Energy

Whether you are restoring or replacing, talk to both professionals about how they can help you save energy through your new—or restored—windows.

T—Talk it Over

Chances are if your house is 100 years old, then so are your neighbor’s houses. Talk to them to see what steps they have taken with their windows. This can save you a lot of leg work and can help you through your decision process.

U—Understand that the Decision is Up to You

Although you may ask others for what they have found, remember to weigh all your choices and to make the decision that is right for you—your budget your style—and more.

V—Value

Think of the value you are adding to your home, whether you sell your home or pass it down to a family member.

W—Wood Windows Were Made to be Repaired

This is the thought of many industry experts, so don’t forget to explore this alternative as a viable one.

X—Examine the options

Okay, it doesn’t actually start with the letter “X”, but you get the idea.

Y—You. It all starts with you.

Making the decision to restore your home’s windows is the first step. The second step is to contact Glass.com so that we can match you with a local window restoration expert in your area.

Z—Zoning and Historic Preservation

If your home is part of a historic neighborhood, has a National Register of Historic Places, or designation of another preservation society, you’ll want to check with these protective resources first to find out what is allowed. Some may have specific requirements regarding what is allowed, and what isn’t when it comes to restoring your home’s windows.


When you’re ready to restore or replace your home’s windows, trust the professionals at Glass.com to help you find a local residential window specialist in your area. To learn more about the window restoration and repair services provided at Glass.com, call us at 888-854-5277 or complete our online contact form.

Glass.com attempts to provide accurate information but cannot be held liable for any information provided or omitted.  You should always work with a licensed, insured and reputable glass shop that can assess your specific needs and local building codes and offer professional services. Never attempt to cut, install, or otherwise work with glass yourself. All content is provided on an informational basis only.

© 2020 Glass.com Inc. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed written permission. Questions? Contact info@glass.com.


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By Tara Taffera

Tara Taffera is the editorial director for USGlass magazine, Auto Glass Repair and Replacement, and Window Film magazines. Her skills and more than 20 years of experience have helped her earn numerous journalism awards, including coveted Jesse Neal Awards.

Tara enjoys spending time with her family and staying active with her husband by competing in races together, including triathlons. She also spends time volunteering in her community and with her church.


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