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One of the most important repairs you may ever make on your home can be to the windows. When you have a historical home, their value takes on extra meaning. Most windows on historical homes are single-pane energy drainers, but the value of a historical home can down if you have modern day windows installed; the owner of such a house has a major decision to make. Which is more important? The market value of the home, or the expense to maintain the energy efficiency in a home with historical windows? In the next article we examine some of types of windows and styles and the value they can have for the homeowner.
Wood Frames: These are the most basic and can be found on older homes as well as some newer ones. While pleasing to the eyes, they are the most difficult to keep up, requiring almost constant protection and repair from rot. The cost of these over time might outweigh the beauty.
Fiberglass: These are durable and expensive. Because they last for a long time, the cost may cover itself over the years, not to mention the fact that they are low maintenance.
Vinyl frames: Like fiberglass frames, these require less work to keep up than wood frames--in fact, because they are inexpensive and durable, they are very popular and save homeowners money over time.
Glazing or Window Glass
Having more than one layer of glazing (window glass) is important because it helps to keep energy inside of the home. Whether using heat or air-conditioning, keeping the energy inside, and the varying elements out, saves the consumer money on energy costs. Most multi-layer/multi-pane glass contains inert gas, such as argon, in-between the panes; this helps to seal in energy.
Low-E coating: Low-E glass has a coating of metallic oxide that effectively protects energy from seeping outside of the home.
The Cost of Repair
This can vary widely, depending on what you need. If you are short on cash, you may be able to procure a loan to cover the expense. However, it is a good idea to search for the best deals, as interest rates may be more of a burden in the long run. If you own a historical property, it is a good idea to check with the Historical Preservation Society for special loans or arrangements that you can get to replace the windows on your home. Whatever you choose to do, it is a good idea to check multiple resources for the best value you can afford.