I've been reading all these posts on the mutitude of so-called "Green" websites and blogs with great interest. They mostly say you should get rid of your old and historic windows in favor of disposable replacement windows. This is truly anti-green and anti-energy efficiency!
Are new replacement products well suited for old and historic houses? Hardly. If you stop and think about how old houses are built and how they were intended to work it becomes clear, most replacement products don't cut the mustard.
A kitchen cabinet is just a kitchen cabinet, right? Well, not exactly. Next to buying a house or sending your kids to college, designing and installing a new kitchen will be one of the most expensive endeavors a homeowner will ever undertake.
Over the years I've been around and worked on many steel casement windows in Tudor Revival style homes as well as commercial buildings. They were popular from about 1910 to 1935. I've also seen many homeowners rip them out and replace them with inferior and less energy efficient windows.
Alien ships have landed. At least it appears that way when you look at some of the additions on millions of old and historic homes across America. Plopped onto our homesteads are some of the most curious and seemingly disconnected structures imaginable. Homeowners, builders, not-for-profits and yes, architects are responsible for these extraterrestrial designs.
Many years ago I was standing in a small library I had just completed. It had custom designed bookcases that flowed with the design of the 1882 house, birds eye maple floors, wainscoting, and just about every whoop-dee-doo you could imagine. By all rights it was a killer room, but something was missing.
Replacement siding can seem like a really great way to make your house look better and avoid the hassles of painting. That's the big lie.
My wife Pat and I were recently at the 1866 Italianate brick home of some new friends. Their home is in good shape but has three interior, exposed brick walls in the kitchen. They showed me where all the mortar is crumbling, which in turn leaves this nasty grit all over their counter tops. "We would like to keep this old look. What should we do?" they asked.