a set of finely crafted wooden Georgian style windows with doors set in a white frame, with white sills and caramel coloured walls. The view through the windows are towards a beautiful countryside garden.

How to Choose the Right Windows for Your Historic Home

5 minutes, 45 seconds Read


When it comes to preserving the charm and character of a historic home, choosing the right windows is of paramount importance. Windows not only provide natural light and ventilation but also contribute significantly to the overall aesthetics of your home. In this article, we will explore the essential factors to consider when selecting windows for your historic property.

Assess Your Home’s Architectural Style

The first step in choosing the right windows for your historic home is to assess its architectural style. Different architectural styles, such as Victorian, Colonial, Craftsman, or Georgian, have distinct window designs that complement the overall look. Identify the architectural style of your home to guide your window selection process.

Historic Preservation Guidelines

Before making any decisions, research and understand the historic preservation guidelines in your area. These guidelines may have specific requirements for window materials, styles, and sizes. Complying with these regulations is essential to maintain the historical integrity of your home.

Window Materials

Historic homes often feature windows made from wood. Wood provides a classic and authentic look that matches the period of your home. However, modern options like vinyl and fiberglass can offer energy efficiency and durability while mimicking the appearance of wood.

Window Style

Consider the style of windows that best suits your historic home. Double-hung windows are a popular choice for many architectural styles, offering versatility and a timeless look. Casement, bay, and bow windows are also options to explore, depending on your home’s design. Preserve the charm of your historic home while upgrading its functionality. Explore the timeless elegance of Casement Windows for a perfect fit.

Window Size and Proportion

Maintaining the original window size and proportion is crucial for preserving your home’s historical accuracy. Work with a professional window supplier who can customize windows to match the precise dimensions of your existing openings.

Energy Efficiency

While preserving the historical charm of your home is essential, it’s equally important to make your home energy-efficient. Look for windows with high Energy Star ratings to save on energy costs while reducing your carbon footprint.

Glass Options

Consider the type of glass suitable for your historic windows. Insulated glass can improve energy efficiency, while restoring old, wavy glass can add authenticity to your home’s appearance.

Hardware and Accessories

Pay attention to the hardware and accessories for your windows. Select handles, locks, and hinges that match the era of your home, enhancing its overall aesthetics.


Proper installation is critical for ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your windows. Hire experienced professionals who specialize in historic window installations to guarantee a seamless fit.


Historic windows require regular maintenance to stay in good condition. Create a maintenance schedule for painting, sealing, and repairing your windows to extend their lifespan.

Budget Considerations

Budget is a significant factor in your window selection process. While preserving historical accuracy is important, consider the cost implications of your choices. Balance your desire for authenticity with your financial resources.

Consult with Experts

Consulting with architects, preservationists, and experienced window professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance during your window selection process.

Consider Tax Credits

Many regions offer tax incentives or credits for homeowners who invest in preserving historic properties. Check with local authorities to see if you qualify for any financial incentives.

Aesthetics and Curb Appeal

Lastly, consider how your chosen windows will enhance the curb appeal and aesthetics of your historic home. Well-chosen windows can significantly increase the overall visual appeal of your property.

Understanding the Architectural Style

Before selecting windows for your historic home, it’s essential to understand the architectural style of the property. Different architectural styles have distinct window designs that contribute to their overall character. Whether it’s Victorian, Colonial, Craftsman, or Georgian, each style has unique window features that should be considered during the selection process.

Preserving Historical Accuracy

Preserving the historical accuracy of your home is paramount when choosing windows. Opt for window styles, materials, and designs that align with the original features of the property. Consider researching historical photographs or consulting with preservation experts to ensure that your window choices maintain the authenticity of the home.

Material Selection

When choosing windows for a historic home, it’s essential to select materials that offer both durability and authenticity. Traditional materials like wood are often preferred for their aesthetic appeal and ability to match the original window design. However, modern materials such as fiberglass or aluminum-clad wood can offer improved energy efficiency and longevity without sacrificing historical accuracy.

Customization Options

Many historic homes feature unique window designs that require custom solutions. Work with experienced window manufacturers or craftsmen who specialize in historic preservation to create custom windows tailored to your home’s specific architectural features. Customization options may include intricate grille patterns, curved or arched window shapes, and historically accurate hardware.

Energy Efficiency Considerations

While preserving historical accuracy is crucial, it’s also essential to consider energy efficiency when choosing windows for a historic home. Look for windows with high-performance glass, low-emissivity coatings, and weather-stripping to improve energy efficiency without compromising the home’s historical integrity. Additionally, consider installing storm windows or secondary glazing to enhance insulation and thermal performance.

Regulatory Requirements

Before replacing windows in a historic home, be sure to check local preservation ordinances and regulations. Some historic districts have strict guidelines governing window replacement, including approved materials, designs, and installation methods. Obtain any necessary permits and approvals before proceeding with window replacement to avoid potential fines or legal issues.

Consulting with Preservation Professionals

When in doubt, seek guidance from preservation professionals who specialize in historic window restoration and replacement. These experts can provide invaluable insight and recommendations based on their knowledge of historical architecture and preservation best practices. Working with preservation professionals ensures that your window replacement project adheres to preservation standards while meeting your aesthetic and functional requirements.


Choosing the right windows for your historic home is a decision that requires careful consideration of architectural style, preservation guidelines, materials, and more. By following these guidelines and consulting with experts, you can ensure that your windows not only preserve the historical integrity of your home but also provide modern comfort and energy efficiency.


  1. Are historic windows more expensive than modern ones? Historic windows can be more expensive due to customization and materials, but they offer authenticity and charm that modern windows may lack.
  2. Do I need to replace all my historic windows at once? You can replace them gradually, prioritizing the most deteriorated ones, as long as they match the original style.
  3. Can I get tax credits for preserving my historic windows? Depending on your location and local incentives, you may be eligible for tax credits for preserving historic windows.
  4. Are there energy-efficient options for historic windows? Yes, you can find energy-efficient historic window options with insulated glass and weather stripping.
  5. What if my historic home has unique window requirements? Consult with a preservation expert or architect to find the best solutions for your unique historic home’s windows.

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