Q:  Why shouldn't I replace my old windows?

A: Traditionally constructed windows are maintainable - you are able to remove, scrape, oil and repaint the sash, replace glass and glazing compound, replace the sash cords and parting beads, clean and lubricate the pulleys and edges of the sash and stops, and maintain both interior and exterior casings to prevent infiltration.  Using a storm sash improves thermal performance during the winter, protects the operable sash, and gives you an opportunity to inspect your windows twice a year.  If you compromise the integrity of a traditional dwelling by installing "maintenance free" replacement windows, there's nothing you can do - except replace them again.  It's true that you can improve overall thermal performance by replacing windows - but not by much.  The r-value of the windows might go from 2 to 4 (doubled - wow!), but the windows take up a small area within the wall, which might have an r-value of 16. 
So, if you don't like your windows, determine what's wrong with them, and how to remedy the situation.  If you can make your old windows function as well as they did when they were young, then you will have learned to love them.

Q:  Why do enduring buildings seem to be a thing of the past?

A: The shoddy old buildings have fallen down, so they're not part of our frame of reference, but - more importantly - the context in which we make building decisions has shifted.  To housing industry professionals, laminate flooring represents a predictable ample profit margin, so they'll tend to recommend it, since most of us have yet to realise that laminate doesn't belong on a floor.  Realtors, who tend to think of houses as investments, may recommend installation of granite counter tops and recreational plumbing fixtures, even if you don't want them, because the housing market expects them.  Corporations and universities may put up show-piece buildings filled with design flaws obvious to their users.  In these cases, building decisions are problematical in the context of a rate of growth seen in nature typically when systems are out of kilter - in a locust swarm, for instance, or cancer.

Q: How do I register my property on the National Registry of Historic Places?

A: Read the Article >>

Q: How do I research my home?

A: Read the Article >>

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