The placement and relationship of the size of windows and doors within and to wall surfaces and the type of windows and doors historically present are important characters and defining elements. Their placement, size, shape, function, detailing, and structure is associated with different architectural styles, building traditions, and historical periods. A photograph over 50 years old can provide information on window and door size, shape, pane pattern, details, and even shutters used in the historic period.
Historic windows were designed to be easily repaired, and repair is usually less costly than replacement windows. Using storm windows with historic windows can increase energy efficiency without damaging the character of the building.
Since windows and doors are such important features, conducting any repair or replacement that involves changes or replacement of historic windows, doors or related features without a Certificate of Appropriateness can result in penalties.
- Protecting and maintaining the wood and metals that comprise the frame, sash, muntins, and surrounds of windows in historic buildings.
- Repair and caulk windows to ensure working order.
- Replace working parts that cannot be repaired with appropriate new parts.
- Retaining original doors and entries.
- Retaining original door and window hardware.
- Removing original windows and replacing them with aluminum, vinyl, or other window types or materials.
- Changing the function or pane pattern.
- Installing a different sized window.