How to Know if You Need to Restore or Replace Steel Windows in Your Historical Property

If you have a historic piece of property and are aiming to have it renovated, you have more than a few considerations to think about. And this includes deciding on replacing particular parts or components or simply having them restored. Take windows, for example. Old steel windows are quite distinctive and can benefit from refurbishment, but is it worth it? Is it better to just replace old steel windows rather than have them restored? This is one of the foremost questions best answered by the experts, so here’s how you can know if you need to restore or replace steel windows in your historical property.

The first order of business

First of all, before you can make a logical decision, it would be best if you consult with a professional in preservation who knows about the period and style of your building’s construction. They can decide how essential the steel windows are to your building’s overall look and façade and whether or not the loss of those steel windows would denigrate the building’s architectural appeal and aesthetic. There are indeed a lot of differences between replacing period steel windows with new aluminium windows. This includes the dimension and scale of each component, such as the stiles, mullions, shadow lines, and muntins. Even if your property is no longer used for its original purpose – if it has changed from a manufacturing facility to a residential space, for example – you should still assess how central the windows are to the original feel and character of the building. If this is so, it’s better to have your steel windows restored rather than replaced.

What to look for

Several aspects can also help you decide regarding window restoration or replacement, as experts in Crittall window repairs such as confirm. One aspect you should remember is that surface rusting will always look worse than it is. Unless the window is already severely corroded, resulting in a great loss of the window’s material as well as a loss of the window’s sash members and frame, you can still opt for restoration, which is also more economical and successful.

The basic process

You also have to assess the windows’ condition to determine the feasibility of either bringing the windows to the shop or restoring them on-site. The expert you choose should develop a comprehensive and logical numbering strategy or system for the windows so they can address them using elevation drawings or a floor plan. Experts should also conduct a window survey so they can come up with a schedule complete with photographs that will show the types of problems the windows have and their extent.

The most common issues

There are some issues with steel windows that are more common than most, but if you choose an expert in restoration, they should address these issues successfully. One common issue is corrosion caused by moisture or standing water, and the level or degree of corrosion will determine whether the work can be carried out on-site or the window has to be taken to the shop. Corrosion or rust could be minor, moderate, or severe, and a professional in restoration can expertly assess this to figure out what they need to do.

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