Article on Windows

A design review article about historic window repair or replacement.

The first approach should be to repair windows.

The State of Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (History Colorado) recommends rehabilitating (repairing) historic windows. This is especially true if they are reviewing applications for tax credits for National Register-listed properties. Erica Duvic, Preservation Planner, said, “Property owners will rarely see a return on their investment if they replace their historic windows. We have many resources for window rehabilitation, retrofitting, and storm windows.”

The City of Pueblo recommends the same approach for locally-listed historic properties.

“Original wood sash and frame should be repaired whenever possible. See National Parks Service Technical Preservation Brief #9, "the Repair of Historic Wooden Windows."

“Consider epoxy saturation of wood members.” Pueblo’s Standards of Appropriateness, “Upper Floors”, Section

If not repair, then replace with appropriate materials.

If an applicant for a Certificate of Appropriateness can demonstrate that a historic window is beyond repair, then take the restoration approach.

  • “If windows are too deteriorated to repair, replace with new, painted wood or clad windows of the same configuration as the originals.”
  • “The foremost consideration is to preserve the original sight line and brick mold configuration.”
  • “Reuse original glass panes when possible. In some cases, this may require custom construction.”  
  • “Tinted or reflective window glass is not permitted.”

Pueblo Standards of Appropriateness, “Upper Floors”, Section

List of known contractors who repair and/or replace historic windows

If window replacement is a must, especially if replacing modern, non-historic windows, there are contractors who know what products are appropriate for historic buildings. 

The State of Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation maintains a list of these contractors that have performed this type of work in the past for State Historical Fund projects. This list includes contractors that can repair historic windows. 

Disclaimer: Neither History Colorado nor the City of Pueblo guarantees nor recommends these contractors. This is only a list for general information. 

For this list, contact the preservation planner at History Colorado, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, or 303-866-3392. Also see State Preservation Services