Q: I live in an old New England home that’s very special to me. Unfortunately, I’m having a lot of trouble finding the right replacement windows and other updates because I’m afraid of losing my home’s character. How can I maintain historic charm while making my home better protected from the elements?
A: The good news is that you don’t have to choose between charm and modern materials. When upgrading historic homes, there are several factors to keep in mind: color, character, and quality of products.
Here are a few examples of how to maintain that charm with windows, doors, and vinyl siding.
Selecting Historically Accurate Siding Replacement
When you’re searching for vinyl siding replacement in MA, you want to find siding that looks strikingly similar to the original exterior. While some homeowners fear that vinyl siding looks fake, rest assured that quality vinyl siding or James Hardie® fiber cement can look very close to authentic wood exterior.
Look for the following qualities to keep your home’s historic charm:
1. Vinyl Siding with Realistic Woodgrain Patterns
Cheap siding replacement likely won’t have the fine details of authentic woodgrain patterns. Choose vinyl siding that is imprinted from multiple molds of real wood and produced in a non-repetitive fashion. This helps to achieve historical accuracy for your exterior.
2. Staggered, Hand Cut Appearance
Some historic homes have cedar shakes, which is striking for curb appeal and still popular today. The authenticity of cedar shakes is hard to replicate, but we’ve mastered the art here at Coastal Windows & Exteriors. Our vinyl cedar shakes provide a staggered appearance that appears hand cut from some of the first settlers in the area. Deep grooves and rugged texture further enhance your exterior while providing historical accuracy.
3. Traditional Colors
The color of your historic home may reflect the time period it was built. For example, the earliest New England homes from the 1700s were painted in several shades of blues and tans. As the centuries progressed, dark siding with white trim became popular as early as the 1780s to the 1840s. You’ll find colors such as dark greens, barn red, and even variations of yellow. Find vinyl siding that reflects the closest color to your original exterior.
Vinyl siding certainly helps maintain your home’s charm, but let’s not forget another important aspect of the exterior: windows.
Popular Replacement Windows and Styles for Historic Homes
There’s no shortage of historic home styles here in New England. When replacing windows in older homes, here are a few hints to consider depending on architectural style.
- Colonial homes – A classic New England architecture, these windows are best served with casement and double hung windows.
- Georgian homes – Featuring symmetry and straight lines, the double hung complements this curb appeal quite perfectly.
- Victorian homes – One of the most eclectic home style feature many types of windows, including double hung, geometric, awning, and casement.
- Cape Cod homes – Another New England classic, double hung windows and picture windows serve Cape cod homes well.
No matter what window style you choose, be sure that the windows are engineered with 100% virgin vinyl to prevent peeling and rotting. You’ll also want energy-efficient glass packages to further insulate your home. Old homes can be cold and drafty, and outdated windows can lead to 25% or more of your home’s energy loss!
Lastly, let’s talk about how entry door replacement can enhance your historic homes.
Stately Entry Doors: Impeccable Craftsmanship
When you’re looking for entry door replacement with historic homes, one word comes to mind: custom. Every entry door from centuries ago was handcrafted with unique and stunning features.
These tips will help you replicate even the most beautiful historic doors for your home:
- Consider the time period of your home. For example, entry doors that were built in the late 1800s featured Queen Anne and Colonial Revival These entry doors are quintessential and include decorative glass features, especially on the top portion of the door. Today’s modern entry doors feature a variety of decorative glass features to reflect the beauty of historic doors.
- Choose the color wisely. Keeping on trend with Victorian homes, it was popular to use dark earth-tone colors such as forest green, muddy browns, and even dark yellow. However, red doors stand the test of time and look exquisite on many different architectures.
- Get the look of real wood without the maintenance. Quality fiberglass doors are designed with an incredibly durable skin that won’t rot from moisture damage. Wood rot on your door can lead to overall structural damage and substantial energy loss.
See Your Historic Home for FREE in 3D With New Exterior Upgrades
No matter the era or style of your home, Coastal Windows & Exteriors can help maintain historic charm while making your home more energy efficient. When you schedule a free design consultation, we will show what your new exterior will look like for FREE in 3D. Enjoy seeing any of our product profiles and colors on your home. Contact us today for a free design consultation.