Expert Tips to Retrofit Windows in Your Sacramento Home

What makes Sacramento one of the most unique cities in California is the wide variety of homes that one finds in the city’s many distinct neighborhoods, from the old Victorians in Midtown to mid-century dwellings in places like Curtis and Tahoe Park to the fancier, classic styles in a neighborhood like East Sacramento. Simply put, Sacramento homes have some serious curb appeal, a real estate agent’s favorite term to describe attractive and distinct houses.

One major contributing factor to the city’s curb appeal is the shape and style of windows, which are often wood-framed and irregularly-shaped, as per the architectural trends that were fashionable when those homes were first built. This means that standard window installation and upgrade jobs sometimes aren’t right for these classic properties, and to maintain the personality and charm of historic homes, homeowners need to take extra care to retrofit windows to their Sacramento abodes.

Homeowners shouldn’t hesitate to have new windows installed on their old Sacramento homes. New frame and pane technologies can do wonders for temperature and noise insulation, but installing them can be tricky, requiring more care for older homes than newer ones. A mistake can be costly and impossible to undo, but tips from an expert can protect your house when retro fitting windows, much like a well-insulated window keeps the elements at bay.

Why You Should Retrofit Windows in Your Sacramento Home

how to retrofit new windows in old Sacramento housesIf you are fortunate enough to live in one of those classic Sacramento homes, one day, you are going to need new windows. That’s a fact. When that day comes, you’re going to have to decide between a retrofit job or a totally new installation that does not preserve the original structural integrity and existing aesthetic of the design.

Every homeowner’s individual situation, of course, is unique, but when I suggest retrofitting windows for Sacramento homeowners, the reason why is usually about more than just historical preservation of house designs. Here are some other reasons why retrofit windows can be the best way to go, both economically and aesthetically:

  • Cost efficiency: On the surface, it can seem like new construction windows will end up being cheaper, but they’re often designed for installation into newer homes, not taking into account the special needs and designs of older houses. Factoring in the costs of restructuring a window opening, as well as subsequently redoing portions of the nearby wall, new windows often represent a more expensive route for older homeowners to go.
  • Stylish consistency: If done properly, a retrofit window project will result in having new and improved double pane windows with better frames, all while keeping the aesthetic qualities that have been inherent to the house when it was first built. You also won’t have to worry about repairing or replacing any of the existing finish on your home.
  • A faster installation period: Simply put, a retrofit window project involves much less work than a new installation. Less work means that there will be less time from start to completion, and less disruption for you and your home.

How You Should Retrofit Windows in Your Sacramento Home

One of my hobbies is working on classic cars. To me, older vehicles have a special level of craftsmanship that’s hard to find these days. It sounds cliched, but they really don’t make ‘em like they used to. Given their age, increasingly outmoded design, and high values, these classic cars take special care. Homes with retrofit projects are often the same way, whether it’s one of the Sacramento classics that have been around for decades or a newer home where you want to preserve the existing aesthetics.

Here are some expert tips that I highly recommend considering when replacing windows:

  • Upgrade your windows: This one sounds simple, but I’ve seen homeowners who are so concerned with keeping their houses exactly the same that they’ve hesitated to embrace modern window technology. I’ve talked at length about choosing the best replacement windows to install, going into detail about why double pane windows are a personal favorite. I’ve also talked about the benefits of installing vinyl windows. The point here is to find new windows to fit in with your house while also saving you money by being more energy efficient.
  • Work with an experienced window professional: The single easiest way to make sure your retrofit window project is done right is to entrust it to a window installation professional who has done similar projects on many homes under different circumstances. This person can help you find the perfect window upgrades that will preserve the look and feel of your home while also maximizing things like energy efficiency and noise reduction, all while expediting the process and ensuring no unneeded damage to the window areas is done.
  • Know your home: The key to any successful retrofit window project is a careful and thorough evaluation of the existing physical conditions in your home. Sacramento has as wide a variety of houses as any city I’ve ever seen, with no wide majority of physical qualities to be found. At minimum, you should note the following so that you can be better informed when you start discussing your new project with an industry professional:
    • Condition of paint
    • Condition of frame and sill
    • Condition of sash (rails, stiles and muntins, etc.)
    • Location of window
    • Overall condition of window (fair, excellent, damaged, etc.)

Spend any time in Sacramento and you’ll eventually hear the phrase “Remember the Alhambra.” What this refers to is a now infamous incident from the seventies when developers bought the old Alhambra Theater that dated back to 1929, knocked it down, and put a Safeway in its place. Folks around town were upset that something old with so much character had been knocked down and replaced by something new. They’ve started using that slogan to help preserve other landmarks in the city, which is why we have so many cool old buildings, houses and neon signs.

So, remember the Alhambra when you decide to do a retrofit window project in your own Sacramento home. Work with an experienced window professional who can help you preserve all that makes your home special while also helping you to upgrade to newer, more modern windows that will last for years to come.

Learn more about retrofit window installation projects and how they can affect the efficiency and value of your entire home. Contact the trained professionals at Bell Brothers today.

Image courtesy Unsplash user Laura Lee Moreau