Window repair is better than replacement
The city of Glendale was correct in denying approval of Terry Shain's front replacement windows in order to protect one of Glendale's most architecturally distinct neighborhoods ("Sure wish I could pick my own windows," Aug. 11).
"Modernizing" a 1930s-period revival home with inappropriate replacement windows would not only ruin the architectural integrity and value of Shain's home, it would negatively affect the value of surrounding properties as well.
It appears that Shain, like many other Glendale homeowners, has been sold a bill of goods. Window replacement is in fact a bad investment; it decreases the desirability and value of character homes and neighborhoods. And replacement windows do not significantly improve a home's energy-efficiency.
Statistical studies have shown that it takes at least 40 years for the average window replacement project to pay for itself in energy savings, but the typical replacement window needs replacing after only about 20 years. The energy consumed in manufacturing, transporting and installing replacement windows is actually several times more than the windows could possibly conserve in their very short lifespan.
The fact is that repairing, weather-stripping and properly maintaining old wood windows is significantly less expensive than replacement and can provide as much energy-efficiency as new windows.
We strongly encourage all homeowners in Glendale's older neighborhoods to educate themselves on this very important subject by reading the National Trust for Historic Preservation's excellent Weatherization Guide for Older & Historic Buildings at http://www.preservationnation.org/issues/weatherization/.
Editor's note: LoCascio is president of the Glendale Historical Society.