Project Overview

I have many windows in my home that need to be restored. This means I need all new glazing, weatherproofing, new glass and even new storms.

After researching and listening to experienced people, I found that there are many different ways to go about a project like this. But before I jump into my decision, I’ll summarize the information I found.

Replace Windows or Restore Originals

You’ll hear a lot of proponents of restoring windows say restoring your current windows is usually the better, more economical option, but you’ll also hear from neighbors and others that vinyl replacements are the way to go. Both can have Low-E coating to block the sun and keep things cooler inside, and both can have the same amount of insulation and draft protection for the cold winter days. Here’s some pros and cons of each I found along my journey.

Vinyl Replacements:


  • Quick and easy installation (either DIY or professionally installed)
  • Can be easily installed from the inside on upper floors
  • Easily available to buy
  • Little to no maintenance
  • Can be cleaned easier
  • No storm windows
  • Mid-level quality vinyl windows last for at least 25-30 years or more


  • Can be expensive
  • Home loses authentic look. (Some siding and colors don’t match the vinyl colors well)
  • Cannot be painted
  • Non-recyclable
  • Seals can last for as little as a year

Restoring Wood Windows


  • Can be equivalent to replacement windows when paired with a good storm
  • Can last 100 years
  • Can be cheaper
  • Better for the environment
  • Wood not vinyl


  • Can be as expensive as low cost vinyls
  • Won’t look brand-new
  • Not easy to find an expert to do them
  • Not very easy to do if DIYing
  • May not get the results you desire after all work has been done

Wonder what is needed and how much it cost? View the Supplies and Cost page!

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