Restoring Antique Windows: Tips For Getting An Authentic Look

Construction & Contractors Blog

If you live in an old, historic home, chances are that you have some period glass in your home, but you probably also have some modern glass, leaving you with a mix of old and new. This is true of many older homes because most people simply went with the easiest, quickest and least expensive replacement option when their windows and glass features shattered.

Unfortunately, many old windows have been poorly restored with standard glass or completely replaced with modern vinyl replacement windows, detracting from the historical accuracy and look of the home. If you have mismatched windows or missing panes, you probably want to restore your windows. Here are some tips for creating and authentic look while doing so. 

Determine What Type of Glass Was Used

Before 1910, two main types of glass were used in home windows: crown glass and cylinder glass. If you still have some old glass it will be easy for you to distinguish between the two. While both types have ripples or waves, the pattern of the waves are much different due to the different methods used to create the glass. Crown glass has curved or swirled ripples, whereas cylinder glass has parallel ripples or lines.

Almost all large window panes were made from cylinder glass because it just wasn't possible to make large sheets with crown glass. What's more, crown glass was used primarily from the 1700s to the mid 1800s. Cylinder glass gained popularity in the United States in the mid 1800s. So you can sometimes figure out what type of glass was used in your home even if you don't have any old glass to study. 

Find a Reputable Glass Restoration Company

If you want an accurate restoration, you have to find a glass company that still uses the same mouth-blown techniques that were used historically. If you find a company that's good at what they do, your new window glass will be virtually indistinguishable from your old glass. 

Since some glass differs in color and quality, it's always a good idea to give your restoration company a small sample of glass to use as a guide. If you don't have any, someone from the company will probably come out and visually inspect your home for style elements that will give them an idea of what color and type of glass was used. 

It's possible to restore antique windows and make them look original. You just have to do a little homework first. After that, the process is quite simple, for you at least, and will be handled by your glass restoration company. If your glass needs repairs, visit South Jersey Glass & Door.

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