Thursday March 15, 2018

Historical Restoration Project Using Replacement Windows

A Historic Property

This historic home was built in 1908 and is now one of the oldest residences in Tucson. Over the years, the home has deteriorated from water damage, a leaking roof and poor maintenance. Old wood windows didn't open, were broken or boarded up. The residing homeowner had grown up in the house with her family and was now 87 and lived alone.

Working With the City of Tuscon

In 2012, the City of Tucson and Chicanos Por La Causa was contacted to see if the historic home could be preserved. Together, they helped put in a new roof and repainted the chimneys. Composite wood shingles were installed on the dormers to maintain the original look with no maintenance of the new material.

After the completion of the roof, the homeowner’s family got involved to help around the property, helping clear the clutter inside and outside the home. New appliances were added to the kitchen. The non-functional toilet and tub was replaced on the third floor.

The City of Tucson repaired extensive structural damage and gave the house a long-needed remodel with a new sink and some cabinets in the kitchen and completely redid the bathroom on the first floor.

Selecting Replacement Windows

Because the home was built long before lead regulations, there was an incredible amount of lead in the paint. The City of Tucson elected to install Milgard® Essence Series® windows on three sides of the first floor. The wood interiors of Essence Series helped keep the integrity of the historic aspect and provide energy efficiency. The fiberglass exterior reduced the maintenance of the windows. 

With historic properties, we liked to keep the historic windows, but in this project, most of the windows needed replacement because they didn't open, were broken or boarded up. We looked for replacement windows that had the most authentic appearance, windows that would look appropriate to the time period."  - Jennifer Levstik, preservation lead planner at the Tucson Historic Preservation Office. 

The City of Tucson worked to improve the environmental quality while working closely with the Historic Commission to meet historic building parameters and preserve the original aesthetics. 

After the Renovation

Since the repairs have been completed, the homeowner’s countenance has improved.  She is full of life and enjoys living in a safer, cleaner home. A caregiver now resides on the third floor of the home and helps attend to the homeowner’s everyday needs. The homeowner is spending more time with her family and grandchildren now that her home is safe to visit. Her daughter-in-law even set up a jewelry workshop on the second floor so the family can be there on a daily basis.

At some point in the future, this may become the home for grandchildren, thus keeping the historic home in the family. 


Project Information

Milgard products used: Essence Series® wood windows
Project Location: Tucson, Arizona
Project Lead: City of Tucson Preservation Office
Architectural Style: English Colonial Revival
Reason for Project: Old windows had lead paint, didn't operate well
Previous windows: Old wood windows


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