Can You Put Replacement Windows in a Historic Home in Massachusetts?

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Massachusetts is home to many older homes. Some of these homes need to have work done to make them more usable spaces, in terms of both energy efficiency and comfort. Window technology has advanced tremendously since the eighteenth, nineteenth, and even twentieth century. The desire to integrate improved windows into an existing historic home can create conflict, as governing bodies who determine historical building status and its attendant tax credits often prefer the expensive route of window restoration rather than the cost-effective option of replacement windows.

This conflict created an expensive situation for one New Hampshire couple, who say they were denied access to $400,000 in tax credits due to their replacement window choices. Luckily, the situation is not the same in Massachusetts, which works with historic home owners to find a balance that preserves a home’s historic aesthetic while allowing for budget realities and energy efficiency.

If you have a historic home in Massachusetts, you’ll want to be aware that high quality replacement windows are available in a variety of styles, shapes, sizes and finishes that mimic the interior and exterior appearance of historic windows. Every homeowner has their own degree of concern for historical accuracy and how closely they want the new windows to resemble the old: some homeowners choose to preserve some original windows while replacing others in less visible, more used rooms, such as bedrooms and bathrooms.

The Federal Historic Tax Incentives program is designed to encourage private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings. Massachusetts has led the way with $4 billion in investment in historic homes and buildings. To learn more about historic building preservation in Massachusetts, including information on available grant funding, click here.