A quick guide to documenting a historic property. 

A historic window survey is a very important part of documenting a historic property, as any historic preservation consultant would tell you. Noting the details of each window such as materials, dimensions, styles, and conditions assists in preparing the proper methods of repair to keep your windows functioning and looking amazing long term.

Here’s what you need to take into consideration before starting any historic interior design and remodeling project:

The Essentials of a Historic Window Survey

  • Historic Research: Gather historical information about the building and its windows by reviewing the original architectural plans or studying the surrounding buildings that were built during the same time period to use as an example.
  • Document Window Details: Take measurements of the window or have a professional create a window schedule for your use. Note the material, operation, and style of each window.
  • Assess Condition: Notate the existing condition of the windows, including their individual parts such as sashes and sills. Determine what parts are in disrepair and what material each part is made out of.
  • Photography and Sketching: Take clear photographs of each window from multiple angles, including close-ups. In lieu of or in addition to photography, detailed sketches can be made.
  • Historical Significance: Evaluate the historical significance of each window such as if it’s original or contemporary. If it is stained or art glass, this can be an extra special feature to note.
  • Identify Modifications: Determine if there have been any changes or additions to the windows such as alterations, replacements, or repairs over time.
  • Preservation Needs: Assess the urgency of preservation needs for each window and prioritize repairs based on your findings. Windows with water intrusion should always be of primary importance for repairs.
  • Record Findings: Put together a comprehensive report with your findings which should include the window dimensions, site notes, photos, and sketches.
  • Work with an Expert: Hire a professional historic preservation consultant with expertise in repairing and restoring historic windows if you are not experienced in doing historic repairs. If you’re looking for interior design and remodeling services for your historic property, it’s best to work with someone who has expertise in this area.
  • Compliance and Regulations: Work with your local planning authority to ensure compliance with preservation ordinances and regulations in your area.
  • Community Involvement: Engage with the local community or historical societies who can direct you to resources or provide you with a list of qualified professionals to assist you.

Archiving Your Findings

Conducting a thorough window survey isn’t merely a task of the present; it’s an investment in the future legacy of your historic property. Once the survey is complete and every detail of your windows has been meticulously recorded, the next crucial step is archiving these findings for future reference. This archival process isn’t just about documentation; it’s a strategic move to ensure that the knowledge gained from the survey becomes a timeless resource.

As seasons change and years pass, having a comprehensive archive allows homeowners, preservationists, and future custodians of the property to make informed decisions on maintenance, repairs, and potential renovations. It transforms the window survey into a living document, preserving the essence of the property’s history and contributing to the ongoing narrative of its architectural evolution.

Working With a Historic Preservation Consultant for Your Historic Window Survey

Historia Design offers the expertise and foresight needed to conduct a comprehensive window survey to ensure you’re modernizing your property with integrity. Our consulting services extend beyond the immediate needs of restoration, providing you with a roadmap for the ongoing care and preservation of your historic property.

Let us be your trusted partner in this complex interior design and remodeling project— contact us today!