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Historic Districts and Landmarks

Renovating a historic home is one of the most fun and exciting projects you can undertake as a homeowner. Whether you’re modernizing an older home or staying true to the original design, remodeling historic homes can be a huge undertaking. We recently helped our client Stephanie with the windows in her historic Clifton renovation.

Image of window and couch set up.

Our coworker, Karen, was able to get a Marvin window for her Crescent Hill house that perfectly matched the original window.

In Louisville, portions of your project may be subject to review by the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission. There are seven local historic preservation districts in Louisville (Butchertown, Cherokee Triangle, Clifton, Limerick, Old Louisville, Parkland, and West Main Street), as well as individual landmarks.

This charming Clifton bungalow is one of countless historic district homes the Door Store and Windows has helped to restore.

To learn more about the process, we talked with Becky Gorman, who works for Planning and Design Services and is staff to the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission. She says that the best place to start with any exterior changes to a home in a historic preservation district is with a call to the Landmarks Planning and Design Department at (502) 574- 6230. Simply explain that you have questions about windows or doors and ask to speak to a Landmarks staff member, who will walk you through what you need to do to get started, the process of getting approved, and the design guidelines for your area.

This sweet Highlands home required craftsman-style windows in a range of sizes, as you can see!

You can also do preliminary research online. On the Historic Preservation and Urban Design website you can find design guidelines for each district and the review process for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA).  A COA is the permit needed for exterior changes, and to obtain one, you’ll need to submit a Landmarks application. Your Landmarks application will be reviewed by a case manager, who will help guide you through the process of making any exterior changes to your home. For Stephanie, it included the recommendation that a contractor could repair her original street-facing windows.

Dark, tall, and elegant windows set this stately Highland Avenue home apart. Historical accuracy does NOT mean dull!

The Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission Design Guidelines prefer that historic elements (like original windows) are maintained rather than replaced unless there’s a serious issue that can’t be fixed. For Stephanie, this meant repairing the windows facing the street, which she was just as happy to get fixed. “I love the fact that these windows are original,” she says. “They have that charming old wavy glass.”

With the front-facing windows in the process of being repaired, Stephanie contacted Door Store and Windows to address the windows on the side and rear of her home. “I knew that Door Store and Windows had a reputation for being able to match existing windows and that Marvin was great at historical replacements.”

We worked with the owner of this brick Belknap cottage to select deep red divided light windows throughout.

Our Window and Door Replacement Specialist Mark was able to assist Stephanie in selecting a window style that matched her original windows, including selecting a wood stain that matched her interior trim. Ultimately, Stephanie was not only able to get Marvin windows that perfectly matched the originals, she was also able to get sleek, low-profile storm windows to protect the 95-year-old windows on the front of her house.

This magnificent Cherokee home required dozens of uniquely shaped and historically accurate windows.

The most important thing to remember when renovating a home in a historic district is that for exterior renovations, like doors and windows, there are special steps you must take to complete your project. If you’re considering beginning renovations on your historic district home, visit the website of the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission.

If you have questions about historic replacement windows or doors, contact Door Store and Windows to learn more, or stop by our showroom to see all of our unique designs.

Do My Windows Need to Be Replaced?

There is no hard and fast rule dictating when windows need to be replaced. Similarly, there’s no standard “shelf-life” for windows. That said, there are some warning signs that your windows might need to be replaced.

Noise Abatement

New windows and doors aren’t just about aesthetics. Sometimes we’ll get a customer with a very specific need and we never shy away from a challenge! For example, this customer presented a unique problem: noise abatement.

The Problem

Rick and Kay built their house in Eastern Jefferson County in 1999. A few years ago, Interstate 265 expanded, and the noise from the new highway became impossible to ignore. All day long, but especially at night while they were trying to sleep, the sound of cars and trucks disturbed the family’s peaceful home. “I’m a light sleeper,” Rick said, “and I could hear every truck that went by in the house, all night long, every day. I said ‘we need to do something about this,’ and I contacted Eric at the Door Store. Kay and I met with him and I said ‘we need to have some sound deadening.’”

The Solutions: New Windows and Doors

The problem didn’t have a simple answer, so he started researching. Eric knew that updating the original vinyl windows to a Marvin wood-clad window would be a huge improvement, but simply switching the windows and doors wasn’t going to solve the problem completely.

Noise reduction glazing on glass windows and doors helps reduce sound drastically. Eric researched all the options of glazing profiles to find the right solution for the family. Together, Rick and Eric determined which glass and glazing options were most cost-effective.

“The result was really astonishing,” Eric said.

A close-up of the new windows.

A close-up of the new windows show the quality.

“Whisper Quiet”

One of the project’s primary goals was improving the family’s sleep, so the team focused on the bedrooms. We installed the same windows and glazing along with an additional storm window. Marvin builds their storm window right in, appearing as part of the window as opposed to an a separate piece. This combination made the couple’s bedroom “whisper quiet,” which resulted in an increased STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating by about 7 points.

With the windows finalized, we tackled the kitchen door to the back patio. We installed a 20-gage steel door with triple-glazed glass and added foam insulation all around the frame, so that all the air pockets were filled.

New Marvin Windows

Glazing was added to the family’s windows.

The Result

The resulting noise abatement and the decreased energy bills impressed our customer. The new doors and windows brought down the family’s energy usage significantly, a great byproduct of fixing their initial problem.

Rick also commented on the service he received from our team. He appreciated that our installation team is made up of Door Store and Windows employees, and that they are not an outsourced vendor. Our team’s attention to detail and respect for the home was evident.

See Eric and Rick talking about the project below, and visit our social channels to see more.

We’re pleased to be able to offer a noise abatement solution to our customer. We wish them many more happy, peaceful, and quiet years together. Are you curious about our window installation process? Learn more here. 

Palladian Window Installation – Part Two

Palladian Window Installation – Part Two!

Read part one of the Palladian window install blog here!

In our last post, we shared the initial stages of our largest window replacement to-date: a 10 ft by 17 ft, two-story Palladian window. One of the most important aspects of the installation was ensuring that the homeowner was without a window for as brief a time as possible. To guarantee a swift, safe, and secure installation, TDSW spent significant time in preparation. From start to finish, this Palladian window replacement took the TDSW crew three days.

Day 1

For the comfort and safety of the customer, it was vital that no part of the window remain open overnight. To ensure that the installation process could be completed in one day, the TDSW team spent the first day of the install in preparation, setting up and troubleshooting the installation process. Due to the size of the window, we built scaffolding so that the removal and install could happen quickly and safely on the second day. Once the prep work was complete, we were ready for the actual installation.

On day one we built scaffolding and did prep work to ensure that the window could be removed safely and easily on day two.

Day 2

On the second day, a team of six worked for approximately six hours carefully removing the old window and installing each piece of the new product. The glass in the old window was un-tempered and fragile, and this combined with the poor condition of the surrounding wood made the removal much more time-consuming than the installation. Once the old window was removed, the team installed the new product from the bottom up. By the end of the day, the window was fully installed and ready for finishing touches.

The old window had to be removed one pane at a time.

Day 3

On the final day, the team trimmed the new window and cleaned up the space. Casing was added to the interior, completing the look, while brick mold with an aluminum clad finish was added to the exterior. Finally, the team broke down the scaffolding and cleaned up any debris from installation.

The customer was delighted with the finished product!

Check out the time-lapse video of this project!

Door Store and Windows is proud to have the opportunity to replace the windows in your home, from the smallest to the largest statement windows. No matter the project, replacement, custom or new construction, TDSW is here to help. Give us a call today!

Door Store and Windows Rises to Any Challenge

Palladian Window Replacement – Part One

With over twenty years of experience and a talented team of experts, Door Store and Windows (TDSW) is uniquely equipped to tackle even the most challenging installation projects. Recently, a client came to us after consulting with three other window replacement companies who were unable to complete their project. They asked us to replace their 25-year old, two-story Palladian window, and we were confident in our ability to make the client’s vision a reality.

Our largest replacement to-date: a two-story Palladian window.

To begin the process our Sales and Design Consultant, Karen, met with the client at their home to assess the window and evaluate the project needs. The window was severely rotted, and at 10 feet by 17 feet, it was the largest that we had ever replaced. During the visit, Karen took extensive measurements and then began the process of developing preliminary window drawings. Given its majestic size, Karen, Jim, and Craig of the TDSW team worked with the Marvin architectural team to engineer a custom replacement window built with structure and stability in mind.

The old window was severely rotted.

The homeowner wanted to preserve key design elements and the feel of the original window. We communicated with the client regularly during the design process, discussing options and architectural details to ensure the final product was a strong, durable window suited precisely to their tastes. Once the client was satisfied with the design, the Marvin team fabricated the window. A window of this size is too large to be transported in one piece, so it was designed to be installed in five sections at the job site.

The new window was designed to be installed in sections.

It’s not only custom designs and complex replacements that warrant this kind of thoughtful attention to detail. As a local business, we pride ourselves in treating each customer as a neighbor, being communicative, helpful, and willing to go above and beyond to solve any door or window design problem that you may have. Consistent customer service, no matter how large or small the project, is one of the many reasons why Door Store and Windows is your most trusted exterior design source.

Curious about the installation of the two-story Palladian window? Click here to read the rest of the story!

At Door Store and Windows, our goal is to provide peace of mind and customer satisfaction throughout the entire replacement process. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at (502) 822-5424.

Icy Windows and Doors: The Cobbler’s Children Need New Shoes

We’ve all heard the old adage about the cobbler who is so busy providing shoes for everyone in the town that his own children do not have adequate footwear. We seem to have a cobbler in our midst, Laurie Scarborough, our co-owner. This is the story of her older windows and door.

Written Sunday, New Year’s Eve, temperature 16°

Like you, my husband Kevin and I are weathering this icy-cold blast this freezing New Year’s Eve in Kentuckiana. Today, our 1960s-built home turned up some interesting problems before we were out of our pajamas.

In the spirit of keeping this post to windows and doors, I won’t mention the near miss in our laundry room, and the almost frozen pipe. I know many have experienced those in the last week. The real reason for this message is to share the problems we noticed with the older windows and doors in our home. We hope that it helps those of you with similar issues.

It might be time to replace this huge window.

We have been updating our home over the last few years and have one more window to replace. It’s an architectural element on the front of the house — a huge 14’ x 12’ bow window. Bow windows are designed to create space by projecting beyond the exterior wall in an arch. It has been the topic of many conversations both at home and in the office — how to replace it, with what will it be replaced, and the proverbial ‘when.’ We have caulked, painted and babied the window for as long as possible. The real impact of this wall-length window to our heating bill and physical comfort has become very evident during this cold snap.

The window is single-pane glass. It’s been so cold this week that the internal humidity is freezing on the inside of the window. Ultimately this moisture causes the paint, glazing, and wood to deteriorate. This means wood rot! With wood rot you generally experience drafts and, if the rot is extensive, a strong wind could blow the glass out. 

If you see problems like these pictures, it’s time to have your windows replaced.

TIP from this local window and door dealer: You do not have to replace all your windows at the same time.  We have replaced our windows and doors over the course of many years. You can too.

Wait – the door too?

Unfortunately, this window is not the only issue that presented itself with the cold. Our front door is 30+ years old. For the first time we discovered ice on our threshold (at the bottom of the door.) 

The threshold is brass and the weather stripping on the bottom of the door is also metal. Although we don’t feel a draft, the metal conducts the freezing temperature. This, combined with the internal humidity, causes icing on the interior section of the threshold. In addition, we have seal failure in the decorative glass. Ice buildup can be seen there too.

A new door system with a threshold and “compression” weather stripping, made with composite and synthetic materials, will quickly solve these problems. Today’s doors are very energy efficient.

With all of these developments, we have been working on plans to update the front of our home — both the bow window and the front entry door.

Seven Steps To Ease Your Fears About Cold Weather Installation

The first blast of winter is upon us and the chill inside your home tells you your windows or doors need to be replaced. Don’t put it off until better weather arrives. We’ll protect your home from the elements during installation and new windows or doors will make your home comfortable year-round.

Installation Manager Craig Rowe and Lead Installer Steve Hudson outline our process for cold weather installs:

1. We Plan Ahead.

Planning ahead will keep us from going in and out of the house unnecessarily and limits the amount of time your door or window opening is uncovered. This includes making sure we have adequate plastic for temporary walls (if necessary), plenty of floor protection pads and a thermos of hot coffee! Caulk, foam insulation, and weather barrier membrane are moved to a warm area to keep them ready-to-use.

2. We Protect Your Home From Dirt and Weather.

Floor padding protects against dirt, snow, water or construction debris that might be tracked into the house. Plastic is hung over nearby openings to reduce the amount of cold air entering the home and to reduce dust transmission. Plastic or padding is placed on any surface or object in the installation area to prevent damage and protect from dust. Delicate hanging items are removed from nearby walls. When possible, temporary weather barriers are created using spring loaded posts and plastic sheeting to close off the installation area from the rest of the house. We also check that all tools and supplies are in place before work begins.

3. We Work On One Opening At A Time.

It might be more efficient to do it differently, but in cold or other extreme weather conditions, we work on one opening at a time to reduce the weather exposure inside your home. And we don’t stop working on that opening until it is filled.

We don’t stop working on an opening until it is filled…even if it means we work through lunch, darkness or whatever it takes.

– Door Store and Windows Install Team

4. We Make Sure The New Product Is Ready.

New product pre-install preparation, such as the removal of packaging and wrapping materials, is completed prior to the removal of the old product so the new product is ready to install.

5. We Double Check Everything.

Prior to removing the old product, we double-check the opening measurements to make sure it will accept the new product. We also check the product against your contract specifications to ensure the right product is being installed. Double-checking keeps us from fully removing the old product only to be surprised if it doesn’t fit.

6. We Remove The Old Product…Quickly!

The extra time we spend double-checking the product and opening size usually allows us to quickly remove the old product and immediately begin prepping the opening for the new product. Once the old product is removed, the opening is thoroughly cleared of debris.

7. We Place The New Product…Quickly!

The ready-to-install product is placed into the opening and final installation begins. This critical step involves attention to detail to ensure a proper weather barrier is created. The product is leveled, shimmed and fastened. Expanding foam is added in the gaps between the product and the opening to create a lasting weather-tight seal. Final installation details such as installing trim and adding hardware is completed and your new window or door is ready to make your home more comfortable.

If you’re ready to make your home more comfortable with new windows or doors, give us a call. We’ll ease your fears about cold weather installation and make sure your experience is outstanding.

How New Windows Can Save You Money

The typical home can lose more than 30% of its heat through bad windows (from the Department of Energy). Summer does not change this fact. Remember the cold drafts that you felt any time you moved near your windows last winter? They are still there…just warmer and less noticeable in the summer. But, that cool air you’re pumping through your home to combat the high temperatures outside, guess where it’s going? Yep, right out the old windows. They are simply no longer energy-efficient. 

 Purchasing New Windows Can Help Save Money and Energy

If you select new, high quality, energy-efficient windows, it is possible to see a significant savings in your energy bills. Replacement windows with energy-efficient glass (like insulated glass with Low-E coating) can drastically reduce the movement of hot and cold air in and out of your home all year. With better control over this transfer of air, you can then better manage the energy usage and comfort level in your home.

In addition Low-E coatings on glass actually radiates heat and harmful UV rays away from your home, much like aluminum foil works in the oven. This effect allows your home to feel more comfortable and your furniture, fabrics, and flooring to enjoy protection from the harmful rays. 

When your home feels more comfortable you are using less energy, which will be reflected in your gas and electric bills. In addition, protection from harmful UV rays, means less replacement of dull, worn-out furnishings. 

When Is It Time To Replace My Windows

Chances are that if you think it may be time to replace your windows…it’s definitely time. Below are a few key considerations:

  • Is there film or moisture between the panes of glass? If so, that means there has been seal failure and the glass has lost its effectiveness in insulating.
  • Is there fading in the flooring or furniture around your windows? This indicates that the sun’s rays are harming these items. 
  • Are they in bad condition? Do you have rotting trim around your windows, sticking or broken frames? It may be time to replace the windows for functional purposes. 
  • Are they simply outdated? Renovating your home and the old windows simply do not look right? Wish to update to a more modern look? New windows can help turn your home into a show-stopper. 
  • Do you wish to restore architectural accuracy? The wrong window can drastically affect the overall look of a home, particularly in some cases of historic homes. If you wish to restore architectural accuracy to your home, while updating your windows turn to experts who understand the nuances of maintaining architectural accuracy. 

Does all of this sound a bit overwhelming? No worries. Our Louisville area window and door experts can help you determine the right windows and glass to use for your situation. They can even help determine if replacing your windows in stages makes sense for your home and budget. Give us a call to get started. Interested in reading some more content from us? We wrote a blog about trendy dark interior windows we think you would enjoy!

Does Low-E Glass Help?

If you’ve ever shopped for windows, you probably wondered whether you need low-e glass or if it’s just some marketing mumbo-jumbo. “Low-E” refers to low emissivity.

Ok. What does that mean?

Well, emissivity is a measure of how easily a surface transfers radiant thermal energy…the heat absorbed by objects. Low-emissivity means the surface transfers radiant thermal energy at a low level.

Energy-Efficient Benefits of Low-E Glass

We could go into the details of radiant energy and throw around terms like shortwave rays, long-wave rays and thermal radiation, but we want to keep this simple. The simple explanation of the energy-efficient benefits of low-e glass is that it reflects radiant

heat. In the summer, it keeps your home cool by reflecting away the heat radiating from sidewalks, driveways, patios, decks, and other objects that absorb heat. In the winter, it keeps your home warm by reflecting the radiant heat your furnace system worked so hard to create back into the house.

For example, compare low-e glass to aluminum foil. Foil reflects heat back toward the food to keep it warm. If you covered your windows with foil, your room would be cooler in summer and warmer in winter. But the view wouldn’t be so good. Low-e glass to the rescue!

Reduce Fading and Other Damage

Besides keeping your home more comfortable year-round, low-e glass also works to reduce the early fading of your wood floors,

carpeting, drapes and upholstery fabrics caused by ultraviolet (UV) and other damaging rays, by blocking about two-times more UV light than clear, single-pane glass.

Available on doors, too! – Doors can also benefit from low-e glass. We’ve seen examples of indoor rugs that completely faded in front of a full view door and wood floors that faded compared to the same floor underneath an area rug. The more glass on the door, the more important low-e glass becomes.

Our window and door experts can help you determine the right glass to use for your situation. Call us to get started.

Some Summer Energy-Efficiency Tips…

  • Check the weatherstrip on your doors and windows. This is typically only considered in the winter to prevent drafts, but an improperly sealed window or door can let summer heat into the home, too.
  • Install awnings, overhangs or shades over windows or doors that get extreme sun exposure. A combination of minimizing sunlight and adding low-e glass is the best way to reduce unwanted heat gain.
  • Use window, ceiling and whole-house fans to keep your home a little cooler.

Looking for replacement windows? We recently wrote a blog about how much you should be spending when replacing windows in your home. Read it here!

Are Birds Attacking Your Windows?

Have you ever heard a repeated thud on your window only to find out it’s a bird? This is not the occasional strike when a bird inadvertently hits a window…this is a repeated and deliberate attack on your window.

Why Do Birds Attack Windows?

When a bird sees its reflection in a window, it perceives the reflection as a territorial rival. During spring and early summer when birds are defending their breeding territories, window attacks pick up. After the breeding season has ended (as late as August depending on the number of broods), the aggression will wane and the attacks will lessen.

Bird species that are very aggressive or territorial are most likely to exhibit this behavior. In the Louisville area, cardinals and robins are highly territorial birds while swallows, starlings, finches and sparrows are also known to strike at windows.

Some bird behavior is only mildly annoying…

…but other bird behavior is downright terrifying!

What Can I Do To Prevent the Attacks?

A territorial bird can be very persistent. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “Territorial battles with windows may be so strong that a bird may exhaust itself, but the collisions usually don’t result in fatal injury.”

While you may want to keep the bird from injuring itself, the good folks at the Massachusetts Audubon group suggest that, usually, the best course of action is to do nothing and wait. But if the behavior is disruptive to your daily life or is causing obvious injury to the bird, the key to stopping the attacks is to break up the reflection the bird sees so it does not feel threatened.

Options include:

  • Pull down your shades. White curtains or blinds can prevent birds from seeing their reflections.
  • Use a bar of soap or tempura paint to draw large patterns on the outside of the window to break up the reflections.
  • Place painter’s tape, decals, sun catchers or other objects closely together (leave no clear areas larger than 4″ wide x 2″ tall) on the outside of the window.
  • Place non-reflective screen or netting outside the window at least 2-3 inches from the glass.
  • Add one-way transparent film or opaque, cloudy plastic (medium weight plastic painter’s drop cloth works well) to windows.
  • Move bird feeders or bird baths away from the problem window.