Steel window replacement is usually unnecessary, and often costs far more than steel window restoration. The costs of removing the steel windows, purchasing replacement windows, and installing the replacement windows, are generally a lot more than the cost of steel window restoration.
Steel window replacement, using wood, aluminum, or vinyl replacement windows, typically falls short of the intended results. The effective life cycle of these replacement windows is significantly less than that of long-lasting steel windows and the historical value that is lost can be incalculable. In general, you may need to replace the replacement windows three or four times to equal the effective life cycle of steel windows and the historical look of your building could suffer with the replacement windows.
Steel windows require very little maintenance; periodic lubrication of hinges and any moving hardware every six months, or so, will keep everything working smoothly, and a quality paint job every four to six years with the proper preparation will keep those steel windows in top operating condition. It is important to remember to remove any paint buildup when applying fresh coats of paint as this will keep your steel windows closing and locking properly.
In many cases, there are state and federal historic tax credits which can be used to offset eligible historic steel window restoration costs.
Steel windows can be fitted with weather-stripping, interior storm panels, and laminated glass during the restoration process, allowing optimum performance from the steel windows.