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  • David Leavitt

David: Historical vs. Modern, Cost vs. Efficiency

We're restoring a castle. But we're also creating a home. Sometimes those two objectives are at odds with each other. For example, there's no question that high efficiency double or triple glazed windows provide more comfort than the original single glazing. I don't think there's much question for us as to which we prefer: Who wouldn't prefer modern windows to their more ancient counterparts?

But can modern windows preserve the look of a castle? The castle has just enough vinyl windows from previous owners to know that replacing those will be among the highest priorities. Vinyl windows in a castle ought to be a criminal offense. Thankfully, if we didn't have the good sense to know that, the Scottish historical folks likely would. A castle and vinyl seem to go together about as well as granite stones inside of crystal goblets. Somethings just weren't meant to go together.

There's also a painful reality: Every pound spent in one part of the project is a pound taken away from another part of it. We have a budget fixed for the castle (which we have not and likely not reveal) and it won't allow us to do everything. Replacing the the windows in the castle with timber clad triple paned glazed windows would certainly force us to reduce budget items elsewhere. It's all a balancing act.

Do we repair and make functional the single paned windows where the wood is rotting and that do not open from years of non-use? Or do replace them? Do we replace some while repairing others?

These are the discussions and the decisions that we're beginning to have every day on this project. It's all part of the balance.

I few weeks ago, I taped a conversation between Chelom and David Gibbon, the principal architect on the job. It's in two videos, Part 1 and Part 2. See below!

In a few days, we'll be up and running with a new back end to the blog with allow comments on the blog posts. In the meantime, we love hearing your thoughts over email.

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