Focus on Windows, Doors, and Millwork

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Our editors highlight new and classic articles, along with favorite products and current bookstore sales. This week, everything you need to know about updating windows and doors.

When you're restoring an old house, windows and doors can present some of the biggest conundrums. As portals to your home, they help define its architectural style more than any other single detail—so it's important that they be grounded in historical tradition. But what about the latest and greatest energy-saving features? Is it possible to have both in the same package? These three articles will help alleviate some of your concerns—whether that's choosing the right door style for your house, figuring out how to combine era appropriateness with energy efficiency, or simply searching for the perfect shutters to top it all off.

Despite the amount of glass, these triple-glazed french doors from JELD-WEN could qualify for Federal energy tax credits.

Energy-Efficient Windows for Old Houses: Looking to cut your energy costs and perhaps score a tax credit? Plenty of period-friendly windows and doors meet the new standards, but so do interior storms.

Doors and Entrances by Design: Here’s help in finding stylistic matches for the portals fronting your old house.

Exterior Shutters and Hardware: Period reproduction shutters not only come with authentic architectural detailing and sympathetic hardware, but they’re operable, too.

New This Week

Flooring Options for Period Homes: The flooring you choose sets the style, period, and tone for the room.

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Texas Independence in Washington County: The rolling countryside of Washington County, Texas, is tranquil and pastoral. But this quiet part of the Lone Star State is also its most historic.

Stone Cottage Rehab: A diamond-in-the-rough cottage on Long Island proves a charming first house for a couple of newlywed restorers.

Products & Services Directory

30% Tax Credit for Qualifying Windows, up to $1,500


JELD-WEN offers a list of windows that qualify for the 30% tax credit as well as instructions on how to receive your tax credit.

To qualify:

  • The windows and doors must have a u-value (or u-factor) and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) equal to or less than .30.
  • The windows and/or doors must be used to improve an existing home. This tax credit does not apply to new homes.
  • The windows and doors must be "placed in service" between January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010. "Placed in service" is defined as when the property is ready and available for use.
  • The structure must be the taxpayer's primary residence.
  • Garage doors must be installed into an insulated garage to qualify.

View all Reproduction & Storm Windows in the Products & Services Directory.

Bookstore Sales

On sale until May 31!
Check out these sales and other great deals in our Old-House bookstore!

Everything you need to know about adding the right finishing touches to your home-improvement or new construction project can be found in this book.

Editors' Picks

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Products of the Week

A pendant light over the door adds a stately touch to the ubiquitous Victorian porch; Brass Light Gallery’s London Lantern mimics the design of 19th-century streetlights.

Brass Light Gallery

Interior and exterior architectural lighting for your home and garden, in styles from Victorian to '30s Modern. Select from 15 finish options. Made in USA since 1974. They also have a vintage/antique lighting department, and offer expert restoration services.


Unico System

A central heating and cooling system using "aspiration" technology to warm and cool homes evenly and quietly with flexible small ducts that weave through ceilings, walls, and even floors.