Good news! You don’t have to give up the appearance and the structural ability of yesterday’s windows to get today’s technology. You just don’t. Choose window frames made of “engineered” lumber because they combine today’s technology with the beauty of real wood. Window frames made of today’s composite materials are structurally strong, like the high quality, old-growth wood windows of yesterday’s homes. I wrote an article about historical window replacement you can read.
The bonus is that, unlike wood, the engineered wood composites won’t rot and they won’t need painting again and again. And because you want to keep the architectural appearance of the house, a “combination window” can be installed—the interior will be made with the real wood veneers and the exterior will be made of the wood composite.
Composite materials are really versatile too. They can be manufactured to match any style and come in a variety of colors to match your home. Even the hardware can be matched. Not sure if you have grilles and panes on your windows—but the common small panes in historical windows, called “divided light” can also be replicated in today’s low maintenance option — Andersen makes full divided light grilles that look like the originals. Take a look at my website for more information about composites and about grilles.