"There's been a lot of national publicity about energy efficiency and replacement windows and credits for all that kind of stuff," said Pete Alday, director of community services for the city of Cartersville. "In most cases that's not the best thing to do for historic homes. What they call the new wood is grown a lot faster, fast-growth wood, compared to the old trees that were cut down to build older homes 75 to 100 years ago. They have much tighter grain and they last longer.
"So it's kind of a misnomer when you say energy efficiency because you have to manufacture these things, take the old ones out and put them in the landfill. When you restore or repair an existing window, it lasts another 50 years or so. It's a misnomer about energy efficiency and replacement windows. So with that in mind, we applied for a grant from the state Department of Community Affairs to hold a workshop on restoring and repairing historic windows and doors," he said about the 60/40 grant in which federal funds account for $1,710 and the local match is $1,140.
The initial idea for the workshop was sparked after members of the Cartersville HPC attended a training session in April.
"It was on LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] certification," said Cartersville HPC Chairperson Daneise Archer, referring to the previous workshop in Albany. "The gentleman who was speaking was an architect who said, 'What could be more energy efficient than using what you already have rather than reconstructing and tearing down trees and reinstalling.' He said, 'We need to promote repairing those areas that we already have. ... Please emphasize the repair of existing windows rather than purchasing new windows.'
"From that we thought we need to look at that and see what we can do as a community to promote that type of responsibility. So the window workshop is a result of that. We hope that it's going to help our entire community to be aware of the value of our older homes in that we're not building. We are retaining and we need to take care of these in the best possible way."
The workshop is primarily targeting property owners in Cartersville's five historic districts: Olde Town, West End, Cherokee-Cassville, Granger Hill and the Downtown Business District. The districts encompass 466 private residences and 168 businesses, totaling more than 630 property owners.
"It depends on the individual, of course, but in most cases people just don't know how to do it," Alday said about repairing windows and doors. "They think it's overwhelming and if they've got a window that looks pretty bad then they just think, 'We've got to replace it.' But that's not the case at all. You can repair the glass, the muntins, anything. [At the workshop, Tom Bretherton's] even going to show you how to restring the cords and the weights in the double-paned older windows."
Since seating is limited, people are encouraged to pre-register by June 7. The cost to attend is $18 per person and if seating still is available, registration will occur on the day of the June 12 class from 8 to 9:30 a.m. For more information or to pre-register, visit www.cityofcartersville.org or call Alday at 770-387-5661 or Richard Osborne at 770-387-5614.
"We just hope people would want to come and learn about it and see that it's not all impossible to do," Alday said. "At least with the knowledge that they gain from the workshop, they'll be able to talk to a contractor and know more about exactly what they need to do and how to go about it. [This will] get them better versed on what needs to be done and how to do it."