Know what’s better than watching This Old House restore and renovate gorgeous old homes for modern day living? Being a part of that process, since buying an old house can be life-changing!
We’re excited to say Indow is part of another This Old House renovation, this time in Charleston, South Carolina for the show’s 39th season. It’s the “Single House” and we air on the final episode May 31.
Indow appeared on an episode of the Belmont Victorian in Belmont, Massachusetts in 2016.
Buying and Renovating an Old Home
The Charleston house is a sturdy brick house built in 1847 in the Ansonborough neighborhood, not far from restaurants and shops. Known as a single house, it’s a style rooted in Charleston that makes best use of the city’s long, narrow lots.
This Old House worked with local contractors and architects and the American College of the Building Arts to renovate the house, which hadn’t had much work done on it in 60 years. Aspects of it revealed chapters in American history. For instance, it had a separate building in the back where slaves once cooked and did laundry in two large fireplaces. This structure was opened up and connected to the rest of the house to become a dining room with guest sleeping quarters.
The project involved building a table in this space from a 200-year-old cypress log that had lain for decades years at the bottom of the Edisto River, which was retrieved by a diver. Before the advent of air conditioning, people tried to build their homes to take advantage of prevailing breezes. Restoring the two long open-air porches, or piazzas, that run the full length of the house was a priority.
Soundproofing Old Windows
And then of course old homes come with old windows! They’re often the most beautiful part of a structure. But they’re also what make it so noisy. In the Single House, they were all super thin single-pane glass. The Board of Architectural Review in Charleston requires any new windows in the historic district to be replicas – in other words, the new windows would still have to have single-pane glass. While Kathleen and Scott Edwards had to replace some windows with replicas, they decided to keep most of the original windows and get Indow inserts, which are energy efficient and meet the historic district’s guidelines. They also wanted a tool for soundproofing old windows to reduce street noise. The soundproofing not only makes the home more comfortable, but it increases the likelihood the Edwards could sell the house should they choose to the in future.
Kristina Damschen, Director of Marketing for Indow, flew to Charleston to laser measure the windows and got to meet the Edwards and watch the This Old House crew do its thing.
The couple told her how happy they were with the way Indow acoustic grade inserts soundproofed their old windows from the noise on the streets. Their historic neighborhood in Charleston is particularly loud since it’s a vibrant district full of restaurants and shops.
Energy Efficiency For Old Home Renovations
The inserts airtight seal also blocked the drafts. This will help keep hot air out during the summer months. That’s essential: South Carolina has some of the nation’s highest electricity rates and the air conditioning needs to run eight months out of the year. A U.S. Department of Energy study found that Indow can help save an average of 20% on air conditioning and heating bills.
Why was Indow on two different episodes of This Old House? Because Indow and old windows were meant for each other! If you’re buying an old house and want to keep the original windows to preserve their home’s value, this is an innovative and affordable solution that makes them more energy efficient and reduces noise. And the genius of Indow inserts is they don’t damage old-growth wood windows with track or magnetic systems. They also fit every window opening perfectly, which isn’t easy. Houses settle over time, making the windows out-of-square.