Newly renovated Cape Ann house at beginning of autumn featured on This Old House season 41 (90)

This Old House has helped families renovate their homes since 1979, bringing their aesthetic and performance into the modern era while carefully preserving their historic value. Since its founding just over ten years ago, Indow window inserts have been featured in three This Old House projects. The latest is Molly and John’s 1890s Cape Ann shingle-style home in the town of Manchester by the Sea.

Molly and John chose their new hometown for its proximity to Boston as well as the dramatic scenes that New England coastal towns so often provide. Adding to the drama of their new home are the original 1890s functional leaded glass windows still in place in the foyer and main staircase.

Restored staircase and arched window featuring Indow inserts in shingle style Cape Ann house (92)

Restoring the Historic Value

The Cape Ann house had gone through many renovations between its 1890s birth and the day it became John and Molly’s new home. Throughout these renovations all of the original windows were lost except for those in the foyer and main staircase. Recognizing the value in historic preservation, the couple employed Cathryn Blackwell from Blackwell’s Leaded Glass to repair their damaged functional leaded glass windows, and even perform some cosmetic work on the lead to mask past repairs. 

Even after the most careful, professional restoration, 130-year old windows can only do so much against winter temperatures on the New England coast. And with their foyer leading directly into their living room where they intend to host guests, they needed to find a solution that ensured their guests’ attention would be drawn to the impeccably restored and decorated entryway and not its draftiness.

Shingle style house foyer with fireplace and Indow inserts in restored leaded glass windows (91)

Adding Modern Performance

That’s where Indow came in. Molly purchased Indow interior storm window inserts to create a tight seal in her window frames and block drafts and cold temperatures penetrating her 1890s windows. The best part? The optical grade acrylic and clean design do not hinder the view or detract from the beauty of the frame in any way. As Molly said: “You can’t even see [them]. They blend right into the frame of the window.”

Front porch of Cape Ann house renovated by Silva Brothers Construction on This Old House season 41 (98)

In the midst of massive Silva Brothers Construction renovation projects throughout the entire home, a handful of original 1890s windows were being delicately restored to their original state. Indow inserts were the finishing touch on this window project as their presence allows the historic windows to perform on the level of their modern counterparts while not changing the aesthetic in any way. That they won’t need to run their heat as much in the winter to warm their entryway is a nice added bonus.

Molly, John, and their daughter are now in their stunning Cape Ann shingle-style house enjoying the benefits of all of their renovation and restoration projects. Their Indow inserts allow them to see their original windows and consider history and legacy instead of drafts and high energy bills. Indow inserts are inconspicuous and energy efficient by design.

Take a look for yourself at the sleek, subtle design of their Indow inserts in their 1890s leaded glass window frames on move-in day here. Learn more about how Indow inserts can help you address your window issues by submitting a Get a Free Estimate form below.


We offer custom solutions to a variety of window performance issues, from insulation and draft-blocking to noise penetration. Click the links above to discover how Indow window inserts solve each issue, and find the Indow grade that’s the best fit for your needs.

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woman installing indow insert for simple soundproofing in windows