Origianl 1920's steel casement windows: keep or replace?
We recently purchased a 1920's english tudor in a historic neighborhood that has the original steel casement windows throughout the house. I would LOVE to keep them but our contractor is encouraging us to get quality wood replacements because the casements have asbestos caulking, lead paint and are (obviously) energy inefficient. We have young kids, so safety is a big concern; and we're installing central air, so making the home more energy efficient is a priority.
My question: anyone have experience dealing with asbestos caulking and lead paint removal from steel windows? Can this be done by steel window repair people or does it need to go thru an abatement company? And what could we do to make them more energy efficient?
Lastly, from a resale perspective, do you think it adds more value to the house to keep and restore the old, or have new wood replacement windows?
Thanks in advance for your comments.