Do your windows need to be replaced? Are they broken, inoperative and perhaps just a little outdated? I’m sure you can answer the question with ease. Many of our clients know if their windows need to be replaced, which is why they call us. Identifying your need is the easiest part! But the problem remains in the choices in that catalogue you just picked up at your local window supplier. Balancing design with functionality and contemplating cost can leave your head spinning. There are so many aspects of windows to consider, but we hope with the little time you’ve spent reading this post, you will be better equipped to make this important decision.I ( Lauren ), knew nothing when it came to windows, and when we first bought our house on a hill, my husband Adam came home with a hefty window catalogue asking me to pick out that I liked. Having little to none experience with window design or anything home-related for that matter, I started breaking out in a cold sweat and wondered what on earth I had gotten myself into. I didn’t want admit to my cluelessness to my husband who was undoubtedly clued in. I knew that I wanted an unobstructed view, but that’s about it. I’m thankful that I had a husband who knew the style I was going for ( and had the patience to listen), but also knew what exactly he wanted our windows to accomplish and how much we needed to spend. He made the magic happen. Many of you are like me when it comes to knowledge of windows; you may know the look you’re going for, but break out in a near panic attack when confronted with all of those choices! But take a deep breath, we’re here to help! And it is our sincerest hope that after the little time spent reading this article, you will have a better understanding of windows, and you will never ever be intimated by a window catalogue ever again!First, let’s address the various styles of windows, but to go over these in in depth, you first need to know the difference between the frame and sash. The frame is the part that is attached to the building and the sash is the part of the window that holds the glass. One of the most popular styles of window is the double-hung. The double-hung window is a traditional window with two parallel sashes that go up and down. Home Depot stocks them, they are economical, and the great upside to these windows is the fact that you can clean them from the inside. Although these windows are a great value, they may not be suitable for your home if you have a view, since the horizontal bar can be a major obstruction. If you are looking for a window that is easy to open, the slider window might be for you! In fact a slider window is just a double-hung window turned on its side, where a pane slides from side to side. Slider windows work well in three-season rooms as they allow for flawless cross ventilation. Want to know the ugly sister of the double-hung? The single-hung. Although this is an economical window, the top piece of glass is fixed, so it cannot be tipped to clean. But let’s not completely ruin its reputation; if you have a garage or an outbuilding, these windows might be theperfect solution!
Do you have some stunning views, that need to be showcased? Casement windows might be the perfect fit for you! These windows consist of a single piece of glass with one sash, and because they have a crank mechanism, they are fantastic for ventilation. These windows work especially well in living rooms, dining rooms and above sinks in kitchens. We love casement windows; however, one downside to these spectacular windows is that their crank mechanism has the potential to fail. We also advise that you pay close attention to the opening of these windows. You want to be sure that the opening does not take up too much space if they open out to a deck or porch. This is unfortunately one mistake that we tend to see quite often. Awning windows, like the casement window, are great for showing off a view. They do, however, have limited mobility, since they are hinged from the top opening only about 6 to 8 inches. These windows are ideal for bathrooms, above kitchen sinks, hallways and stairs. Although they have limited mobility, you can leave it cracked without worrying about the rain getting in. We have awning windows inour kitchen, and we love them! Since we have casement windows placed throughout the house, we haveno need to open these for ventilation.
If you have a space and want a window for design purposes only we suggest the picture window. The picture window is a fixed pane (does not open) that comes in different shapes and sizes. Picture windows are great for hallways or dining rooms, but just remember, they are like hanging a piece of art on the wall, pretty, but inoperative. Alright, I hope we haven’t lost you just yet...since we’ve covered the most of the popular styes of windows, and hopefully by now you have a better sense of what kind of windows would work best in your space. Next you need to decide the material of the windows. Windows are comprised of various material such as vinyl, fiberglass wood, aluminum or some type of combination. Vinyl, a popular material, is inexpensive and never rots or rusts. Although vinyl is cheaper, it does have modular look, and once you install a vinyl window you cannot change it down the road. Wood, another popular material is beautiful on the inside, but it is susceptible to wear and tear on the outside, so if you’re worried about the window deteriorating, many clients turn to clad windows, which are wood windows with vinyl applied to the outside. Fiberglass windows, much like the new kid on the block in the window development, is much like vinyl, but slimmer and thinner. This type of material can also be painted. There are many different manufacturers of windows, but usually the prices are fairly the same across the board. If you do notice one brand significantly cheaper, buyer beware! The quality may be lacking. And please, don’t forget about hardware! Consider your color scheme as there is much to choose from!Alright, so now I’ve listed off the types of window and the various different materials, I need to address one more thing...installation. Choosing which windows suit your home is a herculean task and once you’ve made the decision I’m sure you will feel quite satisfied! But next, you need to think about whether or not you just want to replace the window or build an entirely new unit. Replacing the window involves removing the sashes and replacing the sashes with the new window insert. If you decide to just replace the window, while this option may be cheaper, the window opening will shrink by a couple of inches. If you don’t want your window opening to shrink and if you want to install new interior and exterior trim around the window, we suggest rebuilding the entire unit. Rebuilding the unit will allow you to have flexibility surrounding your trim options and will also provide a water proof seal. Yes, this the more expensive way of installing your new beautiful windows, but this has long-term benefits. Deciding on which window is most suitable for your space is no easy task, but I hope after thisyou are prepared to make the right decision. As always we wish you all the best!