You’d think choosing a new window is as easy as choosing curtains, but it takes a lot more than picking out what strikes your fancy.
It could be that your windows are in poor condition or they pose safety problems or you want to up the ante of your room’s visuals. Whichever your reasons, here are four factors you need to consider when choosing new windows:
Since windows complete the look of a room—in some cases, windows are the room’s focal point—it’s important that you pick a style that best suits the look and feel that you are going for.
When choosing, consider the following:
- The architectural style of your home
Do you have a modern and contemporary home? Or do you live in a colonial-style abode? Whichever the architectural style of your home is, you need to make sure that your new windows reflect its overall design aesthetic.
Colonial architecture, for instance, are designed with shuttered windows that are evenly spaced beside each other. Contemporary homes, on the other hand, are all about energy efficiency with windows that let a lot of natural light in.
- Color of the frames and mullions
When choosing the color of the frames and mullions, pick a palette that complements the exterior of your home.
Some manufacturers offer frames with colors in them. But if you decide to paint it on your own, it’s best to ask a professional which color would suit the personality of your home.
- Interior of your home
Apart from the exterior of your home, your windows should also complement its interior. When choosing the size and shape, remember to keep the functions of the window in mind in relation to the room that it’s in.
For example, bathrooms would need windows to let in light but positioned in such a way that it will not let anyone see inside. More public spaces like the living room would need bigger windows for more natural light.
- FRAME MATERIAL
Picking the frame material depends on plenty of factors, including the environment where your home is located. You wouldn’t want to pick a material that would get easily damaged by the elements, as maintenance and repair would cost you more in the long run.
These are the most common materials:
- Wood – Beautiful and classic, wood provides good insulation against heat and cold. But this material needs periodic maintenance to keep them from rotting or from moisture.
- Vinyl – Vinyl windows are growing in popularity for homes as it’s highly resistant to scratching and dents. They’re also the most affordable. However, this material is not as thick and cannot be painted over.
- Aluminum – Aluminum is one of the topmost choices as it’s light and requires minimal maintenance. However, it is a good conductor of cold and heat from the outside, thereby making it uncomfortable for your home. Reducing heat loss and gain requires a thermal breaker.
- uPVC – uPVC windows are the most energy efficient as it doesn’t conduct heat. They are durable as well as resistant to rot and corrosion. They also don’t need painting or sealing, which makes them low maintenance.
- WINDOW TYPE AND GLASS MATERIAL
Different window types include single or double hung windows, casement windows, awning windows, and slider windows—all of which serve a purpose depending on where the window is located.
Window glass materials, on the other hand, include gas-filled windows, insulated, heat absorbing tinted glass, low-emissivity glass, reflective, and impact-resistant glass—all of which have their own pros and cons.
When picking the type and glass material, consider the following:
- Appearance – Pick a window that will look good both indoors and outdoors. Of course, think of your personal preferences as well, since this is something that you will look at for years to come.
- Energy efficiency – If you want your home to be friendlier to the environment, pick window materials that will not conduct much heat like Low-E glass. You can ask your contractor more about this option. Click here for a good resource on energy-efficient windows.
- Maintenance – Again, windows are a long-term investment. Know how easy or difficult it would be for you to keep your windows looking clean and beautiful in the coming years, as you will ultimately have to deal with maintaining them.
- LOCATION OF THE WINDOW
The location of the window is also a vital part in the decision-making process. Think of the following:
- Purpose – Will your window be the source of ventilation for the room? Or would it be a non-operable decorative accent? If, for instance, the window will simply frame the view outside, you would need a stronger glass (e.g. tempered) for safety.
- Placement – Consider also the location of the window, especially when choosing the window style. Does it have much room to open or would it bump into things? If you don’t have enough room, maybe a sliding window would be better.
- Sunlight orientation – How much sunlight would you want your window to allow during the day? If the window is located in the family room, you might not want it to be too sunny especially if you’re going to watch TV. Some homeowners also do not want too much sunlight in their bedrooms. The frame and glass can help minimize or maximize the amount of sunlight you want, so pick wisely.
We wish you best of luck with choosing your new windows and tell us in the comments which one you picked!