Windows affect architecture in important ways. Windows not only offer natural light, ventilation, and weather protection, but they also enhance the personality of a house. When remodeling, windows can be both stylish and effective.
Designer Windows and Style and Energy Efficiency
When remodeling, work with your home’s architecture. Your windows should match the exterior style of your home unless you’re completely changing it. Ask your architect or designer about window design if you’re unsure. They advise on windows for their projects.
Types of Windows
Windows can swing, lift, lower, or remain stationary. Specific materials and window types define certain architectural styles. For example, let’s compare colonial and midcentury modern windows. Colonial windows have smaller panes. Whereas in a midcentury modern home, floor-to-ceiling windows may form a wall of a room.
Fixed, or picture, windows don’t open. The benefit is that a window without a screen offers an unobstructed view. Combining fixed and other windows is a common practice. For example, a picture window centered between two operable windows lets in light and air.
The sash holds the glass in the window’s larger frame. A single window unit can have fixed and operable sashes.
The pane is window glass. Nearly all modern window units are double-paned to help insulate the home. Some architectural styles warrant multi-pane glass, which is glass divided by wood. Some manufacturers simulate multi-pane windows by gridding a single pane of glass or sandwiching a grid between double glazing.
Sliding windows have become the most popular operable windows in recent decades. One fixed and one sliding sash is typical. To open, the operable sash slides over the fixed one and screens are outside accessible.
Mitered windows are made by joining two single-pane sheets together. This is done to take advantage of a prominent point of view.
Single and double-hung windows can be lifted or lowered. Double-hung windows are operable from the top and bottom. Both double-hung and single-hung windows have screens but in different configurations.
Glass block is popular in spa-style bathrooms where natural light is desired but privacy is an issue. It looks best in contemporary architecture. For traditional home styles, opaque glass is a better privacy solution that will not clash with the style.
Creating Design with Windows
Windows, in addition to framing views, are critical components of almost any project. They allow for visual connection between interior and exterior spaces while also blocking water, blocking heat, filtering light, and providing security against intruders.
In addition to these fundamental purposes, the design and material of a window will drastically alter how a facade or space appears. Additionally, frames must adhere to regional technical regulations, meet local standards, and adapt to the needs of a project. This can change the window’s size, spacing, location, and even the type of opening.
Your designer can help incorporate new materials and styles into your remodeling plan. Depending on your budget, you can get extremely creative with your window’s style and function. These patio windows recess into the floor.
Think outside the box. Most anything is possible with the right resources and team.
Energy Efficient Windows
Your windows have a direct impact on the overall comfort of your home. Older or improperly installed and sealed windows can significantly increase your utility bills. New windows can drastically reduce your home’s energy costs. They can also help filter sunlight, preventing harmful rays from fading your furniture, upholstery, wood floors, and artwork.
Like appliances, Energy Star programs have information on window efficiency for all regions of the country. Their ratings depend on factors like insulation (U-factor) and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), measuring solar radiation.
There are so many material combinations in today’s windows that a good designer can meet both your design goals and stay within a reasonable budget. There are many clever ways you can save money when planning your window design.
Energy Star rated windows, doors, and skylights can save up to 15% on energy bills. Check with your city, state, or utility company for rebates on energy-efficient windows too.
Using higher-efficiency windows on the west side of your house, where the sun is stronger, can save you money on overall window costs. Sometimes it’s worth splurging on a big showpiece like a window wall and saving elsewhere.
Window Planning & Ordering
When working with your architect and designer, let them know if you prefer a certain type of window or intend to make drastic changes. If you have a view you want to be featured (or one you would rather not!) also make that point early in the design process.
Once selected and ordered, your contractor will install them at the appropriate time during your remodel. With everything, including windows, being affected by supply-chain delays it’s currently recommended that you order them 5-6 months before they are needed. It’s better for your contractor to store them for you if that is an option than for your construction project to stop without them.
Contact us well before your planned remodeling dates so we can advise you on all the currently known timelines for ordering the windows you want.