When it comes to fixing up the house, the windows can be a tricky area. It becomes pretty obvious when we need new ones, but because it is one of the pricier home improvement projects, we tend to put it off. But, if you have finally decided it is time to move on this, here are just a few helpful tips for choosing new ones.
If you are unsure about what to choose, or you have questions, do not hesitate to consult with a window company. Take full advantage of their expertise to help you make a smart purchase.
Consider Your Home’s Architectural Style
Before you start looking at windows, it is important to keep the style of your home in mind to ensure an aesthetically pleasing result. This all-important first step will set the foundation for your search, and help you quickly narrow down your options.
What is the Purpose of the Window?
This may seem like a silly question, but it is actually an important one. Carefully consider the rooms in which you are putting the windows, and what your primary objectives are. Are you looking for more light? Or are the windows solely ornamental and your primary concern is aesthetics? Is it a window where you are taking in some sort of view?
Consider the Interior
Windows are more than just functional—they are a noticeable part of your interior design, and you want to consider this carefully when choosing your windows, not just how they look on the outside. For example, in rooms with a view, you might consider getting bigger windows this time around to maximize the view and let in more light. If you so desire, you can make your windows one of the primary focal points of the room by choosing unique colors, styles and details that complement the design of the room.
Types of Frames
One of the bigger decisions you will have to make is the type of frame, from which you have several to choose.
Wood frames are one of the most popular and a good choice if energy efficiency is a concern. You can choose from a variety of species, and because it is easily stained and colored, you can really customize the look. These types of frames are vulnerable to insect damage and rot, but quality manufacturers will treat them with preservatives to make the last longer, or have them clad in aluminium or vinyl.
Vinyl is usually the cheapest option, and requires very little maintenance. Because dark colors absorb a large amount of heat from the sun, and could lead to warping, this type of frame is only available in lighter shades. With proper insulation, they can be as energy-efficient as wood, and are very moisture-resistant. Over time the frames can become dull, but you can bring back the shine with a soft scrub cleanser.
Aluminium windows require virtually no maintenance; because they conduct heat, they are not the best choice for saving energy, and moisture accumulation can be a concern. If you live in a coastal area, they may not be the best choice because of the effects saltwater can have on them.
Fiberglass frames are high-maintenance as they require painting, and it can be a challenge to find insulated, energy-efficient versions.
Composite frames mimic wood, and are prefinished in a variety of colors, making it easy to find ones most suitable for your décor. Some people do not like how this type of frame looks on the interior of the home, and some manufacturers make a version where the inside part is made of real wood.