Choosing Windows For Your Home

Published July 20, 2012

When it comes to choosing windows for your home, there are many factors to consider.

The type of window you choose will affect your comfort level within the home, your furnishings and valuables and most importantly your lifestyle.

It’s important to assemble as much information as possible before you venture out into the marketplace.

Window style, glass and frame are probably three of the most important aspects that you must research before purchasing your windows.

When you think about the functions of a window, the location of each window is an important factor. Perhaps the window is strictly for view purposes or perhaps it is primarily for allowing natural light in. Some windows may be used for emergency exits so the style of window is important.

Among the many styles available, the fixed-pane, awning and casement windows are probably the most popular. There is also the horizontal roller style and the single-hung. Each style has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The fixed-pane window does not open. It is strictly an architectural element that adds light and interest to the home.

The awning window is one in which the sash cranks up to let air in whereas the casement cranks outward. The disadvantage of the casement is that it must be closed if it rains.

Be sure to investigate the best option for the location of your window.

As for the types of glass, the new building codes require that all replacement windows, whether you are just replacing an old window or building a new house, must be double pane insulated. The two layers of glass are separated by an air space that acts as “dead space”. This air space is the key to reducing heat flow across a window.

The frame is also important. The type of frame chosen can have a significant impact on the energy efficiency of the window. Whether it’s a wood frame, vinyl or metal, each comes with its own drawbacks and advantages.

Of course, the style of window frame is dictated many times by the style of the home. The popular Craftsman homes and country cottages that are being built today look fabulous with wood windows. The more contemporary homes are well fitted with metal windows with their sleek and clean-line style.

It’s best to speak to your window supplier for their opinions on the style and location of the window.

Visit their showroom and try out the
windows before you purchase them. Check out the manufacturer and the licensed contractor who will be installing them. The installation of the window is just as important as the window itself.

Lastly, be sure to ask about the warranty of the chosen windows. Good quality windows should have a warranty of 10 years or more on the glass sealant. You may have to pay more for the higher quality windows, but the investment will definitely pay off in the long run with fewer problems and better heat efficiency.