How to Choose the Best Windows for Your Home
All windows are not created equal. Instead, different design styles — and different homeowner lifestyles — will call for a unique pane that fits best. If you’re looking to add more windows to your property, you should take time to figure out which style will suit it the best. Here’s how to choose to best windows for your home:
1. Consider the Frame Material
Wooden window frames are the most commonly used in home construction and design. They’re easy to replace or update with a fresh coat of paint; plus, they provide a good amount of insulation. Wood windows do require maintenance, though, and can show wear-and-tear in the face of the elements.
As such, some homeowners have swapped wood for aluminum or vinyl window frames instead. These require little upkeep and will never need repainting, unlike their wooden counterparts. But they’re not quite as effective as insulation, nor do they have the same charm as a natural frame. Keep in mind that aluminum tends to work with houses covered in siding, as they attach to the house with flanges that slide right into the siding.
Fiberglass could also be an option, although it’s pricier than the above materials. That’s because it’s a bit thicker than vinyl.
2. Pick the Right Glass
Older homes might have single-pane glass windows, and you’ll know it if they do: they’re notorious for letting drafts breeze right into homes. For this reason, you probably won’t be considering the possibility of installing single-pane windows in your home.
Double- and triple-pane options are much more energy efficient because they’re stronger in the face of the elements. Whether you go double- or triple-pane depends on your needs: the latter can save you up to 3 percent on your utility bills but will cost up to 15 percent more. You’ll want to compare the pros and cons of each style before you decide which glass your home needs.
The thicker the window, the more effective it is at keeping sounds out, too. So, if you live in a city or if your windows face the street, thicker panes will help you cultivate a more peaceful environment indoors.
3. Know Each Window’s Function
Chances are, you’re familiar with a double-hung window: it’s the kind with two separate panes that shift up and down. And, while that may seem like the only style out there, you can find other options that might better suit your lifestyle: consider all of them before installing your new set of windows.
Awning-style windows, for example, open out instead of up and down. Often, they open just enough to let a breeze in and therefore might be a safer option for families with little ones. Bay windows open slightly, too, but that’s okay — they’re more visually stunning than anything else. They turn a corner or nook into a bright, sunlight corner. You won’t mind curling up with a book when you’re surrounded by these panes.
Sliding windows open from left to right — you can swap out the doors of your home with sliding glass doors to let in more light. Casement-style panes open like a door, while picture windows don’t open at all — they just give you a scenic view to the outside of your home.
4. Match It To Your Home’s Design Style
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that the type of window you choose fits the overall design style of your home. From coastal to contemporary, there’s a pane that suits all different home builds.
For example, the cozy, traditional look of the previously mentioned coastal style means that a simple pane of glass simply won’t do; instead, your home will look best with windows delineated by grilles. A few small ornately shaped picture windows can be used to bring a bit of sunlight into the bathroom and other rooms where you want privacy.
A modern home wouldn’t stand for any obstruction within the window, even from the thin wooden grilles that come with a more traditional look. Instead, your sleek home will look best with simple rectangular windows. The bigger you can get them, the better: some properties will have floor-to-ceiling windows stretched across an entire wall, perhaps to provide a view of a scenic vista.
5. Install and Enjoy
You’ll probably rely on a professional to install your windows for you, and you could be waiting a while for it to happen: ordering a custom set of panes means you’ll have to wait for them to be carefully crafted.
If you’re interested in installing them on your own, you’ll have to carefully measure the dimensions of each window, as well as the depth of each frame jamb. Working alone means you might want to consider pre-hung windows, which include their finished frames and slip right into the hole left by your previous panes. Be sure you wait until your new windows arrive before you start removing the old ones — it could get pretty breezy in your house if the delivery’s delayed.
With that, you’ll have the perfect set of windows for you. From the style to the functionality to their strength in the face of drafty winds, you can customize your panes so that you can enjoy them — and your home — for many years to come.
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more!