When you’re planning the look and feel of a home renovation or improvement project, you should never underestimate how much new windows can do for elevating the style of a space. Even if you’re trying figure out how to maximize or shift the natural light in a certain space, a choice of windows can be an extremely helpful way of finding the right balance. Choosing the right window style for each room in your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By answering a few simple questions, your intuition will guide you to the best looking and most energy efficient window in no time. If you’re in the market for replacement windows or brand new models, read on to find the best window styles for your needs.
As most homeowners will tell you, when it comes to finding new home windows, picking the style is the most satisfying part. When choosing a new window, you’ll have a number of different options to pick from. You can have casement windows that open outward through a crank for a chic look and advanced security. Double hung windows are classic up-and-down opening windows that keep things simple. Sliding windows open from side to side to offer a great view.
Bay and bow windows are a dramatic and stylish option that creates a unique centerpiece for each room. Each window has its unique visual style and comes with a number of different safety and practicality benefits. For instance, for hard-to-reach and high-up places, like over the kitchen sink, a casement window is a great option. If you’re someone who loves to have consistently clean windows, they’re also very easy to thoroughly clean. For front-facing rooms that get a lot of fresh air, a classic double hung window is a great place to place plants and catch plentiful sunshine. Bow or bay windows can make a room cozy and intimate or wide and austere, depending on your preference.
Your window’s efficiency doesn’t just rest on its ability to trap heat and block out cold drafts. With newer windows, you’ll actually be able to find a value for each style to help guide you toward the most energy-efficient model. For your window’s glass, look for a high R-value and a low-E value. This will give you a window that has high insulation properties along with an energy-efficient coating to help block UV rays more effectively. For your window’s frame, look for a low U-factor. The more panes your window uses, the more effectively it will be able to do its job, and the more money you’ll save on your heating and cooling bills.
After you’ve chosen your window style, it’s time to talk frames. Together with sashes, frames are the parts that hold your window together and keep in functioning in the way it’s supposed to. Your choice of frames will have to do with how you want your windows to look from the outside and how much maintenance and cleaning you want to do. For instance, a wood finish is a beautiful, classic option, but it does require a bit more upkeep than a vinyl frame. Vinyl also doesn’t need painting and is a great weather-resistant material. If you’re interested in something strong and sturdy that can easily mimic the look of wood, consider a fiberglass composite window frame.
Your choice of glass is potentially the most important option when it comes to creating the look and feel of each room. While the style and frame type of your window will go a long way toward establishing a visual sense of the space, the quality of glass you choose will be what ends up preserving and protecting that space, as well as aiding with your window’s basic functionality. As we’ve discussed before, keeping an eye out for high R-values, low-E glass, and a low U-factor will help you find the most energy-efficient window when it comes to increasing the sun’s light and harnessing its heat while keeping out its damaging properties.
The more panes of glass per window, the more protected your home will be. Of course, there’s a catch: Triple- and double-pane glass windows come at a higher cost, and although they do save you a solid percentage when it comes to the yearly energy bill, some homeowners might not be able to risk the high cost of purchasing and installing triple-pane windows all through the house. Still, if you’re thinking of your new windows as an investment, the cost is easy to justify. You’ll be giving your home a fresh look and a solid layer of protection against the outdoors for years to come.