Windows play a big role in the environment of the home. They affect the ventilation, temperature, and light in the interior and determine how comfortable occupants will be. At the same time, they play an aesthetic role, conveying a certain style. When selecting new windows for the home, use the information below to choose a style that is both architecturally and practically suitable.
Step 1: There are several types of windows to choose from when shopping. These items are either operable or fixed and each type comes in various shapes, sizes, and looks. Consider the project budget, performance needs, and the style of the home when selecting a window. Security, ventilation, and maintenance requirements are important factors. In terms of appearance, decide whether the window will serve as a focal point or merely have a practical purpose.
Step 2: Window size determines the amount of ventilation and light provided but so does placement. South-facing windows permit the most light to enter a home. These are desirable in every climate but a hot one. Soft and diffused light is delivered through north-facing windows. Avoid installing too many windows that face east and west, due to the low angle of the sun during the morning and late afternoon hours.
Step 3: The view from the window is also very important. Windows serve as a connection to the outdoor environment and enhance sense of space within the home. When determining window size and placement, consider the view.
Step 4: Windows are made from different materials including fiberglass, steel, vinyl, aluminum, and wood. A window made from material that offers better protection from the elements usually costs more. However, this extra expense can pay off in terms of energy savings and low maintenance requirements.
Wood is the most popular material, especially for the interior portion of the window. It does not permit as much condensation and does not conduct cold air. However, it can swell or shrink, leading it to rot or warp unless it is protected. Clad wood windows feature a wood interior and vinyl or aluminum exterior jacket. They resist rot and rust and are almost maintenance-free.
Aluminum is lighter, thinner, more durable, and easier to handle than bare wood. An aluminum window features an extruded vinyl thermal break for insulation. It may also contain foam to reduce condensation and heat loss. Finished aluminum resists corrosion but can deteriorate from the moist, salt-filled air in coastal areas.
Vinyl windows are made from PVC and feature hollow interior spaces that create resistance to condensation and heat loss. Dark colors may fade and inexpensive versions can distort, contributing to leaking and making operation difficult. Steel resists weather elements better than both wood and aluminum but steel windows are more expensive.