Replacing or adding windows in a home is a major investment. More often than not, we leave whatever was in place until a broken seal or an errant baseball forces our hand. But windows are a powerful part of curb appeal, home feel, and energy efficiency.
Williams Lumber and Home Centers carry a wide range of windows from Marvin and Andersen. Browse before buying and talk to one of their millwork specialists for guidance and information. Whatever your window project, here are three things you should consider before you dive in.
Is your home a Craftsman or a Contemporary? Italianate? Midcentury? All of these architecture schools have traditional window shapes and types associated with them, which you may want to consider (either to match or juxtapose). For example, Colonial-style homes, with their focus on symmetry and simplicity, predominantly use multiple-pane, rectangular windows spaced at even intervals, with the occasional bay window thrown in.
When you buy a home, you inherit its quirks, but when buying new windows you get to choose exactly what features you want. Do you want casement windows that swing out on a hinge or would you prefer glider windows that open side-to-side? Or maybe double-hung windows, with their versatile ability to open at both top and bottom, would be most useful. Simulate interacting with the windows in different rooms of your house to get a sense of what would be most easeful.
Window technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last 30 years. Double-paned windows have become the industry standard. Offered both with and without argon gas, double-glazed windows can reduce your home's heat loss by up to 50 percent, paying for themselves in energy savings. There are also UV-filtering and tinted windows, and even triple-pane windows for extra insulation. Know your efficiency goals going in.
Click here for a glossary of window terms.