Dream Home: Windows

Windows are such an important part of a home! Their style, color and proportions play a huge role in the overall exterior and interior look and when you are building a new home, windows are one of the first things chosen.  We started working on our window order before foundation was even laid.  Oftentimes windows are custom made and take anywhere from 6-10 weeks to be fabricated and delivered to the jobsite.  When I started researching what type of windows I wanted for our new home, I was really surprised at how many options and price ranges there were. Basically, for my purposes, I was looking at these 4 types of windows; double hung, casement, stationary and steel.

 

Double hung windows tend to have a very traditional feel and you often see them in federal and colonial architecture.  You can easily spot double hung windows by their center rail and double sashes, which enable the window to be open by sliding the sashes up or down.  Double hung windows are generally slightly less expensive than casement windows, and oftentimes we will see homes with casement windows on the first floor and double hung windows on the second story

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Casement windows have a cleaner look than double hung windows because they are free from the center rail that separates the top and bottom sash like on double hung windows.  Casement windows have a cranking mechanism and hinges on one side that allows the window to open like a door.  So from the outside of the house, casement windows appear clean and sophisticated.

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Stationary windows are often used when a design calls for large, oversized windows that are in an area of the home that doesn’t require the windows to operate (stairwell, second story of a vaulted great room, or maybe a large picture window).  From the outside of a home, a stationary window has the same clean look as a casement window.

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stationary-interior

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Steel windows are all the rage right now.  Basically instead of having wooden jambs, casings and muntins, steel windows have all steel and glass components.  They are super low profile and have a clean and fresh look.   They are the most expensive option and many times designers and builders will incorporated one or two special steel window/door configurations into a home with the rest of the windows being traditional wood or clad.

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steel-exterior

steel-interior

Because my husband and I travel a lot and don’t have time for a ton of maintenance we decided to go with clad windows with all wooden interiors. Which basically means, the exterior of the windows are maintenance free, have an amazing warranty and the glass on the windows has multiple layers, to insure the best energy efficiency possible.  The interior of the windows are all wood and can be painted any color I wish to match my trim.

Once we decided on the type of windows we wanted to go with, I had to tackle the sizes and various muntin/hardware options that are available.  Let me tell you, I literally fretted over muntin sizes for a week.  The muntins are the small strips that separate the glass panes of a window and range in size from 5/8″ to 1  1/4″. We had to decide what width we wanted the muntins to be as well as decide how we wanted the glass divided in each window (2 over 3, 2 over 4, etc. ).  This got a bit complicated, but I am glad I spent the time to research and look at images of window configurations I like as well as drive around to see different options in person.  It was time well spent!  At the end of the day, windows are a substantial part of the materials cost for a new home, so taking the time to research and look at all the options is important and well worth it.

 

Happy Designing!

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