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During the early years of home building, windows were nothing more than holes in the wall or the roof, primarily meant to let fresh air in and stale air out. Today, while they still serve those basic functions, they have certainly become more than just simple holes in the wall. Today, windows can also improve a property’s level of comfort, energy efficiency, and, most importantly, style and aesthetics. In fact, window design options are so numerous that you might run into a little bit of trouble choosing what to get.
Why Window Style Matters?
Just like people, homes have their own personalities, which show through their architectural design and features. In most cases, the personality of a home also reflects the unique characteristics of the homeowner.
Why is it important to choose the right window style for your home? Aside from enhancing a home’s “character,” windows also add to its functionality and overall performance. For example, some windows are designed to frame views or for easy operation. Indeed, not only would the right window style bring out the best in your home’s aesthetics, but also help it perform the way you want it to.
SETTING PARAMETERS. You can make window selection easier by setting parameters or criteria based on your needs and preferences.
Things to Consider when Choosing Window Styles
With the amount of available window styles and designs, you’re bound to spend hours going over them and trying to picture your home with each particular product. However, it is possible to reduce the amount of time and effort needed by using a simple technique. If you’re trying to avoid a headache by going through numerous designs, you’ll need to set parameters for your search. Below are the things that can help you narrow down your options and make the selection process easier:
- Your home’s architectural design. Most windows are designed to fit particular home designs. If you know or if you can determine the specific architectural style of your home, it will be easier to choose the right windows to match. Naturally, modern window designs, or those that consist mostly of glass, will look great on contemporary homes, while traditional-looking windows or those that have grilles, will be perfect for classically styled properties.
- The window’s primary function. How do you want your new windows to work? Do you want them to provide or frame an excellent outdoor view? Do you need more ventilation in the area where you will install them? Do you need more natural lighting? Do you need to save space? Once you know what the window’s main function will be, it will be easier to select designs that will meet that particular need.
- Customization options. Some windows can be repainted, while others are delivered with particular accent and hardware colors straight from the factory. To choose the right accents and colors, you’ll first need to have a good idea of the home’s external appearance, especially if you’re building a new home.
Once you’ve set all the above parameters, it won’t take too much time to go through window designs and find the ones that meet your criteria. However, you would also need to consider other factors, such as trends, and even your neighborhood. Some window designs are more popular than others, so popularity might also be a factor that you would want to consider.
Standout Options: Casement and Custom Windows
When it comes to popularity and ultimate function, there are two designs that stand out from the rest. Casement and custom windows are great options if you are looking to meet both aesthetic and practical needs.
MAXIMUM VENTILATION AND EFFICIENCY. Casement windows are aesthetically flexible. They can match any architectural home style, but their biggest advantage is that they offer maximum airflow.
Casement windows are popular because of their simple design that looks great on just about any type of home architectural style. Furthermore, the design is highly functional in terms of ventilation and being weathertight, which also contributes to energy efficiency.
It’s easy to identify a casement window: just look at the location of the hinges. Casement windows have hinges on the sides. They can be installed as single units or in pairs or a series and open outward or inward, depending on the design.
Like other window styles, casement windows can be further customized through the multitude of frame colors and finishes offered in the market today. Different frame and glass options are also available, your choice of which can add to a casement window’s functionality.
ODD SHAPES AND SIZES. Custom windows give more freedom when it comes to window shapes and sizes.
Custom windows are highly popular because they are usually the primary choice for unique and specialty window replacement projects. Because the window’s shape and size themselves are customized, a perfect fit is guaranteed. Custom windows are great as focal points but they work well installed alongside other window designs.
Like casements and other window styles, custom windows can also take advantage of hardware, grille, frame, and glass options available to further address the specific needs of a homeowner. Many custom windows are inoperable as they are large in size and function as centerpieces in a home but they can also be designed as small as needed to meet a property’s requirements. Homeowners are more than free, of course, to decide on their custom window’s design but your window contractor of choice should have to problem assisting you and offering ideas if there’s room for improvement.
Casement vs Custom Windows: What to Choose?
Both casement and custom windows offer advantages to homeowners. However, what will be better suited for you will depend on which of these advantages will address your needs. For example, if ease of operation and superb ventilation is high up on your list of concerns, then casement windows are up your alley. If you’re more concerned, however, with getting a specific window design, then custom windows are your best bet.
Whether you’re building a new home or improving an existing one, it’s imperative that you choose the right window design. It may take a while to find the perfect one for you and your home, but the effort you spent will surely be worth it in the end.
Dan Hedman is a window replacement and home improvement professional for Renewal by Andersen of Austin. He’s been a part of the industry for more than 20 years and has already garnered numerous awards for his ability to successfully manage his team. For updates from Dan, check out the company blog!