The windows you choose can make a huge difference to both the interior and exterior of your home. Here’s a guide to choosing the best home windows.
Looking to increase the value of your home? Or just save money on your monthly heating and cooling costs?
If so, then you might be surprised to learn that the right house window design can help.
Re-doing the windows on your home may be able to boost its value by nearly $9,000. Additionally, you can save anywhere from $100-$274 each year by switching to more energy efficient or storm-proof windows.
Of course, the best quality windows won’t just save you money. They’ll also vastly improve the look and architectural appeal of your home.
But how can you find the best home windows for your needs? What aspects of buying windows for your home are the most important ones to think about?
Keep on reading this post to find out.
Signs It’s Time for New Windows
First, let’s quickly talk about a few common signs that your home is in need of new windows.
While many people simply want to switch up the look of their homes, a change in style is far from the only thing that can tip you off that it’s time for a change.
If you notice that you struggle to open or shut your window — or that it never completely shuts — you have a problem.
Likely, your windows have become warped by the weather.
If your windows are always foggy, and if you notice a constant draft in your home, you may also be suffering from warped windows. The same goes if your energy bills have skyrocketed recently, but you haven’t been using your heating or AC more frequently than normal.
You may also be dealing with cracked or damaged windows after a storm. Not only would cracked windows cost you more (as hot or cold air leaks out) but water damage can also occur.
If ignored, this will lead to much more costly repairs than a window replacement.
Choose the Right Material
If you really want to nail your house window design, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve chosen the right materials to create your new windows.
Of course, the size and style — along with the placement — matters. But so many homeowners prioritize the look of their windows so much, that they completely neglect the materials they’re made out of.
Now, let’s take a look at the materials you should consider when buying windows.
Single vs. Double Panes
Believe it or not, when we speak about window materials, we’re actually talking about the materials that make up the frame of the window.
However, when it comes to the panes themselves, you will need to consider whether a single or a double pane option is the best fit for you.
If you need to cut corners on the cost of the best home windows, then single panes are a good choice. They’re also a smart fit for windows that likely won’t be exposed to too much sunlight (like those on the shady side of your house.)
And if you’d like for more light to shine into your home? Go for a single window pane.
However, if you need to prioritize energy efficiency and overall insulation, double panes will be a better fit for you. If your heating and cooling costs are increasing each month, or are simply more expensive than you’d like, switching to double pane window helps to keep your home hot or cool.
Additionally, if you live on a street with lots of noise pollution, double panes will keep things quieter than a single pane option.
Now, let’s talk about the frame materials that you have to choose from when it comes to your house window design.
Vinyl windows are low maintenance, affordable, and offer a high overall energy efficiency. This is what makes them one of the most popular window materials on the market.
However, they’re not quite as strong as some of the other materials. They also won’t look as elegant as wooden options, as they lack dimension.
If you’re looking for a traditional style when it comes to the best new construction styles, then you should go for a wooden option.
This is also a smart move if you’re replacing some, but not all, of the windows in your home. It’s much easier to make wooden models that match the frames you already have on your home.
As expected, they will need a bit more maintenance than most, and perhaps wouldn’t be a smart choice for a storm-prone climate.
This is why many people now opt for what’s called a wood aluminum clad window. They offer better weatherproofing options than wooden windows alone, but they still look just as stylish as their wooden counterparts.
Picking Your Window Style
Now, let’s talk about how to choose the best window style for your home.
While there are countless different styles to choose from (and even custom options) we’ll cover the pros and cons of the most common options.
These windows are among the most common and are made up of two frame units that you can push up to open and pull down to close.
Because of their popularity, you won’t have any trouble finding the exact size, shape, and style of double-hung window that you need. They also keep out dirt and debris thanks to their vertical tracks. Of course, the main reason for their popularity is their affordability.
However, especially if you have young children or pets, you’ll need to install screens for safety reasons. You may also find that the springs wear out rather quickly since they’re pushed and pulled daily.
While double-hung windows are pulled and pushed vertically, casement windows open up horizontally, with one side staying stationary at all times.
They open a bit like a regular door.
You’ll get a tighter seal than you would with double-hung windows, and they’re also a bit safer than double-hung options.
However, they can “stick” easily, and can even break off if you leave them open during a storm.
Bay windows are especially popular for those who want to add a bit more style to the window designs of their homes.
As opposed to a singular pane, bay windows are a combination of several panes that create their own three-dimensional shape. They’re not just “built into” the walls that are already there.
For those looking for window seating, bay windows are a must. They also allow for a much larger view of your street or yard and are a nice way to show off your collections.
Of course, they’re a bit more expensive than the other options on this list.
You’ll also need to be prepared to do more work with framing and wall structure. In addition to a higher cost, this also requires more time to complete.
Finish with the Right Window Treatments
So, you’ve now finished with the process of buying windows for your home.
The final piece of the puzzle?
It’s time to install the right treatments to add one final ascent to the beautiful new windows on your home.
Consider shades, traditional curtains, or even valances.
Ultimately, the window treatments you choose will be dependent upon how much light you’d like to let into each room.
So, while shades that completely block out the light will be convenient for the bedroom, your kitchen window treatments will likely allow for much more natural light.
Consider the color and style of your drapes as well as the material you decide to go for.
For example, a heavier, thicker material like velvet is ideal for trapping in heating/cooling elements. However, lighter materials like cotton and linen will still allow for lots of natural light.
You’re Ready to Install the Best Home Windows for Your Needs
We hope that this guide has helped to make your search for the best home windows a little bit easier.
Remember that, while the style of your new windows is certainly something you should think about, it’s not the only part of the designing process that matters.
You need to be sure the material of the windows matches with not just your climate, but also your light and temperature preferences. Style can also be expressed in the window treatments and hardware that you play around with after installation.
Above all, when you’re buying windows, focus on what you love. Not the latest trends or what you think will sell in the future.
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