In this post you will learn...
- How to determine which type of windows you will need for your home.
- Custom home window options
- Which ratings to look for when replacing your home windows
Home Window Options
There are many types of windows and the best choice is typically influenced by the size of the window opening. For example, if you currently have a large picture window, you might consider replacing it with a bow or bay window. These ‘bump out’ and expand your living space slightly, allowing you to create a cozy nook and a beautiful focal point in your home. They are also a great option in a dining space, since you can add a built-in bench and create a dining nook with a view.
Double hung windows are two windows built into a single unit, one above the other. The lower window can be raised or the top window can be lowered. Double hung are preferable over single hung, in which only the lower window can be raised and the upper pane is stationary. Double hung windows are easier to clean since both panes can be tipped inward and cleaned from indoors; this is not true of single hung windows.
Slider windows are ideal if you have a space that is wider than tall; this type of window just slides open from one side to the other. It is popular over kitchen sinks and in bathrooms but is not ideal if the window faces a direction that is subject to frequent, driving rain. Casement windows crank outward and open with a hinge on either side; these are a great choice for tall, narrow spaces and they give your home a streamlined, modern look. Awning windows are hinged at the top and crank outward, much like an awning. The nice thing about awning windows is that they can usually be kept open during a rain shower.
Energy Efficiency & Ratings
In recent years, the most dramatic improvements in window technology have been related to energy efficiency: Improvements in glass technology have led to better U-values and better solar heat gain. When shopping for energy-efficient windows, be sure to look at the thermal rating, SHG or U-Value: The lower the value, the lower your energy bills.
Air leakage rating is also important to energy efficiency: A lower rating means less air leakage, which translates to lower energy bills. Another consideration is structural grade and water penetration ratings, which are determined by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association. Look for the DP (Design Pressure) rating: the higher the number, the better the window will perform under high wind and water loads.
Putting It All Together
Finally, consider geographical location and custom options: For example, do you live in a hurricane prone area where high impact glass is a must? Do you want a custom color to coordinate with other finishes on your home? Such secondary considerations can be decided after you know what brand and type of window is best for your home. But how do you know that? We asked the pro, Sven Kramer, National Sales Manager of Stanek® Windows, a division of Great Day Improvements, how he shops for windows.
“If I was in the market for windows,” said Sven, “I’d go to a big home improvement store to see what models I like best. I’d talk to the professionals and look at products firsthand and then go home and do some online research. From there, I’d narrow it down to two choices and get exact quotes. Finally, I’d talk to several customers who have had the products for a few years and see how satisfied they are with the product, installation and service. That way, I could make an educated decision.”
If you are ready to take that first step, call Stanek Windows today for a free home estimate and let us help you make the right choice for your home.