Choosing the Right Windows for your HomeSeptember 24, 2013
There’s a lot more to windows than glass, so if you are looking to upgrade or replace yours then take some time to consider the options. For new build homes, selecting the right windows can really be the finishing touch to the look of the house’s exterior. However, choosing windows is not all about the look. There are various functional elements to think about, too. Nevertheless, a good starting point is to choose the right sort of frames.
As the glass in windows is generally transparent, the part of it that has most visual impact is the frame. Wooden frames are an excellent choice but you do need to consider that they will need treating with paint after a few years to keep them in good condition and fully weather-proof. UPVC is a very popular choice these days because it offers a long life span and a virtually maintenance-free care regime. Faux-wood effect with uPVC is possible, but you have to pay a bit more for it. Wooden and uPVC frames can be finished in a variety of colours, but white remains the most popular choice as it reflects the greatest amount of light and keeps the interior as bright as possible. Metal frames are good for single glazed windows, but are generally considered a bit out of date nowadays. For the best results, stick to the same frame material for every window in your home so that the look is coordinated.
If you want to maximise the light flow into your home, then transparent glazing is the best choice. However, it is not the only option. If you want to reduce glare in a room, perhaps a sun lounge which has plenty of light, tinted windows may be worth considering. Equally, leaded light glazing will reduce the overall amount of light and give your home a timeless, old-fashioned appeal. Decorative glazing, perhaps with stained glass, is great if you want a feature window that adds a splash of colour to a room’s interior. These sort of glazed panels look great in a stairwell window or in a hallway.
Thermal and Audio Properties
It is well worth considering the thermal properties of your windows before fitting them. Of course, double glazing is much better at reducing thermal loss – and your energy bills – than single glazing. If you live in an exposed position or you have a home that is designed to be eco-friendly then triple glazed window panels may be more appropriate. Remember that both double and triple glazed windows reduce the amount of noise that ingresses into a home. They are well worth opting for if you live near to a road or an airport, for instance. If you want to specifically dampen sound, like this, it is well worth investing glass that has been designed for the purpose.
Remember to consider how your windows will allow air flow into the home as well as light. Even modern homes without good ventilation tend to suffer from mould. Provide for enough windows that can be opened, but make sure that an open one, particularly on the ground floor, does not create a nuisance outside and can be passed by easily. If there’s not much space to open a window fully, consider a split panel window so that only part of it can be opened. If this is not possible, or where you have security considerations about unattended open windows, go for a louver opening system instead.
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