Choosing The Right Windows For Your Home

There are many things to consider if you are replacing the windows on your home, such as the aesthetic factor, type of window you want, energy efficient ratings, and materials.  Let’s look at each one of these factors and the choices that are out there on the market today.

Aesthetic appeal

Today, a window does not just serve a functional role on the family home.  It also serves an aesthetic one as well, contributing to the overall curb appeal that your home exudes.  Therefore, you should keep in mind your home’s exterior architectural style when you are shopping for your new windows.  Arched windows work well with federal homes, colonial homes, European homes, and traditional homes. Fan- shaped windows can be placed above doors and large windows to add additional charm to just about any home.  If you own a modern home, you may want to consider installing a round window for visual interest.

Window Type

Another big choice that you face in selecting windows is deciding on what type of windows that you want to put in your home.  There are four main types of windows that are available.

  • Slider – slider windows are also referred to as gliders.  These windows operate in the same way as a sliding glass door.  Typically you have two panes of glass—one pane is stationary and the other pane slides back and forth.
  • Casement – Casement windows are often seen on older homes but you may find them on newer construction as well.  These windows consist of a single pane of glass that is attached to the casement on one side.  When you want to open them, you simply use a lever to push the pane open, just as you would open a regular door.
  • Awning – This window is similar to the casement type of window, except instead of being hinged at the side, these windows are hinged at the top.
  • Single/Double Hung – If you look around your Richmond neighborhood, chances are that you will see this type of window everywhere.  These windows are similar in design to a slider except that they slide up and down.  The single pane is a window that can only be slid up from the bottom, while a double hung can be opened at the top or the bottom.

Energy efficient

Today, manufacturers now make glass that is designed to allow less heat into your home during the summer months and keep the heat inside during the winter months.  This type of glass is called Low-E glass and the easiest way to find glass that will be extremely efficient for your home’s energy conservation is to look for glass with the lowest e-ratings.

Materials

While wood used to be the most commonly used material when it came to windows, this is no longer the case.  Now you can choose from aluminum, vinyl, PVC, and clad—a wooden frame that is covered in a vinyl coating.  Currently, vinyl is the top choice for homeowners because of its easy maintenance and durability.  If you are determined to have wood windows, you should be prepared to perform regular maintenance on them in order to keep them from cracking or suffering other damage.

Make Your Front Door The Star Of Your Home

Have you ever seen a front door area that makes you stop to gaze at it in admiration?  What is it about that door that catches your attention?  Is it the beauty of the door, the hardware adorning it, the decorative accents, or the materials used?  Chances are that it is a combination of all of these elements.  If you were to remove one of them, would the door still be as eye-catching and have the same charming appeal?

Choice of door

The most important factor of your entrance is your front door because this is where newcomers receive their first impressions of your home.  If you were to objectively look at your front door, what would it say to you?  Perhaps the paint is starting to peel or fade, or it is simply not that attractive in design.  If you cringe at the thought of how your door looks, than it might be time to replace it with one that calls for attention.

The selection of your door should be made carefully, evaluating your home’s overall style, the material you want your door to be made out of, and the message that you want your door to send out to the world.  If you want to do something bold, choose a door with a bright color, like red or blue, to really attract attention.

Hardware

A great looking door has a nice appearance, but if it is surrounded by plainness or old pieces, it will lose its luster.  Therefore, you should give some attention to the hardware near your front door.  Consider adding some street numbers in the same metal finish as the metal used in your door.  For example, if you own a colonial home, as several Richmond residents do, you probably have a door with a brass door knocker and handle.  Emphasize the brass by hanging brass numbers next to the door or selecting a colonial-styled wall lantern in a polished brass finish.

Plant containers

Plants and flowers in colorful and whimsical containers always make a door seem friendly and welcoming so be sure to include a couple of pots to set on either side of your door or at the entrance to your porch.  Again, you want to select planters that will complement your front door while also adding the kind of charm that you are looking for.  Let’s say that your home is decorated with a country style interior and you want to echo this look on your front entry area.  You could select planters that are in the shape of small animals, or that are simple terra-cotta pots to emphasize the simplicity of country life.

Decorative pieces

Your front door should be the star of your home, and as the star, it deserves special attention.  You can give it that attention by adding decorative pieces that draw the eye to your front door, such as wreaths, wooden signs, a small chair by the door, or metal outdoor wall art.  The decorative pieces should reflect your home’s style but it is important not to over decorate the door as this can make your home’s entrance look cluttered.  Choose a couple of pieces that you feel will show off your front door and send a welcoming message to visitors.