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.
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.
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.
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.
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.