Selecting the Best Windows for Your Home
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Published by TOP4 Team
Windows are essential features of any house. They let in rays of sunshine and fresh air from the outdoors, and allow residents to look out into their front or back yards and farther out into their neighbourhood. This helps improve the ventilation and illumination inside the house.
Aside from letting the homeowners look out at the rest of the world (and also letting the rest of the world catch a brief glimpse of home life inside), windows also create a frame within the room that can become a focal point, and they can be dressed up with all kinds of curtains and blinds to add not just protection and privacy, but a little decorative touch as well.
Which windows are right for you?
Regardless of whether you are having an entire house built from the ground up or getting certain rooms of your current house renovated, the windows you choose should be appropriate to your specific needs and desires for the space.
So what are the things you need to keep in mind when picking out the kind of windows that would fit best in your house? Here are three basic considerations you need to make.
1. The orientation of your home. You have to determine what direction the wall that needs windows is facing. If the window will face east or west, it will fall right in the path of bright sunlight when the sun rises and sets. Softer light can be expected from the north, while the most amount of light will come in from the south. In addition, consider the view that you will have when you put windows in a specific spot.
2. The material for the frame. Windows typically come in aluminium, vinyl, fibreglass and wood frames, and each will have its unique pros and cons.
Wood is ideal if your house has a more traditional look and will not conduct cold or enable condensation. It does, however, swell, shrink or rot over time, so make sure that the frame is protected by cladding made of vinyl, aluminium or fibreglass.
Vinyl is excellent if you're on a budget as they are affordable and require little maintenance. It is condensation-resistant and will not suffer distortion when exposed to extreme cold and heat. Take care, though, because vinyl tends to leak.
Fibreglass offers great value because it is highly durable (it will not rot, crack or warp), low maintenance, and energy efficient. It is not the most expensive option, but it does come at a significant price, but most homeowners who pick this material can attest to its durability.
Aluminium would be the most expensive choice as they are highly immune to rot and moisture and can be fabricated in a wide range of colours. Often, a combination of wood and aluminium offers the best quality frames. Keep in mind, though, that aluminium window frames can contract or expand during extreme temperature changes. And homeowners living close to the sea may want to skip it as salt from the ocean can damage aluminium frames.
3. The style of your windows. You've probably visited enough houses in your lifetime to safely say that there are thousands of different window styles out there. Here are some of your options:
Fixed windows. Some windows are often simple panes of glass that are never opened; they are installed only to provide a decorative effect rather than ventilation.
Single or double hung windows. Single hung windows provide a bottom sash that can be slid upward to open, while the top sash is fixed. Double hung windows, on the other hand, both sashes can open vertically.
Horizontal sliding windows. These windows, rectangular in shape, slide open from either the left or right of the sash.
Awning-style windows. These windows are hinged at the top while the bottom open outward. A crank-style turner allows you to operate the windows.
Picture windows. These are designed precisely to offer a vast unobstructed view of the outdoors, framing the scene nicely.
Jalousies. Also called louvered windows, these windows are composed of several glass slats that open and close together.