I’m sure you’ve driven through communities and noticed homes where the window styles look exactly the same size and shape. I’m also sure you’ve seen those McMansions that include every window style and shape and somehow make them all fit. Neither one of these scenarios is ideal.
At brick&batten, we have found solutions to our top 3 questions for choosing the correct window style. As a homeowner you need to be smarter than that and choose a window style that suits your purpose and the architecture of your home.
Whether you’re building a custom home or replacing your existing windows, you should be educated on what to look for before selecting windows. Windows are expensive and a huge part of your home’s curb appeal! Don’t be pressured into sticking with what you had before or matching all your window styles. That’s just not practical! There are different designs to be considered before just selecting a window based on your builder’s taste or what your local hardware employee suggests!
No. 1 // What is your home’s ARCHITECTURAL STYLE?
Selecting a window that is ideal for your home’s architecture is of great importance. Your curb appeal suffers greatly putting a modern window on a craftsman home. That said, first you need to identify your home’s architecture. Then, research what windows are most appropriate for the architecture.
Do you have a TRADITIONAL HOME, which includes: Colonial, Victorian, Cape Cod, Southern, Craftsman and other homes inspired by those eras?
→ Double Hung Windows: Double-hung windows are more traditional and have stood the test of time. Double hung windows have been around for over 100 years, so they are an excellent choice for historic homes.
Do you have a CONTEMPORARY or MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME?
→ Casement Windows: Casement windows are a popular choice for contemporary and mid-century homes. This architecture is known for sleek lines and open windows. A casement window will provide this.
→ Sliding Windows: Like sliding doors, sliding windows also work on contemporary and mid-century homes. These provide a casual style and functional design.
→ Awning Window: Just like it sounds, an awning window pushes out slightly like an awning. These are occasionally paired with a casement design.
No.2 // What is the MAIN PURPOSE of the window?
Windows should NOT be selected with a one size fits all approach; however, many homeowners choose this approach not knowing any better. Many times window choices are made with little thought to their purpose… just what was easiest for the design and construction of the home. Think USAGE. What is the main purpose of the window?
Is it important to let a BREEZE pass through for BETTER VENTILATION?
→ Casement Windows: Casement windows crank out to catch the breeze and direct it into your home.
→ Awning Windows: Awning Windows act as an awning by opening at the bottom. They usually sit high or low on the wall and open at the bottom to help circulate the air.
→ Double-Hung Windows: Double hung open from the top and the bottom. This is great for circulation, allowing a cool breeze to enter at the bottom while letting warm air out the top.
Do you prefer NATURAL LIGHT? This may depend where the window is located and the location in the room.
→ Bay and Bow Windows: Bay and Bow windows extend past the exterior wall and allow sunlight to enter from left and right creating a warm feel.
→ Sliding Windows: Sliding windowing, like sliding doors, slide to open. Because of this design, there is a large area of glass which allows more light inside.
Will the window open onto a patio or somewhere it’s important not to have the intrusion? You don’t want to create a dangerous situation if you entertain or people are walking by.
→ Sliding window: A sliding window will be a track and not crank out for someone to bump into.
→ Single and double hung windows: A single or double hung window will be moving up and down instead of in and out. This will keep passageways free and safe.
You need a window that will glide within a frame and not crank out, so a casement crank is probably not your best option!
Do you prefer EASY ACCESS for CLEANING your windows easily or live in a two story home?
→ Double Hung Window: A double hung window is your best bet if you’re looking for a simple clean. Double hung windows tilt in for easier cleaning. This is ideal for windows that are on a second and third story and any window out of reach from the ground.
No. 3 // Can I mix and match different window types?
The short answer is YES! You may have double hung in the front and casement in the back…. or just the opposite. When you’re ready for window replacement keep in mind Question No. 1. What is the purpose? Your windows will function and open differently depending on their purpose. This does not mean that your windows will necessarily look differently. You’re looking for a cohesive look that provides harmony and balance. That said, it’s important to have similar or complementary material, grid designs, and colors when selecting windows.
What is the best way to accomplish a COHESIVE LOOK throughout the house if you have different window styles?
→ Grid lines or grilles in the windows is an excellent way to achieve a harmonious look between a variety of window styles. Using the same grid size and/ or pattern on your rectangular windows creates a cohesive feel. Then, add the same grid patterns to custom windows and bow windows, etc. Garage and front door windows can also be similar. This doesn’t mean they need to be exact…it just means a 2×2 window grid could translate nicely to a 4×4 front door window.
Our designers at brick&batten spend months researching, attending conferences, classes, and home shows throughout the country, and picking the brains of the best window and design experts out there! Use our knowledge and expertise to help you with your selections before purchasing windows that aren’t truly the best for your purpose and architectural style.
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It’s just as time consuming, intrusive, and expensive to get the right windows as it is the wrong ones!