Are you planning a home renovation and need guidance when it comes to buying the best windows possible? Click here for a handy guide that should help.
Windows dominate the appearance of the house because of its structure, form, and placement. When decorating your home, the first place to start is with the windows. Most people underestimate the power of good windows on the general aesthetics of the home.
Whether you are thinking of replacing or buying new windows, you need to get the best for your home.
Take time to make the decision, and consult your contractor or an interior designer on the best windows to choose. If you do not, you risk losing a lot of time and money. There is also a chance that the windows may be a healthy and safety hazard.
Choosing the Best Windows
Windows are a big investment for any home. You, therefore, need to consider quality, budget, style, ROI and energy efficiency when buying. Here are some of the most critical things to look at when buying to ensure you get the best windows.
Think about it, a home without windows is a doomsday bunker. This does not mean you necessarily need bulletproof windows. Whether you have a security system or not, good windows and doors offer your home security.
It is also true that windows are a home’s weak point. Therefore, you need to factor in security in your choice. Some of the things to consider are the strength of the glass, the quality of security screens, and the locks.
You also need to think about the distance of your windows from the ground. Most owners go shopping for windows based on their aesthetic goals and personal styles. Unfortunately, these objectives often leave you vulnerable to attacks.
One of the biggest issues is the visibilities that you grant burglars- whether the crime has been meticulously planned or are just crimes of opportunity.
The easiest way to get access to an individual’s home is by looking through the windows. If you live in areas that are particularly risky, choose windows that are not visible.
While still looking at the security aspect of the windows, you must consider the locks or lack of. When buying, think of the type of lock that will be placed on installment. If the type of window does not support a locking mechanism, you probably need to think twice.
Window locks are a necessity regardless of how high the window is from the ground.
The Type of Material
There are several types of materials to choose from when selecting the best windows. The choice is easier when you consider your location and application.
As a rule of thumb, windows that have greater insulating properties are more expensive. When considering materials, you must consider the material for the window frame and the type of glass you want.
Single Pane Glass
This is one of the old fashioned styles. However, it still works perfectly for locations with mild climates and outbuildings. It can also be aligned with the exterior designs you are going with.
Double Pane Glass
This is the most commonly used today. They have a seals air space that is between layers of glass. This helps reduce heat loss. They are available in different variations of insulation abilities including the low-E glass.
Low-E glass has an invisible coat of metal on the surface and has inert gas that is added therein for better insulation.
These are great because they reduce the cost of heat during the cold months. Remember that cost does not affect performance.
If you are living in cold climate areas, this is the type you should consider. They are sealed with a mix of gases like krypton and argon, which provide added layers of insulation.
Statistics have shown that they can save up to 3% of the heating bill when compared with double pane windows.
However, they are also 15% more expensive so they may not be for homeowners who do not plan to stay in their homes for a long time.
The better the insulation on windows, the less you have to worry about condensation issues. The interior of the window maintains a temperature that is as close as possible to the room’s temperature. This prevents foggy windows when the cold weather outside meets the warm air inside the home.
When making the decision on windows, frames are an important consideration. They determine the sturdiness of the window aesthetic appeal and the fit of the window.
The frames are also of different types:
This is the least expensive choice and is easier to maintain. However, they do expand when exposed to heat and this reduces their ability to seal. If your area receives very hot sunlight, avoid it because it warps. The pain will need replacement every few months.
Wood is much more expensive than vinyl and needs to be repainted frequently to avoid sun damage and rotting. Most are made with stain-quality wood. It, therefore, looks better with age.
This is strong, affordable and requires little to no maintenance. It is also a big conductor of heat and cold. You, therefore, have to make energy considerations when making this choice.
Energy Efficiency Is Paramount
Heat loss and heat gain through windows are responsible for 25-30% of the heating and cooling energy uses in a home. It is therefore critical that you buy windows that are great for the climate in your area. The windows and frames should work together to save your energy bills.
You definitely need windows that will help you save money and keep your home at the right temperatures. The thinnest point of windows is often at the point where the exterior and interior meet.
You, therefore, need to make sure that you get the best quality to save time and protect your home. When it comes to heat loss and energy efficiency, there is a lot of lingoes. The terms you will hear repeatedly are R-value and U-value.
R-value measure how well the window resists heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more heat efficient it is. U-value, on the other hand, tells you just how well the window will keep heat from escaping the home.
The lower this number is, the more efficient the window is. Keep these numbers in mind when you are determining the products that are best for your home.
The Color of the Windows
The color of the windows will vary from one home to another. Choosing the exterior color is a huge factor when considering the curb appeal of the home. While there are numerous options available.
Always make sure that the color complements the rest of the house and enhances its overall look. The color in the interior is something that should seamlessly blend into the overall look of the home. You can also choose neutral colors like white that will go well with any type of décor.
The next step is to choose the type and style of windows that will complement your home. This will determine the aesthetic appeal of your home and the way it ties altogether. There are four basic types:
Single or Double Hung Windows
These are the most common windows that are found in most homes. They have two separate sashes that close and open by sliding up and down.
The sash is the actual pane of the inner frame of the glass. With a single hung window, it opens from the bottom by sliding up. Double hung windows, on the other hand, can either be opened from the top or below.
For areas like the basement and kitchens that need constant air flow, double hung windows are the best especially when you lower the bottom sash. There are also great for areas where there are small children since they eliminate the risk of children climbing out of the window.
These types of windows have one large sash. The sash is vertically hinged and that swings out to open. Often, a lever is used to open it.
These are hinged at the top and open by tilting them from the bottom. As their name suggests, they create an awning appearance when they open. They are most popularly used in the coastal areas and in bathrooms.
These types of windows open by sliding from one side to the other. They are perfect for homes with limited space to place windows that open from outside. They fit perfectly on the walls since they do not take up much space.
The last thing you want is to install windows that are a danger to your family. You need to look for impact-resistant windows. This does not mean that it will not break when whacked by a baseball bat or a stone.
However, it will not shutter and spread the glass all over the place. The best part is that it will hold up even under extreme weather. The occasional stray baseball will not leave you with a dangerous mess to deal with.
Carefully read the manufacturers’ paperwork on what the warranties cover concerning the glass. Good window companies will cover you for most issues including fogging between the windows. The better the services of the company, the longer, and better the warranty will be.
Like With All the Items You Will Purchase In Your Home, You Must Make Decisions That Will Get You the Best Windows
Do not settle for the first one. Take your time when looking for the best windows. Find time to look through the different options available before you make your choice. Also, keep in mind the ROI. Some costly windows will have a higher impact on the sale value of your home than cheaper alternatives.
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