Choose Windows for Function
When you are building or remodeling a new home or office, choosing the windows isn’t quite as simple as you initially thought. Who knew there were so many decisions to make?
Don’t stress-just work from the outside-in. Think about the climate where your home or office is being built. What kind of weather moves through the area? Ask yourself some questions and make a physical list of things you will require from your windows.
Questions to Ask
Whether you are starting from scratch with a new construction or simply upgrading outdated windows, take some time to do some research before you settle on a window type. Finding functional windows that match the environment near your new building can narrow your options significantly. It’s sometimes easier to choose the style you like if your choices aren’t so overwhelming.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- How hot is it where I am building? Is it humid too?
- What’s the average temperature in the winter?
- Will the glass in my windows need to accommodate for strong storms and wind?
- What are the real merits of energy-efficient glass?
- Is my home or office’s location exposed or sheltered?
- Does the area get a lot of sunlight?
- Is the area safe? How secure do my windows need to be?
As you can see, you have a lot to think about… and these are just the basics. Fortunately, the basics are the bulk of your research. Now you can move on to the fun part – your preferences.
Choose Windows for Form
Before you even begin thinking about the style of the windows you want, remember form always follows function. Don’t sacrifice the function of your windows for their form. Yes, you may love the look of one style, but if living with them means you are constantly adjusting your thermostat, you will hate them in no time.
Listing your preferences is sometimes more difficult than listing your needs. In order to figure out what you want, imagine living and working in your newly remodeled home or office. As you begin formulating an idea of what your day-to-day life will look like, you can better understand your priorities.
Imagine Living in Your Space
Obviously, no two people will have the same preferences, but a homeowner’s priorities will vary greatly from a business owner’s.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to narrow your formal preferences.
- Do I want a lot of natural light streaming in?
- Do I want to limit visibility from people outside?
- Am I trying to match the architectural style of my home or other buildings in the area?
- If I don’t consider function at all, what window style is my favorite?
- Does my preferred window treatment (blinds, shutters, drapes, etc.) match the window style?
These questions may help you narrow down your style preferences and see if they match your functional needs.
Choose Windows for the Local Conditions
Now that you know what you need and what you want, you can get to work choosing the actual windows. Here are a few basic things you will need to look at when shopping for windows.
If you are building in an area where the weather includes dramatic highs and lows, you will want to find something to seal the temperature inside while eliminating drafts. Look for windows with solid, airtight frames. It will increase your home’s energy-efficiency.
Wood frames provide relatively good insulation. Additionally, they expand and contract to accommodate for variable temperatures. That said, wood requires more upkeep. You decide.
Vinyl frames also provide good insulation and are moisture resistant. Vinyl frames are great for windows exposed to heavy sunlight. They are durable enough to will withstand the heat without breaking down. They also wear well and require less overall maintenance than wooden frames.
Glass and Glazing
To increase the thermal performance of your windows and decrease your energy bill, find windows with gas fills. You can also choose double or triple-pane options.
If keeping the cold out isn’t your issue, look for glazing tints that will stop solar radiation from penetrating the surface. In addition to tinting your glass, you can apply low-e coatings to further reduce the amount of heat that comes through.
If strength is your biggest priority, look for Plexiglas, poly-carbonate, and acrylic options. For added privacy, opt for glass with reflective coating options. These glass types are especially good for business windows.
Contact a professional in the area where you are building to gather information and find the best windows for your new home or business property. Enjoy!