Take the Pane Out of Choosing Windows

Windows are an essential and functional design component for every home.  Depending on your home, you could have large picture windows, small porthole windows, or even a sky light.

Choosing windows that are right for your home, comes with a plethora of things to consider.

That’s why Design Management Group is providing you with this quick guide to help you understand how to balance your desired functionality and design choices when selecting windows for your home.

Location and Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficient Windows | Design Management GroupBefore you begin fantasizing about those beautiful wrought-iron wrapped windows, first consider your average climatic conditions.  Do you live in an arid area?  Keeping the AC bill low starts with the insulation of your windows (both frame and glass).  Do you live in a cool place?  Keeping the cold outside also starts with your choice of windows.

Almost everyone can benefit from double-pane windows, in terms of insulation.  Energy star ratings are the best way to gauge the efficiency of a window.  A high-rated energy rating on a window is measuring the heat, gain, and loss that the window allows in various temperatures.  A great explanation about energy ratings can actually be found here. 

Did we mention that by choosing energy efficient windows, you could qualify for a government tax credit?  

Frame Materials

There are several different types of frames you can select for your windows.  Making that choice should be a balance between what is design-wise, what suits your budget, and what helps you keep your home insulated in the long run.  Here is a brief summary of the most popular frame materials you can choose from:

Vinyl

Currently, vinyl is one of the most popular frame material types being used.  It’s the most affordable option, and is virtually indestructible.  Vinyl also has fantastic insulation ratings.  The only downsides to vinyl is that they typically aren’t great looking due to how the parts are fused together and painting vinyl is a debatable practice since many paints don’t adhere to vinyl.

Fiberglass

Being used more and more frequently, fiberglass is the best long-term solution for window frames.  Durable, virtually limitless in design, and almost maintenance free, fiberglass is a design powerhouse.  Though it is more expensive up front, the investment for fiberglass pays off longer than most other frame materials.  Plus, fiberglass can be painted to just about any color you want.

Aluminum 

Preferred by builders, aluminum is extremely strong, but is not necessarily the best choice when it comes to insulation or if you have a home around salt water.  Aluminum tends to shrink or expand based on hot or cold, therefore needing a bit more maintenance and resealing.  However, aluminum frames can come in virtually any color and wear well over time.  You can also look at a wooden frame that is aluminum clad…

Wood

Which brings us to our final choice.  Wood frames are distinctive and beautiful.  Yet, they are the frames that need the most maintenance.  Susceptible to moisture damage, heat expansion, insects, pests, and rot over time, wood frames are a luxury choice for those who love the look and can afford the maintenance associated with the upkeep of the frames.

Specialty Finishes and Effects

Depending on your selection of window design (which we’re going to cover in an upcoming blog titled, Choosing the Most Picturesque Window Upgrade and Design For Your Home), there are other cool design and function elements you can include in your window selections.  This could include…

Sunlight and temperature sensitive windows that darken or lighten depending on the situation

Titanium-oxide coatings that help keep water from collecting and streaking on your windows

And much more!

From Dream to Design

Yet the best way to choose windows for your home, whether it’s being freshly built or remodeled, is to talk to a professional. Design Management Group would love to consult with you about your window needs and wants, and help you come up with the best solution.