When you shop for new windows, you really want to fulfil some personal needs. And although these needs – the very ones we discuss here, come as no surprise to you, they become the basis of your criteria when you choose windows. They give you the parameters with which you select new windows for your home.
To put it simply, a window must open all the way, close firmly, provide security, protect from the elements, spare you from inconveniences and, at the same time, beautify your home – in and out. In other words, it must fulfill its purpose as a window. And all these things happen when you choose the right material, glazing, color, style, size – all features of the window. Then, you fulfil your purpose.
Should we take a look at the 6 basic needs all homeowners have in relation to their windows?
Just getting new windows is the first step for a better insulated home. Of course, all things, from the window installation service to the framing and the glazing – and all things in between, literally, matter. Naturally, the more the glass panes the better. The rule of thumb is double glazing for most homes. But it depends on your location – the position of the home and where the window will be installed.
You need low U-values that will reduce heat loss and air leakage, the measurement of which is done at the center of the glass. The larger the glass panel, the better. As for the R-value, it must be high for higher energy efficiency. Your window installation contractor might talk to you about low-emissivity glass. That’s an invisible cover of glass which adds to your energy efficiency without obstructing light. Don’t forget to ask about what comes in between the glass panes. Apart from the spacers, the gap is filled with some kind of gas, prefer krypton or argon gas.
In regard to the frame, PVC seems to gain in demand due to its good insulation properties and low cost, leaving behind wood which is great but also expensive and may warp down the road. Aluminum windows are also a good option but not the best choice for high energy efficiency.
Now, the good news is that with energy efficient windows, you don’t only live in comfort and pay less but also isolate outside noise.
Consider home security before you choose windows. The good news is that all windows today are durable thanks to new technology. Your security highly depends on the locks, even if we are talking about hard-to-reach windows. Pick a good window installation company too. The way the windows are installed matters.
When it comes to the aesthetics, you want the new home windows to look good from outside and inside. The first thing to consider is the color. You need a color that matches with the overall home architecture and hues. You need to decide if you want the framing to make contrast or blend in – both are nice. And then you need to think of the window style. Casement windows are very convenient and provide enhanced security. But sliding windows leave larger glass openings for greater views. And then, do you want plain glass windows or with a grid system?
This is very important. It’s not about the ease of opening and closing a window. It’s mostly about having enough space to open the casement window leaf. Let the structure of the home guide you on this. Or let a window installer take a look and tell you if you have more than one option.
Consider your budget. Naturally, the better the quality of the window and the more its features, the more expensive it’ll be. Wooden windows are way up high, for example, due to the material. If you prefer triple glazing instead of double glazing, you will pay more. It depends on your current needs. It’s one thing to need one window installed and it’s a different thing to need windows for the entire house. Of course, it is a matter of whether you can afford it or not.
The expertise of the window installers makes a difference. Start your project by finding the company first. The best window in the world won’t have good performance if it is not installed correctly. This should be your first consideration.