Windows allow sunlight into your home, beautify your home and provide you with the ability to see what is going on outside your home. Finding the right window designs for a home is a crucial part of the overall design scheme of new construction or a renovation. There are many window designs to choose from, and the best one for you will depend on your needs and taste.
The earliest windows were nothing more than oiled cloth stretched across holes in a home's exterior. After affordable glass and a sash that opened and closed became available, windows were primarily made of glass. More recently, double-paned insulating glass came along and helped a home retain heat in the winter and stay cooler during the summer. After the transition from cloth to glass took place, windows evolved. There are several types of window designs on the market today.
Fixed-pane, double-hung, gliding, casement, hopper, awning, bay and bow are all window designs. Fixed-pane windows cannot be open and shut but can be customized to fit any shape or size. Double-hung windows have a top and a bottom and can be opened by either pulling down the upper half or pushing up the lower half. Gliding windows open horizontally.
Casement, hopper and awning windows are all variations of the same type of window design. These window designs are based on a hinge. Casement windows have a hinge on the side. Awning windows have hinges on the top, where hopper windows bear the hinge on the bottom.
Bay or bow windows project outward. They can often be found in kitchens, although many living rooms and bedrooms also use this window type.
Fixed-pane windows are the most energy-efficient and least expensive window design option. Gliding windows are easy to open and clean but can be leaky and are among the least energy-efficient window designs. Double-hung windows are more energy-efficient than gliding windows, and many come with the added security of a locking mechanism.
Casement, hopper and awning windows are the most energy-efficient window design other than fixed-pane windows. They allow for excellent ventilation and don't allow air to leak as much as other window designs.
Bay or bow windows allow for a sense of spaciousness. Although their design can reduce their structural strength, bay or bow windows allow excellent lighting and ventilation. Bay or bow windows can provide a home with very aesthetically pleasing views.
Your desired level of energy efficiency, the purpose of the window, your budget and your personal taste all become considerations when selecting the best window design for your home. Consider if you wish to use double-paned glass, stained glass or single-paned glass hung in your window frame. The material making up your window frame should also be a consideration. The most popular window frame choices include wood, metal and vinyl. Your choices will affect the overall cost and look of your window design.
Do not attempt to hang windows on your own if you do not have adequate experience. A qualified professional will make sure that your windows meet local building codes and that they are hung correctly. Poorly hung windows can lead to leaks, water damage, and even injury should a window pane fall from the window.
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