Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Windows: Part I

In a previous post, I showed some images with black window sashes... and that got me thinking about windows.  I like a window sash that contrasts with the trim and the walls... windows are such a great detail feature, why not make them stand out.  Like we did here with stained Douglas fir windows...

But before I go there... I thought maybe I should talk about getting the right windows first!  Whether you're building your own home, renovating, or just putting in replacements ... it's a tough decision.  Windows are usually the biggest ticket item on any construction project.    And they should be.  In my mind, it's worth the extra amount to get a superior window.  Here's why... you want a window that will...  a) function properly for years to come,  b) be energy efficient to increase comfort and minimize your utility bills, c) and most importantly... look phenomenal!   A good looking renovation starts with the windows. 

We used Pella windows on this project under construction in Old Chatham, NY... the oversized windows are a predominant feature in the design.

Loewen is another step up and has beautiful wood windows.  I particularly like the push out casements they offer.  No annoying crank... they feel European.

And the interior screen 'door' is a great feature...

Another type of window similar to the casement is the 'tilt-turn' window.  In this case, the window swings in and the screen is on the outside.  It operates much like a door but it also has the 'tilt' option where the whole unit angles inward to allow for ventilation at the top. They come in large sizes so you can have expansive views.  In this project we used tilt-turn Marvin windows which allowed for big windows that were operable so the whole space could be open to the outdoors.

Photography by Elliott Kaufman

Anderson is another popular brand. It's a good standard window at a modest price point.  However, they only come with a vinyl exterior and have less design versatility. Also in my experience they do not have the longevity of some of the other more expensive brands.  Here's a great application of Anderson windows on a beach house in Rehoboth, DE...


But when we converted the screened porch to a three-season room, we used Marvin Magnum double hung windows... you can get them super sized!

So if you're starting to plan a renovation, take some time when considering your window options. Next time we'll talk about how to get the most out of your new windows!