How To Choose Windows For New Construction
When building a new home, there are plenty of factors to consider. From architects and contractors to cabinetry and roofing, the decisions are seemingly endless.
It’s easy to get caught up in just wanting to finish the process, but overlooking certain details could come at a price and you run the risk of making a mistake that can cost you money in the long run.
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when building a new home is not thinking enough about windows. After all, we are all looking for ways to feel more connected to nature, so natural light should be the main source of light.
That in mind, windows should be present in every room and be as large as possible. Sure, light fixtures and outlets should be plentiful, but so should windows.
It’s important to spend time educating yourself in order to effectively decide which windows are right for your home. We know choosing windows for new construction can be daunting, so we’ve broken down the window buying process below.
Since windows come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, it’s important to consider all of your options before making a purchase.
You probably don’t know all the differences between vinyl and wood frames, or between single and double hung windows. That’s okay — Just start by identifying your priorities for your new home.
In order to ensure you are getting the most value from your investment in new windows, it’s important to pinpoint the requirements of your natural environment and establish a realistic budget. Then, you can logically narrow down your options based on what is most necessary and affordable.
To get started, we’ve broken down the differences between the most popular window materials. Keep reading to learn the advantages and disadvantages of wood, vinyl and fiberglass.
Known for their beauty and traditional look, wood windows are available in a variety of natural finishes that can add character inside and outside your home. WindowRama offers a wide selection of wood windows from all the premium brands, including Andersen, Marvin, Pella and more.
All of our wood windows go through a multi-step finishing process that creates a more durable and consistent product. Before assembly, each individual piece of wood is either sanded, conditioned, stained or oven-cured. Some even receive a combination of all these treatments.
For an added investment, you can also find wood windows that come with an aluminum cladding on the outside to protect the wood and also enhance the appearance. The warmth of wood, combined with a colorful and low maintenance cladding means you get the best of both worlds.
In general, wood is a premium material that can offer a classic look. However, it also requires annual maintenance and cleaning in order to maintain its quality. So, if you’re looking for something that looks great and doesn’t require attention and don’t want the added expense of a clad wood window, you might want to consider alternatives.
Vinyl is perhaps the most popular window material on the market. Not only is it affordable, but it’s also durable and weather-resistant.
Vinyl windows are made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), a strong, water-resistant material that is often used to construct household pipes. Since moisture absorbance causes windows to warp, rot and distort, this water-resistance enables vinyl windows to maintain their original quality much longer than other materials.
At WindowRama, we proudly offer a wide selection of vinyl windows from brands including United Windows & Doors, SilverLine, PlyGem and more.
When it comes to strength and durability, fiberglass is nearly unbeatable. In fact, compared to other materials, fiberglass is the strongest window framing material in the industry. Its innate strength and long-term durability make it a go-to for anyone interested in fiberglass.
As for color, fiberglass windows are available in a variety of fade-resistant shades. Plus, unlike wood, they are virtually maintenance-free, so you won’t need to re-paint any time soon. They also do not leak, corrode or rot, and they resist expansion and contraction in temperature swings.
These properties make fiberglass one of the most desirable window materials on the market.
For those looking to balance classic beauty with modern, engineered strength, blending wood with fiberglass is a perfect solution.
Fiberglass composite windows offer the benefits of wood windows with the durability of fiberglass. The warm wood interior delivers timeless beauty, while the resilient, long-lasting fiberglass exterior stays strong in even the toughest conditions.
WindowRama offers fiberglass composite windows from both Marvin and Andersen.
Choosing Window Styles for New Construction
Double Hung Windows
This iconic, traditional window style has been used for hundreds of years. Made up of panels or “sashes”, double hung windows provide the ability to open from the bottom, top or both.
Often found in Georgian and Victorian homes, as well as in classic Colonial structures, another hallmark of a double hung window is the muntin – a strip of material that creates different lite patterns, often used in various combinations (SHOW IMAGE OF 4 OVER 4 AND 6 OVER ZERO).
Since double hung windows open and are often designed to tilt inward, they make cleaning both the inside and out a breeze. Speaking of breezes, the natural air flow that an open window creates further enhances the effect of bringing the outside in.
Also referred to as a crank out window, casement windows allow for an uninterrupted view through the glass, yet maintain the ability to open for cleaning or ventilation. These are a great solution for those hard to reach places, like over a kitchen sink. The hinged design is what allows the window frame to open quite significantly to maximize the effect.
A variation on the casement window, awning windows are also great for those hard to reach places, with the added benefit of staying open for ventilation when it’s raining outside. They’re hinged at the top and open outward.
Still looking for a traditional look yet want to add more light into your living space? How about a bay window? Typically made up of three major window assemblies, bay windows also may include a seat or shelf for placing collectibles or even plantings. The inner assembly is typically a picture window, flanked by either casement windows or double hung windows on either side.
When choosing windows for new construction, there’s definitely a bit more freedom to be creative with the types of windows to consider. Let’s say there’s fantastic view that needs to be featured. A picture window, which features a fixed pane of glass, almost serves as a picture frame to the view you’re trying to integrate. Plus, picture windows come in very large shapes, in essence, providing a virtual wall to capture the changing nature of a skyline or landscape. “Modern” is a term often associated with this type of stylistic approach. Large panes of glass, married with narrow profiles to maximize views truly create an extension of your optical living space.
And if you really want to get the creative juices flowing, why not consider a geometric shape or even a round top window. These unique windows have the ability to enhance a distinct design feature in your new construction home or provide a sharp contrast to make a bold statement. You can even mix and match different shapes to create an artistic display that makes a unique statement about your home and you!
And because both picture and geometric windows are fixed and don’t open, they provide an increase level of energy efficiency.
Speaking of energy efficiency, not all windows are created equal. From gas-fillings, such as argon or krypton to special coatings on the glass panes themselves such as Low-E, window technology has come a long way to keep you comfortable and save you money on your heating and cooling bills. Take multi-pane windows for instance. No longer are you limited to a single pane of glass. Now you can choose from dual pane to even triple pane glass configurations. Why does it matter? Well, let’s say you live in a colder climate. Homes in these areas tend to retain higher levels of moisture inside. Windows with triple-pane glass are more resistant to condensation meaning a more comfortable environment all around.
Taking it even further, look for windows that are ENERGY STAR rated. ENERGY STAR is a government supported program that enacts the most strict requirements for energy efficiency.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options and decided on a window, it’s finally time to install.
A quality installation is extremely important if you want to reap all of the benefits from your new windows. So, once you choose windows for new construction, search for a licensed, insured staff that can install your new purchase in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations.
WindowRama proudly offers expert installation at a reasonable price. Our licensed, insured professionals can make sure that your windows are installed in accordance with each brand’s recommendations.