Windows 101: Advice & Insight Regarding Picking Panes

March 22, 2012

Wooden fram window with curved top and panesDoes part of your home remodel include replacing your windows? A design element that needs to be functional, selecting windows can seem daunting. Here’s how to get started:

Think About Your Needs

There are three main criteria to keep in mind as you evaluate windows:

  1. How energy efficient are they?
  2. Does their style fit with the overall design of your home?
  3. How much do they cost / do they fit within your budget?

Efficiency: Are the windows well insulated? Do they allow solar heat gain?

Insulation is always important, even though the San Francisco Bay Area doesn’t get extremely hot or cold. Why? It can help keep mold and mildew away. Temperature differences between the outside and inside of the home will cause condensation to build up on the window, which can then drip into the surrounding drywall and cause mold. This problem doesn’t occur in well-insulated windows.

Depending on how cold/hot it gets, you can get windows that allow solar heat gain (which increases warmth in the home) or UV blocking (which protects carpets and furniture from fading).

Style: Because windows affect the style of your home, consider the material, shape and style in addition to how the new panes fit within your overall home design.

Cost: If you’d like to simply upgrade the panes that are already in your home, plan on spending a couple hundred dollars per opening as a base-level starting point. Overall price will go up as you choose more expensive materials or make the new window larger than that which hit’s replacing.

Additional Advice

  • Before you buy any windows, make sure they’re independently certified via NFRC and Energy Star; this will let you know the product is high quality.
  • Feel free to pick more than one style of window. Just as every room in your home can have a different look and feel, each portal throughout your house can feature an alternate design.
  • Consider any accessories you may want to add, such as extra security measures or screens. If the window you’re installing gets a lot of sun, enclosed blinds might be the perfect add-on.

Want some advice before you get started? Feel free to contact us to schedule a free in-home consultation!

Photo courtesy of Argonaut Window & Door

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