Nothing impacts both the inside and outside of your home as much as your choice of windows. Windows can enhance your home with natural light, showcase a beautiful view or add architectural and visual appeal; while helping you save on energy bills.
Whether you’re building a new home or renovating your existing home, you should carefully consider the performance of each window type along with the weather conditions in your area. The more adverse the weather conditions in your area, the better the window performance you require.
Picture windows are fixed windows that do not open. They let in large amounts of natural light and take advantage of scenic views. Picture windows are often used in combination with operating windows to provide both light and ventilation.
Casement windows swing outward on side hinges. These windows can be hinged left or right (as viewed from the outside), and operate with a roto-gear and crank. Because they open fully, casement windows provide nearly 100% in ventilation area, and the out-swinging sash is excellent for capturing breezes. They are also easy to operate and are very secure when locked.
Awning windows pivot at the top and have an outward or inward-swinging sash. They usually swing outward and operate with a roto-gear or push-out lever that can be adjusted to keep out rain while letting fresh air in. This window type provides up to 50% in ventilation area, but cannot be fully opened because of the hardware. For this reason, awning windows do not meet egress requirements and are not recommended for use in bedrooms.
Single Hung Vertical Sliders feature a fixed top sash for increased weather tightness, and a lower sash that opens vertically from the bottom. A balancing mechanism controls the lower sash for ease of use, and to prevent the sash from falling down when raised. The lower sash also tilts inward for easy cleaning.
Double Hung Vertical Sliders are similar to single hung windows except that both sashes open; with the top sash sliding down and the bottom sash sliding up. This provides maximum ventilation and ease of cleaning for both the top and bottom sashes.
Horizontal Slider windows feature two sashes with left and/or right horizontal sliding operation. Horizontal slider windows, like their vertical cousins, are available as single or double sliders. Single sliders have one fixed sash, while double sliders have two movable sashes. Also, most horizontal sliders have at least one sash that is removable or will tilt inward for easy cleaning.
Bay windows are actually three windows grouped together. One fixed centre window that sits parallel to the wall and is flanked at an angle (usually 45 degrees) by two operating windows; such as casement or vertical sliders. This type of window provides a better view, improves natural light and enhances your interior space. Bay windows can also create a focal point for your interior décor; such as a large sill for plants and decorative objects or a comfortable window seat.
Bow windows are generally four, or more, casement windows grouped together, and are set at gentle angles (usually 10 degrees) to give the window a curved appearance. These versatile windows are ideal for adding light, expanding the visual space of a room or capturing the view.
Custom windows are available in a wide range of shapes; including circles, half rounds, octagons, fans and many others. They can be used alone or in combination with other windows to enhance the curb appeal of your home or add character to a room.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): With excellent resistance to weathering and heat loss, PVC frames are made to take on tough weather conditions. This material features high-impact resistance and is low maintenance for years of trouble-free use. In addition, the development of special painted coatings has increased the available range of colours to suit the look of almost any home.
Wood: A traditional choice for window frames. Wood provides a natural look and feel, and can be painted or stained to complement any house. This option is more expensive and is very high maintenance, because it requires annual care and repainting or re-staining every few years.
Aluminum: These frames are lightweight, durable and very low maintenance due to the fact that they won’t rot or rust. However, they are susceptible to condensation and heat loss, so these frames are much better suited to warmer climates.
Interior: Interior trim should be chosen not only to suit your window but to suit the interior décor of your home. The moulding that goes around windows is called casing, and it is available in a wide range of styles to complement any style of décor.
Exterior: This trim blocks gaps between the window and the edge of the wall, and completes the look of your installation. Exterior trim can be flat or contoured, and is available in a variety of widths to complement or enhance the look of your windows. It can also be custom coloured to suit the exterior look of your home.
Grilles: Window grilles add visual appeal to windows and give them a personal, decorative touch. They can create an overall multi-pane effect, or can be installed at the tops of your windows to give an architectural accent without blocking the view. Virtually any type of pattern is possible; from extremely simple to highly ornate. Grilles can also be custom coloured to match your window. Whether you choose to accent your window with grills, or not, is entirely dependant on your own sense of style.
Energy Efficiency Options:
Low-E, or low-emissivity, glass is treated with a metal-oxide coating that helps improve the insulating properties of the window. Low-E glass keeps rooms cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter and reduces the amount of damaging UV light that enters your home.
Argon Gas fills the space between two panes of glass in what is called a “sealed unit”. This colourless, odourless, inert gas is non-flammable and non-reactive, and prevents heat loss by slowing down heat transfer through the air space in a sealed unit. It is used in combination with Low-E coating to increase energy efficiency, improve insulation value and reduce the tendency of frost formation at the base of your windows.
Warm Edge Super Spacer® improves the energy efficiency of your windows by reducing heat transfer at the edge of the glass. It also keeps the inside glass warmer around the edges, reducing both thermal stress and the likelihood of condensation in cold weather. Conventional spacers are made of hollow aluminum which conducts energy easily and is a significant source of heat loss.
Energy Star® qualified windows, doors and skylights will save you money by reducing your energy costs up to 12 percent. Not only that, they’ll help keep your home comfortable all year-round, reduce outside noise, and, depending on the amount of humidity in your home, will have a lot less condensation in cold weather.
Questions To Consider When Purchasing Windows:
Do your bedroom windows meet egress requirements? In order to comply with building codes, ensure you select window sizes and styles for your bedrooms that offer an easy escape or rescue route. Consult your local building codes for the egress requirements in your area.
What is the warranty on the windows? Is labour included in the warranty and if so, for how long? Be sure to read the fine print carefully to see exactly what is covered.
What style of window will suit the interior and exterior of your home? Do you need a traditional design or a more modern look?
What side of the house will the windows be on? Is there a view that you would like to capture? Remember that Southern and Western exposures receive more sun if you want to enjoy the natural light and warmth in colder climates.
Are there any special environmental concerns? Do you live close to the shore with high winds and salty sea air? Or are you further inland and sheltered by landscape or trees?
Do you want to be able to open and close your window to take advantage of natural ventilation?
Did you know the correct method for taking and giving measurements for a window is width first and then height? Measure the width of the jamb at the top, middle and bottom, and the height at both the right and left hand sides of the window. The smallest width and height measurements will be the size of your window. If you are uncertain about measurements, don’t worry; we can make arrangements to visit your home to double check them all before ordering your windows.
Do you want the professional touch? Installing windows is a big project and should not be taken lightly. Our professional associates and installers can help you through every step of the process; from free estimates, to financing, to final installation.