Q. We are at the planning stage of building our dream home. We are working with the architect to draw up plans, are ready to select windows and feel overwhelmed with the amount of variety to choose from. How do we simplify the selection process to ensure that we’re selecting the right windows for our house and our budget?
A. Whether you are selecting replacement windows or windows for a new build project, there are almost limitless options. In order to ensure that the windows you select align with your budget, your design, and the architectural needs of your home and individual room, we recommend our clients consider these 4 basic points.
1. Home Style
Modern, traditional, transitional, or historic – every home has a unique look and feel that windows can help enhance. Every detail from shape, to the use of grills or panels, even location and hardware selection can be simplified by understanding the basic style elements of your home. So before you start looking for windows it can help to look at a lot of pictures or do some research into things you like or that align with the finished aesthetic you’re hoping to achieve.
We manufacture two kinds of windows – vinyl and aluminum clad. Both come with distinct pros and cons.
Vinyl windows are the most common. They are easy to care for and economical. Viny windows can be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth, they are durable, energy efficient and low maintenance for years to come. Their biggest limitation is colour variation, with only white and cream options available.
Aluminum-Clad windows are a higher-end option. These windows have an aluminum clad exterior and wood interior. They are low maintenance on the outside, and allow for a custom paint or stained interior. To ensure the look great for years to come, staining or painting is required every few years.
3. Operating Style
There are three basic functions for how a window can open or close:
Sliding windows have a panel that slides either vertically or horizontally to open or close. Easy to use, economical and virtually maintenance free, they provide great ventilation and are available in a wide variety of sizes.
Casement windows have hinges on the left or right and open out by turning a crank. They combine excellent ventilation with the ability to fully seal at all edges. They are more expensive than sliding windows and do require more maintenance to keep the crank mechanism operating smoothly.
Awning windows, like casement windows, have hinges only they are located at the top and the window opens out from the bottom with a crank mechanism. They can be placed higher up on the wall for kitchens and bathrooms to allow for warm air to escape, and when open, will not allow water to enter the home. The ventilation however, is only partial, as awning windows only open a few inches at the bottom and do require regular cleaning.
The last, and likely most important step to consider when selecting windows is budget. Since we manufacture our own windows, there is a window style and function to meet every budget. Material selection is key in determining the impact on your budget. With today’s technology, energy efficiency does not have to be compromised.
When considering new windows, a great place to start is coming to visit our showroom. We have many different styles on display and can work with you to achieve any custom look your home demands. For more information about our family owned business and locally manufactured products, or for a free quote, visit www.cossins.com.