Your windows and doors are the first things your guests see when they visit your home. They say a lot about your style and personality, but that’s just one of the reasons why it’s important to keep them in excellent condition at all times. Imagine having windows and doors that have peeling paint and deteriorating frames—your guests’ first impression of your home isn’t likely to be positive! If you’re still putting up with old, failing windows and doors, it’s time you consider investing in high-quality replacements.
Successful window and door installations aren’t successful by accident. The success of your upgrades will largely depend on how well you plan. Before you purchase your new windows or doors, you need to do your homework.
Not sure where or how to start with your upgrades? We’re here to help. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the makings of a perfect window and door installation.
Essential #1: The Right Style
Your windows and patio doors allow you to bask in the warmth of the sun, feel fresh breezes waft into your living space and provide beautiful views of your landscape. As such, they play a major role in the comfort and enjoyment of your home. Aside from providing character to your home, they also help connect your indoor spaces to the outside world by providing expansive views of your garden and beyond.
Sure, windows and doors primarily serve a practical purpose–they keep the elements at bay–but they also serve an aesthetic purpose. They frame your views and can soften the lines of your home to give it a welcoming, hospitable ambiance. Thus, choosing the right style of windows and doors to suit your home’s existing architectural elements is highly important. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular window and doors styles today, along with their unique features and benefits.
Window Styles For Your Home
Below are seven of the ideal window styles you can consider for your window upgrade:
Double-Hung: Considered the most classic among the various window styles, double-hung windows offer everything you expect and love about elegant, traditional windows. With two vertically operable sashes, double-hung windows help promote proper ventilation. They’re also very easy to maintain. And since they don’t take up much space whether they’re open or closed, they’re perfect for outdoor areas with regular foot traffic.
Casement: A common component in every window replacement project due to bedroom egress requirements, casement windows are a staple in many upper-floor rooms. These crank-out units provide superior ventilation and smooth operation. Featuring an outstanding locking mechanism, these windows have panes that remain completely shut and absolutely airtight when necessary.
Picture: Fixed but ultimately functional, picture windows are perfect for framing scenic outdoor views and incorporating them into your interior design, almost like a live painting. Thanks to an expansive glass area, picture windows offer a generous amount of daylight to naturally illuminate your spaces.
Bay and Bow: Often installed together, bay and bow windows are considered the sisters of the window world. Their functionalities revolve around enhancing a home’s curb appeal through their glamorous, protruding style, and giving you extra, functional interior space.
Bay windows are usually made up of three windows in angled projections: a fixed middle window and two outside flankers, which can be double-hung or casement windows. Bow windows, on the other hand, are a group of four to six windows that are gently angled out from the exterior wall in the form of an elegant arc. Both styles can transform your home’s appearance for the better.
Sliding: Looking for a window style that will allow you to maximize large glass areas? Try sliding windows. Operated using track rollers that glide sideways, sliding windows are best used to enjoy a full view of high-traffic outdoor areas and picturesque landscaping.
Specialty: If you want to add some fantastic twists to generic window styles, then you’ll surely love specialty or customized windows. These units come in a wide array of shapes and sizes that can meet the unique needs of your home. In addition, you have the freedom to optimize your current window openings and utilize other window styles to give your home a complete makeover in terms of aesthetics and functionality.
Door Styles For Your Home
Looking for ideal door styles to install? Take a look at the following options:
Hinged French: These lovely doors add classic beauty to any space, paired with excellent functionality. Hinged French doors are available in a double-door format and can be opened outward, creating a wide opening for more efficient, fluid traffic. This is especially handy when entertaining guests because the door allows the party to spill naturally from your home’s interior onto the patio or deck.
Sliding French: Also known as gliding French doors, these doors have almost the same aesthetic as standard hinged French doors, but with the added convenience and space-saving features of a sliding door. This makes them the perfect choice for a bedroom or an outdoor patio entryway with limited floor space.
Contemporary Sliding: These doors are good space-savers, but they can also blur the line between the indoors and outdoors with their sleek frames and large glass area. Even when they’re closed, sliding glass patio doors provide an extended view of nature while allowing considerable natural light to spill into your home.
Matching Door and Window Styles to Popular Home Styles
When selecting your replacement windows and doors, it pays to make sure they complement your home’s design elements. This means ensuring that they properly suit your home’s architectural style, which defines its overall look. Some windows and doors work better with a particular home style, helping add to historical accuracy while ensuring it makes a bigger impression from the curb.
Here are a few good examples:
Windows: Picture and/or sliding
Doors: Sliding French or contemporary sliding
Picture and sliding windows come with slim frames and expansive glass areas, offering panoramic outdoor views and considerable access to natural light. Sliding French and contemporary sliding glass doors offer many of the same benefits. The seamless design of these windows and doors is an excellent match to contemporary-modern homes, which favor clean, simple lines and sleek shapes.
Cabin or Cottage Style Home
Windows: Casements and/or double-hung windows
Doors: Hinged French
If you want to enhance the rustic look of your Cabin or Cottage home, you should consider the simple, classic design of casement or double-hung windows. A tip? Choose ones with a woodgrain finish to boost the woodland feel of these home styles. Casement windows are hinged on the sides and operate via crank or lever, allowing you to open them outward, while double-hung windows have two movable sashes that let you maximize ventilation. You can pair these windows with hinged French doors in the same wood tones. Their timeless look makes them an instant focal point in any room, and their wide opening allows for easy traffic.
Windows: Double-hung and/or bay and bow
Doors: Hinged French
A variation on Colonial architecture, Georgian homes usually feature tall double-hung windows. If you want to make a bigger impression, however, consider installing bay or bow windows as well. Bay and bow windows have a graceful curved shape, allowing access to natural light from different directions. Bay and bow windows are also big enough to provide extended outdoor views. What further sets them apart is their deep sill area, which you can convert into a storage area or cozy reading nook. A hinged French patio door completes the look of this sophisticated architectural style.
Ready to invest in professional window and door replacements? Get in touch with Renewal by Andersen® of Dallas and Fort Worth. Call us at (877) 605-2922!
Essential #2: The Right Materials
Another important factor you should consider when replacing your windows and doors is the frame material. The right material offers the correct level of beauty, energy efficiency and comfort for your spaces, without exceeding your budget. With so many material options available on the market today, it can be challenging to decide which is the right choice for your replacement windows and doors.
To help simplify the process, here’s a short guide on the top window and door materials available today.
The performance of your window or door depends on the quality of the frame. The frame serves as the unit’s backbone, boosting both durability and energy efficiency. Different frame materials have different features and advantages.
- Wood: Wooden window and door frames are widely favored, thanks to their natural charm and warm, inviting aura. They exude a sophisticated look and are available in a wide range of species, tones and textures. The only downside is that wood is particularly susceptible to damage and tends to warp over time.
- Vinyl: Vinyl frames have become very popular among homeowners due to their stellar energy performance. Vinyl is also one of the easiest frame materials to maintain, as it doesn’t require frequent cleaning to remain stylish and functional. However, vinyl frames have a high expansion and contraction rate, making them bow and eventually allowing the glass seal to break.
- Aluminum: Due to their excellent durability and light weight, aluminum frames have long been a favorite among builders and architects. They are also significantly cheaper than other alternatives. The only drawback is they tend to hold excess heat within the frame, which isn’t favorable for homes in warmer regions.
- Fiberglass: Want to replicate the look and feel of wooden windows and doors, without worrying about warping issues? Fiberglass might be a good choice. Unfortunately, fiberglass comes with a very high price tag and needs regular maintenance to remain beautiful.
- Composite: Composite frames are made of several different materials. They have been growing in popularity through the years, thanks to their excellent strength, beauty, insulation values and easy maintenance. Fibrex® window frames are guaranteed not to rot, peel, decay or crack. They are also 100% recyclable, making them among the most sustainable options you can find.
You can reinforce your new windows and doors with advanced energy-saving glass. Top window manufacturers use modified low-emissivity (low-e) glass, which filters the heat from natural light coming through your windows. This results in a brighter home during the summer, minus the accompanying heat. At the same time, it prevents heat from escaping your home during the colder months.
Because low-E glass keeps your utility systems from overworking, you can save considerably on energy costs. To make sure your new windows and doors are energy-efficient, look for the ENERGY STAR® and NFRC labels on any product you’re considering. A door or window with this label has met stringent energy performance ratings like the following:
Energy Performance Ratings for Windows
Energy Performance Ratings for Doors
Aside from the frame and the glass, there are numerous other customization options to consider, which will complete the look of your window and doors. Many newer units come with an impressive selection of features, allowing you to “dress” your replacement windows and doors the way you want. From grills and screens to color finishes and hardware, you have endless options when it comes to personalizing your windows and doors.
Before selecting the framing material, glass option and other customization features, be sure to consult a trusted contractor first. They can assess your home professionally and help you determine the right choices for your needs.
Essential #3: The Right Financing Plan
Figuring out how to pay for window and door remodels can be daunting. Despite the fact that window and door upgrades eventually pay for themselves—the projected return on investment is at least 70%—it takes time for incremental savings to defray the initial outlay.
Many homeowners end up delaying window replacement because of this, only to find that in the interim, their window and door woes have become much more serious than they were originally. If financial considerations are all that’s holding you back from window and door upgrades, here are some things to consider:
Lines of Credit: If you haven’t already, check with your window and door contractor of choice to see what kind of loan or credit you might be able to qualify for. Depending on your credit rating, you might be able to work out a payment plan for your replacement units.
Also, it never hurts to ask if your contractor is running any promotions currently. You never know, it might just be your lucky day.
Energy Tax Credits and/or Rebates: The Department of Energy has a lot of resources available for those who are looking to make their homes more energy-efficient. Aside from an online search engine for energy-related tax credits, rebates and other savings measures, the department’s Weatherization Assistance Program can help provide funding for those making energy-efficient home improvements.
Other sources of funding and incentives can also be found on both state and federal levels. Energy Star has a rebate finder service to assist you in finding help. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency allows you to search for assistance on a state level, as does the Federal Energy Management Program’s Energy Incentive Program.
Essential #4: The Right Contractor
Replacing your windows and doors is a significant investment that requires careful consideration of a number of critical factors. There are so many different things to consider when upgrading your doors or windows that, as a homeowner, you will need all the help you can get to make sure you’re making the right decisions. To this end, hiring a trustworthy, experienced contractor is essential.
A primary reason for choosing the right window and door contractor for the job is ensuring that you don’t end up with substandard work. Before hiring a contractor, take the time to do a comprehensive background check on several candidates.
You’ll know you’re in good hands when the window and door contractor you’re interested in has the following qualities:
Licensed: Having the necessary licenses means your window and door contractor has met the requirements to operate in your area, ensuring high-quality, professional work. Hiring a licensed contractor also means you get to work with professionals who are thoroughly familiar with local building codes and regulations. Given the complex nature of door and window replacement, hiring a licensed contractor ensures that the work adheres to the applicable safety standards.
Established: You should hire a well-established contractor to ensure you’re working with a legitimate business. This is where online searches come in handy. Look prospective contractors up and see whether they have a physical business address and working contact numbers, plus an updated website. Satisfactory scores and reviews are also good indicators that the window and door contractor is truly reliable.
Experienced: You’ll be relying on your window and door contractor’s experience to ensure a safe, worry-free installation process. Because they have worked on countless replacement projects through the years, they have the means to guarantee that the installation will be done right the first time. This will mean that everything gets done on schedule without any hiccups, and, certainly, no need for callbacks to fix mistakes.
Certified: You know you’re working with an expert when you hire a certified window and door contractor. Being certified by leading brands allows your contractor to offer top-notch replacement windows and doors, high-quality craftsmanship and generous warranties.
To make sure you find the best replacement windows and doors, as well as guarantee a successful installation, keep in mind the aforementioned factors. By doing so, you can rest easy knowing you’ve made a quality investment for your home.
Renewal by Andersen® of Dallas and Fort Worth is your one-stop shop for quality window and door replacements. Call us at (877) 605-2922 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation!