What you need to know before you start window shopping. Find out what questions to ask before you begin.
You’ll have a hard time finding a project that brings as many benefits – and stretches your investment dollar farther – than new windows. Here are some of the benefits you’ll start enjoying from day one:
Windows play an important role in framing the moments that matter to you most, making every day a little brighter and more comfortable. With a wide variety of window styles available, you can choose the right one for your home. As you start shopping, consider these five things to help you focus your search:
A wide variety of window styles and finishes are available. So choosing the right window option will depend on your personal preference, the style of your home, the purpose or function of the window, and your budget. Here are the main types you can choose from:
Featured in a wide variety of home designs, casement windows feature one window that opens from the side using a crank handle. Casement windows offer great ventilation and tight seals for improved energy efficiency and comfort. They’re typically taller than they are wide, and because they swing out, they may not be well-suited to busy pedestrian traffic areas such as decks or front porches.
Awning windows are hinged from the top and open outward from the bottom. They generally have less air leakage because the sash closes by pressing against the frame.
Because of this design, awning windows shed water away from the window opening. They are a good choice for windows that are wider than they are tall.
Double-hung windows feature two sashes in a single frame. The top and bottom sashes bypass each other vertically when sliding open from the bottom up or the top down.
Double-hung windows look best when they are about twice as tall as they are wide and the sashes are equal-sized squares. They are often installed in traditional homes, like those designed in a Victorian or Colonial style.
Single-hung windows offer the same features and benefits of double-hung windows with one difference: only the bottom sash opens by sliding upward. The ventilation opening can be adjusted from a small area to one-half of the window area.
Sliding windows, sometimes called gliders or sliders, function just as their name implies – their sashes move side to side.
Sliders are one of the sleekest, most contemporary profiles in windows, and are ideal for installing in hard-to-reach areas, like over the kitchen sink. They also are commonly installed in multifamily buildings and apartment complexes. Sliders are typically available as single-sliding (only one sash moves) or double-sliding units.
A bay window often has a large center window flanked by double-hung or casement windows set at 30- or 45-degree angles. The bow window, similar to a bay window, has four or more equal-size windows, usually casements, joined together to form a graceful curve.
Both bay and bow windows open up the view and give your room the feeling of being larger than it really is. A window seat is a popular addition to any bay or bow window.
Often selected for decoration or used in combination with other windows, special shape and fixed windows don’t open or vent.
Round, octagonal, elliptical, rectangular, pentagonal, hexagonal and other shapes of windows can be strategically placed to enhance the view or add architectural interest to your home. Create a unique window wall by adding movable windows and small, fixed units, called transoms.
Like fixed windows, transoms are most often used in combination with other windows, and can be either venting or fixed units.
They typically are installed above or below the room’s primary windows. They help give the illusion of larger windows, allow in more light and, if venting units, may increase airflow. Transom windows are available in many different shapes, including square, rectangular, half-circle and elliptical.
If you can dream it, the right window manufacturer can help you build it. From extra tall to extra wide, from unique shapes to curved frames, or from intricate grilles to stained or beveled glass – the possibilities for your new window are virtually endless.
You can also create a custom look by mixing and matching windows and doors. Start with a single window or door, then add more windows next to, above, or below to create a combination that reflects your personal style.
Combine different sizes, shapes and styles to create a “window wall” – an architectural focal point inside your home and out.
Personalize your windows with the features you want
If you like color choices, you’re in luck. Windows are available in a wide range of finishes and colors to complement both the interior and exterior of your home. Depending on the product, you may be able to choose from dozens of color options to find the one that’s right for your home.
Pella offers wood windows with snap-in technology, which lets you easily change your shades, blinds or grilles whenever you want a new look. Because they’re tucked between the panes of glass, they won’t harbor dust and allergens like typical window fashions do. 27 And they’re available motorized with Insynctive® technology, so they can be operated via a remote control or from virtually anywhere with a smart device connected to a compatible home automation system. 40
Grilles create the individual windowpanes, giving you the most authentic look of true divided-light windows. There are several window grille types, so you can choose one that best fits your home’s architectural style. Some grilles-between-the-glass make the window easier to clean, too.
Window hardware can be as beautiful as it is functional. You’ll have your choice of today’s most popular finishes to coordinate with other decorative finishes in your home – such as light fixtures and cabinet hardware.
From Colonial to Craftsman and Ranch to Provincial, you can choose from a variety of interior trim options that give you fresh new ways to frame your view. On the outside, look for low-maintenance aluminum-clad trim options for wood windows. The more styles available, the more likely your windows can stay true to your home’s architectural style and decor.
Choosing the right glass for your region and your home is as important a decision as any you’ll face when buying windows. For optimum energy efficiency, choose two or three panes of glass. And look for windows with Low-E (Low-emissivity) insulating glass with argon between the panes to block more of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. For maximum energy performance, choose products that meet ENERGY STAR® requirements.
Window screens are important to your home’s light, ventilation, and view. Today’s innovative high-transparency screens are practically invisible, which helps you bring the outdoors in. Pella’s retractable screens roll up and down like a shade to maximize your view and allow more light into your room.