New windows are a great way to upgrade the look of an older home or customize a cookie-cutter new build. Like fresh blacktop on your driveway, or a recently stained deck, new windows make a home look clean and well-cared for without the scale of a major renovation. The diversity of styles can also change the look of your home, and express your personal taste. There are a lot of options, and window designs and fabrication methods are constantly changing. Here’s a list of some key window trends for 2016 to keep in mind for your next project!
With vinyl windows, you can choose the colour of the framing and other components to create a bold look for your home. Look for products that colour the vinyl material itself, instead of adding a layer of paint over top. This cuts down on maintenance and prevents paint flaking. Although white is unlikely to lose it’s position as the most popular window colour anytime soon, remember that it’s dominance is relatively recent. Before windows were mostly prefabricated, many other colours were popular. Try a dark blue or French green frame for an older brick home, or a warm red for a contemporary gray house.
Accents in High Places
Window details look great with high ceilings, and are a logical accompaniment to open concept, loft-inspired homes. Additionally, small windows placed above average height are unlikely to be a privacy concern, just a source of additional light. Try clerestory windows in the bathroom, or louver windows in a sunroom. For more design ideas and concepts, you should consider watching specialty TV programs about fun renovation ideas!
Although double-hung windows are the most popular choice in the construction industry, custom builders and architects are frequently turning to awning and sliding windows for their horizontal shape. Awning windows are hinged outward from the top, creating clean lines that complement modern architecture. The ability to open them outward without letting in rain or leaves has a practical appeal for summer nights.
Large Casement Windows
The appeal of a large window in a living room is universal. However, large casement windows are gaining popularity as an alternative to static picture windows. The casement window hinges allow them to be opened like doors for full ventilation, while placing them side-by-side can create a room just as airy as a screen porch, but with excellent heat retention. Or consider a wall of black trimmed casement windows with an exposed brick interior for a modern vintage look.
Consider this less of a trend, and more of a mandate. Getting energy efficient windows will save you money and help the environment. Window energy efficiency is dependent on a number of elements, including air leakage, installation and placement. Modern energy efficient windows are double or triple paned, with a layer of gas trapped between the glass to act as an insulator. Their air leakage rating, and performance longevity, depends on how much of the gas escapes. Generally, hinged windows are have a lower (and better) air leakage rating than sliding windows, so consider alternatives to traditional double and single hung models.
However, even the window with the best rating will perform poorly if it is improperly installed. Get a professional to put in your windows to ensure they are properly sealed, fitted and caulked. Afterwards, consider a stylish window treatment, like blinds or contemporary drapes to trap heat in your home in the winter and shield you from solar gain in the summer. Then enjoy the savings on your heating and air conditioning bills!