Home Window Design Ideas

Nov 30th

At first window design ideas were intended to let light into a cabin or hut and shaded by oiled cloth or stretched animal skins. Years by years, then came glass and with it more light. Soon, there was more interest in window design and style, as well as function. Now there are many window options in glass and even some in plexiglass. All come in a variety of frames, including wood, steel, aluminum, vinyl or some composite material.

Window Walls
Window Walls

There are four basic designs for windows, each with several variations, including fixed pane, with a single panel of glass permanently sealed in a frame; double-hung and gliding, which open either vertically or horizontally on a track frame; casement, hopper or awning, which open partially or fully with crank mechanisms; and bay or bow, which extend from the wall of the house with panes on the front and sides.

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Window glass is available in two basic varieties: single pane and double pane. Single pane glass is comprised of one sheet of glass installed in either a fixed or movable frame. The thickness of the glass varies and may be clear, frosted or colored. Single pane windows are the cheapest, easiest to replace and let lighter in, but are less effective insulators. Double pane glass, comprised of a layer of air between the two sheets of glass, is better insulators, can help reduce energy costs and keep out more noise, but is more expensive to install and replace. Double pane glass also may be subject to moisture problems if the seal holding the pane leaks. Plexiglas is used in some windows for more durability.

Window frames are one of the most important window design ideas. They once were always wood, but today’s options include steel, aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass or composite materials blended from wood fibers and plastics. Wood frames are easy to install and inexpensive, but require painting and are subject to rot. Steel is durable and provides clean lines, but may rust and will require painting. Aluminum is sturdy and maintenance-free, but is a poor insulator and may not be available in desirable colors. Fiberglass and plastic are strong, and require little maintenance, but color selections are limited. Composites blend the good qualities of wood and plastic, but are more expensive and may be difficult to obtain and install.

Placement affects the design and effectiveness of windows. South-facing windows collect the most solar heat and energy in winter and should be larger than those on other sides of the house. These windows need a roof or overhang to shade them from summer’s more intense sun and heat. North-facing windows may be smaller and used primarily to provide light, not solar heat.

Sliding and gliding windows may be leakier than other styles, a consideration for energy efficiency, although double panes will help. Casement, hopper and awning styles are more energy-efficient than double-hung windows and offer additional ventilation options. Bow and bay window design ideas are excellent for lighting and ventilation and provide a feeling of spaciousness in a room. These are often used in kitchens or in living areas with window seats.

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