By Gates Dearen
|Courtesy of HomeRitejacksonville.com|
So, you’ve finally decided it’s time to replace your home’s windows with new, more attractive, more energy efficient models. Bravo! Now you need to decide the type and style of windows. The past few years have seen great development and evolution in window construction and features, so it helps to understand the current vocabulary of the window industry. Not only do they have their own lingo, there is a wide variety of products and styles and features to choose from. Everything from double and triple panes, to Low-E and impact-resistant windows, are available today. Just as importantly, there are a number of style elements that can be incorporated into windows to make any home or room a work of art. To help you sort out what’s what in the world of window styles, I have created the quick reference guide below.
Aluminum or Vinyl Windows?
Aside from their outward appearance, there are a number of key differences when deciding whether to opt for aluminum or vinyl replacement windows. While both are effective at keeping the elements at bay, the chief difference between the two is that aluminum windows are more impact resistant, while vinyl windows are more energy efficient. Vinyl windows also score points when it comes to maintenance, since there is none, whereas aluminum windows need to be lubricated regularly and if they are painted, this too will require maintenance.
Single or Double Hung?
Single hung windows feature a single sash that slides up, as well as tilting in for easy cleaning. Double hung windows feature an upper, outside sash that slides down and a lower, inside sash, that slides up.
As the name implies, these windows slide from side to side as opposed to going up and down. Like single hung windows, they feature a tilt-in feature that makes cleaning a snap. Other options can include a decorative grid system as well as having single or double panes.
Casement windows are the type of windows that open like doors. This is accomplished by spinning a rotor or cranking a handle. This window type is great for letting in a breeze since they allow maximum airflow.
A casement unit with two sashes in one frame. These typically open outward in opposite directions in the style of typical French doors.
Bay windows, or bow windows, are created by the use of 3 or more windows set in such a way that they project outward from the wall. The bow can be composed of a mix of single or double hung windows, casement windows, or windows that do not open. Usually the focal point of any room, bay windows are as much an artistic statement as they are a way to allow light and air into any room.
A combination of frame and sash allows these windows to pivot outward from the top with the sash opening to the exterior of the building, as do typical awnings.
Specialty WindowsSpecialty windows let you transform an ordinary room into a visual masterpiece with a view. Their breadth of shapes and sizes lets you configure countless variations of dynamic windows using standard or custom dimensions.
Form and Function
While most windows look similar, the great variety of trims and insets can make them special. Below is a short list of these style elements:
Surround – An attractive protective trim that gives a window a decorative edge.
Stiles – Vertical sash members
Rails – Horizontal sash members
Bars – Divisional members extending from bar to bar, or rail to rail
Muntins – Divisional members extending from a bar to a rail or a stile to a bar
Mulling – Attaching 2 or more window units together
Rose – A circular cover plate that attaches to the stile. The rose can include a design embossed into the cover.
Astragal – A decorative molding, which is sometimes applied to a French casement window unit
Flanker – A term used to describe side by side or laterally arrayed windows
When it comes to bringing light, air and a sense of style to your home you have lots of choices. Make sure you understand the types, styles, features and benefits of the windows you're considering. Make sure your window representative takes the time to explain and compare and contrast the different types and styles of windows they offer. If they aren’t willing to help you before the sale, they probably won’t be much help after the sale either.
At HomeRite Windows and Doors, we happily provide experienced advice, and a wide variety of products to satisfy virtually every situation and budget. Bring your needs and imagination to HomeRite, and we will be sure to satisfy your functional criteria and visual expectations.
HomeRite is a window and door dealer that specializes in energy efficient, quality products with warranties and service to match. The company has been in business since 2005. HomeRite is partnered with a manufacturer that has been producing high-quality products and providing excellent customer service for over 60 years. Windows and doors from HomeRite are some of the highest quality, most thermally efficient windows and doors on the market.
HomeRite products add substantial value to their clients’ properties. HomeRite is a member of the United States Green Building Council, a non-profit organization comprised of leaders across the industry working to advance environmentally responsible buildings.
Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. He and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 25 years. They strive to match homeowners with the right windows and doors for their homes and budgets. They make the home improvement process pleasant with first-rate, energy-efficient products, affordable pricing, and award-winning installers who employ the best practices and who always treat customers and their property with the utmost respect.