Windows: not just for looking through
A great starting point for home remodeling
Many people choose to build a new home or remodel an existing home to create a dwelling tailormade for them.
They don’t want to be confined to a home designed for someone else’s lifestyle or preferences. Homes today are customized to their owners -— from the entry door to the patio door; from the peak of the great room to the choice in flooring. And building materials manufacturers are responding with more options to please a range of tastes and budgets, and products that outperform those of only a few years ago.
Take windows for example. Window and door manufacturers continually refine their products to increase their energy efficiency ratings. More manufacturers offer products designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. And aesthetically, windows have become an integral part of homes’ exterior — and interior — design.
“Windows have become a much more integral piece of a home’s architecture and interior design in the past several years,” said Dave Koester, brand manager for Weather Shield Windows & Doors. “As a manufacturer, we try to stay ahead of the trends and offer homeowners the choices they want when designing their homes. We continually expand our options in exterior colors, interior wood trim species, grilles and hardware in order to create windows and patio doors that appeal to homeowners’ varied tastes.”
According to Koester, home designs no longer have a single obligatory window in each room but rather feature multiple windows that add dimension and character to a room, bring the sunlight and views in, and artfully follow the pitches of the vaulted ceilings inside and the rooflines on the outside.
Monumental patio doors, transoms and custom-shaped fixed windows, along with double hung, casement or awning operating windows create huge glass expanses, particularly for the back of a home. More homeowners and builders are using telescoping patio doors and bi-fold patio doors up to 23- or 24feet wide to add dramatic effects to a room’s aesthetics, opening up a room to more light, outside air and bigger views.
These doors are tailor-made for blending indoor and outdoor living areas.
Window exteriors are available in several materials; one of the most popular is aluminum clad wood.
Through advanced painting systems, select manufacturers can paint cladding in virtually any color imaginable. Whatever your pleasure — Indigo blue, dark night blue, Aegean blue, they’re all available on the market today.
Homeowners looking to further the historic look of their New England saltbox or the rustic nature of their ranch home often use grilles, either in between the two sheets of glass or on top of the glass, in a variety of standard and custom shapes. If you prefer the sophisticated look of cut-glass or v-groove glass, manufacturers can deliver these rich options for relatively little expense. Weather Shield offers specialty glass designs in obscure, evergreen, rain, bronze, spandrel and wire.
Window manufacturers offer extensive trim options inside that can match a home’s base and crown moulding, built-in shelves or even hardwood floors.
Homeowners can request windows in wood species such as character alder, oak, mahogany, cherry, ash, maple, and American fir. Interior trim styles with rosettes provide strong and attractive window framework, whether it be above the kitchen sink or head board in the master bedroom.
Exotic styles and unique hardware finishes also contribute to the interior design of the home. A variety of contemporary or traditional hardware styles are available for window and door locks and handles, including hand-cast bronze hardware providing old-world charm. And finishes like oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel and antique brass, offer subtle hues to complement any décor.
Many manufacturers highlight some of the more impressive interior and exterior design ideas on their Web sites. Weather Shield’s site (weathershield.com) includes an idea house and scrapbooking tool for you to collect your favorite ideas.
Clearly, windows have evolved both technologically and aesthetically, and creating a distinctive and inviting look for your home is made easy by taking advantage of the multitude of options available in windows and patio doors.
The exterior design is only one consideration when it comes to choosing windows and doors. Having it all come together on the inside is important as well.
Inside: This kitchen’s beautiful double-hung windows and bay window have rich white interiors to complement the surrounding cabinetry and woodwork, and enhance the room’s overall interior design.