By Home Ideas Editor, Tammy Crosby
Building a new home is both a rewarding and challenging venture, particularly when it comes to deciding on which windows to use. In new home construction, consumers will spend 15% or more of their home building budget on windows and doors. While aesthetics are certainly at the top of everyone’s list when searching for windows, they also provide warmth, light and energy efficiency. To assist consumers in choosing the right windows for their new home, we have provided some useful tips and important energy considerations:
Being well researched is the key to taking the stress out of selecting the right windows for your new home. You’ll want to take time to speak with window dealers, builders, architects and designers to see what they would recommend for the size and style of home you are building. Learn as much as you can about the various options, styles and energy-efficiency packages offered by leading window manufacturers like Ply Gem®, Andersen®, Integrity® by Marvin®, Milgard® and Jeld-Wen®.
Since windows are one of the most visible features of your home, you’ll want to make sure that the windows you select are complementary to your home’s architectural style. Work closely with your builder to select the style, size and shape of windows. Make sure that you consider what your windows will look like from the inside and outside. For added durability and low-maintenance consider fiberglass, aluminum or vinyl on the exterior and wood on the interior. If you opt for a wood interior frame, take into consideration your cabinetry, flooring and overall decor so that it matches the design of your interior.
A popular trend is to incorporate a wall of windows into the home design that mixes fixed and operable windows to maximize light, efficiency and of course, take advantage of the view. With so many styles available, take advantage of mixing and matching so you can maximize natural light and enhance curb appeal.
If you're looking to save money you should select standard-sized windows that offer the highest efficiency and quality for your budget. However, if money is not a major consideration and you really want to set your home apart from your neighbors, try customizing your windows with some creative upgrades like interior wood frames, grilles, between-the-glass window fashions and premium screens. And don’t forget to take advantage of energy-efficient upgrades like frame construction, glass options, insulation and sealing. Almost every window manufacturer has an ENERGY STAR® rating, but make sure they include the latest energy-efficient features like triple-panes, a high R-Value (the higher the number the more efficient the window), low U-Value, low emissivity (Lo-E) coating and argon gas-filled panes to ensure maximum insulation and efficiency.
For years of peace of mind make sure that you research the warranties, which is why it is wise to purchase from a reputable window manufacturer that has solid product warranties. Be sure to read the fine print for exceptions.