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Windows for Rustic and Traditional Architecture

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

In a world where everything gets sleeker and more streamlined, it can seem difficult to find products with good, old-fashioned style for architecture made popular in the past. If you have a home like this, you’ll be happy to know that, even as technologies and materials advance, aesthetically correct windows can still be found. Here are some tips to help you select windows that stay true to your home’s look inside and out!

Integrity Wood-Ultrex Double Hung Windows

The Integrity Wood-Ultrex Double Hung Windows on this farmhouse stay true to its style. Not only can you identify the sashes from afar, but the six over six divided lite pattern is historically accurate.

Select the Right Type

Windows come in a variety of types thanks to a long history of innovation. Early operational glass windows were often of the sash variety, with panels that could move within their frames to open for ventilation. Double hung windows are the most popular example of this type, and they have enjoyed prominence from Georgian times to present. They are the most historically accurate choice for homes with Cape Cod and traditional farmhouse architecture.

Hinged casement windows, which swing open from one side, have also been around for hundreds of years, but they are usually found on grander homes. French country and Tudor houses typically use these. Original Craftsman designs can be found with casement as well as double hung windows, owing to their adaptability and diversity in style. Casement windows come in a wide range of sizes, so they are often favored for homes with particularly high ceilings.

While sash and hinged windows cater to different genres, they can overlap. Consider the intricacies of your home and the slew of design and functional features offered by each window model before purchasing.

Integrity Wood-Ultrex IMPACT Casement Windows

It's easy to see how much charm Integrity Wood-Ultrex IMPACT Casement Windows add to the interior of this coastal Tudor home. A light finish is perfect in this case, but the frames can be stained to match any design scheme.

Choose Wood Interiors

Wood frames are traditional, of course, but they aren’t the best at enduring weather conditions. Luckily, you can select beautiful real wood for the interior side of the window and leave the elements to another material. Ultrex® fiberglass is a great choice—it significantly outperforms vinyl in terms of strength and durability, contributes to better energy efficiency, and comes with a thick acrylic finish for superior color retention. Aluminum cladding is another tough and long-lasting option, and these windows have a wide palette of prefinished paint colors available, including custom hues. While a wood exterior is undeniably beautiful and authentic, you must be willing to regularly maintain the frames, sashes, and muntins to keep the unit looking and functioning as well as you expect. The majority of homeowners opt for low-maintenance materials instead.

When protected in the home’s interior, wood frames become an irreplaceable part of the décor. Pine, the most commonly used and least expensive species, can be delivered raw or primed, to be stained or painted to your liking. You might come across other species including Douglas fir, white oak, cherry, and mahogany, but if you have a special order in mind, other types of wood may also be offered. Consider your home’s location and the history of its style before making your selection; while softwood frames complement a cottage in the woods, a formal colonial might look better dressed up with something richer.

Marvin Ultimate Swinging Arch Top French Door

With lites and a fancy shape, the Marvin Ultimate Swinging Arch Top French Door is a fantastic choice for classic European architecture. Choose from six wood species for the interior and virtually limitless exterior finish colors!

Love the Lite

Large uninterrupted panes are a relatively new innovation. Glassmakers of the past pieced multiple smaller panes together with wooden muntins to hold them in place; it was impossible to produce large clear panes and this was the only way to create full-sized windows. As a result, we still associate divided lites with older homes, and many homeowners insist on the style originally used on the house.

In general, the more lites a window has, the older its appearance. The six over six arrangement—which has six lites per sash—is a good standard for double hung windows, but homeowners who want a more transitional look often choose two over two. If clear sightlines are a priority, the lower sash can be a single pane while the top sash holds the traditional divided lite charm. Casement windows also come with any number of simple rectangular lites, and special patterns like Prairie and trellis leave the center of the window clear while using small lites around the edges to add interest. There are so many options, you should definitely ask a professional for assistance if you aren’t quite sure which lite pattern is right for your home.

If you’re searching for the perfect windows for your home, let the experts at Integrity® and Marvin® Windows lend a hand. With a huge collection of beautiful products, a focus on architectural design, and custom capabilities, you’re sure to find windows that answer your needs. Find a dealer to discuss the practically endless possibilities!