Choosing windows can be overwhelming given all the styles, materials, colours and features available. Windows are also one of the largest outlays in any renovation. The prices vary a lot depending on what you choose. Here are five things to consider to help you navigate the choices and choose the right style of windows for your home.
The style of your home
The style of windows you choose should complement the style of your home. The window choice for a period house, for example, will be very different to that of a newly built home.
Pay a visit to the showroom
Make sure you take the time to go and see as many different types of windows as you can. A visit to a showroom is a great place to start as it will give you a much better sense of what the different styles look like in reality and how they work.
You might find something you had liked in a catalogue looks very different in reality. Bring photos of your home with you to help your sales representative guide you to the most suitable styles available.
How to choose the right colours
When it comes to choosing your exterior window colour, your choice should complement the other materials on the exterior of your home. A red brick facade, for example, will look great with whites and cream window frames or for a more dramatic look, you could consider a black frame.
Your taste will also play a big part in your choice of colour. If you prefer a more traditional look, my advice would be to go for a classic shade like off-white or cream. On the other hand, if you are looking for something more contemporary, darker shades like anthracite grey or black are a modern and timeless choice.
When choosing the colour for the interior of your windows you aren’t limited by your choice of exterior colour. You can go with a dual colour option. You choose one colour for the outside of the windows and a different colour for the inside. I’d recommend choosing a neutral shade that matches your woodwork for the interior and a contrasting or statement colour outside.
Choosing the glazing style
To help you choose the right glazing style, think about how you want to use the room that the window is going in. If, for example, you want to make the most of a view to your garden, I’d advise keeping the window style as simple as possible. This means having as much uninterrupted glass as possible. By choosing a simple window style, your eye will be drawn to the view rather than the window. A picture window for example is a lovely feature in a room, this is where you have a large fixed window frame without any opening sections.
If, on the other hand, privacy is a concern, you might like to consider a style with more glazing bars. For somewhere like a bathroom or en-suite frosted or textured glass is a good option.
Remember that obscured glass, like textured or frosted, won’t let in as much light as clear glass. If privacy is an issue, but you don’t want to compromise on light, consider going with a frosted or satin glazed panel with a clear glass border.
Choosing the hardware
Your choice of hardware has a big part to play in the finished look of your door. Handles, hinges and other accessories provide the finishing touches, so take time to consider these details. You will have a range of finishes to choose from, like chrome, brushed steel and more traditional options like gold coloured metal finishes.
Your choice of hardware can have a significant impact on the look of your windows. When visiting the showroom, ask the salesperson about the different hardware options available. There are usually a range of styles and finishes to choose from. Chrome, in either a polished or satin finish is a timeless choice and will suit both contemporary and traditional window styles.
Finally, different window styles will have different locking mechanisms. Make sure to check these out to see that you are happy with how the system feels in your hand and are comfortable using it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Managing Director Optimise Design, B.Arch. RIAI RIBA
& Senator’s Expert Design Consultant