Few improvements can transform the appearance of your Northwest contemporary home quite like installing a new set of windows. You can boost your home’s curb appeal, improve its views of the surrounding area and flood your living space with fresh air and natural light with just one simple upgrade. You’re also likely to save yourself loads of cash in the long run with today’s energy efficient designs. Here are a few considerations.
CURRENT NORTHWEST MODERN DESIGN TRENDS
Just about anything goes when it comes to modern window design. “Every window in your home is another opportunity to be creative,” columnist Dave Cook writes “That being said, what was considered extraordinary yesterday may seem pedestrian today. Having knowledge of current window trends will help you improve your home both inside and out.”
The tendency of many architects when it comes to designing windows today is to “go big,” a trend that presents its own set of logistical considerations, as laid out in Team Build’s “A Modern Guide to Windows”: “Windows applied to modern architecture tend to be larger, which directly results in window compositions that require a larger frame containing a number of separate glass panes. These panes can be a combination of both fixed and operable windows.”
Builder Magazine cites a few other popular trends for 2017 including transitional “indoor/outdoor spaces,” with large windows and glass doors that organically blur the line between living room and back yard; automated glass doors and windows that incorporate smart technology; and monitoring systems that help alert homeowners to when windows are open or unlocked, a plus for both security and energy efficiency.
WINDOW FRAME MATERIALS
Many architects favor vinyl and aluminum frames when designing for contemporary homes, but those are just two options. Here are some of the pros and cons associated with some of the most common frame materials.
Aluminum: This material is lightweight, durable and low-maintenance. Newer frames are more energy efficient than the aluminum frames of yesteryear.
Wood: Its warm look makes is one of the most desirable frame materials for traditional homes. However, wood frames can be quite expensive when compared to other materials, and they require extra maintenance (painting, sanding, etc.) to keep them from warping in our wet Northwest conditions.
Vinyl: A relatively inexpensive, low-maintenance option. However, vinyl (aka plastic) may not be your best bet for more traditional looking homes.
Fiberglass: A pricey but increasingly popular option this is known for being energy efficient and more resistant to temperature extremes than wood or vinyl.
Composite: This blend of materials offers the benefits of wood’s warm aesthetic inside minus the maintenance required to resist the elements outside.
SCREENS AND HARDWARE
Your new windows will come with a set of screens for letting fresh air in while keeping out unwanted insects and spiders. Many homeowners don’t realize how many varieties of window screens there are to choose from. There are standard aluminum or copper screens. There are lightweight fiberglass screens. There are even sturdier pet screens designed to withstand your cat’s claws and to keep your critters from escaping or falling out.
There are generally screw-in tabs at each corner hold the screens tightly in the frame. “A Modern Guide to Windows also cites two types of hardware commonly available with aluminum frames: roto-style hardware with a handle that pushes the window pane out, and lever latches are “minimal in appearance and highly functional.”
Find more pointers on choosing the right screen at Hometips.com.