3 tasteful tips to keep ugly replacement windows at bay
July 25, 2011
Condensation resistance? Insulating value? Ventilation? If you chose your replacement windows with only energy efficiency and economy in mind, things could get ugly quick. "Things," in this case, are both the interior and exterior of your house. Don't sacrifice your home's aesthetic appeal, when you don't have to.
1. Don't replace old, ugly windows with ugly, new ones.
Replacement windows cost a pretty penny, so don't replace the windows you hate with a more energy-efficient version of the same window. A different window style may rid you of those tiresome awning windows with cranks, but don't squander the opportunity to truly improve the aesthetic of your home. Does your front room not get enough natural light, but the window's view of the street has always been a security issue? You could choose a fixed-pane window with energy-efficient textured glass and possibly hire a contractor to increase the size of the window, provided it doesn't upset the exterior appearance of your home.
2. Pretty is as pretty stays.
Homeowners with beautiful natural wood interiors, sometimes choose wood replacement windows, instead of vinyl or aluminum, to better suit the interior of their homes. Know that high-maintenance wood exteriors can go from pretty to all chipped up in just a few seasons. Thankfully, clad windows solve this problem, and tend to be energy-efficient, too. The exterior of a frame is "clad" with treated aluminum, vinyl or fiberglass; but the interior of the window can be finished, natural wood, or painted to match the interior of your home. Clad window manufacturers like Marvin offer as many as 19 clad colors, and nine types of exterior window casing, to add aesthetic and architectural pop that allows your home's exterior to look pretty, year after year.
3. When window shopping, balance form and function.
One of the most important aesthetic considerations of any home remodeling project is the original architectural style of your home. If your older home had beautiful but drafty, wooden, double-sash, mullioned windows, replacing them with off-the-shelf, energy-efficient vinyl casement windows could wreck the "vibe" of your home and result in a style mish-mash that only drapery can resolve. Some manufacturers don't charge extra for custom replacement windows.
As with any important home improvement, take the time to do sufficient research that allows you to find windows that match the architectural style of your home, while embracing your personal aesthetic and functional considerations, such as energy-efficiency.