Tom Shafer

How to change the look of your home with windows

September 30, 2014

It is surprisingly easy to transform the look of a home by changing the windows. Do you have a mid-20th century home and want to modernize it? Change the windows. Have a contemporary home but want it to be more traditional? Change the windows. Have a track home and want to…okay, you get the idea. Change the windows, and you'll change the look and feel of your home.

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Traditional window replacement usually involves replacing the sash in a double hung window with a new vinyl window. Totally changing the windows means a full tear out. It involves removing the existing window, the window frame, the interior and exterior molding. Full frame replacement also invades the watertight properties of the home. It's a bigger job than simply swapping out one window for another, but you'll also get a bigger impact.

Can windows alone really do that much? It depends on the style of home you have and the style you want. Let's say you have a mid-century ranch home. At the time these were built, building codes did not require egress sizes for bedrooms. The result was awning windows high off of the floor, perhaps 30"x 20". This left wall space, but a dark room. If you replace these awning windows with a double hung that meets the egress code, you will have a larger window - about three feet by five feet - which means more light and a brighter bedroom.

Windows can also do wonders to modernize a home. Consider outfitting a traditional colonial home with casement windows instead of double hung windows. This change will open the interior with more light, and there will be no meeting rail or grids to restrict the visible light. The same effect can be gained, with a little less cost, by installing sliding windows in place of twin double hung ones.

For a complete transformation, switch out your front and back doors, too. Old aluminum sliding doors that may be hard to open or have grids that visually closes the interior and darkens a room can be replaced with a French door with blinds. This will open the space to more light and make the room appear larger

So if your home needs a facelift, consider changing the window type. Go from awnings to double hungs, picture windows to a bay window, or any other combination you can dream up. All will make you feel like you have a new home.

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