Window Shopping…Really I Mean Shopping for Windows – Part 3

Even More Things to Consider When Buying Windows


I know that it seems that I have written a lot about windows in this ‘Window Shopping’ series. I think one of the issues with construction in general and this topic of windows specifically, is the lack of information people have before deciding what to buy. There is no right answer for everyone, but the more you know the more likely it is to find the best one for you.

In the previous two blogs in this series, part 1 and part 2, we discussed materials used and construction options for windows. In this final one we will talk design.

3-st_brigide_church-doorway-montreal_2013-ticklebear4u_comDESIGN – When considering design, it is more about function and appearance. There are a huge variety of options available to choose from. This is one reason to start with a clear why. Design is an area that can make a big difference in the finished project. You need to be careful though because it is easy for the ‘bells and whistles’ to push the price beyond your budget.

            Shapes – There are a lot of shapes available; curved tops, circles, triangle, trapezoid and custom shapes. Depending on the manufacturer, some size limitations and how much you want to spend, shape is open to your imagination.

            Grilles – Grilles tend to have more of a connection to the architectural design and that should be considered if you are thinking about painted-windowsgrilles. It may also be that you hope to change the view when looking through the windows. Grilles are a great way to do this.

            Shades – Mini blinds or cellular shades between the panes of glass aren’t offered by all manufacturers, but serve both a design and pragmatic purpose. They also have a big effect on how the window looks. They allow you to let in only as much sun as you would like, as well as provide privacy.

            Colors – This is another area where, depending on who makes the windows, there are a large number of color choices. These choice options will also depend on material; wood, aluminum, vinyl, etc. With some manufacturers it is possible to get one pre-finished color on the outside and a different one on the inside.

Let me give you an example of how this decision making process works. I live in a one hundred-year-old craftsman style farm house, built by my Great Grandfather. It has always been in our family and both my Grandmother and Mother grew up in this home. To me the history and heritage plays a large part in my decisions. It was built with large double hung, single pane windows. Originally the size allowed for an ample amount of natural light and fresh air. There wasn’t much in the way of electric lighting and air conditioning when it was built. We have plenty of artificial light and central heat and air now so we could go with smaller windows.

When considering windows here are the things that I would keep in mind:

      windows-with-shades      Wood – I like its stability and the option of having a stained wood interior.

            Double Hung – Match the original architecture with windows the same size.

            Grilles – Possibly, might give the house an upgraded feel, while being true to the original style.

            Shades – Definitely mini blinds between the panes of glass. My experience with these are that even though they add to the price they are worth it. They are great at controlling the amount of natural light coming in as well as privacy.

            Colors – A neutral aluminum clad exterior with a pre-finished stained interior. These colors will not be too restrictive when considering future painting and finishes.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to deciding what you want when buying windows. As I told you in the beginning, not all windows are created equal and the same is true for installation.

I hope that this gives you some physical insight and direction when shopping for windows. Don’t forget that there is an emotional consideration as well. You can find out about it in the blog about “How Do You Feel About Windows”.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe Today

to receive Mark's weekly solutions!

We respect your email privacy