How to Choose the Best Window Style for Your Home
It’s not until you need to replace windows or add new windows to your home that you realise their importance and complexity. Ensuring they work in harmony with both the interior and exterior takes some careful thinking.
Generally speaking, choosing windows that go with your home’s aesthetic is your best bet. You don’t want sleek aluminium frames in a historic cottage, for example. Windows need to fit with your home’s architecture.
You also need to consider purpose when choosing windows. If your main purpose is to take advantage of sea breezes, louvre windows could be a good choice. If you’re wanting natural light with privacy from the neighbour, you might instead opt for frosted glass. If you have dark corners with no exterior walls (eg a pantry or walk-in robe) you might look to skylights.
Basically you want windows that look great, match the style of your home and serve the purpose they are supposed to. They should also help control environmental elements and offer high energy efficiency. Not too hard, right?
Getting to know window styles
There are many different window styles that are commonly used in Australia. These include:
A Bay window projects from the external wall and helps to create additional space to a room. They are especially common above a kitchen bench and their protrusion enables you to capture extra light and warmth. Some homes choose to add window seats to their Bay windows which not only provide seating but hidden storage too.
Double Hung windows feature two glass panels that move up and down within a frame. They allow for venting from top or bottom and are common in older homes. They are sometimes referred to as Sash windows. The timeless character of the double hung window has made it one of the most popular window choices available.
Many new homes choose Casement windows for their excellent natural ventilation strategies. They have a clever way of channelling fresh air into your home and generally have lower air leakage rates than sliding windows because the sash closes by pressing against the frame. They also allow more control of ventilation than flush-opening windows. Casement windows are hinged on the side and swing out like a door and can be both single or multi-pane.
Louver windows allow you the greatest flow of air when fully open. Airflow can be varied by changing the pitch of the louvers, or in large openings by closing some blades and leaving others open. Modern louvers are often made of aluminium, metal, wood or glass and may be opened and closed with a metal lever, pulley or through motorised operators. They are generally only used in smaller spaces as drafts and security issues can arise.
Available in single, double and multi-opening panels, sliding windows are often the safest option for decks and walkways. Sliding windows make excellent use of space and are known for their ease of operation, wide sightlines, and flexible design options. Modern sliding windows utilise low friction rolling sliders, allowing easy operation at the push of a finger.
Bifold windows are the ultimate in indoor-outdoor living, merging one area with another. Made up of a number of different sashes that are hinged together, bifold windows open up in a concertina style to make a large, uninterrupted opening. The individual window panels stack neatly against each other at the side of the window frame to make the most of a scenic outlook or panoramic vista and help blur the lines between your indoor and outdoor living areas. They’re often installed as servery windows off kitchens, using an oversized sill as a cafe-style bench.
A Skylight is essentially a window in your roof that directly faces the sky. They typically allow much more light into your home than a regular window and disperse the light more evenly over a wider space. Because of the uniform light they allow into a room, skylights are ideal for bathrooms and kitchens. They can be made from either glass or acrylic and come in a variety of different types. Acrylic is generally cheaper, but bear in mind that acrylic skylights can scratch and discolour over time.
Picture windows are large, fixed-pane windows usually made without glazing bars. They are designed to give you a clear view of your surroundings without any obstructions, essentially framing the scenery outdoors. Picture windows are normally inoperable, therefore they provide no airflow or ventilation benefits. Their fixed-pane nature, however, do make picture windows highly energy efficient. Common uses for picture windows include dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms.
Awning windows are hinged at or near the top of the frame and swing out from the bottom of the opening. The design of awning windows make them ideal for ventilation in wet weather, with the sash acting as a canopy to keep the rain out. Awning windows don’t open up entirely but by adjusting the angle of the window you can control the amount of air coming into your home.They have an airtight seal when closed, providing energy efficiency.
Stationary windows do not open but they can be customised in nearly any angle or shape you desire. They are often found in modern- or contemporary-style houses in conjunction with operating windows. Fixed like a picture window, a stationary window has a thicker frame than a picture window to allow it to blend in better with other operable windows.
Getting to know your needs
There are many different types of windows that make up the construction of your home. There is no ‘one window fits all’, with different windows helping to control ventilation, energy efficiency and natural light. Your home should be a combination of windows that best address the needs of your individual spaces. That said, different style windows must flow together and look aesthetically pleasing from the outside. Your windows, after all, help define the style and overall look of your home.
The good news is that no matter what type of windows you choose for your home, Artilux has the insect screens to fit. We don’t be in a one-size-fits-all approach and we have a range of systems and cassette sizes to suit the needs of your home. We have retractable and pleated insect screens for ALL doors and windows.
For the last 30 years we’ve been Australia’s leading supplier of high quality retractable screens. Talk to us about your window needs and discover how we can help you live more comfortably and feel safer while at home.