Buyers Guide To Windows

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Green Brand understands that window shopping can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. With all the choices available for windows it is important to take the time when deciding on energy efficiency levels, high-tech features, styles, frame materials, curb appeal and pricing.

Match Architectural Styles

Curb appeal is an important element in Winnipeg’s home market. When selecting windows you will get the biggest return on investment if you match the window type with the architectural style of your home. Below are the popular matches:

Ranch

Single-story home with an asymmetrical design, clean lines and open floor plan. Most ranch-style homes work well with:

  • Wide Picture Windows
  • Large Double-hung
  • Sliding Windows

Contemporary

Features an open, flexible floor plan with unusual angles and multi-level rooflines. The clean lines and minimalistic style work well with:

  • Fixed
  • Casement
  • Awning
  • Sliding Windows

Traditional

Traditional floor plans combine many other styles like simple rooflines, brick, stone accents, front-facing gables and covered porches. Windows that complement this design are:

  • Double-hung
  • Casement

Farmhouse and Modern

This architectural style has a simple flat or low-slope roof, large porch and utilitarian design. To match this design use tall and narrow:

  • Double-hung
  • Casement
  • Sliding
  • Picture Windows

Colonial

This classic design has a rectangular shape, includes a pitched roof and strong symmetry. The window style that compliments this home is:

  • Double-hung

Victorian

This ornate model can be challenging due to its asymmetrical design, extensive porches, high-reaching towers and rounded shingles. To balance this style try tall and narrow windows:

  • Double-hung
  • Bow
  • Bay
  • Customized Arch-top

Tudor

This vintage style combines stucco and exposed wood trim, with a steep-pitched roof and gables. The perfect windows include:

  • Casement
  • Bay

Window Styles

Now that you know what the best window type is for your particular style home we can get into what those window styles are.

Casement / Awning Windows

These windows are hinged on one side and installed vertically (casement) or horizontally (awning) depending on which side you would like to open. Both casements and awnings allow for a large amount of airflow when open. Which one you choose really just depends on the area you have to open without obstruction. When closed they provide a strong airtight seal for maximum efficiency.

Single or Double-hung Windows

This style has one or both sashes (inside window frame) slide vertically. Screens are often used and the windows can be opened at the same time to achieve airflow in all conditions. Sash tilts in for easy cleaning.

Picture Windows

Designed to let in large amounts of light, these fixed windows come in any shape and size. They are often paired with a double-hung or casement window to allow for air circulation. With a large glass area it is important to make sure you include Argon gas between panes.

Bay / Bow Windows

Both styles have angles toward the exterior, which provides additional space inside your home. They combine fixed and often casement windows to bring in lots of natural light and air flow.

Window Frames

Wood frames have been used for centuries but new technologies and materials are now providing efficiency and durability along with style.

  • Wood: the “standard” for many years, wood is very efficient because it does not easily transfer hot or cold and it is easy to match with paint or stain. However wood is susceptible to rot and insect damage so you will need to keep up on maintenance.
  • Wood-clad: Also known as wood covered with a vinyl wrap. It is very popular because it provides a low-maintenance exterior and an insulating interior.
  • Vinyl: Combined with insulated glass and an airtight construction vinyl windows offer excellent energy efficiency. New colours are being added regularly, but this material does not match all architectural styles.

Glass Choices

Window glass is part of a program through the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) that measures U-value (resistance to heat loss) and Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) (how much heat enters the home through the glass). The number that NFRC gives window glass is the Energy Efficiency Level. Look for lower numbers for the best performance.

Your window glasses Energy Efficiency Level is influenced by the following:

  • LoE Glass Coating: the Low Thermal Emissivity is a coating that reduces the transfer of heat through the window and improves its insulating properties. It also allows the sun’s heat inside while blocking damaging UV rays.
  • Triple-Pane Windows: to provide the best thermo-insulation properties and to keep your home comfortable even in the harshest Winnipeg winter Green Brand recommends 3-panes of glass.
  • Argon or Krypton Gas: either gas is injected between the layers of the sealed glass unit to provide insulation. With triple-pane windows, you will benefit from an additional layer of insulating gas and an overall more energy efficient product.
  • EnerEDGE IG Spacer: low thermal conductivity spacer that is generally placed between the layers of glass to separate and seal the unit. This will help keep your home warmer during cold months.
  • Privacy Glass: add an aesthetic to your windows by adding a level of privacy through gray or bronze tints, decorative patterns, subtle accents or frosting.
  • Divider Grills: decorative dividers installed between the panes of glass will enhance your architectural design and give an authentic look of actual divided-light windows.

Installation

There are two different methods to choose from:

  • Retrofit: existing frames are used when possible to preserve the original look. Green Brand uses this method when the structural integrity of the frame is intact. This is the less expensive of the two options but if you are experiencing issues with energy efficiency it may not solve the problem completely.
  • Full-frame: this is a complete window replacement and will include new hardware, casings, jamb extensions, and brick molds. This will ensure there are no rot or moisture issues and the replacement material is vinyl instead of wood for increased energy efficiency and durability.

While the wide variety of window, frame, glass and installation options for replacement windows can be unnerving. Anders would like you to know that Green Brand Windows and Doors can be your start to finish company for all window knowledge and needs.