The changing needs in design and tastes make staying up with current trends and new technology in window manufacturing a must for custom home builders. The last half decade has seen massive changes in the options that are now available for all types of windows. This leads homeowners to be almost buried in choices when they go to choose new windows and the options that are available for them to have installed in their custom home. Since every option comes with a plus or a minus and a change in price, contractors are having to stay ahead of their clients and the ever evolving choices.
New options arise every year with windows, here is a brief list of some of the more popular options to help you understand what you have to select from;
• UV coatings. These coatings are good for houses with a lot of windows, the UV coating helps protect the furnishings and finishes in the home from the ever increasing harshness of UV light that exists today. There are some down sides to the UV coating; some manufactures install it as a last coat on the windows, which means that if you are not careful with the inside glass surface you could accidentally remove it. If you use the wrong cleaning product or scrape something off the glass with a razor blade or your finger nail it can peel off the protective film.
• Triple pane windows. Triple pain windows have been around for a while but you usually could only get them in certain brands and certain styles of windows, also the price was extreme compared to a normal double pane window. This has changed in the last couple of years, now most brands offer multiple lines and styles of windows in triple pane; also the cost of the triple pane window has come down in price making it a real option for people looking for a more energy efficient home. Triple pane windows work well to lessen the impact of large windows that are affected by high winds and cold temperatures. They also damper outside noise to almost nothing because of the thickness of the glass, basically no sounds seem to be able to resonate though and into the home.
• Coloured vinyl windows. Ever since the release of the vinyl window they have been offered in predominately one colour and that is the natural white colour that is native vinyl. That has all changed in the last decade, most window suppliers offer you a spectrum of colours for the vinyl that their windows are produced in. These vinyl windows also have the ability to be painted if you choose too at a later date for that custom look.
• Solar gain and solar limiting. The building codes in North America are changing and so are the options for your new windows. One of these changes is solar gain and solar limiting windows. What this means basically means is that one window allows more heat from the sun to penetrate into the home (solar gain) and the other blocks the heat from the sun from entering the home (solar limiting) without blocking the sunlight from coming in. The reason for this is to help balance the temperature of the home as this has always been a problem in homes; when the sun is shining on the south side of the building it raises the temperature of only the south side while leaving the north side of the home cooler. These windows should help even this out with maximizing sunlight into the north side of the home and limiting the heat produces from the south side of the home.This allows your furnace to work more efficiently and for your home to be closer to the desired temperature in every room.
• Hybrid windows. Hybrid windows that are aluminum on the outside and vinyl on the inside are now available. This allows the homeowner to have the look and longevity of aluminum on the outside and the advantage of vinyl on the inside. Having vinyl on the inside lowers the overall cost of the window compared to an aluminum window with wood on the inside. It also lowers the cost of finishing the inside of the window as vinyl doesn’t require any staining or painting to finish.
• European style windows. These type of windows have a hinge to allow air to flow in only through the top or to open like a crank window. These type of windows aren't new to the market as this style of window has been around for decades, but it is now available in vinyl form. These style of windows allow homeowners more options for regulating the air flow into the home and a different look and feel then conventional windows.
This is just some of the newer options that you can find in windows for residential custom homes. As there are almost endless window manufactures in the North American market there are also almost endless window options and they trend in and out depending on style, design and personal taste.
Make sure that you weigh all the options for new windows against the cost benefits that are associated with them. This could dramatically change your window budget for your new custom home.
Village Builders Inc.