Windows might not seem like a hugely complex design area, but they make a massive difference to how your home looks and feels.
They’ll also have an effect on energy efficiency, bills and (of course) how much ventilation your home has. Here’s a quick rundown of the four most popular types to consider.
Probably the most popular type of window, casements are found in most homes, often in bedrooms or kitchens. They consist of a side hinge opening, large pane of glass and some kind of window frame. There are lots of advantages to casement windows, which explains their popularity. The view (although obstructed by frames) is big so they provide excellent lighting, ventilation and are great if you want to overlook a garden. Casements lock securely and with a tight seal, making them highly energy efficient, reducing heat loss and saving money.
Picture windows are vast and usually take up a huge portion of the wall. They’re designed with one thing in mind: to give you a fantastic view! They don’t have frames so there’s nothing to interrupt either views or sunlight. The biggest drawback with these types of windows, of course, is that they can’t be opened. This means that they’re not ideal for poorly ventilated areas. Moreover, they can gain/lose a lot of heat due to convection, so they aren’t as energy efficient as some of the other additions on the list. To offset these problems, picture windows are often paired with smaller casements that offer ventilation when required.
Glass walls are the new kids on the block. They’re extremely popular, especially in more modern properties seeking a contemporary design twist. Glass walls are exactly that. They cover an entire wall with glass but, unlike inflexible picture windows, they can be opened and closed, so they double as doors. Glass walls like those from Cover Glass slide either fully or partially open, making them a great choice for rooms overlooking gardens. They’re a fantastic way of controlling ventilation too, as they can be opened wide during the warmer months and then kept closed over winter. They tend to be better insulated than picture windows, minimizing heat loss and gain.
An architect’s dream, bay windows were designed to allow light to enter a room at different angles, refracting and creating different profiles. They’re most commonly found in kitchens or lounge areas and often come with a side window that can be opened for ventilation. The big advantage of bay windows is that they often come with a ledge.
Some people cover this with cushions and use it as a seating area, others prefer to grow plants in the sun. The addition of the ledge makes a room feel much larger, and the refracted light (especially when the sun rises or sets) makes for some beautiful colors. Bay windows are large, though, and in some cases they can be complicated to install.