Whether you’re building a custom home from scratch, or looking to replace the windows in your current home, windows are a big investment. Not only do they shape your daily view of the outside, but they keep your interior spaces bright and comfortable. Windows add major curb appeal, and can have great effects on your home’s efficiency - if you want to add value to your dwelling, windows are where it’s at.
But where to start?
We’ve come up with some window buying guidelines to help you make the best decisions for your family and your home.
1. Your Lifestyle
Don’t be afraid to be selfish - this is a great opportunity to customize and add a luxurious touch to your home. Are there particular views you’d like to highlight? Do you need integrated blinds for easy operation? What kind of climate are you living in? Are extreme temperatures a factor in your daily life?
2. Your Aesthetic
Your personal style and taste play a big role in the type of windows that will suit your surroundings best. There are two principal elements that will determine the type of windows you choose: material and style.
Our preferred materials, wood and aluminum, are among the most commonly used when it comes to windows, and each can enhance and compliment the decor scheme of your home.
A. Solid Wood
- Offers a beautiful natural finish
- Great for a traditional sense of style or heritage home
- Flexible design options; can be shaped, painted, or stained for any finish you desire
B. Insulated Aluminum (Thermally-Broken)
- Highly durable and easy to maintain
- Perfect for large windows and an unobstructed view
- A sleek, contemporary look
From the contemporary aluminum tilt-turn to a custom heritage wood window, there are plenty of window styles to suit different functionalities and aesthetics. We feature eight specific styles of window, including specialty, which means if you can dream it, we can make it.
Windows that offer a traditional aesthetic with rich finishes.
Sleek, contemporary windows that integrate seamlessly into modern design.
Don’t overlook the small stuff; muntins, screens, hardware, and finishes will all impact the overall look of your home, so get to know your aesthetic prior to meeting with your designer, architect, builder, or window manufacturer. This will help you choose the right finishing touches.
3. Economic & Energy Efficiency
Especially in extreme climates like Ottawa, choosing a glass that offers optimal efficiency is important. Choose from double or triple-glazed, in addition to low-e and argon-filled glass options for best performance.
Professional installation helps minimize the risks (depending on the environment) of infiltration or potential water damage, and is often necessary for warranties.
If building your home from scratch, proper window placement based on your home’s orientation can impact how the elements move through your home. Alternatively, you can choose specific glass coatings for different areas of your home, depending on sun exposure.
Different frame materials offer different insulating factors which will affect the efficiency of your windows. Wood is naturally insulated, while aluminum must be thermally broken (i.e. manufactured with a barrier in between the inside and outside window frames that will prevent the conductive thermal energy loss).
4. Good Things To Know Before Contacting Your Architect, Designer, Builder, Or Window Specialist
- Know what type of home you have (i.e. farmhouse, ranch style, bungalow, two-storey, etc.)
- Know the (approximate) age of your home
- Know how many windows you need, or want
- Know what material you prefer (i.e. wood, aluminum, etc.)
- Know which style you would like to incorporate
- Know your (approximate) budget
5. Good Questions To Ask
- What is the turnaround time between ordering and installation?
- How long will installation take?
- What happens if there is an issue after product installation? Ask for a breakdown of the warranty.
These tips will help you make a better decision about which windows to choose for your home. Your architect or builder will be a great jumping off point for your questions, but so are we! Don’t be shy to send us any questions you have about your custom project in Ottawa - we’d be happy to take a look at your drawings, respond to any concerns, and provide you with a custom quote!