Advice from Expert Window Manufacturers
Did you know the best lighting for your home is actually sunlight? Beyond providing optimal illumination, sunlight also helps to keep our homes healthy. As a natural disinfectant, natural lighting and fresh air can reduce the production of harmful bacteria.
In terms of design, window companies understand how windows can also serve as canvasses for décor and architectural design. To enhance your home using custom windows, consider the following design options and advice from window manufacturers in Ontario.
Determine What Your Needs Are
To find the right window design for your project, first, make a list of what you need from your windows. Do you need more natural light in a dark room? More ventilation? What size of windows do you need?
How accessible are these windows? Can you easily reach and open them, or will you need a crank mechanism? Can you clean them from the outside? Or do you need windows that are easy to clean from inside your home?
Do you want low-maintenance windows that won’t need refinishing often? Along with low maintenance and ease of use, energy-efficiency is another popular requirement for new windows.
What is the architectural style of your home? Whether modern or traditional, you’ll need windows to match. You can use the style of your existing windows to help guide you. You can also customize your windows to suit both your home and your specific taste and needs.
Here’s a look at various types of windows to help you decide on the best type for your home.
If you’re all about that natural lighting, let window companies introduce you to the window wall. With floor-to-ceiling glass and windows, a window wall offers maximum brightness and a great view to boot!
Window walls are typically comprised of large stationary picture windows. They are ideal for rooms with high ceilings. And they are customizable to suit various architectural styles, so they are found in both modern and traditional homes.
Where to draw inspiration from: Ottawa’s Shaw Centre (find it on Colonel By Drive).
Window companies are no strangers to bay windows, and their popularity is certainly not unwarranted. Custom bay windows can enhance a room by adding cozy alcoves, window seats, extra storage, and more!
Bay windows are often a combination of three windows, with a stationary window in the centre and casement or double-hung windows on each side, connected at a 35- or 40-degree angle to each other. But the type of windows you use throughout are completely customizable, so you can opt for all operational or all stationary windows if you please.
These windows add architectural interest to homes without adding much to the home’s total footprint.
Where to draw inspiration from: This imperial example.
Stained Glass Windows
If you’re looking to combine art and architecture, look no further than stained glass windows. It’s an elegant way to add colour and liveliness to your design. Bonus? You’ll get a different look every hour of the day. Depending on the position of the sun, your stained glass custom windows may appear brighter or darker.
Stained glass windows can be fixed or operational, such as on awning and casement windows. These windows also allow natural light in while providing privacy for you and your home.
Where to draw inspiration from: You’ll find intricate stained glass at most churches in Ottawa. Take inspiration from these, but remember you can always take a more simple and modern approach.
Entryway Custom Windows
Your entryway is the first thing guests see when they visit your home. Having stylish custom windows can help make an architectural statement and a good first impression.
Decorative glass, such as stained glass, makes for beautiful entryway windows. Decorative glass not only adds interest and boosts curb appeal, but it also provides some privacy for your home.
Where to draw inspiration from: This elegant example.
Skylights help illuminate a home without sacrificing privacy and taking up wall space. They can also help brighten up a home, provide a sky view and add length to the interior.
There are various styles of skylight windows, including fixed windows and casement-style windows that open with a crank or remote control. They can be installed in any room that has direct access to the roof of the home.
Skylights are ideal in rooms that have limited natural light due to a lack of wall space or an exterior wall to add windows, or an obstruction to the light, such as a building or overhang outside. They are also ideal for providing ventilation and air circulation in the hot top floor of homes.
Where to draw inspiration from: The clear blue sky above us!
Window companies know dormer windows are multifunctioning. They help break up large expanses of shingling, add height, and serve as an additional architectural element.
Dormer windows are typically installed on a sloped roof to provide natural light and ventilation to any room with a vaulted ceiling, such as an attic or loft. These windows are installed in a framed structure that sits vertically on a sloped roof, jutting outward from the pitch of the main roof.
The dormer window structure also has a roof, often with shingles that match the main roof. While these windows are popular for Colonial, Greek Revival, and cottage-style homes, they can suit any style of home with a sloped roof.
Along with adding character and interest to your home, dormer windows can also add space to a room, such as for a daybed, reading nook, desk, or dresser.
Where to draw inspiration from: Ottawa’s Archbishop Palace (find it on St. Patrick Street).
For plenty of unobstructed light and ventilation, casement windows are the way to go. These windows have hinges on either the right or left side and open outward with a crank. This crank makes it easier to open windows in hard-to-reach areas, such as above a kitchen counter or sink. And the crank is ideal for those who have trouble lifting or sliding open windows.
Due to the tight seal of casement windows, these windows are one of the most energy efficient types of windows available.
These windows are also customizable and versatile for many house styles, and they’re easy to clean when fully open.
With hinges at the top, awning windows open outwards with a crank mechanism, allowing fresh air in while providing protection from the elements. These windows are often installed above or below a stationary picture window, in basements, and in small spaces that need both privacy and natural light—such as bathrooms.
Like casement windows, the crank mechanism for awning windows makes these windows easier to open for those who normally have trouble pushing windows open. They also have a tight seal when closed, making these windows energy efficient.
By sliding horizontally to the side on a track, slider windows are easy to use and allow for control of ventilation and a great view of the outdoors.
Slider windows are often installed with a two- or three-pane configuration, with one pane (often a centre pane) being a stationary window, while the side panes are operational. The large expanse of glass makes these windows ideal in rooms where homeowners want to make the most of the view outdoors.
These windows are commonly found in modern- or contemporary-style homes due to their sleek design and function and can either have one or both windows sashes operational.
Hung windows are the most popular windows offered. They are easy to open and provide plenty of ventilation in the home. They are also ideal for installing window air conditioners.
Single-hung windows have a stationary sash and a sash that moves up and down, while double-hung windows have two sashes that move up and down for greater control over ventilation and air circulation in the warmer months. Double-hung windows are also very easy to clean from the inside of your home.
When open at the top and bottom, double-hung windows allow warm air to escape at the top and cool air to enter through the bottom opening.
These windows don’t protrude from the frame so they won’t take up any space on the inside or outside of your home. They’re versatile in style so they can suit both traditional- and contemporary-style homes. For example, you can opt for windows with internal grilles to add architectural appeal.
In addition to providing optimal lighting to your home, custom windows also provide a multitude of exciting design opportunities. There are many window companies in Ottawa—choosing the right one can help you turn your design dreams into a reality.