Choosing the correct and most suitable window or door for your home could be a little stressful. This guide will help you understand the factors that you should keep in mind before making the final call.
The perfect window and doors need to be economical, readily available, suitable to fit with the rest of your house, and safe. It should also be of top quality and sustain with the least amount of maintenance. Whether it is for choosing the best options for building your house from scratch or for replacing your pre-existing windows/doors, a lot of factors need to be kept in mind.
The materials, design, feasibility, installation and the setting are assessed, and the final decision is made. This guide will help you conclude much faster than you would expect!
GUIDE TO THE PERFECT WINDOWS AND DOORS
THE FIRST QUESTIONS THAT POP UP
Here is a list of the first questions that you need to make a note of and you could proceed according to your answers.
The climatic condition of your area– You need to select windows and doors according to the weather. It is wise to choose windows with low U-factor for better thermal resistance for colder regions and for warmer areas, select windows with coatings which prevent heat absorption.
Who will be installing the window? – Ideally, the company from where you buy your product from would assist, however, in some instances, it is recommended to hire trained professionals for the same. This ensures quality work.
Which one to choose? – In case you are replacing your old windows or doors, it may get very overwhelming to choose from the vast array of options available in the market. Analyze the style which suits the overall décor of your house and seek help from a professional if required.
How expensive will it be? – It is advisable to invest in the best door/window as this is an investment you would make once or maximum twice in your life. Make the necessary arrangements for creating the material of the best quality, efficiency, and safety.
What will be the ROI (return on investment)? – Non-efficient, cracked or poorly maintained windows/doors will need replacement if you are looking ahead to selling your house soon. This gives you another reason to invest in the best quality products.
TYPES OF WINDOWS AND DOORS
It is essential to find out the type of window or door you require, and this also matters on the location you need it for. A door or window for the living room will not necessarily be the same for your bedroom.
Double Hung– This type of window has two sections of glass which either slides up or down. This is the most traditional design and is very widely used in common households. They are also very easy to clean.
Glider– This is operated horizontally, it does not need to lift, and the glass framed panels could be slid to open or close it. These are ideal when you have a lack of space.
Casement– This is much like a door and swings inward or outwards. It is hinged on one side. The air flow is very abundant in this type. This type of window is suitable for hard to reach places, like above a kitchen sink.
Tilt turn– This is a dual-function window which can either be swung in like a door or tilts from the top for better ventilation. This is a good alternative for balcony doors.
Awning– This type is hinged on the top and swings outwards, gives added protection from temperature changes and could be placed higher for protection.
Fixed pane windows– These windows do not open and are just used for increasing light.
Sliding doors– The most common type of door, which is usually not used as an entrance door. These doors can be slid horizontally and look quite elegant, overlooking a beautiful landscape. This gives a very contemporary design for your patio. It also occupies less space.
Swinging doors– A very traditional design, this door is hinged on either side and could be opened inwards or outwards. It looks the best when it overlooks a beautiful valley or expanse of a hill. It also looks great in most rooms as it is a traditional design.
Scenic doors– These doors are the most seamlessly designed and could be either slid, lifted or folded. It operates very smoothly and opens up to a vast expanse, ideal for bedrooms or living rooms with a view.
CHOOSE THE MOST SUITABLE MATERIAL FOR YOUR WINDOW
For long-term usage, it is best to make the necessary investment in the door/ window which not only is of good quality but also complements your house. Here is a list of the most common materials used for making windows.
Roll Form Aluminum– Best suited for mild climates, these windows are low maintenance, and since it is very thin, it also conducts heat and cold very effectively. It is also very prone to corrosion, so you need to avoid it if you live under harsh weather conditions.
Wood– Even though it is one of the most common and elegant looking raw material for windows or doors, it does require maintenance in the form of painting, repairing and staining. They are usually coated with vinyl or aluminum to make it more compatible.
Fiberglass– This material is very strong and durable. It is also an excellent conductor and is of very low maintenance. They are one of the most commonly used materials for windows.
Vinyl– This is a very strong and impact resistant material that is also low maintenance. It is available in white and beige color.
Vinyl-based Composites– This is made from a mixture of vinyl and wood. This ensures better expansion than just vinyl.
CHOOSING THE BEST DOORS FOR YOUR HOUSE
With certain technological advancements, choosing the right door has become very easy. Here are a few points which you should keep an eye out for.
Innovations with better locks and safety additions along with weather-tight technology and other features could be added to your front door.
-Sidelights and transoms help in bringing more natural light into the house.
-Shades or grilles could be used to add to the safety of the house, and it also gives a stylish addition to your doorway. You could also use between-the-glass blinds which look very stylish.
-Addition of decorative glass collections to your door makes it look appealing.
-Even though door hardware is generally dull, newer designs can make even the most mundane door look eye-catching.
-Grilles make your door look like it has been divided giving it a windowpane look.
-Energy efficient glass options for your doors make for a great addition. When you are purchasing, keep a look out for insulating glass with argon panes and products that meet ENERGY STAR requirements.
GUIDE TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT EXTERIOR DOOR
Depending on whether you have bought a new house or are replacing your old doors, it could be a little tricky to select the main door of the house. These are some of the points which can make the process more comfortable for you.
Pre-Hung doors– These doors are already attached to the frame and the hinges. It includes weather stripping, and thus the installation is easy and smooth. This is ideal as a replacement for old doors.
Slab doors– This consists of only the door and nor framing. This is a good option when just the door needs to be replaced, and not the frame or hinges.
Based on raw material, doors could be wooden, steel, fiberglass or iron. Each of them has their benefits.
Wood– Available in different quality of woods. They are very heavy and made with frame and panel. They are weather resistant, durable and energy efficient.
Fiberglass-It could be painted according to your requirement. It is tough, weather resistant and is energy efficient. It does not shrink/swell.
Steel– Cheapest and the most durable. It can also withstand severe weather conditions.
Iron– Does not warp or rot and is more durable and secure than wooden doors.
Storm doors– These doors fit over the entry door and help to protect and prolong the life of the door. It is also available with screens to provide ventilation.
Security doors– These doors resist forced entry into the house and with welded steel construction, they are tamper-free and very secure. They are also corrosion resistant and have galvanized metal screens.
Screen doors– They are either gliding type or hinged. They offer ventilation as well as weather stippling. Sometimes they come with a lock system.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO THINK OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY?
Both windows and doors account for a considerable portion of the energy of your house. Investing in good quality materials help you save a lot on your utility bills. This is important for both new and old homes. You may need to watch out for these factors in windows.
U- Value– It measures the tendency to transfer heat. The lower the value, the better.
R-Value– It measures the windows ability to prevent heat transfer. The higher the value, the better.
Solar Gain– This is also called SHGC, it indicates the amount a window will heat a room when the sun is out. This needs to be kept in check according to the weather conditions of the area.
Wind resistance– This is also called air leakage. The lower the number, the better the seal.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO REPLACE OLD DOORS/WINDOWS?
-Better value for your home when you sell it
-Better security with the newest technological advancements.
-Less dust and allergens will enter your house due to the blinds and shades.
-Definite energy efficiency.
-Adds an excellent touch to the décor of the house.
-Least amount of time spent on cleaning and maintaining.
-This guide will help you understand your requirements better and select the right door/window for your house. The first point to pick up from the guide is to understand your needs and priorities.
Make a list of the points which you need to keep in mind to select the door/window of your choice based on various factors, like cost, durability, longevity, energy efficiency, style, design, etc. Since it is a once in a lifetime buy with various value added points, it is ideal to invest in a product of good quality and live a peaceful, secure life.