Window and Window Treatment Designs and Ideas
Whether you're remodeling a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen or a living room, there is a good chance that you'll have to consider the windows at some point in the process. There is a very wide range of window options available to you, from replacing outdated windows to changing up the style and even adding in window treatments for a fresh look. Learn more about the many window options available, how to decide when replacement is necessary and what kind of window treatments work best in your home.
Should You Replace Your Windows?
As you begin planning out the stages of a home remodel, one of the questions you may wonder is whether any existing windows need to be replaced.
Windows can be a serious investment, which means that you shouldn't make the decision lightly. If existing windows are letting in a draft that makes it unpleasant to spend time in the room, or if it is increasing energy bills for heating and cooling, then replacement is likely a smart decision.
Single pane windows from before the 1970s, even if they are in good condition, could be putting you at risk for lead poisoning, which was used in windows until 1978.
If there is only some mild rot on the window sash, or some draft due to an improper fit, then re-hanging, minor repairs and caulking is a cheaper alternative to window replacement.
Of course, replacing your windows can also be an aesthetic decision, which may be right for you if you have plans for a big remodel and the budget to match.
Exploring Window Styles
The style of window that works best for your home remodel may depend on the existing windows filling the space. Changing the layout of windows will require a lot more time, effort and professional assistance than merely replacing windows and switching them out for newer versions in the same style.
There are dozens of potential window styles available for you to choose from, each of which comes in a different shape and with different measurements.
The most basic window is a picture window, which is a pane of glass that won't open.
- A single hung window opens thanks to one fixed sash and one movable sash, while a double hung window has two movable sashes.
- A casement window boasts side hinges, making it possible to swing open the window to either the outside or the inside of the frame.
- If you're looking for a larger window to serve as a major focal point or even a seating area, you may consider a bow or bay window.
Other window styles that may work in your home include a garden window, a hinged hopper window, a sliding window or an awning window.
All About Window Materials
Although glass may be a standard material used in virtually all windows, that is where the similarities can end. Windows can be made from a variety of materials, each of which offers different pros, cons and price points.
Generally, when referring to window material you will be discussing the frame and sash of the window rather than the pane itself.
Plastic windows are among the cheapest on the market, making them a smart choice for homeowners who want to remodel on a budget. Plastic can be quite durable as well as easy to clean and maintain, but it may not look as upscale as other options.
Vinyl has similar characteristics to plastic, and vinyl windows can come in a wide range of colors and textures.
Wood, of course, is one of the most popular and appealing options for windows, but it requires more maintenance. However, wooden windows can be painted, stained and refinished if necessary, and they also act as an additional layer of insulation in the home.
Fiberglass and aluminum are two more durable options that won't require a lot of maintenance or upkeep over time, and fiberglass has an impressive high thermal performance as well.
Steel is not the cheapest option on the market, but windows made from steel will be incredibly durable, offer narrower frames and give homeowners more natural light.
Types of Windows
After you've decided on the best window materials, it is time to give some thought to the panes. You'll want to consider a range of factors when choosing panes, just some of which include energy efficiency, sound transfer, privacy and cost.
If privacy is a major concern, but you don't want to have window treatments to cover the natural sunlight, then block glass windows are a suitable option.
Single panes offer one pane of glass in the window, while double panes offer twice the protection against the elements and noise.
You may also want storm windows, which are designed to withstand heavy winds and rain, or soundproof windows, which can make a big difference in a noisy neighborhood.
Window Treatment Options
With the right windows in place, you can explore the many options for window treatments. Curtains, blinds, shutters and shades are four popular options for windows.
- Curtains are typically made from fabric, which means that you can choose virtually any thickness, color or pattern. However, curtains can be limiting, offering either privacy and no natural light or exposure and sunlight.
- Shutters are a more permanent option that can be installed either on the interior or the exterior of windows for privacy. Shutters offer a distinct home style, and they can be painted to match the color scheme of the home.
- Shades can be made from plastic, vinyl or fabric, and they can be rolled or hung for a curtain-like effect over the window.
- One of the most popular window treatment options is blinds. They can protect interior furnishings from sun damage and offer privacy, but they also allow you to adjust the level of natural light you want in the room at any given time.
Just some of the blinds styles available to you include wooden blinds, bamboo blinds, the more affordable faux wood blinds, aluminum blinds, roller blinds, mini blinds and vertical blinds.
Remodeling any room in the home should include taking a closer look at the windows and considering replacement or an upgrade by way of window treatments.