Whether you’re looking at the interior or exterior, the aesthetic of any home is heavily shaped by the appearance of its windows. The right window in the right place can transform a room, draw the eye from the street, or add utility and comfort; the wrong windows can, conversely, leave a home with a lackluster, boring, or outright ugly appearance. It’s no surprise that homeowners can be overwhelmed by the idea of choosing windows in the right style, with the right customization, the right material, the right everything.
Today, we’ll walk you through the options you’ll consider — ideally, with the help of the Zen Windows team — as you choose and design windows for your home, so you can understand the decisions you’ll make and feel a little less intimidated. After all, shopping for windows shouldn’t be scary; it should be exciting and fun!
What Can Be Customized on a Window?
When you’re buying new windows, nearly every component can be customized to a greater or lesser degree, from something as major as the shape of the window and how it operates to the final coating on the finished installation.
Most homeowners start with a window style, such as single-hung, casement, or picture windows, and work from there — but you can start from a brand, material, color, or glass if you have something specific you’re aiming for.
In most cases, your decisions for window design and customization will look include:
- Window style
- Window material
- Window color
- Grid type
- Glass type
Let’s take a closer look at each.
There are countless window styles to start with, from simple single- or double-hung windows to elaborate bay and bow windows. How unique or attention-grabbing do you want your windows to be in the room or from the street? Do you want them to be operable? If so, do you have a preference as to whether they slide open, open like a door, open in or out, etc.?
This can be the hardest decision to make since it governs so much of the final effect — but you can just as easily choose simple double-hung windows or replace your windows with whatever style you currently have and move on immediately to other questions.
When you think of windows, you probably think of glass, but of course, any window design is made up of much more than the panes themselves — you also need to consider window materials. If you want to enjoy flexibility in all other options, vinyl is a great choice — it’s Zen Windows’ best seller, and for good reason. Vinyl windows are durable, energy-efficient, low-maintenance, and cost-effective.
Some Zen Windows locations also sell fiberglass windows, which are beloved for their variety of finishes.
Once you’ve settled on a material, you’ll be able to explore your options for more than color, but the final aesthetic of your window isn’t just about the shade of white. Whether you want your window to resemble a slick modern plastic, rustic painted wood, or something else entirely, you must also consider the finish.
In some cases, you’ll choose multiple colors, as you can independently color the exterior materials, interior materials, and grid for many windows. Make sure to explore all the options available for a particular material, as you might be surprised by what you can do with color, paint, and coatings.
Grids or grilles can add a lot of character to any window. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a grid is a decorative insert fixed either outside of your window or between the panes; if you’ve seen wood or plastic that goes over the glass in a decorative pattern, that’s a grid.
If you truly want your windows to have character, you’re going to want to consider what — if any — grid you’re using. A bare unobstructed pane can be easier to clean and more practical for letting in light, but it may look unfinished in a larger frame.
Choosing glass can be quite an important part of the window design process. A window’s efficiency is largely determined by the nature of its glass — and you’re not just choosing the specific make of glass and its coatings for energy efficiency; you’ll also decide how many panes the window has.
A triple-paned window with the right low-emissivity glass and appropriate spacing can be impervious to the elements, more secure, and more reliable in a disaster. However, of course, premium windows like this will cost more.
Hardware and Other Accessories
You won’t always have hardware and accessories to think about, but some window designs will have handles, locks, screens, and other fittings you may be able to customize. You might choose the color or even the material — and these little bits of character can have a transformative effect on the final product.
You Don’t Need to Choose On Your Own
Hopefully, when it comes time to shop for replacement windows, this knowledge will help you fully explore your options and work with a design team to find the perfect fit for your home. Seeing the possibilities in our idea gallery or having an interesting option revealed to you when you request available patterns, materials, and colors from your local Zen Windows can result in something completely unexpected and beautiful.
If you’d like to learn more about customizing options or hear what Zen Windows could do for your home, reach out to our team at 614-448-6920!