5 Things to Remember When Planning Home Window Designs
Windows do more than allow natural light or a fresh breeze into your home. Depending on the design your choose, they can also serve as a focal point and contribute to the architectural design of your home.
Regardless of whether you are interested in home window designs for a renovation project or upgrading your old windows to be more energy-efficient, there are many different designs to choose from. So what design is best for you? This brief guide will go over what you must keep in mind when designing your windows for your home!
1. Consider Your Home’s Architectural Design
It is essential that you consider your home’s architectural design when designing your windows. If you have a modern home, you most likely have floor-to-ceiling glazing with unobstructed views to the outside. With these window placements, thin frame profiles, and a layout with few mullions are great options.
With traditional homes, their window designs are a bit thicker with smaller glass and dividers. When designing windows for your home, you will want to consider your overall aesthetic style and how you wish to achieve that vision.
Do you want a more minimalist look? Do you want smaller window frames?
If you have an older home, you may want to reach out to a window replacement specialist to come to take a look at your windows. Older homes have different architectural structures that need additional care and insulation.
In addition to the architectural style of your home, you will also need to consider the function of each room, as it will also play a part in your window design.
Areas like your living room and kitchen benefit the most from natural daylight because most people spend a lot of time in those spaces. Other places, such as your bathroom, storage room, or laundry area, may not need as much lighting. You will want to think about the type of activities you do in each area of your home to determine if you’d prefer more natural light or not.
Additional Architectural Tip
Rooms with high ceilings can benefit from clerestory windows or multi-story windows. If you want a way to still add lighting without sacrificing wall space, you can add windows to your ceiling.
2. Think About Your Privacy Needs
You will need to be very mindful of your security and privacy needs with any window design. Large windows can bring in a lot of beautiful lighting, but they can also bring in unwanted eyes. Just as you can see everything outside, everyone can see almost everything inside your home.
Living in a rural area where you have a decent amount of space between you and your neighbor is a much different setting than living in a more urban area with close neighbors. When you think about your window planning, remember to consider who can see into your home and design your windows to protect your privacy.
Possible Security Concerns
As mentioned above, depending on where you place your windows and how large they are, people may be able to see in your home. Many home burglars like to look through your window to scope out your valuables.
In addition to that, they may break through your window to take your belonging. Breaking through a window is easier than breaking down a door.
If you have concerns about your safety but don’t want to sacrifice your design, you can install glass break sensors. There are other security systems you can purchase to protect your home.
3. Be Mindful of Your Climate
Windows have a significant effect on the temperature of the room it is located in and the house as a whole. Glass panes on a window magnify strong sunlight, which causes your rooms to heat up rapidly.
In addition to that, large panes of glass can also leak heat during the colder months. If you are currently in the market for replacing your windows, it is best to find energy-efficient windows.
Before you place any windows or update your windows, you will want to consider how it will impact the temperature of your rooms throughout the year. For example, southern-facing rooms with larger windows are more likely to cause heat gain during the summer and heat loss during the winter.
If you don’t want to opt for more energy-efficient windows, you can opt for heavy shades or curtains. Depending on the type of curtains you select, they can serve as great defenses against heat loss and gain.
4. Promote Indoor Quality
Proper ventilation in your home is more than being able to open a window or two to let a breeze in. For example, controlled stacked ventilation uses roof windows in combination with your wall windows to create updrafts to funnel warm air away from your living areas.
When you have proper ventilation in your home, you allow the fresh air to dilute allergens and pollutants floating around your home. This also helps your HVAC system by flushing out some of those pollutants out from the air inside of your home.
5. Consider the Floor Plan
The floor plan of your home is very closely connected to the room function. A well-thought-out and laid-out floor plan will best use the available space to provide room for movement, furnishing, and wall space for your windows.
It is important that when you pick where to put your windows, it makes sense to the room and doesn’t prevent it from functioning correctly. For example, it may seem like a great idea to put large windows on all of your exterior walls, but that may not work.
If you do this, you won’t have any remaining wall to do any other decorating. Instead, you may crowd the remaining space with furnishings. You will also want to consider how your doors will factor into the movement of the room.
Other Window Design Considerations
Another major consideration you will want to take into consideration is around children. If you have children in your home, you will want to ensure that your window has a mechanism to prevent finger trapping. Children are very curious, so they may try to mess with the window, which can accidentally squish their fingers.
You also will want to choose a type of window glass that shatters a certain way. In the event that your child or someone else breaks the window, you won’t want them to get hurt from the glass shards.
Many parents fear that their child will fall out of a window if they leave it open. If you want to be able to provide ventilation in your child’s room, but you want to protect them from falling, you will need to install window locks.
This will help prevent your child from opening the window on their own. You also can choose a window design that allows ventilation through a vent or through a slightly open window that cannot open any further.
Besides aesthetics and ventilation, windows also serve as a way to escape a fire if needed. When designing your windows, especially for rooms on a second floor, you will want to consider making them fire safe.
This includes adding a removable frame post in the window design for a quick and easy escape. You may also want to purchase a fire escape ladder for each room in your house.
If you have window locks fitted in your design, make sure that each room has a key for a quick escape if there is a fire. Some people plan their window designs for a very high tech smart home.
Some of these homes have sensors that automatically unlock your windows and open them to vent the smoke out and away from the house. This also allows you to escape quickly.
When Should I Replace My Windows?
If you are unsure if you need to replace your windows, there are a few signs you can use as a rule of thumb. For example, you can count your glass panes.
Does your window have multiple layers of glass or just one? If you only have one layer of glass, you might want to replace your windows. Double or triple-paned glass will help reduce energy consumption, which reduces your energy bill.
Check for Rot
Do you notice any peeling paint or swollen wood around your windows? Are there any bubbled paint spots? If you notice any of those signs around your windows, there may have a problem with wood rot. If you are unsure, you should schedule an inspection with a professional.
Open Your Window
This is an obvious step that many homeowners overlook. Try to open your window to see if it is operable. If you have any issues opening the window or if the window is completely shut, there is a definite issue that a professional must address.
Feel for a Breeze
Another quick and easy way to gauge if your windows are doing their jobs is to feel for a breeze. If you notice that a room in your house is colder or hotter than other rooms, there could be an issue with your window. Another telltale sign is if your blinds or curtains move when the window is closed.
Types of Windows for Your Home
Now that you know what to consider when designing home replacement windows let’s get into the different types of windows you can choose from. Of course, the window designs will depend on the room that you place them in.
Casement windows open outward instead of sliding down or up, unlike other window types. This window features a hinge on one side and a cranking mechanism that allows you to swing the window open with ease.
These types of window designs are often seen above kitchen sinks. You can use casement windows in areas where it may be a bit hard to push a window open physically.
Stained glass windows easily bring color and character to your rooms. The tinted glass still allows the light to shine into your home without sacrificing privacy. These types of window designs are best for homes that boast Victorian style interior designs.
As mentioned earlier, you may want to replace your windows with more energy-efficient ones. This helps to reduce your utility costs because your HVAC system does not have to work hard to cool or heat your home.
Many manufacturers offer low-E glass, glass made with environmentally friendly materials, and glazing options. These windows come in a variety of styles, sizes, and materials.
If you live in an area with beautiful scenery that you wish to capture and see every day, you may want to opt for picture windows. The primary purpose of these windows is to bring in as much natural light as possible and to have a great view of the outdoors. These windows often create a visual frame around the view of a city skyline or a wooded backyard.
Let’s Get Designing!
When renovating your home, your first thought may be to remodel your bathroom or kitchen, but don’t forget your windows! Replacing them with more energy efficient windows can help reduce your costs while keeping your space beautiful.
Home window designs offer you a way to let in the fresh air and natural light, all while being aesthetically pleasing. If you found this article helpful and want to learn about other great ways to improve your home, check out our Interiors section today!
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.