Replacing your DC house’s windows is a major undertaking in terms of home improvement tasks. Not only does it necessitate a large financial commitment, but Washington DC home windows typically last 20-25 years, so you should select windows that you can live with for at least a few decades from a DC replacement window company you can trust.
If you’ve begun shopping for replacement windows, you’ve certainly seen how many alternatives are available nowadays. The possibilities might seem infinite, from different window types like double-hung, casement, and awning to diverse window frame materials including vinyl, fiberglass, and composite. We haven’t even scratched the surface of energy-efficient glazing systems, designer glass, ornamental grilles, muntins, unique forms, and other customized components.
Some of the most essential factors to consider when buying replacement windows for your house are:
- The architecture and aesthetics of your home
- How do you want your windows to open and close?
- Your residence’s location
- What you want to achieve
We’ll dissect these issues in the sections below, explaining why they’re important factors to consider when replacing your windows and evaluating the impact each can have on the whole job.
Select Windows That Complement Your Residence
Your windows are a key visual component of your home, and the windows you pick can either enhance or detract from its curb appeal. To create a natural, organic-looking cohesive whole, match the “style” of your windows (i.e., double-hung, casement, awning) to the “style” of your home (i.e., Victorian, Craftsman, Spanish Colonial).
In terms of houses, Queen Ann Victorians, for example, are often bigger and include numerous dramatic angles and elaborate structural features. This has a lot to do with the fact that this architectural style arose during an era of growing luxury, and the residences were built to “show off” a family’s riches and fortune. As a result, outward-jutting bay and bow windows, as well as ornamental forms like diamonds, ovals, and half-circles, are prevalent in these more dramatic designs.
If you have a Modern style house, on the other hand (and we don’t mean contemporary; we mean “mid-century Modern”), you’ll definitely want to keep things a little simpler. In reality, Modernism as an architectural style arose as a reaction against Victorian architecture, which had become crowded and too ornate. That isn’t to suggest that a bay window can’t function in a Modern home, but keep in mind that a bay window in a Victorian home and a bay window in a Modern home may make quite different aesthetic statements. Modern homes, with their clean lines and open floorplans, are better suited to window types like picture windows and sliding windows, which have a larger glass surface and are less obscured.
And selecting windows that complement your house can sometimes be more than simply a matter of personal taste. Some homeowners own older properties that are listed on historical registers and are subject to local historical society regulations. These properties may need to follow specific requirements, such as adding historically appropriate windows, in order to keep their “preserved” classification. For example, the new windows may need to be built of wood rather than vinyl or fiberglass, or they may need to have a certain wood-style treatment to comply with the standards if they are made of the latter materials.
Choosing windows that are stylistically compatible with your house is also about guaranteeing salability, so keep this in mind if you want to sell your home in the future. Having all new windows installed recently is usually a major plus that helps a home sell faster and for a higher price, but if you live in a historic home and have recently replaced all of the original wood windows with modern-looking black fiberglass windows, potential buyers who are looking for the original windows may be turned off.
Select Windows that function the way you want them to.
Most of us imagine a single- or double-hung window with a sash that swings up and down to let fresh air in when we think about home windows. As a result, it should come as no surprise that single- and double-hung windows have long been the most popular window styles on American homes, with double-hung being the most prevalent today. Double-hung windows have such a traditional and modest appearance that they go with almost every type of home—yes, Victorian and Modern houses, as well as Tudors, Craftsmen, Colonial, Greek Revival, and so on.
However, how various window designs work is just as essential, if not more, than how they seem. Although double-hung windows look good in almost every home, that doesn’t guarantee they’ll work for every homeowner or every room in the house. Lifting double-hung (and single-hung) windows, for example, necessitates leverage. So, if you’re an older homeowner, or if you have reduced upper body strength due to rotator cuff surgery, or if you’re just not that strong, double-hung windows may be tough to operate. Casement windows would be a better alternative in all of these scenarios since their crank mechanism makes them considerably easier to open and close with little effort. Furthermore, if the window is in a difficult-to-reach location, such as high up on a staircase wall or above the kitchen sink, getting the leverage you need to open and close a double-hung window may be difficult.
It’s critical to consider how you want your windows to operate. Do you want them to take a step back? Lift? Crank? If they’re extremely high up on a wall—in a location where you won’t be opening or shutting them—picture windows could be the best option. You’ll get the added energy efficiency that comes with fixed-pane windows. Do you prefer to keep your windows open during a rainfall so you can enjoy the nice, fresh breeze that comes with it but don’t want any water to enter into your home? If that’s the case, awning windows are ideal for you. Their angled sash, as the name implies, creates an awning impression when opened, preventing water from entering.
Select Windows That Are Appropriate for Your Situation
It’s vital to pick windows that not only perform the way you want them to, but also work well in the environment you live in. Choosing windows with ENERGY STAR® glass packages that are particularly matched to your region’s environment is the best way to achieve this. This option is available from a number of manufacturers, including Ameritech Construction Windows, and it’s a fantastic way to ensure you’re getting windows that will function well in all four seasons.
The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of a window, for example, indicates how well the glass blocks heat while yet allowing the maximum amount of light to get through. The lower the SHGC, the less heat will travel through the window, therefore a low SHGC is a must-have in a hot environment like Florida or Arizona. However, in a colder area, such as Minnesota or Maine, you may want some of that solar heat to flow through the glass since it will assist keep your home warmer during the severe winters and may also prevent your heating system from overworking.
Single-pane glass may be a suitable option for you if you live in a mild environment where you can open your windows for the majority of the year. Single-pane glass, on the other hand, is insufficient for many homeowners who live in severely hot or cold regions. If your windows are closed for the most of the year, they are effectively functioning as walls, and you should choose the most energy-efficient glass available. Choose double- or triple-pane glass with spacer devices that fill the gaps between the panes with inert gas. This will help to maintain the glass’s surface temperature while also preventing heat transmission into or out of your house.
Homeowners in Florida and other coastal southern states invest in replacement windows with heavy-duty impact-resistant glass that can withstand hurricanes and tropical storms. Awning windows, as previously noted, may be opened when it rains, making them an excellent choice for regions with a lot of rain, such as the Pacific Northwest.
Choosing the Right Windows for Your Vision
It may seem like a little detail, but when it comes to selecting new windows for your DC house, you need have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Is it your primary objective to improve the aesthetics of your home? Is it energy efficiency that you’re most concerned about? It’s not uncommon to have numerous reasons for wanting to replace your windows, but checking the box at the top of your list will assist in guarantee that your window replacement job is a success.