People replace windows for a number of reasons. While replacing old windows with energy efficient brands is a common reason, it's not the only one. Sometimes people replace windows to bring in more light and enhance the appearance of their living space. If you are looking to install new windows to create the illusion of space or to bring natural light into the home, consider these options.
Picture windows are large, rectangular or square windows that dominate one wall of a room. These windows do not open and close and are used to increase the natural light in the room or to provide access to a view of the outside. They often face mountains, the ocean or beach fronts, or other striking views. They may be positioned to take advantage of the sunrise or sunset or any other object one wishes to keep in view. Many feel picture windows give the illusion of bringing nature inside. Picture windows are common in living rooms.
Bow windows are similar to picture windows in that they typically dominate a wall and can be used to bring in natural light or to provide a view of the outside. They differ in shape and design. Bow windows are usually made of three panes of glass, one large pane in the center and two smaller panes with one on either side. While the center pane does not open, the side windows may, depending on the style and brand of the window. Bow windows create a gentle arch on the outside of the home and expand the inside of the room slightly. Bow windows are typically smaller than bay windows and fit into smaller rooms with ease. Bow windows are often used in dining rooms.
Bay windows are similar to bow windows in that they contain multiple panes of glass and arch outward from the room. Bay windows contain four or more panes and create a more dramatic arch. They create a bay inside the home that is suitable for a small seating area or window seat, an area for plants, or can be used simply to expand the floor space of the room. All the windows typically open in bay windows. Because bay windows extend beyond the outside wall of the home, they may require their own foundation, depending on the size and style of the bay window. Bay windows can encompass the entire wall of a room. When placed on the southern side of the home, bay windows can bring in considerable heat from the sun during the winter. They may be used in north-facing rooms to compensate for the lack of natural light.
Oriel windows are either bow or bay windows that do not reach the ground level. They are common for master bedrooms, lofts and second story entertainment areas. Oriel windows lend a fairy tale appearance to the home and make the perfect substitute for a balcony. Try adding oriel windows to art or photography studios to increase natural light and to boost creativity. Including windows that open in your oriel windows allow you to use them for ventilation or to let in cool night air on hot summer nights.
Combining traditional windows with a picture window can give you the illusion of a bay window without the arch. One or more smaller windows can be added to the sides, or even above the picture window to tailor it to your individual tastes. Some even add stained glass or decorative glass to the side windows to add beauty and charm to the picture window.
Your window contractor can help you decide which type of windows are suitable for your home and help you choose the best designs, so talk with a contracting company, like Custom Exteriors, today.