Windows and Doors
For Your New Home
Choosing windows and doors for your new home are areas you should give some serious thought to. Not only to the type and style that will add to the look of you home but more importantly location and the insulation value of the windows and doors. This is where the efficiency of your window or door will pay off in savings when it comes to heating or cooling.
Location of doors are not as important as the location of windows. A door is normally placed so you enter the house at areas that are convenient, a front door to welcome guests and back or side doors for every day use. These are placed according to your house plans and whether they face north, south, east or west is no great concern.
Windows on the other hand, if located facing in a southerly direction will lend to a warmer home by taking advantage of the sun's rays. Windows on the north side of your home will eliminate direct sun light, therefore a cooler home.
Sometimes we can change the size or number of windows with out affecting the look or style of our home. Example of this would be if you live in a colder climate you may want to reduce the size or number of your windows on the north side of your home, or increase the size or number on the south side.
The unfortunate thing is that we do not always have the option of how our house will sit on the building lot and we can not always move windows so they face the direction that best suites our needs. But we do have the option of choosing windows that will offer us the best protection from the heat or cold.
Window And Door Manufactures
There are hundreds of window and door manufactures out there all trying to get their piece of the pie. Some will be in business for a long time to come and others will fall by the wayside. So when picking your window or door manufacture pick one that has been around for awhile. There is a better chance they will still be there ten or fifteen years down the road when you are looking for warranty or replacement parts.
All window manufactures have a minimum standard to meet, as set down by a regulatory body. You will find that some manufactures of windows and doors to keep their price competitive will meet this code or standard, but do not exceed it. While other manufactures will exceed this standard to create a better quality windows and doors. The cost of the better quality windows or doors may be a little bit more and it will be your decision whether the benefits out weigh the price. I have always looked at it in this light...pay now or pay later in higher energy costs.
Now that you have picked your manufacture it time to order your windows...well almost..first there are a few decisions to make.
The first decision will be what style of window: casement,awning, single hung, double hung or glider. There are a few other styles but these are the most common ones.
Casement Windowsare hinge on one side and have a crank, when turned, opens or closes the window. This type of window normally has a higher energy efficiency rating but has more moving parts that could give problems.
Awning Windows work the same as a casement window but are hinged at the top and the window swings out and up. This window also has a high energy rating and has the same moving parts as the casement windows.
Single Hung Windows are made with two sashes, the upper one is fixed or stationary and the bottom one slides up and tilts inward for cleaning. This is the style of window that has been used for hundreds of years.( of course without the tilting feature)
Double Hung Windows are the same as the single hung windows, with the top sash being movable as well. The top and bottom sashes will tilt inward for cleaning.
The double hung window is not as energy efficient as the single hung style window.
Glider Windows sometimes referred to as horizontal sliders, have two sashes that slide horizontally. Or one sash can be fixed.
This style of window is the least energy efficient.
The next decision to be made about our windows are what type of material do we want them made from. Wood, vinyl, alumni or maybe a wood window with a vinyl or alumni cladding on the outside.
For me this choice was easy, wood was what I wanted but vinyl was in my budget. Vinyl offers a more care free window with less maintenance and generally a good quality window.
The next step in this process is to decide whether we want double or triple glazed glass. The more layers of glass between you and the outside, the less air penetration. And if you use low-E glass it will block U.V. and infrared rays.
Take it one step further and add argon gas between the panes of glass and you now have a window with a high insulation value.
This all adds up to a very energy efficient window.
These are the basics of what you should be looking for in a window. There will be other things to consider, like do you want grills,and if so what style would you like. What color would you like your windows or doors to be.
These are things that have no effect on the performance of windows and doors but do add to the appearance of your home.
Most window manufacturers offer doors as part of their line, with a number of combination's of door and window entrance systems.
The majority of the doors being used today are steel. These doors are normally made with a wood frame with a sheet of steel on each side and insulation between the sheets of steel.
The things you should be looking for when buying this type of door are the gauge of the steel,the insulating value and the weather sealing of the door.
For information on how to install windows and doors or other areas of home building please follow the links below or the navbar buttons on the side.
Go to Vinyl Windows Installation
Go to pr-hung doors installation
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