Window Options

When considering a window, what are the basic options that need to be considered? Here are ten considerations in the list:

1) Material

A window can be made of some of these materials, sometimes combined:

  1. Wood
  2. Vinyl
  3. PVC
  4. Aluminum Clad

2) Shape

The standard shape is rectangular yet the list is longer:

  1. Rectangular
  2. Half round (true radius)
  3. Quarter round
  4. Circle
  5. Octagon
  6. Elliptical
  7. Trapezoid
  8. Oval and half oval
  9. Gothic, half Gothic
  10. Eyebrow and extended arch

3) Function

Function describes the use and method of operation:

  1. Single hung
  2. Double hung
  3. Awning
  4. Casement
  5. Stationary (fixed, picture)
  6. Slider
  7. Hopper
  8. Pivoted
  9. Bay (three segments)
  10. Bow (more than three segments)
  11. Garden

4) Glass

Glass usually addresses the type of insulation applied. Unless the need is specific, the glass is considered to be double glaze. Here are some terms and their meaning:

  1. IG (insulated glass)
  2. LOW-E SC (low-e, soft coat)
  3. LOW-E HC (low-e hard coat)
  4. 270-366
  5. Argon
  6. Tint

5) Grid type and pattern

Most people allow the window manufacturer to choose the grid pattern. This will result in proportionate divisions of light. There are more options though, where you can divide a sash differently and some patterns are named, such as the prairie pattern.

The grid type represents the position of the grid on the glass:

  1. GBG (grid between the glass)
  2. SDL (simulated divided light: interior, exterior, snap in)
  3. TDL (true divided light)
  4. CLEAR (usually refers to no grilles)

6) Color

Some windows, such as vinyl or clad windows, will force you to decide color at the time of purchase. Vinyl colors are limited to white, tan, almond. Aluminum clad windows can have a large spectrum of default colors and will go so far as to use a color pallet of your choosing.

7) Screen

Screens are most of the time optional. In general the screen in fiberglass with charcoal color and the screen frame matches the window colors: white, bronze or tan. In order to have a different color screen or material (such as gray aluminum screen) you must look for a local specialty provider. A window manufacturer usually will not be able to help beyond the normal expectation.

8.) Hardware

The hardware represents the type and design choice of the locking mechanism.

9) Trim

Trim details concern the exterior mouldings (such as brick mould or backband) as well as interior jamb extensions that accommodate the thickness of the wall. The trim material may be different from the materials used in the construction of the window.

10) Dimensions

It is not enough to think of the window as width and height. A window has call sizes, rough openings and frame sizes.

And finally, as not windows are created equal, it is good to choose a known and reputable manufacturer.

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