We have yet to talk windows in our Buyer 101 series, until now! When it comes to new windows, there are many styles, framing materials, and glass materials to choose from. In this article we’re going to explore the basics to have you prepared to make smart decisions when looking for a new home or updating your current property. Your trusted real estate agent can also help you with a more unique situations. Let’s look at some styles of windows and glass below.
Single Pane Windows – I want to start with the older style windows that you are going to see in old homes if they have not been replaced. These windows are most likely to have a metal frame and other components. While I am not going to take a position on if you should keep them or replace them for energy efficient, most owners are not going to replace them with another single pane option. The main reason for keeping a window like this is to keep with the period of the home. The panes could be laid out in a diamond pattern or similar and would not be ideal to duplicate in a modern window. Many buyers will also like the older style, casement (crank style) windows and will choose to keep them. Owners may also find that it could take many years of energy savings to even pay for new modern windows. Regardless of what you choose, it is good to know what a home has before you buy new or keep a classic.
Double Hung – When searching for a home, if that home has new windows, it most likely has double hung windows. A double hung window is going to have two sashes that operate separately from each other. I know you are asking, what is a sash. A Sash is the part of the window that holds the glass in place like a picture frame. You can lack it and open it up or to the side depending on the configuration of the window. You can even add grids over the glass to give the appearance of smaller panes of glass that could be mimicking the old-style window you just removed. The framing of the window is probably going to be vinyl, but you might also see aluminum.
Casement – Casement windows are slightly different in that the windows are hinged at the outer edge and open outward with a crank. These are great because you will not have a sash blocking your view once you open that window. You will also get some great ventilation with a larger opening.
Picture – A picture window is going to be a large window that you cannot open and is designed to maximize a particular view or design on the home you are considering. Think mountain views!
Bay and Garden – These styles of windows are going to be bumped out from the side of the home and are great of adding glass shelves for an inside herb garden or adding additional seating or storage.
Double Pane Glass – Double pane glass is just as it sounds, it is a window that has two pieces of glass with a gap that is most likely filled with Argon. The gap works simply enough to help insulate the outside temperatures, hot or cold, from your inside temperatures. It is also there to help reduce outside noise. If you are considering buying a home near or on a busy street, double pane windows could seal the deal and help you to move forward. You may also notice that a home on your tour has a cloudy window where moisture has condensed between the double panes. This is from a bad or damaged seal and could stem from age or poor instillation. Be sure to use a trusted window manufacture and installation company. It would also be wise to use the manufactures installation company to avoid any future issues.
Low-E Glass – If you hear that a home has Double Pane Low-E windows, the Low-E is referring to the coating on the outside of the window. This coating is designed to block excessive heat and UV rays. It’s a great element to add to your windows for additional energy savings and for protection against UV rays fading your furniture and floors.
Now that we’ve covered the basics take your new found knowledge of windows to your next tour. If you are not sure what type of windows are in the home you love, ask your trusted agent to help you identify and budget for any future replacements.
Written by Colby Schmeckpeper