When it comes to our homes, whether it is in the suburbs, the middle of a city or at the lakeside out in open country, we love to get everything perfect. From remodeling the kitchen to the color of the bathroom walls, we are very particular about where we call home. But even with all of that care, we often forget our windows, or rather, we don’t really forget them, but take our windows for granted. Yet the windows of our homes and the window treatments, are really important, not just from a decorative point of view, but for the home itself.
There are many ways that windows, and window treatments, are important, and this is especially true for homes in the country, at lakeside or anywhere more open to the elements. There are obvious functions windows do, they let in light, and if yours don’t, you need to speak to your contractor today because something has gone terribly wrong! They also provide ventilation, and both of these things are complimented by the kind of window treatments added to them.
The reason this means something is not because we don’t like sitting in the dark at midday, but because letting in light also
gives our homes warmth. The natural heat
from the sun can be an important source of heat on a cool, crisp fall day, and that is not all. Ventilation is also important, a cool breeze on a warm day is nice, but ventilation is more than that, giving your home the air it needs to breath, preventing condensation and other problems stale air can cause.
However, today as energy costs rise ever upwards, it is the energy efficiency of windows that can make a real difference, and one that we should all pay attention too. Whether heating or cooling our homes, the energy required to do either is most likely the biggest expense you have for running costs, so anything we can do to keep that cost as low as possible has to be a good thing. That is where window efficiency comes in, and why it is often a very cost-effective thing to do to replace old windows with new, energy efficient ones.
Modern vinyl-framed windows are available in so many different styles to match almost any existing windows, but they come with many benefits. Because the vinyl frame has great thermal performance itself, the window overall has incredibly high insulating abilities. Whether you have the heating or air conditioning on, less heat travels through the window. Your unit does not have to work so hard, which saves energy and can even mean less maintenance is needed.
Vector Windows makes a standard double-pane, LoE coated glass that is also considered double-strength glass. In winter, these are designed to dramatically reduce window heat loss, protecting homes as temperatures dip. In summer months, the windows transfer less heat because the sun is filtered and reflected back outdoors. The result? Savings on energy and a lighter monthly bill.
Modern windows have other benefits. The frames are in all practical ways, inert. That means they don’t rot, they resist mold and mildew, they don’t flake and you won’t find a colony of termites setting up home in them either! Just an occasional wipe down with a damp cloth is all that is needed to keep them looking factory fresh. Now, less work to do around the home? That is surely interesting to everyone.
But windows are more than just the frame and glass, there are also the treatments we add inside, which are also important in their own right, but also form part of your interior design as well, so functional and decorative at the same time.
In the last couple of years, Minnkota Windows has seen an increase in exterior color options. The company has eight standard colors for the exterior of a window, with the majority of sales being white. However, recent trends have been turning to other colors: brown, bronze and other earth tones predominantly. However, frequent customization and requests for red, blue and black are also popular. Minnkota will take any color sample from soffit, fascia or even a metal roof sample and match it for window exterior color or even just a brickmould color for trim accents.
Many will say the decorative aspects are the most important, but what they do to compliment the qualities of the window itself should matter just as much. For instance, on a really sunny day, we may need the windows to be open for ventilation, but prefer to block out much of the light. Blinds are great for that, and stopping the home from heating too much through natural light can save money on cooling too.
Some window treatments are better for that than others, but whether you choose blinds shades, shutters or draperies, beyond the decorative looks that enhance your room, they are important as they add options for controlling light, ventilation and heat that come through the window. Which is best is a question that has been asked many, many times, and the truth is there is no ‘best’ type of window treatment, they all have benefits, they just take different approaches that have different visual appeal.
One thing they have in common is privacy. Closing drapes, shades, blinds and shutters gives your home privacy, and while this can be important in a city, for homes that spend time empty, such as a lakeside home you visit seasonally,
it can make a real difference. With closed window treatments, the interior of your lakeside home is completely private when you are not there, and for many of us that extra peace of mind is one of the most important aspects of having window treatments. Knowing that the day you leave, everything is locked up and out of sight is just somehow more comforting than leaving the windows uncovered with the inside of the home open for anyone to see.
The idea of leaving a home, whether going to work during the day or a lakeside home you bid farewell to for the winter, also brings us onto the final aspect of windows that is incredibly important today, and that is security. The latest windows have high security locks and are incredibly strong thanks to their construction. This makes them a real boost to home security. Wherever your home is, being more secure when you are away is incredibly useful, not just from a practical perspective, but for peace of mind, and in some cases, upgrading old windows to new ones with high security locks can even have an effect on home insurance premiums, saving money long term.
It is those second homes that we leave empty for several months of the year that get the most benefit from modern windows when it comes to security though. Tough frames and glass, secure locks and solid construction make them a burglar’s nightmare, and while a home that is out of sight and empty is always a little vulnerable, the risk is much less when the window security matches the rest of the home.
We take our windows for granted, but a window today, with its rot proof frames, advanced glass and high security locks, is very different from windows made even 20 years ago. No matter where your home is, new windows can add a lot, but for those of us with homes out by the lake, modern vinyl windows are the perfect choice. ~L&H