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HOW TO BUILD A CUSTOM HOME, Part 22: Windows

In this series, the professionals at the B.O.L.D. Company will take you through the process of building a custom home in the Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky area. From plan and lot selection, to mortgage approval, to the actual construction, we’ll take you behind-the-scenes each week for an inside look at a different part of the process.

This week, we look at windows:

WINDOW FRAMES

There are many window options to consider when building a new home. First of all, vinyl or wood? Of course, the “window” part of the window is made of glass, but the “vinyl or wood” title refers to the window frame. While there are many options on the market today, from wood-framed, to composite-framed, to steel-framed, typically, customers are deciding between:

a) wood-framed windows with exterior aluminum cladding, or

b) vinyl-framed windows.

Both options are low-maintenance. The wood windows tend to be pricier but more durable, and also give a home a warmer, more elegant look and feel. Some customers will compromise by installing vinyl windows and trimming them out with wood, giving the home a look and feel somewhere between that of wood and vinyl windows.

WINDOW PANES

I did say that the “window” part of the window is made of glass, but hold on! It’s not that simple!! Energy Star While glass is a much better conductor than it is an insulator (making many-windowed rooms a nightmare to heat and cool), modern features greatly increase the energy efficiency of windows:

1) One such feature is Low-E glass. This glass is coated with an ultrathin layer of metal, so thin that it does not obstruct the transparency of the window, but it will reflect heat — in the summer, it reflects heat from outside back out (keeping the home cool), while in the winter, heat from inside is reflected back in (keeping the home warm). Some Low-E glass will also reflect UV rays, reducing fading of carpet and furniture!

2) Another insulating feature available in windows is double (or triple) glazing. This means that the window is made of multiple layers of glass with air trapped between the panes — the air provides the insulating effect. For an even better insulating effect, some windows have gas (typically argon gas) injected into the space between panes.

3) Better than either option alone is the combination of the two! These windows have the metal layer between two layers of glass, with gas injected between the panes.

WINDOW STYLE

There is a wide variety of types of windows, in terms of how they are built and how they function. Different types make more sense in different locations, so don’t necessarily limit yourself to one style:

*Awning windows hinge at the top and open out (like an awning).

*Bay windows bulge out from the wall, increasing the living space of a room, the light allowed to enter, and the scope of the view.

*Casement windows hinge on the side and open out (like a sideways awning window).

*Double-hung windows have two sashes that move up and down, so the window can be opened from the top or the bottom (or both!). Generally, both of these sashes can be folded in for easier cleaning, too!

*Fixed windows do not open at all.

*Single-hung windows have one sash that opens (the bottom). Only the bottom sash would fold in for cleaning.

*Sliding windows slide from side to side horizontally; typically, these windows only open from one side, while one sash remains stationary.

*Special shaped windows go beyond the typical rectangle and square windows: customers can purchase windows that are circular, half-circular, elliptical, octagonal, trapezoidal, triangular, and most any combination thereof.

*Stained-glass windows have reduced transparency, without significantly reducing the light that comes in. They also add color and personality to a room!

WINDOW ACCESSORIES

Once you have decided on the basics of your window selections, there are accessory options you might consider:

* High-transparency v. conventional window screens

*Grilles – wood, interior, removable grids; permanent interior and exterior grids to simulate the look of multi-pane windows; permanent grids inside between the panes, available in aluminum, or with a wood finish to the inside (these make cleaning windows simple!)

*Blinds inside between the panes

B.O.L.D. Homes, a B.O.L.D. company, has been established as among the premiere Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky custom home builders since 1986. We have well over 500 customer designed homes to our credit. Work one-on-one with the owners of the company – including a licensed real estate broker, a licensed real estate agent, a licensed professional engineer, and a CAD draftsman/designer – to design your dream home full of the features important to you. We can help you find a balance between luxury and budget.

Builders Of Lifelong Dreams

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