Design Tips for Choosing New Windows and Doors

If you are thinking about home renovation, installing new windows and doors is one of the quickest ways to update the look of your home while adding new and improved functional features. Older homes with original features offer authenticity, but over time those original features wear out and don’t function properly. Here are a few design tips to consider when renovating.

Style of The House

When looking at new windows and doors, consider the style of your house. Since these features are visible from the outside, it’s important that they coordinate to the style and look of the house. For instance, if your home is an English traditional, windows with smaller panes will look more authentic than windows with large spans of glass. If your home is contemporary or modern, large spans of glass with few panes will look better. Old craftsmen style homes were typically built using windows with mostly vertical mullions and panes, rather than vertical and horizontal. If you keep the building features   closely related to the style of architecture, upgrades won’t look like add-on features.

Lines and Shapes on The House

All houses have specific architectural elements that distinguish their style. For example:

Traditional styles – little ornamentation, simple roof lines, symmetrically spaced windows
French styles – moldings, pitched roof lines, curved top windows
Craftsman styles – porches, pitched roof lines, vertical paned and dormer windows
Spanish styles –  curves, arches, flat tiled roof lines, arched doors and windows
Modern styles – square or rectangular roof lines, doors and windows, no panes in glass

If you are adding new windows and doors to your house, it’s important to repeat the lines that are existing on the house. For instance, if you have a beautiful Spanish house with arched doorways and windows, repeat that shape. Don’t add new elements that are square or rectangular.

Types of Windows

Windows are functional elements that serve a useful purpose. Choose new styles based on your needs for function. There are two types of windows – fixed and movable. Fixed windows do not open, while movable ones do. There are various styles and types of movable windows:

  • single hung windows – open from the bottom up
  • double hung windows – open from the bottom up and from the top down
  • sliding windows – slide open either vertically or horizontally
  • casement windows – hinged at one side and open by swinging in or out
  • awning windows – resemble casement windows, but hinged at the top or bottom
  • jalousie windows – resemble awning windows, but with narrow strips of glass

Decide on the type of window that serves your needs best. The types may vary in different parts of the house, but keep the overall style the same and make sure it’s functional for the area.

Types of Doors

Doors, like windows, are functional elements that serve a useful purpose. Most doors fall into two categories – hollow core and solid core. Interior doors that divide rooms inside the house are typically hollow core doors, meaning they have a hollow center and are lighter weight. Hollow core doors come in paint or stain grade materials and can easily be painted or stained. Exterior doors are typically solid core doors, meaning they are a solid material from front to back. It helps if exterior doors are solid for security reasons. There are many beautiful exterior doors that are part or all glass, however they won’t provide the same level of security for your home. In today’s market, there are many great door styles, shapes and materials to choose from, so whatever you choose make sure you follow the style, lines and shapes of the house and make sure it’s the best functional choice for the area.

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