How to Choose the Color of Your Windows and Doors

Autumn Color by the WindowWhether you’re having a home custom built, or just think it’s time to update the windows and doors of your existing home, the colors you choose are an important factor.  The color of your doors and windows isn’t going to affect the quality, but they will affect the overall look of the home and the perception of anyone who sees it.

There are many different choices when it comes to the color of your windows and doors, so it’s wise to follow some guidelines if you aren’t sure.

Ask for Help

This might be the most important tip you can follow.  Not many regular homeowners are also experts when it comes to home design.  Windows and doors represent a fairly large expense for most people, so if you aren’t sure ask for help.

The company you are purchasing the doors and windows from may offer help, and if not you can ask an independent designer.

Look Around the Neighborhood

Everyone wants to be an individual, but you also don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb amongst your neighbors.  Take a look around the neighborhood at the common theme and tone, and try to stay within those parameters, at least with the exterior colors.  That’s not to say you should copy everyone exactly, just keep it in mind as you make a decision.

Looking around your general area will also give you ideas of what works and what doesn’t.  You can probably see a pretty wide sampling just by driving around a little.  This way, you can eliminate certain combinations without having to try them out on your own house first.  Try looking in both the sunlight and dark for the most accurate representation of the colors.

Ask If They Customize

If you can’t seem to find the exact color you’re looking for as you look through the selections from the manufacturer, ask if they will customize one for you.  Sometimes, window and door manufacturers will try to create a color that matches what you want, even if they don’t have that exact color in stock.

Choosing the color for your windows and doors is often a time consuming process, but considering everyone who passes your house will see them; it’s well worth the effort.  The color of your front door and window frames gives your home a lot of its character, and may even create a perception about you.  

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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.