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SKONA

News LET IN THE LIGHT
Skona Blog LET IN THE LIGHT

Spring is a time of renewal and longer daylight hours. There’s nothing quite like natural light streaming in through a window. Let the outdoors in by opting for the right type of windows for your home and budget.

Since windows play an integral role in any home, you want to ensure that you select the best possible type. Believe it or not, there’s quite a few different types to choose from, and each of them operate in a slightly different way.

Here’s some useful tips and info…

Pros:

  1. Windows can dramatically impact a room, making it brighter and more welcoming.
  2. Large picture windows allow you to enjoy the view outside…whether it’s a bustling cosmopolitan city or the peacefulness of a lush trees and foliage.
  3. It’s a known fact that natural light is an instant mood enhancer. It’s so energizing, lifting our spirits and making us happy!
  4. Windows can also act as folding doors that are retractable and slide to the side for indoor/outdoor living. This is ideal for warmer climates.
  5. Double-paned or well insulated windows can help to reduce your energy costs.
  6. At one time, homes had very few windows, but now multiple large windows are common in home design.

Cons:

  1. Increased cost of hydro bill (to heat or cool the room), particularly if the windows are large and there are many of them.
  2. UV rays can potentially damage or discolour cabinetry and décor items located near a window.
  3. Windows don’t last forever! The average lifespan is between 15-30 years. However, depending on the quality of installation, window type, materials used and the local climate…the functional life of a window can be reduced to 10-15 years.

Window Frames:

There are many types of material to select for the window frame. Here’s a quick listing, with both positive and negative aspects for your consideration:

  1. Vinyl is cost-friendly and low maintenance, but a poor insulator that’s prone to condensation and corrosion.
  2. Aluminum is energy efficient and low maintenance but less natural-looking, flimsy and may warp or discolor.
  3. Wood has a timeless appearance and has great insulation but can be high maintenance and costly as it’s prone to pests and rot.
  4. Fiberglass is long-lasting and ideal for fluctuating temperatures and weather. However, it’s higher priced and has limited customizations.
  5. Wood Clad is aesthetically appealing and low maintenance, but higher in price and the quality differs greatly depending on the manufacturer.
  6. Composite combines the best of wood and rot-resistant materials but has a higher price tag and can separate over time.
  7. Steel is study, durable and has a modern industrial look. However, it’s in the higher price point and is prone to rust.

Window Shapes:

Windows are just as fashionable as clothing and come in a plethora of shapes, sizes and configurations. Some custom shapes include…

  1. Arched
  2. Eyebrow
  3. Circle top
  4. Full circle
  5. Octagon
  6. Bay
  7. Bow

Be creative and invent your own unique window shape!

Window Openings – The Top 10:

  1. The classic Slider is the most popular and practical. It does exactly as the name suggests…the panels slide over. Simple and effective!
  2. Awning lifts and opens up from the bottom. This style is the most affordable and durable. They’re also energy efficient since they only have one seal on the exterior frame.
  3. Top/Bottom Hung have a horizontal axis on either the top or bottom. These windows are designed specifically for ventilation and aeration. Since the windows can’t open completely, this provides better safety and security.
  4. Side Hung have hinges on one side and a handle on the other. This type is practical and can be opened fully. The only drawback is that they can move with enough pressure, which may not be suitable for gale-force winds.
  5. Side Guided are similar to side hung windows (#4) but use different hinges. This version tends to have the window sash move across when opened. This is more aesthetically pleasing since the hinges are not visible.
  6. Top Guided is popular for top-opening windows that are wide and short. This window type opens out and up, with a handle at the bottom. It may look stylish, but it’s not the most practical choice.
  7. Top Swing is similar totop guided windows (#6) but has more to offer. This type can pivot almost 180 degrees which airs out the room much better. It’s also much easier to clean. On the downside, top swing windows are not overly common so not all manufacturers can produce them.
  8. Tilt Turn/Pivot ranks among the best due to their versatility. These windows operate on two separate axis; tilting and turning. This design is a hybrid that combines the best parts of side hung and bottom hung windows.
  9. Fixed windows remain fixed in place which makesthem a more cost-effective option. Of course, not every window in the home should be fixed since this isn’t practical. Windows often act as exit points during an emergency (such as a fire) so it’s critical to not have many of this type.
  10. Folding is an excellent design when space is at a premium. The great thing about these windows is that they fold like a book which allows them to free up the entirety of the window’s opening.

UV Protection:

Windows can block UV rays, but only the UVB kind. Bare glass still allows up to ¾ of UVA radiation. This can cause skin damage as well as fading/discolouration of furniture, rugs, hardwood floors, etc. Thankfully, most new windows on the market today are double-paned which provides an added layer of protection from the sun’s UV rays.

In conclusion, windows allow natural light to put the spotlight on your interior cabinets, furnishings and home décor. Don’t forget to book an appointment with SKÖNA to reassess your cabinetry and millwork needs. Or drop by our showroom for a quick walk-through. Our team would be happy to meet you!