Most Popular Types of Living Room Windows
Whether you’re upgrading the aesthetic of an older home or committing to a more energy-efficient lifestyle, when you’re choosing new living room windows, you’ll want to select the best window style for your budget, your needs, and your personal sense of taste.
If you’ve already started your window research, you’ve probably discovered there are many different window types available, so selecting the right living room windows might feel overwhelming. The most important first step with this renovation project is to understand the limitations of the room and what it needs most to make it as comfortable and appealing as possible. Does your living room face the street? If so, you may want to consider how a replacement window will impact your curb appeal. Does this room get a lot of light/heat? Then you may want to consider how to maximize that if you live in a cold climate or mitigate it if you live in a hot one.
With all that to consider, here are several window styles, window frame materials, and energy efficiency qualities you should consider as you research the best replacement windows for your living room.
What is a picture window?
Picture windows are stunning windows made from a single pane of glass, offering unobstructed views of the outside landscape. These windows maximize the amount of sunlight entering the room and create the illusion of an indoor/outdoor space.
Pros/cons of picture windows in the living room
If you’re looking for a picture window that opens, you won’t find one. Since picture windows are made of a single pane of glass, they are inoperable — meaning you’ll have no way to allow fresh air in. That inoperability, though, translates into lower costs: picture windows benefit from being traditionally less expensive to purchase and install compared to other window styles thanks to their simplicity. Finally, while letting in tremendous amounts of sunlight can add a natural pop to your interior, it also invites in a great deal of natural warmth. This can be beneficial in cooler climates, but should be taken into consideration if you live in a warmer area.
Double-Hung or Single-Hung Windows
What is a double-hung window?
A double-hung window features moveable top and bottom panels that allow you to move either sash up or down. This gives you the ability to control air ventilation and temperature in the room, helping to keep cool in the warmer months and reduce stuffiness.
What is a single-hung window?
A single-hung window also opens, but unlike its double-hung counterpart, only one sash moves. This is a traditional window where the bottom sash is pulled up to open it.
Pros/cons of single- and double-hung windows in the living room
A good general rule for windows is that the more moving parts they have, the more they cost. A double-hung window is more expensive than a single-hung window, both of which are pricier than a picture window (which, as you just read above, has no moving parts at all). They are also typically not as large as picture windows, so they won’t let in as much light (or heat). Since they open, you get a lot more control over how much fresh air to let into your home, which in turn helps regulate your home’s temperature so you’re not entirely reliant on an HVAC system.
What is a casement window?
A casement window is a window with a crank – it’s typically hinged at the side and opened using the hand-crank. These windows pivot open similar to a door and offer homeowners unobstructed landscape views to the outside.
Pros/cons of casement windows in the living room
Thanks to their crank operation, casement windows give homeowners a superior level of control over how much or how little they desire them to open. This provides air ventilation benefits comparable to double-hung windows and provides a more airtight closure due to their compression seals, all of which make these a great choice for your living room.
Bay or Bow Windows
What is a bay window?
A bay window features three windows with a picture style in the center, flanked by smaller windows on each side, typically double-hung or casement styles.
What is a bow window?
A bow window is similar in nature to a bay window but features four or five (or more) windows to create a rounded structure within the home.
Pros/cons of bay or bow windows in the living room
If you want to take your living room windows upgrade to the next level, bay and bow windows allow more access to sunlight by stretching out beyond the boundaries of your home’s walls. A living room bay window (or bow window) creates added space where could even consider adding in a window seat to create a cozy spot to enjoy your view with a good book or cup of coffee. These upgrades come at a cost, however. Bay and bow windows are typically quite expensive.
Window Frame Material
After deciding on a style for your living room windows, you’ll need to make some other considerations along the way — including the type of window frame you’ll use.
There are several frame materials available, each with their own pros and cons. But when you’re considering the best replacement windows for your living room, look into vinyl windows. Window frames made of vinyl might not be as elegant as their wood counterparts, but they offer lasting durability for a fraction of the price of other materials. They also don’t require regular painting to upkeep.
If you have extra room in your budget, but still want a low maintenance frame option, take a look at fiberglass windows. These frames are highly durable and can be painted for further customization, but they can come at a steep price.
Energy Efficient Windows
Beyond how you want your windows to look and function, you’ll also want to make sure they’re doing their job as well as possible – namely, keeping your indoor air exactly where you want it, keeping outdoor temps outside, and saving you money on your utility bills. For energy efficient windows, look for a low-emissivity (or low-e) coating, which helps to keep out UV and infrared light. Double- or triple-pane windows will also maximize your energy savings and boost the comfort of your living room. These windows are filled with air, argon, krypton or other gases to help limit the amount of outside air seeping into your home. If you spend a lot of time in your living room, this is an area where you may want to consider spending a little more to help keep the temperature as comfortable as possible.
The Next Steps of Your Living Room Windows Project
Whether you’re ready to take the next step in your living room windows renovation project, or still have a few questions, Modernize can connect you with a trusted, local professional to help you move closer to the living room of your dreams.
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