Windows Buying Guide
Windows play many roles in the home. They determine the look of the interior and exterior; provide natural light and warmth; and ventilation. When choosing windows for your home you need to consider size, glazing, security and energy efficiency. Read on to find out about louvre, bi-fold, casement, awning and fixed pane windows.
Window size and orientation
You need to select the most suitably sized windows for the direction they are facing. For example, east-facing windows will catch morning light, west-facing windows will catch the afternoon light and north-facing windows will receive the most light, all day long.
In most climates, north-facing windows are the main, large windows and west-facing windows will be smaller in size, to let in less of the fierce afternoon sun. Think about your climate and then choose window size. For example, if you live in a cold region you might like to make your west-facing windows the main light source to obtain as much heat as possible. South-facing windows won't get much light at all, but they are often useful for ventilation purposes, so don't discount them.
Differently shaped windows provide varying distributions of light. Short, wide windows allow a wide but shallow distribution of light in. While tall and narrow windows allow a thin but deep distribution of light in.
Most building codes recommend the total area of a room, covered by windows, is 10 per cent. Some manufacturers say this number should be 20 per cent to receive decent light on cloudy days.
Think about where the window will go, and how much breeze you would like in that area. Fixed pane windows don't open so they provide no ventilation. Sash or double-hung windows open right up so they provide maximum ventilation. Each room in the house needs to have a minimum of 5 per cent ventilation openings. When you are considering ventilation, you can't focus on just one window; you need to think about the whole room.
Consider your personal circumstances. If you live under a flight path you will require double-glazed windows to provide a sound barrier. It's a good idea to choose laminated or toughened glass in high traffic areas. This will prevent the glass from breaking off in shards should an accident occur. People living in hot climates should choose glass with a high solar reflection index.
Windows play an integral role in creating an energy efficient home. Situated in the right spot, they will help maintain a comfortable home, all year round. However, misplaced windows can increase your energy use exponentially. For example, if you live in a cold climate, and your windows are predominantly facing south, you will get no natural light to help heat up your home.
Burglars usually gain entry to your home through a window, or door. So it's important for you to select windows with adequate locking devices, and even more importantly, you need to actually use them. You should choose windows with key-operated locks if you can. You also need to think about the window itself - the frame must be of high quality and able to withstand hard knocks
People owning apartments in the higher floors, or those who have the luxury of a boundary wall and a security personnel, windows without grill is an option. The grill-less windows are am amazing way to increase the aesthetic appeal of the home. They also do away with the cumbersome need to clean the grill bars and give an "unobstructed" view of the outside world.
The grilled window is a industry standard for Indian homes. They offer a sense of security to the house owners from thefts and people entering the homes. One of the other advantages of the grill is that it offers physical security against small children who tend to peep outside the window and this could be dangerous especially in a high raised building.
Source - India Home Tips
Large glass windows bordering the ground level – Khadakvasla House – Image Courtesy of SPASM Design Architects