Windows: Design ideas, inspiration & pictures

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What are the different types and designs of windows?

Windows are major architectural features of any home. It is difficult to imagine a beautiful house without charming window designs. One glance at such buildings as the Province House in Nova Scotia or Campbell House in Ontario will tell you why windows play such important role in defining the beauty of the façade. While the Province House has modish Palladian windows, Campbell house boasts of large casement windows. Depending on the materials, you may differentiate windows into these types:

Wooden windows – Traditionally windows are made of wood. Though costly, hardwood windows look appealing and are very durable. Alder, hickory, cherry, walnut, douglas fir or pine wood is generally used for designing windows in Canada. Sometimes wood is only used for building the window frame. The actual sashes are made of glass.

Metal windows – Windows with metal frames are becoming increasingly popular. They are durable and more affordable than wood. Steel, aluminium and wrought iron are the three different metals used for this purpose.

Vinyl windows – Vinyl windows are favoured for their cost effectiveness and ease of maintenance. Vinyl windows tend to provide better insulation than the metal windows. They are available in a range of tones, but vinyl as a material does not have the beauty of natural wood.

Depending on their designs windows can be identified as the following:

Double Hung windows – This type of windows are designed with two sashes. You slide down the upper sash or slide up the lower one. But they remain within the window frame. Consequently they don’t waste any space and are an excellent solution for small rooms, kitchen and bathroom.

Casement windows – Casement windows are the most favoured type of house windows. They open sideways and the panels are hinged with the frame. When opened, this type of windows allows maximum amount of air and light inside the house. Tudor style homes in Canada, built between 1920 and 1950 have beautiful casement windows. Contemporary homes in the country prefer this type of windows as well.

More complex window designs like bay or bow windows are also designed with individual casement windows. The design of the famous French windows is also based on the casement window style. The only difference between the two is French windows are built as full length doors which open towards the terrace or garden. Standard casement windows, on the other hand, are rarely built taller than 4 feet.

Slider windows – Slider windows move sideways. They are another space saver’s delight, but they tend to impede the flow of air as one sash always keeps a part of the window blocked.

Stationery windows – Stationary windows made of glass are great for enjoying a view of the surrounding. They also allow an unhindered flow of light. They cannot be opened. So they are sometimes installed on top of the doorways or on one side of another window.

Awning windows – This type of windows is fixed at the top and open outwards. This type of window is sometimes built along with a stationary window.

How much time does the installation of a window take?

The time required for installing windows depends on the type of design, materials in use and the size of the project. Installing a simple double hung window in your shower room can be completed in one afternoon. But installing ornately carved wooden windows in a bedroom will take longer time. Prefabricated designs are easier to install and takes less time to do so.

The cost of installing the windows greatly varies as well. A double hung window would cost $350 CAD between $750 CAD. The price for sliding windows may go up to $1500 CAD. The sliding picture windows built in houses with great views cost greater than the smaller sliding windows installed in attic or kitchen. For a casement window be prepared to pay between $300 CAD and $800 CAD.  

What is better for my windows: Curtains, blinds or Shutters?

Curtains are available in an extensive range of colours, textures and fabrics. You can easily vary the length and drapes of the curtains and introduce an elegant style in your interior décor. Heavy curtains maintain privacy of the interiors, absorb dust, improve the acoustical qualities of your home and keep the sun out. Mesh curtains allow sunlight without compromising on the privacy of your home. For a stylish effect, you may easily match curtains with the furniture upholstery.

Blinds are made of fabric, wood, aluminium or bamboo louvers. They are drawn up or down with a string. When closed they offer maximum privacy and protection from sunlight. However, blinds lack the elegance of curtain. Though they are available in a range of colours and textures, the variety is not as great as the curtains.

Shutters are made of wood or vinyl. They provide better insulation than the curtains or blinds. They reduce noise pollution. They are more expensive than both curtains and blinds, but wooden shutters increase the resale value of a house.

You may choose the option that looks best in your home and suits your budget. Curtains are the most favoured option for most homeowners, but you may install blinds in your home office, kid’s room and spa style bathroom. Opt for shutters if you have French windows, picture windows, bay or box windows in your home. Shutters will give you greater amount of privacy.

Maintenance and installation of the windows in Canada

Follow these simple tips to maintain the beauty of your windows and hygiene of the interior environment:

- Clean the window sashes with a soft cloth. 

- You may use a solution of baking soda and water to remove the sticky marks and grime. 

- Don’t use scrubbers with rigid bristles to clean the glasses. They will leave scratch marks on the glass. 

- Varnish and oil the wood frames and panels every five year or so. It will extend the life of the windows. 

- Check the rubber seals for any cracks. Change them as soon as they appear. Otherwise, they may compromise the insulation quality of the interiors.

It is best to seek professional help for installing windows in your house. You will find experienced professionals right here on homify who would be able to assist you in this job. You may also seek suggestions from your friends or family members who have recently completed this kind of project. Take some time out to research the background and level of experience of the professionals. Check out their portfolio and reviews of their past clients. Discuss about your project requirements. Only when you are satisfied with all the answers, go ahead and engage him or her for this task.