Windows are probably not something you think about often as they're just a part of your house which lets light in and allows you a view of outdoors. On occasion you clean them and on days with nice weather you open them to let in fresh air. As long as they open and close smoothly and lock securely you've never considered the options available with modern or customized windows, yet there are new designs available which can provide features you'll truly enjoy having as part of your home.

How Traditional Windows Work

Traditional windows were typically made of wood framing and muntins holding about six to nine small panes of glass in both the top and bottom section, assuming a window which actively opens and closes rather than a fixed window. Windows which opened up and down had cables which went into the adjoining wall framework to attach to a counterweight to balance the weight of the window when you wanted to open it. An alternative style had metal framework and a geared crank to open the window by swinging it outside either vertically or horizontally. Both of these designs worked well for years and were considered the standard of what you would expect in a typical house or other building.

Architectural Design of New Windows

New windows have incorporated modern designs which allow for practical features not previously available. Typically made of vinyl, new windows are resistant to termites and will not rot from weather and exposure to moisture over time. They often tilt inside for cleaning so you don't have to bother with a ladder or standing in outdoor shrubbery to wash them. Safety features allow them to be cracked open for a light breeze yet prevent a potential intruder from opening them from outside enough to crawl in. Arguably the most important modern window feature is two panes of glass filled with an inert gas to provide superior insulation and lower power bills.

Replacing Old with New

Replacing old windows is not usually a very intricate job. Because older windows were not built and installed to modern modular designs, it does take talent and experience to understand the best procedure for removal, then the new one is put in place, squared with shims, sealed, and either the old casings or new trim work is applied to complete the job. Although it might take some time for the typical homeowner to figure out the procedure, a specialist who installs windows daily will have the work done in a jiffy.

Incorporating the Best of Both Worlds

In some cases, especially with older homes, you may want to replace problem windows which have drafts or no longer work properly but keep some windows for historic value, and nothing is wrong with mixing and matching as appropriate for your situation. Older windows, if they still function and aren't damaged, can provide a particular charm especially if they remind you of particular childhood memories. The idea is to discuss with your contractor what you hope to achieve and which window replacements will best serve your needs.

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