There can be few things more exciting than building your new home. It is also quite a daunting task, with so many decisions and choices to think about. The windows and doors are certainly there in the decision making basket, but you might not realize just how significant a chunk of your budget they can take up.
In new home construction at least 15% of your total budget is likely to go on these aspects, so you certainly need to take plenty of time evaluating all the options. After all, your windows and doors affect the overall look of the house, as well as providing warmth, light and security for you and your family.
Let’s look at some of the things you need to consider when choosing windows and doors for your new home.
The first question is what material you prefer. Part of this will be down to the overall style of the house, but there are other considerations.
Plastic (uPVC) windows are probably the most common on new builds. In their favor, they require practically zero maintenance and are generally the cheapest option. The downside is that they can look like the cheapest option too, and as they get older, components can break and be tricky to repair. Doors that are in use every day can be a particularly weak point.
Wooden frames provide a more natural look, in keeping with Edmonton’s traditional classical style. Hardwood provides a high-quality, long-lasting finish that can be stained to suit any style. However, durability and high quality do not come cheap. An alternative is to go for softwood frames, which can either be varnished or painted. These still look good, and costs are similar to plastic, but they will need routine care to keep them in good condition.
Metal frames might sound old fashioned, but the latest aluminum designs actually give a modern look, and are strong and low-maintenance. They also come in any color. The only real downside to these is their low thermal efficiency, which means they are not the best at keeping out the cold Alberta air in winter.
There are as many designs to choose from as there are materials, and it is predominantly a matter of personal choice.
Casement windows are the most common, and typically come in standard styles and sizes, which helps keep costs under control. Casements generally open outwards, but some manufacturers carry “French” style inward-opening windows.
In general, though, windows open outwards for a reason. When it comes to winter, you want the wind to be pushing the window more tightly shut. With inward-opening casements, it will be trying to push it open, and any slight flexibility will lead to whistling and drafts.
Other popular designs include double-hung sash windows, that open by lowering the top half or raising the lower half, and sliders, that follow the same principle but by sliding from side to side rather than up and down.
Safety and Security
Anyone who has watched the local TV news over the past year will be well aware that Edmonton has seen an increase in break and enter crime. The fact is that you need to make sure your new home is not a “soft target” for criminals.
This means secure locks on all the windows and doors compliant with appropriate quality standards. Also consider small details such as an internal cover for your letterbox to keep out prying eyes.
With your new windows in place, they will need some form of dressing to show them to their full advantage, and to ensure your privacy when you need it.
Your immediate thought will be to choose appropriate curtains to coordinate with the decor in each room. This is really a matter of personal taste, but before you dive in, there are some alternatives worth considering.
For example, plantation window shutters provide a great quality alternative that looks amazing. These bring the added benefit of increased protection from external noise and bad weather. They are also far easier to keep clean than curtains, and are extremely hard wearing.
Best of all, they are relatively inexpensive to buy and easy to install.
Choose the best
By now you can clearly see that the available choice is as wide as your imagination, and in the end, it very much comes down to personal choice. A parting word of advice, though, is to go with the best quality that your budget allows. That way, you will have windows that look great, providing the safety and warmth that makes a house a home.