Windows were a substantial part of the budget, like $30,000. We believe that investment will pay off. Aesthetically, we are very happy. We went with Integrity, by Marvin. They are made with Ultrex which supposedly makes them much stronger than vinyl or wood. This is an investment and we don’t expect that we will have to fuss with them much during our lifetime.
The features I like, besides the durability, is that they tilt in for easy cleaning and there are 19 colors to choose from. I went with a black trim exterior and white primed interior. Originally, i was going to do black (Integrity calls it ebony) on the interior and exterior but in the end cancelled the ebony finish on the interior for 2 reasons. First, it cost more and i was trying to make some cuts and second I wasn’t sure I would like black ten years from now. It is a trend that I love today. With the primed white I can paint them any color I want.
There are so many things you have to consider when selecting windows.
Panes: On the double hungs and casement windows I went with 6 over 0. That means that on the top, there are 6 little panes and on the bottom, there are none. I decided to go with 6/0 because I drove around a lot and looked at older homes. Many were 2/2 or 6/0. I figured if it was in style in the 20’s and 30’s and it is still in style in 2016 that it had some staying power. And mostly, I just like the look. If you have an architect they will show the panes in the elevation drawings. If you don’t, draw your house and play with how the panes will look before you order!
Divided lites: I grew up calling them mullions but they are the little dividers to create the individual panes. I went with simulated divided lites (SDL) because they look like the traditional mullions but sit on top of the glass instead of separating each pane. You can get the ones that are sandwiched between the glass for easy cleaning. When I wash my windows I am sure I will wish I bought those. You can also get the ones that snap out – removeable for easy cleaning or store them away and have an instant modern look. ADL are the authetic divided lites, which are they type all of our grandparents had.
Types of windows: in our house we have mostly double hung because they are easy to open and allow for the most ventilation. We have a few casement (think crank to open) for compliance easement reasons and a few square awaning. The Awning give you less air flow but they are adorable and remind me of a little cottage so I had to have a few (4 to be exact.) We also purchased french doors for the porch and walk out basement.
I may not be able to afford light fixtures and interior doors but I have good windows! My plan all along was to have a well built shell and the “pretty stuff” can always come later.
P.S. Triple check your order! Our builder is busy so I helped by double and triple checked the order before placing it. I found a few mistakes which chan easily happen because there are so many small details like color, size, hardware,screen color! Here’s on that made me think for a few minutes – iIn which direction do you want your casement windows to crank out?