Windows protect the interior of the building from the weather outside and maintain the comfort of the occupants. Considered the “eyes” of the building, windows provide views to the outside, and an impression of the inside. The size, style, material of construction, and features of windows will reflect the lifestyle of the building owners. Windows will provide security and reduce the noise levels of the outside, and transference of noise from the inside out.
What Weather Zone is the Home Located In? Windows are rated for energy efficiency to maintain the comfort level of the occupants, and to reduce energy consumption. By knowing the Weather Zone, the appropriate type of window can be chosen. Hurricane Zones require special glass in the window to resist breaking in high winds.
Which Way is the Window Facing? North, South, East, or West? East facing will receive morning light; West facing — late afternoon sunshine, which is the hottest part of the day. South facing means sun will shine through most of the day, while North facing windows may not receive sunlight. In the same house, windows oriented to the various directions may require different windows, such as ones with low solar heat gain coefficients on South and West facing, while higher SHGC will work on North facing windows.
Does the Window Receive Shading from Trees, Other Buildings, or Awnings? Again, by blocking the sun’s rays into the window, less demand is placed on the glazing to block damaging UV rays.
If the house has an historic architectural style, matching the existing windows may be necessary. Exterior architectural elements may be reflected in the style of the window; classical double-hung windows will not be appropriate in a Modern or Contemporary Home. Understand the style of the building when choosing the style of the window.Do the Windows Need to Represent a Specific Architectural Style?