It is often said that the eyes are the windows to a soul, well, the windows are the eyes of a house. Literally speaking, windows according to an old Norwegian language mean wind-eye. Windows had been there since humans realized the benefits of building a long-term place of residence for sleeping in securely. The classic glass windows may be old, but they aren’t really that old on the historic windows timeline; glass has been used in windows for centuries, but the very first windows were very simple and were just holes in the house’s exterior walls.
People then started using animal hides to block the view of the interior of their homes for privacy, these hides were sometimes soaked in oil to keep the warmth from getting out, after a little while, wood and cloth were used. In some Asian regions, paper was used as a material instead of animal hides for the same reason. Glass introduction to windows was done first by the romans, many centuries ago, but it wasn’t the transparent glass were used to, the glass used was primitive and you wouldn’t be able to see anything on the other side if you tried looking through.
The production of glass kept on improving over many years until it reached the point of transparency, then transparent glass windows were used in the homes of aristocrats and the wealthy at around the 16th century. The modern styles like sliding sash windows were developed once the production techniques improved. Countries like the UK, which had a tax on windows ended up removing it in the 18th century, which pushed the demand for glass in the market and made it more appealing.
The whole world started including great and huge glass designs for windows in cathedrals and important offices which also helped in increasing the demand for glass windows. Looking around now, you’ll see huge skyscrapers, looking like they’re made of greatly designed glass, even the designs of windows in normal houses are becoming extremely interesting and artistic thanks to the great production momentum. Windows are becoming even more important now than ever.
When building a house, it is extremely vital to think about the status and design of the windows. Since windows are the main sources of sunlight and ventilation, you can’t just forget about them. Installing the right windows or upgrading the wrong ones can have more than just an aesthetic appeal; you can reduce energy consumption and make your house more energy efficient, by installing energy-efficient windows, which saves a lot of money that is spent on making the house warmer, colder, or lit. Windows also provide security to your house and help increase the resale value when you’re thinking about moving. 2019 is supposed to be the year of bright, modern, colorful, and eco-friendly designs.
We’ll be sharing with you the best window upgrades of 2019 that you can do yourself if you want to get your hands dirty.
When to Upgrade your Windows
Some windows can last up to 20 years if they’re being taken care of, but nothing lasts forever. If your windows are damaged, but you still would like to keep them, you need to assess their state, because if you’re going to repair them temporarily only for them to fail after a month or two, then you need to think about upgrading or replacing them. Signs like getting draft air in, or fogging up, or getting stuck constantly should help you decide that it’s time to replace them. Window failures, like getting draft air into, cost you a lot because of the increase of energy bills due to the increased demand for heating, and can considerably lower your house’s resale value.
Using an Insert Window
Insert windows are the easiest solution to upgrade a window with an already working and good frame. When you opt to upgrade your windows by using insert windows, you basically keep the frame intact and then insert a window, which is a great advantage for people who like their frame, trims, and only have a problem with the window itself. Removal of the sash and cover precedes installing the window in the new frame and then anchoring and sealing are done. This option is great when you need to upgrade your windows with a tight budget; it is very easy to install, you don’t mess around with the interior trims; super cheap, because you can do it yourself and the variety of insert windows help you find the perfect one for you.
Shutters come with great benefits; they can be decorative, to add style and aesthetic appeal to the exterior of windows from the inside and outside; they can also be utilized for their functions, their insulation can help in keeping the warmth in and keeping the heat outside, depending on the weather, in addition to the security they provide, you can choose to use them to block eyes from wandering into the interior of the house. Charlie Jones from Shuttercraft.co.uk explains that shutters are a popular choice over blinds and curtains because they look stylish and add an extra layer of insulation, which reduces energy bills in winter. Shutters are cheap to install and easy enough to install them on your own if you’d like.
Shades and Blinds
Many people think that curtains and draperies can’t be used for anything except aesthetic purposes. They do indeed add great decorative value to windows with all the colors and variation available, but the vibrance isn’t their only strength. Your summers and winters will change for the better if you decide to use them to block out the heat exchange. Some people opt to use heavy window treatments to reach this result, but a simpler solution would be using shades and blinds because they are cost-effective and can look beautiful easily. Different types of draperies are used with varied colors and backing depending on what you’re looking for; heat-loss reduction or preserving warmth.
When you’re thinking about upgrading your windows, you might also want to think about adding an extra function or two, like adding a sliding door for convenience. When you upgrade with the size of the window taken into consideration, it can mean a lot of extra labor and special care. Changing frames includes changing interior and exterior trims, if you want to preserve a specific interior then you will have to work on changing the windows from the exterior directly without touching the interior. The hardest choice will be choosing which finish or which side you’re willing to compromise when you change the frame.
If you live in the United States then you should be aware of a program called Energy Star; it provides specifications that should be followed for energy-efficient windows. There are 4 zones or divisions, depending on the one you belong to, the specifications will vary. Since climate is a very important factor in choosing energy-efficient windows, the weather should be taken into consideration when you’re looking for specifications. The degree of insulation, which helps block heat radiation, should be very high in northern regions because of the harsh hot climate. Thanks to the progress and development in the production of glass, some glass is made highly resistant of UV rays. UV rays can make a mess out of many unaware homeowners’ homes, they can ruin carpets, artwork, and upholstery over time.
Soundproof your Windows
If you live in a noisy neighborhood, you probably hate all the noise coming from the outside. A lot of the noise is coming through your windows, even if you shut them, soundproofing your windows is one of the best solutions to this issue. It is not exclusive for those who want to keep the noise out, it is also essential for those who want to keep the noise. If you are starting a band and practicing every day, chances are that your neighbors are giving you dirty looks by now.
Thanks to all the available solutions and technology, soundproofing windows isn’t an ordeal anymore. You should first check for any gaps that allows the noise to come in easily into your home, then seal them using acoustic caulk or weather-stripping tape. You can also add soundproof curtains to deafen the echo, it won’t block the noise entirely on its own but it’s helpful as a secondary add-on. You can always add an extra glass layer to your glass to block some noise as well.
Bring in More Light
Based on scientific research, it has been proven that natural light positively affects your mood, and your wallet apparently. Almost half the energy used in a home is for lighting and temperature control; using treated windows to bring in more natural light is going to help you light the place up and spend less energy for heating. The resale value of a family home is highly proportional to the amount of sunlight that gets in. If your windows are smaller than needed, then you should think about remodeling their size and treating the glass, in addition to adding a few large mirrors to get the greatest amount of natural light. You’ll be able to save money, make your home healthier, and increase the resale value.
If you live on the coast or within a zone known for hurricanes, you should always prepare yourself to handle damaged windows. You should think about upgrading to impact-resistant windows so it could withstand any weather outrage. Some impact-resistant windows are also made to resist forced entry, so it’s definitely a great option if you’re feeling unsafe in your home. Always make sure to check the local code or requirements for windows in your area, researching it is the best way to navigate through it easily.
When you upgrade your windows, you may be tempted to choose a lower rank of wood or replace it with vinyl, but do not follow these temptations. Most of the investments you make on upgrading the windows come back in the form of increased resale value. If you decide to go with the wrong kind of windows it can actually decrease the resale value; some architectural features are essential for the home to retain its original identity. Also take note of the light pattern when you replace or upgrade the window so it would match with the original. Replacing old windows sometimes can rob the house of its original look and feel, so you need to be very careful of the changes you make on an antique window so you wouldn’t end up regretting it.
You don’t have to do a full-scale window replacement to fit in 2019, if your window is doing great, but it’s just the aesthetics that are bothering you, then you should look for little add-ons that can make your windows look the way you want it to look. Climbers, shades, curtains, and shutters are all great additions to your windows and home that look great from the inside and the outside. Using some coloring or stained glass on a few panes of a bathroom window can positively change how the bathroom looks forever.
A lot of window upgrades can be done by you, a good amount of research about installments and measurements of windows should be in your arsenal. It is safer to practice first with little window upgrades or with the less important windows so you could hone your skills and create a masterpiece later on. At some point you may find that you need a professional help to add some insight into how a procedure should be done, there is no shame in admitting that you can’t do it all by yourself, the bigger the project the harder it will be.
You should always research how to improve your windows by adding extra functions to it, the more multi-tasking your windows are, the more comfortable your house will be. 2019 should be the year where you focus on energy-efficiency and making your house smarter. The technology and development of glass and windows production will be your greatest ally.