What to consider when choosing a window
Choosing a window, what’s there to even really consider? You may be thinking, “it’s just a glass square to bring some light into my home, no biggie”. While choosing a window may seem like a simple task, there is actually more to it than meets the eye.
A window can frame that picturesque lifestyle view or that sophisticated skyscraper horizon. While we initially think of windows as merely framing our view, the elements of a window we elect to have in our own space are actually vitally important. A window will create communication between the outside and the inside, creating a mood, tone and theme in your everyday life. Windows also filter natural light, insulate from both the hot and cold temperatures, and block rain.
Of course, a window must tick all of these boxes whilst maintaining an aesthetic look and keep in tune with the design of your house. Creating and maintaining visual comfort is one of the easiest ways to assess the effectiveness of your indoor environment.
-Is there enough natural light?
-Is there too much glare?
-Am I receiving the optimal view?
These are questions you should ask yourself before you start carving out holes in your walls. Finding the right balance of natural light to glare plays a major factor in your well-being, it affects memory, focus, and mental health.
Below are the recommended lighting levels from the Superhome healthy design guide, for everyday activities:
-Vacuuming and washing: 150-200 lux
-Reading and studying: 300-500 lux
-Detailed sewing: 800-1000 lux
Part of the reason why selecting your windows is hugely important is the factor they play in the thermal insulation of your home. Windows and doors are the weakest points in the thermal envelope of a building? With 30-35% of heat escaping through windows in an un-insulated home.
The anatomy of a window
So, before you get started on a design plan or remodel, consider these factors:
-Light! Natural light is full of Vitamin D and all that good stuff. For you and your family’s mental and physical well-being ensure you have the right balance of exposure to natural light vs glare.
-Ventilation! Once again, this is another factor that affects the health of a home’s inhabitants. Poor ventilation and air-flow can cause health issues such as asthma, allergies and headaches.
-Temperature! According to the World Health Organisation, the optimal indoor temperature for humans is between 18-24 degrees Celcius. Ensuring airtight windows and minimising heat loss through windows plays a major factor in this.
-Acoustics! You know that over-eager neighbour that mows their lawns at 7 am on the dot on Sunday Mornings? Yeah, it’s likely we all know that neighbour. Window features such as double glazing can help you forget about that guy! So, it’s good to consider your surroundings such as how near or far your neighbours and other surrounding businesses may be. Another important consideration here is how the use of closed windows works in conjunction with other systems in your home, such as a mechanical ventilation system.
-Security! Windows are the biggest threat when it comes to intruders entering your home. Factoring it accessibility and strength of your windows can create a safer space for all.
From the windows to the walls, EVERY design step should be crucially examined. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. Thankfully for the sake of your sanity, we’re here to help. Reach out to us with your design questions today!