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What To Consider When You Get A New Picture Window

by April Carlson

If your home is on a lot with a beautiful view, then installing a picture window gives you the ability to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a warm home. Plus, picture windows let in a lot of natural light, and that is a big benefit if the light reaches your kitchen or work area. The view from the window may become the focal point of your home as guests admire the view and your family relaxes with the beauty of nature. If you're considering a picture window for your home, here are some points to think about.

The Window Frame Material

Picture windows are quite large and heavy. If the weight is a concern, you can choose a light frame material such as vinyl or aluminum. A wood frame is a little more traditional, but you may actually prefer the sleek appearance of a thin frame made from aluminum or vinyl. If you're worried about how the frame will look from the inside of your home, you may want to buy a picture window that has a wood frame on the inside that offers a traditional appearance while it has another material on the outside for durability and reduced weight.

Another thing to consider when deciding on the type of frame for your big window is how well it insulates against heat transfer. Wood, vinyl, and aluminum frames come in various levels of quality. The higher quality frames are more expensive, but they insulate your home better. You get an idea on how well the frame insulates by looking at the energy ratings sticker. Choose the best quality frame you can afford no matter which type of material you choose.

Window Glass Options

When it comes to choosing the glass for your picture window, you have even more options. First, you need to decide if you want single, double, or triple panes. The more panes, the better the insulation. Since a picture window takes up a lot of space on your wall, you want the glass to have as much insulation as possible or the window will drive up your energy bill. Having multiple panes is one way to increase insulation. Gas or air is sealed between the panes to block the transfer of heat. Once you decide on the number of panes, you can choose a style.

Plain glass may be the best so it doesn't detract from the outdoor view, but you can make the window more decorative if you want by adding grilles or bars that section the glass into squares. For ease of cleaning, consider windows with the bars placed between the panes of glass. If you prefer the bars to be on the outside, you'll probably want windows that have them on the interior side of the glass so they will be much easier to keep clean.

The final choice in the glass for your windows is the treatment of the glass to block UV rays. This is especially important if the picture window is on the south side of your home. While you want to let in natural light, you want to block solar heat as well as UV rays that fade your furniture and upholstery.

If your lot has a beautiful view of the woods, a lake, or a mountain, then it is worth the expense to have a picture window installed in your home. You'll be able to enjoy nature through all seasons of the year. And if you buy a high quality frame and glass, you won't have to worry about a large window making your home so chilly or so hot that it affects your power bill.  

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