How to Choose Windows and Patio Doors: Part 2
The Right Style
They say, “form follows function.” In part 2 of our 3 part series on window and patio door selection, let’s take a closer look at appearance. Your new windows will be the first thing anyone notices on your house. Make a statement.
Add Face Value
Generally, house windows should complement the style of the home. For many people, and many home styles, that means a traditional, symmetrical design. This is particularly important in neighborhoods where existing homes set a general style, or where the appearance is mandated by code. On other sides of the home, you may have more freedom.
Size Up Your Options
Other than local building codes for bedrooms, there is no specific requirement for how much glass you can have in any room. So choose a window that provides enough light for the room, while allowing for wall space to handle furniture or cabinets.
When choosing a space for your patio door, measure how much space you have both on the interior and exterior side. This will give you an idea of which operating style would work best. Patio doors come in in-swing, out-swing and sliding operation styles.
- In-swing doors are the most commonplace in residential buildings and require adequate indoor space. The hinges are located inside the home and not visible to the outside. Keep in mind, though, that rainwater and other small debris can be driven by the wind into the home upon opening. An additional screen door can be helpful to protect against the elements.
- An out-swing patio door needs a clear path on the outside. Hurricane doors and doors in high wind areas are often out-swing because of the greater strength it provides when the wind is pushing against the doors.
- If space is tight, sliding doors might fit best. They are a good solution in spaces that simply cannot accommodate a full swinging door such as a balcony or sunroom.
- If you have the wall space, consider a moving glass wall. These expansive doors come with 3 to 6 panels that either slide or fold, opening up your living space to the outside.
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