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February 27, 2017

Right Windows for Craftsman Homes

Right Windows for Craftsman HomesChoosing the right windows for Craftsman type homes requires you to consider a few different factors carefully. The shape, style, and material used to make your windows are all crucial in creating a strong visual impression. At Paramount Siding and Windows, we can help you choose the right windows to complement any style of home. 

While the housing market is saturated with neatly designed developments of similarly-styled homes, many Americans still prefer older, more traditional Craftsman homes. Unique houses with handcrafted details and understated architecture will always be a favorite. Craftsman type homes embrace the use of wood with stone or brick accents to create solid and aesthetically pleasing houses.

What Material Should I Use?

Traditionally speaking, Craftsman type homes use solid wood windows. The Craftsman style incorporates natural materials and earthy tones. You will often find exposed rafters and beams in these kinds of homes. Using all wood windows ensures a consistent look within the home, and creates a warm atmosphere. Wood windows can be expensive, but with the right maintenance they will last the longest of any window material and prove well worth the investment.

Wood windows also offer the advantage of being easily personalized. Depending on your style and budget, you can request your wood windows to be made with decorative detailing and hand carved ornamentation. This gives your home the one-of-a-kind appearance that is especially valued in Craftsman homes.

It is also possible to use vinyl or fiberglass windows in your Craftsman style home, once you ensure the shape and style match the existing architecture. This material is energy efficient, low maintenance, and is a great option for homeowners on a budget. Remember that the Craftsman style sticks to natural colors and often incorporates a wide trim around the window frame. This helps balance out the stocky architecture of wide pillars and overhanging roofs. 

Does Shape Matter?

The shape of your windows is crucial in accenting the traditional, Craftsman style. Vertical rectangular windows are the most common shape featured in Craftsman type homes. However, smaller square windows are often used in upper story rooms. The low-pitched gabled roof of a Craftsman style house lends itself well to wide dormer windows. Dormer windows and others are sometimes accentuated with an eyebrow window. This is a window with a flat bottom and rounded top forming an arch.

The size of your windows can depend on the climate you live in and the amount of natural light you want to allow to enter your home. Often, Craftsman homes feature large porches, sometimes wrapping all the way around the house. The porch combined with overhanging roofs means that less light can naturally enter the ground floor rooms through the windows. For this reason, homeowners often try to maximize the size of their windows on the ground level to counteract the reduction in natural light.

Which Style of Windows Adhere to the Craftsman Type Home?

There is some degree of flexibility in style when recreating the Craftsman look in your home. Most historic homes use traditional double hung windows. This style of window incorporates two moveable sashes, whereas a single hung window has a fixed top sash and only the bottom sash can be slid upwards to open the window. Double sash windows give a classic look and are characteristic of the Craftsman style. In addition to creating the right aesthetic, double hung windows are very practical. Both sashes are moveable, meaning they are easy to clean and give excellent ventilation when required.

To adhere completely to the right windows for Craftsman type homes, you should choose double hung windows with muntins separating multiple panes in the upper sash. Usually, the top sash will have four to six individual window panes divided by wood or metal muntins. The way to describe this window configuration would be 4-over-1 or 6-over-1. The first number indicates the number of individual panes in the upper sash and the second number indicates the number of panes in the lower sash. Typically, in Craftsman style homes, the lower sash has just one unbroken pane, offering a clear view from eye level.

Some homeowners may prefer a casement window, hinged at the side in order to fully swing open. These can be useful for hard to reach locations and for providing maximum ventilation. If casement windows are chosen, it is best to keep in line with the Craftsman style by opting for multipaned windows divided by muntins on the top half of the window. This gives the illusion of a classic double hung window with Craftsman style finishing. Read more about the history and development of different window styles on the Craftsman blog.

Transom windows are frequently incorporated into Craftsman type homes. The transom window is a thin, horizontal rectangular window found over another window or a door. These usually do not open and are purely decorative. You can find transom windows as one solid pane or divided into sections by muntins.

Stained glass or beveling may be used as additional ornamentation on a transom window. Transom windows are not just featured on the exteriors of Craftsman homes. They can also be installed over interior doors throughout the house to create a uniform design look. 

What Else Do I Need to Create a Craftsman Type Home?

Fortunately, there is plenty of help available for homeowners interested in creating an aesthetic style with their windows. It is important, however, not to rely entirely on the windows to carry the full burden of the Craftsman look. For best results, you need to integrate the architecture of your home with your choice of doors, windows, and siding in addition to the final decorative touches. The Craftsman type home relies heavily on the presence of a few key features.

Square external pillars, wraparound porches and exposed wooden beams and supports are typical of Craftsman type homes. Characteristic wooden clapboard siding in natural earthy tones accented by stone or brick detailing are just as important as the window style when designing your ideal Craftsman style home. These homes are recognized for their artistic elegance and hand-crafted charm, so once you have the basic architecture covered, don't forget to pay attention to the finer details.

Designing and building your home to a distinct style takes time, effort and probably the assistance of a professional architect. The results are well worth it, however! If you need help finding the right windows for Craftsman type homes, do not hesitate to contact Paramount Siding and Windows. We offer a wide range of made-to-order windows with the option of unique finishes and detailing.

January 15, 2017

Facts About Home Window Installation

Paramount Siding and Windows in Colorado SpringsFacts About Home Window Installation wants to share with our customers the facts about home window installation. Homeowners planning on replacing their windows or installing brand new ones can get caught up in uncertainties. Is it necessary to hire a professional? Can I install the windows myself? Do I need to have old windows removed before the installation? How long will it take? We are happy to clarify the most common misconceptions and queries about window installation.

First, is DIY window installation a good idea or even possible? Unless you have experience in detailed construction work, it is not the best idea to attempt window installation by yourself. A professional window installation crew will have the skills to install your windows with an airtight seal for the best energy efficiency. You can depend on them to leave you with secure and beautifully finished windows that blend in seamlessly with your home's design.

You may think there are savings to be made by foregoing a professional window installation and just doing it yourself. Unfortunately, mistakes made when fitting windows can result in much higher repair costs later on. Often, the product warranties on windows specify that they must be professionally installed. This means that if you damage the window while attempting to install it yourself, you can easily void the warranty and be left with a broken window and no backup.

Window installation by a professional involves a few distinct stages. Overall, the process can take 4-8 weeks until completion. Start by requesting your in-home consultation – from the right company here in Colorado Springs, this should be free. At Paramount, one of our experienced professionals will listen to your needs and preferences regarding window style, material, security, energy efficiency, and aesthetics. They can share information and advice on the suitability of different windows for your home. They will then measure the dimensions for each requested window and confirm the style of window.

Once ordered, your new windows can be ready for installation within a few days if you opt for off the shelf, standard sizes. If you choose made to order windows, you can expect a wait time of around four weeks. A representative from the installation team will call you to schedule the installation at a convenient time of your choice.

On the installation day, you can expect the crew to start early and typically finish the entire job in one day. Each window will be methodically installed, with the removal of old windows if necessary. The window frame is leveled and set within the opening before being securely installed. An airtight seal is created, and the surrounding molding finished. Any last glazing treatments are applied before moving on to the next window.

Each window can take approximately 30 minutes to install. Upon completion of the installation, all debris will be collected and disposed of, leaving your home's interior and exterior spotless! The senior installation professional will do a full walk-through with the homeowner to demonstrate opening and closing of each window and ensuring complete customer satisfaction.

Knowing the facts about home window installation can clear up misconceptions before they happen. Paramount Siding and Windows in Colorado Springs wants customers to know what to expect when it comes to window installation. We are sure that our high standards will live up to your high expectations!

January 15, 2017

All About Casement Windows

All About Casement WindowsAt Paramount Siding and Windows in Colorado Springs, we are dedicated to finding the right windows for every customer's needs. This week, our blog is all about casement windows. We will explain how casement windows work, and why they may or may not be suitable for certain spaces. We’ll also share insider tips on the best placement strategy for casement windows and how to make the most of their benefits.

First of all, what is a casement window? Any window hinged on the side that fully opens by swinging outward is known as a casement style window. Usually, they are opened using a crank handle, allowing precise control over the angle of opening. It is also possible to find casement windows that open without a handle. These typically use a casement stay to remain open at the desired angle, even in windy conditions.

Sometimes customers confuse casement windows with awning or hopper windows. Both of these window styles also open outwards, but awning windows are hinged at the top, and hopper windows are hinged at the bottom. Casement windows are particularly suited for placement in hard-to-reach locations, such as above the kitchen sink. Their accessible crank handle allows easy opening and closing. The crank handle also makes the window much more difficult to open from the outside, contributing to a higher home security level.

With casement windows, it is up to the homeowner to choose on which side to have the window hinged. The crank handle is placed on the opposite side of the hinges. There are some basic guidelines to follow, taking into account aesthetics and practicality. Most customers here in Colorado Springs choose to put the crank handle on the side of their dominant hand for easy opening and closing, especially if it is in an awkward position.

If you have a pair of casement windows, that are placed directly next to each other, or on either side of a central picture window or bay window, you should have the hinges positioned on the outside. This will allow the two windows to open from the center, instead of opening like pages of a book. This creates the illusion of increased space and looks much more pleasing to the eye. For single casement windows, placing the hinged side towards the closest corner of a room will emphasize the appearance of continuous open space.

Casement windows are an exceptional choice if you want a well-ventilated home. They can open completely, allowing maximum airflow. The crank system also lets you set them at the right angle to catch a breeze and direct it indoors. If you have a pair of casement windows on opposite sides of the house (or room), you should have one hinged on the right side and the other hinged on the left side. This encourages the movement of fresh air through your home.

Now that you know all about casement windows, nothing is stopping you from making the best decision for your home windows. Contact us here at Paramount Siding and Windows in Colorado Springs to request an in-home consultation or to view our range of casement windows from top brands.

December 26, 2016

Do Vinyl Windows Last?

PICT0613.JPGAt Paramount Siding and Windows in Colorado Springs, Colorado, our customers often ask do vinyl windows last and are they worth the investment? We know the low cost and ease of maintenance of vinyl windows make them a very attractive option for homeowners on a budget. However, the "cheapest" option is not always the most financially sound option. Paramount’s goal is to get you the best deal on the ideal home windows, doors, and siding, so today we’re providing insider information that can help you make the best possible decision.

Generally, vinyl windows don't last as long as wood or metal windows. They do however offer other benefits, including the wide variety of designs available, good insulation properties and affordable cost. The longevity of a window is important information for a homeowner. It is helpful to have a rough idea of when your windows will need replacing, especially if you plan to sell your home in the future.

The lifetime of a window can vary depending on the type of weather conditions it is subjected to, as well as the maintenance it receives. The first clue to knowing how long your windows will last is to look at the warranty length. The warranty will give you a good indicator of the expected lifetime of any window. Many vinyl windows carry a warranty of 15 to 25 years. If you end up wanting to redeem the warranty, be aware that most carry strictly defined terms. If the window is exposed to a harsh climate (like our cold Colorado winters), accidentally damaged in a botched DIY job, or does not receive the minimum maintenance requirements, the warranty is probably void.

Factors that decrease the life expectancy of your windows include exposure to harsh sunlight, damp conditions, extreme temperature fluctuations and lack of maintenance. Long hours of sun exposure can deteriorate your vinyl windows and eventually lead to cracking. To protect your windows from damaging UV rays, use a protective sealant and consider creating shade over your southern facing windows with awnings.

Vinyl windows installed in climates with high humidity levels can suffer from gradual water damage. If there is little sunlight hitting the window and the temperatures are continuously low, the windows will never fully dry out, meaning harmful fungus and microorganisms can thrive. Again, a protective sealant can give your vinyl window an added barrier and extend its lifetime by a few years.

Finally, your vinyl window is more likely to last its expected 20-40 years if you follow the manufacturer's guidelines on maintenance and cleaning. This is usually just semi-annual cleaning with soapy water and a soft cloth to avoid build-up of dirt. You may also be advised to have any damage repaired promptly and by a professional. This will give your windows the best chance of functioning well and looking good for as long as possible, as well as keeping your warranty intact.

For more information on do vinyl windows last (and are they worth the investment), simply contact us here at Paramount Siding and Windows in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Our experts will answer your questions and help you find the best option for your home and budget. Request a free consultation today. 

December 5, 2016

A Complete Guide to Wood Windows

A Complete Guide to Wood WindowsOur experts at Paramount Siding and Windows here in Colorado Springs, Colorado know that many homeowners love the appearance and solid feel of traditional wood windows. So, we've created this complete guide to wood windows to help you determine if this is the right investment for your home and discover the best approach to buying wood windows.

With wood windows, there is no competition when it comes to adding character to your home. The end product always looks amazing. Unfortunately, the price and the maintenance needs of this window material can deter people from buying them. Let's look further into what you need to know before deciding one way or the other.

There are three main types of wood windows available: off the shelf, made to order, and custom. The prices between these vary hugely, so it is wise to explore the different options before you commit to one. All kinds of wood windows require some basic maintenance in order to keep them in good condition. With the right care, your wood windows can last indefinitely.

Off the shelf wood windows are the most affordable option and can be bought from home centers for approximately $300 per unit, depending on the size. They are only available in a limited range of standard sizes and designs. If you are seeking wood windows for a newly constructed home, you can choose off the shelf wood windows and have the rough openings made to accommodate them. These windows are usually made from unprimed pine and can be brought home on the same day as purchase.

Made to order wood windows are more expensive but offer a wider range of possible designs and glazing options. These windows can be personalized to your needs and are available in many shapes and sizes. You can request made to order windows from home centers, lumberyards and window retailers. Usually, a choice of different woods such as Douglas fir, pine, and alder are offered. These windows typically take four weeks to be made and can cost around $800 per unit.

Custom wood windows offer you full flexibility in functional design and appearance. These windows are the best option if you wish to create an original design, replicate a historic window or incorporate windows of unusual shapes.

The sky is the limit when it comes to custom wood windows. You can create custom wood windows as simple or elaborate as you like with options of leaded art glass and frames of solid mahogany, oak, maple, or cherry wood. You have much more flexibility in the hardware of the window with cranks and hinges available in solid bronze or your choice of materials. These windows are typically only available from window retailers, and the cost can run into thousands of dollars per unit. A waiting time of six weeks is required for these wood windows.

Paramount Siding and Windows offers our customers in Colorado Springs a complete guide to wood windows, along with help choosing from all three options in wood windows mentioned here. Depending on your practical needs, design preferences and budget, we can recommend the ideal window for your home or commercial property. Once installed, you'll enjoy their timeless appearance and insulating abilities, which can help save money on heating bills during Colorado's cold winters.

Feel free to contact our team if you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation. 

 

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