When it comes to home improvement projects, it isn't always easy to know where to spend your hard-earned money. Although you might be tempted to rip up that old linoleum flooring or paint a nice accent wall, few projects have as high of a return on investment as replacing your windows. In fact, research has shown that homeowners who replace dated windows with new vinyl versions can recoup as much as 72.9% of their cost. Here are two window replacement trends you should know about before you start shopping, so that you will love your windows for years to come:
1: Functional Touches
If you are like most people, you might want a little more from new windows than just a few pretty panes. After all, what good is a nice window if it is inefficient or difficult to keep clean? Fortunately, window manufacturers have developed all sorts of ways to make windows more functional. Here are a few features you should look for:
- Slide and Swing: If you don't enjoy climbing up rickety ladders and trying to scrub grime off of second story windows, you should look for windows with slide and swing sashes. Instead of being fixed inside the casement permanently, these windows allow the user to turn a crank and swing the windows indoors, where they can be cleaned easily.
- UV Reflective Coatings: Do you want your windows to work for you? If you are looking for an easy way to lower your energy bill, look for windows with UV reflective coatings. Believe it or not, some window coatings can block as much as 99% of heat-generating UV rays—without blocking visible light. By preventing heat buildup, your air conditioning unit can run less frequently, slashing your summertime cooling bill.
- Sound Absorbing Panes: On a lazy Sunday morning, the last thing you probably want to hear is your neighbor's dog barking at the crack of dawn. However, if you choose windows with sound absorbing panes, you might be able to sleep in a little later. These windows contain glass panes that are different thicknesses to block various sound frequencies. In fact, some sound absorbing windows can block as much as 95% of noise.
If you are worried about your functional windows sticking out like a sore thumb, you shouldn't be. Windows with these properties are made to blend in with run-of-the-mill varieties, so you can mix and match windows depending on your budget.
2: Active Transoms
Sometimes when people start replacing windows, they unintentionally leave out the windows surrounding their front door. Unfortunately, forgetting about side windows and transom lights can make your entryway look a little dated. However, transom lights, which are the windows that run parallel to the top of your door, can be designed to open and close. Here are a few reasons that you should look into adding active transoms to your entryway:
- Passive Cooling: Are you looking for a way to leave a few windows open at night without sacrificing your home security? Because transom lights are up high, you can take advantage of powerful passive cooling without worrying about your kids downstairs.
- Deeper Casings: While older transom windows typically consist of fixed, single-pane windows placed above your door, newer active transoms contain internal hardware, so they have deeper casings. This depth creates a more high-end feel, and keeps your upper transom lights from looking simply stuck inside of a casing.
By replacing those old transoms, you can enjoy a brighter, more functional entryway while streamlining your home's aesthetics.
By being familiar with the latest replacement window options, you can select windows that will fit your lifestyle and look great in your house. You can also click here for info about replacement windows.