The Why of Windows: Winning Tips to Master Your Next Build or Reno
Windows are just windows, right? Wrong! Windows are so much more than glass surfaces installed in your house to let the light in. Window and door selections for your home are such a crucial aspect to the overall design, but also have an incredible impact on the functionality of a space. For our recent project, the Barefoot Bay Villa in Byron Bay, we worked with Trend Windows and Doors to bring a number of fabulous glazing to this home! Whilst we absolutely loved the products we used (Textured Aluminium framing, I mean! How wow is that?!) what we really came to understand was that function was at the core of Trend’s range – offering clever solutions which make life easier.
We caught up with Melissa Kliese, Marketing Manager at Trend Windows and Doors to get the expert window and door advice for your next build or renovation.
Where is the best place for someone to start when choosing windows to renovate their home?
Selecting the right kind of window for your home can enhance your home’s architectural style, liveability and function. It’s important to think about all of these factors. These three simple steps will help you make the best choices for your project:
Step 1.Understand your windows performance and regulations requirements. Your architect, builder or energy rater will be able to provide you with the latest criteria, but it’s important to make sure you are across things such as:
- Thermal requirements that new homes must meet
- Specific window restrictions are required to prevent children from falling out of high windows
- Acoustic requirements for noise corridors
- BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) ratings and the impact this will have on the windows/glass required for your project
Step 2. Choose your window frames. The material of your window and door frames will impact your home’s overall comfort levels, acoustics and energy efficiency. Trend offers three materials in its window ranges: aluminium, timber or a hybrid of aluminium and extruded rigid polymer. The modern, minimalist designs and range of powder coatings available make Aluminium windows the perfect choice for contemporary homes. They are easy to clean, require little maintenance and are generally more affordable than timber windows. Timber is the preferred choice for heritage and traditional homes, but also add a sleek organic touch to a modern home. Trend also offers a hybrid frame made up of aluminium external frame and an internal an extruded rigid polymer skin. This combination offers great thermal properties, while providing strength and durability.
Step 3.Complete your window selection by considering factors that can improve your lifestyle.A range of colour, glass, hardwareand screensare available to improve the aesthetics, comfort, acoustics, security and privacy around your home.
What is the difference between the range of glazing options you provide and how does this effect the overall design of a room?
Glass is a large and important component of any window. By incorporating different glass types, you can influence your homes comfort, security, privacy and acoustics. Some glazing optionswill leave your indoor living areas brighter and cooler; some will filter out uncomfortable glare and others will improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Australia has some of the harshest sunlight in the world. Maintaining a comfortable indoor environment is difficult when temperatures rise and fall during the day and between seasons. To improve your home’s insulation, which will reduce both your carbon footprint and your energy consumption, its best to look for Double glazed or Low E glazing solutions.
By choosing thick glass or laminated glass, you can significantly reduce the amount of ambient noise that penetrates your home. And if energy efficiency is also important, double glazing can be effective. If safety and protection are the priorities, Toughened glass or laminated glass options are best. Some areas of the home require more privacy than others, textured, translucent or acid etched glass allows for high level light transmittance while obscuring the view from the outside. Different levels of obscurity are available, and these options can also be toughened or laminated to provide Grade A Safety. These options are ideal for bathrooms, bedrooms, front entry doors and any area you want to block from prying eyes.
How can your window/door choice transform a room?
The variety of materials and designs available in windows and doors see them being used more regularly as a design feature or focus for a room. Below are some examples of how different windows and doors choices can transform a room or space.
Interconnect inside and outside spaces
For interconnecting inside out outside spaces sliding and stacking doors are by far the most popular door. They are more cost effective over bi-fold doors, are easier to screen and can achieve the larger openings to connect your homes interior with the outdoors. There are also more sliding door configurations available, sliding, stacking, or cavity sliding. Unlike Bi-Fold door panels, sliding door panels don’t obstruct the inside or outside area when they are open.
Create a grand entrance
A grand front entrance provides the opportunity to create an impact and stand out from other houses in the street. As the first impression to a house, it’s important to choose a front door that complements the architecture and provides a glimpse into the interior style of the home.
Depending on the size of the entryway and home’s architecture, front doors with double hinged doors and sidelights, which can include decorative glass are not only on-trend and eye-catching, but also offer the advantage of natural lighting.
Bring in more natural light
The use of floor to ceiling glass or fixed windows in a stairwell can create impact as well as bringing in more natural light to a space. A row of windows well above eye level is often used in the design of modern homes to flood vast spaces with natural more ambient light. As for aesthetics, placing windows higher affords more open wall space at eye level for artwork, books and shelving.
Increase natural ventilation
If you want maximum ventilation, you can’t go past bi-fold windows. These windows fold all the way back to provide a large opening area that’s almost the size of the window frame itself.
Their wide opening arc and the manner in which they open allow you to control and divert breezes from different directions into your home.
Louvre windows are great for encouraging ventilation in your home. Their variable opening angles allow you to control and direct ventilation as desired and required.
How important is it to consider a home’s climate and location when someone is renovating their windows?
The climate and location of where a home is positioned are two of the most important factors to take into account when choosing the design and type of windows.
Windows and doors are your home’s natural source of light so it’s very important to factor the orientation of the sun into your window choice as well as the type of glazing. Timber provides natural insulation and is the most energy efficient window framing on the market, but aluminium also has its strengths as it’s extremely durable in a range of weather conditions.
In cool climates such as Melbourne and Tasmania you want to keep your home warm in winter and maximise heat gain from north-facing windows in order to reduce heating costs. There are many different design designs that your architect or Trend window consultant can advise you on including window types, placement, glazing etc.
In hot and humid climates such as Queensland you would orientate the home to take advantage of cooling breezes, provide shaded outdoor living areas, and utilise windows such a louvres to promote natural ventilation.
If you are in doubt about windows or doors requirements for your project, we would recommend you come into a Trend showroom to discuss your plans with one of our consultants who will be able to provide you with their expert recommendations.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see when people renovate their windows?
Choosing windows and doors for your home is a task that people often find difficult and overwhelming and should make it a priority to discuss requirements with their architect or builder. It’s important to focus on what’s important from a lifestyle and liveability perspective including comfort, environment, style of home, security and privacy.
There are a huge range of windows to choose from all with different benefits and it’s important to make sure you understand these and where the windows are right for the space in your home. Awning windows are not great for air circulation but excellent for energy efficiency. Sashless windows are unobtrusive and blend into the architecture, and louvre windows are perfect for coastal homes to let in the breeze. If security, and safety are priorities then you would need to look at toughened or laminated glass as well as installing protective security screens. If privacy is in issue, then you can choose a frosted glass that lets in the natural light but protects the view from within.
Make sure your windows fit your home’s architecture. For a heritage listed home’s front façade the best choice would be timber windows, which replicate the original windows to fit in with the style of the home.
It’s also important to ensure that your windows meet all industry and government standards required including wind, water and BAL ratings.
You can explore more of Trend Windows & Door’s selection on their website.