Energy efficiency, lots of light, unobstructed views, and color are driving today’s window trends, according to industry experts.
Homeowners are looking for high quality windows that can do it all—windows with functionality, energy efficiency, and style, according to Dondi Kazukewicz, of Marvin Windows and Doors. “At Marvin, we accomplish all three of these in each window we make because every window is made-to-order based on a homeowner’s exact specifications.”
Sean Smith of JELD-WEN says, “We see homeowners paying closer attention to how well windows function, both in terms of how smoothly they operate as well as how energy efficient they are and how durable. We’re incorporating the latest technology and design techniques to ensure our customers receive beautiful windows that contribute to the comfort and security of their home.”
Efficiency is almost always the number one reason that homeowners look to replace their windows, according to Joe Mills of Sunrise Windows and Doors. Offering a primer about window terminology, he says, “The industry has created some testing and ratings that help that process. The U factor measures how well the product keeps the heat in during the heating months. SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) is a measure of how well the glass keeps the sun’s heat out during the summer months.
“Energy savings is one of the top reasons our customers use window film,” says Margaret Shrewsbury of Solar Insulation. The company favors its newest product addition, 3M Thinsulate Window Film. Installed on the interior side of existing windows, it has a very high light transmission and a neutral appearance, maintaining the home’s existing appearance. Benefits include increased insulation performance, improved interior comfort in summer and winter, longer life for furnishings due to reduction of UV rays, and a comprehensive warranty from 3M.
Shrewsbury says adding 3M Thinsulate Window Film may provide performance similar to adding another pane of glass. New windows may be unnecessary. Most of Solar Insulation’s window films provide over 99% protection from UVA and UVB which are the biggest contributors to fade damage.
“CR or Condensation Resistance measures how a product handles condensation. I’ve always believed that this number can be deceiving as the more airtight a window is (a good thing) the more potential there is for condensation. VT stands for Visible Transmittance, a measurement of how much light the window lets in. Again a focus on this number can lead to choosing a poor performing window from an efficiency standpoint.” Sunrise Windows partners with Durante Home Exteriors in the Nashville area.
Windows that accommodate more expansive views and ventilation are gaining popularity, the experts say. Awnings and sliders meet these requirements with their horizontal configurations and ability to open wide when a tempting breeze blows by.
“We’re seeing more color, and we’re seeing a lot of darker colors,” says Ply Gem’s Montgomery says. “Two of our largest selling colors are black and bronze.” Several years ago, the company introduced a coextrusion technology for its higher-line vinyl products that allows customers to choose a darker exterior color, such as bronze, while maintaining a traditional white interior finish.
Natural light is what it’s all about this year, and homeowners are embracing the sun by installing large casement windows, especially in living and dining areas. Wide, pane-free casement windows allow for uninterrupted views and can be matched to almost any architectural style, including modern homes. Their simplicity and beauty make them ideal for many households, but recently homeowners have been drawn to very large versions, often floor-to-ceiling windows.
From a design perspective, customers are looking for products that fit the customized look and feel of their personal living space, Smith says. “JELD-Wen windows offer myriad style options to match nearly any home décor. For example, EpicVue windows make it easy for homeowners to incorporate larger panes of glass and sleek lines that are synonymous with contemporary design and create a timeless look and feel.”
Big glass is definitely trending, according to Kazukewicz, “and while it’s a favorite for contemporary styles, we’re also seeing larger windows in every style of home from traditional to modern. The Marvin Ultimate Casement window is especially popular in contemporary design, and with standard sizes up to 5 feet wide and 10 feet tall, the Marvin Next Generation Ultimate Double Hung window is a favorite in more traditional designs.
“Beyond larger openings, many homeowners are choosing dark interior colors and high-contrast finishes. A very popular example that makes a big impact is white walls accented by windows trimmed in dark gray or black—the effect draws your eye through the room and straight to the outdoors.”
Smith says, “Overall we are seeing more customers interested in what you might call ‘luxury’ products. That doesn’t necessarily mean super expensive or decadent products, but instead products that might come at a slightly higher price point but are beautifully constructed from higher quality materials. A family home is arguably the single largest purchase homeowners make in their lifetime and we are seeing more and more of them choose to invest in high quality fixtures and fittings that will last much longer than less expensive choices.”
There are a number of sources for windows in the Nashville area including:
Durante Home Exteriors
Klamath Falls, OR
Marvin Windows & Doors
Ply Gem Windows