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HomeHomes
Published: Thursday, 7/27/2006

Vast Window Options Add to Home Design and Appeal

(ARA) - Ice cream shops thrive today because they offer a variety for every taste bud. If basic flavors aren t enough to satisfy, you can mix in delectable toppings to create a custom concoction.

Everyone craves personal satisfaction and what satisfies you today may be different tomorrow; and is very likely different than what satisfies your neighbor. Many people choose to build a new home or remodel an existing home to create a dwelling tailor-made for them. They don t want to be confined to a home designed for someone else s lifestyle or preferences. Homes today are customized to their owners -- from the entry door to the patio door; from the peak of the great room to the choice in flooring. And building materials manufacturers are responding with more options to please a range of tastes and budgets, and products that outperform those of only a few years ago.

Take windows for example. Window and door manufacturers continually refine their products to increase their energy efficiency ratings. More manufacturers offer products designed to withstand hurricane force windows. And aesthetically, windows have become an integral part of homes exterior -- and interior -- design.

Windows have become a much more integral piece of a home s architecture and interior design in the past several years, said Jeff Kibler, brand manager for Peachtree Doors & Windows. As a manufacturer, we try to stay ahead of the trends and offer homeowners the choices they want when designing their homes. We continually expand our options in exterior colors, interior wood trim species, grilles and hardware in order to create windows and patio doors that appeal to homeowners varied tastes.

According to Kibler, home designs no longer have a single obligatory window in each room but rather feature multiple windows that add dimension and character to a room, bring the sunlight and views in, and artfully follow the pitches of the vaulted ceilings inside and the rooflines on the outside. More homeowners and builders are using transoms and custom-shaped fixed windows along with double hung, casement or awning operating windows to create huge glass expanses, particularly for the back of a home.

Window exteriors are available in several materials; one of the most popular is aluminum clad wood. These wood windows have a thin yet sturdy sheet of aluminum melded over the window s wood frame. The result is a thermally efficient window with a very low maintenance exterior. Through advanced painting systems, select manufacturers can paint cladding in virtually any color imaginable. Whatever your pleasure -- Indigo blue, midnight blue, Aegean blue, or baby blue -- they re all available on the market today. Homeowners looking to further the historic look of their New England Saltbox or the rustic nature of their ranch home often use grilles, either in between the two sheets of glass or on top of the glass, in a variety of standard and custom shapes.

If you prefer the sophisticated look of cut-glass or v-groove glass, a new manufacturing technology makes it possible for relatively little expense. Inside, window manufacturers offer extensive trim options that can match a home s base and crown molding, built-in shelves or even hardwood floors. You have the freedom to create the look you want and to coordinate your interior woodwork.

Probably one of the most important elements of windows and patio doors is the least visible -- the glass. Again, homeowners can choose from a variety of glazing options that increase energy efficiency, protect a home s furnishings and floorings from UV damage, and even help windows stay cleaner longer. Double and triple pane windows offer insulation that helps reduce the transference of heat or cold through the windows. Low E2 glass provides greater insulation value by applying a non-toxic, invisible coating to the glass. And, filling the airspace between the glass with dense argon or krypton gas further prevents heat or cold loss.

Clearly, windows have evolved both technologically and aesthetically. Creating a distinctive look for your home is easy by taking advantage of the multitude of options available in windows and patio doors. Courtesy of ARA Content.



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