When designing and building homes a lot of people tend to focus on how the inside of the home will look first and the outside can be a bit further down the list. Windows can be one of the most important aspects of your build. Windows are in every room, can be seen from inside and outside, and can really change the look of a building or a room. When choosing windows for your home there are numerous different types and styles to think about. Do you want wooden, PVC or aluminium windows? Do you want big, small or something in the middle? One pane of glass or maybe even two or three? You can even choose windows with glass that is self cleaning. There really are a lot of types of windows to choose from. Your Architect will be the best person to help you choose which type of windows will suit your home.
The first thing your Architect may have you think about is the size and style of the windows you want in your Home. Some of the most popular styles of windows in Ireland are:
Bay and Bow Windows
Bay windows usually consist of three panels that are not fitted into the wall like normal windows. They are square shaped and protrude out from the wall. They are very pretty to look at from inside and outside and can be a really beautiful addition to the front of any home. Bow windows are made with three or more panels and are usually curved but are equally as nice as bay windows. Bay and bow are a great choice for rooms that may be a bit darker because they allow light to come in from different directions.
Sash windows are made of two sash frames that slide up and down past each other balanced by weights in the frames. They were popular for hundreds of years before staring to be replaced by more modern types of windows but have recently become very popular again. Because both windows can be opened at either the top or bottom they can allow for better ventilation in a room without a draught. New materials allow an old style of windows to be very energy efficient in your home.
Casement windows are windows that are attached to a frame by hinges. They can be hinged at the top, bottom or sides and are opened and closed with a handle. Casement windows are great for ventilation and can be opened inwards or outwards.
When you have decided on the style of window that suits you home, you will need to decide what material your windows will be made from. Again you Architect will be able to guide you in choosing the right material for you. The main material used for windows in Ireland are:
PVC windows can be the best for your home due to being very energy efficient and have a lower cost than wood or aluminium. They are easy to care for and need very little maintenance. They have a very long life, are more durable than wood or aluminium and are also recyclable.
Timber windows can be a more traditional choice but may be more expensive than PVC and but are probably the most versatile. Timber windows will require more maintenance but when looked after properly can last for hundreds of years.
Alu-clad will be more expensive than PVC or timber and may be harder to source as there are fewer suppliers in Ireland. Aluminium can be very elegant, is modern looking and available in a wide range of colours.
Once you have chosen the style and material you need to decide if you want single, double or triple glazing. Triple glazing is becoming more popular in Ireland due to its energy efficiency so speak to your Architect to decide which is best for you.