Window frames are often low on the home renovation priority list until it's time to select a design and homeowners are surprised by the variety of options. It's worth spending time researching window frame styles. Browse interior design websites and magazines for inspiration. You may be drawn to a design that you hadn't originally considered.
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Consider your options, depending on whether you are replacing an old window frame or selecting a frame for a new property. If you're not restricted by an existing wall, you might consider a bay or bow window, which can provide multiple views and increased levels of lighting and ventilation. They create a sense of greater space that's ideal in kitchens and living rooms. One disadvantage is that the design reduces their structural strength.
Think about how you want your window to function. A fixed-pane window is a stationary window that does not open, making it ideal for a child's bedroom where safety is an issue. On the downside, they provide no ventilation, making them unsuitable for kitchens and bathrooms. As the cheapest window frame design, they are a good choice for those on a budget and can be designed to complement other types of windows. For a room that requires good ventilation, casement, hopper and awning windows are the best window frame designs. With hinges at the side (casement), bottom (hopper) or top (awning) of the frame, they are energy-efficient. Sliding window frames (double hung or vertical sliding, and gliding or horizontal sliding) are less energy-efficient and leaks are more of a problem, which should be a consideration if you live in a wet, windy climate.
Contact a window supply company and arrange for a visit to your home for professional advice and cost estimates. It's best to obtain estimates from more than one company.
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