Thursday, May 25, 2017

House Build: Windows



A lot has happened in the last few months on our farmhouse build for our 11 acre homestead--we now have all framing completed, sheathing, wrapping, plumbing and HVAC, some siding, trim, a fireplace, and WINDOWS!!!







Let me just say if you all only knew how much we debated over our choice of windows for the house--I mean this was a HUGE point of contention between my husband and I. The windows were the ONLY thing I was set on and not really willing to compromise. Yes, my husband was frustrated :) But there were plenty of other choices and desires that I have conceded in order to stay in budget. The windows? Nope--I was stubborn and did not budge!



I think that's because I'm naturally a lover of old houses which have amazing often times old wood, double-hung, true-divided light gorgeous windows with original casings and surrounds. Windows in historic houses are classified as "character-defining features," meaning they have a major impact on the look and feel of the building. I wanted this for our new house too but it does present a problem--to get something like the wonderful windows of old is very difficult, expensive, and the window by itself wouldn't be as energy efficient. You simply cannot make new windows like the old anymore anyway unless you are using reclaimed old growth wood and producing reproduction-quality sashes.



So, I settled on something that I know I will like that still provides some of the same features as a traditional wood window: an all-wood window, double-hung, with aluminum-clad exterior and as close to true divided lights as we could get with a dark brown spacer in between the two panes of energy efficient glass. Most of our windows will be two-over-two sash and we will have three six-light casement windows in the kitchen.



We vacillated between going with Sierra Pacific and JELD-WEN, but ultimately chose the JELD-WEN "Sightline" because it was the company that our builder's supply warehouse is most familiar with. It certainly is a top-of-the-line window and made up a good portion of the overall house budget but I know it's something that will last a very long time and adds so much character to the house. I'm pretty sure I'm going to ditch doing any window treatments--I'm leaving these beauties bare and enjoying them!



My husband not only scoffs at my insistence of this particular window type but he also can't believe that we have 31 of them in the house! That's a lot of windows!! The exterior aluminum cladding color we chose is a dark bronze and we plan to paint the interior of the sashes white to match the surrounding casings and interior trim.



Our front door has four lights to match the sash pattern of the windows and the pair of French doors leading to the screened porch will have six-lights-over-one-panel. I love tons of natural light which was another reason why I chose for our doors to have plenty of glass.






The only thing that surprised me a little about the windows we chose was the "reflectiveness" of the new glass (low-e) they are using in windows these days. We were just unaware (in certain kinds of light) how tinted and mirror-like the glass actually looks. The upside is that it actually provides a little bit more privacy since one is less able to see inside. Other than that, we are extremely happy with how the windows turned out and look forward to enjoying them.





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