Open up your home to the latest in windows and doors
Homes are all about personality, and it’s often the details that make the difference. Whether you want to provide a gorgeous entrance for your guests or just want to open up your home to let the outdoors flow in, windows and doors are important—and necessary—accessories to any house. “Windows and doors can determine the style of the home, whether it’s craftsman, Tudor, cottage, colonial or contemporary,” says Tim Beattie of Pella Southeast.
From natural materials to synthetics and neutrals to custom colors, there are plenty of ways to customize the right windows and doors for each entryway and room in your home.
Statement window or door
One of the best ways to welcome visitors to your home is with an attention-grabbing door or window in your entryway. “A statement window or door is one that is used as a design element, such as an 8-foot mahogany front entry or a great room window grouping that becomes the picture frame of a beautiful view,” Beattie says. Another way to make your front door unique is with color—paint the door a different shade from the rest of the house; just make sure to pick a color that stands out without screaming out.
The good news about color is that anything goes for windows and doors—both light and dark shades remain popular in the Southeast. “White is still the most-used color for windows in Atlanta,” says Peter Diehl of Architectural Visions Inc. (AVI), a Marvin Window Design Gallery in Alpharetta. “Earth tones, such as gray and bronze, are also in.” Subtle greens and blues are other popular choices, and many homeowners are choosing the exact colors they want. “Custom color matches are being requested quite often,” says Maurice Duvic, general manager of Chattahoochee Windows & Doors LLC. “The cost of custom colors has been reduced in recent years.”
When it comes to materials, many Atlanta homeowners are using non-wood products, which often require less maintenance. “The Atlanta area seems to be notorious for builder-grade windows and doors that tend to show signs of rot within the first five years or so,” says Alan Missroon Jr., president of 3AM Windows & Doors. “Homeowners want products that won’t deteriorate over time, but still hold up to their standards of form, function and style.” Vinyl and cellular PVC windows are popular, as are composite materials such as Fibrex, and fiberglass doors are very common.
However, high-quality wood is still a very popular material for both windows and doors, and when properly installed, can bring a warm, classic look to your home. “The species of wood I’m seeing now include mahogany, alder, Douglas fir and rustic walnut,” Beattie says. “They are both a statement and a design element.”
Pick a pattern
While the material and color of the door and window frame give you plenty of room to play with style, you also can get creative with the window itself. “Different designs in grid patterns are good for an out-of-the-box look,” says Mike Edwards, owner of Window World. “You can get prairie grids around the perimeter or just about anything you want to match your style of home.”
Size and shape
When it comes to bringing the outdoors in through your windows and doors, size is a factor. “Windows are still trending toward the ‘bigger is better’ theory,” Duvic says, although he points out that the building envelope in new construction leans toward less window square footage. Often, you’ll need to request custom windows. Height also is a factor, with tall windows and doors providing either an all-encompassing view or an easy flow from room to room. “Tall windows and doors are great for maximum view, bringing the outside in,” Beattie says. “Door groupings that are 12 or 16 feet wide and eight feet tall with transoms allow for a great view and ease of entertaining.”
One of the latest trends in windows is the tilt-turn window, which is a multi-tasker that fits in with many people’s busy lifestyles. “The window will open like a door, or you can tilt it in at the top a few inches to let air in,” Beattie says. French doors are also making a comeback as more homeowners are opening up their homes for more efficient floor plan flow. You can even get windows to match. “French casement windows are like French doors; you can get push-out or pull-in casements, and they’re more of the old European style of window.” Beattie says.
Speaking of casement windows, they’re a popular choice right now. “Requests for casements seem to be on the increase,” Duvic says. These windows fit in with a more elegant, minimalist look. “The push-out casement is really popular now; they have less hardware to get in the way of window treatments, and they’re easy to operate,” Diehl says.
Whatever shape, size, style, color or material you choose, make sure that it fits in with the style of your home and is a high-quality product that you can enjoy for years to come.
Form and function meet in today’s hottest screen trend: the retractable variety. “Our best-selling products for doors and windows are retractable screens,” says Michelle Johnson, sales and marketing manager for ECC/CoolScreens. “They’re popular because they’re there when you need them, but disappear when not in use.” Johnson says that retractable screens are great solutions for patio doors, single doors, garage doors, French doors and windows.
Safe and Secure
Depending on the location/neighborhood, many homeowners are considering security issues when installing new windows. Most windows come with “standard” single-, double- or triple-strength glass. Each of these has an impact on thermal and sound properties. However, any of these can easily be broken—with a baseball bat, crow bar or any other tool a burglar might use. As an alternative, we’ve had a number of homeowners request laminated glass. This is an upgrade that has been stress-tested and provides a high degree of security without making the homeowner feel like they live in a prison.
—Alan Missroon Jr., president, 3AM Windows & Doors