As home dwellers, we spend a great deal of time looking though our windows to the outside.
There are some we wish were bigger, maybe with more or less decoration, or that open a different way. Casement windows have been very popular for years, but are they right for every home? What we would like on the inside will not necessarily work aesthetically on the outside.
Not only do we want to give a pleasing, harmonious impression to our visitors, it’s always important to keep in mind potential buyers for when the time comes to profit from your investment. Uniformity in style is very important to them. The last thing you want to hear from a potential buyer is, “Why on earth did they do that?”
1960s colonial with original wooden windows
For example, in this 60s colonial (above) we refitted last summer, the owners were tired of all the bars on their windows. Both the inner sashes and the storm windows had them, darkening the rooms, making it hard to see out, not to mention clean them! They were so tired of them that they wanted them all to go. Furthermore, the couple was thinking of replacing the old double-hung windows with the popular casement windows.
But we soon found that casements wouldn’t work in the dining room to the right, as there would have to be three, and that would change the look more than they really wanted. As for getting rid of all the bars, I cautioned them not to be too hasty, as respecting the original architecture of a home is always desirable. After all, a house of this quality was designed by an architect who was going for an overall style.
The couple decided to take the weekend to cycle around their neighbourhood to see what similar homes looked like. In the end they opted for a bit of a compromise (below).
Slim embedded mullions let in more light, frame the view instead of hide it, while provide for easy cleaning.
For the ground floor, they decided to go for slimmer, embedded mullions in all but the large picture window in the bay. Doesn’t it look attractive and airy? Plus, the owners like the clearer view they have of the park across the street. Notice the balance between the single-hung windows in the bay to the left and the windows to the right of the front door. Casements in the bay (which would not have that horizontal bar) would cause an imbalanced look, especially when opened.
Second storey: The single-hung window – with only one screen to obscure the view – are today’s practical version of the timeless classic.
The right look is so important when it comes to making an impression on visitors as well as potential buyers. A trick to remember when choosing new windows is to ask yourself, Will anything look odd? Will the façade have a harmonious look? Can I blend the old with the new without clashing? In this lovely colonial, I suspect that even though the original architect did not opt for these configurations, he would likely approve!