How to choose windows, from glazing to frames

Building new or renovating, the choice of windows is one of those decisions that can keep you up at night.

The economy of PVC, the prestige and performance of AluClad or the heritage beauty of wood? Double or triple glazing? Regardless of the framing material or where you place the opening sections, energy efficiency should be your primary concern above all else with Low-E glass, warm edge technology and aluminum filled units. argon, but of course there is more.

U-values ​​and G-values ​​(solar gain) are two details you should ask your supplier upfront. With the right glass, the right frame and, above all, the right installation, it is possible to achieve U-values ​​up to 70% higher than the recommended standard according to building regulations. As the thermal performance of the window increases, the U (watts of heat lost per m² expressed in W/m²) is a decreasing number. Sash, sash, swing or slide – know your U-values.

A darker determined gray here really cuts out and frames the view. Today, dark gray or black is not, in almost all cases, a fashionable color or a huge, wonky risk. AluClad from Carlson Windows, carlson.ie.

Expect U-values ​​for the whole window (frame and glass) of 1.3 W/m² to 1.2 W/m² for good double glazing. In triple glazing, a comfortable 0.8W/m²-0.4W/m² reaching passive standards can be achieved through careful construction, sealing and installation of windows without thermal bridges. U-values ​​for fixed glazing should be even lower (say 0.65 W/m² if, for example, operable windows are 0.8 W/m²).

With the increased airtightness and depth of the triples, you can shut out the noise of the bustling world outside your confines. Glazing bars placed between the panes, rather than physically dividing the window, will preserve your design dreams but reduce potential heat loss.

Something that’s either rushed into a premeditated conclusion or just pushed out of sight until specs and timings are tweaked is color – exterior and interior color. Even where design is done and dusted, frame color is a curiously powerful architectural element of your window choice, whether you’re looking for sashes, French casements, or a sleek, flimsy contemporary frame.

Vintage color does not have to be <a class=black and white. An unexpected color to a wooden or AluClad window appeased by the right traditional materials injects character and charm. Furniture by OKA.” title=”Vintage color does not have to be black and white. An unexpected color to a wooden or AluClad window appeased by the right traditional materials injects character and charm. Furniture by OKA.” class=”card-img”/>
Vintage color does not have to be black and white. An unexpected color to a wooden or AluClad window appeased by the right traditional materials injects character and charm. Furniture by OKA.

Today, with timber and AluClad windows, you are very likely to be faced with choices from the full spectrum of the trade’s standardized RAL color chart. It can be overwhelming. RAL is a European color matching system that defines the colors of paints, coatings and plastics. You choose the magic RAL number, this is entered into your program and airlifted to the manufacturer for compounding, spraying and/or brushing.

When you have a choice of separate exterior and interior colors, you have twice the work to do choosing either from a limited range of colors from your supplier or (a more satisfying prospect) from the full RAL set sheet. On the inside, if you have wood or AluClad wood, you can stain the wood to show the grain as well. Check any price loading on the two-tone choices. PVC is available in two colors in a limited palette at a slight premium, giving you the option (once all three colors are complete) of, say, white on the inside and a new, more contemporary choice on the outside.

Today, in new construction, the area between nine RAL whites and grayed whites, through the gray anthem sheet of 36 biomorphic and industrially guided RAL grays to a choice of their five RAL blacks, is the most popular with architects and owners. There are around 200 standard RAL colors in total, and of course if you fancy a blue/green/yellow set of windows and doors, there’s nothing stopping you, assuming the exterior wall color is calm enough to balance it all out. With a white or black interior color, a more dramatic exterior color is less likely to scare off future onlookers or disrupt interior design changes.

If you think you are ready to choose any RAL color, choose physical color card only. Don’t trust the virtual color chart for more than a hint. Subtle nuances can be very surprising. You can buy a full RAL color chart online for €17.50 if you have a big project and want it on hand to make comparisons and choose other colors and make comparisons for your home. There are also different finish choices in other decks.

Window color is a statement, and it can make your framing more or less present inside and out, depending on the color of the surrounding wall and the look of the room. We’ve gone way beyond the universal shrug of white PVC or wood effect caramels. White was popular in PVC partly because decades ago it was cheaper. Darker colors offered less UV stability and could eventually fade. Inside, the white was impeccable.

In PVC, white and wood grains have been joined by a family of creams and sages, and beautiful up-to-date neutral grays sometimes available in metallic finishes that shouldn’t bother future buyers if the windows are energy efficient and well detailed in every other.

Today, dark gray or black is not – in almost all cases – a fashionable color or a huge, wonky risk. Architect Dermot Bannon regularly causes a watery-eyed outcry from those mesmerized customers on RTÉ’s Room To Improve as he regularly switches to black AluClad windows and patio doors for his rural designs. In the end, the final finish says it all.

In our suburbs and cities, dark gray frames on white walls are a familiar modern classic in new developments and unique constructions, already available in all window frame materials. Darker colors can be expected to visually stand out against pale plaster and stone with their flat European profile and simple aesthetic, but keep in mind that glass seen from the outside usually reads like a dark void, anyway the frames recede and can practically disappear. Expect any architect to have an opinion, but ask them to explain it.

Singing with the natural hues of the countryside, including surrounding shade, black, and rubbed black can be soothing and so deeply just with their narrow sightlines. White windows with darker exterior walls are more likely to sit against the darkness of the rooms beyond, separating them from the glass, but they hide stains like bird droppings better than black. Exterior storefronts (brickwork) can also be painted – so explore what’s possible with an online image search and save these perspectives to a mood-board folder or app on your PC or phone.

Inside, dark choices are a whole different story, as those windows that stare at the contrast of sunlight will look even darker and dull the view if you have glazing bars or casement openings. They can pick up on other elements of the room, for example the dark cabinets in your kitchen – often fantastic. For small rooms, white windows, like white walls, will disperse light and amplify the space.

Naturally, you should explore the style of the home and the color of existing exterior materials that cannot be changed such as brick or natural stone tones, but don’t jump at the idea that a deck, cottage or vintage farmhouse can’t wear black wood windows. . They can, and did, from the 1700s and well into the 1920s, when black steel Crittal windows were commonplace in factories and public buildings. Black is a heritage color. That said, white is a heritage color. Don’t be convinced directly by the correct vintage colors for vintage windows, talk to your architect or designer about doing something more unexpected like a charcoal gray. Swatches should be viewed in a variety of light and colors, see ralcolourchart.com.

Luz W. German