CREATIVE DETAILS
Don't be afraid to exercise your creative side when selecting color and trim. For instance, on wood-frame windows, you can choose an oak, maple, cherry or mahogany interior finish to pick up on existing cabinetry or trim. Vinyl and wood-clad windows come in a wide array of colors, with custom shades available. You'll also find casings and brickmolds in a variety of profiles; Weather Shield, for instance, offers nine. Details like keystones and corner blocks can further personalize your windows. Purists prefer authentic divided lights to grilles. But it's tough to clean their many small panes. That's why simulated divided lights have become popular. They feature a removable, often wood, grille on the inside, a metal grille on the outside and usually two full-frame glass panels separated by spacing bars that mimic the muntins. Custom grilles are also available. Pozzi produces them in diamond-pattern, radius and other designs. WINDOW LOCATION
When adding or enlarging windows, you also have to balance the light they add with energy-minded code restrictions. In California, where the state energy commission oversees one of the most stringent codes in the country, a window area of anywhere from 16 to 45 percent of the conditioned floor area of a home could be allowed. That figure depends on a number of factors, including climatic zone, heating, cooling and insulation systems and the U-value of glazing. A common code mandate pertains to safety: There must be at least one window opening in all upper-story bedrooms with a minimum height of 24 inches and a minimum width of 20 inches, with a sill sitting no higher than 44 inches from the floor for adequate access and egress in case of fire. New windows can give a solid but dull home character. For instance, consider bridging windows set too close together into one dramatic expanse. Or close up a lonely opening and relocate the window to a more suitable spot. Few elements of home design are as tight a mix of form and function as windows. Making an informed decision on both fronts will pay off in a home that brings in more natural light and fresh air and looks better in the process.
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