Discover The Difference Between Bay and Bow Windows and Pick The Right Style For Your Home
We get it – there are so many window styles out there that it is hard to keep them all straight. Some windows like “bay” and “bow” have such similar names and styles that it is even more complicated to sort out their differences.
What is a Bay Window?
A bay window is a protruding window that usually consists of 3 panes set up in an angled configuration. The center pane is fixed while the side panes may be either fixed or vented. Bay windows tend to have a contemporary, modern feel.
What is a Bow Window?
A bow window also protrudes from the side of the house. It typically has 4 or 5 smaller panes which fit together to create a gently rounded appearance. The panes may all be fixed or vented. Traditionally, bow windows speak to the Victorian style of architecture and are often used to evoke a sense of vintage charm.
Comparison of Bay and Bow Windows
One of the primary purposes of a window is to allow natural light to enter the home. The larger the pane size and the more panes a window has, the more light it lets in. Light streams in through the many panes of a bow window while a bay window isn’t quite as sunny.
Part of the appeal of any sort of protruding window in a home is the additional interior space that is gained. If you imagine yourself providing a few sun-loving plants with a happy home in your new window, a bow window will suit your needs just fine. For the bookworm who envisions curling up on windowsill cushion to savor a good book and a cup of tea, a bay window offers a much more comfortable and spacious porch.
Some homes have limited amounts of wall space or feature floorplans that flow more smoothly with some window configurations than others. Bay windows are a good choice if you are in the market for a protruding window that isn’t overly wide. From a placement and style perspective, bow windows offer an opportunity to do something different. Unlike bay windows, bow windows may be positioned to wrap around the corner of a building to form a turret shape and create a statement nook area inside.
If you have researched your options and are still on the fence between the bay and bow styles, cost may be the tipping point. More openings and more individual panes of glass make the bow window more expensive than the bay window. All else being equal, if you are looking for the more economical choice, we recommend a bay window.
It’s Time to Choose
We want YOU to win the battle between bay windows vs bow windows. No matter which window style you have in mind, we have expertise that can make the decision-making process smoother. When you are ready to price the options, we will provide you with our best quote right away so you can make the decision that is best for you and your home. Let’s get started!
Save Yourself Some Money: Learn How To Check Windows And Doors For Air Leaks
It’s subtle and easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention, but each little gap around your windows and doors provides an unwelcome pathway for airflow.
In the winter, air leaks allow frigid cold air to pour in. During the summer, your air conditioner fights to keep up with the influx of hot, humid air from outside. Your home’s energy efficiency suffers.
The solution is simple: save yourself some money by learning how to check or air leaks in windows and doors.
Conduct a Visual Inspection
Start with the most basic means of leak detection – your eyes. Using a flashlight to help you, visually inspect the entire area around the interior and exterior sides of your doors and windows. Note any gaps or cracks that you see.
A two-person approach to this technique involves positioning one person on either side of the door or window. Slowly run the flashlight around the edge of the frame. If the person on the other side of the door or window is able to see the light through the frame, there is a gap.
Use Smoke to Trace Airflow Patterns
Smoke provides another visual clue to the presence of air gaps. To use smoke for tracing airflow, first close all your home’s windows and doors. To avoid tainting the results with errant sources of air flow, turn off any appliances that work using combustion – oven, stove, range, space heaters and furnaces.
Create a negative pressure environment inside your home by turning on the exhaust vent fans in your kitchen and bathroom. With the fans on and the doors/windows closed, the air pressure inside your home will be lower than the air pressure outside. The pressure differential means that air will only flow in, not out of your home.
Now you are ready to use smoke to help you locate any sources of air inflow. To do this, slowly and methodically move an incense stick around the edges of windows and doors. In each position, hold the stick still for a moment and observe the smoke. If smoke rises straight up, no leak is detected. If the smoke column fluctuates and shifts away from the window or door frame, there is airflow coming through.
Quantify the Severity of the Leak with an Infrared Thermometer
Visual and smoke-based inspections will allow you to identify the presence of a leak, but they can’t quantify the impact the leak is having on the thermal stability of your home.
An infrared thermometer test will show temperature differentials. This allows you to not only pinpoint the exact location of the leak but also provides data on just how severe the leak is.
On a very hot or very cold day, use the thermometer to compare the temperature all the way around the frame of a closed door and window. If you find an area of abnormal heat or cold, it can indicate a leak.
Fix the Problems
Once you have determined the source and severity of the leak, its time to fix or replace the product. Many leaks can be sealed with caulking. For doors, an adjustable threshold or new weather-stripping may also remedy the situation.
If the leak is more severe, it is time to call in the experts. We can assess your situation and provide a plan for fixing it. Just contact us and schedule a free consultation.
These Are The 6 Most Common Window Problems You Can Encounter
As you perform routine window maintenance on your home, it is important to also be on the lookout for signs of potential problems. By catching little problems before they become big concerns, you can save yourself both time and money.
When it is time to buy a new home, knowing what to look for in terms of window health can also prove beneficial.
To set you up for success, here are 6 of the most common window problems to watch out for:
1. Window seal failure
Homes with double or triple pane windows enjoy improved energy efficiency and suffer less rapid thermal transfer than those with single pane windows.
Double and triple pane windows also have the potential to suffer from window seal failure which compromises their effectiveness and their visual appeal.
To determine if a seal has failed, check for dirt, fog, haze or condensation between the panes. When standing outside, you may also observe a slight distortion of the glass in the center of a pane whose seal has failed.
2. Rotted exterior wood trim
Wood frames are a classic and visually appealing design choice for homes. This material also requires careful inspection and routine maintenance.
Exterior wood trim is exposed to the elements and must be scraped, sanded and re-painted or stained as needed to protect the wood from moisture. If moisture is allowed to seep into the wood, it can cause rotting and structural instability.
Check wood trim for peeling paint/stain and for signs of rot.
3. Water intrusion
If the space between the window frame and the wall is not sealed properly, water may infiltrate into the wall of the house. This is a problem which is of serious concern because if the leak isn’t noticed and resolved, the water can linger in the wall.
Over time, the water can rot the wall from the inside out. Not only will the window need to be repaired or replaced, but the home’s wall itself will need to be repaired and the damage can be extensive. You may also have to deal with mold and mildew.
Water intrusion can be difficult to detect in its earlier stages. Look for staining of the interior wall, especially in the areas by the bottom of the window sill. Feel for moisture in the same area immediately after a rain storm.
4. Broken or missing hardware
Whether due to operator error or normal wear and tear, window hardware can take a beating over time and may eventually break.
If your windows have hardware like handles and locks, take the time to inspect them and be sure they are in good working order.
5. Inability to open or difficulty opening
While you are inspecting your windows’ hardware, it is a perfect time to open and close each window. Note if the window has difficulty opening or closing as this may be a sign that the hinge or hardware need maintenance.
6. Cracked panes of glass
Tree branches, errant birds and rocks flung from lawn mowers all have the potential to crack window panes. Just like cracks in the windshield of your car, the crack in your window may start small and then expand over time as it is exposed to freezing and thawing.
After thoroughly cleaning both the inside and outside of each window, inspect the windows for any signs of cracking and deal with problems right away.
Catching damage early will save you time, money and headaches. Avoiding damage altogether by following a preventive maintenance routine is even better. Simply take care of your windows and your windows will take care of you.
Learn 3 Ways You Can Tell If Your Window Seal Has Failed
Unless your home still has single pane windows, your windows have seals and those seals have the potential to fail. Understanding what window seals are and how to tell if they have failed will help you to catch any problems right when they happen.
What is a Window Seal?
The presence of window seals is one of the key differences between single and double or triple pane windows. Windows with seals are constructed from 2 or 3 panes of glass which are separated by a thermal spacer of an inert gas or a partial vacuum. The series of panes and spacers is sealed together at the edges to prevent the gas/vacuum from escaping and contaminants from infiltrating.
How Can I Tell If My Window Seal Has Failed?
1. Windows appear dirty even though they have been freshly cleaned.
A broken window seal is no longer able to keep out dust and dirt. On windy days, small particles get blown in between the panes and become trapped there. Small bugs may also work their way in.
If you have cleaned both the inside and the outside of your windows, but they still look dirty, the dirt is most likely lurking between the panes and is caused by a seal failure.
2. Condensation occurs between the panes of glass.
The purpose of window seals is to create a thermal barrier between the inside and outside of the window so that heat transfer is lessened. When the seal fails, the space between the windows is directly exposed to temperature and humidity fluctuations. Moisture becomes trapped between the panes and is visible in the form of condensation. The condensation is likely to be most prevalent during periods of extreme temperature and humidity fluctuations.
Rather than waiting for the weather to change, you can test for condensation by intentionally creating a temperature differential and observing the results.
If you are seeing water droplets, fog or frost between your window panes, your window seal has likely failed.
3. The window panes appear distorted in the center.
The construction of sealed windows is such that the inert gas or vacuum pocket is designed to exist in a state of equilibrium with the glass panes. If the seal fails, the gas leaks out or the vacuum is replaced with air. This can alter the structural stability of the window pane itself, causing visual changes.
To check for this, stand outside and observe the window from various angles and distances to look for distortions. The most common area for distortions to initially form is in the center of the glass.
What Causes Window Seals to Fail?
If your window seals have failed, it may be due to defective manufacturing or damage that occurred during shipping or installation.
Extreme weather conditions with accompanying temperature and humidity fluctuations are hard on windows and can also lead to seal failure.
Even if windows are manufactured, installed and maintenanced perfectly, seals may still fail as the windows age.
What Should I Do If My Window Seals Have Failed?
The first step to take if you suspect your seals have failed is to pull out your warranty paperwork and confirm whether your windows are still covered. Many windows come with a lifetime warranty that helps protect you from product failure.
Whether your windows are under warranty or not, we can inspect the windows and give you a no-obligation quote. Contact us today and we will be happy to help you get your home’s windows back to looking and functioning their best.
Questions to Ask a Window Installer by Russell Armstrong - https://chicagowindowguy.com/home-tips/what-questions-to-ask-window-installers/
With your research complete for how to pick the best window company and have found a company that you like. Now before you sign on the dotted line, take the time to get the answers to some important yet often forgotten detail questions like.
What You Should Know About Window Frame Materials
The material you choose to frame your windows with deserves to be much more than just an afterthought in the window buying process. Your selection of framing material will impact the visual appeal, energy efficiency, and maintenance needs of your windows throughout their lifetime.
Let’s introduce you to the four most common framing materials: aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl and wood.
Frames made from aluminum are very strong and light-weight. Homeowners looking for a low-maintenance option may be drawn to aluminum because it won’t crack, peel, warp or bend. Aluminum’s sleekness complements homes with modern styling.
The main drawback of aluminum is that it naturally conducts heat, making it a poor insulator. For this reason, aluminum window frames will need to be insulated with a “thermal break” set between the inside and outside of the frame.
From a pricing standpoint, expect aluminum to be more expensive than vinyl or fiberglass and less expensive than wood.
Homes located in climates with extreme weather and temperature fluctuations can benefit from fiberglass window frames. Fiberglass expands and contracts at roughly the same rate as glass, so fiberglass frames maintain their structural integrity well even through hot summers and frigid winters. Fiberglass frames are naturally well-insulated and will minimize heat transfer.
A potential downside to fiberglass is that it can have a bit of a flat, dull appearance unless it is painted. The visual look of a fiberglass frame is very similar to vinyl, however since vinyl is considerably less expensive, some homeowners may opt for vinyl instead of fiberglass.
In general, fiberglass frames are less expensive than wood and aluminum, but more expensive than vinyl.
Vinyl window frames are made of the same PVC material as plumbing pipes and fittings. This material is a good insulator can be shaped to fit nearly every style of window. Vinyl windows tend to be preferred by homeowners who are looking for a budget conscious solution more than an aesthetic statement.
The downside of vinyl as a window frame material is that it isn’t necessarily the most strong or durable material. It also tends to have a more utilitarian look and feel than other materials do.
Vinyl is the least expensive of the 4 most common framing options. It provides a look similar to fiberglass, but at a reduced price point.
Wood is the most traditional of window frame materials. Homeowners who favor wood frames appreciate its intrinsic visual appeal and versatile styling options. They may also be drawn to the potential to repair rather than replace wood frames that have begun to wear.
The argument against wood frames is dual-fold. Wood frames require more maintenance than other styles of frames due to the need to repaint or re-stain them on a regular basis. This routine maintenance protects the wood from moisture and weathering that could otherwise rot the wood or cause it to warp.
Of the top four window frame options, wood tends to be the most expensive.
Decision Making Time
Would you like a professional opinion on what window frame materials may best suit your style and your budget? We offer in-home consultations to supply you with personalized advice and guidance on your framing needs. Schedule your free consult today!
Learn About 4 Factors You Should Consider If You Are About To Change Or Add A Door To Your Home
A door can provide many things in a home – safety, a thermal barrier, privacy or perhaps a decorative focal point. The primary purpose of your door, your budget, the style of your home and your personal preferences will all play a role in choosing a new door.
Before you head out door shopping, here are a few factors to consider:
What is the Primary Purpose of the Door?
To help narrow down your style choices, it can help to realize what the primary purpose of your particular door is.
Are you looking for a secure front door? A patio door that provides an expansive, uninterrupted view of your backyard? Perhaps your primary focus is on the door’s insulative value.
Going into your shopping adventure with a clear understanding of what you need your door to do will help narrow down the rest of the options.
What is Your Door Budget?
Door prices can range from around $20 for a budget quality, hollow core interior door without framing to $1,300 for a custom decorative solid wood door. With such a large price range, it is vital to establish your budget up front so you can shop for a door that fit within that budget.
Less expensive doors may save you money initially, but doors on the very low end of the price spectrum tend to be less energy efficient. You may end up paying more in heating and air conditioning bills later.
An expensive custom door may make sense for a single statement front door but not be as practical if you need to purchase multiple matching doors.
What Type of Material Do You Prefer?
The most common exterior door material choices are steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood. Interior doors are most often made with some variety of wood product. Each of these materials has their own strengths and best applications.
Steel and aluminum are budget-friendly materials. These doors provide good insulation and are low maintenance if used in a location that is protected from the elements (think home-to-garage entryways). While the look tends to be more utilitarian, both steel and aluminum doors can be painted to match your color scheme. From a maintenance perspective, watch for rust on steel doors and dents on aluminum doors.
Fiberglass doors are popular for their elegant real wood look, high insulative values and low maintenance requirements. These doors have a faux wood grain and can even be painted or stained just like real wood. They function well in tough climates.
The most traditional door material is wood. Wood doors are relatively durable, although they do require a certain amount of maintenance to keep them protected from moisture and the effects of extreme temperature fluctuations. Solid wood doors are sturdy, more expensive and feel luxurious. Interior wood doors are also available with a hollow core that lowers both the cost and durability. Wood doors may be painted or stained.
What Style or Design of Door Is The Best Fit?
The style and design of a door determine how it fits with the rest of the room. You can choose a very minimalist flush door that blends into the wall or a statement barn door that becomes a focal point. Do you have a specific look in mind? Share your design vision with us and we will help you make it a reality.
These Are The Things Window Installers Should Ask YOU When You Request a Quote
You are prepared with your list of questions to ask potential window installers, but have you given any thought as to what questions those installers should ask you when you request a quote? The questions installers ask can tell you a lot about their level of attention to detail as well as their quality and professionalism.
Here are the top questions you should expect a reputable installer to ask before providing you a quote:
What Type of Windows Do You Prefer?
Windows come in all sorts of shapes and styles. It is important for a window installer to know what type of window you are interested in prior to giving you a quote. If you aren’t sure which type of window you are looking for, a quality installer should be willing to discuss the window types and help you determine which is best for you.
What Size Windows Do You Need?
Larger windows and custom size or shape windows cost more than factory standard sizes. Manufacturers may also provide discount pricing on certain standard sizes if they have excess stock. If your windows are available at a reduced price, the installer should be able to pass those savings on to you.
How Many Windows Will You Be Ordering?
In general, the more windows you order, the more likely you are to get a price break. An installer should ensure they have a total window count prior to crunching the numbers. This will allow them to give you the best quote possible.
What Level of Efficiency Are You Looking For?
Windows come in single, double, and even triple pane. Each additional pane decreases heat transfer and increases energy efficiency. What this means for you is a lower heating bill in the winter and a lower cooling bill in the summer.
An installer should check with you to see if the upgrade to triple pane is worth it or if you would prefer to stick with dual pane.
What Floor Will The Windows Be Installed On?
If you have ever done projects while standing on a ladder, you know that it simply takes longer to do the same project while on a ladder than it does if you are standing on the ground. Window installation is the same. If all your windows are being installed on the ground floor, your installation will be faster and less costly than if you have second story windows that require ladders and other logistics.
Are You Aware of Any Structural Damage to the Areas Surrounding the Windows?
The installer will be able to calculate a reasonably accurate average labor cost based on how long they expect installation to take. The amount of time it takes to install windows is based on several known factors such as the type of windows, number of windows and what floor of the house the windows are being installed on.
The unknown variable that could affect the actual installation time, and therefore the labor cost, is any structural damage to the surrounding areas. If the building’s structure has water damage from old, leaky windows, the structural integrity concerns will need to be addressed prior to installation. By asking about any known damages up front, window installers are supplying you with the most accurate possible estimation of installation costs.
Don´t Miss The Window Trends of 2019
Fashionistas stalk the runway shows making sure they are on top of all the hot new trends for the year. As a homeowner, the new year brings another set of trends to watch: windows.
Before you were in the market for new windows, you likely didn’t give much thought to them. Now that you are getting ready to upgrade, have fun and draw inspiration from these top 5 window trends to watch for in 2019:
Modern window styling is here to stay and is a trend that will only grow in 2019. Modern windows feature very large panes of glass set in frames with minimal grid patterns. They have simple clean lines and the shape tend to be rectangular rather than rounded or curved.
The jumbo size panes of glass provide expansive, uninterrupted views and a brighter, airier house with more light flooding in.
Dramatic Colored Frames
The era of unobtrusive, neutral colored window frames is over. Rather than blending into the background in a utilitarian way, look for window frames to become a dramatic pop of accent color within a room.
Homeowners who love this trend are choosing statement colors like evergreen, dark bronze, painted metallics, dark brown, barn red and a nearly infinite palette of custom colors.
The most popular dramatic color for window frames this year is black. Black frames create a statement and go with both the black, white and grey as well as the black and gold interior design trends.
If you aren’t ready to make the move to statement frames, you can still give a nod to the current trends. Hardware is a great small-scale place to start. The most popular choice for hardware right now is brass.
An antique brass finish feels warm and inviting. It is reminiscent of Victorian and Colonial style with a high-gloss finish for a modern twist. If you are looking for something even shinier, go with a very highly reflective bright brass finish.
Clean, minimal looks dominate the window styles for most rooms this year with one very notable exception – the master bathroom. For a privacy-meets-statement aesthetic, homeowners are turning to decorative glass windows particularly in the prairie window style.
Decorative glass windows are a more interesting decorative alternative to simple frosted glass.
EnergyStar rated windows are increasingly becoming an industry standard. Efficient windows can help prevent thermal transfer and reduce your heating and air conditioning bills. You may even be eligible for a tax credit and your home will likely increase in resale value. All of those financial savings are definitely a trend worth following.
Properly Measure a Door: https://chicagowindowguy.com/home-tips/how-to-measure-a-door-size/
Measuring a door size sounds pretty basic, right? Just break out a tape measure and check the height and width of your old door. Yes and no. When it comes to measuring doors, there is actually a bit more to it than that. This infographic breaks down the steps you need to take to properly meaasure a door.
Lake Bluff, Illinois' top provider of quality replacement windows and doors. My name is Russ Armstrong and I focus on offering energy efficient options for any home. All of our products and services are backed by a lifetime guarantee. Call us today for a free estimate and to find out how you can save money on your heating and cooling bills.