Picture Windows – What you need to know

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A lot of homeowners assume that replacing your windows merely means getting brand-new units of what you already have. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it shouldn’t always be the case. At the very least, it is important to consider all options available to you to ensure that you’re getting the best windows for your home.

Picture or fixed windows, for instance, are worth looking into if you want to take advantage of the breathtaking views surrounding your home. Read through this post to learn more about picture windows and how you can make the most out of them.

Why are Picture Windows Ideal?

These windows are considered by many as one of the grander options because they open up a home and let in lots of natural light and outdoor views. Also known as fixed windows because they are inoperable, they generally don’t feature grilles and other accents, keeping expansive glass areas clear for the best effect. However, you are more than free to choose otherwise. These windows get their name for their ability to act like a life-sized picture frame, designed to give a clear and unobstructed view of scenic outdoor surroundings.

picture window view

Can you open a picture window?

Picture windows are large panes of glass usually found in the living rooms of many houses. They are fixed – in other words, they can neither be opened nor closed. So why should you consider them in your next window replacement project? Here are some of the best reasons to do so:

Picture Windows Pros

Can be used to frame an amazing view

They are great for adding aesthetic value to your home. If you have access to amazing scenery or an amazing view of nature, the best way to admire it from within your home is to have a picture window installed. These windows are also great for when you’d like to make the view a focal point of your home. Because picture windows are typically one single pane of glass, the view provided is one that is not broken up, split, or altered in any way.

Require minimal maintenance

Moreover, because they are fixed, they do not have any mechanical parts that can break or that will eventually need repair. Neither do you need to worry about any replacement parts you may have to buy in the future? They are easy to clean and require a lot less maintenance than similarly sized windows with moving parts.

Energy-efficient

Being a fixed window also lets them offer an added benefit: energy efficiency. They don’t have moving parts, for starters, and are completely sealed throughout, ensuring that air leakage is not only kept at bay but thoroughly prevented. Expansive glass areas also contribute to improving energy efficiency in the home by letting in a lot of natural light and reducing dependence on artificial lighting during the day.

Allow a lot of natural light into your house

Picture windows come in various shapes and sizes; even the smallest size can provide ample amounts of natural light during the daytime. The sunlight that is able to enter your home also provides a source of natural heat, thus reducing your heating cost.

The natural light that they allow into your home can also be used to create the illusion of an indoor/outdoor space. This should allow you to seamlessly connect your indoor living space with your natural surroundings.

Picture Windows Cons

Heating

While you don’t have to worry about air leakages, you may find unnecessary heating troublesome because of all that glass. However, the problem only arises when you don’t choose the right glazing option. For energy-efficient picture windows that let you avoid passive heating, make sure you get low-emissivity window glass. Low-E windows are fitted with a special coating that filters out heat from sunlight but doesn’t impede levels of natural light let in. Additionally, low-E window glass also blocks ultraviolet light from the sun, helping prevent interior fading.

No Natural Ventilation

Since picture windows have a fixed frame and do not open or close, they do not offer any natural ventilation. They do, however, work well in combination with certain other window types that provide excellent ventilation, such as slider or casement windows. If ventilation is an important factor, then you might want to consider combining one or more of these other window types with your picture windows.

Requires professional installation

Because picture windows require a certain amount of expertise to install, it is not recommended that you attempt to do it yourself.  Rather, it is recommended, as it is for any sort of window installation in general, that you contract the services of a competent window professional for the installation of these windows.  Not only does this save you the hassle and the possible risks involved in installing the hardware, but you can rest assured that your window or windows will be installed right.

Where to Install One

Picture windows are great anywhere there’s a nice outdoor view to be enjoyed. They also make superb additions to smaller rooms because letting in the outdoors can make smaller spaces appear bigger and brighter.

These windows are often found in, and recommended for, homes that have high or vaulted ceilings. In addition, they are often installed over other windows, vaulted areas, and doors, which helps maximize their effect and visual appeal.

dining room with picture window

Making the Most Out of Picture Windows

Aside from choosing the right picture window, consider using it as well in combination with other window styles. Combination windows, where a picture window is placed in the middle, above, or below other types of operable windows, allow you to get optimal function and aesthetic benefit. For instance, you can install double-hung windows on each side of a picture window to still allow airflow and ventilation while taking advantage of outdoor views.

Working with a reputable contractor is also a great way to maximize what picture windows have to offer. Should you have any questions, call your local window expert right away for clarification.

Conclusion

Overall, picture windows can make a great addition to any home or room. A-frame for a great view, low maintenance costs, a source of natural light – these are just some of the great things about picture windows.

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